Delaware schools can hold outdoor graduations, without hugs, state says


@VALUEZTV PM EDITION




Jeanne Kuang,


They won't be allowed to hug classmates from different households and may not even be handed a diploma onstage, but Delaware's high school seniors can have graduation ceremonies after all. 

Under new rules announced by the Department of Education Tuesday, schools can host outdoor graduations with social distancing rules starting next week as the state begins reopening. 

The announcement came alongside a slew of relaxations of Delaware's emergency coronavirus rules set to take place Monday — among them an allowance to hold gatherings of up to 250 people, or more with a permit. 


The announcement came alongside a slew of relaxations of Delaware's emergency coronavirus rules set to take place Monday — among them an allowance to hold gatherings of up to 250 people or more with a permit. ts and students mourned the loss of yearly traditions, with some getting creative to honor neighborhood graduates in impromptu parades.


The ceremonies will be subject to many of the same health requirements as other gatherings and businesses that have been allowed to reopen. 


There must be a six-foot radius between each household, according to the Department of Education rules, and seating in stands must be arranged to enforce that. Signs will be posted prohibiting entrance to those who display coronavirus symptoms, and face masks are required for anyone age 13 or above.

Indoor ceremonies will remain prohibited.


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Districts are encouraged to stagger the entrance of graduates to reduce attendance at each ceremony. The department is also discouraging districts from handing out paper ceremony programs, selling concessions or providing restrooms if they are unable to disinfect restrooms every 15 minutes to two hours.


Districts are "strongly discouraged" from having a school official personally hand diplomas to graduates, according to department rules. Instead, schools are asked to mail diplomas or place them on a table for students to pick up. 


Bands and choral groups are also not allowed to perform — only single singers or duos.



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