Ellington is celebrating high school seniors who are graduating this year with a week of events, ending with a graduation ceremony at the Mansfield Drive In to keep families at a safe social distance from each other.
The celebrations are planned for the first week of June and will include a drive-up breakfast, a car parade through town, and video montages and speeches throughout the week, leading up to the graduation ceremony on June 5, according to a news release.
The Ellington High School Graduation ceremony at the Mansfield Drive-In will begin at 4:30 p.m. on June 5 and the rain date is Saturday, June 6.
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“Our graduating high school seniors will have a well-earned and safe graduation that honors their scholastic and extracurricular achievements,” Michael Purcaro, chairman of the Ellington Board of Education, said in a statement. “The week-long graduation activities that culminate with a commencement ceremony have been carefully planned in accordance with all current public health and safety guidance while upholding our sacred academic traditions.”
School officials said an overwhelming number of students wanted to avoid a virtual graduation, so work began to consider other options.
"When the student survey results came back and their number one priority was to have a graduation that was in-person and not virtual, we worked with state and local officials to come up and design the best possible graduation to honor this special class of 2020,” Jennifer Mullin, chairperson of the communications committee for the Board of Education, said in a statement.
One car will be allowed per graduate, the ceremony will include in-person adult and student speeches, pre-recorded musical performances and it will end with a diploma procession.
Graduation will be live-streamed and there will be two photographers, a videographer and aerial video and photos will be taken from a drone.
Ellington Public Schools declared the week of June 1-5 EHS 2020 Graduation Week.
“It doesn’t just take a village to raise a child. During COVID-19 it takes a village to graduate them as well! We can not thank our ‘Ellington Village’ enough for all their support and guidance through this process,” Jen Dzen, vice-chair of the Board of Education, said in a statement.