School Prepares for In-Person Commencement

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Edan Zinn

Commencement will be held on the Athletic Field this year.

Nico Jaffer, Writer

This year, the Class of 2021 will experience a modified, in-person Commencement ceremony. While nearly 40% of Massachusetts’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and state COVID-19 restrictions are lessening, the School will continue its health and safety precautions during the event.

During the 2019-2020 school year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Class of 2020 to graduate virtually. The School held an online ceremony that featured speeches and presentations. In addition, the School hosted a drive-through parade where students could safely collect their diplomas.

This year, Head of Upper School Joshua Neudel has worked with the School’s COVID Response Team to ensure the safety of attendees at the in-person Commencement.

“Every Massachusetts school was given a set of specific guidelines, and much of the plan was anticipated, but details did provide more flexibility in some areas and more restrictions in other areas,” Neudel said.

In addition to required mask-wearing and social distancing, the ceremony will occur outside, and the event will be live-streamed for online viewing.

The ceremony will run in a format similar to in past years, with presentations, awards, and speeches from various students and staff members. The School’s choir, Greenline, and its Upper School Ensemble will also be performing music live at the event.

Many 12th grade students, including Betty Wang, ’21, are excited to attend their upcoming graduation.

“It feels a bit unreal for me to think that graduation is coming up very soon, especially after being concurrent for the past year,” Wang said. “I had a wonderful time here to study and challenge myself with new things. There were a lot of opportunities and support for me to develop as a student and as a person in general.”

Still, Wang and other 12th grade students remain enthusiastic about the opportunity to attend their graduation in person.