Traditional public school commencement ceremonies canceled this year

Updated: Apr. 15, 2020 at 11:31 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - There will be no traditional public school graduation ceremonies this year, schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto has announced.

In a video to the community, Kishimoto said the decision was an emotional one “because we understand the importance of this milestone.”

She added, however, “The safety of our community is paramount.”

It was an expected call amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has closed schools and forced the cancellation of public gatherings. But that doesn’t make it any easier for Class of 2020 graduates.

Kishimoto did say that principals are exploring some non-traditional options, including drive-by commencement exercises. These events would have to follow “strict safety protocols,” she said.

Public school campuses remain closed through April 30, with students completing ungraded distance learning exercises at home.

Last month, the state Board of Education approved a plan to waive graduation requirements so that more than 10,000 high school seniors on track to graduate will be able to do so.

This story will be updated.

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