Updated Interim Guidance for End of Academic Year Celebrations

Late yesterday afternoon the New York State Department of Health released revised Guidance for End of Year School Events. The guidance pertaining to graduations and commencement ceremonies is effective May 1, 2021. Guidance regarding events such as proms and balls is effective June 1, 2021:

-A range of possible options for graduations is provided, with guidance for each:

  • Virtual ceremonies must ensure that where in-person filming occurs, no more than 100 persons indoors or 200 persons outdoors, in non-residential settings, are socially distanced, wearing masks, and adhere to other health regulations.
  • Drive-in and drive through ceremonies have restrictions such as distance between cars, provision of alternatives for families without cars, handing out of diplomas, contact between persons, social distancing, masking, and other health regulations.
  • More traditional ceremonies must plan for obtaining contact information, health screenings, social distancing, markings for entering and exiting, face coverings, processes for handing out diplomas, controlled movement, size of venue and allowable attendance maximums, and proof of positive tests or completed vaccination depending on the size and location of the event.

A chart within the memo link above specifies the capacity and key requirements, including:

  • For proms and balls, key considerations include, but are not limited to:
    • attention to avoiding congregating, except when seated,
    • guidance for when live music is provided, and
    • guidance for dancing, demarcation of dancing areas, and social distancing.

Read the full memo here.