CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo green lit a scaled down, in-person, version of graduation ceremonies.
“Graduation ceremonies we think are important. And we hope schools have graduation ceremonies. We just want them safe and we want them smart,” Cuomo said.
Starting May 1, large scale outdoor graduations will have a limited venue size. Governor Cuomo said for a ceremony of 500 people, attendees will need proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. The venue’s limited to 20 percent capacity.
“We have to learn how to be flexible because whatever we do today, whatever the guidance is, we know it can change tomorrow,” said Shenendehowa High School Principal Ron Agostinoni.
Agostinoni is hoping to return to Saratoga Performing Arts Center after last year’s drive-thru ceremony.
“The majority of their life has been in a K-12 setting and this is culmination of that, so we really want to make sure it’s a special time for our students and for their families,” Agostinoni said.
Medium scale ceremonies of 201 to 500 people must also provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test with 33 percent venue capacity. But smaller outdoor ceremonies under 200 people can host up to 50 percent capacity with a vaccination or COVID test being optional.
“People have been so patient and understanding and supportive of schools because we all want what’s best for our young adults,” Agostinoni said.
Despite the new guidelines, Governor Cuomo still supports drive-thru graduations.