Previously canceled due to COVID-19, a Cambridge high school’s graduation ceremony is back on

Previously canceled due to COVID-19, a Cambridge high school's graduation ceremony is back on

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A Cambridge high school is going back on its plans to cancel the high school’s outdoor graduation ceremony scheduled for next weekend.

On Tuesday, Matignon High School officials told students and parents that the Aug. 6th graduation set to be held on the school’s athletic field, which technically is in Somerville, was canceled. The school said they couldn’t have the ceremony because of state guidelines.

Boston 25 News reached out on behalf of upset students and parents.

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After sharing the state graduation guidelines with the school, Boston 25 got a call back from the headmaster who said the ceremony is now back on.

“I really truly don’t think that they were going to do anything,” Peter Bell, who has a son graduating from the school said.

Bell says Matignon students and parents were devastated the school abruptly canceled the seniors graduation ceremony.

“Many parents have reached out to the school, some trying to help, some complaining,” Bell said.

Matignon held a virtual graduation ceremony in May after teachers and faculty visited students homes with signs and gifts. But the students were looking forward to an in-person ceremony before many leave for college in just a few weeks.

“I think that’s important to these kids to get that closure and to see their friends for the last time,” Bell said.

“The whole senior class of this year says they lost out on a lot,” said Bob Jones, who also has a graduating senior. “They lost out on all their Spring sports. They lost out on a lot of final activities. They lost out on their prom. They lost out on a lot and the one thing we can give them is graduation. I think we should try our best to do that if it’s possible.”

Under state guidelines, schools were able to start having outdoor ceremonies starting July 19th as long as strict social distancing protocols were followed. The city of Somerville says it does allow outdoor ceremonies as long as a safety plan is submitted and approved.

After sharing the information with the school, Boston 25 was told the ceremony is back on.

Our goal has always been to meet the needs of our students and families, and to celebrate the Class of 2020. Our students expressed their desire to celebrate together and with their entire families present, and we worked very hard to try to make that happen. When it was made clear to us that it was not possible, we made a decision that we thought was in our students’ best interest, which was to hold a full ceremony with no restrictions when we would be allowed to do so.
Tim Welsh, HEadmaster at Matignon High School
Over the past few days, we have heard from families that any ceremony, even with significant restrictions, is better than one at a later date.
Tim Welsh, HEadmaster at Matignon High School
Working with the city of Somerville, we are able to offer a ceremony with a very limited number of guests, but we sincerely hope that this provides our students with the recognition that they so greatly deserve. We look forward to celebrating with them on Thursday, August 6th.
Tim Welsh, HEadmaster at Matignon High School

Each student will be allowed to bring two guests to the graduation ceremony.

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