Graduation Information

From June 10 WHS PTSO email to parents:
 
 

 

 
 

 

Dear Class of 2020 Parents,

 

Thank you for your extraordinary patience and grace during this uncertain time. At the WHS PTSO, we have heard that some school emails are not getting to parents because of IT difficulties, so we are taking this opportunity to send a summation of current information regarding Class of 2020 activities and graduation. Much of this information you may have already received, but because the PTSO uses a different email client than WHS we hope to reach those parents who miss the school district emails. Also, events are changing very quickly as NJ re-opens, so this information is current as of today and we will resend changes as they occur.

 

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Senior Update as of 6/9/2020

 

1) June 8th - Cap and Gowns:

Were distributed on June 8th. Some caps and gowns were not delivered in time for pick up but those items should have been delivered to your home by tonight. If you still haven't received what you ordered in the fall/spring please contact Jostens/ Anthony Malfatto at please contact at 973-519-9931 or Anthony.Malfatto@jostens.com

 

2) June 10th - Graduation Pictures:

 

Graduation photos will take place in front of Westfield High School and will follow this schedule:

 

Last name A-F     12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Last name G-M   1:45pm - 2:45 pm

Last name N-Z    3 pm - 4 pm

 

You must wear a mask when exiting your car, maintain social distancing as you line up on the sidewalk, remove your mask for the picture, wear your mask and promptly return to your car. We will have 480 students getting photos so we are hoping to move the process along quickly.  If you are unable to attend, your senior yearbook photo will be included in the video ceremony.

 

If your student has an apple from Kindergarten, please being them to the photo session.

 

Please dress to impress and photos will be available to purchase

 

CAP AND GOWN INSTRUCTIONS:

WEARING THE CAP

Caps should be placed on the head so that the mortar board is LEVEL with the long point to the BACK.  

WEARING THE TASSEL

Drape the tassel over the RIGHT temple. Tassels should never be pinned or sewed but should be permitted to hang naturally. 

WEARING THE GOWN

1. The gown should be removed from the package immediately upon receipt and hung up to eliminate excessive wrinkles. Use EXTREME CAUTION if you iron out wrinkles.  Caution: Check to see if the material of which the gown is made permits you to iron it. 

2. Males should preferably wear WHITE or LIGHT COLORED shirts and trousers.  Ties are encouraged for such an occasion. 

3. Females should preferably wear a WHITE or VERY LIGHT PASTEL COLOR DRESS.  Dots, stripes, checks, and dark colors all show through and could be unbecoming. 

4. Females/males should select appropriate footwear.  SANDALS, SNEAKERS, FLIP-FLOPS AND OTHER CASUAL FOOTWEAR ARE INAPPROPRIATE.  

 

3) June 23rd - Virtual graduation:

WHS virtual graduation will premiere at 7:00 pm on June 23rd. Mr. DeSarno will share more details about graduation in the next few days.

 

4) July 8th (July 9 - rain date) - In-person graduation celebration:  (Email from Principal Asfendis)

 

In light of the news from Governor Murphy this afternoon that graduations may be held with up to 500 people starting July 6th, I am excited to share that we have re-evaluated our plans for graduation. We are tentatively planning to move our “in person” ceremony to July 8th at 3 pm with a raindate of July 9th at 3pm. 

 

Obviously, this news was a significant change and there are many parts of the plan that still need to be worked out but we wanted to make you aware of the new date as soon as possible as we promised the Class of 2020 that we would be celebrating in person as soon as we were allowed to do so.

 

We ask for your patience and understanding as we work out the details and we will share information as we have it.  Graduation photos will proceed tomorrow as scheduled.  

 

5) Yearbooks:

 

*Yearbooks will be mailed directly to students homes in July.

 

*Jostens is offering a “Virtual Signing” of the yearbook. Any student can create a page, regardless of whether or not they ordered a yearbook. It is free to all students. Below is an informational page and link on our website that can be accessed here: https://sites.google.com/s/1909R0f8fTXWutkpJbKilXGmVPZTKXiv4/p/1srCl7AyUQ0pP1U77edKOEt7wBjQ_dfQC/edit

 

 

6) Prom:

 

As the students will be graduated from WHS and therefore no longer district students before a prom can happen, the school cannot plan the Prom. PTSO parent volunteers are gathering information for an in-person prom for July. Please stay tuned for location and dates as our volunteer coordinators gather information on prom possibilities in light of today's announcement opening outdoor events to 500 people after July 3rd.

 

7) School Locker Pick Up:

 

As we prepare for the end of the school year, one large task that remains is the pick-up and drop off of belongings. We have designed a schedule and process for the families of our students to pick up the contents of their lockers as well as to return school materials (instruments, library books, textbooks, novels, etc…). While we know that everyone is eager to retrieve their belongings, we must do so in a safe and orderly manner.  

 

The contents of all student lockers will be emptied and bagged by our custodians. School materials in lockers (textbooks and library books) will be left in school and returned to the appropriate department. Each bag will be labeled with the student’s name and locker number. It is important that you check Genesis to know your child’s locker number prior to your designated pickup time. 

 

If your child’s locker contains any valuables that you would like us to be aware of, please email your child’s assistant principal directly by Monday, June 8th so that they can alert the custodians to these items.

 

Last names      A-F      Ms. Huynh        mhuynh@westfieldnjk12.org

                         G-M    Mr. Desarno     jdesarno@westfieldnjk12.org

                         N-Z       Mr. Hynes          whynes@westfieldnjk12.org

                            

Below you will find an overview of the item drop-off and retrieval process, so that we are in compliance with current mandates and maintain proper social distancing.

1.     The student or a family member of a student will drive to Westfield High School according to the time and date below.  

2.     We ask that all belongings that need to be returned to WHS be placed in the trunk of the car. These items will be removed at the drop off stations in the parking lot.

3.     Cars will enter on the Trinity side of the lot and follow directions to the rear of the building.

4.    Cars will proceed to the first station to return a school items such as instruments, calculators, laptops, etc. Prior to June 17th, each classroom teacher will discuss the specifics of items that will need to be returned and how they should be labeled. Please have these items in the trunk of your car. 

6.     Cars will follow a car line to the next station where they will return all their books. Prior to drop off, please put the student’s name, teacher, course and period on a piece of paper inside the front cover of the book.

7.     Finally, students will stop at the rear entrance of the school to request bagged locker items, musical instruments and projects. These will be placed in your trunk.

8.  Any medications that are being held in the nurses office should be requested from our school nurse at the final pick-up station. 

9.  Once belongings have been loaded into your car, please exit the parking lot through either Rahway exit. 

  

*We ask that anyone coming to WHS to retrieve and deposit belongings wears a facial covering. 

 

 

Schedule

 

Last name: A-C

Wednesday, June 17

12:30-1:30 pm

 

Last name: D-F

Wednesday, June 17

1:30-2:30 pm

 

Last name: G-I

Wednesday, June 17

2:30-3:30 pm

 

Last name: J-L

Thursday, June 18

12:30-1:30 pm

 

Last name: M-N

Thursday, June 18

1:30-2:30 pm

 

Last name: O-P

Thursday, June 18

2:30-3:30 pm

 

Last name:Q-S

Friday, June 19

12:30-1:30 pm

 

Last name:T-V

Friday, June 19

1:30-2:30 pm

 

Last name:W-Z

Friday, June 19

2:30-3:30 pm

 

 

At this time, we will be return items such as priojects, artwork, etc. that are still in the building to seniors only. We will be working over the summer to collect and prepare items for underclassmen. Additionally, we hope to make lost and found items available once we are allowed full access to the school.

 

8) Banners and Celebration Video:

 

Please check out the banner of the Class of 2020 at WHS, Class of 2020 lamp signs and 30ft banner on Broad Street and stay tuned for a video celebration in downtown Westfield honoring the Class of 2020 that will run for several weeks. Video dates to follow later this week.

 

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UPDATE - June 9, 2020, 2:15 p.m.
 
In light of today's announcement by Governor Murphy that New Jersey schools can plan to have as many as 500 people at outdoor graduation ceremonies beginning July 6, Westfield High School administration is reevaluating the plans for the Class of 2020. WHS parents will hear more from Mrs. Asfendis tomorrow.  Thank you for your patience.
 
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From the New Jersey Department of Education:

 

The New Jersey Department of Education (“NJDOE”) published graduation guidance for public school districts, charter schools, renaissance school projects and nonpublic schools (collectively “school districts”) that outlines considerations for modified in-person graduation ceremonies beginning on July 6, 2020. The guidance includes requirements that ceremonies be held outdoors, adhere to social distancing protocols, and restrict capacity to protect the health and safety of students and families celebrating these milestones amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

 

All school districts that plan to hold modified in-person ceremonies must certify to NJDOE that the planned ceremony will comply with applicable requirements for gatherings, including those addressing social distancing.

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EMAIL FROM PRINCIPAL MARY ASFENDIS - JUNE 9, 2020
 

Good morning,

 

I hope this e-mail finds you well. We have been receiving many questions about our decision regarding graduation and I wanted to provide some clarifications. Many students and parents have questioned why we cannot have an in-person graduation.    As per the state and CDC regulations, outdoor gatherings are still limited to 25 people.  In our class of 480, that would require 20 ceremonies.  When we surveyed seniors and solicited parent feedback, the response was overwhelming that they would prefer an in person ceremony with the whole class, even if postponed, rather than dividing the class into smaller groups or having a virtual ceremony.  Due to this, a date at the end of July was selected so that we have the best opportunity of getting a larger group together.

 

While we know a virtual ceremony is not what any of us prefer, we felt it important to have a significant recognition on the day students were to graduate as well as to provide some insurance in case there is a change in the progress of the health crisis and restrictions have to be increased again. 

 

We will not be presenting diplomas at the pictures tomorrow as the students have not yet completed the requirements to graduate by the State of New Jersey. 

 

I sympathize with your frustration and can assure you we are trying to make this as special as possible in this difficult situation.  I continue to be hopeful that we will be able to proceed with a true ceremony to celebrate our seniors at the end of July.

 

Regards,

Mary Asfendis

Principal

 

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