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DOE: ‘Alternative Graduation’ Planned in Lieu of Traditional Ceremonies

With the end of the school year approaching, the Department of Education is working closely with school leaders to make important decisions that prioritize the health and safety of our students, staff, families and the broader community.

In a Wednesday release, DOE officials said that after much consideration and discussion, it was determined that traditional commencement ceremonies at public and charter schools will be replaced with alternative celebrations for the class of 2020 due to safety concerns and social distancing guidance. Schools will honor their seniors through different models of celebrations, which will be announced next week.

“Graduation is considered a major milestone in any academic journey,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “In Hawaii these celebrations are uniquely special with a long-standing tradition of families coming together to celebrate, giving towering amounts of lei, and enjoying each other’s company — something we are all missing during this time.

The Department has faced tough decisions throughout this unprecedented situation, especially around commencement ceremonies. We’ve looked for innovative solutions to support and celebrate our seniors who deserve this recognition.”

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