With COVID numbers down, and more and more residents getting vaccinated each day it looks as though this year’s Revere High School (RHS) graduation ceremony will be different than the 2020 RHS graduation.
During the height of the pandemic last year, the usual graduation exercises at Harry Della Russo Stadium were cancelled, and graduation for seniors was moved to August. With COVID infections running high at that time the school opted for a ‘drive-by’ graduation in front of City Hall where the Class of 2020 picked up their diplomas during an afternoon-long car parade.
At last Tuesday night’s Revere Public School Committee meeting, RHS Principal Dr. John Perella was happy to report that this year’s graduation will return to the stadium with a social distanced ceremony for the more than 500 students who are part of the Class of 2021.
“We have identified the night of Tuesday, June 8 at 6 p.m. as the date for a graduation ceremony,” said Perella. “This was approved by the School Committee and we also presented the plan to city officials, fire and police departments and health officials. I will say that this is, at its base, the same plans that we put together last year (that were cancelled).”
Perella explained while graduation will return to the stadium for the first time since 2019, and it will be a minimized controlled event.
“This will be a graduation that will meet the needs of the students and families in that it will be a traditional graduation that is in-person at the stadium,” said Perella. “This is something that students have told us over and over again is their highest priority. Unfortunately, last year we were unable to do that, but this year it looks like we have a go for June 8.”
Perella said the basics of this event will be that each graduate will receive two guest tickets.
“This will enable those guests to sit with a graduating senior on the field at the stadium for the ceremony,” said Perella. “This will limit the number of people that are in this stadium and will fall under CDC guidelines.”
Perella said the school will be creating 18×11 ft. pods on the football field that will be spaced out accordingly to meet social distancing guidelines.
“In these pods will be one student and two of their guests,” said Perella. “When we spread these pods out across the entire field it creates the distancing needed to fall under the guidelines while accommodating the numbers of students that we have. This is why we’re not allowing student guests into the bleachers because we can’t really control that.”
The stands themselves will provide seating for some dignitaries and faculty of the high school only. Perella told the School Committee there will be no exception to the two ticket rule.
“So each student who is graduating will get those two tickets and that will adhere to the limits and everything will be under CDC guidelines with spatial distancing,” said Perella. “Masks will be mandatory and the entire graduation will be very organized and somewhat more brief than it has been in the past,”
Perella said there will be fewer speeches, and only students will give speeches during the ceremony.
“While it will be a smaller ceremony we hope it will be really special and one that will meet the needs of our students and their families,” said Perella.
Perella said the last day of classes for RHS seniors will be Friday, May 28, and then the following week RHS will begin graduation rehearsals.
However, as far as traditional end of the year celebrations go, everything will be virtual this year.
“We are now coordinating with the elementary and middle schools to ensure that their (end of the year) events don’t take place at the same time as the High School’s.”