DOE releases new guidelines to allow for limited, in-person school ceremonies

Local News

(Courtesy: Seth Wenig, Associated Press, File)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Department of Education released new guidelines on Thursday to allow for limited, in-person school commencement and transition ceremonies.

In January, the DOE officially cancelled all large school functions for the rest of the school year.

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“Our school leaders have shown they are able to implement and enforce the protocols that have kept our staff and students safe,” Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto said in Thursday’s news release. “While we cannot prevent exposure to COVID-19, the Department has systems in place to immediately address cases and has avoided transmission of the virus at HIDOE facilities to date.”

Kishimoto said that the modified ceremonies will allow for more flexibility for schools to go beyond virtual options in bringing graduates together for celebrations.

Commencement events must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • The ceremony must be held outdoors or in a venue with adequate ventilation. Third-party venues are allowed.
  • Graduates will be allowed to bring a maximum of two members from their household. No additional guests will be allowed. Schools also have the authority to reduce this number based on venue restrictions and ceremony formats. 
  • Larger schools that may experience difficulties in hosting a safe, in-person ceremony are encouraged to consider alternative options such as a blend of in-person and virtual ceremonies, staggered drive-through ceremonies, or drive-in formats. 

The full list of guidelines can be viewed here.

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