West Deptford High plans for graduation now that outdoor capacity is expanding

Major milestones are slowly returning, as life slowly gets back to normal. Graduations, proms, weddings and even funerals are back on in New Jersey starting in May. The Garden State is raising capacity limits for outdoor and indoor events and, beginning May 10th, indoor capacity jumps to 50 percent, with up to 500 people outside.

"We are going full force on preparing the ultimate graduation," West Deptford High School Principal Brian Gismondi remarked.

A sigh of relief for Principal Gismondi, after learning that Governor Phil Murphy is increasing the limits on outdoor gatherings next month. Gismondi says graduation is now "game on!"

"The news came that we’ve been waiting for," Gismondi added.

Beginning May 10, large venues that seat at least 1,000 people will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity, making it possible for the 225 members of the West Deptford High School senior class to graduate together.

"We’re gonna order better microphones, new sound system. We’re going to go out of the way. Just the fact that we’ll have a live graduation, something we haven’t had in two years here, is really gonna be special,"Gismondi commented.

Gismondi is fully invested: as a principal, an alum and a parent of twin girls graduating this year.

"I will go out of my way. Whatever it takes for all of our children to have a graduation," Gismondi added.

It wasn’t possible in 2020. Instead, students watched their full graduation ceremony on YouTube.

"I felt horrible for them. They lost so much. I felt bad for the seniors – no senior trips, no prom, no homecoming, no nothing," Linda Enright lamented.

2020 graduate Tommy Davis says his heart goes out to area seniors who have lost nearly the entire school year.

"At least they’re getting something a little more rewarding – an actual graduation," Davis said.

"You do what you can do to make sure that people get the right ending of their 12 years of education," Gismondi added.



New Jersey expanding gathering limits May 10, allowing more people to attend proms, graduations

NJ expands COVID vaccine eligibility to 16 and older

New Jersey allows restaurants, some business to expand capacity to 50%



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