PSS to hold graduation ceremonies in June

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THE Public School System plans to conduct ceremonies that will recognize close to 700 senior students who are graduating from high school this June.

“The social distancing rules will be the new norm,” Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada said, referring to the commencement exercises at Marianas High School, Saipan Southern High School, Kagman High School, Da’ok Academy, Tinian Jr/Sr High School, and Dr. Rita H. Inos Jr/Sr High School.

“Only three persons at a time will be allowed to go to the stage. [Students] can pick up their diplomas on the stage and then they go back to their car. There won’t be any handshakes,” Ada said, adding that the ceremony will be like a drive-thru event.

SSHS principal Vince Dela Cruz said the remarks of the commissioner on education, Board of Education Chairwoman Janice Tenorio, and the keynote speakers will be recorded.

In addition, the valedictory and salutatory speeches will be pre-recorded.

“We will also request Gov. Ralph DLG Torres to pre-record his speech,” said Dela Cruz who was tasked by the commissioner to come up with plan for the graduation ceremonies amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dela Cruz said the graduating seniors will take part in a motorcade and students who have excelled in various subjects will be recognized.

“Each school will compile the videos [of the pre-recorded speeches] and they will be available to the public and the students,” Dela Cruz said. “For SSHS, we will distribute a flash drive and give it out to the graduating students, along with their diplomas.”

PSS earlier announced that it was canceling this year’s graduation ceremonies.

“But students want to have one, and teachers want to do something for the seniors…even if it’s just a little recognition, which still goes a long way for the students,” Dela Cruz said.

He said the graduating seniors this year include more than 300 students at MHS; 150 at SSHS; about 110 at KHS; 30 or more on Tinian and Rota; and a few from Da’ok Academy.



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