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Graduation Update - email sent 5/7/21

High School South
May 7, 2021


Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students of the Class of 2021:

I hope this email finds you safe and well.  

As I recently shared with you, the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021 will take place in Boulder Stadium. We appreciate the Town of Ramapo and the Boulders for providing this opportunity. By having the ceremony at Boulder Stadium, which can accommodate up to 2,000 guests in addition to the graduating class and staff, parents may now invite up to six guests.

In order to prepare for the Commencement of the Class of 2021, we must take into account certain COVID health guidelines intended to keep our community as safe as possible during this ongoing pandemic.  Effective May 1, 2021, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) issued updated options for graduation ceremonies.  For your reference, the entire guidance document is attached to this email.

The NYSDOH guidance states: 

At events where the number of attendees will exceed the State’s gathering limits (i.e. 100 people indoors or 200 people outdoors in non-residential settings, as of April 12, 2021), event organizers must also require and ensure that public-facing employees, event staff, and attendees have received a negative diagnostic test result for COVID-19 using a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or DOH authorized polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or other nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) of comparable analytical sensitivity performance that was performed on a specimen (e.g. swab) collected within 72 hours of the event.  Responsible Parties may also accept negative test results for COVID-19 from an FDA authorized antigen test performed on a specimen collected within 6 hours of the event.  Alternatively, individuals may provide proof of having completed the COVID-19 vaccination series at least 14 days prior to the date of the event.”

In short, in order to attend Clarkstown South’s commencement exercises for the Class of 2021 scheduled for Tuesday, June 22 at 1 pm at Boulder Stadium (Pomona, NY), all employees, guests attending, event staff, and the graduating seniors must provide recent negative diagnostic test result or proof of completed immunization.

  • Proof of Immunization: A proof of completed immunization at least 14 days prior to the event can be presented on the day of graduation to the event staff by mobile application, screenshot, or paper form. If you would like to get a vaccine, the NYSDOH website helps you locate a vaccine site and schedule an appointment. 

  • PCR Test or NAAT:  These two tests must be performed and collected within 72 hours of the event.  This website assists you in finding a testing site near you. Additionally, there are virtual health providers that offer at-home FDA-approved test kits: Vault Health and Pixel.

  • Antigen Test:  Antigen tests must be performed on a specimen collected within 6 hours of the event.  This website assists you in finding a testing site near you.

Due to the expected graduations that will occur the week of June 21 and the number of participants that will be attending, it is highly recommended that you schedule an appointment for either COVID Testing or vaccination as soon as possible and not wait closer to the date.  If done in a timely manner, you can also arrange to be tested or vaccinated through your health care provider.

Please note that NYSDOH guidance also states: “Any individual who fails to present a negative diagnostic test or proof of immunization, as required, must be denied entry to the event.

In order to alleviate anxiety on the day of graduation, Clarkstown South’s staff will check the graduates’ proof of immunization or negative test the day before the ceremony, Monday, June 21 at South High School at a mandatory graduation rehearsal. There will be more information to come about this as we get closer to the date.

For those family members and friends who are not able to attend, the graduation ceremony will be available to watch live through a livestream.  More information on livestreaming will follow closer to the date of graduation.

With everyone’s cooperation and good planning, we will be able to make the Commencement Exercise of the Class of 2021 a memorable one. I look forward to congratulating the Class of 2021 together at Boulder Stadium.


Debra Tarantino
Principal, Clarkstown High School South