WISCASSET — Wiscasset Middle High School laid plans for an abbreviated, but in-person, graduation ceremony next month, while other Southern Midcoast schools remain uncertain of when and how to celebrate the milestone.

The Wiscasset graduation ceremony and car procession will take place outside the school at 7 p.m. on June 11, followed by a “special closing activity at the school honoring our 2020 Wiscasset Middle High School graduates,” according to a letter Charles Lomonte, principal of Wiscasset Middle High School, sent to students and families on April 28. Students are expected to wear caps and gowns and will receive their diplomas at the ceremony.

“With so many ‘unknowns’ decision making for late spring and the end of the year was difficult,” wrote Lomonte. “I understand this was not how you envisioned your senior year to end. I am so proud of you. I am proud of the way you handled this disappointment.”

Other senior events have been altered or canceled altogether, including prom, which Lomonte said was called off “after discussion with class officers and school personnel.”

Senior Awards Night, a celebration of students’ awards and scholarships, has been moved online. A pre-recorded video will be streamed on Tuesday, June 9 at 6 p.m., which students are expected to watch in their homes. Awards will be mailed to students after the event.

The last student day for seniors will be Friday, May 29. The same day, students will drop off all textbooks, sports uniforms, laptops and any other learning materials belonging to the school at the front door according to a schedule Lomonte released on the school’s website. Students will also pick up their graduation caps and gowns, yearbooks and personal belongings in their locker.

“We never know what life will throw our way,” Lomonte wrote to students. “I know this experience has made you stronger and wiser. The spirit of Wiscasset Middle High School will always be with you and what you have learned here will help mold your future.”

Lomonte did not return requests for comment Friday.

Schools across the Southern Midcoast have been closed since mid-March and canceled in-person learning for the remainder of the school year in early April, which put end-of-the-year ceremonies and celebrations in flux.

The Maine School Administrative District 75 School Board decided Thursday, April 30, that Mt. Ararat High School’s graduation will take place on Sunday, June 14, but detailed plans for the ceremony have yet to be decided, according to a post on the school district’s Facebook page.

Brunswick High School announced it is planning a “graduation celebration” on Friday, June 12, but details have not been finalized and released yet, according to the school’s website.

Morse High School in Bath has yet to announce its plan for this year’s graduation ceremony as of Friday.

“At this point, we are trying to stick as close to a traditional ceremony as possible, given the restrictions,” said Eric Varney, principal of Morse High School. “Although not ‘ruled-out,’ our least favorable option is anything online or virtual.”

Varney also said he doesn’t want to postpone the ceremony to August, a route Portland Public Schools chose, because he fears fewer students would be able to participate, although larger groups may be able to gather then per Gov. Janet Mills’ four-stage plan to reopen Maine businesses and public spaces.

“Governor Mills’ state reopening plan is quite prescriptive in terms of the size of gatherings well into the summer,” said Varney. “Given this latest directive, many of our potential plans, even with social distancing, will not be permissible without a considerable delay to the usual timeline.”

Mills unveiled her four-stage plan Tuesday, May 28. The first stage began Friday, May 1, giving hair salons, golf courses, car dealerships, drive-in theaters and more the green light to reopen, but gatherings of more than 10 people are still banned to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The Center for Disease Control reported Maine’s positive coronavirus case count rose to 1,123 as of Friday and 55 people have died of complications from the disease, but the Portland Press Herald reported the number of coronavirus hospitalizations has dropped or plateaued for the third consecutive week.

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