LISBON — Lisbon High School seniors will still get a graduation ceremony at the high school next month that allows them to walk across a stage and get their diplomas in small groups.

Superintendent Richard Green said this year’s ceremony was moved from May 31 to June 7 at 11 a.m. The ceremony was pushed into June when Gov. Janet Mills will allow 50 people at social gatherings.

Lisbon High School Principal Susan Magee said some parents had hoped to wait out the coronavirus pandemic so a traditional ceremony could be held in August or September. Magee said the reality is the school expects to face the same social gathering restrictions at the end of the summer and many students will have by then moved on.

“We wanted to keep as close to the end of the school year,” she said.

Each graduate is allowed to come with the school with guests in one vehicle. Graduates will remain in the vehicle during the ceremony until called to the gym to line up and receive their diploma. Up to four family members will be allowed in the building with them. They must exit out a side door and return to their vehicles after. Graduates will be given face masks but family members must bring their own.

The entire ceremony will be livestreamed.

After the graduates get their diplomas, they and their families will form a parade through town. The route has not been finalized.

Lisbon Police Chief Marc Hagan said the school has worked with Lisbon police, fire and public works departments to plan the parade on a Sunday when there is less traffic. Public safety personnel will be posted at every intersection along the parade route.

“Obviously we want to help out and make graduation as significant as possible for seniors,” Hagan said.

According to a student survey, seniors wanted to walk across the stage in the gym and get their diploma in their caps and gowns, Magee said. An early graduation alternative that was considered would have allowed seniors to drive up and grab their diploma through the car window, according to Magee.

“People were pretty deadset against that,” she said.

The school didn’t provide the survey to The Times Record by its deadline Wednesday.

Three seniors The Times Record spoke to out of the class of 78 said they prefer the school’s plan over a virtual or drive-thru ceremony.

“It’s nice to know that we’ll still be celebrating our accomplishments, but it’s upsetting we aren’t able to have a traditional graduation like we were all anticipating,” senior Sarah Moreau said.

Senior Jenny Dong said she feels the school is taking sufficient safety measures by requiring physical distancing and students and families to wear masks. Despite a time of uncertainty, “we still get to see our classmates one last time before we depart on our own separate journeys, and have an end to our high school journey,” she said.

“I’m quite comfortable with it and I think they’re doing the absolutely best for our students in the times we are living in and with the restrictions in place,” said Angel Tibbettes, whose son is a member of Lisbon’s class of 2020.

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