WAVERLY — Waverly Central School District Superintendent Eric Knolles is encouraging people to call New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to press for answers as to why attendance at graduations is capped at 150, a number he says is arbitrary.
“The governor has repeatedly said that under Phase Four, he will allow localized gatherings such as county fairs under the direction of the region,” Knolles said.
Waverly is in the Southern Tier region of Cuomo’s reopening plan. The Southern Tier is currently in Phase Three, and is set to move to Phase Four on June 26, which is the final day of the district’s academic calendar.
“What superintendents are trying to figure out is how everything is under Southern Tier Eight, with the exception of graduations, which were arbitrarily put at 150 people with no basis, science, facts or anything else on why he would do that,” Knolles said.
“We’d just like to know what the rationale is behind that, when our beaches are at 50 percent, our restaurants are at 50 percent, everything else is at 50 percent,” he added. “Why would you say that graduations wouldn’t be 50 percent, instead of 150 (people)?”
Waverly is graduating 121 seniors, meaning that no crowd would be permitted at a graduation ceremony.
Should crowds be permitted at graduations, Waverly’s plan is to hold the ceremony at its football stadium, with the stands filled to half capacity.
According to Knolles, the stadium can seat 3,000 to 3,500 people, meaning approximately 1,500 people would be permitted to attend.
Knolles said he is working with other area superintendents to find a solution.