Riverhead High School held socially distanced graduation ceremonies in 2020. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Riverhead schools will have in-person graduation and moving up ceremonies this year with COVID restrictions and allowing two guests per student, according to Interim Superintendent Christine Tona.

Riverhead High School is currently planning two separate ceremonies for graduating seniors based on their cohort — which were established in the school year for alternating in-person learning — and based on the last names of students. The ceremonies will also be livestreamed for those unable to attend in-person.

The first ceremony is on June 25 at 5:30 p.m., with a rain date set for June 27 at 9 a.m.. It includes seniors who were in cohort one as of November 16, 2020, fully remote Seniors whose last names begin with the letters A – LEM, officers in the student government and the top 20.

The second ceremony is on June 26 at 10 a.m., with a rain date set for June 27 at 12 p.m.. It includes seniors who were part of cohort two as of November 16, 2020 and fully remote seniors with last names beginning with the letters LEN – Z.

All of these ceremony plans are contingent upon state and federal guidelines, and are subject to change, Tona said. This includes if restrictions are lifted. “We would welcome the opportunity to have all of our seniors attend the same graduation ceremony,” she said.

For fourth-graders, six-graders and eighth-graders, moving up ceremonies will be offered during the school day. Principals will be contacting families about the details with students’ families. Those ceremonies will also be limited to two guests.


Correction: This article has been amended to correct an error in the time of the June 26 high school graduation ceremony. It is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m., not 12 p.m. as originally reported.

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Alek Lewis
Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.