Northeastern reworks graduation plan after pushback

The 2018 Northeastern High School Commencement Ceremony at the school in Manchester Township, Thursday, May 31, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Northeastern School District officials have walked back an earlier decision to not include families in its diploma distribution event.

The event was scheduled for Friday, but has been moved to Sunday because of expected inclement weather. And families will now be able to watch their seniors walk across the stage and receive their diplomas on the new date.

The school district's administrative team, school resource officer and senior class advisers met to ensure that could happen, according to school officials.

"We have taken the most recent feedback from families into consideration," high school Principal Matthew Gay said in an update shared Wednesday.

More:Families no longer allowed on field at Northeastern High graduation event

Though the district's original plans had included families, those were scrapped because school officials and local police deemed there would not be enough time to usher families to and from their cars safely.

Some parents chastised the district for the way in which they changed plans and because the change was not directly due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

"We understand that not being able to see your student recognized on the stage is incredibly disappointing," Gay said. "The event is important to everyone, and we would like families to participate to the extent possible."

In order to make this possible, Gay listed a number of expectations for the event, including families social distancing from anyone not in their party and bringing one driver to stay with their cars — where they will still be able to see seniors from the lower field.