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Subject: Please Ask the State to Allow a Variance for In-Person Graduation Ceremonies and then Provide that Variance to CVUSD
Dear Mr. Powers, Chair Long and Board of Supervisors,
Thank you to each of you for your tireless work on behalf of our county during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am truly grateful for all you do.
Because I was unable to finish my public comment due to the time limit, I am submitting my entire comment for you to consider.
Sandee Everett public comment for the Board of Supervisors 5/28/20 emergency meeting:
Thank you so much for your service.
I am a Trustee for the Conejo Valley Unified School District. My comment is regarding in-person graduations for our seniors. My comments are my own opinions and do not necessarily represent those of the Conejo Valley School board as a whole or CVUSD.
I would like to start by stating that my comments are not intended to ask you to violate the law or to put anyone’s health at risk. I am simply asking for PERMISSION to hold safe and carefully planned and executed in-person graduation ceremonies for our seniors and their parents.
While a drive-thru graduation may be the choice of some students – which I absolutely respect – it is my understanding that the overwhelming number of our seniors and their parents want in-person graduation ceremonies.
A parent in our community, Clinton Muir, has worked very hard to come up with a carefully thought out plan for the CVUSD to hold in-person graduation ceremonies. I am asking that the county consider issuing the CVUSD a variance to implement this plan and hold in-person graduations for the seniors.
The plan includes many, many safety measures but here are a few:
Participation is optional, Chairs on the field 6’ apart, signed liability forms, temperature checks prior to participation, hand washing stations, all social distancing guidelines will be guaranteed to be implemented to their fullest.
The parents are even willing to pay any costs that are not covered by any remaining CVUSD graduation budget (if there is any). The parents also want to volunteer and do as much work as necessary to implement such a plan.
If all seniors that want to participate in an in-person graduation cannot be allowed on the field at the same time – please consider permitting us to hold two separate in-person graduation ceremonies. One parent suggested that if we are permitted to do this, that we allow the seniors to sign up for a time so they are able to attend the ceremony that all their friends are attending. I am fully supportive of this idea.
Ventura county is now “open for business.” Grocery stores, retailers like Home Depot, Target and Walmart and now, at last, our small businesses, restaurants, hair salons and barber shops, as well as the malls are all either open or are beginning to open up as they are able to demonstrate that they can do so safely. Beaches are also open. Many of our seniors and parents have been working in these businesses during COVID-19 and most, if not all parents and seniors have stood in lines at grocery stores and other businesses. We understand what is required by social distancing rules. I am asking you to trust our seniors and their parents, as well as our CVUSD staff and teachers to host amazing in-person graduations on our football fields and to do so very safely.
I am asking each of you to go to bat for our seniors. Please pick up the phone today and make calls to the governor and anyone else that needs to be persuaded to allow us this variance – even if graduation is held later than originally scheduled. As elected officials and county leaders, the seniors and their parents deserve for us to go to bat for them and at least try.
I would also like to put a plug in for our 8th graders and 5th graders that are promoting to high school and middle school. Please consider trusting them and their parents as well to also follow a very strict plan but to have their in-person promotions for those who would like to attend.
Together we can demonstrate our ability and professionalism to hold these important milestone gatherings safely for our kids during this unprecedented time.