Athletic fields

LBUSD postpones graduation ceremony to end of July, swimming pool and sports fields remain closed


LBHS seniors line up before heading to the Irvine Bowl.

The Laguna Beach Unified School District has tentatively postponed its launch ceremony for seniors at Laguna Beach High to the end of July, citing county and state orders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The Board of Education on Thursday signaled its support for Superintendent Jason Viloria to follow California Department of Health and OC Health Care Agency guidelines that still ban gatherings on school campuses. These orders prevent district officials from holding the ceremony scheduled for June 11, Viloria said.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people who are pretty flexible about graduation and understand that we as a public school entity follow the guidelines of the state, county and federal government for that matter, on what we can do to protect the health of our citizens, “said Board Chair Peggy Wolff.” We do not operate in silos and cannot make decisions without these guidelines, following suit, just like the municipal council. ”

Board secretary Carl Normandin said she understood the disappointment of the school community after speaking with many parents of graduating students. However, it is important that the public continue to heed the recommendations of public health professionals, she said.

“As much as we would like our emotions and desires… to take us elsewhere, they cannot. said Normandin. “We have a duty to each other to protect each other, that’s what public health is.

Like almost every district in Orange County, Laguna Beach Unified is looking for a date to safely honor senior graduates, Viloria said.

“They deserve to be honored,” Viloria said. “It’s a right of way and we hope the guidelines will allow us to do that later in July.”

Viloria added that the school district “will pivot very quickly” if county and state health officials relax restrictions on public events.

A petition Calling on Laguna Beach principals to host an in-person graduation ceremony for the class of 2020, garnered nearly 700 signatures by Friday morning.

“I want my kids and the rest of the class to experience graduation safely on the football field. They’ve worked so hard for the past four years, they deserve it! Laguna Beach High parent Alem Solomon wrote on the page.

During her statements on the impact of the pandemic on school operations, Viloria also noted that Guyer Field, Eric Hulst Track, Laguna Beach High School and Community Pool, and district-owned playgrounds and sports grounds will remain closed. until the state reaches phase three of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to reopen.

“While I can totally understand why people would like to get on the track and / or access our grounds and playground equipment right now, we are not allowed to,” said Viloria. “We have an obligation on our own responsibility to ensure that we follow these guidelines.”

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