Graduation Taking Place At Harris Field, ‘Prom’ Cruise A Bon Voyage To Class Of ’21

Photo: A return to in-person graduation for the Class of 2021

They’ll be cheering in the Harris Field stands on the weekend of June 5-6 but it won’t be for the rugby or lacrosse teams.

The Belmont High School class of 2021 will be receiving their diplomas in person – following socially distance protocol, of course – as family and friends will be watching from the bleachers at Harris Field, according to Belmont Superintendent John Phelan who announced the news to the School Committee Tuesday night, March 23.

“[Belmont High School] Principal Isaac Taylor has been communicating with students and parents and the high school that we will be holding graduation this year at Harris Field the first weekend in June as we normally do,” said Phelan.

The move outdoors is due to continued COVID concerns and that the traditional location for graduation, indoors at the Wenner Field House on the BHS campus, is currently within the construction site for the High School portion of the new Belmont Middle and High School.

Last year, graduation was conducted virtually less than three months after the coronavirus shut down most activities worldwide. The decision by school administrators and town health officials to have the class of 2020 receive their diplomas on video resulted in a bitter fight with some parents of graduates who wanted a more traditional ceremony.

The day of the graduation, a group of parents and graduates held a impromptu celebration on Harris Field which was condemned by the Health Department and the Select Board.

In addition to graduation, seniors and school officials have been discussing some sort of prom-like activity which currently is heading in the direction of an additional cruise of Boston Harbor, “a nice outside event,” said Phelan.

“We are working with a vendor to make sure that they are within state guidelines and health guidelines to hold that event and keep our students safe outside,” said Phelan.