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Spring Graduation Moved to Caldwell College

Board of Education also drafts 12-page document detailing responsibilities of chaperones following criticism of a class trip last May.


Verona Board of Education members announced Tuesday night both the high school and middle school graduations would take place at Caldwell College beginning next spring.

The board discussed changing the site of the graduations to the college during a previous meeting.

Weather has played a big part in this decision, Superintendent Steven Forte said previously.

Family members and friends attending graduation sat in hot, humid, 100-plus degree temperatures at last year’s graduation

Although the air-conditioned auditorium at the college seats 2,500 people, students like Verona High School senior Cassidy McKeen feel it just won't be the same.

“When I found out about this, I was crushed,” she said during the public portion of the meeting. “I have been so excited for graduation and to walk on the football field, it’s my turf. I walk to graduations and it would be less convenient to go to Caldwell. It just doesn't feel like home.” 

Board President John Quattrocchi said the matter requires more discussion by the board to make sure they are making the best decision.

In the meantime, they district will reserve the date at Caldwell College with the option to pull out of it, he said. 

Chaperone guidelines

The board also released new regulations regarding field trips and chaperones accompanying students.

In May, the district drew strong criticism from parents after a group of fathers allegedly drank alcohol in front of students and allegedly left students unattended on a class trip to Camp Bernie.

The incident created outrage among parents and district officials and lead to the drafting of the new chaperone rules.

Parents also created an online petition urging the board to ban certain chaperones from all future class trips. 

In response, the board drafted a 12-page set of regulations that not only go over chaperone behavior, but detail how they choose class trips, how the trips get approved, what kinds of things teachers need to think about, the responsibility of principals, how to choose chaperones and a form chaperones will need to sign stating they will abide by the rules, said Superintendent Steven Forte.

“We have come up with a very comprehensive regulation,” said Board Vice President Joseph Bellino. “A lot of work has gone into it and we think that once it is in place it will help us ensure against things that happened in the past few months.”

The regulations are attached to this story as a PDF will be posted on the Verona Board of Education website, said Forte.

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