Columbia High School Moving Forward With Virtual Graduation June 24 As District Explores In-Person Ceremony

by The Village Green
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From Dr. Kalisha Morgan, Interim Principal, Columbia High School:

Dear Students and Parents of the Class of 2020:

We hope that you and your family are well. We want to take this opportunity to update you on the plans for graduation as well as the other plans to celebrate the class of 2020.

On May 26, 2020 Governor Murphy announced that high schools in New Jersey can hold in-person graduation ceremonies, with restrictions, beginning on July 6, 2020.  Currently, CHS is continuing to move forward with the virtual ceremony as discussions are continuing about how to hold an in-person ceremony.  This decision is being made in conjunction with district leadership and the health department and I will be sure to notify you of any updates.

As we move forward, I want to inform you of new developments for the virtual ceremony.  The virtual ceremony will take place on June 242020 at 6pm.  Caps and gowns for the class of 2020 have been ordered and should arrive within the next 2 weeks.  Yearbooks will also arrive within the next 2 weeks.  We are expecting to distribute both the caps and gowns as well as the yearbooks on June 17th, 18th, and 19th.  However, this is subject to change. We will forward more information including the schedule to you as soon as we know for sure when our items will arrive.

Personalized senior signs and t-shirts will be ready for pick up on Monday, June 8 and Tuesday, June 9.  Dates and times will be assigned by name.  More details from the HSA will be coming later this week.

The HSA and Midnight Madness committee continues to support the class of 2020. Please see attached information below.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.


Dr. Kalisha Morgan

Please follow the following link to access information from the CHS HSA:

From the CHS HSA:

The volunteers of Midnight Madness and the HSA have been working with CHS administration to devise creative ways to celebrate our seniors this year.

In light of the latest shift in Governor Murphy’s orders, we understand the Superintendent is reviewing options for a potential outdoor in-person graduation event to be held over the summer.

In the meantime, we are proceeding with a number of planned activities, including producing and broadcasting a virtual celebration on June 24th.

Here’s an update on the latest information for the Class of 2020:

We’ve heard some confusion about the two types of lawn signs available.

Every senior is getting a free personalized lawn sign with their first name on it.  With more than 500 being printed, we are not able to deliver those. They are scheduled to ship from the printer on 5/29, so soon we will announce dates for a drive-thru pickup operation.  Our hope is that those two days will be in early June. Students will be able to pick up their free personalized sign as well as their free senior t-shirt at that time. The dates will be announced ASAP and we will be dividing the class alphabetically by last name to spread distribution out over the two days.

We are selling Senior Salute lawn signs now for $20 each at, which are not personalized and include free delivery to residences in SOMA.  So for those who don’t have a senior, or want to purchase additional support signs, you can do so through the Cougar Shop.  We hope that everyone in SOMA displays their support and sales are open to anyone.  You can also purchase great Cougar gear online which can be delivered for free with your Senior Salute lawn sign.  All purchases help fund our celebration campaign efforts.

Senior Banner

Keep an eye on the Valley Street fence behind CHS, as soon we will be installing a banner which features the senior picture of every member of the Class of 2020.  Thank you to Lors Photography for allowing us to use the images and to South Orange designer Linda Thibodeau for putting them all together.

Yearbooks, Caps & Gowns

Information on when yearbooks and caps & gowns will be available will be coming soon from CHS staff.

Virtual Ceremony

The District will celebrate the Class of 2020 with a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, June 24.  At 6pm that evening, families can tune into the broadcast of a professionally-produced virtual ceremony that will feature speakers, video vignettes, messages from dignitaries and celebrities and end with a finale montage that incorporates photos and statements from the Class of 2020.  Each graduate’s name and image will appear on screen over the course of the broadcast.

Seniors should keep an eye out for requests to upload videos and images that will be included in the virtual ceremony.  While the program will be broadcast at 6pm on the 24th, graduates and their families can view it at any time after that.

Following the broadcast, we invite everyone in our two towns to step outside their homes at 8:20pm (20:20) to make some noise for our graduates using whatever means available.  We’ll be distributing a free, branded cowbell to every senior at the personalized sign and t-shirt pickup to help them Make Some Noise and hope that everyone uses #CHSNoise2020 to post videos and photos of the moment for all to see.


That’s the latest from the HSA and Midnight Madness.  Be sure to stay up to date at the Midnight Madness website and follow our Midnight Madness Facebook groupInstagram and Twitter accounts for all the latest information.  If you’d like to offer your support as a volunteer, please send us a note at  

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