Upper Darby switches to student-only indoor graduation due to weather

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Friday, June 11, 2021
Upper Darby switches to student-only graduation due to rain
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Upper Darby High School has switched from a traditional outdoor graduation to a student-only indoor ceremony.

UPPER DARBY TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- There are a lot of disappointed seniors in Upper Darby.

A traditional high school graduation, including cheering family, has been scrapped for a student-only ceremony.

Dr. Dan McGarry, the superintendent of the school district, made the announcement less than 24 hours before the event.

The commencement was set to take place outdoors Friday morning.

The district made the last-minute decision to move indoors, since there is a chance for rain for the scheduled 9 a.m. start time.

"Unfortunately, the weather forecast for tomorrow morning is not working in our favor. Earlier today, the forecast predicted a less than 40% chance of rain during the graduation ceremony. We were willing to push through a ceremony with a slight chance of light rain. At this time, there are several weather forecasts that indicate a 70% chance of steady rain prior to and throughout the duration of the ceremony. As a result of this significant change in the forecast, we are now moving to an indoor student-only ceremony that will begin tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.," McGarry said in a message posted to the district's Instagram account on Thursday.

Families and friends will not be allowed in the high school. They will have to watch along instead on a livestream on the district's YouTube page.

"I apologize in advance for the upset and inconvenience this will cause you and your family as we move to an indoor student-only graduation ceremony. Please know that we did not come to this decision easily," McGarry said. "Once again, the unpredictable forecast makes this decision very difficult."

McGarry said school officials are looking forward to celebrating the Class of 2021 in the Upper Darby High School Auditorium.