Dear Graduates and Parents,

I am so very sorry that the 2020 HomeschoolNewYork/LEAH Commencement Ceremony has been cancelled. After much prayer and counsel, the executive committee of the LEAH Board made the decision to cancel the ceremony now, rather than continue preparations and then need to cancel just prior to the scheduled ceremony.

The Smith Center for the Arts has not yet been cleared to open for any events and does not expect any change to their status before August 8th. Even though Central New York has entered Phase 4, this type of gathering is still not allowed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The executive director tried mightily to obtain the proper clearances, but the State of New York just won’t allow certain types of events.

There are no other venues that would be allowed to hold our type of ceremony in New York. Even if we were to have found an outdoor venue, there would have been limits of 150 people. That would not even cover the graduates and both parents.

We knew back in April, when we rescheduled to the August 8th date, that this possibility existed, but we all expected (and hoped, and prayed) that our state would be open by then.

I know that this news will be very disappointing to you and my heart breaks that there were no good options. I hope that your family will find a way to celebrate the accomplishments of your graduate(s), either through a family gathering, or perhaps a service at your church where the graduate can be honored. Wear your cap and gown! Display your diploma! The lack of a ceremony should not take away from all the hard work you have put into your school years. You did graduate! You are going on to the plans the Lord has for you, plans to prosper you and give you a future!

I remain your servant,

Holly Phillips

HomeschoolNewYork/LEAH Commencement Coordinator

Watch the trailer from 2016’s Commencement!