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Doane Academy keeps first-day senior class tradition alive

Doane Academy, a school established in 1837, reopened its campus on Sept. 8, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began with the senior class canoeing across the Delaware River from Bristol and up to the front of the school, along the banks of the Delaware in Burlington, N.J.
This tradition dates back many years, and this was in jeopardy due to the pandemic, but summer changes in State of New Jersey’s COVID-19 guidelines, along with thorough planning by Doane’s administrators allowed the dramatic school opening to go forward for the Class of 2021.
Students met at the Bristol canoe launch site at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, wearing masks and socially distancing, before launching along with the Head of School George Sanderson, as well as other chaperones. On the other side of the river, families of the seniors were cheered on their arrival, while socially distanced, along the riverbank. In the past, the entire school community would have awaited their arrival but this part of the opening ceremony needed to be altered in order to permit for best safety practices in regards to the virus.
The rest of the student body was inside, broken into cohorts, and introduced to the many new COIVD-19 safety procedures and protocols that will allow for a safe start to the new school year.