CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The pause button was hit for a lot of major events because of the pandemic including high school and college graduation ceremonies. The fast evolving changes to stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines has left many seniors wondering if they will still get the chance to cross the stage with family members cheering them on.
On Tuesday, the Texas Education Agency provided new guidance for high school graduation ceremonies to help school districts determine which pathway to take. To continue social distancing, the state education agency says ceremonies can be held in one of four ways:
- Completely virtual ceremonies that take place entirely online, with the use of videoconference or other technologies.
- Hybrid ceremonies, which consist of a compilation of videos of students being recognized in person as they celebrate graduation in small groups.
- Vehicle ceremonies, in which students and their families wait in their cars while other graduates are recognized one at time with their families alongside them.
- Outdoor in-person ceremonies, which are currently permitted for counties as follows:
- Between May 15 and May 31, an outdoor ceremony may take place in a rural county that has an attestation as described in the Governor’s Report to Open Texas [lnks.gd]that remains in effect 7 days prior to the ceremony.
- An outdoor ceremony may take place in any Texas county on or after June 1.
CCISD graduations were originally scheduled to take place at the end of May. The district is now working on contingency plans.
"We are continuing to look at all options for graduation. I know everyone wants to make plans, I know everybody wants a definite answer there, and we're not quite there yet. We're talking to our principals, we're talking with students, we're talking with you know, our families to find out the safest way do graduation and have a meaningful ceremony," said Leanne Libby, CCISD Director of Communications.
Whichever ceremony format CCISD decides on will still have to be approved by the TEA.