The Texas Education Agency has laid out four different graduation ceremony options to help school districts celebrate their seniors amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed the news along with TEA Commissioner Mike Morath on Tuesday during a press conference on COVID-19.
Although Abbott has gradually allowed more businesses to open across the state, it’s still too soon to hold a gathering as large as a traditional graduation ceremony.
But the class of 2020 will still be celebrated.
Here what Texas high schools can do for this year’s graduation:
- Virtual ceremonies: These online ceremonies are approved to take place at any time using videoconference applications.
- Hybrid ceremonies: These ceremonies consist of a compilation video featuring the graduating students. These can take place starting May 15 under social distancing guidelines. Any individuals participating in the videos would have be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. “If students’ family members are to be allowed to observe or participate in a hybrid ceremony, school officials should communicate with students’ families prior to the ceremony to determine how many family members will be attending so they can plan appropriately to implement social distancing measures, logistics, and other safety measures,” according to the education agency.
- Vehicle ceremonies: Similar to car parades, vehicle graduation ceremonies can take place starting May 15. Participating students and family members must be screened prior to the ceremony.
- Outdoor in-person ceremonies: Outdoor ceremonies can only take place in rural counties that have not been hard hit by COVID-19 between May 15 and May 31. Ceremonies in larger counties cannot take place until after June 1, according to the education agency. School systems would have to limit the number of total participants, screen participants and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
More information on each ceremony can be found in this TEA document released Tuesday.