Valley schools planning for outdoor graduations

Local News

On Tuesday afternoon, Governor Greg Abbott and The Texas Education Agency (TEA) issued guidance to school districts on year-end graduation ceremonies.

The TEA gave districts 4 ways they could hold ceremonies.

The ceremonies can be held virtually, hybird, in vehichles or outdoor and in person.

School Officials at Mcallen ISD say while they have plans for indoor ceremonies in May, they have set dates aside in June, July, and August for outdoor ceremonies.

“We want to be proactive for our students and our goal is if the state allows us is to have ceremony a traditional ceremony.” says Marco Suarez, School Board President, Mcallen ISD

Dr. Rene Gutierrez, Superintendent at Brownsville ISD says he wants to make sure his nearly 4,000 graduating seniors get to walk the stage and get the recognition they deserve.

Gutierrez says while there are strict guidelines in place for outdoor ceremonies it’s doable, and they have the manpower to make it happen.

“Its exciting for our community, our parents, and students have been asking me if we can have graduations in person. My response has always been that we needed to wait for further direction.” says Dr. Rene Gutierrez, Superintendent of Schools Brownsville ISD

At Donna the District, Superintendent Dr. Hafedh Azaiez says the district has planned for this scenario from the beginning.

The district has virtual graduation dates set for late May.

Dr. Azaiez says they will go through with those ceremonies, but has committed to parents that if they can they will hold an outdoor ceremony. The district has also asked parents to reserve summer dates.

“Just in case we are allowed by the state and local authorities to proceed with in person, we actually would be using our own stadium.” says Dr. Hafedh Azaiez Superintendent Donna the District

Edinburg CISD say they will make an announcement tomorrow.

Mission CISD, as of this morning, says they have not yet finalized any plans.

Guidelines for outdoor ceremonies are strict with guess being limited in numbers and to only parents, families, and staff.

Social distancing will also be enforced and attendees will be screen by question for COVID-19 symptoms. For a full list of all guidelines, you can click on the link below.

https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/graduation_ceremonies_5.5.2020_vf.pdf

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