From Staff Reports
JEFFERSON – The Class of 2020 of Jefferson High School may have a graduation exercise, after all, JISD Superintendent Rob Barnwell revealed this week.
The COVID-19 pandemic had ended all school activities including sporting events and graduation ceremonies.
Four options are under consideration, according to Barnwell, after Gov. Greg Abbott said such activities would be permitted under certain conditions.
One choice could be a virtual event (through the use of technology, live-streaming, and/or other online-based platforms).
This would be allowable and JISD may proceed with those types of events as planned. “Hybrid” types of ceremonies may occur after May 15th.
These would include plans districts may have to video individual students/families as they receive their diplomas and/or deliver speeches at designated areas. Then, after filming everyone as appropriate, those videos may be edited and compiled to be shown at a common venue, such as a football stadium, (in districts which may be fortunate enough to have huge video screens at the football stadiums which can accommodate such).
Gov. Abbott also said that vehicle-based events are allowable after May 15th. Examples of this would be parades or drive-in movie types of scenarios which would require each student and their families to remain in their vehicles for most of the event.
Lastly, a district may choose to have a “traditional” (outside) graduation ceremony as long as specific social distancing requirements are met. This option can be taken after June 1, 2020.
“I will be working with High School Principal Michael Walker, other administrators, board members, and other stakeholders in order to come up with a plan for Jefferson ISD,” Barnwell said.
“We are researching this subject and plan to gather information from our senior students in order to provide the best event possible.” Barnwell promised to inform the community when a date and type of ceremony are selected.
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