New TEA guidelines for high school graduation

New TEA guidelines for high school graduation
Texas Education Graduation Ceremony guidelines (Source: KAUZ)

TEXOMA, Texas (TNN) - The Texas Education Agency has laid out the rules school districts must follow to hold graduation this year.

“If you can have the rules to the game before you start the game you’re going to have better results,” said Vernon ISD Superintendent Jeff Byrd.

The TEA has given dates for when each type of graduation ceremony is allowed.

  • Virtual graduations are allowed at any time.
  • Hybrid ceremonies - which feature a small number of students and a video ceremony - is allowed after May 5.
  • Vehicle ceremonies can take place after May 15.
  • Rural school districts are allowed to hold in-person ceremonies between May 15-28
  • All counties are allowed to have in-person graduations after May 29.

All ceremonies must take place outside, something not included in Archer City ISD’s original plan.

“It was clearly out of the picture for indoor graduations,” said Superintendent CD Knobloch.

Superintendent Knobloch said the district originally planned to hold their graduation inside their auditorium,

“We felt like we’d have more control over it,” explained Knobloch, “but being outdoors is what it is.”

Graduation will now take place on the Wildcat football field.

“We’ve already been out there and marked everything off,” he said, “there should be plenty of room to keep everybody safe.”

For Vernon ISD, Superintendent Byrd said he wanted to wait until he got more information from TEA Commissioner Mark Morath before announcing plans to parents and students.

“We just want to make sure that we’re updating them and making sure we’re giving them the most accurate information that we can,” he said.

Superintendent Byrd said he’s been working closely with the Wilbarger County judge to get a plan in place that would meet county health and state agency guidelines. He said a plan had been in place for weeks before the TEA announced its new guidelines.

“This does justify some of the decisions we had already made locally,” he explained.

Both Superintendents Byrd and Knobloch said their biggest worry now is Texas weather.

Knobloch added, “so hopefully next Friday the weather will be nice.”

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