Central Texas school districts adapt graduation plans to changing safety regulations

Posted at 10:32 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 23:33:31-04

Senior graduations are just weeks away and school districts across Central Texas are taking different measures for their graduates.

Recently Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Education Associations announced outside graduations were okay, prompting schools to adjust or change their plans.

"We wanted to be thoughtful and not be rushed on our decision while also following the guidelines," said Ben Smith, Belton High School Principal.

Belton ISD has over 700 graduates. They have a three-phase plan. Students and parents will arrive to the stadium in decked out cars for a parade. Shortly after, the district will hold a ceremony where parents can stay and watch.

"Everyone decided they need this, they deserve this and it feels gratifying," said Belton High senior Kara Fisher.

Hamilton High School is doing things different by only offering a parade for their seniors, passing on an outside ceremony.

"It was like, "Why can't we do this for our kids?"" said Jenny Rumbolz.

Rumbolz says it would mean everything for her daughter to have a somewhat normal graduation. They are hopeful their school board will have a change of heart.

"It's very sad to me that I cannot have a somewhat normal graduation," said Kayleigh Rumbolz, a Hamilton High senior.

Killeen ISD, the largest district in Central Texas, is going all out virtually.

"We know we are not going to please everyone, so we are doing our best to honor everyone with what we are allowed to do to," said Taina Maya, Killeen ISD spokesperson.

Killeen ISD will host an in-person graduation in July.

Bryan ISD decided to hold all graduations until the end of June.

Waco ISD has a mixed plan. Students will walk the stage but parents and family can only join virtually. Students started a petition hoping to change that.

"I just hope my family gets to see me pass this chapter in life," said Britney Silva, a Waco High Senior.

A chapter students and parents will remember forever.