Waco ISD said in-person graduation is back on without guests

Waco ISD
Posted at 10:09 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 23:09:42-04

Waco ISD has announced that graduation plans for in an in-person graduation are back on.

This is from the district:

Dear Waco ISD Families,

Over the past couple of weeks, I've gotten to know some of our seniors as we have worked together to figure out what graduation might look like in the era of COVID-19. I am so impressed by the thoughtful way that our seniors have approached this and the creative ideas that so many of you have shared with us.

One thing that I have heard repeatedly from our seniors is that they want an opportunity to celebrate this milestone as a group, and this week, the state provided school districts with guidance on when and how that can happen. After carefully considering the available options and public health concerns, we have a plan.

We will hold graduation celebrations for our seniors at the Waco ISD Stadium. The ceremony for the University High Class of 2020 will take place at 10 am on May 29, and the ceremony for the Waco High Class of 2020 will be held at 10 am on May 30.

These special events will be modeled after the US Air Force Academy's graduation ceremony last month and are just for our seniors. While family members and other guests will not be able to attend in-person at the stadium, both ceremonies will be broadcast live on WISD-TV (channel 17 on cable) and online at .

Diplomas will not be handed out during the ceremonies at the stadium. Instead, we will also schedule a time for each graduate and their family to pick up their diploma from their high school campus between June 15 and June 26. After receiving their diplomas, there will be an opportunity for graduates and their families to have photos taken by a professional photographer.

Our goals are to provide both an opportunity for our seniors to celebrate together and an opportunity for families to be with their graduates when they actually receive their diplomas - all without creating situations that put their health at risk. This year's graduation will be different from any other. It's not anyone's first choice, but I believe that it allows us to accomplish both goals in a manner that also protects the health of our graduates and their friends and families.

More details on both the ceremonies and diploma pickup will be coming soon. During both, we will be screening participants for signs and symptoms of the virus as well as requiring participants to keep at least six feet of space between them and wear face masks.

While we are finalizing plans to wrap up this school year, we are also beginning to plan for the start of next year. I know that you want to know what the fall will look like. So do I. It's too soon to make any decisions, but we are beginning to prepare for in-person instruction for all of our students, a continuation of remote learning for all of our students, and several scenarios in between. We'll continue to monitor guidance from state and federal officials, consult with local health experts, and track the spread of the virus in our community. As decisions are made, I will share those with you.


Susan Kincannon, Ed.D.