Class of 2020: What graduation during a pandemic will look like for seniors across Texas

Local News

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Graduating seniors of 2020 have an unusual ending to their final year of high school, to say the least. With various levels of COVID-19 cases in different areas of the state, graduation ceremonies won’t look the same everywhere in Texas.

“We’re gonna be right here lined up, and the cars are going to be right here in the parking lot,” Preston Romero said, explaining his school’s plan for a drive-in ceremony.

Cedars International Next Generation High School in Austin wanted their seniors to still have a special celebration while keeping social distancing in mind.

The students will receive their diplomas at the front of the high school, while the cars are parked in the parking lot watching, and tuning in via radio.

Romero said drive-in ceremony will be a special memory for him and his classmates. “We get to say that we were in a pandemic, and we still graduated, while following social distancing rules, I think that’s pretty cool,” he added.

Earlier this month, Governor Greg Abbott made the announcement that outdoor, in-person ceremonies would be allowed after June 1. The Texas Education Agency then put out official guidelines for schools choosing to change their plans.

Just outside of Lubbock, at Frenship High School, seniors will be getting an in-person, outdoor ceremony, with limited capacity to follow social distancing rules.

“I’m just grateful to have a graduation. Yes it stinks, only getting to have four family members come, but hey, it’s better than nothing,” senior Macie Maddox explained.

Wylie Independent School District announced its high school will also be hosting an in-person, outdoor ceremony.

In Amarillo, ceremonies are being held virtually. AISD’s website outlined that in-person ceremonies might still be an option later this summer, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

“It’s obviously not what I had hoped for…but I’m just trying to be optimistic, I know it’s for the best, for everyone’s safety and health,” Amarillo High senior Corrin Davis said.

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