EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Updated guidelines released by the Texas Education Agency Tuesday put some local school district’s hope of traditional summer graduation on hold, yet again.
El Paso ISD, Socorro ISD, Clint ISD, and Canutillo ISD released new graduation dates last week in hopes of graduations at home schools or the Don Haskins Center. However, the updated guidance from the TEA Tuesday put a stop to any in-person graduation in a closed ceiling facility.
In a statement released on social media, EPISD said they’re “reviewing the guidelines to determine how we may proceed with the celebrations for the Class of 2020.” The district says they’ll update the community as soon as possible.
According to the TEA, hybrid graduations are allowed. This would mean students could come in one at a time to collect diplomas, have videos and photos taken, and those photos could be edited together for a digital ceremony.
Districts also have the option of drive-in graduations or parades, like Las Cruces Public Schools opted to do.
The TEA and Governor Abbott left the door open to the possibility of outdoor ceremonies, as long as social distancing guidelines are in place, meaning graduates and family groups must be spaced at least six feet apart, with additional safety protocols.
If a district choses to go with an outdoor ceremony, they can begin in certain rural counties between May 15 and May 31, and in all other Texas counties on or after June 1.
In theory, these types of ceremonies could be possible for schools like El Paso High School, which already holds graduation in Jones Stadium, an outdoor facility. Socorro ISD could also opt for an outdoor ceremony at the Socorro Athletic Complex mid-summer, as long as the social distancing guidelines are met.
All ceremonies will have to be approved by the Texas Education Agency.