EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso area school districts have had to come up with creative ways to celebrate the Class of 2020 as they move on to the next chapters in their lives. Monday, Ysleta ISD announced a partnership with KTSM to air virtual graduation ceremonies next month.
In keeping with restrictions set by Governor Abbott last week, Ysleta ISD says they’re opting to celebrate the Class of 2020 with the hybrid virtual commencement ceremonies airing Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14, on KTSM.
The district is leaving open the door for a potential outdoor high school stadium graduation later in the summer.
In a video message posting by Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre Monday, the details of the hybrid ceremonies were unveiled to anxious Seniors. The virtual ceremonies will include personalized video of every graduate being announced to walk across the stage in a cap and gown, and moving their tassel from left to right.
“We planned both virtual and in-person graduations to honor the Class of 2020 because of the challenges and struggles they’ve been forced to overcome in the last few weeks of their senior year,” Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre said. “This way, our seniors can come home one last time to their high schools, where we can all congratulate them before bidding them farewell.”
The hybrid ceremonies will also include pre-recorded speeches from district officials, valedictorians and salutatorians, student performances, and other traditional commencement activities, all while maintaining social distancing and other precautions outlined by state and local health officials.
Class rankings for each high school should be determined by May 21. Top 10-ranked students will then be able to switch out their caps and gowns from May 22-26 through Herff Jones for caps and gowns in the colors designated for each school’s Top 10.
Graduating seniors at each school will be filmed in advance according to the following schedule:
- Wed. May 27: Eastwood HS
- Thurs. May 28: Valle Verde ECHS
- Fri. May 29: Ysleta HS
- Mon. June 1: Hanks HS
- Tues. June 2: Riverside HS
- Wed. June 3: Del Valle HS
- Thurs. June 4: Bel Air HS
- Fri. June 5: Parkland HS
Each Senior will be notified this week regarding the time and location of filming, as well as specific health guidelines in place and appropriate graduation attire. All graduates will have their temperatures checked and must wear face masks, which can be removed before being filmed on graduation stage.
Schools will provide the face masks for students who do not have them. Faculty and staff will be on hand to supervise graduates to ensure proper health standards are met.
Ysleta ISD is also looking at possible outdoor ceremonies at school stadiums the week of July 23-31, taking place at 8 p.m., following city, state, and federal safety measures.
The air-time of each graduation ceremony on June 13 and 14 on KTSM will be announced at a later date.