Lytle ISD proposes in-person graduation June 5

Lytle ISD Superintendent Michelle Smith said the district would pursue a face-to-face graduation ceremony on June 5 after the Texas Education Agency released guidance May 5 on appropriate ways to do so.

The guidelines, which are available on the TEA website, state that outdoor ceremonies may take place in any county on or after June 1.

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The Lytle ISD Board discussed various graduation options during a Special meeting on April 30, and Smith said that an in-person ceremony was the most popular.

While the in-person proposal that was discussed at the April 30 meeting was created prior to receiving TEA guidance, is subject to change based on further guidance from Governor Greg Abbott or TEA Commission Mike Morath, and has not been formally adopted, it does include a number of safety measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at a graduation ceremony.

Among those safety measures are limiting graduates to four guests who must be family members, and providing each graduate with five masks and four tickets for family members that have a designated time, number, and location of entering the football stadium.

In the proposal, graduates and their families will have their tickets checked and temperatures taken by a faculty member before being allowed to enter the stadium. Families will arrive in reverse alphabetical order and be seated from the top of the bleachers to the bottom. Family members will be required to sit together, and will be seated six feet away from the next family. Once a row is filled, the row below will be skipped in order to maintain social distancing between rows.

Graduates will stand six feet apart while waiting for the ceremony to begin, when they will take their seats in chairs that are also six feet apart. Social distancing will be maintained while graduates wait to pick up their diplomas, and there will be no senior circle or tossing of caps.

Families will be asked to remain seated until they are released by name to exit the stadium from the same direction they entered.

No specific plan or aspect of a plan has been agreed upon, and the measures detailed above may change before June 1.

The next Lytle ISD Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 18 at 6:00 pm.

By Marly Davis

Staff Writer

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