As part of Tex. Gov. Greg Abbott’s reopening plans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, high schools in rural counties with five or fewer active cases are allowed to hold socially distant outdoor graduation ceremonies in the final two weeks of May and Sealy High School’s will be the first in Austin County this Friday.
Sealy High School Principal Megan Oliver provided details in a May 15 update saying each graduating student will receive six seating tickets and two parking passes for family members to use. Each group of ticket holders will have an assigned time of entry through a specific gate and will all be screened via questioning for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, the update says.
Those who cannot be in attendance can stream the video through The Sealy News’ Facebook page or the audio through the Sealy Tiger Sports Network and all graduates will receive a copy of the ceremony from an independent videographer, Oliver said.
The update made it clear that only the graduates will be on the field during the ceremony and once it is over, guests are to remain in their seats before being released by section through the same gate they entered.
“Guests may wait for their graduate inside of their vehicles, but they must leave once the graduate arrives,” Oliver said regarding post-ceremony procedures. “No congregating or picture-taking of any kind will be allowed at any time per health and safety guidelines.”
In addition, Oliver said restrooms will only be available for one-person use and no balloons are allowed in the stadium.
Although it won’t exactly be the same traditional ceremony that’s held each year, class president Maddie Goad said she’s glad it’s at least something close to it and looked forward to having an outdoor ceremony.
“I wanted to be able to turn around and see my entire class one last time, that was my big thing,” Goad said Friday evening at a ceremony celebrating her going to play golf and continue her education at Blinn College. “And get to see the people that I love – I guess the top six people I love – in the stands and just know that there are people there supporting me.”