Wylie High School senior, Harper Cummings, said it best; “For this being the class of vision, we didn’t see this thing coming.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown all of us for a loop bigger than that of the Shock Wave, but it appears that we are now on the downhill slope. As the dust begins to settle, seniors and their families find themselves in yet another “once in a lifetime” predicament. The same question seems to be lingering in the minds of many. WILL we have a graduation, and WHAT will it look like?
Developing Safe and Meaningful Options
Like most every school district in Texas, we have been mulling over the options to celebrate our graduates. In making this decision, Wylie ISD has two primary goals: keeping everyone safe and providing a celebration fitting for a group of students who have already endured a great deal more than a traditional graduating class. During the past few months, we have crafted the following options for consideration.
No decision has been made thus far. Instead, we plan to bring all of these options to our seniors, their parents, and their guardians for their input in a digital survey. Every option is contingent on future decisions by our Governor and the Commissioner of Education who will provide Texas Education Agency guidelines very soon.
Keeping Graduates and Guests Safe
In accordance with established health and safety guidelines, anyone attending graduation ceremonies may be required to follow some specific safety requirements. These may include taking the temperature of those attending the ceremony, asking attendees to use hand sanitizer, observing social distancing between families, and requiring masks to be worn.
Wylie ISD is planning ahead, and our graduates will look quite festive. Take a look at the masks that have been ordered for our graduating seniors. Although these circumstances are not ideal, we want to ensure that our kids are safe. These will certainly be keepsakes for many years to come.
Graduation Will Look Different
Due to social distancing requirements, the ceremony may seem a bit different. Graduates will walk the stage and receive diplomas, but they will not shake hands with anyone on stage. Social distancing will require empty seats and rows between guests and graduates, as well. Graduates will not participate in the traditional graduation entrance or exit. In addition, capacity restrictions will not allow a band or choir to be present.
Location, Location, Location
We are still working with the venue to determine the maximum possible number of guests per graduate, and it may change in our favor. Traditionally, Wylie ISD graduation is celebrated at the Allen Event Center. Because of the Governor’s current 25% capacity rule, each graduate would be limited to one ticket per guest, based on capacity. If the Governor expands his order to 50% capacity, this would provide each graduate two tickets for guests at this venue.
A Second Option
Due to the constraints which may exist, we are adding Wylie Stadium as a second option for graduation. It has a greater seating capacity, and it is outdoors. This option may be more attractive to those worried about the virus, but it also creates concerns over the weather.
We know that not everyone will choose to attend the ceremony, and we respect the decisions of our Wylie ISD families. We will live-stream the ceremony so that friends and family can share the moment from wherever they may be. Again, we know this situation is not ideal, and we want to do all we can to accommodate both students and parents.
As always, we welcome your input. If you have a question, a concern, or a suggestion, please let us know by emailing the Wylie ISD Director of Communications, Mr. Ian Halperin. Your feedback is valued and appreciated.
Thank you for your patience, your grace, your thoughts, and your prayers as we move towards providing a safe and meaningful graduation experience for the Class of 2020, the Wylie Way!