A few days after announcing that it would have commencement exercises for the East Bernard High School’s Class of 2020, the East Bernard Independent School District set ceremony guidelines in accordance with the governor’s recent executive order.

In a communication letter dated Thursday, May 14, the East Bernard ISD announced that the graduation on Friday, June 5 at Memorial Stadium must have patrons who abide by guidelines. 

“Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order No. GA-21 allows for us to host an outdoor graduation ceremony; however, we must abide by certain guidelines and constraints as established in the executive order and the Texas Education Agency (TEA),” EBISD Superintendent Courtney Hudgins said in the letter. “Accordingly, the graduation ceremony will be limited to the graduating seniors and five patrons per graduate. No general public or individuals without a ticket will be allowed into the stadium.”

Stadium entrances will open at 7:15 p.m. and the ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. 

“We ask that patrons who attend graduation please comply with social distancing standards and refrain from congregating at entrances and common areas,” Hudgins said.

Attendance and guidelines 

The following are 12 guidelines that EBISD said attendees must adhere to if the senior choses them to attend his/her EBHS graduation:

• It is the responsibility of patrons to maintain social distancing standards;

• We encourage anyone who is sick or vulnerable to stay at home;

• Only ticket holders will be admitted. All patrons must present a ticket at the main gate (including children);

• Participating students and all patrons must be screened via questioning, so each graduate will receive related screening surveys in advance. Screening surveys must be presented with a ticket upon entry;

• Seating for patrons will be assigned by the last name of the graduate. Warning tape/ropes will indicate rows that are off-limits. Families can sit in groups of 5, but social distancing should be applied elsewhere;

• Patrons will not be allowed on the field at any point before, during, or after the ceremony; 

• The graduation ceremony will be live-streamed on the EBISD Facebook page; 

• Hand sanitizer stations will be available in common areas; 

• Graduation programs will be included in the senior packet; 

• At the conclusion of the ceremony, patrons shall promptly exit the facility (through any gate) while practicing social distancing standards;

• Each senior will receive a graduation packet placed under their chair (awards, certificates, project graduation prizes, program, transcript, etc.);

• School officials will be limited to a minimum number; 

EBISD also wants the community to be advised these guidelines are subject to change as underlying public health conditions change as determined by Gov. Abbott and the TEA. 

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