NISD to hold 'hybrid' graduation

NISD to hold 'hybrid' graduation
Posted on 05/12/2020
NISD to hold 'hybrid' graduation

Nacogdoches High School will hold a hybrid graduation ceremony later this month, allowing for in-person presentation of diplomas in front of the graduate’s family members.

The presentations will take place in the NHS auditorium over a period of three days and will allow the district to limit in-person contact.

“Sadly, the usual first-rate ceremony put on by NHS staff at Williams Coliseum at Stephen F. Austin State University is now out of the question,” said Nacogdoches ISD Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo. “Plans for the Class of 2020, like countless other events both locally and nationally, have been unexpectedly disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis.

“Instead, we’ve improvised, combining what we think are the best options in front of us into something called a “hybrid” graduation ceremony that will allow for a personal presentation for each graduate and with their family present.”

The entire proceeding – it will take at least three days to photograph and video these presentations at Nacogdoches High School – will then be consolidated into one video and shared online on May 29, the date originally selected for graduation.

Details and instructions for the ceremony will be shared by Nacogdoches High School with graduates and their families.

In short, plans will provide for the graduate and guests (no more than five) to gather in the auditorium at NHS. Once there, the student’s name will be called before walking across the stage. Diploma holders will be on a table on the stage – where they will have sat undisturbed for at least 24 hours before graduates enter the building. 

Family members will be seated in the middle front of the auditorium to observe the presentation. Pictures will be made – a professional photographer will be on hand and families can take photos, too – before the graduate and guests move out of the auditorium.

Before the next group leaves their car and moves inside the auditorium, the graduate and family must re-enter their automobile. 

“Our graduation plan is an attempt to provide the best available option for graduates while taking into consideration the health and safety of our community,” Trujillo said. “We’ve gone with a plan that will allow students to receive recognition, in front of family members, in a school setting.

“NISD has an obligation in our community to protect the health and wellbeing of students and their families as well as district staff. I’m proud of the effort made to devise and implement this hybrid plan, and principal Dr. Rom Crespo is to be commended for his intense devotion to Nacogdoches High School and this year’s graduates.”

Texas public schools were given the go ahead last week to hold outdoor graduation ceremonies. But the challenge of combining the social distancing requirements recommended by health officials, Trujillo said, with a graduating class of well more than 300 hundred along with family and friends that would likely number in excess of 1,000 – not to mention the NISD staff needed to make it all work – was a non-starter.

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