Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Louise ISD officials opted for a social distancing-safe high school graduation ceremony after consulting with students and parents this week.

The LISD school board postponed a decision about 2020 graduation at its regular April meeting, but ultimately, school officials chose to change the event’s venue and keep its scheduled date.

“The little bit longer delay allows us to have a lot more assurance that we’re making a better call instead of making a call a month or two months before the actual ceremony,” Superintendent Garth Oliver said. “You have no idea what’s even going to be happening at that time.”

Louise High School graduation will take place at 8 p.m. on May 22, on the LISD football field. Traditionally, graduation is held in the school gym. This year, the ceremony will be a “no-touch” event and guests will be limited and spread apart, according to social distancing recommendations.

“Our hope is to accommodate everyone who wants to attend that’s a family member,” Oliver said. “We’ll be collecting numbers ahead of time and setting up spaces for smaller groups to larger groups and keeping families together in a specific space.”

Five ceremony options were released on LISD’s social media page, including limited ceremonies in the school gym, on the football field and private ceremonies for each student. District officials contacted the parents of graduating seniors Monday to hear their thoughts on which graduation ceremony would be best.

“It’s their graduation,” Oliver said. “We’re here to serve the community ... sometimes we are able to involve them in decisions, and I think this is one that was very easy to involve them in.”

In the case of bad weather, the ceremony will be held at the high school gym with a two attendee per student limit.

“It feels very good to let people know as closely as we can what the plan is,” Oliver said. “As we get closer and closer to the actual date, we’ll be giving more information.”

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