April 22 Update to Brownwood ISD COVID-19 Response Plan
ZOOM MEETING: BHS Seniors & Graduation
Thanks to those who were able to attend the Zoom today. We understand there were more participants than the software would allow, and we apologize for that. Below is a summary of the district-level discussion items.
During a meeting on April 21st, the Commissioner of Education let districts know that virtual graduation ceremonies are approved, and in-person person graduation ceremonies are pending. He answers multiple questions here. Live ceremonies may be possible in the future, but there is no guarantee.
Our plans for our seniors include:
1. Senior Banners
- Working with the City of Brownwood, Ratliff Steel, Oncor, Moore Printing, TexasBank, Landmark Life, and the Brownwood Education Foundation, we are placing banners along downtown streets featuring our seniors. These banners will be displayed during May, and seniors will get those as keepsakes when they come down.
2. Senior Computers
- The laptop computers assigned to our seniors are traditionally offered for sale at the end of the year. The class of 2020 will keep their computers without charge.
3. Traditional Graduation Ceremony
- A conventional graduation ceremony at Gordon Wood Stadium is planned for July. This event is pending state and local approval. Families will be provided tickets to sit inside the stadium and watch graduates walk across the stage. The exact date, seating logistics, and other details are not set. We will hold the most traditional ceremony we can with the restrictions in place at the time of the event. If this type of activity is not allowed before the end of July, this will be canceled.
4. Virtual Graduation Ceremony
- On May 29th at 7:00 pm, a graduation video for the class of 2020 will air. This video will include traditional components of a graduation ceremony (speeches, pledges, etc.).
- For a unique experience, we are allowing each senior to individualize their graduation walk. Seniors may choose one of several locations (Warren Gym, Gordon Wood Stadium, Dorothy McIntosh Fine Arts Center, Gerald Thomas Ag Pavilion, Softball/Baseball/Tennis areas, or in front of Brownwood High School) to receive their diploma. Following social distancing guidelines, family members will be able to be present for these presentations, which will be photographed and videoed for inclusion in the ceremony.
- We are excited we will have our seniors’ memories archived and produced in a professional manner that can be shared and saved for years to come. Each senior will receive a free copy of the video.
- While a virtual experience is never the first choice, we feel this is necessary to ensure we have a guaranteed option.
5. Academic Awards
- Academic Awards traditionally given at a separate event will be presented during each senior’s graduation walk. These award announcements will be incorporated into the ceremony video.
6. Academic Signing Day
- Acknowledgment of seniors’ plans will be part of the graduation video instead of a separate ceremony.
7. Senior Parade and High School Open House
- If allowable at the time, there will be a senior parade through town culminating at Brownwood High School.
- At the end of the parade, Brownwood seniors and their families will be invited inside to enjoy food and walk the halls. Seniors will be able to say goodbye to their teachers and enjoy spending a few hours with their classmates.
- This event will be held on either May 29th or May 30th. Details will be provided as they can be confirmed.
As we work toward a final plan, we want to balance assurances with hope. Our seniors deserve a unique, memorable experience that will not be canceled or modified beyond recognition at the last minute. This is a hard time for seniors and their families, and we welcome suggestions on how we can celebrate their accomplishments. If you have ideas, the best way to reach us is via email at email@example.com.
Please reference https://www.brownwoodisd.org/covid19 for the latest BISD updates.