HISD to host virtual high school graduation ceremonies

The Houston Independent School District has been working diligently to celebrate the Class of 2020 graduates while ensuring the health and safety of students, staff, and families. HISD has decided to facilitate all high school graduation ceremonies for our 11,000 seniors virtually.

Considering current challenges surrounding the COVID-19 health crisis, the district believes virtual graduations are the safest option. The virtual ceremonies will begin on June 14.

While the graduations will take place virtually, seniors will have an additional opportunity to celebrate with their fellow graduates, if they so choose, during a citywide celebration on June 5, hosted by Mayor Sylvester Turner. This citywide celebration will take place outdoors at school campuses following strict safety measures.

Details on HISD’s plans for virtual graduations and the citywide celebration are below.

HISD Virtual Graduations – Beginning June 14

HISD is partnering with Herff Jones – in collaboration with graduation technology partners StageClip and MarchingOrder – to host exclusive virtual graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020.

The virtual ceremonies will go live online on Sunday, June 14. Each virtual ceremony will include recorded messages from the superintendent and other district officials, as well as audio of each student’s name as their personalized slide is displayed.

Seniors will soon be contacted by their schools with direction on how the information will be collected prior to the final celebration. Each graduate will also receive their own personalized content as a gift from the school to share on social media with family and friends.

Virtual graduations will allow students to celebrate their milestones with family and friends while protecting their health and safety. They also provide the opportunity for graduates’ guests to remotely view graduation in multiple locations. The virtual celebrations may also be shared on Facebook and other social media platforms.

Citywide Graduation Celebration – June 5

On Friday, June 5, seniors will be invited to return to campuses in their caps and gowns for simultaneous citywide celebrations.

Graduates will gather outdoors on a football field, lawn, or in the stands. Social distancing will be enforced, and masks will be provided – and required – in order to protect the health and well-being of students and staff.

IMPORTANT: The citywide event is for our seniors and faculty only in order to manage social distancing practices. Also, please know that the citywide celebration is optional, and participation is not required.

Details are still being finalized by city officials, but the celebration might include elements such as students simultaneously singing a popular song and viewing pre-recorded messages by celebrities.

Students will receive more detailed instructions from campuses on how to participate in the celebration. Students may also monitor the city’s website for additional information as it becomes available at www.visithoustontexas.com/houston-2020-seniors/.