New Braunfels High School’s Class of 2020 now has a graduation date.
“New Braunfels Independent School District will be hosting an in-person diploma ceremony to celebrate the Class of 2020 on Friday, June 5 at Unicorn Stadium at 8 p.m.,” Principal Kara Bock wrote in a letter to parents earlier this week. “Please know that the safety of our students, families and staff is very important. With that in mind, we will comply with social distancing guidelines and 25% occupancy capacity of our facility.”
Seniors from NBHS and Comal ISD’s four high schools saw the COVID-19 crisis cancel their scheduled commencements at Texas State University’s Strahan Arena. Students from both districts will be holding virtual and live ceremonies the next two weeks.
Bock said the district will be following the executive orders of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Education Agency guidelines on graduations, which will implement strict social distancing measures.
“For your planning purposes, graduates will be given three tickets for parents/siblings living in the same household and one ticket for the graduate that must be presented at the gate upon entry,” Bock said. “The event will be live-streamed so that additional family and friends can watch it that evening. We will communicate more specific guidelines in the near future.”
The live event from 10,000-seat Unicorn Stadium and the 7 p.m. virtual graduation on May 28 will both be streamed via YouTube.
Comal Independent School District live graduations will be held the week of June 1, all at 8 p.m. Commencements for Memorial Early College High School and Canyon High School, will be held June 2 and June 3 at Canyon’s Cougar Stadium.
Canyon Lake High School will hold its ceremony at Hawk Stadium on June 4; and Smithson Valley High at Ranger Stadium on June 5. Comal Academy grads will join ceremonies at their home campuses.
New Braunfels’ live graduation will be a strictly closed event, but parents and family members able to watch both ceremonies by visiting www.youtube.com/NewBraunfelsISD.
“We are looking forward to celebrating the graduates and their accomplishments during these two events,” said Rebecca Villarreal, NBISD communications director. “We know that having an in-person ceremony is so important and we are determined to make it special for them and their families.”
Comal ISD readies for 2020-21
Comal Independent School District will start the 2020-21 school year as scheduled on Aug. 25.
Superintendent Andrew Kim laid to rest rumors that the start date might change in an email to parents last week, following updated COVID-19 related guidance earlier in the week from the Texas Education Agency.
“At this time, it is our intention to stay with our current academic calendar for the coming school year, which will have us starting school Aug. 25,” Kim said, adding that prompts another question — what will the beginning of school look like?
“To be candid, I don’t know the answer to that question right now,” he said. “A lot will depend on what happens with the virus over the summer and any executive orders that may be in place come August.
“While we are eager to see the spread of COVID-19 subside and to return to a sense of normalcy, I think that we all would agree that we need to be prepared for some changes to how we operate next year.”
Kim said to that end, he has established 10 strike force teams comprised of campus and district personnel that will focus on recommending measures “should we be required to adhere to a new set of standards driven by COVID-19,” he said.
“Topics that will be tackled include general procedures, classroom protocol, extra-curricular, parent engagement, special populations, staff guidelines, blended learning, student support, attendance and scheduling.”
Kim said he hopes to have recommendations by the end of July or beginning of August.
“However, we may be working on solutions right up to Aug. 25,” he said. “Either way, my goal during the next three months is to update you frequently on our work … Please know that factual information will come directly from me first, then posted on our website and our Comal ISD social media channels.”
Kim then calmed fears of the unknown.
“I know that there is quite a bit of anxiousness about what the next school year holds, whether it be a fear that schools will continue to be closed or that students will return without there being a vaccine,” he said. “Please know that our focus from the very beginning has been on the health and well-being of our students and staff, and that it will continue to be our focus as we plan for the future.”