Lockhart seniors prepare for walkthrough graduation
By Wesley Gardner
Lockhart High School seniors will be graduating this weekend, though not in the traditional format.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, district officials announced graduation would be held in a walkthrough format that will allow students to arrive at Lion Stadium at set times to avoid the creation of large crowds.
The district had originally planned on holding the ceremony at Lion Stadium and allowing parents to watch from the stands as long as they practiced social distancing, but the recent uptick in state and county coronavirus cases made officials revise that format.
Superintendent Mark Estrada said that while the format is not ideal, it was devised with community safety in mind.
“The format of the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 is certainly not what any of our Lions envisioned,” said Estrada. “However, given the circumstances and the rise in cases regionally, the decision to reverse the decision for an in-person ceremony was anchored in concern for public health and safety. We have developed a walkthrough graduation ceremony that still allows family members and graduates to celebrate this milestone while following the measures necessary to mitigate risk in our community.”
Lockhart High School Principal Barry Bacom noted that students and parents will be required to wear masks at the event and that it was important for students to arrive on schedule.
“It’s really important to be there on time, but not get there too early, and definitely don’t be late,” said Bacom. “We want to minimize the crowds that are there in the parking lot and in the lines waiting to walk the stage.”
Bacom also said everyone attending the event will be required to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms, which can include fever or chill, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches and headaches, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to Bacom, each student will be allowed to bring eight guests in up to two vehicles. Two guests will be allowed to walk on-stage with graduates while they receive their diplomas, while the remaining guests will be allowed to gather in front of the stage to cheer them on.
Bacom said guests could then gather for an opportunity to take photos with the graduates.
“We’re going to try and make this as special an event as we can,” said Bacom.