Although many events have been either put on hold, canceled or turned upside down because of COVID-19 restrictions, tentative plans are being crafted to help bring some fun and a sense of normalcy to members of the Class of 2020 as they prepare to graduate from Glen Rose High School.
Those plans — although still tentative, pending developments over the next couple of weeks — could include having an in-person graduation ceremony at Tiger Stadium, plus a separate parade being organized by a group of parents.
GRHS Principal Kelly Shackelford posted a video on the school’s Facebook page earlier this week announcing the results of an online survey that asked the seniors if they favor having their graduation ceremony in person — rather than a virtual one online.
“They overwhelmingly said that they would like to have in-person ceremonies,” Shackelford stated in the video. “The good news is, we got some information that we feel like that coming soon, … the governor will lift some of the restrictions that we have as far as social gatherings. We know that there’s still going to be some guidelines. The social distancing is still going to be there, but I think some of the restrictions are going to allow us to do an in-person graduation ceremony.
“Again, we are going to have guidelines and restrictions we are going to have to carefully follow. So, in order to make those plans, right now we’re moving the graduation ceremony that is on May 22 from the auditorium to Tiger Stadium.”
Shackelford went on to note that the starting time “may change” but that information will be announced “once we know for sure.”
He also explained that if the school were aiming to have an in-person ceremony right now, “That’s prohibited by the executive order, so this is all contingent upon that changing.”
He added that school officials will choose some alternate ceremony dates in June and July “just in case we have to do that.”
Shackelford shared an email from one of the organizers of the plan to have the graduating seniors participate in a parade, which is currently set for Wednesday, May 6. The plan is to have the parade begin at the GRHS parking lot and continue to the downtown square.
“As an alternative to Senior Walk (typically seniors wearing their cap and gown and walk through the hallways of each GR school saying goodbye to former teachers and students), we are going to have a Senior Parade,” the email states. “We are asking the community to line the parade route and celebrate the Class of 2020 as they pass by wearing their cap and gowns.
“We are going to follow the social distancing guidelines for both seniors and spectators. Everyone must stay 6 feet away from anyone that does not live in their household. We are asking all spectators to stay in their vehicles in order to help maintain a safe distance.”
The seniors will be lining up for the parade at the GRHS parking lot starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Additional details for the seniors participating can be found in the email that they received from the organizers.
MORE FOR THE SENIORS
More positive news that Shackelford mentioned had to do with the organizers of Project Graduation, who “are going to do some online fundraising to try to help our students out. And the money raised, 100 percent of it, will be divided equally among all of our seniors and a scholarship check (will be) written to those seniors,” Shackelford said.
The traditional spaghetti supper that normally provides most of the funding given to the GRHS seniors each year had to be canceled because of the virus precautions.