Mineola, Alba-Golden planning live, restricted ceremonies for graduation


With new guidance from the governor and the Texas Education Agency last week, Mineola ISD announced last Wednesday afternoon that an outdoor graduation ceremony is planned Friday, June 5 at 8 p.m. at Meredith Memorial Stadium, with an alternate weather date of June 6.

The district plans to go ahead and record a virtual graduation ceremony, should the governor’s orders be amended to preclude a live ceremony due to increased cases of COVID-19.

Guidelines for the outdoor ceremony will be announced in the coming weeks.

On Thursday Alba-Golden announced its graduation will be Thursday, June 4 at Panther Stadium at 7 p.m.

Quitman is continuing with its plans for a virtual graduation on Friday, May 22, to be broadcast at 7 p.m. – the time that the actual graduation was to occur.

Seniors were filmed accepting their diplomas in caps and gowns at Bud Moody Stadium on Monday and Tuesday, with limited family in attendance.

The new guidelines allow live ceremonies to be held only outdoors following social distancing protocols, with ceremonies to be broadcast so that members of vulnerable populations can view without being in attendance.

The Alba-Golden School Board discussed that district’s plans at Monday’s board meeting.

”We owe it to these seniors to give as much as we possibly can,” board member Chad Dailey said.

He asked that the administration look at the entire stadium, including the football field and track areas, to see how many patrons might be able to attend.

Also discussed was the need to for added security to help ensure social distancing is followed.

According to guidelines for Alba-Golden, graduates will be seated six feet apart on the field. each will receive four tickets for family members, who will be in assigned seating.

Students will pick up diplomas from a table as they cross the stage, to avoid direct contact with district personnel.

Guests and graduates must exit the stadium within 15 minutes of the end of the ceremony.

Masks and gloves will be optional for students and those in the stands. Administrators will have them. Masks with the Alba-Golden logo have been secured for students who want to use them.