It’s almost a month later than originally scheduled, because the COVID-19, or coronavirus, has forced just about everything into an altered schedule. But Kilgore High School will honor its seniors with formal graduation ceremonies on Friday night, June 19.
The ceremony will be at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium on Harris Street, and will begin at the traditional starting time of 8:30 p.m. Should weather somehow delay the ceremony and force its postponement, the alternate date is Sunday, June 21, at 6 p.m., also at the stadium.
There are, of course, some differences from graduations in years past.
Each student is allowed eight guests, and those guests are encouraged to dress for the warm weather and to bring a water bottle. Some water has been donated by ABC Auto Parts, Fastenal and members of the community.
All families are encouraged to wear face masks and to have hand sanitizer.
The graduation will be streamed live, and there will be a link to do so on the Kilgore High School website (go to KISD.org and then click “campuses,” then “KHS”).
As far as the eight guests per student, there will be a ticket for each guest, plus a COVID-pre-screening form for each, and that senior. Each guest should have their tickets and the screening form with them at the ceremony; they’ll be asked to provide it upon entering the stadium. Guests are encouraged to remain in their vehicles until the gates open that night, about 7:45 p.m. Entry will be through the front gates, on the Harris Street side of the stadium, and families should enter together.
Tickets and pre-screening forms should be picked up at the counselors’ office at KHS from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., this coming Tuesday through Thursday (June 16-18).
Regarding seating, and once again due to COVID-19 regulations, KHS has implemented a lottery system to determine seating for each family. Each seating location will be taped off in the stadium by section, to ensure what we all now know as social distancing. KISD is asking that guests only sit in designated areas for their group, and not in areas designated “no sit.”
This year, because of space, KISD is opening both home and visitors sides of the stadium.
After graduation, families and guests will be dismissed by section.
Seniors, TEA guidelines don’t allow a graduation practice – you should be at the stadium no later than 7:45, and be ready for a brief instruction. During the ceremony, graduates will come in through the main gate of the track and walk to the scoreboard end (south end) of the stadium, entering the field on the visitors side.
It’s expected to be hot, of course, so this year, students are expected to simply adhere to the school’s dress code when deciding what to wear under their robes. There will be a professional photographer taking graduation photos.
A couple of other things, seniors:
- Cell phones shouldn’t be with you for the ceremony.
- No hand-shaking on stage.
- You’re asked not to throw your hats during the ceremony.
- Right after the ceremony is over, you’ll exit the stadium using the same gate in which you entered. You’ll go directly to the stadium parking lot.
All of this information can also be found on the school’s Facebook page, Kilgore High School. Anyone with questions can phone the school, at (903) 988-3901, or the KISD superintendent’s office, at (903) 988-3900.