Corpus Christi Independent School District leaders went to great lengths Thursday to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the graduations for Moody and Ray High Schools, and they'll do the same at the five remaining graduations Friday and Saturday.
“This has been a tremendous group effort by our staff and group partners," said district spokeswoman Leanne Libby. "We’re just grateful for everyone helping us out."
Current state regulations over the novel coronavirus allow school districts to hold graduations as long as they're outside, and social distancing practices are observed.
"The state’s allowing these outdoor gatherings," Libby said. "We talked to our students. This is absolutely what they want."
A worker used a tape measure to ensure graduates' seats on the football field at the Cabaniss Athletics Complex were six feet apart.
Only three family members per graduate were allowed in the stands, and families were kept separate from one another.
“It was really disappointing, but things happen," Moody High School graduate Brianna Trevino said. "I really wish my whole family could be here -- to do it the traditional way."
The wind screen (a covering over a microphone) was replaced on stage in between each speaker.
Students didn't receive diplomas, or shake school leaders' hands. Instead they walked up to a propped-up diploma and posed for pictures with it.
There was also a thorough cleaning of the grandstands between the two graduations.
Graduates had mixed reactions to the adapted ceremonies.
“Well, it’s kind of sad, because it’s not like a normal graduation," Moody High School graduate Saphire Bueno. "But I’m grateful. It’s something. (School leaders) are thinking about us."