Rain or shine, Bryan and College Station students will graduate this week.
Barring heavy downpours and lightning, the graduations will kick off with MC Harris students receiving their diplomas at 8 p.m. tonight at Merrill Green Stadium.
The ceremonies will continue Thursday when College View High School and Bryan Collegiate High School graduate Thursday at 8 p.m. at Peach Creek Ranch and Merrill Green Stadium, respectively.
The two districts’ comprehensive high schools will graduate Friday and Saturday. Bryan High School and A&M Consolidated High School graduations will begin at 8 p.m. Friday at Merrill Green Stadium and Tigerland Stadium, respectively. Rudder High School and College Station High School graduates will walk across the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday at Merrill Green Stadium and Cougar Field, respectively.
Representatives from both districts said the graduations will continue unless there is lightning or “prolonged heavy rain” in Bryan and “downpours” in College Station. All but College View High School, which will take place under a covered pavilion, have backup rainout plans.
If any Bryan graduations are postponed, then they will take place Sunday at Merrill Green Stadium. If A&M Consolidated High School’s graduation is postponed, then it will take place Saturday at 8 a.m. at Tigerland Stadium. If College Station High School’s graduation is postponed, then it will happen at 8 p.m. Sunday.
According to the National Weather Service in Houston/Galveston, there is a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms tonight and Thursday night. The chance decreases to 20% Friday night. Rain chances Saturday are forecast to end by evening.
Matthew LeBlanc with the Bryan school district said the district will be monitoring the weather leading up to graduation.
Saturday during the day, there is a 30% chance of rain, “mainly after 1 p.m.,” according to the forecast. Sunday, there is also a 30% chance of rain during the day before ending by the evening.
“We will not cancel graduation due to a light rain or drizzle,” the Consol graduation information page states.
A similar message was sent out to graduates and parents in Bryan: “We are all watching the weather too. … If it is raining in the late afternoon of your graduation, please keep your eyes on Bryan ISD’s website and social media.”
Graduates at all seven ceremonies will be seated with space between each place, and their guests will be seated in groups of four, with each group distanced from the others.
Anyone attending the commencement ceremonies — graduates and guests — must self-screen for possible COVID-19 symptoms and return a corresponding questionnaire.
The questions, according to a list provided on the Bryan school district’s website, include if the responder or anyone in their household has been feeling sick with shortness of breath, nasal congestion, chills, etc., has had a fever in the past week, has had a cough recently, has been in close contact with someone confirmed to have had COVID-19, felt feverish or had a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Guests are asked to wear a mask to the ceremony. Graduates at each ceremony will receive a mask provided by the school.
Hand sanitizing stations will be available at entrances at all seven ceremonies, and the College Station schools note masks will be available at entrances for people who need a face covering.
According to the information posted for each graduation, no large signs, banners or noisemakers are allowed into the ceremonies.
Fireworks will be set off at the conclusion of each of the Bryan graduations, according to the district’s website.
Both school districts also ask graduates and their guests to not congregate or linger in the venue or parking lots before or after the ceremony. Information from Bryan schools notes school and district personnel will be walking around and helping enforce social distancing guidelines.
“I know we’ll all want to visit, but we need to leave immediately after to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” a message from Bryan Superintendent Christie Whitbeck posted to the district’s website states.
Gates at Merrill Green Stadium will open at 6:30 p.m. before each graduation ceremony, and the district’s information sheet notes all gates will be available to use so social distancing can be followed while entering the stadium.
Tigerland Stadium and Cougar Field gates will open at 6:45 p.m. before each respective graduations. Guests can begin arriving to Peach Creek Ranch at 7 p.m. for College View High School’s graduation.
All seven commencements will be livestreamed. The link to the College Station videos will be posted to the district’s website, and the Bryan ceremonies will be shared on the district’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
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