Other Houston school districts including Aldine, Alief, Spring Branch, and Spring ISDs will participate as well, according to a statement from the city of Houston.
HISD announced the program May 6, but noted the celebration was not a formal commencement ceremony and diplomas will not be given out. Parents and families will not be allowed to participate in the city event, but it will be broadcast and livestreamed.
An HISD spokesperson said this special event was being organized by the city but is separate from whatever the district may decide with regard to graduation. The district was still collecting survey responses from seniors on their preferences about graduation ceremonies as of May 6.
“On behalf of the HISD Board of Education, our high school principals and approximately 11,000 graduates, we thank the mayor and the City of Houston for planning this wonderful event for the Class of 2020, which has not been able to engage in traditional celebrations due to COVID-19 precautions,” interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said in the announcement.
For the June 5 event, students will be invited to their campuses donned in caps and gowns and will participate in singing a popular song, viewing messages from celebrities and taking photos by drone, according to the news release. Social distancing rules will remain in effect and students must wear masks—except when it's picture-taking time.
The district said further details will be shared later this month.
“We want to have an event that creates a collective memory for our seniors and recognizes their accomplishments,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said in the announcement.