CISD announces new graduation plan, reminds of COVID-19 testing sites

By Rachel Hall

Recent announcements from Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Commissioner of Education Mike Morath earlier this week has altered graduation plans for the Class of 2020 in Cleveland ISD.

“The governor made an announcement easing some restrictions and now we will be able to hold an outdoor ceremony at the Cleveland High School stadium,” explained Superintendent Chris Trotter during his May 6 Facebook Live update in conjunction with Cleveland City Manager Kelly McDonald.

In April, the district began making plans based on the restrictions in place at the time that would call for a virtual ceremony to honor graduating seniors.

“We are receiving updates daily and sometimes hourly,” said Trotter. “At this point, we can hold an outdoor ceremony but must follow social distancing guidelines.”

The number of guests each graduate will be allowed to bring is still pending, along with other details of the ceremony as the district found out within 24 hours of going live that it would be an option to hold a ceremony rather than the virtual one previously planned.

“We are working on the details. The new order is in effect until June 1 and that is why we chose the first weekend after on June 6 to have graduation,” said Trotter.

Prom has also been scheduled for July with additional details to come in the future. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the high school.

Other talking points and questions asked during Facebook Live were fielded by Trotter and McDonald including an explanation of the dates for kindergarten round-up on May 6-7, pre-K registration, a Douglas Learning Academy update, and COVID-19 testing available in Liberty County.

McDonald highlighted key information in her remarks relating to social gatherings as recently clarified in the latest governor’s order and detailed testing sites.

“The governor clarified that funerals, memorials, and weddings would be conducted in the same manner as religious services with restrictions that were provided for houses of worship during COVID-19,” said McDonald. “Another thing clarified was the 25 percent occupancy for restaurants – it does not apply to outdoor dining but social distancing of six feet does apply.”

Local COVID testing sites include Liberty Fire Department on Tuesday, May 12. The drive-thru testing site will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Registration is required and will be limited to roughly 250 people. You can register online at or by calling 512-883-2400.

Texas Emergency Hospital will also host a testing site at the Sanctuary Church in Cleveland on Tuesday, May 12, through Friday, May 15. It will be a drive-thru test and persons must pre-register. Symptoms do not have to be present to register for this site open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register, go online to

For more information about CISD and the city of Cleveland during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit or or tune in to Facebook Live on Wednesday, May 13.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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