Belton ISD has announced plans for an outdoor graduation ceremony for Belton High School and Belton New Tech @ Waskow seniors, and the celebration will include a fireworks show later in the day.

In a news release, BISD officials said the event will take place Thursday, June 18 at Tiger Field.

“We jointly surveyed our 800+ seniors several weeks ago and heard loud and clear that they wanted to be able to physically walk across a stage for graduation,” said Belton High School Principal Ben Smith. “Our plan for June 18 will allow them to do that and more.”

Scheduling details are still being worked out, and students and their families will receive emails and notices. However, we do know that New Tech students will be part of a morning ceremony, while Belton High students will be take part in a ceremony in the afternoon and evening.

Before each ceremony, students and their families are invited to take part in a car parade to celebrate their achievement.

“The celebration will kick off with a car parade as students arrive at the parking lot of Tiger Field,” Principal Smith said. “We want them to decorate their vehicle, honk, wave and get excited as we celebrate their 13 years of hard work.”

After the parade, each student and up to five family members will take part in a personal graduation ceremony, in which the student will walk the stage and pose for photographs. As they exit, they'll grab their diploma and take a few more photos. Pictures and video will be made available to students and their family later in the summer.

Individual ceremonies are estimated to take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes. New Tech Principal Jennisty Thomason said the idea is to create something as close to a traditional ceremony as possible, allowing students to walk the stage and be cheered by their family.

“Life is not fair, and seniors got a large dose of unfairness this spring,” Thomason said. "We knew we couldn’t give them back what they’d lost in the school closure, but we could give them our best. We’re proud of the celebration we’ve pulled together and are looking forward to honoring our amazing, resilient senior class on June 18.”

Later in the evening, the Class of 2020 will be invited back to Tiger Field for a fireworks show, at which special messages to the graduates will be broadcast over the PA system.

Principal Smith said the entire process will be designed with safety top of mind, and BISD will following guidance provided by the Texas Education Agency last week.

BISD issued a flyer with a basic outline of their graduation ceremony plans. You can view and download a PDF copy using the button below.

Also, don't forget to nominated a graduation senior for a $1,000 scholarship and Senior Salute from our friends at Smile at the World Orthodontics, Claude Allen House Leveling, and Townsquare Media.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020, not only at Belton ISD, but at schools across Central Texas. Also, special thanks to all the teachers and school staff who've done so much to help educate, inspire, and even feed Central Texas students during the pandemic.