ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Arlington ISD's classes of 2020 will graduate in person at College Park Center on the campus of The University of Texas at Arlington.
The ceremonies are set for July 13, 14, 17, 18 and 19.
Arlington Collegiate High School seniors will graduate on July 20 at UT Arlington's Texas Hall.
Arlington ISD said in a news release Monday, officials worked in close coordination with the Arlington Fire Department and UT Arlington to ensure College Park Center would be ready to host safe graduation ceremonies in July.
"As difficult as this year has been for our senior students, safety must remain our No. 1 priority," said Dr. Marcelo Cavazos, superintendent. "The Arlington Fire Department and UT Arlington have assured us that they will not only help to logistically prepare the building for proper social distancing and sanitation but also attend the ceremonies to help manage the process."
Cavazos said that if circumstances change and in-person graduation isn't possible on these July dates, the district will maintain the dates for virtual graduation.
Cavazos and other district officials spent the last several weeks in talks with student body leaders and principals from the seven district high schools with graduating classes.
A survey was also sent to all graduating seniors to understand the style of graduation they preferred, Arlington ISD said.
The survey revealed that an overwhelming number of students preferred in-person graduation even if they had to wait.
Virtual graduation was undeniably the least desired option out of four possible graduation scenarios.
"We wanted to hear from our students before we made a final decision," said Cavazos. "We heard their feedback and we believe we have a plan that will allow us to honor their wishes and have a safe graduation ceremony.
"We know there are many more questions about graduation ceremonies and we will answer them as we go. For now, we want to announce the dates to let parents, students, teachers and the community know that a plan is in place."
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