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Bob Hope changes course on graduation ceremony; shares outdoor plan

Bob Hope School originally announced plans last week with a press release stating the Port Arthur High School campus, 2849 9th Ave., would celebrate commencement with a drive-thru parade.

Now, the school administration has decided to switch plans.

Campus Director Daniel Cruz said after further discussion and consideration, school officials decided against the drive-thru graduation and parade.

“Given that the state has authorized schools to have an in-person outdoor ceremony, that is the direction we will be going for our graduating seniors,” he said. “The seniors, along with the community, have endured floods, explosions and now COVID-19. Their last year as high school students has been anything but the norm. We want them to know that we are proud of them for staying strong and resilient in reaching their graduation day.”

The ceremony is taking place at 5:30 p.m. June 11 at the Bob Hope Port Arthur Elementary campus.

Graduates will be allowed two guests. Social distancing will be enforced along with a protective facemask requirement.

The current plan also includes having nursing staff on site and the Port Arthur Police Department for safety.

Cruz said in addition to the announcement billboards will also be posted throughout the city picturing each senior, along with large personalized banners hanging from the school’s gym on 9th Avenue and personalized yard signs delivered by staff members.

“We want our seniors, their parents and the entire Bob Hope School family to know that through all of the current changes and implementation of guidelines that we have not forgotten about their accomplishments,” he said. “These times of adversity and trials will make them stronger and has shown them that all things are possible despite the situation.

“We will miss these wonderful students and want to wish them the best in their future endeavors.”

The Bob Hope Elementary Port Arthur campus vehicle ceremony will still take place for prekindergarten students from 8 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at 4301 32nd St.

A scheduled time will indicate when each child’s classroom teacher will be available. Family members are asked to stay in their vehicles.

Diplomas will be mailed to each graduate at their home address.

For more information, visit the Bob Hope School website or Facebook page.