Graduation date change irks seniors


Courtesy Photo

The graduating class of 2018 finish off the graduation ceremony by throwing the caps into the air back in May.

Graduation. One of the best days in a teenager’s life. The day that tells the seniors they’re moving on with their lives and stir both envious and ambitious emotions in the underclassmen.

As of last year, SHS made transitions with the new building, which meant some major changes for the students. Career academies were in full swing and we transitioned to the Laude system, in the process, eliminating valedictorians.

In May, seniors and senior parents were notified that there would be a 7 day difference in the date they would graduate, moving from May 12th to May 19th. This was odd because for the past two years, seniors graduated the second week in May.

So the question is why?

In previous years, students taking classes at WNCC would be taking them for credit, but not to fill their career academy requirements. Since SHS has gone to the career academy system, more students have to take college classes in order to graduate.

Students in some academies have required college classes, meaning the counselors and administration had an important decision to make. They decided to keep seniors in class one more week than they did for other graduating classes.

This year, seniors are graduating on May 19th because seniors who are taking college classes need to take their finals and pass the class before they get their diploma.

“This coming year, graduation was initially set for May 10th; WNCC finals go in May 14th,” Principal Mike Halley said.

In the past, students were walking across the stage without finishing their classes, making it hard for principals and counselors to track who would actually get their diploma or not.

“What we were looking at was WNCC finals and saw that they took place after our graduation date. So in order for us to be able to efficiently and correctly calculate student’s GPAs for the honors system, as well as filling their career academy requirements, we had to create a solution and that happened to be switching the date,” said senior counselor Andreana Fertig-Marlow.

For students competing in state track and girls state tennis the same weekend, accommodations will be made for those seniors to get back to school in time for graduation.

“We sat down and we talked about it with our counselor and our admin team and we asked how many kids is this impacting? And from the numbers we found with how many seniors were on the track team the girls tennis team versus how many students were taking dual credit courses, there were more students taking dual credit classes,” Holley said.

Students in the class of 2020 will have their graduation date moved from May 10th to May 17th.