Venue Change for the Guilford County Schools 2018 Graduation

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On September 7th, a number of GCS Schools spoke on behalf of senior parents regarding the affect of the new 2018 Graduation dates. At this same Board of Education meeting, the BOE of GCS voted 5 in favor of changing the dates back as long as Coliseum was available, 3 not in favor and one abstaining from voting. It was released from the Superintendent's office shortly before the September 28th BOE meeting that the dates would not change due to a conflict now with the Coliseum in Greensboro.

We are now petitioning to the Board of Education of Guilford County Schools to please consider a venue change. There are a number of local facilities that could house GCS Graduations!

Here is my original argument to the Board of Education on September 7th, 2017:

Thank you to the Board of Education for allowing me to speak this evening on Graduation Dates!

My name is Rosanna Ames. I am representing Northern High School area parents and I have a senior, sophomore and 8th grader.

First let me address the points made by Nora Carr in the New & Record article this past week: I do not disagree in changing the order times of graduations to be fair, however I do not agree that delaying graduations a week after classes end is right! Regarding the testing windows, this affects mostly underclass students. I am not saying mess with testing windows but a major portion of seniors will be finished with exams far in advance of testing windows! They are now pushing graduations a week past the last day of school rather than the weekend following last day! The June 15 Muslim holiday would not even be a factor in this instance according to Ms. Carr's point as well! Lastly, the number of graduations being held in a day is not the factor, it is how far out these graduations are taking place from last day of June 8th! And to Ms. Carr's final point, I think they will be very surprised at the disappointing family turnouts if they keep the dates the same!

As for my family concerns, our family is greatly affected! My senior will be waiting weeks for graduation to take place and her celebration. Our summer will be cut short by a week waiting on graduation to come! I also have an 8th grader graduating this year. We are a family with mostly out of state friends and family! My 8th grader will have her ceremony sometime before the 8th but my senior will not graduate until the 16th on this schedule! Family and friends will be forced to choose and a senior graduation will win out for sure because they will not be able to wait a week in between celebrations.

Other concerns that I have heard regarding the date changes include family vacations already booked, college orientations that will be taking place the weekend of graduation 16th, Father's Day which is the 17th, underclassmen families traditionally needed for band, chorus, junior marshal and other school celebrations will not be available because their summer vacations will have already started to name a few! In fact I had one parent since approach who had a graduating senior last year. Their son had to start summer school June 20th and had orientation well before this date. They actually had a great deal of issues surrounding summer school and transcripts from their school because transcripts can not be released until two weeks following actual graduation date! I have also been approached by employers reconsidering hiring seniors next summer due to their lack of availability in June!

All this and seniors who are graduating are the ones punished the most! The graduation thrill will be gone! Their summers will be cut significantly by graduation delay plus having to be at school earlier in August! I am very concerned that a lot of seniors will choose not to walk which is very very sad!!! Lastly, I am very concerned that this big of a change did not garner feedback first from the ones most affected - students and parents! To me, it seems that the new graduation dates work best for Central Office and not for the families. In my opinion, it should definitely be the other way around NOT what is best for Central Office but what is best for students, schools, faculties and families. Children should always come first and Central Office and our Board should definitely always have that outlook!!! Thank you for listening!

 



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