Graduation is a special time when we all share in the accomplishment of young men and women. While we fundamentally believe this isn’t the end of their educational career, all involved have worked extremely hard to reach this milestone and it should be celebrated. Cleveland Public Schools is committed to providing the best educational experience possible and we believe this should not change with the last ceremony for our seniors.
Dating back three years, graduation dates and times have been a challenge to set in order to meet everyone’s needs. While we understand that we will never be able to accommodate everyone’s schedules, we strive to do everything in our power to set a date and time that works for the majority. There are many things that are considered in setting the date and time:
- Graduating before the last day of school: While we know many districts do this, we don’t believe it is the best solution for us. Seniors must attend every day on the school calendar or they would be counted absent. While many may have the absences to spare and still graduate, the missed days would reflect on all state reporting and accreditation standards. Additionally, seniors do not finish with graduation, but rather the last day of school. If they graduate prior to the last day of school it may present an issue.
- Graduating on Friday after school is out: This was traditionally the graduation date until the school calendar changed. With the district now getting out of school a full week earlier in May, we still have state competitions ongoing during this time. As a district, we do not want to make our seniors choose between a state competition and graduation.
- Sunday following the last day of school: For the last two years, Graduation Sunday fell on Mother’s Day. While the Ministerial Alliance has been very gracious in accommodating our Sunday graduation, we have received a tremendous amount of feedback to move graduation off of Mother’s Day.
- The next week following the last week of school: Again, many districts have graduation the following week, we don’t believe this is the best solution. Many students immediately leave after graduation for post-secondary work or education and this would require them postponing any plans for another week. It would also require a longer downtime before the seniors are actually able to complete their ceremony.
- Saturday after the last week of school: After all the other possibilities were considered and weighed for their merit, the district has decided to have graduation on Saturday following the last week of school. We sought out input from many different stakeholders and it was agreed that this was the best date. However, once the district posted the time, it became a point of contention. Again, we acknowledge that we cannot meet everyone’s needs and there will always be issues with the time. However, this is only an effort to see what time works for the majority and that is what we will finalize.
As we make an effort to gain input for the time that works for the majority of students and families, we would like to stress that this isn’t due to one or two families having an issue with the time. This is an effort to find a time that works and provide an understanding that Cleveland Public Schools listens to our stakeholders. It is our belief that is we ever find ourselves not engaging the community and acting in their best interest, we make every effort to remind our stakeholders that we are here to serve.
Please assist us in making this the best experience it possibly can be for our seniors and fill out this short survey. The two choices are 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm on Saturday, May 12th. This survey will close on Wednesday at 12:00 pm.
Superintendent of Schools