Clarkston High School's 2014 graduation date and location are up in the air as school officials weigh their options and seek feedback from students and parents.
Clarkston and Lewiston high schools held back-to-back graduation ceremonies last spring at the Lewis-Clark State College Activity Center. But because the two districts' schedules do not match up this school year, Clarkston seniors will not have completed the required number of school days when Lewiston has its commencement May 31.
And because the activity center is booked solid with sports camps and other activities, LCSC Athletic Director Gary Picone said the last weekend in May is the only time available for high school graduations.
CHS Principal Eric Anderson said the school's choices include sticking with the activity center on the May 31 date, in which case seniors would have three days of school to attend after the graduation ceremony. The other option would be moving the event back to the CHS football field on the first weekend of June.
"We are in the process of getting feedback from our student body, from our seniors," Anderson said.
So far, he said, keeping the ceremony at LCSC seems to be the most-favored proposition.
"Just knowing how positively it was received last year, we wanted to give that as an option to our students and parents again," he said, referring to the advantages of sound quality and additional video capabilities available at the activity center.
Anderson said he is looking at how to structure the three school days that might have to be held after graduation.
"We're starting to game-plan that idea," he said. "If that is what our students would like to do, we will set those three days up as college and career-ready days, maybe do a mini carer fair."
The "extra" three days also would include the school's traditional move-up assembly, which honors seniors and celebrates the remaining classes advancing to the next grade.
"Our seniors have really liked that," Anderson said. "We've had very high attendance for those."
Whatever is on the schedule, attendance will not be optional.
"We will require attendance on those days," Anderson said. "Those conversations will be very clear - here are the expectations for those three days when you come back."
In addition to making the three school days after graduation as relevant as possible, school officials will wait until seniors have completed them before giving out diplomas. Anderson said the diplomas students receive at the graduation ceremony won't be official certificates.
"We will actually hand them their physical diploma on that Wednesday when they are done," he said.
Anderson said he will share student and parent feedback with the Clarkston School Board and expects the board to make a decision at its October meeting.
Stone may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (208) 848-2244.