DHS considers changes to graduation day

Seniors from the Class of 2018 graduate on June 9. Class of 2019 may end up graduating on Friday next year.

Photo by Jolene Guzman
Seniors from the Class of 2018 graduate on June 9. Class of 2019 may end up graduating on Friday next year.

DALLAS — It was a subject of debate at Dallas School District’s June 25 board meeting: Has it been 20 or 30 years since Dallas High School began holding graduation on Saturday afternoon?

High School Principal Steve Spencer said it’s been at least 20 years. Juli Lichtenberger, executive assistant to Superintendent Michelle Johnstone, said the DHS Class of 1990 held its ceremony on a Saturday afternoon. Board member Jon Woods said it’s been at least 30 years, if not more.

No matter how long it’s been the tradition, there’s some thought going into changing it — if the community agrees.

Spencer said he’s had teachers and parents ask why the ceremony is Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and not on Friday evening. He posed the question to the board about whether he should consider a different time to send off seniors.

“I literally cannot give a good answer except that it’s always been that way since I’ve been here,” he said. “My question is, do you have an opinion, or do you want to direct me to try to find some feedback from the community? This year’s junior class? Keep it as-is?”

He said the benefit of holding it on a Friday is that it’s a work day for teachers.

“Coming back in on a Saturday, it’s really another full day and it’s not on a teacher contract,” he said. “We’ve been pushing really hard to have all staff in attendance. We’ve had pretty good success the last few years, but it’s a challenge when we really aren’t compensating anybody for it.”

The board agreed Spencer should ask for feedback, so long as the time of the ceremony is convenient for families to attend.

“As long as it was late enough that people could get off work,” said Matt Posey, a board member.

Spencer said the school will send out a survey to the parents of incoming seniors in mid-July. He said community members can give written feedback at the DHS main office with their name and address.

You can find the survey here: https://goo.gl/forms/16usBDmXjdP8zWTp1.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.