Dallas to move graduation to Friday

Dallas High School will hold graduation on Friday this year after a survey of parents and students revealed most people preferred Friday evening instead of Saturday afternoon.

DALLAS — The results are in, and the survey says most people would prefer Dallas High School’s graduation be on a Friday night.

DHS Principal Steve Spencer said the survey split 60-40 toward a Friday night ceremony instead of keeping it on a Saturday afternoon. The survey was available online and was offered during school registration earlier this month.

“We tried to post it as many places as we could, and we got about 140 responses back,” Spencer said. “I think we are going to take a stab at it and see what happens if we have it on Friday.”

Spencer approached the Dallas School Board after school ended about concerns from staff and parents about the timing of the Saturday ceremony. He asked to conduct a survey to get more parent and student feedback to help decide whether a switch is necessary. The change put the ceremony on the same night as Central High School traditionally holds commencement.

He said people listed inclement weather as a concern — including heat — which would be addressed with a 7 p.m. start time for a Friday ceremony. Spencer brought the results to the board Monday night.

“With your permission and blessing, we are going to make that switch,” Spencer said.

The district also made changes to its athletic eligibility policy. Athletic Director Tim Larson said the academic eligibility policy was changed from requiring students to pass 2.0 credits of classes to play to 2.5 credits. That equals five of seven classes athletes must pass to participate in contests, and it reflects the OSAA standard.

He said athletes who have Ds or Fs must attend study table every Monday afternoon to participate.

“Some programs are going to do even more than that, have two or three days of study table to just to make sure they are on track,” Larson said.

Larson said the attendance tracking has improved to make sure athletes are attending classes and don’t have too many tardies.

After a request to review of participation fees, Larson brought back a report showing what other districts in the region charge for pay to play. Dallas raised its fee from $150 to $160 for most sports before the start of the fall season.

“It’s right around $150 except for a couple schools,” Larson said.

He said the $10 increase doesn’t appear to have affected participation.

“Our numbers this year are right about the same, within two or three,” Larson said.

He said coaches are aware that financial assistance with fees is available for athletes who can’t afford the them.

“We have people, we have organizations waiting to pay,” Larson said. “We’ve had a few people take us up on that.”

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