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Parker moves 2011 graduation date

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
November 19, 2010
— For as long as Parker High School Principal Steve Schroeder can remember, Craig High School has graduated its seniors the day before Parker does.

Next June, Parker will go first.


The change has nothing to do with high school rivalries. It's a matter of practicality and scheduling, Schroeder said.


Traditionally, Craig's seniors graduate on the last day of classes, while Parker graduates the following day, which is the teachers' last workday.


This year, the last day of classes is Friday, June 10, and that's the day of Craig's commencement.


That leaves Saturday, June 11, or Monday, June 13, for Parker's graduation. Those would not be happy choices for many parents, who plan parties or vacations for that time.


Solution: Parker graduates Thursday, June 9.


The switch stems from a quirk in the teachers' work calendar this year. Because the last day of classes ended up on a Friday, teachers were given the option of starting one day earlier in August or working one day later, on Monday, June 13.


Nearly all of Parker's teachers opted to start the year a day early, so their last day is Friday, June 10. If graduation were held after the 10th, not enough teachers would be around to oversee the ceremony, Schroeder said.


The change also means Parker seniors will start their three days of final exams a day earlier—on Tuesday, June 7, instead of Wednesday, June 8. That means seniors lose one day that normally would be used to study for exams, according to a district memo.


Schroeder said he received input from parent groups, teachers and students before deciding to change the date. The support was nearly unanimous, he said.


To make it happen, the schedule for Parker seniors will be different on graduation day. Some will have exams that morning, then the traditional luncheon, then commencement practice before a break to go home and get ready for the evening ceremony, Schroeder said.


"It will be a busy day for seniors that day, but Craig does it every year, so we believe we can handle it, too," Schroeder said.


This does not signal any change in the tradition, Schroeder said. It'll be back to Craig first, Parker second in 2012.



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