As a former high school principal and superintendent of schools, I was surprised to read that the Charleston area schools are still holding their graduation ceremonies on weekdays. We are all aware one of the highlights of any high school is the graduation ceremony. Many consider graduation a celebration of a high school's highest achievement, their "Academy Awards" so to speak.
However, I do not recall ever watching an Academy Awards presentation on a Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m.
I have served as chair of the select panel for the National Blue Ribbon Schools. While in that position I had the opportunity to visit nationally over 1,200 high schools, and if I recall correctly, not one of those schools held graduation ceremonies at 8:30 a.m. on a weekday.
From experience, one of the most difficult events that superintendents and high school principals have to plan are graduation ceremonies. Taking into consideration the number of graduates and the number of guests, as well as out-of-town guests, is an awesome task of logistics.
But a schedule of convenience by superintendents and boards of education is not the answer.
Most of the days and times of all the graduation ceremonies that are currently held in the Charleston area are on working days and during ridiculous hours. Most of the schools are located in areas where working-class families have to take time off, without pay from work, to witness their family's proudest moment, the graduation of their son or daughter.
Charleston Math and Science High School does have a great time and place to hold its ceremony, Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Charleston Music Hall, as it should be. Graduates deserve that recognition, no exceptions.
However, for the rest of the graduation ceremonies there are other solutions. Most ceremonies can take place on Friday evenings, all day Saturday and Sunday.
Large facilities such as the North Charleston Performing Arts Center, the Music Hall and others would be honored to accommodate the graduation ceremonies of the future leaders of our country. They can plan a schedule around profit-making events to accommodate graduation ceremonies.
Just take a moment and reflect, where are you on a weekday morning at 8:30 a.m.?
Jim Trusso, Ed.D.
Little Oak Island
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