High School graduation set June 16
A series of meetings between a concerned group of Douglas High School seniors, principal Bev Jeans and the school’s vice principals resulted in the seniors graduation being moved from Tuesday, June 17 to Monday, June16.
“I thought it was pretty cool that she (Jeans) moved it,” said DHS senior Amy Blanke, who met with Jeans Monday along with classmates Ryan Larsen, Karianne Bodenstein and Amanda Harker.
Jeans said she met with the seniors on Monday and with the vice principals on Wednesday.
“I went over their (the seniors) recommendation to meet their needs and our needs and we (the administrators) came up with a plan we could live with and then we got their input and made sure they could live with it,” said Jeans.
Jeans said she and the vice principals, John Carlson and Juanita Lamley, agonized over what to do about the graduation.
“Their proposal was instrumental to in helping us move graduation to Monday,” said Jeans.
Blanke said Jeans told her graduation couldn’t be moved back to June 13 because there wouldn’t be enough time for seniors’ teachers to grade finals.
“There are a lot of legalities around giving a kid a diploma,” said Jeans, saying that the administration must check each individual’s grades and requirements to make sure that all has been met prior to the issuance of a diploma.
“If we don’t, it diminishes the value of the diploma,” said Jeans.
Previously the Douglas County school district had decided to move the DHS graduation from Friday, June 13 to Tuesday, June 17 thus creating myriad problems for the graduating class.
The reason for the shift in graduation, said Superintendent Pendery Clark, was the loss of two days of school due to the flooding experienced in the county at the beginning of January.
Clark wrote State Superintendent Mary Peterson a letter asking that the days not have to be made up. Peterson denied the request, forcing the district to come to another solution – moving the graduation date to get two more days of instruction on the calendar.
Blanke, along with the nearly 200 students she got to sign a petition asking that the original date be reinstated, said that changing the graduation date will cause many parents, grandparents, other relatives, and even some students to miss the graduation.
Blanke said the new date is a compromise between the graduating seniors and the district.
“It’s a superhuman feat to have graduation on a school day,” said Jeans referring to all the DHS students who will be in school on June 16. It’s a good example of people flexing to meet needs.”
The other schools in the county were also naffected by the flooding.
Assistant Superintendent of Personnel George Mross said every school in the district will have two additional student days.
Mross, who has the unenviable task of formulating the district’s academic calendars, said the traditional and single track schools didn’t pose a problem for calendar adjustments for the extra two days.
“The two days caused problems with the multitrack,” Mross said. “It was very tight, but we managed to insert those days.”