Graduation schedule inconveniences students, families

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For seniors, putting on their cap and gown, walking across the stage, and receiving their diploma at graduation signifies the end of their journey through high school and the beginning of their future. This year, graduation will be slightly different as the ceremony will be held on a Tuesday night, instead of a Sunday like it has been for the past several years.

A Tuesday night graduation will cause several inconveniences for families. Many graduates will have family members traveling from out of town to attend the graduation. Graduation will begin at 7:30 pm and will end around 9:00 pm. This will leave very little time to celebrate after the ceremony because people will have to drive back home after a long day of work and celebration.

This late night graduation also falls the night before the first day of second semester finals. This could be disruptive for siblings of graduating students who have to take finals the next morning.

The Sears Centre will not be easy to get to at the time of the day that the ceremony begins due to heavy traffic. This could potentially cause problems for families that want to celebrate before the ceremony. Additionally, some families enjoy taking pictures outdoors, and they will not be able to do this after the ceremony because it will be dark and photos won’t turn out as well.

The school district may have moved graduation to a Tuesday night for cost savings, but in reality they could have found more beneficial options. The school district will not have to pay as much rent as they will be paying a weekday rent as opposed to a weekend premium rate.

According to an article in the Daily Herald, District 211 will be paying $78,000 for the three graduation ceremonies taking place from Monday to Wednesday. If the graduations were to be held on a weekend, each school would have to pay between $35,000 and $50,000 per ceremony. The rates for graduations are higher since there is period of time where the demand for the space is much higher.

Schaumburg, Conant, and Fremd High School will be having their graduation at Sears Centre this year. Hoffman Estates High School will have their graduation ceremony on May 17 at the Willow Creek Auditorium. Palatine High School will be the only school in the district to have their graduation on campus in their school gym on May 20.

If price is an issue for the district, they could look into other places that offer much lower rates for weekdays or weekends. Other schools in the area have recently switched to different venues because of the rising cost of the Sears Centre.

A Tuesday night graduation will cause several challenges and inconveniences for students and their families. The school district will need to look at other options to improve the graduation ceremony for future graduations.

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