With the last day of school and graduation approaching a lot quicker this year, students, teachers, and administration alike have less time to finish last minute preparation for graduation.
“It really throws a lot of, what we used to do in the forefront where we had time to assess at the end of the year to find out exactly who’s going to graduate, absences were taking care of, grades were taking care of because everything has to be inputted a lot quicker than it had to in the past, so everybody is rushing at the end, so it is amplified the stress on everybody including the seniors knowing that there is no leeway now because in the past we were able to give them some time,” Principal John Mehlbrech said. “If you had attendance or grades you could make up work or you could come and do stuff for us that will count towards attendance but we don’t have that luxury anymore.”
With graduation happening on June 2nd this year, some teachers are wondering if they will be obligated to attend graduation, since teachers will still be under contract.
“Being under contract means I could require them to (go to graduation) but I don’t work that way, so they are volunteering to come as they will, now they are expected to stay around here during the day, during normal hours, but I don’t want to force them to go to graduation because it’s not worth having someone there who does not want to be, and that would be just too many of us not having anything to do, so no I am not requiring them to be there,” Mehlbrech said.
The earlier graduation has put seniors who are in danger of not graduating under more pressure to improve their grades or attendance sooner.
“We are trying to stay in constant contact with the seniors, our teachers are supposed to be in direct contact with seniors and the parents of those that are right at that verge, and we get failure cards early, so teachers will send the counselors the name of the students that they think will fail and then we will keep a close eye on it because if they do then we just pull them from the line up and they don’t graduate,” Mehlbrech said.
This year is ending a little bit earlier than usual simply because it started a little earlier than usual.
“[the last day of school] depends on your starting time, because the state law says that you cannot start school before the last Monday of the month, or you have a week before that, so you have to go depending on where that Monday falls, for example, next year in August we don’t start until the last week of August, which is really late, which means we go to June 6th before you get out of school, so it just depends when that start date is,” Mehlbrech said. “This time since we graduate first, because the schools rotate, and so we were last last year, we are first year, and it just amps up everything that has to happen prior to that date, which in a way is kind of good, because then you’re done, and you can breathe, otherwise you can sit here and worry about, is it going to go right? Is everything going to flow the way it’s supposed to? So you always have to have that extra worry, but since it’s going to be so quick, it’s going to be done, there’s really going to be no time to breathe, but once you’re done, you’re done.”
Each year it is expected that the new graduating class will be bigger than the last, but for the 2017 class that was actually not the case.
“Actually, it is about the same, originally we thought it was going to be a little bit larger but through transition and people coming and going, it really balances out to be a little over 700 that’s going to graduate, so it’s a good size, we will be done within two hours of graduation as long as everything goes well, which I am pretty sure it will, and then it will just be another day for seniors to celebrate and enjoy the rest of the evening,” Mehlbrech said.