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Graduation Contingency Plans Set

One thing is certain—Grads and their parents won't have to suffer a stuffy gym.

Planning 's graduation is always a challenge—there's 500 (plus or minus) students to prepare and coordinate, their families, speakers...and the weather.

Generally, everyone involved is cooperative—the weather, not so much.

were moved into the school's north gym, where parents and families members crammed into the stands, as the graduates sat in chairs filling the entire gym floor.

A late afternoon storm forced the move, and drove humidity over 90 percent with temperatures in the upper 80s. 

It was not comfortable for anyone, to say the least.

At Monday's meeting, officials reviewed plans for this year's graduation, set for 6 p.m. June 21, and how those problems will be avoided if the program is forced inside.

"If it's outdoors, there's no question—we'll have the same set up we've always had," Principal Thomas DiGanci said, adding no tickets will be required. "We can seat as many as want to come—uncles, aunts, grandmothers and grandfathers can come out and enjoy the ceremony.

"Indoors, as we found out, we do not have the capacity," he added.

Consequently, if graduation is moved inside because of bad weather, the cremony will be held in the Performing Arts Center, with ticket-holders only in the audience (each graduate is given two tickets for family). The students will gather in the gym 7/8, march down the hall to the stage entrance at the PAC, and proceed across the stage, then back to the old gym.

Those attending the ceremony without tickets will be able to watch the ceremony on TV monitors in the north gym, the north cafeteria, and in classrooms in the 100 wing.

Dr. DiGanci said in future years, the school could make arrangements to hold graduation cermemonies off-campus but planning for such events need to be made more than a year in advance.

The only challenge will be if the weather changes suddenly—board members recalled past graduations where students and family members made mad dashes to the gym when sudden squalls appeared.

"Ideally, you hope it can be outside, it's comfortable and everything," Board President Robert Horowitz said. "It always seems 15 minutes before, and the kids are walking out and the skies darken and boom."

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