After hearing from students upset about the possibility of splitting Watchung Hills Regional graduation into two sessions if weather doesn't allow the school to hold the ceremony outside, school officials modified the plan to enable all of the students to graduate together.
But the new plan limits each student to having one parent present in the Performing Arts Center, while other family members will have to watch from the south auditorium or a cafeteria.
The plan, which still calls for a ceremony on the morning of June 21 in Tozier Stadium unless forced inside, was reviewed by Principal George Alexis, who noted the plan to have split ceremonies was "not warmly embraced by everyone."
"Taking the feedback, and in the spirit of cooperation, we came up with an alternative plan," Alexis said at Monday's Board of Education meeting.
While the plan to have all students together either outdoors or in the PAC solved one problem, it still creates a conflict with the scheduling of Project Graduation, which is set for June 20, based on the original planned graduation date.
But Vice Principal Terry MacConnell noted at the meeting the school is currently not scheduled to make the state-mandated 180 days of instruction until June 21 now, thanks to the days lost following Superstorm Sandy.
Project Graduation Co-Chairwoman Mary Lou DiRosa said the group has paid out more than $20,000 to vendors planning on attending the event on June 20 at the Morris-Union Jointure.
"This is really affecting Project Graduation," she said. "Yes, the MUJ is available but our vendors are not."
Board President Robert Horowitz recommended school administrators meet with parents and students to determine the best solution, which could include rescheduling Project Graduation, holding graduation after Project Graduation—or adding a day from the spring break back into the calendar to maintain the June 20 graduation date.