Pine-Richland explores creating rain date for outdoor graduations
Monday, April 29, 2019 | 1:30 AM
Pine-Richland School District officials are exploring the idea of offering a rain date for high school graduation, although it isn’t something that would go into effect this year if they do decide to move forward with the plan.
Graduation always occurs outdoors on a Friday night, and if the weather isn’t suitable for an outdoor ceremony they move it indoors to the auditorium. The problem with that is that each student gets just two tickets for family members to sit in the auditorium. Additional family members and friends have to watch from auxiliary locations throughout the school via broadcast.
School administrators are reaching out to students and families to get feedback on the possibility of setting 10 a.m. on Saturday as a rain date. If they do offer a rain date, it won’t be until 2020 so it would not impact this year’s graduating class.
“We set a 10 a.m. deadline knowing that Saturday is typically a busy day for families as well,” assistant superintendent Dr. Michael Pasquinelli said. “If we were able to have the ceremony outdoors at 10 a.m., we think an hour-and-a-half to two hours and people could be home by noon and still have the day for whatever they have planned. It’s not something we’d have ready for the class of 2019.”
Superintendent Dr. Brian Miller said that offering a rain date wouldn’t change the school’s preparation from an administrative standpoint because you have to plan and practice for indoor and outdoor ceremonies no matter what. They’ve been fortunate, he said, that they’ve only had to move the ceremony indoors a couple times during his tenure.
“If you’ve been to graduation, you see there’s 5,000 (people) easy, maybe more,” he said. “A lot of times when you look out at the stadium seating you see grandpa, grandma, friends, aunts, etc., and those individuals miss that face-to-face opportunity when you have to have it inside. Trying to preserve that experience as a shared, face-to-face live experience, we think it’s worth investigating. If the logistics are too much, we move on, but I think it would be worth getting some feedback from our families.”