During the USD 480 Board of Education meeting on Monday there were two groups of seniors who addressed the board regarding graduation, which is currently set to take place on Sunday, May 23, 2010.
Liberal High School Principal Keith Adams had his class officers address him awhile back asking if graduation could be moved outside to Redskin Field so more people could attend the ceremony. Adams said the students had a petition that had a good portion of the senior class on it that was for the idea. Adams then took the idea to the Liberal High School Task Force with the plan to move graduation outside to the football field, and to move it up a day and have it on a Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. The committee requested that Adams take his proposal to the Board of Education.
Before Adams and the senior class officers addressed the board, there was a group of three senior girls who requested to make a comment from the floor. The group stated that they had heard graduation was going to be moved outside and that it was going to be on Saturday morning instead of the regularly scheduled Sunday. The group was upset by this because they claim they were never asked and that the petition never stated that having graduation outside would mean having to move it up a day. They said once they heard about this that they started a petition of their own to have graduation outside, but for it to still take place on Sunday afternoon as scheduled. The group's reasoning for keeping it the same was that some seniors have already ordered their announcements. Others have family who has already made travel plans, and the fact that National Beef is open on Saturdays, but closed on Sundays, which would affect many families from being able to attend.
The senior class officers and Mr. Adams reasoning for wanting the ceremony to move up to Saturday morning during their presentation was so it would be cooler, and less likely to be windy. They also felt it would then give families the rest of the weekend to spend time together.
After some discussion the senior class officers agreed to take a survey of their class to see which day they would prefer to graduate on. If Sunday is the chosen day the matter will not have to go back to the board. However, if Saturday is the chosen date the board will have to vote to amend the school calendar.
Superintendent Vernon Welch expressed concern over possibly moving it to Saturday if indeed it would affect families who work at National Beef. Welch requested that Adams contact National Beef to find out information on how many shifts they have going on a Saturday morning.
A decision on the matter is expected quickly for planning purposes.