For the first time in recent years, all four Glenbard High School District 87 schools will hold commencement ceremonies on the same day and on their own campuses.
The move comes at the request of principals at the schools, who believed it would be best for students and their families if graduation be held on a Friday night -- May 31, 2013, according to Rod Molek, the school district's assistant superintendent for human resources and student services.
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"It hasn't been done that way in the past, but we think we can get it done," Molek said.
Glenbard South and West had already planned to have on-campus graduations on May 31, but North and East were originally scheduled to hold commencement off-site on June 2.
Those two schools, which have the largest enrollments in the district, have traditionally held graduations at College of DuPage's Physical Education Center. But administrators had to scramble to find a new location because of ongoing construction there that isn't expected to be complete until 2014.
They proposed holding the North and East graduations at Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, but the plan was ultimately rejected by school board members, some of whom argued the $29,014 price tag for the off-campus graduations was too costly.
Last month, the board voted to allow commencement ceremonies for the two schools to be held on their respective campuses.
Of the four schools, only Glenbard South is scheduling an indoor graduation. The other schools are planning to hold their ceremonies on their respective football fields, with indoor ceremonies planned as a backup if there is inclement weather, Molek said.
It's estimated about five or six tickets will be allotted per family. Outdoor graduations provide the opportunity for more people to attend, Molek said.
"There is guest seating on the fields as well. West has been doing this for a while. They put up tents so there would be shade so grandparents and handicapped people can have an easier time getting in and out," he said.
Superintendent Dave Larson will attend one of the graduations, while Molek and the other two assistant superintendents will attend the others.
The district's 2013-2014 draft calendar has Glenbard South and West graduations scheduled for June 6, 2014 and North and East for June 8, 2014. Administrators have expressed preference for North and East graduations returning to COD once construction is complete.