All across Iowa in just a few weeks, high schools will celebrate at commencement exercises an important milestone in the lives of seniors - graduation.
Graduation from high school is a key benchmark event. It is a major transition point in life. For many young folks, not only does it represent completion of a critical educational phase, but it also is a time when adulthood is close at hand. That's true even for those students who plan post-high school educational pursuits. For the majority of graduates, the time of living in one's parents' home and spending days at school with fellow students one has known since early childhood is ending - or at least in its final stages.
For the friends of graduates and the family members of the young folks who have reached this key life event, attending the graduation ceremony is extremely important. Consequently, it is vital that school districts schedule these celebrations to maximize the ability of people to be present. That's one of the reasons Fort Dodge Senior High has a long tradition of holding graduation on the Sunday before Memorial Day. Sundays are a day most people do not have to work. A holiday weekend also allows extra travel time for family members who must journey from a distance to be present.
The Fort Dodge Community School District Board of Education considered a proposal at its April 9 meeting to move graduation to an alternate date. Advocates of this change argued that holding these ceremonies on the Sunday before Memorial Day disrupted a holiday weekend for those school personnel who had to work the event. Fortunately, the board voted to keep the graduation schedule unchanged.
While it is true that holding graduation on the Sunday before Memorial Day is somewhat inconvenient for a few employees, the advantages for the graduates, their families and the community at large outweigh that consideration.
The Messenger applauds the members of the school board for making the right decision. Keeping graduation on this traditional day makes good sense.