Grad ceremonies set for Norfolk

Published 10:32 pm Friday, May 23, 2014

Suffolk Public Schools officials believe that capacity issues of recent previous years won’t be a problem with next month’s new arrangements for high school graduation ceremonies, says district Deputy Superintendent Jacqueline Chavis.

On June 7, ceremonies for Nansemond River and King’s Fork high schools will be held at Norfolk’s Ted Constant Convocation Center at 9 a.m. and noon, respectively. Lakeland High School’s ceremony will be at 3 p.m. at the school on the same day.

Previously, all three ceremonies were at the respective schools, but changes were made in response to complaints from parents with tickets being turned away from venues because they were full.

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In an earlier response to the issues, ceremonies were to be held outdoors at the schools in 2013, but bad weather sent them back inside.

“Moving the ceremony was done at the request of students and parents,” Chavis stated. “The desire to move the ceremonies to a larger venue was indicated in the survey conducted last year.

“We believe this venue will address the capacity concerns that have existed in the past.”

Planning for the venue changes is “going well,” according to Chavis. “We have had several meetings with principals and participated in a walkthrough of the Ted Constant Center with their representatives.”

Each principal has emailed information on the new arrangements to parents, Chavis says, and “information was given and reviewed with each student.”

There is no plan to provide any student transportation to the out-of town ceremonies “at this time,” according to Chavis.

“We ask families to follow the instructions outlined in the letter sent to them and follow the directions of the police and attendants coordinating parking and entry and exit to and from the center,” she stated.