Warrenton High School returning graduation to Saturday night

John Rohlf, Staff Writer
Posted 1/25/23

Warrenton High School will return to its pre-COVID-19 practice of scheduling graduation on a Saturday night. 

The majority of the Warren County R-III School Board voiced support for …

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Warrenton High School returning graduation to Saturday night


Warrenton High School will return to its pre-COVID-19 practice of scheduling graduation on a Saturday night. 

The majority of the Warren County R-III School Board voiced support for scheduling the 2023 commencement ceremony for 7 p.m. June 10. The board previously approved the date but had not set a time. The commencement ceremony was scheduled in the morning the past few years. 

The proposal to move the graduation time stemmed from a potential scheduling conflict for Warrenton students. The June ACT test date is scheduled for the morning of June 10. For students starting college this upcoming fall, the June test is their last chance to improve their score and have it apply towards scholarships. 

“I know that my son was able to take the ACT test, the last one and still count towards scholarship money at Mizzou,” Warren County R-III board member Rich Barton said. “And I know last year, there was at least one kid for sure I know of that chose to miss graduation to do that. I don’t think any kid should ever have to make that decision.”

Barton added with the early graduation time, there is a large time gap in the day between the commencement ceremony and Project Graduation, which is held the night of graduation. 

“There’s a lot of things that can take place between Saturday morning graduation and Saturday night, which is counterproductive to what Project Graduation is encouraging,” Barton said. “I’m not saying people do that. I’m just saying I could see that being a problem.”

Options to avoid a conflict with the ACT test included possibly scheduling the graduation on the night of June 9, with makeup options on the morning or evening on June 10 or the evening on June 11. The first week of June was not an option. This is when the state baseball tournament is scheduled.  

Board members Sarah Janes and Jeff Schneider both said they were against moving the date of the ceremony. Janes understands the benefits a better ACT score could have on scholarship money. However, she stressed the graduation date was approved over a year in advance. She also expressed concern with moving the date with the chance no graduating senior is planning to take the test. 

“I know that you had mentioned that it was a single student that made that choice this last graduation,” Janes said. “And I hesitate to make a move for a calendar for a single student. There’s so many other students that are making other decisions with their life that don’t involve the ACT. I wouldn’t want to move everything for kids for the ACT.” 

Janes said she was open to moving the time but less open to moving the day. 

Schneider was not in favor of moving the date because it had already been approved and pushing the date of graduation could create separate conflicts. He thinks the proposed plan of moving the time on June 10 was a logical plan. 

Board member Deanna Zwyers said a student could not know they need to take the test until shortly before the June test. She thinks it is important to allow the students the opportunity to take the test and get the best score they can on the test. 

The district will move forward with the plan of holding the graduation at 7 p.m. June 10. If there is a conflict with weather, they will hold the graduation late in the day on June 11. School district superintendent Gregg Klinginsmith stressed holding the ceremony inside is not a feasible option. 

“One thing we learned from COVID was that we can have graduation outside regardless of weather,” Klinginsmith said, “We just have to be able to move the time. Inside graduation just doesn’t work. We have about 2,500 people at graduation, and so we were telling kids they have to pick who can come and who can’t. It puts kids in a really bad spot.”

Warrenton High School, Graduation


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