By: Meredith Baker | Twitter: @PGJournal
Posted: February 6, 2019 | 12:30 p.m.
PRINCE GEORGE – In a split vote, the school board has approved a plan to offer a different kind of culminating experience instead of the annual senior convocation, though many of the components of convocation will form part of the new event.
Mike Nelson, the principal of Prince George High School, brought a proposal before the board to have a Senior Day on Wednesday, June 5th. Nelson said the goal of making the change is to try to attract more senior participation than Sunday convocation has been drawing.
“One of our challenges has been over the last 10 to 15 years, the attendance has declined dramatically,” Nelson said. “I would say a third of the senior class attends the convocation and probably a third of the parents of those students in attendance are there.”
Nelson said that Senior Day festivities will begin with the graduates splitting up to walk the halls of their home elementary schools. Students who do not have a home school in Prince George may visit the school in the district where they live or stay at the high school. The senior photo will be taken after the students return to the high school, and then a senior assembly will be held. Nelson said parents will be invited to the assembly, which could be shown on closed-circuit television in the gym if turnout is high among parents. The assembly will be similar to convocation. Nelson said that awards and scholarships will be announced, and students will be able to select a speaker for the occasion. A picnic will be held afterwards to replace the senior bash.
“Our goal is to create something that all the students can celebrate,” Nelson said. “They can celebrate the achievement, the awards, the accolades.”
Board Member Rob Eley was the sole member to vote against the change, citing his views on tradition.
“Tradition in Prince George High School is to have a convocation on Sunday,” Eley said.
Nelson said the change will not affect the baccalaureate service, as that is a separate activity not sponsored by the school.