Trigg County School Superintendent Tim McGinnis originally wanted the graduation ceremony to be held on Friday, May 29, two school days before the last day of school on Tuesday, June 2, but his request for waiver to allow that was denied by state officials, he said.
The reasons for denying the waiver application, McGinnis said, include the fact that his request didn’t mention any difficulty in with scheduling the graduation ceremony, given that it will be held in the gym.
McGinnis told the board that when he spoke to seniors on Friday, March 20, most of 110 that voted would have preferred to have the graduation ceremony on May 29 had that been an option. If the May 29 option was taken out, a majority of the seniors polled preferred June 5 over June 2, the superintendent said.
“There is no perfect date,” McGinnis said. “But most schools try it have it on Fridays.”
Trigg County School Board Members Jo Alyce Harper and Sheila Martin said that since students and their parents took some time to answer McGinnis’s questions, it wouldn’t be right to ignore what they have to say.
In a previous interview, McGinnis said he was considering adding an additional 30 minutes to school days so that the last day of school would be on May 29, but has now said that is no longer an option.
According to the superintendent, the turnaround time for approval from the Kentucky Department of Education would be a challenge, since the vendor that is printing graduation invitations needs a date set by April 1. He added that 30 extra minutes would have been disruptive for everyone involved, as they would have had to add 30 minutes to about 18 – 24 school days.
McGinnis also discussed the General Assembly bill that dismantles the CATS test over the next three years, a bill that Governor Steve Beshear signed into law earlier on the day of the school board meeting.
The superintendent reiterated his concern that in the absence of state accountability for CATS exams, the sole source of state accountability, according to McGinnis, will be No Child Left Behind, which he said is more flawed than CATS.
The GRADE and GMADE diagnostic exams likely won’t be affected by the dismantling of the CATS exam, although the ThinkLink exams probably will be, McGinnis said.
McGinnis also said that refinancing the school system’s bonds with Ross, Sinclaire and Associates will result in the school system saving more than $300,000 over the next 10 years.
In other actions, the board also approved the issuance of a check for almost $28,000.
Absent from the meeting were Trigg County School Board Members Joan Terrell and Sharon Simmons.