Board to draft policy supporting high school graduation rule | NevadaAppeal.com

Board to draft policy supporting high school graduation rule

by Teri Vance, Appeal Staff Writer

As the end of each school year approaches, controversy swells over who will be allowed to participate in the Carson High School graduation ceremony.

School board members want to erase any ambiguity about the policy.

Trustees plan to draft a policy during Tuesday’s meeting outlining their support of the high school administration.

Traditionally, Principal Glen Adair has not allowed students who do not pass the state-mandated proficiency exam to take part in commencement exercises.

The policy, while commended by many, has drawn much criticism.

Opponents say it denies students who have worked hard to complete all other requirements a common rite of passage.

Barbara Myers, state school board member, spoke out against Carson City’s policy and brought the issue to the Nevada Board of Education in October.

“Graduation is a ritual — a culminating event,” she said. “It’s not for the kids, it’s for the grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles. What does commencement really mean?”

The state board tabled the motion.

Some Nevada school districts allow students who have not passed the exam to walk in graduation ceremonies without receiving a diploma.

However, Adair and his supporters maintain that graduation ceremonies should be reserved for students who have completed course requirements and the proficiency exam.

“Using walking in graduation as an incentive for students to complete all their requirements and to pass the proficiency exam has been beneficial to Carson City,” Trustee John McKenna said. “To remove that incentive is an invitation to mediocrity.”

The first draft of the board’s ruling states the board will support the decision of the high school administration. It stipulates that the administration must inform students of the policy as entering freshmen and reiterate it every year.

IF YOU GO

What: Carson City School Board meeting

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Carson City Community Center, Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.