BROOKSVILLE — The families of the Class of 2010 at Hernando and Springstead high schools might have their out-of-town guests around for a few more days come graduation time.
Each school will have at least one day between its scheduled graduation date and its rain date, which means that traveling friends and family members intent on being here to see a senior grab a diploma will need to plan for an extended stay.
Hernando's graduation is set for Saturday, June 5, with the rain date on Monday, June 7. Springstead's big day is Friday, June 11, with the makeup day on Monday, June 14.
School officials have typically set rain dates for the morning after. Nature Coast Technical High, with its ceremony slated for Wednesday, June 9, and Central High, which chose Thursday, June 10, will both follow that model.
All ceremonies are set to start at 7:30 p.m., or at 10 a.m. on the rain date. The School Board approved the dates without discussion at its regular meeting last week.
Graduation ceremonies have historically been held within a window stretching from about five days before to five days after the last day of school. That day is June 10 next year.
The district asks the principals for their preferred dates and it wants to have each graduation on a different day.
Hernando High assistant principal Mary Krabel said that by the time she put in her request, Springstead and Central had already picked their dates. So Krabel went with the first Saturday in June and chose to schedule the rain date for the following Monday.
"Sunday is church day for people," Krabel said. "We didn't want to interfere with that."
Springstead principal Susan Duval chose not to schedule the rain date on the following day — a Saturday — out of consideration for the teachers who will help prepare for the ceremony.
"That's calling teachers back in on a weekend," Duval said. "They've extended themselves above and beyond. It takes a huge number of teachers to make this happen."
Krabel and Duval acknowledged that scheduling the rain dates for two and three days later is not ideal. "Absolutely, somebody's going to complain," Krabel said. But she noted, "They've got a year to plan."
Seniors and their families are notified about the dates early in the school year, Duval said.
School Board member Pat Fagan said he trusted the principals to make good suggestions: "They know what's best."
The county's high schools, all four of which now hold ceremonies outdoors, have been lucky. None have had to resort to a rain date in recent years, though they have been forced to delay or abbreviate ceremonies because of inclement weather.
Tony Marrero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1431.