Greetings 8th grade parents,--
I understand that some 8th grade parents may have some questions/concerns with the end of the year schedule for 8th grade. We have made a couple of changes for this year and I can explain why we made these changes as a great deal of thought went into it. Overall, we are trying to align our end of year 8th grade activities around "graduation" more closely with what the other PK-8 schools are doing in Maple Run and we are being sensitive not to conflict with BFA end of year events.
No caps and gowns:
1) We have had numerous complaints over the years that this is expensive for families. We are trying to be sensitive to this issue.
2) Students have complained that the caps and gowns are very uncomfortable as it is often warm in the gym during graduation. Students get warm and remove their gowns immediately, sometimes throwing them away.
3) Since we are now one school district, Maple Run, (SATEC is no longer a stand alone school district) we did not think it would be appropriate to have caps and gowns as this ceremony is more of a celebration than a graduation from one school to another. This is more like students moving from 6th to 7th or one building to another.
4) SACS does not have students wear caps and gowns and as the other large building in Maple Run moving kids to BFA we are trying to align our practices. (Not 100% sure where Fairfield will land, but they may move in this direction this year or in the future).
Dance same night as graduation ():
1) Since the dance is a celebration of completing 8th grade it made more sense to have it right after graduation.
2) The other PK-8 schools are planning to have their dance right after graduation so we are trying to align to what the other schools are doing.
3) Due to us being one school district it is very important that the PK-8 schools do not schedule end of the year events the same night as BFA events. This does limit us with dates at the end of the year.
4) There have been complaints in the past from parents that having a dance and graduation on different nights was expensive (i.e. special dresses, outfits needed for different events, girls getting their hair done, etc.). Making everything on one night will help reduce these extra expenses for families and reduce the pressure of outdoing one another by having limos bring kids to the dance, for example.
In terms of the events being on a weekend, it has not been our practice to schedule all 8th grade events on a weekend (i.e.). For example, in the last two years (2016 and 2017) the graduation dance has been on a and a and graduation has been on a and a .
I understand that for parents who have had older siblings move on to BFA that this is a change; however we are all embracing the changes that being part of one school district means. These modifications do not take away two of the important pieces we have always had for 8th graders (a graduation ceremony and a 7/8 dance to celebrate). These will both still be formal and special occasions for our students.
I hope that parents can understand the rationale for the changes and help put their energy into makinga special night for our 8th graders.