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Twin Cities graduations could coordinate

Minor schedule changes would avoid conflicts

STERLING – The Sterling and Rock Falls high school graduation ceremonies could move to accommodate those who have students at both schools.

Sterling High School could have its graduation at 1 p.m. May 26, while Rock Falls could have its graduation at 3 p.m. the same day.

Both districts received some criticism after out-of-town relatives and others were forced to choose between ceremonies, which last year were held at the same time on the same day.

Sterling High School Principal Jason Austin has surveyed parents, staff and others. He presented his findings and recommendations at the Policy and Community Relations Committee meeting Thursday.

Sterling has held its graduation at 2 p.m. the Sunday before Memorial Day for more than 10 years, he wrote in a memo. Rock Falls previously held its graduation at a different time but changed it a few years ago, he wrote.

People “overwhelmingly” want the Sterling graduation ceremony to remain on the same day, he wrote, but they are not as concerned about the time, as long as the ceremony is held in the afternoon.

Austin recommended graduation remain at 2 p.m. the Sunday before Memorial Day, but added that Sterling would move its ceremony to 1 p.m. if Rock Falls would move its ceremony to 3 p.m.

Both schools’ ceremonies are a little longer than 1 hour; ceremonies at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. would allow people to attend both and still host or attend graduation celebrations, many of which start in the late afternoon or early evening, Superintendent Tad Everett said.

Sterling likely would not move its graduation if Rock Falls decides not to move its graduation; an hour between the two ceremonies would not alleviate the problem, Everett said.

The Rock Falls School Board will discuss the matter at its meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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