Schreiber High School officials announced last month a change to the long-standing tradition of scheduling the annual graduation ceremony and Gambol on the same day.
School officials said in a letter to parents on Dec. 14 that the 2014 graduation ceremony has been moved from Friday, June 27 to Thursday, June 26 at 5:30 p.m.
"We believe that this move will allow families to spend more time together after the ceremony and give students a full day on Friday to prepare for the excitement of the Gambol," said Schrieber Principal Ira Pernick in the letter.
The move was made because over the past few years officials have become increasingly concerned with the stress placed on students and their families on graduation and Gambol day, according to the letter.
"After speaking with parents about the overall lack of time they have to celebrate their child’s graduation to listening to students talk about their own maddening schedule before Gambol, it became clear that we need to do something to provide a small measure of relief," said Pernick.
The Gambol, which normally occurs on graduation day, first took place at Schrieber High School in 1952. Supported by fundraising events and donations from parents of Schreiber seniors as well as local businesses and residents, the event has been a rite of passage for high school seniors in Port Washington for more than 60 years.
School officials said the decision was made after consultation with the board of education, district administration, Schreiber HSA, Port Washington Police District and Port Washington Fire Department.
"In having spoken to both students and parents there did not seem to be much discussion about it," said one parent to Patch regarding the change.
Pernick said he was confident that the new 5:30 p.m. graduation start time will help avoid intense and sometimes dangerous heat of a mid-morning graduation.
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