Schools need to plan ahead for graduation

As I read the sad, sad stories of Altoona Area High School’s recent graduation, I’m thinking none of the writers were part of Hollidaysburg Area High School’s graduation, class of 2001.

It has been an age-old practice of school districts to move graduation ceremonies indoors with the chance of rain. Tickets to the ceremonies are then limited.

Yes, in times past, Altoona had used the Jaffa Mosque (now Jaffa Shrine Center). Everybody would fit in there.

Thank goodness we didn’t utilize much social media back in 2001. The day of Hollidaysburg’s graduation was cloudy and drizzly.

Altoona and Hollidaysburg were having graduation ceremonies on the same night. That was the No. 1 bad decision. Gram and Pap had to split between our daughter at Hollidaysburg and her cousin at Altoona.

Because of the rain, Hollidaysburg chose the then recently built Blair County Convention Center to host the ceremony. Oh my. My mother, with severe arthritis, had to be shuttled on a school bus to the ceremony.

Even arriving early, my husband and I had to sit far across the room from each other. And imagine the decorum of standing on your chair only to see the tops of our graduates’ heads as they marched into the room. Remember, the room is flat.

We were the lucky parents. Hundreds were crowded into the lobby to watch graduation on small televisions.

It was all bad.

Come on, school districts. Make firm graduation decisions early. In fact, plan on rain. Dollars to donuts, it will rain on our students’ special day.

It is a time for celebrating with family and friends — not grumbling about what could have been.

Anne Shields Seno