State Track Finals, School Graduation Date Clash

This year, senior graduation will be on the same day as the State Track and Field Championship meet, as both events have been scheduled for Friday, June 5.
The administration was unaware of the conflict until recently.
“We didn’t know until right now,” Principal Wynne Satterwhite said. “But we can’t change the [date of] the track meet or graduation.”
According to Satterwhite, the original date was changed because the California Interscholastic Federation moved the venue of the meet to Buchanan High School in Clovis and because Buchanan does not have graduation until the week after CCS.
Superintendent Barry Groves was also not aware about the scheduling issue.
“I hope that our athletes are fortunate enough to qualify for the state meet,” Groves said. “[But] we will not change our graduation date.”
The MVLA Board of Education decides the date of graduation two years in advance.
Logistically, moving the date of graduation would also present a great challenge to the administration.
“I would never want to rob a student of [a state track meet] or graduation,” Satterwhite said. “But in order to move the date, we would have to petition, and at this point it’s kind of too late to do that.”
Assistant Commissioner of CCS Steve Filios said that the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) works from a calendar that has been established by the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS), the governing body of all high school sports nationally.
“It is a problem that has been tough to solve since graduations are not on a uniform day, date or time and spread across the calendar in May and June,” Filios said. “Both the CCS and CIF office do our best to avoid conflicts such as graduations, proms, AP tests, college level tests etc., which we know are all very important events in the life of a senior. It is our hope that seniors do not have to make choices. But since there are not uniform dates for the school events of our member schools, students are sometimes challenged with some tough choices.”
As a result, seniors who qualify for the State Championship will have to choose between walking at graduation and running in the meet.
“My thoughts were that graduation [was] important to me as well as track, but I think I’m going to go to my graduation instead because my whole family is coming down here to see me graduate, and my mom wants to see me walk the stage,” senior Ivy Gates said.
However, some athletes, if given the opportunity, would choose the meet over graduation.
“I think that if I had to make the choice I would probably choose to go to the state competition,” senior Scotty Bohrer said. “You receive a diploma either way, regardless of whether you go to the graduation ceremony or not, but there’s never any chance to return and run at state, especially if you’re a senior. I would miss being a part of my graduation, but I think I would miss the experience of competing at the highest level possible more.”