West Hartford Public Schools has announced the graduation date for the Class of 2022.
By Ronni Newton
West Hartford’s Conard and Hall high schools will both hold commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2022 on Tuesday, June 14, Superintendent Tom Moore said Tuesday night, a decision approved unanimously by the Board of Education.
In past years, the date for graduation was not announced until April 1 to ensure that all snow days were taken into consideration, but Moore said that the state has changed the law to allow the date to be set earlier, and once it’s set graduation does not need to be pushed off if there are additional snow days.
In 2021 the date was set in February, but this year’s early announcement will allow even more time for advance planning.
The last day of school for the current academic year is Monday, June 13, 2022, so setting graduation for June 14 is technically the day after the last day of school, Moore said.
Graduation in West Hartford is typically held on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Moore said the previous Thursday, June 9, was considered, but since at least some snow days are likely, both high school principals recommended against it due to the need to set up for safe grad in advance and possibly have seating for graduation set up on the fields when sports may still be competing.
“We felt like the 14th would be the best date to plan for and it also gives us the opportunity for a rain date on the 15th,” Moore said. In 2021 a rain date was first set, and the administration felt that was better than automatically moving graduation to the gym. If it rains on June 15, at that point graduation would be moved indoors, Moore said.
“Now this is unprecedented, we’ve never had it going out this far,” Board member Mark Zydanowciz said. He asked what the impact would be of something like the October 2011 storm resulting in a week of canceled classes, and Moore said that would not impact the seniors.
In future years the Board will likely set the high school graduation date at its second meeting, Moore said, giving families plenty of time to plan.