West Hartford Public Schools has announced the graduation date for the Class of 2024.
By Ronni Newton
West Hartford’s Conard and Hall high schools will both hold commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2024 on Monday, June 10, 2024, Superintendent Paul Vicinus said Tuesday night, a decision approved unanimously by the Board of Education.
The date of June 11 had been proposed at the Board’s Oct. 17 meeting, but a vote on that date was tabled when Republican member Gayle Harris advised that the Jewish holiday Shavuot begins at sunset on June 11, 2024, and having graduation on that date would impact some students’ ability to attend the all-night safe grad parties following commencement. The holiday is celebrated through sunset on June 13, 2024, according to chabad.org.
Democrat Ari Steinberg thanked Harris for pointing out the date of the holiday at the last meeting. “We wouldn’t want to have students miss out on the celebratory part of graduation,” Steinberg said.
In past years, the date for graduation was not announced until April 1 to ensure that all snow days were taken into consideration, but the state changed the law several years ago 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 2022 and 2023 the graduation date was set in the fall, allowing time for advance planning students and their families. Plans are to continue to announce graduation at that date in future years.
The Board of Education on Oct. 17 approved closing school on April 2, 2024, the date of Connecticut’s presidential primary. Seven of the town’s schools serve as polling places, “and there is a definitive need for the public to come in and exercise their right to vote,” Vicinus noted at that meeting. The last day of school for the current academic year is now set for Tuesday, June 11, 2024.
If there are snow days, the last day of school will be extended, but graduation will not change. Senior exams are typically held earlier than exams for underclassmen, and many seniors are not required to take final exams.