Senior Update: (04-07-2019)
Hello senior students and parents. As shared in our prior communication, we are slowly moving towards the final days at UCHS. This senior class, the Class of 2019, is proving to be the best class I have had as principal. We still have 5 weeks left and so I need all seniors to keep positive and finish strong.
I am also calling to share some background information as why we are charging for extra graduation tickets. This is after we give four free tickets to each graduating senior. Each year the school budget gets tighter and tighter. When the SSGT did an analysis of the cost to conduct graduation at UCHS, they learned the price tag is around $13,000.
What does $13,000 pay for?
1. Cap and Gown rental costs ($8,300) Free for students but the school has to pay for them.
2. Sound rental system ($1,200)
3. White rental graduation chairs ($800)
4. Golf Chart rentals to shuttle handicap needs to and from stadium ($1,000)
5. Security ($1,000)
6. Printing Programs ($1,000)
The reality is that the district gives the school $7,800 to conduct it's graduation. This is $5,500 less than what it costs to have our annual graduation. I asked the other high school principals how they are making up for this difference in what they get from the district and many shared they charge for their extra graduation tickets. They shared they give out around 4 tickets for free and charge for anything above this number. They indicated they charge anywhere between $5 to $10 dollars for each extra ticket.
In April,, the SSGT made a decision to give 4 free tickets to our senior families and charge $5 for each extra ticket and $2 for free and reduced lunch students.
This probably too much information but it's also noteworthy to know that around half of the seniors earn Academic Distinction Honors at UCHS. This distinction is earned by students who have an accumulated GPA of 3.5 or higher. The school gives students earning this recognition an Honors (white) cord. Because we need around 200 plus cords and the cost is around $1500. This is on top of the cost of $13,000 we pay for graduation.
The bottom line is that unless the school receives additional funding for graduation, we are stuck charging for extra tickets. Or we need to change how we do graduation at UCHS. We know this is a change in policy from prior years, however, the school and SSGT felt it necessary to help meet the school’s financial obligation.
Thank you for taking this call, but I wanted to make sure all knew why we had to make a change. Regards, Mr. O.