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Potter changes promotion to a.m. event


Last updated 5/24/2007 at Noon

Promotion to high school for 515 Potter Junior High School students will take on a new look and purpose on Thursday June 14 when they convene at 8:30 a. m. sharp to be officially promoted to high school.

Just 30 minutes before 400 of them take off to celebrate at Knott’s Berry Farm, a Fallbrook Union High School administrator will welcome them as the incoming freshmen for its Class of 2011.

Several reasons prompted this change from previous years. One was the cost of the ceremony. In the past, expenditures were significant for chair rental, awards and security personnel for the approximate 3,000 to 4,000 people who would come onto the campus for the event, said Denham.

“Typically we spent close to $5,000 for the promotion,” Denham said. “But this year it will be no more than $500.” In prior years, because the event was held in the evening hours, security became an increasing concern.

“We got high school students, kids not on the campus, or others who had issues with students or their families, who would come and threaten kids and teachers,” Denham said.

Because the promotion event has been changed to early morning, students have been instructed to invite no more than two people, and it’s likely other people will be at work or school elsewhere.

The expense of the evening event was great for student, too. Denham says kids typically would dress formally in long dresses, have their hair done; boys would wear suits. This year, students will come dressed for their trip to Knott’s Berry Farm.

An adequate venue for the event this year was also a consideration. Because of the new gymnasium under construction at the school, the promotion will take place in the center quad area, in front of the auditorium. A limited amount of chairs will be available in the upper quad area for parents who choose to attend. The ceremony is scheduled to run only 20 to 30 minutes and will include acknowledgment of three to six students who’ve maintained a 4.0 grade point average from seventh through eighth grade.

The primary reason Denham cites for the breaking from tradition is to change “graduating” from eighth grade, to “promotion” from eighth grade to high school.

Ninety percent of the eighth grade students will move on to Fallbrook Union High School.

“Traditionally, it seemed like a graduation; but we prefer graduating from twelfth grade,” Denham said. “We wanted to change the emphasis to moving on, or going forward, with students anticipating graduation after completing high school, with hopes they will move on once again, to college.”


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