No formal kindergarten or fifth grade graduations in Cranston schools
By Alana Cerrone
Chandra Stys and Allison Mayer both have kindergarteners at Eden Park in Cranston.
They say their kids have been looking forward to their graduation all year.
"You get to walk across the stage you get to wear a little cap and gown maybe!"
But that's not happening. When Stys reached out to the principal this week to see when graduation is, she found out it was cancelled.
She got an email from the administration citing four reasons for the change – students were missing instructional time practicing for the ceremony, fire code wouldn't allow extended family to attend, they wanted to be sensitive to students who weren't moving up, and they thought graduation should be kept for high school seniors.
"I feel a little bit dismissed...it's really important to me as a kindergarten mom, and to our kids."
A district official tells ABC6 kids were getting dressed up and the graduations were becoming too extravagant, so this year, each school will organize its own end of year celebration instead of a graduation.
At Eden Park, it's a student work showcase, and parents are being asked not to bring siblings.
At the end of the day, Mayer and Stys wish their kids weren't missing out on what they call a rite of passage.
"It’s something that they were so nervous and scared about at the beginning of the year and they finally made it through and they’re moving on to first grade next year…to show them your hard work pays off."
The administration says they made this decision at the beginning of the year but didn't announce it given graduation was so far away. They also say the two parents we spoke to are the only ones who contacted them about this issue, and the only ones they sent that email to. Stys and Mayer say several parents they spoke with were unaware of the graduation change, and aren’t happy with it either.