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NFA changes graduation date

By Claire Bessette

Publication: theday.com

Published March 18. 2013 3:00PM   Updated March 19. 2013 12:02AM

Norwich – With bad weather threatening to again cancel school today, Norwich Free Academy already has made the rare move of shifting graduation one week later to June 21, with the final day of school now scheduled for June 19.

Like other schools in the region, NFA lost several school days to Hurricane Sandy last fall, a blizzard and several more snow days.

Director of Student Affairs John Iovino said he recalls juts one other time years ago when NFA was forced to reschedule graduation day.

The rare move affects more than just current NFA students and Class of 2013 graduates but those who graduated 50 years ago.

Each year, NFA hosts the 50th reunion class during graduation weekend. Participants walk in following the graduates, attend the ceremony and a guest speaker addresses the current graduates.

Head of School David Klein said Monday that he met recently with the NFA Alumni Board to discuss the “required calendar adjustment.” He said the Class of 1963 Reunion Committee decided to keep its original 50th reunion celebration date of June 15, the original graduation date.

Klein said the Class of 1963 still will be “invited and encouraged” to attend the June 21 graduation ceremony as well.

Some senior class events remain on schedule. The senior field trip will be held May 24 at Holidays Hills in Cheshire. The senior class prom will be held as scheduled on June 7, with an overnight party that night sponsored by the NFA Parents’ Council.

Field trips for students in all grades normally end before Memorial Day, but this year teachers will be allowed to extend the time period a little later, Iovino said.

Scheduling changes might not be over yet, Iovino said.
Senior class activities, including Class Night, have yet to be determined, and final exams for all students haven’t been adjusted yet.

“When it’s 65 degrees out, when the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming, then we’ll figure out all that stuff,” Iovino said.

As the City Council honored the state finalist NFA football team Monday night, several seniors called the graduation date change “upsetting,” “annoying” and disruptive to their post-graduation plans.

“I leave for boot camp June 24, so now I only have three days to say goodbye,” said Simon Paulsen, 18, of Norwich. Paulsen, who joined the Army, will report to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

John Crooks, 17, of Norwich, said he was planning to join a buddy, a fellow NFA grad, in a trip to South Carolina for a graduation party with family.

Now that trip is postponed to the end of June or even July, he said.
“We have to be in school for another week for no reason,” Nick Cardelle, 18, of Norwich said.

c.bessette@theday.com

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