Education

Wake posts 2019 high school graduation schedule. Plan for downtown Raleigh gridlock.

Raleigh Convention Center hosts Wake County graduates including hundreds from Cary High School

Video: Cary High School commencement at the Raleigh Convention Center on Monday, June 12, 2017.
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Video: Cary High School commencement at the Raleigh Convention Center on Monday, June 12, 2017.

Around 11,000 Wake County high school seniors and their families can now plan for graduation ceremonies, and downtown Raleigh workers can plan for gridlock traffic in June.

The Wake County school system posted Monday the schedule of high school graduations (http://www.wcpss.net/graduation) for the Class of 2019 that will take place in Raleigh in May and June. One major change this year is no graduations will be held on Sundays in favor of an additional weekday of ceremonies, which could make downtown Raleigh traffic even more of a challenge.

Graduation season each year brings traffic issues as ceremony attendees compete for parking space with area workers and other events taking place around downtown Raleigh.

The first group of graduations, for Wake’s early colleges and Southeast Raleigh High School, will be held in late May.

But the bulk of Wake’s graduations will take place June 10-15, when 25 graduations will be held over six days with most ceremonies taking place at the Raleigh Convention Center at 500 S. Salisbury St.

Over the past few years, Wake has expanded the number of weekdays used for graduations.

In 2016, Wake used three weekdays in June. Wake used four weekdays the past two years.

Next June, Wake will hold graduation ceremonies on five straight weekdays.

Some graduating Wake County high school seniors visited their former teachers to thank them for the influence they had on their lives.

One reason for the expanded use of weekdays, aside from Wake adding more high schools, is that the district has stopped using Sundays. Wake used to hold as many as four Sunday graduation ceremonies.

But several local pastors complained last year that some families were forced to choose between attending their child’s graduation and attending church on Sunday. This resulted in school leaders saying they’d see what changes they could make, scaling it back to two Sunday ceremonies this year and now none next year.

The Rev. William Newkirk of the Raleigh Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance says it's insensitive to families to schedule high school graduations on Sunday mornings.

Here’s Wake’s high school graduation schedule:

Tuesday, May 21

Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy and Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Meymandi Hall, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, May 22

Vernon Malone College and Career Academy, Meymandi Hall, 2 p.m.

North Wake College and Career Academy, Meymandi Hall, 5 p.m.

Wake Early College of Health and Sciences, Meymandi Hall, 8 p.m.

Friday, May 24

Wake STEM Early College, NC State’s Witherspoon Center, 10 a.m.

Southeast Raleigh High, Memorial Auditorium, 4 p.m.

Monday, June 10

Sanderson High, Raleigh Convention Center, 4 p.m.

Garner High, Raleigh Convention Center, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, June 11

Broughton High, Holliday Gym, 2 p.m.

Middle Creek High, Raleigh Convention Center, 4 p.m.

Phillips High, Location not listed, 6 p.m.

Holly Springs High, Raleigh Convention Center, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, June 12

Apex High, Raleigh Convention Center, 8 a.m.

Cary High, Raleigh Convention Center, 12 p.m.

SCORE Academy, Peace University’s Kenan Auditorium, 2 p.m.

Panther Creek High, Raleigh Convention Center, 4 p.m.

Crossroads FLEX, Peace University’s Kenan Auditorium, 6 p.m.

Athens Drive High, Raleigh Convention Center, 8 p.m.

Thursday, June 13

Knightdale High, Raleigh Convention Center, 8 a.m.

Heritage High, Raleigh Convention Center, 12 p.m.

Leesville Road High, Raleigh Convention Center, 4 p.m.

Longview School, Enloe High School auditorium, 6 p.m.

Millbrook High, Raleigh Convention Center, 8 p.m.

Friday, June 14

Rolesville High, Raleigh Convention Center, 8 a.m.

Wake Forest High, Raleigh Convention Center, 12 p.m.

Green Hope High, Raleigh Convention Center, 4 p.m.

Enloe High, Raleigh Convention Center, 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 15

Wakefield High, Raleigh Convention Center, 8 a,m..

Apex Friendship High, Raleigh Convention Center, 12 p.m.

Fuquay-Varina High, Raleigh Convention Center, 4 p.m.

East Wake High, Raleigh Convention Center, 8 p.m.

T. Keung Hui: 919-829-4534, @nckhui
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