The eighth-grade boat party, a long-held tradition that has been a part of the end of middle school for over 35 years, might come to an end after this year. The event is not organized by the school, but due to the fact that it involves the whole eighth-grade class, the PCA (Parent Community Association) who organizes it and the school administration will work together to make the decision.
The boat party is a celebration that commences after the eighth-grade promotion ceremony and is planned and chaperoned by eighth-grade parents. The boat party has always proven to be a fun and exciting send off from middle school. However, renting out a boat, arranging catering, and hiring a DJ is expensive, with this year’s cost for the boat party coming to £75 per student. Some parents have voiced concerns about the cost for this ASL tradition.
A family can request financial consideration from Mr. Ken Craig, the Associate Dean of Admissions. The financial aid then comes from the PCA who has agreed to pay for any eligible student. Ken Craig will inform the PCA organizers of the party if there is someone who needs financial aid and they work together to get the money for the student to attend the party. It is all confidential, and the PCA doesn’t know specific information on who specifically is requesting financial aid.
“The boat party’s costs keep increasing,” said Mrs. Jennifer Sheehan, an organizer for the boat party who is a part of the PCA, “and we want to offer something to all grade eight students that is oriented towards everyone having fun together.”
There has not been a decision made yet, and as of now there is no timeline for making that decision. The PCA and Middle School Principal Mr. Peter Lutkoski are working to come up with ideas that can be all inclusive and fun for the rising high schoolers. The next eighth-grade class won’t be leaving middle school for over a year’s time, so there is still time for a decision to be made. “If we were to cancel [the boat party] for next year, we would have a pretty good idea of what we’re going to do for the students instead of it,” Mr. Lutkoski said.