The sign at the entrance to Mashwood High School in South Berwick. Credit: Google Maps

South Berwick, Maine — A possible change to the district-sanctioned Project Graduation event highlighted Wednesday’s School Administrative District 35 board meeting.

The change concerns the departure of students after Project Graduation festivities. The project is an annual Marshwood tradition in which high school seniors, following their graduation ceremony, enjoy safe activities throughout the evening. This past year, a senior, exhausted from the activities, was injured while driving home around sunrise. Seeking to avoid similar accidents, the board discussed possible options.

Several board members favored a mandate requiring parents to pick up their students at the conclusion of the project’s events. Another suggestion was to require graduating seniors to sign up for a shuttle bus that would drop them off at home.

“Perhaps they could sign up for the bus or have their parents pick them up or they wouldn’t be able to leave,” said board member Paul Stanley.

Another possibility was to have Project Graduation conclude earlier such as 1 a.m. rather than 5 or 6 a.m.

“But if they leave at 1 a.m., there is the concern that students will seek out other things to do that evening,” said SAD 35 Chairwoman Kerri Tice.

As a first step, the board agreed to student representative Will Hausmann’s suggestion that a survey be distributed to seniors asking if they would like the project to end at 1 a.m. or continue throughout the night.

The board will also share its ideas with the Project Graduation committee.

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