13 years of hard work will come to fruition for nearly 1,000 high school seniors starting Thursday with graduation ceremonies from Missoula to Seeley Lake.

MCPS Communications Director Hatton Littman said the first to hold graduation ceremonies will be the Willard Alternative High School Program on Thursday evening, June 1.

"Following Willard, will the the three Missoula urban high schools with their ceremonies at the Adams Center on the University of Montana campus," Littman said. "Then, on Sunday, the Seeley Swan High School will have their ceremony in their new theater."

Littman said there will be roughly 200 graduates for each of the urban high schools, Hellgate, Sentinel and Big Sky, and then significantly less for the Willard Alternative Program and Seeley Swan High School.

"In total, we have 814 graduates this year," she said. "Our Graduation Matters initiative has been going strong for several years now, but we don't actually get our graduation rate and dropout rate affirmed from the state until next fall, because those rates are impacted by students who may be completing their course work during the summer, but I am proud to say that we are always able to maintain very low dropout rates and very high graduation rates. In fact, we lead the state in both areas."

Littman reminds parents, family members and friends who plan to attend the graduation ceremonies at the Adams Center on Saturday,that the Madison Street Bridge is under construction and to expect delays.

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