How did Grad Nite get started at Poway High?

In 1989, a group of Poway High parents organized the first Grad Nite on campus. Previously, the graduating seniors were bussed to Disneyland, but it didn't offer the promise of a safe, drug and alcohol free event, nor the ability for the graduates to spend their last high school memories together as a group. Since then, each year PHS has held Grad Nite on campus or at a smaller venue to allow Poway High seniors to celebrate together. It is our gift to the senior class from the parents, the school, and our community and an important tradition for our school. Typically, 85% of the seniors attend Grad Nite.  A lot of effort is made to make it the biggest party of the year; one they don't want to miss!

Why have Grad Nite?

Grad Nite offers graduates a safe place to celebrate with their friends before they go their separate ways with no drugs, no alcohol, and no tragedy. The California Highway Patrol reports this night, more than any other night of the school year, attributes to more deaths and injuries of high school students from drunk driving. Since Grad Nites have become popular, there has been a significant decline in the death toll during the weeks of graduation.

What does the event cost?

In recent years since the Grad Nite celebration moved off-campus, we have worked within a budget of $50,000.  In light of the recent economy and inflation, we are looking at a increase to $55,000 this year.  More than 80% of the funds are raised through ticket sales, but the rest of the budget is made up from fundraising and donations from the community businesses and parents. Of this budget, 55% is Entertainment, Venue and Security, 20% is Transportation to/from the event, 10% is Food/Beverage, 5% is T-shirts, 5% on prizes, 5% on Administrative expenses. Our goal is to have every graduate attend. We offer scholarships to those who cannot attend otherwise. We are a non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.

Who organizes and creates Grad Nite?

Grad Nite is a PTSA sponsored event and is supported by PHS Administration and Staff, community businesses and the City of Poway. The Grad Nite Chair is an appointed committee chairman on the PTSA Executive Board and its sub-committee chairmen are chosen from volunteers who have expressed interest during Registration each year in August. Planning an event this size requires many volunteer hours - but when broken down into sub-committees, it is not only manageable, but fun as well. Working on a committee gives parents a chance to get to know other parents and it’s a great bonding experience as we all share in this final event of high school. Parents, please consider joining in the planning of Grad Nite at some level. There are many ways to help.  Please contact the Grad Nite Committee if you'd like to lend a hand!