Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the SSGP?
A: The Shakopee Senior Graduation Party is a traditional all-night LOCK IN event that takes place after the commencement ceremony to provide a fun and safe environment for new Shakopee graduates to celebrate with their classmates. This event is planned by amazing parents from the senior, junior, sophomore, and freshmen classes. As part of the tradition, and for security, students MUST board the buses right after the graduation ceremony to be transported to the event. For your child's safety, PARENTS MUST PICK UP YOUR STUDENT at the West Junior High early Sunday morning. No student should drive home after being up all night.
Q: Who is invited to the party?
A: All students receiving Shakopee High School Diplomas...The party is for all students who receive a Shakopee High School diploma this year from Shakopee Senior High or Tokata Learning Center. If you are questioning if you can attend, please email and ask.
Q: Who should attend the parent meetings?
A: All grade level Shakopee parents...Each party builds on the next. Underclassman parents are encouraged to attend meetings to begin learning how to build the party for their year.
Q: How do I become an SSGP member?
A: Easy...Go to our website at shakopeeseniorgraduationparty.com and click the "HOW TO HELP" page. Click on the Membership slide and then click the sign-up button to Create an Account. Once you are a member, you will receive all SSGP emails.
Q: What happens at the monthly parent meetings?
A: Please note: Students are not allowed at the meetings.
Brainstorming and Teamwork...The meetings are for parents to brainstorm and work together as a team to make sure our seniors have a memorable fun and safe party. The meetings are lead by the current Chair along with other committee chairs. We work collaboratively to ensure the Seniors of Shakopee have a fun and safe way to celebrate their graduation with all of their classmates together for one last time.
In the early months (Aug - Dec), the discussions are about fundraising, building a budget, deciding on a theme, etc. The later months (Jan - May) are determining the details (t-shirts, prizes, raffles, casino, bingo, bussing, food. etc ) to the party. Each month there are updates from the various Chairpersons, followed by a discussion as needed.
Q: Why did the party move to The Big Thrill Factory?
A: The decline in volunteers and increase class sizes...
The biggest reason for our move to BTF is declining volunteer numbers. Every year, we have fewer and fewer parents that are willing to step up. In 2017, we were short so many volunteers it legitimately created multiple security concerns. The kids were never aware and nothing happened, but frankly, it was really concerning for the Board and many of the volunteers that had large roles in the party.
Also, moving to BTF means we have less decorating to create. Every year we would design and paint cardboard cutouts that went along with the theme and this was hundreds of hours of volunteer time throughout the year, plus finding a place store the cardboard, paints, and supplies.
The Board and other SSGP members had been discussing moving off-site for a few years due to declining volunteers. We have been to multiple venues in the area and BTF not only offered the most activity options for the seniors, it was also the most cost-effective when it came to the whole package (activities, food, etc.). Also, as the classes grow/or a larger percentage of students attend, BTF is able to accommodate our larger class size.
The seniors were surveyed about the party and what activities they would want at their party. The majority of the class wanted to move off-site and they also wanted many of the activities BTF offers, like laser tag, which made it the most cost-effective choice.
Q: Were other venues considered?
A: Yes...The Board and other SSGP members toured multiple venues (Bowlero, Dakotah! Sport and Fitness) in the area. BTF is the most cost-effective and has the capacity for our large class size.
Q: Can you explain the cost of the students?
The $70 cost ($100 after Early Bird Registration) is inclusive...after the grad ceremony, the graduates will load the buses and everything else is taken care of for the entire night.
The cost includes food, beverages, BTF, entertainment, prizes, raffles, bussing to BTF, and back to West Junior High, insurance, website, etc.
The board researched a few years ago, before we moved to Big Thrill, and found that we are on the low end for many comparable district parties in the area. The price did not change moving to Big Thrill. Grads in 2018 paid the same as the grads from 2017 when the party was held at the West Junior High.
Q: I have a 9th (or 10th or 11th) grader. Does this benefit me?
A: Yes...Underclassmen parents need to realize too in regards to fundraising benefiting their party is that these fundraisers also help pay for a website, SignUpGenius, and other fees that are annual. So yes it benefits their parties.
Q: Are there opportunities for students to get a discounted rate?
The Early Bird Registration Discount saves most students $30. We have held steady at $70 (or within about $5) for almost a decade.
We are always willing to entertain new ideas for fundraising.
We try to not have the seniors “work” at their own party. They have a lot going on their Senior year and this is a fun event that is put together for them. We feel this is a special memory for the seniors and we would encourage it to stay that way. They were surveyed at the end of 2017 and moving off-site was favorable.
The seniors may connect with their high school counselor if there are financial needs. The school contacts SSGP. We may have gracious donors who have specifically donated for seniors-in-need.
Q: How do I sign up to volunteer?
A: Easy...Go to the "How to Help" page on our website. Click on the Volunteer steps.
First, fill out the Volunteer Waiver Form. Link on the volunteer page.
Then click the link to Sign Up Genius. We will post all our volunteer opportunities on Sign Up Genius. You may sign up for as many as you would like. In fact, get family and friends to join you - it will be a fun time.
Q: How do I sign up to volunteer for the Graduation party?
A: We typically post the graduation party sign up on Sign Up Genius by mid-March, possibly sooner. 2020 has been a different story, however, the 2020 Volunteer Sign Up is Now Open.
Q: How do I register my student for the party?
A: We typically open registration on our website usually by February. However, 2020 has been a different story. No Registration needed for the 2020 Senior Celebration Event.
Q: Is SSGP on social media?
A: Yes...like us on Facebook and Instagram. The links are on the menu bar on this site. If anyone has more ideas on how to get the word out to more people or fundraising ideas, we are definitely open to new suggestions.
Q: When the party first began over 30 years ago, there was almost 100% participation by the graduates. Why is it about 60% today?
A: In the early years of the party, the average class size was 200 students. The only option was the party and all seniors attended. Today with over 600 students, there are different scenarios for each student and we advertise as much as we can in order for all students to attend. It is the student’s choice to attend.
Q: How do I modify or unsubscribe from SSGP communication?
A: Login to your account to change settings
Q: If my child has a disability or has a special diet or other circumstances, what do I need to do?
A: All Shakopee seniors - with and without disabilities - receiving a diploma can attend the party. We want everyone to attend — please let us know if you have dietary restrictions or require other special accommodations to attend! We will do our best to meet those needs. Please Contact Us below or email to inform us.