Graduation Commencement Ceremony Decorum and Courtesy
The faculty and staff of the Columbia County School District’s five high schools congratulate the candidates for graduation on their academic achievements and wish to ensure the commencement ceremony will be a fitting conclusion to this phase of their education.
Commencement is a special, significant, and festive occasion. Many family members and friends will come from long distances to witness the memorable ceremony. The faculty, staff, and administrators have planned the program and arrangements with every consideration to make this an impressive and enjoyable event for all candidates and spectators. It is our wish to provide a setting that celebrates this accomplishment with warmth, joy, and satisfaction.
Each ceremony is also marked by dignity and seriousness where the actual conferring of diplomas* signifies the long, hard work on the part of everyone involved: students, parents, faculty, and administrators. As a consequence of the serious nature of the ceremony, students and guests are expected to uphold traditions and maintain a measure of decorum consistent with the occasion.
- Give everyone the opportunity to hear each graduate’s name announced.
- Silence all pagers, cellular telephones, and electronic devices during the entire ceremony.
- Fireworks, beach balls (and the like), cans, confetti, drugs, alcohol are prohibited.
- Noisemakers, e.g., cow bells, air horns, trumpets, etc., are prohibited.
- Behaviors that disrupt the ceremony are prohibited e.g. gestures, dances, flips, and yelling.
- Students are expected to wear with dignity their graduation regalia as traditionally intended. Mortarboards are to be free of adornment; Pins, medals, crests, etc.… are not be affixed to the gown or mortarboard; Only approved Valedictory and Salutatory medals and Honor Graduate academic cords and stoles distributed by the high school may be worn around the neck. (See list approved honor cords and stoles. Post-secondary cords, crests, medals, pins, sashes, or scarves may not be worn.)
- Students are expected to wear appropriate clothing beneath their graduation gown. We SUGGEST that candidates wear professional attire consisting of dark flat shoes, dark pants, or dark dresses/skirts. Casual wear (shorts, flip-flops, hats, visors, sunglasses) is inappropriate.
- Students and guests are expected to refrain from disruptive behavior.
- Students are expected to return to their seats after receiving their diplomas. They should remain seated for the duration of the ceremony until directed otherwise.
- Family members and/or guests are not permitted on the arena floor.
- The Columbia County School District maintains the proud and historic tradition of permitting each diploma candidate to shake hands with the Superintendent, Board Members, and Administrators as his/her name is spoken. The last diploma candidate is as important as the first. As a result, applause and other recognitions of the conferring of diplomas are expected to be limited to a joint effort at the announcement of each graduate, but with respect for the next candidate so that his/her name can be heard.
* The Columbia County School District permits its CCSD certified staff members to present diplomas to their respective children. Participants must wear faculty gowns and academic regalia relevant to their degree(s). If the participant does not work at the student’s high school, he/she must report to and be seated on the stage as directed, rather than process in with the faculty. When the student approaches the podium to receive his/her diploma, the parent will step forward (principal will step back) and present the diploma. The change should be seamless so there is no impact on the timing of the process.
Academic Honor Recognitions
The Columbia County School District wishes to acknowledge the host of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities to which its students participate and excel. In keeping with tradition and guidelines established by the American Council on Education, the Columbia County School District maintains that its pinnacle ceremony highlight only its highest high school academic achievements. Crests, medals, pins, scarves, sashes and other similar items are awarded at separate ceremonies during the school year, generally for competitions, events, or memberships; therefore, they may not be worn during the graduation ceremony. (Similar items presented by post-secondary institutions are, likewise, not permitted.) The Columbia County School District requests that its candidates exhibit appreciation for, graciously adhere to, this tradition. The following list represents the approved academic regalia that may be worn with graduation attire:
Valedictory and Salutatory Medals (worn around the neck)
Academic (School) Honor Roll
- EHS – Black and Gold
- GBHS – Green and Gold
- GTHS – Silver and Blue
- HHS – Red and Black
- LHS – Silver and Burgundy
AP Capstone Diploma- Blue and Black
French Honor Society (Société Honoraire de Français) - Red/White/Blue Cord
German National Honor Society-Delta Epsilon Phi (Deutsche Ehrenverbindung) - Red/Black/Yellow Cord
Governor’s Honors Program - Silver/Blue/Black Cord
International Baccalaureate- Royal Blue
International Thespian Society (theatre) - Blue/Gold
Mu Alpha Theta (mathematics) - Light Blue/Yellow
National Art Honor Society (visual arts) - Multi-Colored Cord
National Beta Club – Gold
National English Honor Society (English language) - Navy/Gold
National Honor Society - White Stole/Light Blue Crest
National Social Studies Honor Society (RHO KAPPA) - Royal Blue/White Cord
National Speech & Debate Association Honor Society (National Forensic League) - Red/Gray Cord
National Technical Honor Society (CTAE) - Silver/Purple Cord
Science National Honor Society - Green/Gold/Purple Cord
Spanish National Honor Society (Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica) - Red/Gold Cord
Tri-M Music Honor Society - Pink Cord