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Graduations Slated, Etiquette Encouraged
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The pomp and circumstance of graduation is just around the corner as schools in the Oakdale Joint Unified School District host a series of commencement ceremonies next week. School administrators have provided information and instructions for families and friends of graduates, as well as the graduates themselves, who attend these community events.

Alternative Education and Charter High School graduation will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23 at the Oakdale High School main gym. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Alternative Education Principal Dennis Hitch reported that Alt Ed graduation includes East Stanislaus High School with 34 graduates, Valley Oak Junior and Senior High School with 43 graduates, and Oakdale Charter High School with 28 graduates. It is asked that there be no noise making appliances. Also, latex balloons are not to be brought into the gym due to latex allergies.

Oakdale Junior High School graduation will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 24 at the OHS stadium. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. There are about 330 students graduating from eighth grade. Seating will be on a first come, first served basis and saving seats is discouraged. Principal John Simons wants to remind friends and families of graduates to remember to treat the ceremony respectfully as this is a family event. He stated that there should be no noise makers, inflatables, balloons or umbrellas brought into the stadium. However, umbrellas are allowed if it’s raining, Simons said, as the event happens rain or shine. Also, no food or drink is allowed on the field or track after the ceremony.

Oakdale High School graduation will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 25, also at the OHS stadium. Gates will open at 6 p.m. There are currently 349 students in the graduating class. Seats will be on a first come, first served basis and saving of seats is not allowed. There is handicapped seating in each area but more will be available on the track if needed.

New this year, a Graduation Etiquette handout will be inside each program to remind attendees that graduation is a special event in a student’s life.

“…We want it to be a dignified graduation ceremony which reflects pride, respect, and appreciation for each graduate,” said OHS Vice Principal Diana Crofts.

She added that students are expected to demonstrate appropriate behavior during the ceremonies. If students cause a disruption, they will be removed from the graduation ceremony. Crofts was specific that there are to be no inflatables in the stadium. Students who bring, provide to others, or leave their seats to throw an inflatable of any kind will be removed from graduation ceremonies on the spot.

Crofts also gave some pointers on appropriate dress for the special occasion.

“Students are expected to be dressed (appropriately) in order to promote a dignified community celebration,” she said.

“Boys should be in button-up shirt with or without tie, full length pants. Girls should be in nice dress slacks, pantsuit, or dress. Shoes are required of all graduates. All graduates must wear the school approved cap and gown for the entirety of the ceremony.”

As a side note, the number of graduates listed above may or may not fluctuate slightly as final grades come in near the end of this week.