Oak Park Unified School District
Oak Park High School
Important Information 2013
Graduation is fast approaching and plans are progressing smoothly in preparation for an outstanding evening on Thursday, June 13. Students and staff are actively planning for the ceremony that will be the culmination of the last four years of their public secondary education. I know that parents are also eagerly planning for this night and will feel a great sense of pride as you attend Oak Park High School’s 31st commencement ceremony. I have attempted to anticipate all of the questions that you might have and trust that the following information will help you in preparation for the final month of school.
· Toddler/Baby Pictures – Baby pictures are due to the office by Thursday, May 9. Please get these in on time so that we are able to put together a meaningful slide presentation at graduation. Traditionally, a slide show showing baby pictures of our seniors is a part of the graduation ceremony and this is a fun part of the evening. Pictures will be returned with your diplomas the day after graduation. If you have not had a senior portrait taken, you may not have a baby picture in the slide show.
· Graduation Participant Agreement/Contract – Oak Park High School has established a tradition of having an outstanding graduation ceremony. The school and community are proud of our graduating classes and their recognition of the importance of a ceremony reflecting appropriate behavior. I know the Class of 2013 will continue this tradition. All seniors and parents/guardians of seniors have previously signed a senior contract indicating that they will abide by the reasonable guidelines established for the senior activities including the graduation ceremony. For example, consequences for seniors who fail to maintain adequate grades and progress toward graduation may include: removal from all senior activities including Grad Night and the graduation ceremony. Each senior was asked to keep a copy of the contract for future reference. Part of the expectation is that seniors will have a satisfactory attendance record throughout the remainder of the school year. The contract is available for review on our web site.
· Graduation Contract Details –Graduation Announcements - Announcements purchased from Herff Jones earlier in the year will be distributed Friday, May 17 during Senior “Must-Do Day”. Seniors that have failed to pre-order announcements may still purchase individual announcements from the Herff Jones representative at this time. However, name card inserts for the announcements would need to be printed by a local printer.
· Tickets to Graduation Ceremony – Due to the increased cost of staging our graduation ceremony, $10.00 will be charged for ticket requests in excess of two. Two complimentary tickets will be provided to each senior at the cap and gown distribution on Friday, May 17 at Senior “Must-Do Day”. Additional graduation tickets may be purchased at the Student Store for $10 each beginning Thursday, May 23. Quantities are limited and will be sold on a 1st come/1st served basis. Only seniors with ID cards and adults will be able to purchase tickets. Guests must have a ticket to be admitted to the stadium for graduation. Younger high school students, middle school students and elementary children will not be admitted unless ticketed and accompanied by an adult.
· Senior Awards Night – Senior awards evening for Oak Park High School seniors will be held on Thursday, May, 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the Pavilion. Seniors, parents and guests are invited to this special night when our seniors are recognized for their academic achievements and scholarships. We depend upon parents and students to provide information to us about scholarships or academic recognitions that may not be sent through the schools. Please contact Jean Hawkins with information about a scholarship that we may not be aware of so that we can properly recognize all students. The event has been streamlined in order to more effectively honor our seniors. We look forward to seeing you and your senior for this special evening.
· Caps and Gowns – You should already have ordered these through Herff Jones. Caps and gowns will be distributed on Friday, May 17 at the Senior “Must-Do Day”. You will be given the cap and must rent the gown. Only the cap and tassel are for students to keep after the ceremony. The gown that you rent must be returned. Please check the gown when you receive it to ensure that there are no problems and that your cap fits. Often the gowns will need to be ironed to smooth out wrinkles. You are not to adorn your gown with any type of wreaths or other decorative materials that are not a part of the standard cap and gown for either the picture or the ceremonies. These have proved to be a distraction in the past and we want to maintain uniformity for our ceremony. Rented gowns must be returned to school on Friday, June 14 between the hours of 12:30-3:00 p.m. in B-1. If you have not yet ordered your cap and gown, you can do so by calling Herff Jones at 818.224.4925.
· Senior Panorama Picture – A panorama senior picture of Oak Park High School seniors will be taken on Friday, May 17, as part of Senior “Must-Do Day”. Seniors will wear their graduation gowns (no caps for the picture) for this formal picture. Seniors must wear a gown in order to be a part of the senior picture. Students who are absent on that day should ensure that the cap and gown are picked up at the Student Store. The picture will be available for purchase and students must bring their money at the time the picture is taken. Envelopes have been distributed to seniors. The pictures will be delivered to students when they pick up their diplomas on Friday, June 14, the day after graduation.
· Yearbook Distribution – Oak Park High School seniors will receive their yearbooks at the Yearbook Distribution on Tuesday, June 4 between 3:10 and 6:00 p.m. in G-5. Students unable to pick up yearbooks at this time can pick them up from Mrs. Rohlfs-Leggett in G-5. You must provide a picture ID when you pick up your yearbook.
· Senior Clearance – All seniors must have completed all clearances (books, fees, uniforms, and all discipline hours) prior to the first graduation rehearsal on Tuesday, June 11, at 8:30 a.m. Seniors who are taking courses outside OPHS to fulfill graduation requirements must have grades submitted to the registrar. Seniors failing to clear all obligations will not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony.
Senior Breakfast – Our PFC will serve a drop-in continental breakfast on Wednesday, June 12 for all seniors, faculty and staff following graduation practice. Practice will begin promptly at 8:30a.m. Seniors should bring their yearbooks so that they can use this time to have them signed. All seniors are required to attend the three scheduled graduation rehearsals. Please have your student make arrangements with your work schedules to be able to attend these mandatory practices.
· Graduation Rehearsals – There will be three graduation rehearsals for all seniors. All three rehearsals are mandatory in order to participate in the commencement ceremony. Students will need to plan ahead to make sure that work schedules do not interfere with these rehearsals. The first rehearsal will be at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 11; the second will be at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12, prior to the senior breakfast. The last rehearsal will begin at 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning, June 13. We will rehearse until we have the ceremony down and will most likely take 1½ to 2 hours.
· Graduation Time/Seating/Parking – Graduation this year will begin at 6:00 p.m. The stadium will be open for seating at 5:00 p.m. We will be asking our seniors to arrive by 5:00 p.m. It is anticipated that the ceremony will last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. As most of you know, on-campus parking is limited so please allow some time for walking to the stadium. Handicapped seating and parking will be provided for those requiring assistance. Please call Mrs. Paulson, our office manager, at 735-3312 if you require help in this area. Please call prior to Tuesday, June 11, in order to ensure enough time to set up the required assistance. We plan on posting a 48-hour advance notice about this special event so that people can park along Kanan Road.
· Behavior/Conduct of Audience – A great deal of time goes into the planning and preparation for commencement. Traditionally, graduation from Oak Park High School has been conducted in a formal, dignified and student-centered manner. The graduates have agreed to refrain from calling attention to themselves in a way that would disrupt the ceremony or cause embarrassment to the class or school. The audience is also expected to adhere to these same standards of behavior. Each graduate deserves to have his/her moment in the spotlight. Yelling, whistling or use of noise devices (e.g. air horns) is disruptive and prevents the names of the graduates from being heard. Please show consideration for the students and provide an environment conducive to this dignified ceremony. Audience members will be asked to remain in the stands throughout the ceremony. Balloons will not be allowed as they block the view of others.
· Alcohol/Drugs – No student will be permitted to participate in graduation or the Grad Night Party if there is evidence of prior consumption of alcohol or drugs. Likewise, no persons will be admitted as spectators to the graduation ceremony if there is evidence of the same. Additionally, any student who consumes, distributes, or is found to be in possession of any form of alcoholic beverage, and/or drugs prior to or during any senior class activity will not be allowed to participate in any remaining activities, the graduation ceremony, or the all-night Graduation party. These activities are not rights, they are privileges, and with these privileges there are responsibilities.
· Dress Requirements – Dress for the graduation ceremony should be appropriate for a dressy occasion. For gentlemen, slacks, a dress shirt and tie, and dressy shoes are appropriate. For the ladies, a dress, skirt/blouse ensemble, or color coordinated pantsuit, and dressy shoes are appropriate.
· Grad Night Party – Students will board the buses for the Grad Night party at approximately 8:30 p.m. Please be considerate of this time so that the buses can depart on time for the Grad Night event. As mentioned above, students will be changing into more casual dress for the all night party.
· Diplomas and Pictures – All graduates will receive a diploma cover during the graduation ceremony. Actual diplomas will be issued to students the following day (Friday, June 14) between 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. in B-1. Graduates will have an opportunity during this time to pick up their diplomas and panorama pictures, clear any outstanding fees, and sign yearbooks. Parents and graduates should take note that if diplomas are not picked up on June 14, they will not be available to pick up until back-to-school registration in August.
I look forward to seeing all of you at the various senior activities over the next four weeks. Congratulations on reaching another milestone in your life.