Each June, Delaware Valley Regional High School proudly graduates seniors who have successfully met all of the graduation requirements established by New Jersey law and the Board of Education’s policies and regulations. The district also provides graduates who have attained specific achievements with school-issued adornments such as sashes, cords, and stoles. Since a primary focus of our graduation is to provide a unified ceremony that celebrates our graduating class, historical practice dictates that only these school-issued adornments are to be worn during the graduation ceremony. This practice precedes the tenure of this administration, and has not been changed since its inception.
Our current administration decided to seek counsel for guidance on policy development. Our goals for the policy were to include language:
- To ensure that the graduation ceremony reflects the dignity and honor conducive to this solemn yet joyous occasion. The district has a legitimate interest in controlling the content of its graduation exercises to promote unity, discipline, and presenting a forum to honor the graduating class.
- To direct the wearing of a cap and gown by all members of the graduating class as this universally symbolizes the unity of the graduating class and their journey together through four years of high school. Only school-issued adornments, such as sashes, stoles, and cords, shall continue to be permitted.
- To clearly identify the student groups, organizations, or accomplishments that would be recognized, along with the recognition criteria and required evidence. As we have expanded our academies, programs, honor societies and other student honors this information becomes critical to avoid misunderstanding and misinformation moving forward.
The new policy and regulations meet these goals. To reiterate, only school-issued adornments will be permitted at graduation. This has not changed. What has changed is the expansion of student recognition and achievement. Many are a direct reflection of our new academies and programs, for example, the Quill and Scroll Honor Society or the National Honor Society for Dance Arts. Others are not.
At Delaware Valley, we have a long history of respecting our active duty military forces, veterans, and students entering into service of our country. We recognize and understand the price that is paid so that we may enjoy our freedoms. We also respect those individuals who are selfless enough to risk their own lives in service not to their nation, but to their communities - first responders. The policy and regulation will now reflect a district-issued adornment in the form of a red, white, and blue multi-colored cord to those individuals meeting the identified selection criteria beginning with the class of 2020.
For more information, please review the Board of Education's policies and regulations governing high school graduation: