Graduation Ceremony FAQ

All Farmington High School Seniors are provided with a graduation handbook which is emailed to families in February. The graduation handbook includes specific details about the ceremony and the preparation leading up to the event, including important dates and deadlines. This FAQ is meant to provide an overview of our graduation practices for the purpose of advanced planning and preparation on the part of students, families, and guests. Please look for the graduation handbook for additional details and contact the high school office if you have specific questions.

Where and when will the commencement ceremony take place?

We are planning on conducting the 2020 Commencement Ceremonies outside in Tiger Stadium on Friday, June 5th at 7:00 p.m.  In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the main gym as well as televised in the air conditioned Recital Hall. The final decision, based on weather, will be made on Thursday, June 4th. This affords the most accurate weather prediction possible while still allowing enough time for setup. Families will be notified via email.

All seating will be available on a first come, first served basis. If outside, there is not a limit on the number of guests. If inside, graduates will be issued four tickets for seating in the gymnasium. In the event tickets are needed they will be distributed at the graduation rehearsal.

Who participates in the commencement ceremony? Is participation mandatory for graduating seniors?

All seniors who are eligible to take part in the commencement ceremony are encouraged to participate. It should be noted that participation in the commencement ceremony is not mandatory nor a condition for the completion of graduation requirements.

What is the Graduation Fee?

Families of graduating seniors choosing to participate in the commencement ceremony are asked to pay a graduation fee of $45.00 to help offset the cost of ceremony expenses such as supervision and custodial time, chair and equipment rental, and diploma covers among other things. Students are never asked to pay for completion of graduation requirements or to receive their diploma.

The fee was established a number of years ago with the intent that the amount collected would cover the annual cost of the ceremony. The district regularly spends more on the ceremony than the amount collected through fees; however, they greatly help mitigate the cost.  

Families for whom this is a hardship are exempt from this fee. Please contact the school office for more details.

How do students obtain their cap and gown?

Students order their caps and gowns directly from Jostens. (If you choose the cap/gown combo it comes with the tassel students will wear at graduation. That combo package has everything they will need. The other tassels are for students to purchase as a commemorative piece.) They are distributed during school hours on a day close to the commencement ceremony. Seniors who are not cleared to graduate will not receive a cap or gown until all grades in required courses are brought up to an acceptable level and all fines or other school debts are settled. Make sure your student is aware of this policy requiring all obligations to be met before the student will be able to participate in the graduation exercises.  

Who wears honor cords? What do they mean? When students pick up their caps and gowns in May they will also receive honor cords based on their cumulative GPA. NHS students will also receive a sash from their adviser.

  • Graduating with a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.0 or above: Gold Honor Cords

  • Graduating with a Cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.667 or above: White Honor Cords

  • Graduating with a Cumulative Grade Point Average 3.0 or above: Orange Honor Cords

Cumulative grade point averages are not rounded up.

The cumulative grade point average is calculated at the end of the 2nd trimester of the student’s 12th grade year at FHS.

Is there a dress code for students choosing to participate in the commencement ceremony?

Yes. Commencement is the most formal activity of a student’s high school years and the school district’s public acknowledgement of high school completion. The cap and gown are formal educational attire. With this in mind, we REQUIRE that all seniors choosing to participate in the commencement activity dress appropriately. The attire to be worn under the commencement gown is as follows:


  • Dress slacks

  • Dress socks

  • Dress shoes, (no recreational shoes, such as sneakers , flip-flops, etc.)

  • Dress shirt & tie



  • Dress skirt, Dress slacks, or Dresses

  • Dress shoes (no recreational shoes)


Do not bring purses, camera, bags, etc., to the ceremony. Students not adhering to the dress code will be sent home to change.

What is appropriate behavior during the commencement ceremony?

Commencement is regarded as the most formal of scholastic ceremonies. Seniors are celebrating the completion of 13 years of education. Friends and relatives are coming to honor their achievement. We encourage parents and guests to participate in the ceremony in a very dignified manner. Whispering and other signs of inattentiveness are inappropriate.

Can I bring whistles, aerosol horns, or other noisemakers to the arena?

We would also ask that friends and family not bring whistles, aerosol horns, or other noisemakers to the arena. The use of these items distracts from the dignity of the ceremony.

What is disruptive behavior? How is disruptive behavior dealt with at the graduation ceremony?

Disruptive behavior is defined as including, but not limited to, loud and abusive verbal language — whether solicited or otherwise — or the unwillingness to respond directly or appropriately to directions. Actions such as these will be considered evidence of unruly behavior. Such conduct will be the basis for removal from the ceremony.


Is smoking permitted?

Farmington High School is smoke free. Students and spectators are not permitted to use tobacco products or e-cigarettes on the premises.

Can I take pictures on the stadium/arena floor?

We are not able to allow parents to photograph or videotape on the stadium/arena floor during the commencement Ceremony.  For your convenience, we have made arrangements with Lifetouch, a professional photographer, to record the moment that each diploma is awarded. More information regarding this will be enclosed in your graduation handbook.

What is the seating situation at the graduation ceremony?

Guests are urged to be on time for the commencement ceremony and to come early enough to avoid traffic problems. If the ceremony is outdoors, the number of guests is not limited, and tickets are not necessary. If held indoors, each graduate will be given a specific number of tickets at graduation rehearsal.

Is handicap seating available?

The FHS Gymnasium, the Recital Hall, and Tiger Stadium are handicap accessible. Please call the FHS office at 651-252-2513 to reserve handicap seating for the ceremony. Families may reserve up to four spaces. Please see this year’s graduation handbook for the deadline on reserving handicap space.

Graduation DVD?

The 2020 Graduation Ceremony will be filmed by the FHS Broadcasting department. DVDs and flash drives are both available for purchase.  Parents and students can fill out this order form, attach a check for $15.00 made payable to "FHS TV Studio" and you can drop off in the 2nd floor office.  If you want your DVD/flash drive mailed out to you, the amount would be $18.00 to cover postage and handling.  You will receive an email and phone call when your DVD is ready for pick up from the FHS 2nd floor office.

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