The message below was duplicated on Yellow Paper and distributed to all seniors who were present at Commencement Song Practice on Monday, March 11, 2019.
As he does annually, Principal Dircks reminded our seniors that participation in commencement exercises is a privilege and not a right, and that all grade 12 students must remain focused on that special day in May.
Dear Senior Parents,
The time has finally come where your senior is preparing for one of the most momentous occasions in their personal lives. Of course, I am referring to graduation from high school. Earning a Hilo High School diploma is an individual right that belongs to your senior when they have earned the required 24 credits.
The diploma itself, however, will not be presented to the senior at commencement exercises, but a symbolic representation will be handed to the senior. Once your child’s credits have been verified and the diploma printed, it will be issued to the graduate later in the month.
In the meantime, it is important to understand that the commencement exercises, which if attended, is a privilege, not a right for the senior. For your senior to be eligible to participate in commencement exercises, i.e., “walking the line”, they must have accomplished the following: (1) met the requirements for a diploma or certificate; (2) have fulfilled their financial obligations; and (3) meet other conditions established by the Department of Education.
Hilo High School wishes to ensure that commencement exercises are safe, secure and disciplined so as to preserve the dignity of the occasion for the graduating seniors and their families. To this end, the Hawaii Department of Education Regulations 4540 allow administrators to revoke a student’s privilege of participating in the commencement exercises after determining that a Chapter 19 offense was committed by the student during the fourth quarter of the senior year. That is, a student in the fourth quarter of their senior year must not commit a Class A or B offense or multiple Class C or D offenses. (Refer to the Parent Handbook for definitions)
Your senior has been advised and encouraged to end their high school careers in a positive manner by meeting all the requirements in order to participate in commencement exercises.
If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me at 313-5500.