Salem-Keizer Public Schools serves one of the most diverse student populations in the state, bringing together students from many unique lived experiences, cultures, and backgrounds. One way the district honors graduates is to host several graduation celebrations that honor the accomplishments of student groups historically underserved by educational systems.
What are graduation celebrations?
Much like awards celebrations held at each high school ahead of graduation, there are several districtwide graduation celebrations that honor students from all high schools and across student groups that have historically struggled to graduate or may have faced significant barriers during their K-12 journey. These celebrations are not commencement ceremonies for specific student groups. These celebrations are an opportunity for students to receive specific cultural or honorary regalia for their commencement ceremonies and gather with students of similar lived experiences throughout their time in school.
During all celebrations, the district honors student accomplishments in a supportive space that acknowledges their experiences and identities.
2023 Graduation Celebrations:
- Native Education Graduation Celebration
- CTEC Graduation Celebration
- AVID Senior Recognition Night
- Pacific Islander Cultural Graduation Celebration
- Black/African American Cultural Graduation Celebration
- LGBTQ+ Graduation Celebration (Green Carnation Celebration)
- Enhanced Digital and Guided Education (EDGE) Graduation Celebration
All graduating seniors must wear caps and gowns and weather-appropriate attire underneath.
With a principal’s permission, students may be able to decorate their caps. Check with your principal for individual school guidelines, as principals have the final say on this matter. If students are allowed to decorate and the decorations on the cap are considered inappropriate or cause a distraction, the student will be asked to remove and replace their cap.
Students are allowed to wear their cords, medals, or stoles depending upon their clubs/organizations/honor societies they belong to. Hawaiian leis are allowed to be worn. Native American feathers, beadings and garments are allowed.
Students are not allowed to carry objects such as, but not limited to; flowers, umbrellas, stuffed animals, air horns, balloons, inflatables, etc.
For schools with outside graduation locales, flat shoes/sandals are recommended for walking on the turf field and on the stage.
Seniors involved in pranks may be denied participation in Graduation activities. Any senior involved in damage to property or in actions which degrade the reputation of an individual or a school will be criminally charged and will NOT be allowed to walk with their class in the Graduation ceremonies.
Any student coming to a school activity, the Prom, Senior Banquet, Graduation practice or the Graduation ceremony under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be criminally charged and subject to District discipline policy. They will also be removed from all further senior activities. Students expelled during the school year will be denied participation in the Graduation ceremonies.
Hearing Impaired & Wheelchair Access
High Schools can provide a sign language interpreters for the Senior Awards assembly and the Graduation ceremony.
If you require wheelchair access and seating, please contact the school office before the graduation ceremony to sufficient space is reserved for all those needing the space.
Fines/Fees & Senior Graduation Privileges
In accordance with District Administrative policy INS-A012, Section 7, seniors who have outstanding fees, fines, or damaged/lost property may result in the loss of privileges of attending the Prom, Senior Banquet and walking at Graduation. Look for fines and fees letters to arrive early April. Please contact the bookkeeper if you have questions or concerns. A payment plan must be in place before a student who owes fees is allowed to participate in the above activities.
Library & Textbooks
Please note that Seniors with library or textbook fees will not be allowed to walk at Graduation. Here are your options if you have book fees:
- Find the book and return it.
- Pay the bookkeeper.
- Buy an identical replacement book (Amazon.com often has very inexpensive used books). Make sure the book you buy has the same ISBN # as the one you checked out.
- Work in the library for minimum wage to pay off the fee.
Check with your school bookkeeper to confirm that these options are still available.
All library books should be returned prior to final exams. If a textbook must be used for a final exam, please return it immediately after the exam. Please check with the library to find out which library and textbooks you have checked out. When returning books, rather than use the book drop, check in your books at the counter and find out which books you still have checked out.