Yesterday, your child was getting on the bus for kindergarten, and now they’re graduating middle school. Middle school graduation preparations can seem overwhelming. The first step to making your middle schooler’s graduation a great experience is to get the basics of the ceremony and attire, along with party and gift ideas.
Middle School Graduation Ceremonies
Most junior high schools hold a graduation ceremony for students who have completed the coursework to move on to high school. Since middle school grades vary, the ceremony may be for 8th graders heading to a high school that starts at 9th or for 9th graders heading to a high school that starts at 10th. In essence, they are graduating from middle school and entering high school.
It is common for middle school graduations to mimic high school graduations. Depending on the school, the ceremony may be simple or complex, but may include the following elements:
- The seating area
- A procession of students
- The national anthem and the pledge of allegiance
- A few words of introduction
- An inspirational/motivational speech
- The salutatorian and valedictorian’s speeches, if applicable
- Diplomas and special awards are presented
- Singing a school song or musical interlude
- Remarks at the end
- During a recession
- The reception
Making It More Unique
Middle school students and their parents may want to consider the following if they want to make their graduation even more spectacular than it was last year:
- Student motivational or inspirational speeches can be delivered by a speaker
- An announcement of the graduation class and any special accomplishments of the students should be included in a special programme or pamphlet
- An orchestra, choir, or school band will provide musical accompaniment
- Slideshow showing the children through the years
- At the reception, children make special gifts for their parents
Using a Theme
An 8th grade graduation can be made even more memorable by adding themes. Themes can be chosen in a variety of ways. Here are some examples:
- Students could receive Hawaiian lays instead of certificates when their names are called. At the reception, students could wear Hawaiian shirts and decorate tables with palm trees.
- Use red and white decorations and have someone read the book “Oh, the Places that You’ll Go!” Maybe students will also receive this book as a gift.
- The theme of heritage might include students wearing clothing that represents their heritage, or bringing food from a country they are interested in. A world map or globe could be used as a decoration.
- Theme: Growing Up Together: Memories make the best 8th grade graduation party themes. There could be decorations with images of the graduating class throughout the years, as well as a video montage of the photos.
What to Wear
No matter what you wear, your attire should reflect how much you’ve grown since you were a kid. Therefore, most middle school graduations are dressed up rather than your typical 8th grade outfit. What you might wear is:
- Graduation dresses for juniors, available in a variety of styles
- Slacks and a dress shirt
- It’s a suit
Students can also dress for graduation in a uniform fashion, such as a white shirt and black dress pants or skirts, or in school colors, fun clothing, or specific themed clothes. Be sure to check your school’s graduation dress code.
Cap and Gown
For schools that wish to have students wear academic regalia, gowns in a variety of sizes can be purchased from a store such as Graduate Affairs, which offers students the opportunity to borrow and reuse these gowns. Parent-Teacher Organizations or individual graduates can purchase caps.
Junior High Graduation Announcements
When a child completes junior high, many parents send graduation announcements or host an open house or middle school graduation party. On many sites, like Print Free, you can print free graduation announcements and invitations, or you can make simple announcements on a computer.
Middle school grad announcements can also be purchased from party or stationery stores or online. Showing off how the graduate has grown by including a photo is a fun way to include out-of-town friends and relatives.
Middle School Graduation Parties
A graduation party or open house may be hosted by parents when their child graduates from middle school. There is usually a casual affair, such as a barbeque or pool party, or simply appetizers or cake to honor the graduate. A simple backyard game like volleyball, bocce ball, or Frisbee can entertain young teens, tweens, and well-wishers. For a large or more elaborate gathering, other party games and a band or DJ might also be considered.
Unique Locations or Themes
You can choose from a variety of themes for your teenager’s graduation. Consider the following:
- Graduation parties can include laser tag or roller rinks. The kids can skate and play laser tag at the same time.
- Having a video game party. Prepare the controllers and headsets for an all-nighter. Consider Minecraft party ideas for your party.
- After your Hawaiian graduation, consider hosting a luau in your backyard.
- Teenagers can create a time capsule to bury in order to dig it up after they graduate from high school. After that, enjoy a night of dancing.
Middle School Graduation Gifts
Friends and relatives may want to give graduation cards or gifts to commemorate and celebrate the middle school graduation. Graduation cards can be sentimental, humorous, inspirational, or contain motivational or inspirational graduation sayings.
Beyond a Card
What types of gifts would be appropriate for a middle school graduate? Whatever the young teen wants to do, as long as it’s age-appropriate, it’s fine. Here are a few ideas:
- An amount from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars
- Plaques with names or other personalized gifts
- Keep a journal or scrapbook
- Speakers or headphones that use Bluetooth technology
- Jewelry or watches
- Whether it’s a messenger bag, backpack, or any other kind of carry-all
- Cases for mobile phones and tablets that are trendy
- Amazon gift cards, iTunes gift cards, and Google Play gift cards
- Items such as plush graduation animals or figurines are fun novelty items
Among the larger graduation gifts could be a new desk, or items such as a cellular phone, iPod, digital camera, tablet, laptop, or camcorder.
Graduating in Style
Whether simple or elaborate, there are many ways to commemorate a middle school graduation. Middle school graduation events are great for celebrating a student’s accomplishments and preparing him or her for success in the future.