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8th-Grade Grad. Ceremonies: Pros and Cons


This article in the New York Times debates the pros and cons of 8th-grade graduation ceremonies. In recent years, that benchmark has become more extravagant, says the article, which could send the wrong message to students by treating middle school graduation as an accomplishment and not an expectation. A blowout 8th-grade graduation could take away from the experience of high school graduation and make students think that finishing middle school is a sufficient level of education, some educators contend. But graduating from middle school is an accomplishment for some kids, opponents say, and recognizing that can be a strong motivator for some students.

Like most things, I have a feeling that the solution probably lies on some middle ground. I think it's important to recognize students' accomplishments and congratulate them on milestones that they've reached--and graduating from middle school definitely qualifies--but maybe graduation dinners and dances akin to prom might be going overboard. However, I don't really think that a big middle school graduation ceremony is going to make or break a student's educational trajectory, either.

What do you think? How is 8th-grade graduation celebrated in your districtl?


I definitely think that throwing huge blow out parties for 8th-grade graduation is a bit extreme. Like you said, graduation from any grade level should be an expectation. Graduating should be viewed as what is right, traditional, and needs to be completed in one's life. I think graduating from any grade is an accomplishment that leads a person into the next step, which in turn brings that person closer to receiving a high school diploma. In the district where I grew up, 8th-grade graduation was viewed as one step closer to graduating high school then off to college for most students. Sure, students and parents should be pleased with graduating from the 8th-grade, but the student still has a long road ahead of them. Maybe the parties should be held off until the high school graduation diploma is received.

The principal at the school where I teach made a huge deal out of sixth-grade promotion this year. She invited school board members, the superintendent, and the local newspapers. (She also tried to make every teacher in the school go, but then found out she would have to pay us and subsequently backed off.) It was total overkill in my opinion. Parents spent money on dresses, shoes, and outfits they couldn’t afford. They took their kids and family out to dinners they couldn’t afford. Some of the “helicopter parents” got a limo for their kids and their friends. Everyone spent money on flowers and cards. When I graduated sixth grade 30 years ago, the teacher handed me a report card and said, “Have a nice vacation.”

My brother and his wife just had a huge 8th grade graduation party for my neice. They had it catered and there were on site cooks/chefs. They served Australian Sea Bass and Filet Mignon. Very bizarre and overdone. I cannot help but wonder how this child will ever appreciate the little things in life. She received many gifts.
My son is graduating 8th grade this year. He will go out with his immediate family for dinner. A small gift will be given, but not the extravaganza that his cousin experienced.
My husband and I have concluded that her high school graduation will most likely be like a wedding and god help her future husband!!!
I hope she is not considering a living in theatre (which she loves) as she will be shocked at the pain she will endure while living on Ramen!

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Recent Comments

  • chris: My brother and his wife just had a huge 8th read more
  • DaveTeacher: The principal at the school where I teach made read more
  • HFoster: I definitely think that throwing huge blow out parties for read more




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