Planning Graduation Ceremonies for a Small School

Share on
Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
group graduation planning cartoon

Planning Graduation Ceremonies for a Small School

Graduation is a life-defining day of celebration and reflection. If you’re planning a graduation ceremony for a small school, you can take risks and have more fun. Below, we’ve outlined five graduation ceremony ideas that you can try. Each idea works well with a smaller student body, so graduates feel more connected to the community.

Article continues below
Need help planning graduation?
GraduationSource is here to help!
Planning Graduation for Small Schools 1

Get the Students Involved

First, it’s important to remember that commencement is about the students. You may be tempted to pad the ceremony with faculty speeches and donation pitches. Don’t – it will detract from the celebration! Instead, recruit a few talented students to share their hopes and dreams. Ask a few students to tell personal stories about their school experience. Meanwhile, spend some extra money to mail personalized invitations. You want to keep family members in the loop, so that attendance is strong. 

Planning Graduation for Small Schools 2

Create an Intimate Gathering

As you focus on the commencement venue layout and decor, try to foster a welcoming space that reflects the local community and student body. For example, some high schools start their ceremony with every local K-12 teacher entering the auditorium, and then forming a path for the graduating class to walk through. Meanwhile, other schools have unique themes, traditions, and parades that make the students feel like it’s their graduation.

Planning Graduation for Small Schools 3

Start a School Tradition

Graduation ceremony ideas don’t need to be expensive or unwieldy to make a huge impact on students’ lives. A new tradition can be as simple as asking parents to write their graduates a thoughtful letter (and vice versa), and then trading the letters on graduation day. Use your imagination to create a new and unforgettable tradition. 

Planning Graduation for Small Schools 4

Give Students a Personalized Gift

With smart planning and coordination, your school can give some incredible gifts during the graduation ceremony program. For example, teachers can record a short clip of each student’s voice at the beginning of every school year, practicing a subject like English and math. Then, they can compile the clips into a longer audio tribute, which shows the student’s growth over four, eight, or twelve years.

Planning Graduation for Small Schools 5

Invite Elder Classmen to Cheer the Graduates

Finally, if you’re planning an elementary or middle school graduation in a small town, you can invite alumni to come celebrate the graduates’ achievement. Perhaps a successful former graduate can give a quick speech, and elder classmen can cheer students on from the sidelines as they receive their diplomas.  

Additional Reading

We hope your graduation ceremony goes off without a hitch. In the meantime, check out our resource section for even more ceremony planning tips!

Share on
Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
collection of graduation material

sample cap & gown

Graduation Coordinators Only
essential graduation survival guide

Get the ebook

 
 
five star rating

Highest Rated & Most Reviewed Graduation Company World-Wide

Tyren Alvidrez
Tyren Alvidrez
Cottonwood Church
Wonderful Experience. Excellent customer service, prices and prompt delivery.
Cottonwood Leadership College, 4505 Katella Ave, Los Alamitos CA 90720, Cottonwood Church
Phone: (714) 947-8903
Yolanda Boles
Yolanda Boles
Velasco Elementary
"The parents and the students would like to say thanks for making our children look nice for graduation. The smile on the faces of our children when I delivered the gowns to their classroom was overwhelming and it's all because of you!"
401 North Gulf Blvd, Freeport TX 77541
Phone: (979) 730-7260
Cary Odio
Cary Odio
Somerset Academy
"Amazing like always! We have used your company for many years and will continue to use it for many more!"
20291 SW 180 ST, Miami Florida 33187
Phone: (305) 969-6074
S.K. Smith
S.K. Smith
Franklinton High School
Your valuable staff was 5 stars. I cannot speak highly enough for your customer service. They completed my order and helped me get our medal in time for graduation!! I appreciate you and your staff and I will definitely be using you in the future!!
1 Demon Circle, Franklinton LA 70438
Phone: (985) 839-6781
Megan Soule
Megan Soule
Everest Value School
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your patience, and your flexibility, and your help, and...EVERYTHING. We owe you the deepest gratitude for making our graduation a success!!
668 S. Catalina Street, Los Angeles CA 90005
Phone: (818) 749-4223
Rebecca Magallan
Rebecca Magallan
"I placed an order with errors but your staff was very helpful and quickly corrected them and got me my stoles promptly."
Liberty Academy
Roberta Farina
Roberta Farina
Bethel Christian Church
Your staff were awesome! Thank you for helping us work through the issues and ensuring that we had everything we needed within the timeline for our Easter Service. The staff went above and beyond to assist on every level. Our choir looked amazing.
13200 E 11 Mile Rd, Warren MI 48089
Phone: (586) 872-6477
Amber Jordan
Amber Jordan
Kindergarten Paraprofessional
"Thank you for always honoring our requests. It's a privilege ordering from your company and friendly staff."
Satilla Elementary School, 5325 Old Axson Rd, Douglas, GA 31535
Phone: (912) 384-2602
Pablo Lopez
Pablo Lopez
Concierge Privé
"I was in desperate need of bright colorful gowns for a gospel choir to perform at a Celebration of Life. Two days before the event, I found your company and you handled everything and made it happen. It takes a lot to impress me, and you impressed me."
74265 Desert Rose Lane Indian Wells CA 92210
Phone: (213) 327-8109
Betsy Johanson
Betsy Johanson
School Counselor
"They worked hard to ensure we were happy with our order. The ordering process was extremely easy and we were able to get everything in an incredibly timely fashion. Great company to work with."
Wauneta-Palisade Schools, 214 West Wichita, Wauneta Nebraska 69045
Phone: (308) 394 5427