Graduation Exercises

Section I: Instructional Program

Policy Title: Graduation & Promotion Exercises
Policy Code: IKFB

Print Version (In PDF)

Participation in Graduation & Promotion Exercises

The Tucson Unified School District Governing Board believes that completion of the requirements for a high school diploma or for promotion from the public schools is an achievement that improves the community as well as the individual therefore the Board wishes to recognize that achievement in a publicly celebrated exercise.

Graduation exercises will be held for students who have met Arizona State Board of Education and Tucson Unified School District requirements for graduation from high school.  Elementary, middle, and K-8 schools may choose to hold promotion exercises for students who have met the requirements for promotion from the highest grade level at the school.

Rules for Participation in Graduation & Promotion Exercises

Participation in high school baccalaureate/commencement exercises or elementary/middle school promotion exercises is encouraged but is not compulsory. However, since these exercises require planning, rehearsals and appropriate conduct, the following rules shall apply:

  • Students who wish to participate must be present at the rehearsals. Rehearsals will be held during school hours to ensure students are able to participate. Failure to be present at rehearsals, except for legitimate reasons for absence, may be cause for excluding students from participating in the exercises. Excused absences will not be cause for exclusion.
  • Students may not participate in the commencement/promotion exercises unless they have successfully completed the requirements for graduation or promotion.
  • Students graduating from high school must wear the designated cap and gown which may or may not include a uniform sash. Students who are unable to purchase a cap and gown because of financial hardship will be provided or loaned a cap and gown.
  • Students who have earned honor sashes or honor cords by reaching a level of achievement in recognized school organizations may wear them during the commencement ceremony with their caps and gowns following guidance in Regulation IKFB-R.
  • The Superintendent shall develop a regulation governing cultural protocols in consultation with the Native American Student Services Department (NASS), the African American Student Services Department (AASS), the Mexican American Student Services Department (MASS), and the Asian Pacific American and Refugee Student Services Department (APARSS).
  • Students must be in compliance with Board Policy – Student Use of Tobacco (JICG)Student Use of Drugs and Alcohol (JICH), and must not be in possession of or under the influence of alcohol or any restricted substance.
  • Students must meet the standards of dress established by Board Policy – Student Dress (JICA).
  • Students must be in good standing with the school. Students may not participate if they are under suspension, expulsion or other restrictive discipline imposed by school administrators in accordance with school and district policies and procedures.
  • Students are not precluded from participation because of unpaid fees.
  • Students may be removed from participation in the exercises if they engage in any behavior that disrupts the event or which causes unnecessary distraction to other students, parents or visitors.
  • Students who do not participate in graduation exercises and who have completed all the requirements for a diploma may pick up their diploma from their school the following day or thereafter.

Adopted: March 8, 2005
Reviewed: March 6, 2013
Revised: March 26, 2019


IKE – Promotion, Retention and Acceleration of Students
IKF – Graduation Requirements
JICA – Student Dress
JICG – Tobacco Use by Students
JICH – Drug and Alcohol Use by Students