Graduation News

Fri, 12/15/2017 - 11:25am

Frequently Asked Questions by Senior Parents:

Where is the commencement ceremony held?     

Merriweather Post Pavilion

When is graduation?

The graduation date is determined by the Merriweather Post Pavilion concert schedule.  Howard County Public School System has confirmed the window for the 2018 high school graduations. Commencement ceremonies will take place at Merriweather Post Pavilion between May 21 – May 31, 2018. HCPSS will provide actual dates and times of each school’s graduation ceremony after Merriweather finalizes its concert schedule, generally in the early spring.

How does my senior order graduation attire and accessories?

During the January 10 senior meeting, the Balfour representative distributed order forms for a cap & gown, announcements, and other graduation accessories.

What if my senior was absent on January 10 when order forms were distributed?

Your senior can get an order form from the front office.

When will the orders for graduation items be collected?

The Balfour representative will collect completed forms and checks on Tuesday, January 16 and Wednesday, January 17, 2018 during all lunch shifts.  

Can my senior order a cap/gown and other graduation accessories online?

Caps/gowns/tassels, announcements, and other accessories can be ordered at

What if my senior does not turn in his/her form/money on the designated days?

Orders can be submitted online (see above) or mailed directly to Balfour at the address provided on the order form. There is an additional $10 fee for orders that are mailed.  

What if my family cannot afford a cap/gown for my senior?

Please call or email your counselor or Ms. Hutchens ( to discuss financial assistance.

How can my senior be sure his/her name is spelled correctly on the diploma and graduation program?

Did you sign a “Diploma Signature Form”? To ensure that the senior’s name is spelled correctly on the diploma and graduation program, ALL seniors must submit a Diploma Signature Form signed by a parent/guardian.  If your senior has returned the form, thank you! If your family has not submitted the form, please click here OR have your senior pick one up from Mrs. Beneski in the Student Services office. This form is due no later than Friday, January 19, 2018.

How can my senior be involved in the graduation ceremony?

All seniors are invited to audition to give a speech, dance, sing, or perform during the commencement ceremony. Auditions are Monday, February 12, 2018 in the choir room. A sign up for auditions is located in the media center. Bring an extra copy of the speech/song on the day of the audition.

Can a parent/guardian present the diploma to his/her senior at the ceremony?

Only a parent or guardian who is a permanent employee of the Howard County Public School System in any capacity may present his or her child’s diploma at Atholton High School’s 2018 Commencement Ceremony. If this applies to you, please make a joint decision whether to take advantage of the opportunity. To do so, and complete and submit this form to Jeannette Bonomo-Thomas, graduation coordinator, either by email ( or in hard copy.