Graduation News

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

Frequently Asked Questions by Seniors and Parents:

Senior Packet 2018

Where is the commencement ceremony held?     

Merriweather Post Pavilion

When is graduation?

Graduation is Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 11:00am.  Atholton HS will dismiss students at 9:45am.

Where should guests/seniors park at Merriweather Post Pavilion?

Graduates and families should plan to arrive no more than 60 minutes, and no less than 30 minutes, before the ceremony. Lot 1 is reserved for cars with disability placards or license plates.  Graduates and families should park only in the numbered parking lot(s) or the lot(s) designated with a blue P on the parking map for their school.  We appreciate graduates and families parking only in those areas designated for their school’s graduation, as that will allow for the most efficient traffic flow for all ceremonies.  Download the parking map. to view the designated parking areas.  

How can my family view the ceremony if they are not attending?

We are excited to be able to continue the tradition of streaming all high school commencement ceremonies live on the HCPSS website at Please direct your families to our site to watch the graduations live. On-demand viewing also will be available following each ceremony. Be sure to let your families know they may order graduation DVDs online now, and only through June 15. This is a change from previous years when purchasing was available for several months after graduations.

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.