Graduation News

Mon, 12/02/2019 - 11:06am

Frequently Asked Questions by Senior Parents:

Where is the commencement ceremony held?

Merriweather Post Pavilion

When is graduation?

The graduation date is dependent upon the Merriweather Post Pavilion concert schedule. Howard County Public School System has confirmed the window for the 2020 high school graduations as Monday, May 18-Thursday, May 28, 2020. HCPSS will provide actual dates and times of each school’s graduation ceremony after Merriweather finalizes its concert schedule, historically in the early spring.

How does my senior order graduation attire and accessories?

During the January 29 senior meeting, the Balfour representative distributed order forms for the cap/gown/tassel, announcements, and other graduation accessories.

What if my senior was absent on January 29 when order forms were distributed?

Your senior can pick up an order form from the front office, from Student Services, or from room C154.

When will the orders for graduation items be collected?

The Balfour representative will collect completed forms and checks on Wednesday, February 5, Thursday, February 6, and Friday, February 7, 2020 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 handling 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 Mr. Motley ( to discuss financial assistance.

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

By standard procedure, names will be printed as they appear on a student’s birth certificate, or court-ordered name change document if applicable. If there are extenuating circumstances, please see Ms. Bonomo-Thomas in C154 or Mrs. Beneski in the Student Services office as soon as possible.

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 will be held in the choir room on Wednesday, February 12, beginning at 2:15 (Snow date: Wednesday, February 19). Sign up for auditions will be located in the media center. Bring an extra copy of the speech/song lyrics, if applicable, 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 2020 Commencement Ceremony. If this applies to you, please make a joint decision whether to take advantage of the opportunity. To do so, complete and submit this form to Ms. Bonomo-Thomas, graduation coordinator, either by email ( or in hard copy.

If I still have questions, whom do I ask?

With questions about the commencement ceremony, contact graduation coordinator Ms. Bonomo-Thomas (

With questions about graduation eligibility, contact the student’s school counselor.

With questions about other senior activities, contact senior class advisors Mr. Fales ( and SFC Gordiano (