Graduation from Middle School

Young girl - ready for high school.

Graduation middle school style may be bit more laid back than formal high school or college ceremonies, but the move from junior to senior high school is still a monumental occasion that can be celebrated in many ways.

Middle School Graduation Ceremonies

Many junior high schools have a graduation ceremony for students who have successfully completed the coursework to move on to high school. Since middle school grades vary, the ceremony may be for 8th graders going into 9th grade at a high school, or for 9th graders heading to a high school that starts at 10th grade. Some schools may choose to have combined awards and gradation ceremonies, allowing them to recognize various accomplishments in other grades and give special recognition to the middle school graduating class. Parents or educators involved in planning a middle school graduation may want to consider:

  • Hiring a speaker to give a motivational or inspirational speech to students
  • A special program or pamphlet mentioning the graduation class and any special accomplishments of students
  • A simple reception with refreshments such as baked goods and punch
  • Musical accompaniment by school band, choir, or orchestra

The ceremony can be as simple or complex as is desired by the school, but may include the following elements:

  • Seating
  • Processional of students
  • National anthem/pledge of allegiance
  • Opening remarks
  • Motivational/inspirational speech
  • Speeches of class salutatorian and valedictorian, if applicable
  • Presentation of diplomas/or special awards
  • Musical interlude or singing of school song
  • Closing remarks
  • Recessional
  • Reception

Attire for Graduation: Middle School Caps and Gowns

The decision whether students will wear caps and gowns for middle school graduation is usually up to the individual school. Some feel that this is the perfect way to commemorate the special occasion, while others feel the cap and gown is unnecessary for a junior high ceremony. For those schools that choose not to use caps and gowns, it is typically suggested that students wear dress clothes for the occasion. Students may also be encouraged to dress for graduation in a uniform manner, such as white shirt and black dress pants or skirts, or educators may suggest dressing in the school colors.Schools who choose to have students in academic regalia for the ceremony may choose to purchase gowns in a variety of sizes from a store such as Graduate Affairs, which lets students borrow them, and re-use them each year. Caps may be purchased by a Parent-Teacher Organization or by the individual graduates.

Junior High Graduation Announcements

May parents may choose to send graduation announcements upon completion of junior high, or plan an open house or middle school graduation party. Simple announcements can be made on a home computer, or many sites offer free printable graduation announcements and invitations, such as Print Free. You can also purchase middle school grad announcements form party or stationary stores or online. Including a photo is a fun way to include out-of-town friends and relatives in the occasion and show off how the graduate has grown.

Middle School Graduation Parties

Parents may choose to host an open house or party when their child graduates from middle school. This is typically a casual affair, such as a barbeque or pool party, or simply appetizers or cake to honor the graduate. Simple backyard games such as volleyball, bocce ball, and Frisbee are a fun way to entertain young teens, tweens, and well-wishers. Other party games and a band or DJ might also be considerations for a large or more elaborate gathering.

Giving Graduation Gifts to Middle School Students

Friends and relatives may want to give cards or gifts to commemorate and celebrate the graduation from middle school. Cards may be sentimental, filled with age-appropriate humor, or contain motivational or inspirational graduation sayings, or simply a message of congratulations.

What types of gifts work well for a middle school graduate? As long as it is age appropriate for the young teen, anything goes. A few ideas include:

  • A small to moderate amount of money
  • School supplies the student might need for high school
  • Name plaques or other personalized gifts
  • Journals or scrapbooks
  • Favorite teen books
  • A watch or item of jewelry
  • A messenger bag, cool backpack, or other carry-all
  • Gift cards for movies, miniature golf, or other fun activities
  • Fun novelty items such as plush graduation animals or figurines

Larger graduate gifts might include a new desk or items such as cellular phone, iPod, digital camera, or camcorder.


Whether simple or elaborate, there are many ways to commemorate a graduation from middle school and make this time a special and wonderful one. Graduation events are perfect for highlighting a student's accomplishments during middle school and preparing for his or her future success.

Graduation from Middle School