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Graduation Information

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Graduation Practice: May 17, 9:00am on the football field.


Graduation date: May 18, 7:00pm on the football field.

Rockvale High School Graduation Frequently Asked Questions



  • When is graduation?

RVHS’s 2021 Graduation ceremony will be held Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 7:00pm, on Rockvale High School’s football field.


  • Do guests have to have tickets in order to attend graduation?

Each graduate will receive 4 tickets at practice for their guests. Practice will be Monday, May 17 at 9:00 on the football field.


  • Do seniors have to participate in graduation in order to graduate?

No.  Participation in graduation is not a requirement for graduating from high school.


  • What time is graduation rehearsal?

Graduation rehearsal will be on Monday, May 17 at 9:00. 


  • If my senior chooses to participate in graduation, must he/she attend rehearsal?

Yes.  Participation in rehearsal is a must for those seniors participating in graduation.  Failure to attend the full rehearsal will forfeit a senior’s opportunity to participate in graduation.  ***As rehearsal is mandatory, we strongly suggest that you make no appointments for the day of rehearsal.*** 


  • What do I need to do to ensure that my senior is able to participate in graduation?

First, be sure that your senior has earned or will earn the necessary credits to graduate. Each graduate received an Intent to Walk form. This must be returned to Ms. Ragland before Spring Break.


  • If my senior graduates in December, can he/she still participate in the May graduation ceremony?

Yes, he/she will need to complete the items listed for seniors.


  • Can my senior still walk at graduation if he will graduate through summer school?

No.  The May graduation is for seniors who have earned the necessary credits to graduate at the end of the school year.  Those seniors graduating through summer school will have an opportunity to participate in the graduation ceremony for summer school.


  • How long does graduation last?

While it is impossible to predict the length of graduation, previous Rockvale ceremonies have usually finished in about 90 minutes. 

***However, in order to reduce the unnecessary noise made by some guests, our assistant principals will pause while reading the names of the graduates if there are any extended disruptions.  If that happens, the length of the ceremony could extend considerably.


  • Will graduation be filmed or live streamed over the Internet?

Our plan is for the ceremony to be filmed and live streamed. A link will be placed on the school’s website for live streaming.


  • Why is the announcement made to remain quiet during the ceremony?

Graduation is intended to be a dignified ceremony.  In recent years, the trend has been to yell, scream, chant, blow air horns, etc. when a senior’s name is called.  While this does remove from the dignity of the ceremony, it also causes the names of some seniors to not be heard.  We ask that any celebration you do when your senior’s name is called be quick so the family of the ones following your senior may likewise hear their name called.


  • What if my senior causes a disruption during graduation?

Any senior that causes a commotion or disruption during the processional, ceremony, or recessional will be escorted and his/her diploma will be held until the senior and his/her parents meet with Mr. Luker to discuss the situation.  Release of the senior’s diploma will be at the discretion of Mr. Luker.


Graduation Dress Code 

  • Is there a dress code for seniors participating in graduation?

Yes. All seniors participating in graduation must wear a Rockvale cap and gown. 


Boys must wear a dress shirt with a tie, dress pants, dress shoes and dress socks.


Girls have two options: 

  1.        Girls may wear a dress/skirt that does not hang below the gown and dress shoes (Wedge shoes are fine, dress sandals (with a heel) are fine.  Dress flats are also fine. Casual sandals or flip flops are not allowed. 
  2.        Girls may wear dress pants with a blouse and dress shoes.  If this option is chosen, dress boots may be worn.


  • What special regalia items may be worn at graduation?

While there are many items (stoles, cords, medallions, tassels, pins, etc.) that may be worn during any graduation ceremony, only those items listed below may be worn for Rockvale’s graduation.

    • 2021 Blue/White tassel (purchased by student from Jostens)
    • Valedictorian: Medallion (provided by RVHS)
    • State Graduate with Distinction: Orange Stole (purchased by student from Jostens)
    • National Honor Society: Light Blue Stole (provided by NHS)
    • Graduating with Honors: Platinum Cord (purchased by student from Jostens)
    • Beta Club: Black & Gold Entwined Cord (provided by Beta Club)
    • DECA: Blue & White Cord (provided by DECA)
    • FCCLA: Red and White Entwined Cord (provided by FCCLA)
    • Future Farmers of America: Blue & Corn Gold Entwined Cord (provided by FFA)
    • HOSA: Maroon Cord (provided by HOSA)
    • JROTC: Red, White, & Blue Cord (provided by JROTC) 
    • National Art Honor Society: Rainbow Cord (provided by NAHS)
    • SkillsUSA: Red and White Cord (provided by Mr. Jones)
    • Student Council: Red, Black, and White Entwined (provided by Student Council)
    • Work Ethic Distinction (Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce): Kelly Green Cord (purchased from Ms. Vining)
    • Youth Leadership Rutherford: Red, White, & Blue Cord (provided by the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce)


  • My senior received a special award/recognition from an organization outside of RVHS.  May he/she wear this award as part of their graduation regalia?

No.  The only regalia items that may be worn at graduation are those listed above.  These items represent national organizations that have a chapter at RVHS.


  • How does my senior get their graduation regalia?

Regalia provided by clubs will be given to seniors by the club sponsor.  All other items will be sold by Jostens at RVHS approximately 2 weeks prior to graduation.  NO PERSONAL CHECKS will be accepted by Jostens at that time.  These items may be purchased with CASH ONLY.


  • Since there are so many graduates, may my senior write his/her name on the outside of his/her cap so that we may identify him/her?

No.  No alterations may be done to the cap or gown. This includes adding names or any other writing as well as adding any type of decoration.  Any violations will result in the student/parent owned cap and gown being replaced by a previously used cap and gown (if available) prior to entering the stadium.



  • Is there a special seating area for the disabled and those in a wheelchair?

Yes, RVHS is ADA compliant.  

  • Is there a location for seniors to leave personal items such as purses, car keys, cell phones, etc. during graduation?

No.  Seniors are encouraged to leave personal items in their cars or with family members.  The use of cell phones during graduation is prohibited and may result in a senior’s diploma being held.



  • Must a senior purchase a cap and gown from Jostens in order to participate in graduation?

No.  While a senior is required to wear a Rockvale cap and gown, they may borrow one from a sibling or friend who is a Rockvale graduate.


  • May I purchase a cap and gown from a company other than Jostens?

No.  Jostens is the company that Rockvale works with for graduation, and a senior participating in graduation must purchase their cap and gown from Jostens.


  • What information does Jostens need when my senior orders his/her cap and gown?

Jostens will need your senior’s height and weight.


  • What is the cost of the cap and gown?

The cost of the basic package, which includes the cap, gown, tassel, and diploma cover, is $57.62.


  • Who do I pay for my cap and gown?

As you are purchasing these items from Jostens, you will need to pay them.  Rockvale teachers, administrators, or staff will collect no money for graduation items.


  • When do we pay for the cap and gown?

Jostens will deliver information about graduation items including the cap and gown needed for graduation.  Jostens will return on April 6  to collect monies.  On [TBD], your full order (including caps and gowns, announcements, and other senior items) will be placed and Jostens will require a deposit.  We are asking that your account with Jostens be paid in full no later than March 26, 2021.  This can be done on-line at or by phone at (931) 443-4632.


  • When will my senior's cap, gown, and other graduation items be delivered?

Some items your senior orders from Jostens will be mailed directly to your home within a few weeks after they are ordered.  Your senior's cap and gown, graduation announcements, as well as some other senior items will be delivered at Rockvale the first of April. Jostens will deliver these items during all three lunches in the lobby.


  • If I am not participating in graduation, do I still have to purchase a cap and gown?

No.  However, you will be billed for the diploma and diploma cover.


  • What should seniors do once they have received their cap and gown?

At home, open the cap and gown and try them on to make sure that both fit properly.  (The gown should fall about halfway between the knee and ankle.)  DO NOT place a hot iron directly on the gown!  While you may iron the gown through a folded towel, the best way to remove the wrinkles is to place the gown on a hanger and allow the steam from a hot shower to remove the wrinkles.  If your cap and/or gown do not fit, contact Jostens immediately!  The number is (931) 443-4632.


  • Do I have to purchase invitations from Jostens?

No.  While Jostens does offer graduation announcements and other “senior items,” you do not have to purchase these items from Jostens.


  • I earned Honors and Distinction. What is the price for cords and stoles?
Honor Cords are $10 and Distinction Stoles are $20: cash only.


Graduation Deadlines

  • Are there any deadlines that my senior must meet?

Yes.  The intent to walk form should be turned in as soon as possible, preferably by the end of the first semester.  Those who plan to graduate with distinction or honors should notify their guidance counselor by the end of the first semester.  Those who have perfect attendance (K-12 or 9-12) must have this verified by attendance and inform Ms. Ragland by Spring Break.  All balances with Jostens should be cleared by May 1. 


  • What should a senior do if he/she plans to graduate with Tennessee state distinction or honors?

Those seniors who plan to graduate with distinction or honors must meet the requirements as laid out in the student handbook.  We ask that seniors notify their guidance counselors that they have met or will meet the requirements by the end of the first semester.  Seniors must notify their guidance counselor of their completion or planned completion of requirements to graduate with distinction or honors by Spring Break, so that we may have time to order the necessary regalia from Jostens.  If your senior does not complete the distinction/honors form and return it to his/her guidance counselor by Spring Break, he/she will not be recognized at graduation.


  • My senior has perfect attendance.  Will he/she be recognized at graduation?

If a senior has perfect attendance for grades K-12 or grades 9-12, he/she will be recognized and will receive a plaque at graduation. 

***It is up to the senior to verify this with the attendance office.  Once they have received confirmation from attendance, the senior should bring this information to Ms. Ragland, our graduation coordinator in room 611.  The deadline for getting this verified and to Ms. Ragland is March 22 (Spring Break).


More Information

  • Who do I contact for more information?

Information will be sent home with your senior in November, March, and late April/early May.  However, if needed you may contact Ms. Ragland, our graduation coordinator.  Her email address is or you may leave her a message at (615) 848-6500.


Senior Informational Sheets