Issaquah High School graduates. File photo

Issaquah High School graduates. File photo

IHS moves forward with graduation honors recognition

After student sessions, the committee should have decisions formalized by March.

The Issaquah High School (IHS) graduation committee announced its proposed decision to remove class rank, honor stoles and cords for seniors graduating in 2020 and beyond last August.

At the end of May, IHS Principal Andrea McCormick sent out a message to students and families regarding the discussions and decisions around graduation honors and adornments. Graduation honors and adornments posed for removal include class rank, and the addition of honor stoles and cords for achievements related to GPA, participation in clubs and sports, and PTSA’s community service cord.

“Despite our best efforts to ensure that all students felt honored and recognized at graduation for their various achievements, we came to realize that the addition of the various cords and stoles created added feelings of pressure and stress for our students, instead of feelings of celebration and pride,” the IHS graduation committee said in an Aug. 5 email.

Since the August announcement, the IHS graduation committee began engaging in conversations with members of the school community and working to develop a plan to collect feedback from the student body about the decision.

“During our initial conversations with members of the school community it became apparent that while many families and students support our decision, there are also some valid concerns about how the removal of cords and stoles would impact students,” the IHS graduation committee said in a Nov. 27 email. “It appears most of the concerns center around two major issues: aesthetics and recognition.”

Assistant principal Erin Connolly, who also serves on the graduation committee, said the student council reached out to the graduation committee and said students had an issue with just wearing the solid purple robe.

“The students didn’t want to look like Barney,” she said.

To meet the committee’s non-negotiables, the student council proposed adding a gold stole.

After investigating the cost of adding the stole, Connolly said the gold stole met the non-negotiables and would only cost an additional $2.

The graduation committee’s next step is to address the issue of recognition. Throughout the year, IHS hosts various events and programs that recognize students’ accomplishments.

Going forward, Connolly said the graduation committee will be choosing students at random to provide feedback and to determine what factors they feel are important.

There also will be a Nest Session open to all students to provide feedback and suggestions on Feb. 11. At the session, the graduation committee will be focusing on what are the most important things that the school should formally recognize and how recognition can feel authentic.

After hosting the sessions the graduation committee will meet to discuss its next steps and will share its decisions with the students and the school community no later than early March.

More in News

Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, the primary sponsor of SB 5323, speaking on the bill. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Sabio-Howell)
Proposed law adds a fee to plastic bags at checkout

Senate passes bill to ban single-use plastic bags, place 8-cent fee on reusable plastic bags.

Development has encroached on the East Lake Sammamish Trail (at right). Joe Livarchik/file photo
King County files lawsuit to finish East Lake Sammamish Trail

Homeowners have until September to remove buildings and other property from the right of way.

Issaquah’s new website, launched Dec. 5, on a laptop. File photo.
Issaquah’s website gets $24K refresh

City council hears presentation about recent website redesign.

Natalie DeFord/staff photo
                                From left, Issaquah city administrator Wally Bobkiewicz, Mayor Mary Lou Pauly, and Issaquah School District Superintendent Ron Thiele speak during a Chamber of Commerce luncheon annual update event on Jan. 9.
Chamber hosts annual address for community stakeholders

Mayor, administrator, schools superintendent speak at luncheon.

Issaquah deals with first snow of the season

Schools closed Monday through Wednesday due to weather concerns.

Bellevue residents Marko and Karla Ilicic play a hockey game in the Topgolf Swing Suite inside Forum Social House. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
Forum Social House opens in Bellevue

Eastside gets new nightclub, mini golf, swing suites.

In November 2019, Washington voters approved Initiative 976, which calls for $30 car tabs. Sound Publishing file photo
Republicans try to guarantee $30 car tabs amid court hangup

Lawmakers sponsor companion bills in the House and Senate.

King County Metro’s battery-electric bus. Photo courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County could bump up Metro electrification deadlines

Transportation generates nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his 2020 State of the State Address on Tuesday, Jan. 14. (Photo courtesy of Washington State Office of the Governor)
Gov. Inslee delivers State of the State Address

By Leona Vaughn, WNPA News Service OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee stood… Continue reading

Most Read