BHS graduation guide: How to celebrate your student

The Bainbridge High School graduation ceremony is just one of several celebrations honoring the class of 2024 — but save your caps for the big day June 15.

Grad-o-grams, a hard-copy letter of support from a special person or loved one, is the first major event. Seniors will receive their grams after rehearsal the day before graduation. The letters are a BHS tradition, and the district notifies all parents and guardians of the program, but they’re still a surprise for the seniors — they don’t know who’s writing theirs, or what the letter contains, until they read it June 14.

A formal event will take place June 7 at 6 p.m. in the Paski Gym. The National Honor Society will award some students with recognition and membership into its organization. Seniors receiving the induction are encouraged to wear their graduation gown and stole, but to leave the cap at home — and “everyone else, please dress nicely,” event organizers write. Bring the family; there will be cake.

Outside of the district programming, the Bainbridge Island Interfaith Council will be honoring graduates who wish to participate at a baccalaureate at St. Cecilia Church June 9 at 3 p.m. Typically, a baccalaureate involves a sermon to a graduating class of students. The service is non-denominational and student-led: participating grads choose a theme and contribute readings, art, music, prayers, speeches and more to the event. They may also select an adult speaker from school faculty and suggest or approve a speaker from the religious community.

Finals will take place June 10-12, culminating in the last day of classes and Senior Awards Night June 13 at 7 p.m. at the BHS Theater. Students who have been selected for scholarships, local honorifics and community awards will be celebrated by friends, family and faculty.

Grads get serious June 14. Rehearsal begins at 10:30 a.m. in Paski Gym, during which seniors will practice receiving their diploma and walking the stage.

Finally, June 15 at 4 p.m., the BHS and Eagle Harbor High School graduation ceremony will commence in the Paski Gym, rain or shine. Seniors must arrive at 3 p.m., and doors will open to family members at 2:45 p.m. No tickets will be required, but each senior will have space for about eight guests. The event will last about an hour and a half.

Following family pictures and hugs, Grad Night Out begins. The 67-year-old tradition, hosted by the parents of graduates, whisks them away for a night of dancing, music, games, entertainment, food and hullabaloo at a number of mystery venues until the sun comes up. The events are chaperoned and substance-free and attendees require a family member or designated adult to retrieve them at the Bainbridge ferry terminal at 6 a.m. June 16. Tickets are $290.