Class of 2018 Commencement Information

Class of 2018 Parents:

On Saturday, June 23, a celebration of many years of hard work and dedication will occur. The Class of 2018 Commencement will take place at the SUNY Albany SEFCU Arena beginning at 4 p.m. A wonderful program is planned, but there are many details to review beforehand. The program will take approximately two hours.

Please pay close attention to the items below, as each outlines important information that will the keys to making the graduation experience a success for all.

Commencement Day:

On Commencement day, students should arrive at the site no later than 3:15 p.m. The doors to the SEFCU Arena will be opened at 3 p.m. (not before) for parental seating. All parking for the SEFCU Arena is in the SEFCU Arena Lot and Dutch Quad Lot. (Maps are available upon request. Please email Laura Lawton in the front office).  A red parking pass will need to be displayed on any car parked in the SEFCU parking lot. Red parking passes will be included with the tickets in each senior’s graduation packet.

SEFCU Arena will be setting up a bag checking station for anyone entering the graduation ceremony. This is a security measure that the university has put in place. If you plan on attending, we strongly recommend not bringing in any bags, so that you can enter the arena faster.

Graduation Rehearsal

Student rehearsal for the commencement will take place on Thursday, June 21 at 10:30 a.m., in the high school new gym and will last approximately one hour. Any senior planning to attend the commencement program must be in attendance at rehearsal.

All books must have been returned and all fines or fees paid prior to a  student receiving his or her cap and  gown. There will be no exceptions. Prior to rehearsal on Thursday, June 21, there will be a table set up in the high school cafeteria lobby specifically for last minute collections. Students are encouraged to pay all fines/fees prior to the June 21 rehearsal. Outstanding materials lists will be posted throughout the building beginning with the examination period. Students are responsible for the checking the list for any financial obligations due to the school.

Admission Tickets

Six admission tickets are included in each student’s graduation packet. Packets are picked up at rehearsal. There are rare times when more tickets are needed; we will try to accommodate requests for extra tickets to the best of our ability. If you would like to request more than six tickets, please contact Laura Lawton as soon as possible via email or at 518-861-8591, ext. 1000.

Information regarding handicapped parking, admittance and seating can be found at the bottom this page.

The commencement program is a formal exercise to honor not only the graduate, but the proud parents. I would encourage you to discuss the importance and formality of this event with your graduate and appropriate corresponding behavior. Behaviors that disrupt the ceremony are unacceptable. Students will be expected to wear collared shirts and long pants (boys), or dress/skirt/slacks (girls). Please make every effort to discourage your child from wearing shorts, caps or any other casual attire that would detract from the formality of the event. Reminder: SEFCU policy does not permit balloons in the auditorium. SEFCU policy permits only service animals in the auditorium.

Also, students only have a brief moment to receive their diplomas on stage. Throwing objects and the disruptive behavior of students who are seated can block camera views and distract from the student who is on stage. Please speak with your child about the importance of respecting everyone’s graduation and appropriate behavior.

Important Information for Parents

Many activities will take place between now and the end of the school year. A few key events are below for your information. We want our seniors to enjoy the events planned for them and to do so safely. Therefore, we will be using a passive alcohol sensor prior to the Senior Ball and Graduation. The passive alcohol sensor is a screening device. Students who trigger the alcohol sensor will be taken to a private location to discuss with the chaperones whether or not they have been drinking. If necessary, after the recommended wait time, a second test will be administered to eliminate the possibility of a misreading. If it is determined that the student is under the influence of alcohol, parents will be contacted and consequences will be applied in accordance with the District Code of Conduct.  Please be aware that any student determined to be under the influence of alcohol at the Senior Ball or graduation will not be allowed to participate in the event.

Unfortunately, some of the other events that we are often forced to deal with are those activities that seniors choose to orchestrate on their own. Senior pranks and senior skip days are never condoned by GHS and only serve to create unnecessary disruptions and complications to what should be an enjoyable time of year for all. We are asking you, the parents, to help us avoid any unpleasant complications to your child’s final days here at GHS by reinforcing the message that the GHS Code of Conduct is still in effect and will continue to be enforced right up until your child graduates. Senior pranks are not cute and funny; they are destructive and disruptive. Students who choose to involve themselves in any such activities may relinquish their right to participate in any of the year-end activities listed below:

Awards Night
Wednesday, June 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Auditorium (by invitation)

Senior Ball
Friday, June 8 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Albany Capital Center

Senior Picnic
Monday, June 11 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tawasentha Park

Graduation Rehearsal
Thursday, June 21 at 10:30 a.m. in the GHS New Gym

Saturday, June 23 at 4 p.m. at the SEFCU Arena, at the University at Albany


Information for handicapped parking, admittance and seating

Anyone requesting handicapped parking, admittance and/or seating should plan on arriving to the SEFCU Arena not later than 2:45 p.m. on the day of graduation.


  • Special parking is available for those who cannot navigate stairs and/or need wheelchair assistance.
  • Please use the Western Avenue entrance to the University at Albany. Take a left on the peripheral road and pass the entrance to the general parking of the SEFCU Arena. Take the next right and proceed to the Cul-de-Sac on the other side of the SEFCU Arena. A security attendant will direct you to the drop off area and show you where to park. At the drop off area there is a ramp and walkway that leads to the main entrance.

Admittance and Seating

  • The entrance to the SEFCU Arena is on the upper level and guests must navigate the bleachers from the top.
  • There is an elevator for guests who are unable to use the stairs. There will be GHS staff to help. Please let staff know if you need assistance. The elevator will bring you to the floor level where limited special seating will be available.
  • The SEFCU Arena mainly has bleacher seating; however, there are chairs in front of the bleachers for our handicapped guests who cannot sit on bleachers.

Please contact the high school at 518-861-8591, ext. 1000, to arrange for handicapped seating.

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