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Graduation Season Kicks Off, Wrapping Up with All Night Party

Royal Oak High School seniors' calendars are filling up with honors and fun.

“The 2011 graduation season has officially begun,” Principal Michael Greening told students and parents at an academic honors breakfast Thursday at . The morning program honored students who will graduate cum laude (Latin for "with praise") or higher.

Greening explained that cum laude grads have a grade-point average of 3.65-3.79 on a 4.0 scale. Magna cum laude indicates a 3.8-3.89 GPA, and summa cum laude indicates a GPA of 3.9 or higher. “I’m not going to do the math, but that means you all had very good grades,” he said.

The principal also reminded students and parents to take time to celebrate their achievements.

As the parent of a Royal Oak High School senior, my calendar for May and June is full. College admission deposits are due. Graduation invitations need to be dropped in the mail. There are banquets, a senior breakfast, convocation, rehearsals and then, finally, graduation June 2 at Ultimate Soccer in Pontiac.

For students, it won't end when the last diploma is handed out to 413 students in the 2011 Royal Oak High School graduating class. The celebration will continue at Joe Dumars Fieldhouse in Shelby Township with the Senior All Night Party.

Allison Adams is one of the PTSA coordinators for this event. She said the All Night Party is a Royal Oak tradition. “The PTSA started it as a way to offer kids a safe way to be with their friends and celebrate," she said. "We expect about half of the seniors to attend.”

After students graduate and take dozens of photos with friends and family, showing off their caps and gowns and diplomas, they have until 11 p.m. to meet in the front of the Royal Oak High School gym. At 11:30 p.m., they will be whisked by bus to Dumars Fieldhouse, where the endless fun begins. Bungee jumping on a trampoline, volleyball, a giant inflatable slide, hoops, gator tag, high ropes, mini golf, a hypnotist, fortune telling, music and food are all included in the $45 ticket. Buses will return students back to the high school at 6 a.m. No personal transportation is allowed to this event.

The PTSA budgets money for the event, but not enough to cover all the expenses. Adams says organizers turn to the Royal Oak business community to help with sponsorship. “The All Night Party is really a community effort,” she said.

With two children in high school, that sense of community means the world to me. It’s nice to know that it’s not just my husband and me who are proud of our sons, but our friends, neighbors and local businesses are there for them, too.

If you have a high school senior, there is still time to purchase tickets. Permission slips went out in the mail several weeks ago. The PTSA would like those returned as quickly as possible so they can establish a head count.

If you forget to turn in your permission slip, no worries. Parents of seniors who have not turned in slips will be reminded by telephone.

I better add one more thing to my "to do" list. I need to purchase a great big box of Kleenex.

ROHS All Night Party

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