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Posted February 24, 2015

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District Makes Changes to Graduation Dress Rules

The Class of 2015 will be allowed to wear chords and stoles representing academic success as well as culture.

2012 graduates wear Kente cloths at a Black Student Union ceremony.

APS graduates can now adorn their caps and gowns with honor chords and stoles that represent their culture thanks to updates to the district's rules for graduation attire.

In addition to the traditional honor chords representing high academic achievement, students in the Class of 2015 will be allowed to wear the following during APS graduation ceremonies:

  • Stoles distributed by the Indian Education Department
  • Stoles distributed by the Black Student Unions (Kente cloths)
  • Stoles distributed by Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán
  • Stoles distributed by Gay Straight Alliance.

“This directive is about respecting the culture and individuality of our students," said Superintendent Dr. Brad Winter. 

The district also is encouraging students to wear cultural dress underneath the traditional cap and gown. 

Several schools had not allowed the stoles to be worn during graduation ceremonies, though they did allow them at honor assemblies and other events.

“This is an equity issue and we worked hard to get feedback from all stakeholders including students and the newly formed APS Equity Advisory Council,” said Joseph Escobedo, chief equity and engagement officer.

The Equity Advisory Council is working to develop a more in-depth process for granting stoles and honor chords for 2016 graduation ceremonies.

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