The Final Countdown
The final countdown is on! Graduation is only a few days away. I know we all feel like we are drowning in a sea of activities during the last week of school, so I want to give you the schedule for the big day and clarify a few things to make life a little easier (or more overwhelming depending on how you look at it).

Gowns and Attire
If you are frantically searching your house for your child’s cap and tassel, please stop! The caps and tassels are all at the school to be handed out before the ceremony. Gowns need to be returned to the school on May 23 or 24 and not a day earlier! We have no room to store them. The gowns need to be steamed and labeled with your child’s name. All students should plan to look “church nice” under their graduation gowns.

Ceremony
The graduation ceremony will last approximately one hour (maybe shorter) and the reception will immediately follow in the cafeteria. The reception usually lasts 45 minutes to an hour but you are free to leave at any time. I know many of you have dinner reservations and family in town.

Rehearsals
We changed the time for our second graduation rehearsal to make it easier for everyone.

Graduation Rehearsal #1 – Tuesday, May 23, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Graduation Rehearsal #2 – Wednesday, May 24, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm (in graduation attire see below)


Please remember both of the rehearsals are MANDATORY for all 8th grade students participating in the ceremony.

Graduation Day schedule
May 24 is a scheduled school day. However, many 8th grade students find they have had quite enough of pretending to be interested in school, and don’t attend the entire day. We understand. We also understand that many parents work and are not interested in leaving their 8th graders to their own devices at home for the entire day. Students are all invited to attend the full day of school as scheduled. All 8th grade teachers will, of course, be here and everyone will be kept busy. If this is your family plan, please also plan to send graduation dress clothes along with your 8th grader in the morning so that they may get ready at school before the rehearsal at 2:00pm. They may also be dropped off for the MANDATORY graduation rehearsal at 2:00pm (wink, wink) DRESSED, FED and READY for graduation and then stay through the ceremony. Students are not allowed to leave once they are dropped off at the school until after graduation. Again, please send them with their dress clothes if you are dropping them off in the morning!

2:00 pm: 8th graders should arrive for the REQUIRED graduation rehearsal dressed and ready for the ceremony – students should go directly to the gym!

3:30 pm: 8th graders will go directly to Ms. Pearo’s room to watch a fun video and to get ready for the ceremony. Caps, gowns and tassels will be handed out at this time.

4:30 pm-4:45 pm: Parents should plan to arrive for the ceremony.

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Graduation ceremony (gym) with reception to follow (cafeteria).


8th Grade Graduation Picture - Wednesday!
This is just a reminder that we will be taking our 8th grade graduation pictures WEDNESDAY April, 26 from 11:30 am-1:00 pm at Elk Ridge Park. The forecast calls for rain but it looks like it will be in the afternoon and cloudy days make the best pictures, no squinty eyes or profuse sweating. ? If we feel we need to reschedule you will receive an email.

Please be sure your child wears jeans and a white shirt for pictures and that you do not have any appointments scheduled during this time. They will stay in their jeans and white shirt all day so no need for uniforms!

Also, we are having an “8th Grade Hang Out Session” in the Castle Pines gym on May 22rd from 4:30pm-7:00pm. This will be one of the last times they are together as a group. The attire is casual and food will be provided.


More Graduation Updates
Graduation Gowns Steamed and Ready?
Just a reminder that we need your student’s gown to be steamed and ready for their big day! Please return the gown to the front office on May 22nd or May 23rd. We will not accept gowns before May 22nd because we do not have the space to store them. They need to be on a hanger with their name on it. If you lost the original name tag that was on the gown, just make a new one and pin or paperclip it on the gown. We will place all of the gowns on a rack and wheel it into Ms. Donohoe’s room on the big day.

Graduation Day- the clothes UNDER those gowns
All students should plan to look “church nice” under their graduation gowns. Girls may wear skirts (appropriate length) and a nice top or a dress and nice shoes. Boys may wear chinos or dress pants and a collared shirt with nice shoes. Button down shirts with a tie always look nice, but are not required. They may NOT wear denim, shorts or sneakers.

RSVP
If you have not already RSVP’d for the ceremony, please do so by May 1st. Just click on the link below and let us know how many guests you have coming (include yourself but NOT your student). There are approximately 13 parents who have not RSVP’d and we want to make sure we have enough chairs.

RSVP HERE


8th Grade Class Pictures
Terri Ary, a wonderful AA parent, has graciously agreed to photograph our 8th graders again this year. We will be taking a group shot of the entire class and individual shots as well. The students will receive a print of both images in their diploma covers at graduation. We have scheduled this special picture day for Wednesday, April 26th, from 11:30-1:00pm. All students need to wear a white top and jeans. We would prefer a collared shirt for boys (no sloppy t-shirts please) and a nice white shirt for girls (does not need to have a collar can be a nice t-shirt). Students may wear the jeans and white top the entire day, no need for uniforms.

Graduation Practices/b>
We have two graduation practices scheduled and attendance is REQUIRED for all 8th graders. Please be sure to put these dates on your calendar.

Graduation Practice #1 – Tuesday, May 23, 11:00am-1:00pm
Graduation Practice #2 – Wednesday, May 24, 2:00pm-4:00pm
(students will stay at school until the ceremony begins


Save the Date!
This is a special year for your student and your family – graduation year! There will be a lot of details to cover in the next few months, like the class gift, the class pictures, baby photos for our student slide show, the graduation gowns and diploma covers, dress code for the ceremony, and rehearsal times. We’ll get to them all, but to start with, we wanted you to be able to save the date and pass along to relatives!

American Academy 8th Grade Graduation
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
5:00 pm
American Academy Gymnasium
Reception to follow in the cafeteria


Order Your Gown
It is time to order your child’s graduation cap and gown! Please be sure to place your order on the school store by Thursday, February 16th. American Academy uses Graduation Source as the vendor for graduation supplies. The 8th grade graduation package costs $35.00 PER STUDENT and each package covers the cost of the following items:

- Gown
- Diploma cover
- Tassel and "2016" emblem
- Graduation ceremony and reception


Additionally, Ms. Daley along with the student-run 8th Grade Graduation Committee would like to present the school with a special CLASS GIFT during the graduation ceremony to commemorate their time at AA. They are asking that parents consider donating an optional and ADDITIONAL amount per family to help them pay for the gift. An option to donate will be given to you during the registration process on the school store.

DEADLINE: This registration and purchase must be completed by THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16.

REFUNDS: Because we must order the graduation package and supplies early based on the number of packages purchased, this purchase is non-refundable.

Click here to order your student's gown package NOW!

Create Custom Yearbook Pages for Your Grad!
Your son or daughter will soon be graduating from American Academy! The yearbook staff would like to invite you to honor your child and all of his or her accomplishments with a special tribute in the 2015-2016 American Academy yearbook.

This year, you have the option of creating two extra custom yearbook pages in each yearbook you order. Customize your grad's pages however you want and make this yearbook as special as your grad!

DEADLINE TO ORDER: March 30, 2016
- Watch a tutuorial on building custom pages
- Customize and buy your yearbook
Campus code: 1014458991442831


Graduation Slide Show - We Need Baby Pics!
Email a baby/toddler photo to kgray@aak8.org Mrs. Kellyn Gray, a Learning Specialist in our Student Support Services Department, will be putting together a slide show for the 8th grade graduation ceremony. Kellyn happens to be an amazing photographer and she graciously volunteered to create the slideshow for us, thank you Kellyn! Please email one baby/toddler picture of your child with their name included in the email to Ms. Gray by Friday, March 18 so YOUR child can be a part of it on the big day! The slideshow will run before and after the ceremony.

Graduation Details - Let the Count Down Begin
Are you ready for this? Your 8th graderwill soon be graduating from American Academy! Whether this brings you tears of joy, sadness or a general feeling of anxiety and panic, we have you covered! Below is important information regarding graduation so please read all the way to the end.

Caps and Gowns
The graduation caps and gowns have arrived! You can expect to see the gowns come home with your child tomorrow, Tuesday, April 4th. We will keep the caps and tassels at school to minimize the risk of getting lost. The gowns will need to be steamed. They are wrinkled when they arrive and ironing doesn’t work (believe me we have tried). For those of you who don’t have a steam iron, you can take the gown to your local dry cleaners and have it steamed. They need to be returned to the school on Tuesday, May 23rd, the day before the ceremony. Please do not try and bring them earlier as the front office will not accept them.

Baby/Toddler Picture
If you have not sent a baby/toddler picture of your child to Michelle Werden, please do so ASAP! The deadline was last Friday and we still have a few people who have not sent one in.

RSVP
Please take a moment to RSVP for the graduation ceremony. You do not need to pay or purchase tickets to attend. Your students have worked hard for this day and we are thrilled to have parents, guardians, grandparents, cousins and aunts and uncles and friends come out to share this special day with them! However, we do tend to run out of chairs and cake if we don't have some idea of how many are coming! Please click on the link below to RSVP (even if it's NO!) so we can plan to have seating and goodies for everyone in the gym.

RSVP HERE

Laptop Collection
The IT department will start their student laptop collection in May. Any student with missing items (Power cords MUST be turned in) or fees owed will NOT be able to participate in graduation ceremony. This is clearly stated in the laptop loan agreement signed by everyone at the beginning of the year. Please keep this in mind as the date is fast approaching. The collection date for 8th grade students is TUESDAY, MAY 16.

As always, any graduation information sent by email can also be found on the 8th grade graduation webpage.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Amber Anema



Graduation Ceremony RSVP
If you did not receive an RSVP link via email (they went to just ONE household member) do not panic. You can email Amber Anema your RSVP for graduation. Lesson learned, we tried a new thing and it didn’t work well.

As always, feel free to contact Amber with any questions. Graduation will be here before you know it!


Baby Photos - We Need YOURS!
The slide show with the baby pictures is absolutely adorable! Even I teared up as I watched it, knowing how quickly they grow up. We are still missing a few students so if you haven’t emailed your child’s baby photo to Kellyn Gray, please do so ASAP. Please be sure the photo is sent in the form of an attachment.

8th Grade One-2-One Laptop Collection
The IT department will start student One-2-One laptop collection in May. Any student with missing items or fees owed will NOT be able to participate in graduation ceremony. This is clearly stated in the laptop loan agreement signed by everyone at the beginning of the year. Please keep this in mind as the date is fast approaching! The collection date for 8th grade is Wednesday, May 18.

Graduation Gowns Are In!
The graduation caps and gowns have arrived! You can expect to see the gowns come home with your child on Monday, April 4. We will keep the caps and tassels at school to minimize the risk of getting lost.

The gowns will need to be steamed. They are wrinkled when they arrive and ironing doesn’t work (believe me we have tried). For those of you who don’t have a steam iron, you can take the gown to your local dry cleaners and have it steamed.

Gowns need to be returned to the school on Tuesday, May 24, the day before the ceremony. Please be sure the TAG WITH YOUR STUDENT'S NAME on it is still attached to the gown when you return it to the front office!


Count Down to Graduation - The Details
Graduation Gowns Steamed and Ready?
Just a reminder that we need your students’ gowns to be steamed and ready for their big day on May 22! Please return the gowns, along with cap and tassel, to the front office by Thursday, May 15. The gowns need to be on a hanger with the student's name on it. If you lost the original name tag that was on the gown, just make a new one and pin or paperclip it to the gown. Please also put some tape on the inside of your child’s cap with their first and last name. We will place all of the gowns on a rack and wheel it into Ms. Donohoe’s room on the big day.

Graduation Day - The Clothes UNDER Those Gowns!
All students should plan to look “church-nice” under their graduation gowns. They should come clean, brushed, washed and pressed, and ready to be presented to their parents as the young adults they have become! Please keep in mind that we will be having the ceremony in the gym, so girls who would like to wear low heels don’t have to worry about walking through mud or grass on their way up to get their diplomas.

All - No denim, no dirty sneakers, no shorts!
Girls – Skirts (no micro skirts, please!) and a nice top, or a dress, and nice shoes.
Boys – Chinos or dress pants (no denim, no shorts), and a collared shirt with nice shoes (no sneakers). Button-down shirts with a tie always look nice, but are not required.

Graduation Practices
Of course, having never done it before, the students need practice at graduating in style! We will be having two graduation practices. These practices are REQUIRED for all 8th graders. Please be sure to put these in your calendars and in your student’s calendar!

Grad Practice #1: Wednesday, May 21, 9:45 am – 1:30 pm (during the school day), AA gym
Grad Practice #2: Thursday, May 22, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm (required!!!)

Graduation Day schedule
May 22 is a scheduled school day. However, many 8th grade students find they have (ahem) had quite enough of pretending to be interested in school (cough), and don’t attend the entire day (ahem, wink, wink). We understand. We also understand that many parents work and are not interested in leaving their 8th graders to their own devices at home for the entire day.

Students are all invited to attend the full day of school as scheduled! All 8th grade teachers will of course be here and everyone will be kept busy. If this is your family plan, please also plan to send graduation dress clothes along with your 8th grader in the morning so that they may get ready at 4:00 pm for the ceremony. Students may also be dropped off for the grad ceremony practice at 10:15 am (wink, wink) and then stay through the ceremony. Again, please send them with their dress clothes!!!

10:15 am: 8th graders should arrive for REQUIRED graduation ceremony practice – students should go directly to the gym!

1:00 pm: Lunch! All students should bring a sack lunch in a disposable bag!

4:00 pm: 8th graders should arrive again (if they didn’t stay after practice) at the school and go directly to Ms. Donohoe’s room to prepare for the ceremony. Caps and gowns will be handed out at this time and students should be dressed and ready for their robes!

4:45 pm – 5:00 pm: Parents should plan to arrive for the ceremony.

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Graduation ceremony (gym) with reception to follow (cafeteria).

Parking!!!!
One last thing! We are expecting 550 people to come to graduation so parking will be an issue. Please carpool if you can. There will be no parking on Mira vista Lane but you can park in the Elk Ridge Park parking lot and tract B (the field on the East side of Mira Vista). We are expecting rain that day so be prepared for mud!


Bring on the Baby Pics!
It’s time to pull out those baby albums and send us your favorite baby or toddler pics of your 8th grader! We have two very fun reasons for digging through your baby albums.
  • The Graduation Slide Show
    Ms. Werden will be putting together a slide show for the 8th grade graduation ceremony and we want each of you to email one baby/toddler picture of your child to Ms. Werden by Friday, March 17 so YOUR child can be a part of it on the big day! The slideshow will run before and after the ceremony.
    Email the baby/toddler photo to Ms. Werden
  • Yearbook Free Custom Pages (optional)
    With our new yearbook company, TreeRing, you now have the opportunity to customize two pages of your child’s yearbook in any way that you would like. You can include a special note to your child, baby photos, or a collage of photos from their years at American Academy. If you prefer, you can include more current photos from extracurricular activities, photos of your family or photos of your child and their friends, etc. Alternatively, you can do some combination of both - it’s completely up to you!
Check out the tutorial and see how easy it is to create your custom 8th grade graduate pages! And while you are there, you can also place your order for your yearbook for 2016-2017 (be sure to use the campus code: 1014458991442831). If you need any customer support or assistance with your custom pages, just email TreeRing support, and start creating a special graduation memory for your child today!

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