The Academy Gazette

The Student News Site of Academy of American Studies

The Academy Gazette

The Academy Gazette

    Expectations, hopes, and worries about graduation

    On June 26, 2024, roughly 360 seniors at the Academy of American Studies will graduate at St. John’s University because they met GPA, course, and attendance requirements. The graduation ceremony is anticipated to begin at 6 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. at the Carnesecca Arena. 

    As hundreds, if not thousands, of people will bear witness to this ceremony, students have prepared year-round to acquire special seals, masteries, and honors distinctions on their diplomas. “Most students receive a Regents diploma,” guidance counselor Kayla Pereyra said. For the Regents diploma, students must get higher than a 65 on one social studies, math, science, and additional Regents exam. On the other hand, the Advanced Regents diploma requires students to get higher than a 65 on all math exams (Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II), the Living Environment exam and one other science exam, and the LOTE, in addition to the aforementioned prerequisites. 

    In addition to the diploma, students can receive seals and masteries. For the civics seal and seal of biliteracy, students must develop a paper relating to issues in the community and present it with a civics lens or in Spanish and English, respectively. In contrast, the service seal is achieved through completing over 100 hours of community service. Masteries in science and mastery in math are acquired through attaining an 85 or higher on the 3 Regents exams in each respective subject.

    Although students will hold and see their diplomas for the first time during the graduation ceremony, diplomas are given later. “[Last year] students came that Thursday and Friday to pick it up… I’m assuming it’s going to be the same thing [this year],” Pereyra said.

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    As a surprise to students during the graduation ceremony, some are chosen as scholarship recipients. “I’m hoping to see more scholarships [and] more awards given out because it is a bigger graduating class,” Ms. Pereyra commented as part of her aspirations for this year’s graduation ceremony.

    However, for 4 percent of students at Academy, diplomas may not come if they fail to meet requirements. Guidance counselors meet with these students to encourage them to seek support in office hours, take Apex classes, and retake Regents exams for higher grades.

    While graduation requirements are explained to students early on, if students forget or need to be reminded the“requirements aren’t hard to find; they are right on the website and are pretty easy to follow,” a senior said. The students said that they found the requirements to not only be easy to understand but also to achieve, “everyone I know has done great.” When asked about additional seals and certificates he said, “I heard about the seals but they seem to not be relevant to me right now so close to graduation. They would have been nice to know about earlier on.” As students enter the next stage in their lives, graduation intricacies seem to fall to the wayside as students are more preoccupied with the joys of graduating.

    Graduation is the event that officiates the next step many seniors take into adulthood and what many call “following their dreams.” They can begin their journey into life whether that be college or other aspirations students may look forward to, taking their next big step.

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