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Important Dates 2019-2020

December 2 - Senior Extended Purgolder Time at 9:30am in the Theater - Midwest Scholastic distributes cap & gown order forms

December 10 Midwest Scholastic collects cap & gown order forms and deposits during lunch in the cafeteria

December 16 - Senior Purgolder Time at 9:42am in the Theater - Meet with Counselors to get Scholarship Information

March 9 - Senior Picture Proof/Changes due to Ms. van Buren

May 1 - Senior Fair, Cap/Gown Distribution, Senior Survey all day in the LMC

May 18 - Senior Purgolder Time in the Theater

May 18 - Senior Scholarship & Awards Night at 6:00pm in the Theater

May 22 - All LMC material returns due

May 28 - Senior Recognition Ceremony 8:30am in the Theater & Senior Brunch at 9:30am in the Cafeteria

June 3-5 - Second Semester Exams

June 4 - Graduation Rehearsal and Senior Class Picture at 12:00pm in the Spec Gym. 

June 5 - Locker clean-out deadline

June 8 - All fees & obligations due by 3:30pm

June 12 - Graduation Ceremony at 5:00pm at the Kohl Center



We are very sorry that our students are missing out on so much as we face these unprecedented challenges, but the health and safety of our community remains our top priority. We know you might feel disappointed, upset and sad because this is not how you envisioned your last few months of high school.  We realize that you have questions about the status of many numerous spring Senior events including graduation. As a district and schools, we are reviewing each of these events and will update you as soon as we have more information.  At this point, all April events have been cancelled but a decision has not been made on any May or June events. We have been in communication with Midwest Scholastic, our vendor for caps, gowns, etc and when a decision is made about the graduation ceremony we will let you know what options are available to you. We will do everything we can to help facilitate positive, social opportunities for our students, to celebrate the accomplishments of our student body, and to envision alternatives to traditional live events, during the coming months. Thank you for your understanding and patience.


The Madison East High School Scholarship Committee will be accepting online scholarship applications from December 16th, 2019 through January 31st, 2020. Seniors can fill out the application at any time and make edits up until the deadline date. 

Contact Counselor Michelle Olson at 608-204-1631 with questions.

Additional Scholarship Opportunities


All students who choose to participate in the graduation ceremony are required to wear a purple cap, purple gown, purple & gold tassel on cap, and gold stole. Midwest Scholastic is our supplier for all graduation products. Midwest Scholastic staff met with the senior class in the Theater on Monday, December 2nd during Purgolder Time (9:30-10:02am) and distributed information packets and order forms. They collected the order forms during lunch on Tuesday, December 10th. After December 10th, all orders must be placed directly with Midwest Scholastic online or can be mailed to Midwest Scholastic. East High School does not accept orders or paymentsOrders paid in full will be available for pick-up on Friday, May 1st during the Senior Fair. Students who are absent from school can pick up items on Monday, May 4th in Student Services.


Students may use caps or gowns from East alumni and purchase tassels and stoles ala cart, if desired.  Students who may need to borrow a cap and gown package should connect with their principal, guidance counselor, school social worker or Main Office staff as soon as possible.


The Senior Fair will be held on Friday, May 1st in East’s LMC. Students will come to the fair with their English class where they will complete the MMSD Senior Survey, fill out their commencement name reader card and visit booths with pertinent graduation information. All 2020 seniors are required to complete the MMSD Senior Survey prior to graduation. This web-based survey will ask questions relating to student’s post -secondary plans and overall high school experience. Students will proceed to cap and gown pick-up upon completion of survey and visiting all booths. This fair is for students only.  Students who are absent from school can pick up all information and complete the survey on Monday, May 4th in Student Services. All students who plan to participate in the graduation ceremony are required to have a name reader card completely filled out prior to the ceremony. Students will receive and return these cards at the Senior Fair. They are then passed on to our  ceremony name readers, so they can practice name pronunciation prior to the ceremony. Students should write their first and last name phonetically on the card.


Monday, May 18th at 6:00pm in the Theater.  Seniors who will be receiving scholarships and awards will receive invitations by the end of April.  Parents are also encouraged to attend.


The Senior Recognition Ceremony and Senior Brunch will both take place on Thursday, May 28th.  The recognition ceremony will begin at 8:30am in the theater, followed by the brunch at 9:30am in the cafeteria.  ALL seniors are welcome and encouraged to attend.


June 3rd-5th


The Graduation Rehearsal is on Thursday, June 4th at 12:00pm in the Spec Gym is the only time that all details and procedures of the graduation ceremony will be explained. Everyone who plans to be in the ceremony MUST be there. Early graduates and alternative school students MUST also attend if they wish to participate in the ceremony.  The Senior Class Picture will also be taken at this time with all seniors dressed in gowns. Seniors MUST bring their gowns (no cap/tassel needed). Stoles will be distributed at the rehearsal. Don’t be late and be left out. The picture will be taken by Empire Photography. Senior Class Picture Order Forms should be completed and brought to the meeting/photo on June 4th along with payment to Empire Photography.  Orders can NOT be turned in to East High School, they must be given directly to Empire Photography at the photo session or mailed to them at 1911 Monroe St. Madison, WI 53711.  The rehearsal and class picture are for seniors only.  Parents and guardians are respectfully asked to wait for their students either at the Welcome Center or outside of the building.


Seniors who have unresolved Obligations such as book fines, payment for lost materials, etc., will not receive a diploma at the ceremony. Library materials are due on Friday, May 22nd. Students are reminded to pay all obligations by Monday, June 8th at 3:00pm. Diplomas will be sorted and sent to the Kohl Center. It will not be possible to pay obligations on Graduation Day. The remaining diplomas will be available at East High School beginning the Monday after Graduation in the Main Office.  Lockers should also be cleaned out by Friday, June 5th at 3:30pm



The 2020 ceremony will be held on Friday, June 12th  at 5:00pm at the University of Wisconsin Kohl Center. Students should arrive at 3:45pm.  Doors open to families and guests at 4:00pm. Students should enter through Student Gate Entrance (on Dayton Street to the right of Gate A) and proceed downstairs where they will line up alphabetically. Students will go through security screening at the Student Entrance. Students who arrive late will be placed at the very end of the processional and will not be seated in alphabetical location. The ceremony will last approximately one and a half hours.

Kohl Center Venue Information 


East’s commencement ceremony is a formal event. Students may not display names, messages or decorations on their cap or gown. Graduates will walk a significant amount and will stand for at least an hour before the ceremony. It is highly recommended that all graduates wear formal footwear that is comfortable. Students who may need assistance in obtaining dress clothes should connect with their principal, guidance counselor, school social worker or Main Office staff.

The only visible items permitted to be worn on the outside of the graduation gown are the graduation stole, school related pins and honor and/or Congress cords. Only the tassel is to be worn on the cap.

Honor Cords — Students who have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher are entitled to wear a purple and gold Honor cord over their stole. Eligibility is usually determined in March and students are awarded their cords at the Senior Scholarship and Awards night in May.

Congress Cords — Students who have been in student Congress are entitled to wear a gold cord over their stole.  Eligibility and distribution of cords is at the discretion of the senior Congress advisor.

School Pins — Students who have earned a recognition pin(s) from a school club or organization may wear it on the gold stole. Distribution of pins are at the discretion of the club advisors.


There are no limits on guest seating so tickets are not required and graduates can invite as many guests as they desire. Doors open to the public at 4:00pm.  We ask that all students, parents and other spectators use the judgment necessary to preserve the dignity of the Commencement ceremony. The school has received many compliments on its efforts to make graduation a dignified and joyful experience for all.  Poor behavior, by even a few, can disrupt and ruin the ceremony for other students and parents.  For many friends and relatives, this Commencement ceremony becomes their only image of West High School.  Your cooperation will be appreciated by all. 


Please allow extra time due to construction.  Parking will be available starting at 1:30pm on Friday afternoon.  Lots 33, 44, 45, 51, and 92 are within a 5-10 block walking distance of the Kohl Center and are free after 4:30pm.  On the day of the ceremony, parking will be sold for $10 per vehicle on a first come, first served basis in the following lots: 29, 46, 83, and 91. Lot 48 is ADA Accessible Parking Only. Handicap accessible parking will be sold in all lots. Please review the UW parking lot map for more information on parking lot locations and costs or visit the UW-Madison Transportation Services website.

ACCESSIBILITY (Seating and Parking)

Accessible seating is available and can be reserved by calling Kohl Center Guest Services at 263-5645 in advance. Due to the construction project staging area, the Kohl Center will NOT have the golf cart rides available to patrons like in years past.


There will be an area set up on both sides of the stage in the seating section for photography.  These areas will be clearly marked and are to be used briefly by anyone who wishes to get closer to the stage to take a picture of their graduate. Please do not attempt to sit in these areas and respect the fact that the space needs to rotate so all families can have a good photo opportunity.  Graduation Ceremony Photos of each student will also be taken professionally by Empire Photography. At the ceremony students will fill out a form with their contact information. Within one to two weeks after the ceremony, an email/letter (depending on preferred contact information) will go out to students with the proof of their photo and an order form to order the photo if desired. We are no longer able to offer the option to purchase DVD copies of graduation ceremonies. However, ceremonies will still be filmed and will be available on the district YouTube Channel a few weeks after the ceremony.


Please do not bring Bags Larger than 8.5”x11” (including backpacks), alcohol, food, beverages, banners, flags, signs, noisemakers, drones, R/C vehicles, inflatables (balloons, beach balls, etc), strollers, weapons, electronics (laptops, video recorders, monopods, tripods, selfie sticks & laser pointers), glass vases, bubbles, confetti, silly string or other distractions into the Kohl Center, they will be confiscated. Items left at entrances will be discarded. All guests will be required to go through security screening & metal detectors. Guests will need to remove cell phones, cameras and keys before going through the metal detectors. 


Diplomas will be distributed after the commencement ceremony at the Kohl Center to those students who have successfully completed all graduation requirements, and who have no outstanding fees or obligations. Students who borrow a cap and gown package from East will receive their diploma upon returning all borrowed items.  Items may be returned to East staff at the Kohl Center following the ceremony, or in the East High School Main Office on Monday, June 8th at 3:00pm. Graduates who choose not to participate in commencement may pick up their diploma in the Main Office on Monday, June 17th. Graduates will receive their diploma after the ceremony from East staff members in the diploma pick-up area.  Students will be directed to this area by staff members. Family members and guests will not be allowed in the diploma pick-up area. Graduates will exit the Kohl Center immediately after diploma pick-up. Family and friends of graduates should meet and celebrate with students in front of the Kohl Center at main entrance.   


Senior student email accounts and Google accounts will be deactivated after graduation. Seniors should make sure to move and save all information they want to keep. Read these Instructions to Save MMSD Google Items Upon Graduation for more information.


All colleges and universities require a final transcript to be submitted after 2nd semester grades are submitted and finalized. Students are responsible for sending their final transcript to the college or university they will be attending through their established Parchment Account. Students should go to to request a final transcript. This electronic service allows you to order transcripts online at any time and track the status of requested transcripts.

College Planning

Graduation Requirements

Yearbook, Senior Pictures, Senior Tributes