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“To commence” means to start or begin, and comes from the Old French (‘comencer’) and Latin root “initiare”. The “Commencement” of each TFS class suggests that their faith journey and their lifelong journey of learning have only just begun. The TFS Commencement is thus a sending-out of 8th Graders who have met all TFS graduation requirements. 

A full day of simple and dignified Commencement activities mark a rite of passage for the 8th Grade Class and for the entire Franciscan School community. Commencement is deliberately “backed up” against a weekend so that grandparents, extended family, and other special friends might stay in the Raleigh area a day or two longer and join with us in celebrating the accomplishments of our graduates. 

On Commencement Day we celebrate a Baccalaureate Mass for the entire TFS community (all grades) in the Church. Parents, friends, and family of the 8th Grade Class are invited to attend. Attire at the Mass and during the day is school uniforms for all.
The Baccalaureate Mass is followed by receptions for the Class and for their families and guests. The traditional Awards Ceremony and clap-out of the graduates in the TFS Courtyard follows this reception. Parents and friends are welcome.
Commencement exercises, marked by the award of diplomas, are that evening in the Church. Students arrive at church early to line up and to prepare for the procession. Dress for Commencement is semi-formal – white shirt, blue blazer, and school tie for boys and white dress for girls. Details regarding both the details of Commencement Day and dress are sent to families in March.
It is a general expectation that a student must be in attendance at TFS for his or her entire 8th Grade year to receive a Franciscan School diploma.

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