Class of 2022 white cap and gown prerequisites expanded


Gabriella Bomjardim

On April 5, Bonita Vista High’s (BVH) Principal Roman Del Rosario, Ed.D. and and IB Coordinator Jared Phelps talk to Jose Vallejo’s second period IB History of the America class about the IB program. They discussed the possibility of offering the white cap and gown to other deserving students.

Since the graduating class of 2007, International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma candidates have been recognized with white robes and a gold hood at their graduation ceremony for completing the IB diploma program. This was done to acknowledge the extra work diploma candidates do, such as write a 4,000 word essay, take a Theory of Knowledge class and make a Creativity, Action and Service plan.   

On April 12, BVH Principal Roman Del Rosario, Ed.D. sent an email to IB diploma candidates announcing the expansion of categories for students that are eligible to wear a white cap and gown for graduation. According to the email, all IB diploma candidates—regardless of grade point average (GPA)—, students with a 4.2 GPA or higher and the four highest achieving students in various special needs programs will graduate in white gowns. This decision has caused tension between non-IB and IB graduates, however, IB diploma graduates will still have the distinction of being the only ones wearing a gold hood during the graduation ceremony.

“The heart of the decision to extend the white robe distinction to a larger number of students essentially comes down to our desire for greater congruence with the nearly universal practices of other schools in our district in this regard,” Del Rosario said.

The decision will only apply to the class of 2022 and will be readdressed for a permanent decision. The class of 2022 has 51 IB diploma candidates, which according to Del Rosario’s email, is 5-10 percent of the seniors. The new decision will have an additional 45 students set to wear white. That totals to 96 out of the 542 seniors18 percent of the class of 2022that will be graduating in white.

Emails have also been sent out to candidates who qualify for the white gowns under the new requirements. In the email, Del Rosario explains that after “careful consideration” he decided to extend the recognition to “very deserving students.” Del Rosario continues by stating the criteria in which the student falls under that qualifies them for a white gown during this year’s graduation ceremony.   

Del Rosario emphasizes how this decision is meant to recognize more students of deserving work, not to dishonor the work of IB diploma students.

In no way is this decision intended to diminish the accomplishments of our senior IB graduates.  It is our hope that this decision honors the work of additional deserving students by expanding the criteria to graduate in a white gown while simultaneously honoring the additional work of the IB Diploma Candidates by continuing to make the gold academic hoods a unique IB distinction,” Del Rosario said.