Project Graduation



Project graduation is a drug free/alcohol free chaperoned celebration following graduation ceremonies at the respective high schools run under the auspices of the Wayne Council of P.T.O.’s.  This has been an ongoing tradition with the intent to promote a safe atmosphere for our children for the entire evening, returning to school the next morning.  When arranging your activities, please keep spending in perspective.


2014-2015 School Year Project Graduation Overalls:

1) Wayne Hills High School:  Joyce Morandi

2) Wayne Valley High School: Stephanie Fenske

If you need to contact your project graduation overall please send us an email at with the name of your project graduation overall representative in the subject line and we will be happy to forward the communication.


Responsibility: To oversee project graduation, provide insurance coverage and gambling licensing for all functions, provide bulk-mailing permit, and maintain proper guidelines.

Appoint Project Graduation Overalls at each high school when positions are available.


Term:   Maximum term of four years consecutively.

Requirements:   A minimum of two (2) years as a chairperson or actively involved on project graduation or other P.T.O. functions.

Functions:  Train and oversee all class years currently active.

To seek new chair people, for incoming class.  Initiate first mailing to solicit volunteers and start committee.  (Funds should be available from previous class excess).

Approve all fundraisers and correspondence in advance.  Approve budget that should be prepared in the fall of senior year.

To store financial records of graduated classes for 7 years.

To fill out building permit requests for meetings held by overalls.

To maintain and promote communications between project graduation, school administrators, P.T.O. Council and High School Chapter P.T.O. 


Committee (Officers)

Term: Four years.  There should be a minimum of 4 chair people, which includes a President (or co-presidents), Vice President (or two), a secretary and treasurer.

Requirements:  Must be a P.T.O. member.  Officers should have experience chairing committees in the past and be familiar with PTO rules and practices.

Functions:  To contact parents/students through mailings to inform and collect commitment fees.

To raise necessary funds by means of community fundraisers and commitment fees.

To obtain all necessary permits and insurance certificates when needed for functions in a timely manner (at least one month prior).

To run structured class meetings with treasurer providing financial summary reports and secretary recording minutes of the meeting (a minimum of one meeting per year).

To locate and book the facility for your graduation event at least one year prior to graduation (Contract must be approved by Overall before signing as some venues are not approved by NJ School Boards).

To create and provide a budget to the Overall by the fall of senior year.

To collect Hold Harmless/Permission Agreements from each student in senior year.

It is recommended that junior class project graduation chair people chaperone senior class project graduation event.

Must be a member of the Hills/Valley PTO, while serving as an Officer/Chairperson.

Whenever a meeting is held formally or informally your secretary must keep notes of that meeting.

Please keep good notes on each fundraiser you run for future classes.

Remember to give a list with dates of your fundraisers to the Overall for approval, as they must submit to PTO Council.  This also prevents committees from fund raising over each other.

Any correspondence i.e. letters, flyers, notices, fundraisers, commitment fee letters must be approved by project graduation overall prior to mailing (NO EXCEPTIONS).  Overall must submit these to the principal for approval as well.

In senior year, your treasurer should meet with the school nurse for a confidential accounting of the number of students that are in need of financial assistance.  This will be kept in the strictest confidence between the nurse and your treasurer.

In senior year, committee should hold a meeting at the school for graduating students to promote event (show DVD from previous event and discuss Fashion Show).

A student may attend project graduation if:

  1. His/Her commitment fees are paid in full.

A student excluded from the graduation ceremony may not attend project graduation (except for extenuating circumstances which will be reviewed on an individual basis by the Officers, Overall, and Principal (i.e., expulsion, suspension, completion of credits, etc.).



The primary fundraiser for senior year is the tricky tray Fashion Show that is to be held exclusively by the senior class.

  1. The senior class will always have the priority for fund raise the necessary dollars in order to meet their anticipated expense for the activities they have scheduled for their graduation evening.

Ticket sales for the Fashion Show  – school wide mailing is permitted.

  1. Any amount (in excess of $150.00*) left over after all project graduation expenses have been paid can be spent as the committee decides (i.e., a gift to the school in honor of that class or to a scholarship fund of their choosing).  Large (expensive) goodie bags are discouraged.

*The $150.00 should be given to PTO Council to pay for the next mailing.

Junior, Sophomore, and Freshman Classes:

Junior, sophomore and freshman classes are restricted to two (2) fundraisers in a given year.  If a financial problem is evident, then the Overall and Project Grad Officers will vote to amend the situation.  This is not usually the case, as the Tricky Tray/Fashion Show should meet the necessary expenses.

NOTE: Please refer to raffle license rules, as there are limits to the number of raffles our organization can run per year.  You will need to check with your overall before running any raffle type fundraiser.

Student Refund Policy:

Refunds will be given for any paid commitment up until January 1st of your senior year.  Refunds requested after January 1st will only be given after project graduation expenses are paid in full and if funds are available.

Commitment Fees:

The cost of a Project Graduation event is approximately $200 per student.  PTO Guidelines state that in order to participate in Project Graduation, a student must have his/her commitment fees PAID IN FULL. Commitment fees are $40.00 per year for the first three years. (Freshman/ Sophomore/ Junior). The total due by the end of junior year is $120.00.  Project Graduation fees must be paid in full in order to participate in the Fashion Show Fundraiser in senior year.

Project Graduation Coordinator/Overall and senior class chair people will meet to discuss, no later than October 15, commitment fee (if any) for senior year.  No Fundraising info or commitment fee requests will be mailed home prior to this meeting.  The ultimate decision for a senior year fundraiser or commitment fee will reside with the PTO Council Officers and Project Graduation Coordinators/Overalls.  This rule is in place to prevent excess fund raising and cost to parents.  Every effort must be made to give the best event at the least cost.


Treasurers are required abide by all PTO Treasurer Procedures, to submit all financial information for the P.T.O. Council Audit (annually), and attend at least one training session (held annually by PTO Council Treasurer).

The treasurer will open a bank account with four signatures (2 Officers, and a treasurer and the PTO Council Treasurer) Any checks $500 and over must be signed by 2 of the officers on the account.  The accounts must read:  Wayne Council of P.T.O.’s (Either Wayne Hills or Wayne Valley) Project graduation class of ___________ (year).

Send quarterly reports to P.T.O. Council Treasurer.

Insurance and Council Fees:

P.T.O. Council holds the insurance policy for all individual Chapters.  This insurance coverage includes all P.T.O. events held off school property.  In the case of any events held off school property an insurance certificate must be obtained. In order to obtain a certificate, you must contact the P.T.O. Council Officer in charge at least 2 weeks prior to the event.  There is no charge for the certificate.  You must supply the P.T.O. Council Officer with all the information necessary.

General liability policies do not cover directors and officers; we hold a separate directors and officer’s policy.  All chapter officers and council officers are covered under this policy.

You will be advised of your P.T.O. council expenses (audit and insurance fees) by a bill during the school year.  Checks should be made payable to the Wayne Council of P.T.O.’s and mailed to the council treasurer’s home.  Approximate insurance expenses are $500.00 total for all four years of the committee and audit fees vary.  Treasurer will advise those fees each year.


  1. There must be sufficient chaperones.  Some venues have specific requirements for the number of chaperones per student.  Otherwise, our requirement is at least one chaperone for every 20 students.  It is recommended that you hire a nurse to be available to attend the project graduation event.
  2. Students who wish to attend must pay their fee and sign the Hold Harmless/Permission Slip.  If they arrive the night of the event and wish to attend at the last minute, they must bring this with them along with their commitment fee.  These students should be given a different color wristband as they will not be entitled to a goodie bag.
  3. If you decide to allow students to go home between graduation and boarding the bus for the event, they must be driven by a parent or guardian.  No backpacks can be allowed on the buses.  It is suggested that all students’ belongings should be put into “clear” plastic bags and inspected by chaperones before boarding the buses.  Do not allow water bottles.  If prescription medication is necessary it can be turned over to the nurse.
  4. It is strongly suggested that the event should not end earlier than 4:00 a.m. with students arriving back no earlier than 5:00 a.m.  At this point they need to be picked up by a parent or guardian.
  5. Regular Code of Conduct should be enforced.  If alcohol is discovered during check-in, either on their person, or on their breath, a chaperone needs to be available to stay behind and wait for that student to be picked up by their parent.  They forfeit the privilege of attending.  This rule also applies if it is discovered that they are intoxicated or under the influence at the event.

All of these rules will be outlined in the Hold Harmless Agreement/Permission Slip, but it is a good idea to convey to them early and often in correspondence with parents and students.