The demise of the eighth grade graduation in Newton Public Schools has been greatly exaggerated. Another rumor involving the high school graduation party is also suspicious.

School officials said parents put on a graduation party and it is held off the school grounds, usually at the Recreation Center. The party, usually the same day as graduation, set for May 19 this year, is not a school function.

?Chisholm Middle School principal Viclu Rovero said a special recognition for eighth graders would go on as usual this year, just as it has for several years.

?"I don't know where that came from," she said about rumors that it had been cancelled, but she thought she had heard something similar. With all the talk of school finance and budget cuts, people could be concerned, she said.

?But they don't call it graduation. Education officials believe the word "graduation" should be reserved for when a person finishes high school. Instead it is called "recognition" when a milestone is passed.

?The eighth grade recognition day will be May 22, and will happen in two waves, since there are two teams. One team will have its ceremony at 11:30 a.m., and the other team will be recognized after lunch.

?"It is a special day. We try to keep the focus on the kids," Rivero said.

?At the ceremony she may say a few words about how the event will go. Students will speak at the beginning and end of the recognition.?Students will get a certificate, but it is not a diploma or an official graduation.

?Students will be recognized for being involved in various activities, such as choir or the science Olympiad, as well as any competitive activity.

?There may be some other awards given to students at the assembly.