RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The first day of classes is in the books for many local schools, but for one high school, in particular, it's more than just the first day; it's the start of a new tradition.
Rapid City High School seniors will wear the same color robe come graduation day, symbolizing a significant change in policy.
"We've been in contact with the state towards the end of the school year and over the summer, and they let us know that we can grant students diplomas from Rapid City High School," says Assistant Principal Jennifer Roberts.
In the past, students who graduated from Rapid City High School had to wear red or blue on graduation day, signifying they were graduating from either Central or Stevens high schools. This was because the district determined the students’ school based upon where they lived.
Now, their degree will officially list Rapid City High as their alma mater.
"I did all the work here, and I would have graduated from Stevens, but I didn't go to Stevens at all," says student Madelyn Long.
Staff and students see this as a step in the right direction. The team says the education the students receive is identical to the other schools, but it's just delivered differently.
"For some of our students, it's really important to them personally because they feel like this is the place where they found success," says Roberts.
"Makes a culture here and we can start embracing that culture of true academic success for our students and becoming that shining star in the community of academic success for our students," says teacher Sean Binder.
To some, this may not seem like a big deal, but for many of the students, it leaves them with a sense of pride.
"For me, I feel like it's a big deal because school is such a good school. It has flipped my entire learning experience around," says student Ocean Eberlein.
Now the seniors will count down the days until they cross the stage and receive their diploma from the exact school they attended.