I may be wrong, but I somehow believe Hopkinton’s first eighth grade ‘graduation’ happened in my daughter’s class – in 2000. It was only for students and faculty. They put a tent out in the back of the school and they had some sort of social gathering where the kids dressed up.
Jettison to now – when all us parents (and extended family) are gathered in the high school field house with chairs set up for the ‘graduates’ and families are shoehorned into bleachers with extra chairs for the overflow.
About eight awards or so are given to students out of each of the 3 teams by their commensurate teachers; then related arts awards are given; then administrative awards are given; and then the school-wide award is given to one student; then the graduation certificates are given to each child – upwards of 250-300; then there are short speeches given by six eighth graders – then a musical interlude – then the principal’s speech and nearly two hours later we are done.
I don’t remember specifically but I do know on the last day of junior high we probably did what we very typically did every last day of school: my mother picked us all up and we went for lunch at the Barnacle https://www.facebook.com/thebarnaclemhd/ . The big treat was getting a Joe Frogger https://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/food-dining/2013/07/02/recipe-for-joe-froggers/aFX8uYI2rSAUxm5eg9yzdJ/story.html after our meal. That was the equivalent of my graduating middle school. How about you?