DeSoto High School Graduation

Dear Parents and Scholars of the DeSoto High School Class of 2020:

We understand the anticipation with which many in our community have awaited a clear plan regarding our intent to honor and recognize the Class of 2020. We deeply apologize for the delay in arriving at the right decision amid these very complicated circumstances.

While plans for graduation do not require Board approval, we recently presented the proposed plans to the Board of Trustees to communicate the top two options that leadership considered.

One of the options included utilizing Globe Life, which would have required Board approval due to district purchasing guidelines. However, since that was not the recommendation of leadership, this presentation was not an Action Item, but rather a Communication Item.

Given recent developments related to an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases, it became clear that pursuing a mass in-person ceremony was not in the best interest of our graduates and families’ health and safety.

Next week, DeSoto High School will host a series of events designed to provide precaution for the health and safety of our grads, their families and our communities but also provide the in-person experiences every family dreams about as they envision this important senior milestone.

The Class of 2020 commencement ceremonies will take place over the course of Wednesday, May 27, 2020 and Thursday, May 28, 2020.

May 27, 2020:
10 a.m. to Noon – Virtual Graduation
Event will be live-streamed at www.DeSotoISD.org/Graduation from the DeSoto High School Multi-Purpose Center. The event will include speeches from the Class of 2020 Valedictorian, Salutatorian, Class President and Class Secretary and a virtual presentation of all graduates.

1 p.m. to 3 p.m.– Mini Ceremonies
Members of the Class of 2020 are invited to participate in mini ceremonies designed to provide families an opportunity to watch their grad cross the stage in person, present their student(s) a diploma and take photos. The mini-ceremony on the 27th is for specifically invited students with special accommodations requirements, class officers and top 10. The remaining members of the class will be invited on the 28th in alpha order.

● Ceremonies organized by alpha in the MPC.
● Students and no more than five guests allowed to attend
● Hear graduate’s name announced
● Presentation of Diploma by family member or guest
● Photos on graduation stage
● DHS-commissioned professional photographers and videographers onsite


May 28, 2020
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.– Mini Ceremonies

● Ceremonies organized by alpha in the MPC.

A-F (9:00 - 9:45)

G-L (10:00 - 10:45)

M-O (11:00 - 11:45)

P-S (12:00 - 12:45)

T-Z (1:00 - 1:45)


● Students and no more than five guests allowed to attend
● Hear graduate’s name announced
● Presentation of Diploma by family member or guest
● Photos on graduation stage
● DHS-commissioned professional photographers and videographers onsite

Security and staff will direct families to the DHS MPC staging area. Diploma packets will be issued following graduate photos.

In order to assist us in maintaining a safe environment for all, DeSoto ISD asks the following of all grads and guests:

● Follow traffic flow
● Adhere to guidance from security personnel
● Wear Masks
● Maintain social distancing
● If ill or symptomatic, STAY HOME
● Exit expeditiously

In order to memorialize this event, and in addition to the video livestream, DeSoto High School will provide onsite photography and videography services to create a full compilation simulating a traditional graduation for later release and a highlight recap video of the event for release on social media. Photography will be released to graduates and families at no charge to the Class of 2020.

We understand that many are frustrated by our decision to refrain from hosting graduation at Globe Life Park or other outdoor venues but the City of DeSoto and Glenn Heights have been some of the hardest hit zip codes in the metroplex with regard to rising COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
In addition, Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang recently released a statement strongly discouraging indoor graduations and ceremonies held outside in stadiums and warned about potential for massive spread of COVID-19.

While this may not be the ceremony you imagined, a virtual ceremony is still an event designed to recognize our graduates in a manner that closely aligns to a traditional ceremony. This graduation is not a reluctance to fully honor or recognize our seniors; nor does it minimize or disregard the talents, gifts, hard work and efforts of our graduating scholars and their families.

We honor you, Class of 2020, and the families who have sacrificed to see these scholars through to this moment in their lives. Thank you for your flexibility, understanding and resilience during this time. Class of 2020, we can’t wait to celebrate you next week.

For questions or additional assistance, email Info@DeSotoISD.org.

Sincerely,

Shon Joseph
Principal
DeSoto High School