Special Events » DPHS Graduation 2020

DPHS Graduation 2020




Class of 2020 Graduation FAQ



Due to the evolving nature of our graduation plans for the Class of 2020, we have prepared the following Frequently Asked Questions document to provide additional details for parents, students, and community members.


We realize that students and families probably miss some of our usual graduation traditions, and we share that sentiment.  However, current circumstances require unique accommodations.  We have worked hard to provide a ceremony that meets state safety guidelines and honors our seniors and their accomplishments.



I heard that the graduation date has changed.  What is the new date?

The new date for traditional graduation is Thursday, June 11, 2020, at 8 p.m. at Clyde Abshier Stadium.


Why did the graduation date change?

There are several reasons for the date change:

  • The governor has expanded participation in outdoor activities, and this has occurred much earlier than anticipated;
  • More seniors will be able to participate, because most students who have committed to a summer college program or a branch of the military will still be home on June 11;
  • An earlier traditional graduation reduces the possibility of being impacted by a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases later in the summer; and
  • The weather is typically cooler in June.

Health officials continue to recommend following social distancing guidelines, particularly for large outdoor gatherings. What kinds of safety precautions is the District taking?

Students will be provided a mask when they arrive at graduation, and they must wear their masks as they enter and exit the stadium.  We also encourage guests to wear a mask.


Students will be seated on the field six feet apart from each other.  They will enter and exit the stadium in an orderly fashion that complies with social distancing guidelines.


Seating in the stands will also be carefully distributed to comply with distancing guidelines.


Antibacterial dispensers will be provided at stadium entrances, and we will have social distance markings in multiple areas in the stadium. 


Graduation is a non-contact event, and the District encourages all spectators to responsibly follow social distancing guidelines.


Anyone experiencing the following new or worsening symptoms or diagnoses cannot participate in the graduation ceremony as a student, guest, or worker:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 if exposure to the active confirmed case occurred within the last 14 days

In accordance with graduation guidance from the Texas Education Agency and the governor’s Executive Order No. GA-23, individuals “found with any of these signs or symptoms must be excluded from the activity.”


Social distancing means there will be less room in the stands.  Will there be a limit to the number of people in attendance?

Yes, each student will receive three (3) graduation tickets for guests, and the guests must sit together. Guests must have a ticket to enter the stadium, and each ticket will admit one guest. 


When can seniors pick up their three tickets?

Graduation tickets can be picked up from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on June 4 at the Athletics Department parking lot at DPHS-South Campus. Each senior’s personalized seating assignment and map will be included with the tickets.  The senior or a parent/guardian can pick up tickets, and a student ID or driver’s license must be provided.


Will seating be open?  Can I sit where I want?

Tickets will be color-coded, with gold ticket holders sitting on the home side and maroon ticket holders sitting on the visitor side.  Families will be assigned tickets based on the side of the field on which their child is seated for graduation.


Stadium rows will be marked with a series of large rectangles indicated with blue tape, and each blue box is designed to seat three guests.  Boxes will be spaced six feet apart in compliance with social distancing guidelines.  Every other row will be closed to provide safe space between guests.


If I’m not using my tickets, can I give them to someone else?

Safe distancing seating is planned based on groups of three (each senior receives three tickets).  Thus, we ask that you not give spare tickets to others because we will not have single or two-person seating options available.


What time do the gates open?

The gates to the stadium will open at 6:45 p.m.


What time should my senior arrive at graduation?

Seniors must report according to their last name:


6:45 – 7 p.m.               A-B (Home side); L-Moo (Visitor Side)

7– 7:15 p.m.                C-D (Home side); Mop-Ren (Visitor Side)

7:15-7:30 p.m.             E-Gonzalez(Home Side); Reo-Sm(Visitor Side)

7:30 – 7:45 p.m.          Goo-K(Home Side); Sn-Z(Visitor Side)


Students who will sit on the home side of the field should report to the south gate (between the scoreboard and the home stands).  Students who will sit on the visitor side of the field should report to the north gate (between the visitor stands and the flagpole).


If there is no graduation rehearsal, how will my child know where they are sitting for graduation?

As seniors arrive at graduation, we will have staff available to direct them to their seats.


What is the dress code for the seniors?

Men should wear white or light-colored, collared shirts with a tie, slacks, socks, and dress shoes. Men need to be clean-shaven, and earrings are not permitted.


Ladies may wear any color dress and dress shoes (no tennis shoes allowed).  We strongly caution against high heels. The field turf is very soft, and it is easy to lose your footing or trip.  It is also a steep walk down the stadium entrance ramp. Earrings are the only piercing allowed (no facial piercings permitted).  DO NOT BRING A PURSE. Ladies cannot have them on the field, and we have no one to supervise them during the ceremony.  We also recommend that ladies bring bobby pins to help secure their graduation cap because it is typically windy on the field.


How long will the graduation ceremony last?

The ceremony usually lasts two hours.  However, social distancing guidelines will likely result in a slightly longer event.


Will the ceremony be live streamed?

Yes, live streaming will be available on the District website at www.dpisd.org/graduation/.  The video will remain available for viewing for several months.


Will there still be a virtual graduation ceremony on May 28?

Yes, the District will present a virtual graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. on May 28.  Virtual graduation will be streamed online at www.dpisd.org/graduation/.


Will the Performing Arts Center be available for viewing graduation on June 11?

No.  Due to social distancing restrictions, the Performing Arts Center will not be open for overflow graduation viewing.


Is smoking allowed?

Clyde Abshier Stadium is a non-smoking facility.


Will there be a concessions stand?

Yes, a concession stand will be available for drinks and snacks.


Will handicapped seating be available?

Yes, but handicapped seating is extremely limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. 


Can we reserve seats?

No, seats cannot be saved or reserved.


Can we hang signs or hold up a sign at graduation? What other items are prohibited?

To ensure that every guest is able to enjoy the ceremony, signs are prohibited.  Other prohibited items  include air horns, noisemakers, live animals, drones, umbrellas, balloons, and coolers.


Once the ceremony is finished, will families be allowed on the field to take photos?

Due to social distancing restrictions, families will not be allowed on the field after graduation.  Once the ceremony is completed, graduates will be dismissed row by row, and they can reunite with their families outside the stadium.


Can special family presentations be made on the field?

Due to the large number of graduates and the desire to have the ceremony focus on student accomplishment, achievement and recognition, we do not allow special presentations on the field.  This includes appearances by military family members, special circumstances involving student/family members, and recognition of former students.


What happens if it rains?

Our plan is to hold traditional graduation on June 11.  If the weather is bad that evening, we will postpone the start of the ceremony for up to one hour.  If the weather does not improve by 9 p.m., we will reschedule the event for the following night (Friday, June 12).  Parents will be informed about a postponement via the District’s Skylert parent communication system.


Can you accommodate people who have health conditions?

We strongly suggest that family members view the live stream from home if:

  • They have health conditions or are immunocompromised;
  • They have concerns related to heat and humidity;
  • They are concerned with conditions that could affect the elderly; or
  • They have concerns that others might not abide by social distancing guidelines.


REVISED 05.21.20


Class of 2020 seniors and parents of seniors:


Please see the attached video link regarding a change of date for the traditional graduation. We know there will be questions. We will be putting out an FAQ at www.dpisd.org later this week to address most of your concerns.




The following information was shared previously with senior parents and may no longer be accurate.  It is presented here to provide a timeline documenting the process for notifying parents and students about 2020 graduation.




With Friday’s announcement by Gov. Greg Abbott that public schools are closed through the end of the school year, the District is announcing a two-part plan to honor the Deer Park High School class of 2020.  While it is difficult to replace a traditional graduation ceremony, we hope that the following plan will be a suitable substitute for the 1,019 seniors who will be a part of the event.



The District’s graduation celebration will begin with a virtual graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, which is the original date on which graduation was scheduled.


Students, employees, and others who typically participate in the graduation ceremony will prerecord their speeches and messages.  The prerecorded messages will be edited together and presented as a single video that follows the regular graduation program.  It will feature photos of graduating seniors, whose names will be called aloud.  The virtual ceremony will also include the school song and “Pomp and Circumstance.”


DPHS Virtual Graduation 2020 will be posted online at www.dpisd.org/graduation/.  The posting will go live at 7 p.m., and it will remain online for repeated viewings.



The second part of the plan is for a traditional graduation ceremony that will take place at Abshier Stadium at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 23.  Should COVID-19 restrictions not be lifted at that time, the alternate schedule for traditional graduation is 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13.


The traditional ceremony will follow the high school’s regular order of events, and printed copies of the Graduation Program will be available to attendees.


“Graduation is arguably the most important activity that takes place in Deer Park ISD,” Superintendent Victor White said.  “It is a crossroads for each senior, providing a fitting end to 13 years of public education and an equally fitting start to the next chapter in the student’s story.”


“While everyone involved would have preferred a traditional ceremony on the original date, current events required an alternate plan,” White added.  “We hope that our plan will provide a chance for graduating seniors to celebrate twice with their families, peers, and teachers.”


Thank you.






We have scheduled a pick-up event on Tuesday, April 28, for students to pick up their cap and gown, invitations, and other graduation items. The pick-up will be a drive-thru-type event.


All vehicles should enter the South Campus via Joe Scott Cathey Street by the cafeteria (please see the attached map). This street will be open from both Pasadena Blvd and San Augustine. All items will be passed out directly to the vehicle, and social distancing will be enforced. Students/parents will need a Student ID or parent form of identification in order to pick up their items. Picking up items for another student will not be allowed.


Cap and gown pick up map



The pick-up times will be according to alphabet below using last name:


8-9 a.m.        A-B

9-10 a.m.     C-D

10-11 a.m.   E-G

11 a.m.-noon   H-L

Noon-1 p.m.     M-O

1-2 p.m.       P-R

2-3 p.m.       S-Z

3-4 p.m.       A-Z if can’t make your allotted time.


With traditional graduation planned for July 23 or Aug. 13, all students that have not purchased a cap/gown/tassel may purchase one during the scheduled pick-up time on April 28. The cost is $50. If you only need to purchase a tassel, the cost is $10. If you owe a balance on any of the graduation items it must be paid at the time of pick up. Payment can be in the form of Cash, Venmo, PayPal, Credit Card, or Checks made payable to Herff Jones.


Stoles and cords will not be available for virtual graduation. Sponsors will be sending more information about cords for the traditional graduation date in July.


South Campus Admin