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HPISD will close schools indefinitely beginning March 23. COVID-19 updates at

Principal's Weekly Update for May 18

As we complete the academic year, the two official school functions remaining are the Senior Awards Ceremony and Commencement. Senior Awards will be held virtually at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 28th. We will be presenting local scholarships, the Blanket Awards, and a variety of culminating honors to our graduating seniors. We will send a link to the awards ceremony to all seniors and their families on Monday, May 25th. All seniors and senior parents, please mark it on your calendar.

Again, HPHS Commencement for the Class of 2020 will be held at AT&T Stadium on Friday, June 5th at 8:30 pm. I cannot thank the AT&T Stadium Team enough for their work on this. This is a huge responsibility on how we conduct these ceremonies during the pandemic, so that we protect the safety of those attending, as well as the entire DFW community. AT&T has developed detailed plans for those attending, yet the responsibility is on us to honor those plans. Please note:

The stadium will be sanitized immediately before our ceremony.
  • Security will be on staff for health checks at the entrance of each gate.
  • Because of the requirement for social distancing, families will be limited to five tickets for each graduate. This parameter has been reviewed carefully and is the only way that we can host commencement; therefore, we ask for your understanding.
  • Tickets will be sent by May 28th to each family electronically and will be assigned, reserved seating separating families as much as possible. Families will be in the same area or section to reduce exposure. These are assigned in a way that distributes families into specific entrance gates to further reduce exposure. Do not exchange or share tickets. If you do not use all five tickets, you may not give them away. Again, this is not general admission as we have had at SMU / Moody Coliseum.
  • It is highly advised that all guests wear masks.
  • On the ticketing information will be a statement that acknowledging good health before using the ticket.
  • Some people may not be able to attend, either due to health concerns or due to limited tickets; therefore, we will be livestreaming the event compliments of AT&T Stadium.
  • Students will be provided a separate entrance and will be escorted onto the field. They will be provided with assigned seats and will be asked to begin the ceremony in their seats.
  • Students will need to wear masks. We have masks for all students, which we can provide at the event.
  • While we will be shortening our ceremony to ninety minutes, we will call every student’s name and each student will cross the stage to be acknowledged as a graduate of Highland Park High School.
  • We will be observing social distancing throughout the ceremony. As part of that, we will dismiss students in order at the end of the ceremony. We ask that you do not gather in groups for portraits, hugs, or any other “normal” activity that violates social distancing. Please take pictures with your families at home or in a way that does not place anyone within six feet of one another, if they are from a different household.
  • Caps, gowns, and cords will be distributed through curbside pick-up on Tuesday, May 26th. Stay tuned for more information.
  • Diplomas will be available for pick-up beginning June 10th. We will provide a schedule and method for students to collect them.

While I realize that we are not able to do everything that is typical with Commencement, I hope that our students and families recognize that this opportunity to gather at this time is truly unique on a national level.

Our Senior Activities Parents and PTA have gone above-and-beyond to host two events that, while traditional, are not part of our school-sponsored ceremonies. They have asked that I share that:

  • The Senior “Picnic” will be held as a seated event that provides for social distancing at the Rustic at 11:00 am on Thursday, June 4th. Further communication about the event will be sent by our PTA.
  • Baccalaureate will be virtual and will be held at 10:00 am on Sunday, May 31st. The keynote speaker is Ellen Kershaw. Further communication about the event will be sent by our PTA.

We will provide plans for all students to pick-up and return personal and school items on May 28th.  Students will need to return textbooks, computers, and other school property, and we will provide an opportunity for students to gather any valuables that are still on property. Next Friday, we will provide detailed information that will allow this exchange through safe measures.

As a reminder the last day of school for all students, including seniors, will be May 29th. Because there are no semester exams, students will be expected to complete all course Essential Learning Objectives by that date.

For all students, we are planning upon a community celebration that allows for distancing to recognize the last bell on the last day of school. HPISD, the City of UP, the Town of HP, and others will be working with us to celebrate all students’ successful completion of the 2019-2020 school year. We will have more information as the date approaches.

Important HPHS Dates

Monday, May 25 – Senior Awards Ceremony virtual link sent to families

Tuesday, May 26 – caps, gowns and cords distributed through curbside pick-up at HPHS

Thursday, May 28 – commencement tickets sent to families electronically

Thursday, May 28 – item pick up and return at HPHS

Thursday, May 28, 10 a.m. – Virtual Senior Awards Ceremony

Friday, May 29 – Last day of school                                                       

Sunday, May 31, 10 a.m. – Virtual Baccalaureate; link coming soon

Thursday, June 4, 11 a.m. – Senior Picnic at the Rustic

Friday, June 5, 8:30 p.m. - Commencement 

Beginning June 10 – diplomas available for pick-up – info coming soon