Everything You Need to Know About Graduation and the End of the School Year: May 2018
The last month of the senior year is a busy and exciting time for your student and your family and one that we hope is a nice balance between celebration and serious ceremonies to commemorate this milestone in your student's life. In preparation for this time, we have compiled a calendar and some information regarding the events of May.
May 2: Pass It On
Why We Do It: The Pass It On ceremony is one of the oldest traditions at ESD. Afterwards, each senior is paired with an eighth grader and they take candles, light them together from the senior candle, and line up in the Competition Gym. The lighting of the candles symbolizes the Senior class "passing on" the spirit of ESD to the rising ninth graders.
Details: The Pass It On Ceremony is at 2:45 p.m. in the Competition Gym. Seniors are to be in formal uniform. If there is a sibling, or a particular eighth grader that you would like your student paired with, please contact Josephine Mucciolo in April.
Parent Involvement: Parents are encouraged to attend the ceremony.
May 7-18: AP Exams
See more information here: https://www.esdallas.org/cf_news/view.cfm?newsid=4447
May 7-11: Senior Exams
Seniors can be exempt from exams as long as they meet the following conditions (taken from the Student Handbook): a grade of "B" or above for both quarters, no unexcused absences in the class, no more than 7 excused absences in the class, and permission of the instructor. If a senior does not meet these criteria, they will have to take an exam, or apply for an exemption from Mr. Heil. May 7-11 have been reserved for senior exams, seniors should make arrangements with teachers to take their exam(s) during regular class time on those days or other days by special arrangement. There will be no special room or schedule as in years past, the exams will be arranged strictly between teacher and student. Exams must be completed by end of the day on May 11.
May 11: Last Day of Senior Classes
May 14: Last Senior Rally Day (Jones Family Stadium, 3:00 p.m.)
This is our final celebration of Senior birthdays, and the parents organize an event with food, activities, and music for the seniors. Parents are invited to attend the rally. Seniors are encouraged to wear a t-shirt (or other spirit wear) from the college or university to which they have committed.
May 21: Honors Assembly (Competition Gym, 10:30 a.m.)
What It Is: An assembly, which lasts approximately one and a half hours, during which the school gives out awards to students of all grade levels. This is also the time that Valedictorian, Salutatorian, and the top 10 students are announced.
Details: Seniors should attend, whether or not they are getting an award. They are not required to be in uniform, but are expected to dress appropriately. Senior girls should wear either appropriate dresses or pant suits, and Senior boys should wear coat and tie.
Parent Involvement: Parents are invited to attend, and if your child is receiving an award, you will be notified in advance. Pick up cap and gown after Honors Assembly in the Eagle's Nest.
May 23: Senior Parent Dinner (Brookhollow Country Club, 6:30 p.m.)
The senior parents organize this special event to celebrate the seniors prior to graduation. Information and invitations will arrive in early spring. The senior class elects a faculty member to give a speech at the dinner.
May 25: Baccalaureate (All Saint's Chapel, 5:00 p.m.)
What It Is: A faith-based ceremony, including a celebration of the Eucharist, in honor of our Seniors.
Why We Do It: The Baccalaureate ceremony is a relatively new addition to ESD's end of the year ceremonies. In the past, our Commencement was not only a graduation ceremony, but also a full Eucharist service. As the school grew larger, this became impractical, and the religious service was moved out of our Commencement. This has now become our symbolic "last activity as a senior class" before they become graduates. It is the last opportunity for our Head of School to address them as students, and to welcome them into the category of alumni.
Details: Students should arrive about 15 minutes early, to line up in the Frank Building to process into the chapel. Students should wear full, formal uniforms for the last time at this event. The homily is given by the Head of School. The ceremony lasts approximately one hour.
Parental Involvement: This event is not meant to be a public service, but rather an intimate interaction between the school and the student. Because of the limitations of seating in the chapel, we ask that immediate family only attend (the chapel only seats approximately 450 people, and with approximately 100 seniors, that leaves 3.5 seats per senior). Faculty do not attend so that we can have more open seats for families.
May 26: Commencement (ESD Stoffel Commons, 7:30 p.m., graduates arrive at 5:15 p.m.)
What It Is: A formal graduation ceremony honoring our student's academic achievements.
Why We Do It: As an academic institution, one of our primary functions is the conference of academic degrees.
Details: There are many, so I have made them a bullet list below.
WHERE TO GET YOUR GOWN and TICKETS:
- Caps, gowns, and graduation tickets can be picked up in the Eagle's Nest after Monday'sHonors Assembly.
- The top of caps can be modifications with college colors and logos. Do not modify your gown in any way.
- Gowns should be returned following graduation and family photographs in the designated boxes near the Cook and Frank.
GRADUATES ON THE DAY OF:
- At 5:15 p.m., Meet Ms. Burke and Mr. Oglesby in the Dining Commons for graduation rehearsal, posed diploma photos, and a Class of 2018 picture.
- An informal dinner will be provided (sandwiches, drinks, etc.)
- Bring your cap and gown, ironed and on a hanger, along with any stoles (NHS, Cum Laude, Honor Graduates)
- Graduates should be dropped off on campus; there is no parking available.
- Graduates may wear nice, pressed light khaki pants with a dress shirt and tie or blouse, or a dress or skirt and blouse with low-heeled dark dress shoes. Faces must be clean shaven.
- It can be very hot on the stage with robes on. Eat well and drink plenty of water before the service.
- Graduates who do not adhere to the dress policy or arrive with alcohol on their breath will be sent home with parents and not allowed to participate.
- Can begin arriving at 6:30 p.m.
- Please review this parking map and map of where to find after graduation photography and gown boxes.
- Current weather forecasts very warm weather. There is a comfort room in the Frank Center for anyone needing to cool down. We will be live streaming the ceremony in that location.
- If the ceremony needs to move inside, parents will be notified by email by 5:00 p.m.
- Each family is given eight tickets to the reserved seating area, assigned in February's lottery. See Helen Skalniak's 5/17/18 reminder email for specifics. This map shows locations.
- Open seating is open to anyone and does not require a ticket.
- We will provide handicap seating in both the outdoor and indoor locations.
- If we have bad weather and need to move the ceremony indoors, we will be in the Competition Gym. In this case, only people with reserved seating tickets will be allowed inside, and the seating in the gym will be general admission, first come, first served.
- Before and During the Ceremony:
An official class portrait and individual photographs of each graduate receiving their diploma will be made available to each family by email after graduation. Flash is our photographer.
- After the Ceremony:
Flash will be set in specific, lighted areas for families wanting additional photos. All photos will be available to students and parents following the ceremony.
- One of the traditions of an ESD graduation is that it is a serious ceremony, unlike other high school graduations. While we celebrate each graduate, noisemakers, air-horns, etc. are very out of place during the ceremony.
- There is no reception following the ceremony.
This is a lot of information, so please let us know if you have questions about any of the above.