Caps and gowns.

Pomp and circumstance.

Commencements are a traditional rite of passage for students moving on to the next stage of their lives. Tradition took a back seat last year as high schools, colleges and universities across the country made changes in their graduation ceremonies due to the pandemic.

While many educational institutions did virtual events for the Class of 2020, at Des Moines Public Schools we created “personal commencements” as a way for each new alum to don their cap and gown, walk across a stage, and receive their well-earned diploma.

As DMPS prepares to celebrate the Class of 2021, commencements are taking a big step towards “normal” as we celebrate our graduates in late May.

Each of our high schools and high school programs will hold a graduation ceremony, with the dates, times and locations noted below.  For this year, the events will be held in different locations depending, in part, on the size of the graduating class.

In addition, as we are in what is hopefully the final phase of the pandemic, there will be steps taken to meet public health protocols.  This is being done in the interest of the health and well-being of our students, staff and families, and we expect and appreciate everyone’s cooperation. Look for additional guidance from your high school.

Two days in a school year always stand out as extra special: the first day of school and the commencement of our graduates. While this year’s first day of school was interrupted by COVID-19, everyone at DMPS is excited to be able to celebrate the Class of 2021.

Schedule of the Class of 2021 Commencements at DMPS

All Points AcademyCentral Campus AuditoriumMay 22, 2:00 p.m.
FocusCentral Campus AuditoriumMay 22, 2:00 p.m.
Ruby Van MeterRuby Van Meter GymnasiumMay 28, 6:00 p.m.
East High SchoolWilliams StadiumMay 29, 9:00 a.m.
(Rain date: May 30, noon)
Lincoln High SchoolLincoln RoundhouseMay 29, 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.
Roosevelt High SchoolDrake StadiumMay 29, 5:00 p.m.
(Rain date: May 30, 5:00 p.m.)
Hoover High SchoolDrake University Knapp CenterMay 30, 10:00 a.m.
North High SchoolDrake University Knapp CenterMay 30, 2:00 p.m.
Virtual CampusKurtz - 1000 Porter AvenueMay 30, 4:00 p.m.
Summer GraduationNorth High SchoolAugust 14, 10:00 a.m.
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