Darien High School Graduation Logistics: What to Expect, When and Where

Christian Ostberg graduation 6-17-16

Christian Ostberg delivering one of the two co-salutatarian addresses at the DHS Class of 2016 graduation ceremony Thursday

Download PDF

The 2018 Darien High School graduation ceremony takes place at 5 p.m., Thursday, June 21 on the DHS Stadium Field (or indoors if there’s rain). No tickets are needed if the ceremony takes place outdoors and seating is unlimited there.

There are special traffic rules, starting at 3:30 p.m., for both the high school and Middlesex Middle School graduation ceremonies, which happen at the same place (on Wednesday, June 20 for the middle school). 

Here’s what Darien High School and Darien Police Department have announced:

DHS Graduation Day

Graduating seniors should arrive by 4 p.m. and report to the South Gym for robing and final preparations.

Gates open at 4 p.m. and seats are first-come, first-served. There will be folding chair seats on the field, as well as the entire home side bleachers. The stage is elevated so all seats on the field and bleachers have good sight lines. Note the temperature on the field is usually hotter than the ambient temperature, and it can be buggy as well. Bring along a cold water bottle as there are usually no concessions at graduation.

Seniors will not be allowed to carry anything with them into the ceremony. Water will be provided to each student at their seat.

Walking on the Stadium Field turf in high or spike heels can be dangerous, please choose your footwear with that in mind. Students should refer to the ceremony agreement (included below) for graduation attire guidelines. There is NO smoking on DHS grounds, before or after the ceremony. This includes cigars!

The ceremony will last about one hour and forty-five minutes.

A professional photographer will be at the ceremony and will make photos available for sale online a few days after graduation. See: events.lifetouch.com/darienhsdarienct

There will be a reception hosted by the DHSPA for all graduates, their families and guests immediately following the ceremony.

You Could Watch It Online

Regardless of the weather, the graduation ceremony will be simulcast live in the air conditioned Main Gymnasium at the high school.

Please note this location may not be comfortable for elderly or frail family members as seating is on folding chairs or in the bleachers. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.

On a hot day, this location is ideal for those who are uncomfortable outdoors in the heat. If the ceremony is moved indoors because of inclement weather, this area will be designated as overflow seating, no tickets required.

Traffic and Parking

Darien police have announced:

Due to the traditionally large turnout for the Middlesex Middle School and Darien High School graduations, the Darien Police Department advises that the following traffic regulations are being put into effect for the area surrounding Darien High School on June 20 and 21, 2018 starting at 3:30 p.m.

* All traffic will enter the High School grounds via Noroton Ave. Vehicular traffic will not be permitted to enter the area via High School Lane, Nutmeg Lane, Holly Lane, or Libby Lane. Officers will be present to direct all vehicles to appropriate and designated parking areas.

* All vehicles will be properly parked so as to facilitate and expedite the safe flow of vehicles at the conclusion of the graduation ceremony.

* Vehicles will be parked on both sides of Nutmeg Lane and High School Lane facing away from Darien High School.

* Motorists are asked to pay particular attention to posted “No Parking” areas. Previous experiences have resulted in illegally parked vehicles blocking driveways or restricting access to emergency vehicles. Improperly parked vehicles causing restrictions of this type will be towed.

* As on-site parking is limited for an event of this type, all attendees and guests are requested to carpool.

If There’s Bad Weather at the DHS Graduation

If the weather is unsettled, graduation will be held indoors in the DHS Auditorium, and seating will be by rain ticket only. Any decision to move the ceremony indoors will be made at noon and will be final. Check the DHS website that day for the official notice.

Each graduating senior will receive two rain tickets for admission to the DHS Auditorium with their cap and gown the day before graduation. Please be on the lookout that day for a neon colored envelope in the cap and gown package. Tickets will not be replaced if lost, seating will be at the discretion of DHS Administrators.

If the ceremony is moved indoors, doors to the Auditorium will open at 4:00 p.m. and seats are first-come, first-served.  Admission to each level of the Auditorium will be limited to the number of seats available on that level (no standing).

Because of the size of the graduating class, most of the lower level of the Auditorium will be used to accommodate the class.  Once the ceremony begins all attendees in the Auditorium will be requested to remain in their seats for the duration (i.e., no photography by stage).

Preparation, Timeline, Ceremony Rules


June 20 — 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.: Cap and Gown Pickup, Main Office (more information below)

June 20 — 11:30 a.m.: Picnic in Courtyard Sponsored by DHSPA (pre-payment required)

June 20 — 1 p.m.: Graduation Rehearsal, DHS Auditorium (more info below)


June 21 — 9  a.m.: Graduation Breakfast, DHS Courtyard (more info below)

June 21 — 10 p.m.: Graduation Rehearsal, DHS Auditorium (more info below)

June 21 — 4 p.m.: Report to South Gym for Robing and Lineup

June 21 — 5 p.m.: Ceremony Begins


A cap and gown has been ordered for every member of the class. The cost is $20, cash or check made payable to DHS. Payment will be collected at cap and gown pickup on Wednesday, June 20. The cap and gown is the senior’s to keep after the ceremony.

Report to the Main Office at these times:

8:30 – 9:30:     Last names beginning with the letters A-G

9:30 – 10:30:  Last names beginning with the letters H-N

10:30 – 11:30: Last names beginning with the letters O-Z

A senior will not receive a cap and gown until all school obligations are met. Return all books, athletic equipment, and pay all library and cafeteria fees before pickup. Check your Destiny account beforehand so you have no surprises that morning!

Mr. Ribeiro is available during this time to annotate a graduate names as pronounced and announced list. Please see him to confirm pronunciation of your name; if you would like to be announced by your nickname you can request it then as well.



All graduating seniors are required to attend two rehearsals. Assemble in the DHS Auditorium on Wednesday, June 20 at 1 p.m. and Thursday, June 21 at 10 a.m.

Rehearsals last about an hour and a half. The Blue Wave News end of year broadcast will be shown at the conclusion of the rehearsal on June 20.



The Darien High School Parents Association is sponsoring a picnic in the Courtyard on June 20, $30 pre-payment required (food trucks, music, games), ending at 1 p.m. when rehearsal begins. Bagels will be available starting at 8:30 in the Courtyard on graduation day, ending at 10:00 when rehearsal begins.



Smoking is strictly prohibited on campus. Please refrain from smoking on campus at or after the graduation ceremony. This includes cigars! Additional campus security will be present to protect the health and well-being of all individuals in attendance. Any smoking product at or after graduation will be confiscated.



The Graduation Ceremony Expectations Agreement will be reviewed with and signed by each senior at the first graduation rehearsal. The text follows:

The Class of 2018 deserves a graduation ceremony that is dignified and memorable, as do their parents, relatives, and friends. It is expected that graduating seniors will act in a mature manner during the graduation ceremony.

By signing this document, you agree to the following:

You will not be under the influence of alcohol or any other illegal substances. You will be removed from the graduation ceremony if you are found to be under the influence of either.

You will be removed and excluded from the remainder of the ceremony if your behavior is disruptive in any manner.

You will dress in a manner appropriate for a ceremonial occasion (collared shirt and tie and long trousers for boys; nice dress or slacks for girls). No shorts. No sneakers or flip-flops. High-heeled or spike heeled shoes are difficult to walk in on the stadium turf field and should be avoided. You will be required to change if your clothing or footwear are not appropriate for the occasion.

You will not decorate your cap and gown in any manner before the ceremony.

You will not carry anything with you into the graduation ceremony.

There is no smoking on the DHS campus. This includes cigars!

2 thoughts on “Darien High School Graduation Logistics: What to Expect, When and Where

  1. Pingback: Tokeneke School's New Mural; When Moving Up Ceremonies Take Place This Week - DarieniteDarienite

  2. Pingback: Darien High School Graduation Date Set by Board of Education - DarieniteDarienite

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *