• On Friday, April 17, Governor Pritzker announced that schools in Illinois will remain closed for in-person instruction for the duration of the 2019-20 school year. Below is information about how this decision will impact events and activities that are scheduled to take place through the end of the 2019-20 school year.

    • The board of directors for the Illinois High School Association announced on Tuesday, April 21 that spring sport schedules and state tournaments for the 2019-20 school year have been canceled. You can access additional information about this announcement by visiting https://bit.ly/2zc0oqn

    • With the exception of prom and graduation, which we will address in greater detail below, all events and activities scheduled for April and May have been canceled.

    • The feedback our seniors have provided about graduation is clear. If the stay at home order and limit on mass gatherings permits it, they would like to have an in-person ceremony at some point during the summer. With this in mind, we are adopting a two-pronged approach for this important event.

      First, we are going to hold virtual ceremonies for both schools on the dates we selected in May (May 20 at South and May 21 at Central) that will include a livestream video and recognition of every graduate. Doing this will ensure that we are able to honor our seniors in some form or fashion should the stay at home order or limit on mass gatherings remain in effect during the summer months. The building principals will share additional details about these ceremonies with our students and their families.

      Second, we will continue working with our seniors to plan an in-person summer celebration for each building, most likely during the month of July. What we do on these days (e.g., graduation ceremony, picnic, dance, a combination of activities, etc.) will be based upon the feedback we receive from the majority of the students in our senior class. While we always appreciate hearing from parents/guardians and community members on these issues, we want any decisions we make about this special day to be driven as much as possible by our students.
    • While the feedback from our seniors about prom is similar to what they said about graduation, the timing and nature of this event presents some unique challenges. It is highly unlikely that the stay at home order or limit on mass gatherings will be lifted next month. Even if they are relaxed, any adjustments will likely be geared toward businesses that can help jump-start and revitalize the state’s economy. In addition, the idea of hosting a virtual prom is not something our seniors have expressed interest in exploring. With this in mind, we will continue working with the members of our senior class to identify potential options for this event. One possible solution we have discussed is incorporating the dance into the celebrations in July. However, we have not finalized anything yet, and would welcome any additional suggestions our seniors may have. Those suggestions should be sent directly to the building principals.

    As we have stated throughout this crisis, the decisions we make about events and activities will be dictated by the status of the stay at home order, the limitations on mass gatherings, and the general guidance and direction from local, state, national and international health organizations and government agencies.