The Governor’s announcement on Friday, April 17 to cancel in-person school for the remainder of the school year in Illinois provides a clearer level of certainty than we have had regarding decisions for the many important senior events that we normally host this time of year. I want to provide an update on key events including graduation, prom and senior honors celebrations at Maine East, Maine South and Maine West. Please know that these decisions were difficult but are based first and foremost on the safety of our students, families and staff. They were also heavily informed by the recent survey of seniors at all three schools and follow the current guidelines from the Governor as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Each day new information emerges about the deadly permutations of this virus and the incredible damage it can cause to the brain and internal organs of those infected.
A virtual graduation will be held on Sunday, May 17 at 1 p.m. for all three schools. This will include the same program that would normally have been presented at an in-person graduation in the form of a pre-recorded video. All students graduating will have their name announced as part of graduation. The link to the virtual graduation recording will be shared in advance with all families so they can share the link with extended family and friends who want to watch graduation.
As of today, dates are being held for in-person graduation ceremonies at all three schools on campus. Sunday, August 2 is being held and in the event that date can’t be used because of CDC/IDPH restrictions/guidelines related to Covid-19, the district is also looking at a backup date in the fall (to be determined later). This would be used if the August 2 in-person graduation isn’t permitted. A reception would follow an in-person graduation ceremony if CDC and IDPH guidelines allow.
Based upon the survey of students, it was clear that any kind of virtual prom is not something students would want or which they would likely participate. Therefore, depending on health guidelines and direction from the State of Illinois, we are looking at an in-person prom during the last weekend of July (July 30th – August 1st). Specific information would be shared later for each school. In addition, if health guidelines allow it, schools would also try to schedule senior-specific events during this same weekend (i.e. senior breakfast). Again, this will all depend on the advice of medical experts. If this event is not able to be held based upon CDC/IDPH restrictions/guidelines related to Covid-19 in late July, there will be no prom for the Class of 2020.
Senior Honors Night
Similar to graduation, each school will pre-record the Senior Honors Night ceremony. This will include the same program that would normally have been presented at an in-person honor night in the form of a pre-recorded video. The link to the virtual Senior Honors Night ceremony recording will be shared in advance with all families so they can share the link with extended family and friends who want to watch the event. The recording will be released on Wednesday, May 13 at 7 p.m.
More information will be posted to the webpages for each school with detailed information for the Class of 2020 when it is available. Those pages will be updated and information shared with students and families as we progress through the following weeks and months so you are up-to-date and informed.
If you have questions regarding any of this information, please contact your school’s principal.
- Maine East- Dr. Mike Pressler ([email protected])
- Maine South- Dr. Ben Collins ([email protected])
- Maine West- Dr. Eileen McMahon ([email protected])
We all realize this is not how anyone envisioned the Class of 2020 celebrating, being honored and being recognized for their achievements. However, I truly believe this class will be stronger, more resilient and better prepared for the world than any other graduating class. We thank you for your support and your partnership as we navigate these uncharted waters.
Dr. Ken Wallace, Superintendent
Maine Township High School District 207