Governor Pritzker announced today that school closures would extend through the end of the school year. While not surprising, the implications of this announcement are saddening, especially for those hoping to come together to celebrate a number of momentous occasions and achievements.
The closure of the remainder of the school year first means that remote learning will continue through the last day of the 2019-20 calendar, which is Wednesday, May 27. We encourage students to consistently log on, check in with teachers and complete any assigned coursework. If your student still needs a device or you need internet connectivity, please contact your school by calling the school’s main number or emailing your principal. Plans for summer learning opportunities have not been finalized.
The announcement also means that our traditional celebrations like prom, awards and honors nights and graduation ceremonies will not be able to be held in a traditional format. This is especially heartbreaking for our seniors who so deserve the social finale to their year and high school days and the awards and commencement recognition they’ve worked so hard for these last four years. We are working on ways to still observe these traditions in a nontraditional way and each school will be seeking input from our students and families in the days to come on how we might accomplish that. Additionally, we will wait for guidance from IHSA on spring sports and keep you posted.
While this announcement brings answers to some lingering questions, the finality is still disheartening and disappointing. This time of year is always special for everyone in our District 186 family, including teachers, administrators, staff, families and especially students. The photos, the hugs, the high fives, and the cheers that won’t take place are innumerable. I hope that by finding a way to mark these special occasions in some way we will bring at least enough smiles to keep us going.
Stay-at-Home Activity Book Available
Memorial Health System graphic designers have created an activity book for kids (and creative adults!) to share their gratitude, goals and feelings during these uncertain times. It’s available on Memorial Health System’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/ChooseMemorial). There are seven different pages you can download and print off.
There are glimmers of hope all around us. Lanphier, Southeast, and Springfield high schools are joining in IHSA’s #LightsForTheFighteffort and honoring the entire District 186 senior class and all those on the frontlines of the pandemic by lighting up Memorial Stadium, Spartan Field Stadium and Lee Field on Friday April 17, 2020 at 8:20 pm (20:20 military time) for 20 minutes. Look towards Memorial Stadium, Southeast and Lee and see the “Glow for Graduates” and all of those working hard to keep us safe during this time. Families are also encouraged to turn on their porch lights at the same time.
My pride in District 186 is stronger than ever.