Members of York's choir program "Holding on" in the class of 2019 perform for their senior class right before diplomas are given out. The song is sung every year at graduation. May 19, 2019. (Photo by Paige Szipszky)
Members of York's choir program "Holding on" in the class of 2019 perform for their senior class right before diplomas are given out. The song is sung every year at graduation. May 19, 2019.

Photo by Paige Szipszky

COVID-19 Update: Elmhurst CUSD 205 considering two commencement options amid prom cancellation

May 5, 2020

Due to the continuation of the Illinois stay-at-home order, York’s Prom, which was rescheduled for May 23, has been canceled and the Commencement Ceremony scheduled for May 17 will be either re-scheduled or held virtually. However, Elmhurst CUSD 205 continues working on plans to allow some end-of-the-year events to take place.

“[The District] is committed to doing everything possible to make the end-of-year activities as special as possible,” Superintendent David Moyer said. “The District intends to plan for a variety of events that will begin in May and run into the fall, if necessary, to compensate, as much as possible, for the loss that seniors are currently experiencing.”

Currently, the District plans for two potential possibilities in terms of a Commencement Ceremony. The first option is a potential in-person ceremony that could be held on either July 19 or 26. This option would more resemble more traditional graduation; however, due to the ongoing risk posed by COVID-19, it is possible that some modifications would be made to ensure the safety of attendees.

“We have no idea what the health guidelines might be in place at that time,” Moyer said. “It is too early to comment on what modifications might be possible to a traditional graduation [ceremony].”

The second option is a virtual graduation event. Unlike the potential in-person ceremony, a virtual graduation ceremony could be held earlier in the summer closer to the actual date the ceremony was supposed to take place. However, planning on the ceremony would need to start at least 34 days before the ceremony could take place, and thus the ceremony would not take place until June. More details on both of these possibilities will be pushed out following the completion of a survey sent out to seniors and their families, and both ideas are subject to change depending on circumstances related to COVID-19.

While initial plans and feedback regarding graduation are being considered, the District ultimately decided to cancel prom for this school year. 

“Our first priority must always be the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff,” Moyer said in representation of the District. “However, we recognize the imposition and angst that this health crisis has caused our graduating seniors and their families. We grieve this loss of normality with you and are committed to helping our seniors celebrate this special time through traditional or alternative means when safely possible.”

During the Board of Education Meeting on April 28, several ideas were mentioned, including a senior barbeque or a walkthrough of the school, as potential events to be held later in the fall to give seniors an opportunity to say goodbye to the school. These plans will also be contingent on the Coronavirus and the survey sent out to seniors. 

Therefore, stay tuned to This Is York for future updates on the status of commencement and other celebratory activities.

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