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2020 Prom and Graduation Plans

May 05, 2020

Good afternoon West Central Family and 2020 Graduates,

On April 27 we invited West Central High School Class of 2020 students and parents to give input into the graduation plans for the Class of 2020 by means of a survey.  Thirty-eight out of 44 Seniors participated in the survey, with 97.2% of them wanting to have a traditional graduation ceremony at a later date.  Of that 97.2%, 10.3% wanted a virtual graduation ceremony as well, while 51.3% wanted a Senior Celebration on May 17. The parent survey results essentially mirrored the student survey results. In addition, on April 28, Mr. Kirby, Mr. Tucker, and I met with the Junior Class Officers, the Senior Class Officers, and the Student Council Officers via Zoom to discuss both prom and graduation separately.

I apologize for the delay in communicating our plans for prom and graduation.  We have been waiting for solid guidance from ISBE. On April 29, ISBE released very strict rules, prohibiting some of what we had hoped to offer for our graduates; however, on May 1, the IDPH and ISBE released a joint statement relaxing some of those restrictions. As a result, below are the prom and graduation plans for West Central High School that take into consideration the input we received from our Junior Class Officers, Senior students, and Class of 2020 parents, and that we believe fall within the guidelines communicated by the IDPH and ISBE: 

Senior yard signs have been purchased by the District.  If you have not already picked yours up, please make arrangements to do so by emailing Mr. Kirby @ kirby-jason@wc235.k12.il.us or Mr. Tucker at tucker-shane@wc235.k12.il.us. The District is also ordering Senior t-shirts. If you have not given your t-shirt size to Mr. Fleming or Mr. Williams, please do so as soon as possible, so that we can get them ordered. We will notify Seniors when they are available for pickup.

May 7, 8, & 11, 2020 – On May 7, 8, & 11, from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m., each Senior will be given an opportunity to come to the high school at a designated time for each graduate, in 15 minute increments, to walk across the stage in their cap (with tassel) and gown to receive their diploma.  Seniors MUST sign up for a time slot by clicking on this link (https://calendly.com/wcclassof2020diplomapresentation/graduate) as soon as possible.  Each graduate is allowed to bring with them four individuals who have been sheltering in place with the graduate. During this time, it is extremely important that all participants wear a mask, practice social distancing, and follow the directions of those assisting with this process on those days. In following IDPH guidelines, restroom facilities will not be available for use. Please park your car in the bus lane and wait in your car until someone comes to get you when it is your turn to be honored. Each graduate will receive three traditional programs at this time. The stage will be set up as it would be for graduation.  Mr. Kirby will read the names as each graduate walks across the stage to receive their diploma.  The diploma will be set on a table, and each graduate can either pick up the diploma and pose for a picture or an individual who came with the student can hand them the diploma. The mask may be removed for the video and photo opportunity only. A photographer will be present to take a picture, and a video will be taken of each graduate walking across the stage to be included in a virtual graduation ceremony. The picture order forms are attached to this correspondence. Please bring your completed form and payment with you. We apologize in advance and are saddened; however, the restrictions do not allow us to shake your hand or give you a hug.  Please know we are very proud of each and every one of you. Seniors will also be allowed to gather their belongings with supervision at this time.

May 7 - May 13, 2020 – The individual parts of the traditional graduation ceremony (Opening, Closing, Turning of the Tassel, Speeches, etc.) will be recorded and put into a virtual graduation ceremony to be released on May 17. If you have a speaking part in the graduation ceremony, Mr. Kirby or Mr. Tucker will be contacting you to arrange for that to be recorded for inclusion in the virtual graduation ceremony.

Prior to May 15 - The West Central High School Virtual Awards' Ceremony will be released via our communication methods and social media.

Prior to May 17, 2020 – The West Central High School Senior slide show will be posted on our District website and Facebook pages.

May 17, 2020 – The West Central High School Virtual Graduation Ceremony will be released via our communication methods and social media.

May 17, 2020 – West Central High School administration will lead the Seniors in a Senior Parade through some of our communities, and we encourage community members along the route to display signs of congratulations and well wishes to our graduates. The Seniors will meet in their vehicles in the high school student parking lot at 1:45 p.m. Please wear your cap and gown and feel free to display your senior yard sign in a safe manner. Restroom facilities will not be available at the school, so please plan accordingly. There can only be one graduate per vehicle. We require that an adult who has been sheltering in place with the graduate drive them, so the graduate can give their full attention to those along the parade route so as not to be distracted. The graduate and their driver must stay in the vehicle at all times. It is absolutely essential that all participants in the parade and those watching the parade practice social distancing at all times.  Our local fire departments and Sheriff's Office will lead the Senior Parade. The route and times will be announced on Tuesday, May 12. 

 May 18, 2020 – WMOI Sunny 97.7 will play the audio of West Central’s Virtual Graduation Ceremony at 3:00 p.m.

July 22, 2020 – West Central High School Junior Class will host prom if allowed by the state at that time.  Please understand, it may not be allowed at that time and may have to be cancelled.

 August 2, 2020 @ 2:00 p.m. – West Central C.U.S.D. #235 will hold our traditional Graduation Ceremony at West Central High School if allowed by the state at that time. Please understand, it may not be allowed at that time and may have to be postponed or cancelled altogether.

With these plans, we hope to have captured the wishes of as many of our graduates as possible while also protecting the health and safety of everyone.  As always, we appreciate and thank you for your support and understanding during this time. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Mr. Kirby, Mr. Tucker, or me at markey-paula@wc235.k12.il.us or call (309) 627-2371.

Graduation Picture Order Form

With gratitude and congratulations,

Paula Markey, Superintendent
West Central C.U.S.D. #235

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