Prom, graduation, and Signing Day
by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (April 22, 2020) – Using a combination of Zoom meeting technology and Facebook Live, representatives of District 215 held a virtual “Town Hall”-style meeting with constituents for an hour on Wednesday evening. Teresa Lance (Superintendent), Jake Gourley (TF South Principal), Paul Wakefield (IT Director), Mike Fies (Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning), Becky Szuba (Director of Teaching and Learning), Brian Rucinski (TF North Principal), John Robinzine (TF Center Principal), Charles Dimartino (Exec Director of Finance and Operations), Rena Whitten (Assistant Superintendent of Student Services), and Dominique Newman (Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and Board of Education) provided updates and answered questions that had been submitted ahead of time as well as throughout the meeting.
A summary of highlights from that Facebook Live event and from an email sent by Principal Gourley earlier in the day appears below.
Signing Day—Wednesday, May 6
Gourley’s email included a link to a letter from John O’Rourke, Assistant Principal of the PPS Department which provided instructions for seniors to participate in a virtual Signing Day. Introduced for the first time last year, Signing Day is TF South’s opportunity for seniors to announce their post-secondary plans—whether those include college, trade school, the military, or the workforce. “While these are unprecedented days,” wrote O’Rourke, “the TF South PPS Department is still eager to celebrate the accomplishments and aspirations of the Class of 2020.” Students must submit their information, including video uploads, by Tuesday, April 28, 2:00pm.
“Although it may not be the graduation ceremony that we’re used to seeing,” said Superintendent Lance in response to questions about 2020 graduations, “it is absolutely our intent to provide graduation-like activities for our students.” Lance did not go into specifics, but she did ask families to reserve the following dates for celebrating this year’s graduations:
- June 24 for TF South
- June 25 for TF North
“It is with a heavy, heavy heart that we announce today that prom has been canceled,” said Superintendent Lance. “We love and care for you all just too much to put you in an environment that would expose you to this virus.” Lance expressed hope that at some point the health situation would be safe enough for students to celebrate with classmates on their own.
A number of other questions were answered—about yearbooks, caps and gowns, tuition payments, awards ceremonies, and more. Because Facebook Live creates a recording of the live event, the full video remains available for viewing:
- District 215 Facebook Live event (recorded April 22, 2020)