District 156 officials decide to end school year May 14

Though digital learning will continue, other events, including prom and graduation, will be rescheduled for June


Karina Lucarz

According to an announcement made on April 21, digital learning will continue through May 14, which will be the last day of the school year followed by a four-day remediation period before second semester grades are finalized on May 20.

Chase Creech, Staff Writer

With Illinois officially closing schools for the rest of the school year, MCHS has announced its own ‘End of Digital Learning Plan,’ which includes changing the last day of school to May 14.

“The shutting of in-person classroom time also risks a drop in instructional time,” explains Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker at his press conference on April 17. “An extended window in which students can potentially experience summer learning loss, and an educational landscape in which some districts have more experience with remote learning than others.” 

Though MCHS will continue digital learning through May 14, the district has been decided that there will be no finals. After May 14, students will have four days to catch up with their work. Students must make up all essential learning, or else they will earn an “audit” on their transcript and will have to make up the credits during summer school or the next school year.

“Summer school will happen this year, and we are continuing the registration and planning as normal,” stated assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction Carl Vallianatos.

To allow for more interactions between students and teachers, digital planning and remediation days were established to help students catch up with their homework and to allow for some form of contact between teachers and students.

“Now that we are in an extended period of digital learning, it has been many weeks since teachers have seen their students,” said Vallianatos. “We want to create opportunities for this to raise everyone’s spirits and accommodate for every learning style. Many students learn better when they can ask questions or hear from teachers in person. We encourage teachers to make great use of this.”

Upperclassmen will still have an opportunity to attend events such as prom and graduations that seemed “impossible to format” before May 14. Prom is tentatively scheduled at West Campus main gym on June 20, and graduation is tentatively scheduled for West Campus in the main gym and East Campus at McCracken Field on June 28. 

With prom and graduation being rescheduled, students have felt conflicting emotions, especially seniors. “I would take an actual graduation and I don’t care how late it is,” Matthew Sieverin stated. “I would take it over a virtual one, since I went through all my school years to get to this point. And for prom, I understand if there’s not another venue for graduation, but I would prefer that.”

To honor seniors who earned Distinguished Warrior designation, Seniors Honors Night will be hosted at the McHenry Drive-in Theatre, where families can drive to the venue and park to watch a presentation commemorating the the class of 2021.