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Rich Township High School District 227 News Article

COVID-19 Update - May 9, 2020

May 9, 2020

Dear Rich Township Students and Families:

As yesterday marked the last day of senior classes, I would like to congratulate the Class of 2020 for their remarkable achievement of graduation from Rich Township High School District 227! This class has persevered through these unconventional times with grace and poise. They have not allowed the COVID-19 pandemic to define them – graduates of each campus are college-and-career ready, with 100% of Rich East and Rich South graduates accepted to a two or four-year college or university. We, as a district, are determined to celebrate these hard-earned accomplishments of our senior class and invite you to join us. 

This correspondence is to communicate important information regarding graduation, final exams, and end-of-year personal item retrieval and drop-off. Please read the following communication in its entirety for additional updates. Campus-specific information regarding the plans for the Class of 2020 Graduation will come in a separate letter from building administrators

Important Information for Seniors

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) released joint guidance last week for graduation ceremonies in Illinois. In the days following ISBE’s announcement that stated in-person graduation ceremonies of any kind are not allowed at this time, Governor Pritzker released new guidance giving local school boards the decision on graduations.

District 227 will be conducting a virtual graduation for the Class of 2020. Campus specific instructions will be communicated by building administrators in the coming days. A virtual graduation will look like this:

  • Graduates arrive on campus wearing their cap, gown and any cords. Up to two family members who have been sheltering in place with them will be allowed to attend the ceremony.
  • The student will be video recorded walking across the stage and standing on a spot which will be at least 6 feet from the principal. Parents will be able to take a picture of their child while they are walking across the stage. 
  • The recording will then be compiled into a larger presentation for families to stream the complete ceremony online.

All video recordings will be completed by May 31, 2020. 

The final video will be available for streaming on digital platforms on Friday, June 5, 2020.

Click here to view the Class of 2020 Graduation instructions.

Click here to view a detailed timeline for our graduating seniors with important information and key dates.

Exam Information

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made significant adjustments to the expectations for semester exams this school year. With the exception of Math Literacy exams, students will not be required to take final exams at the end of the 4th marking period.

AP Exams

Students in Advanced Placement courses are encouraged to take the online AP exams May 11- 22. 

Click here for more information on AP Exams.

Dual-Credit Exams

All dual-credit semester exams are waived as long as the student has completed the dual-credit competencies identified in the course and completed the course project. 

The final exam for the dual-credit courses will be waived.  If the student has not met the dual-credit competencies for the course (regardless of submitting the dual-credit application), the student will only receive high school credit for the course and not the college credit.  

Dual-Enrollment Exams

All Dual-Enrollment Students are required to take all final exams administered by Prairie State College (PSC). 

The CNA Fall 2019 Cohort must complete remote learning modules and exams as a mandatory tutorial and complete competency review before they can sit for the State Competency exam. 

For CNA Fall 2019 Cohort ONLY: Click here for important information regarding the State Competency exam.

Students enrolled in EMT/CNA Spring 2020 program must complete ALL remote learning course expectations, assignments, and deadlines by PSC completion date. Students will have until Fall 2021 to complete clinical experiences. More information will be shared regarding CNA clinical experiences once guidance is received from IDPH.

Summer School

Summer school registration is now open. 

Students should attend summer school if they are in the Star Academy Program, need credit recovery, received a grade of Incomplete for second semester during remote learning, or are in Extended School Year (ESY).  Driver’s Education (classroom component only) will also be offered.  Behind-the-wheel instruction will have to be taken at a later date.  

Summer school fees will be waived for all summer school programs.

Students should register for summer school using the link below:


The deadline to register for summer school classes is May 26, 2020, by 3:30 p.m. 

Personal Item Pick-Up and Drop-Off

As a reminder, the dates for students to retrieve items remaining in their lockers and drop off books and other items are: 

Student Schedule (No Mondays)

  • May 12 – May 15
  • May 19 – May 22

In an effort the reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus and adhere to social distancing guidelines, students will not be allowed into the building.

Cap and Gown Distribution

Graduating seniors will pick up their cap and gown on the same date as the item retrieval and drop off to reduce the number of times students interact with school personnel. Building administrators will contact the seniors directly with their particular date and time.

Senior Fees

Any senior fees owed as of May 6, 2020 will be waived.

Additionally, any graduation fees paid will be refunded for all seniors. The decision to refund prom fees will be made June 1, 2020, contingent upon a stay-at-home order extension. 

Senior refunds will be processed in June.

Food Service

Our food service staff has been working tirelessly to prepare and serve food to the families in our communities. Meals will continue to be provided to all Rich Township High School students and families, Monday, May 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Rich East High School. Parents will be given five days' worth of breakfasts and lunches. 

Meals will be distributed at Rich East High School ONLY. Meals will not be served at Rich Central and Rich South High School campuses.

Please use the driveway off Westwood Drive in front of the school. You do not need to exit your car; the food will be brought to you. 

Meals will be distributed on Monday, May 18, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Rich East High School ONLY. In observance of Memorial Day, there will be no food service on Monday, May 25, 2020.

Click here to locate additional local food distribution sites.

Emergency Benefits for Families that Receive Free and Reduced Meals at School

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) launched the Pandemic EBT application for families on May 1 at, https://abe.illinois.gov/abe/access/. P-EBT is a new special benefit that can help families buy food for their school age children who would normally receive National School Lunch Program (NSLP) free or reduced-priced meals when schools are in session. 

Families that currently receive SNAP benefits do not need to apply for P-EBT benefits. These additional P-EBT benefits will be loaded into Illinois LINK EBT accounts along with regular SNAP benefits. Families who do not currently receive SNAP benefits but do have children who receive NSLP free or reduced-priced meals will need to apply directly with IDHS. The fastest way for families to receive benefits is to complete the application for P-EBT available online (Click “Apply for Benefits” at the link.) A paper application in English and Spanish is also available and can be submitted by email to [email protected]. IDHS created a flyer to help families with the application process.

Device Distribution

If your student is in need of a Chromebook or cell phone with hotspot capabilities to complete remote learning assignments, please email the District Technology Department at [email protected] or leave a message at (708) 679-5704. Your call will be returned within 24 hours. 

Building and Grounds

Our Buildings and Grounds team continues to conduct deep cleanings of all district buildings and technology, which follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The two-step process for cleaning and disinfecting includes wiping and cleaning all surfaces, and the use of an electrolyzed water and mineral solution, which creates a highly functional sanitizer and disinfectant that is applied through a misting machine used by the custodial staff.

Construction Update 

The Building and Grounds team at each campus are in summer mode right now with a focus on packing and moving items for office and classroom relocations. They are beginning their deep cleaning schedules in areas not affected by construction.  The teams are also clearing out spaces in the buildings where construction will take place and coordinating with the Construction Managers on assisting in any way necessary.  

Thank you for your patience, understanding and flexibility during these challenging times. Once again, I am incredibly proud of our senior class upon their completion of high school classes! I truly believe this distinguished group of scholars will make an impact throughout their post-secondary endeavors. We will be working to keep you updated in the coming weeks regarding end-of-year events.

You may also follow us on social media: 

Please stay safe, strong, and healthy. As always, thank you for your support.


Dr. Johnnie Thomas

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