April 21, 2020
Dear Rich Township Families, Staff and Community,
As you may know, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced on April 17 that all Illinois schools are ordered to remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. Remote learning resumed yesterday and we will continue to follow our remote learning plan for the remainder of the school year. I wish I could speak to you all in person, but tried to express some of what we are feeling in this video message. I would like to take this opportunity to share new information with you regarding end-of-year activities.
Like you, it comes with great disappointment to recognize we will not be able to come together with our students for the remainder of the school year. This is not the end of the school year that we envisioned. Our senior class has been dealt a incredibly tough hand. They have worked hard for the past four years to achieve and celebrate their countless accomplishments completed during their high school career. We are actively investigating a number of possibilities and alternatives to hold graduation, prom and end-of-career events, including having virtual events to celebrate our graduating class and retirees.
The district will hold a virtual or modified graduation for our senior class on May 31. More details will be forthcoming. As I have stated before, we are working hard to ensure our senior prom will not be canceled. If social distancing guidelines permit it, we would like to have in-person proms on June 26 for Rich Central and Rich South and on June 27 for Rich East. Please be patient as we collaborate as a district to get information to you in the coming weeks.
Our students, families, staff, and community have shown insurmountable resilience and courage during these difficult times, which continues to give me hope. We have proven that when we come together as a community, on behalf of our students, we have the capabilities and compassion to overcome any obstacles or difficulties ahead of us. You have remained steadfast and optimistic in the face of adversity, and we appreciate the continued enthusiasm and participation of all stakeholders as we navigate through these difficult times.
I understand that many of you are wondering about when students and staff can pick up their personal belongings from school. We have begun planning for how to deal with end-of-year logistical issues since our buildings will be closed for the remainder of the school year and will share these plans with our students and families after they are finalized.
On a final note, I would like to thank you for your support, patience, and resilience as we work together to keep our students engaged and connected throughout this time of crisis. When we work together as a community, we are always stronger. Also, be sure to check your email and our website for updates as we continue to develop our plans for summer and the remainder of the school year.
Stay safe and stay healthy.
Dr. Johnnie Thomas