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Superintendent's Message on Graduation

Reported by on 5/12/20

Dear Parents of the Class of 2020,

In a typical year, we would be gathering soon at NIU’s Convocation Center to celebrate the education milestone of graduation. I would have the honor to confer our graduating class and wish them well as they embark on their next journey. The public health crisis we are all facing has changed our lives, including preventing this milestone from occurring as planned.

When we learned it would not be possible to hold our traditional graduation, we started to look at other ways to celebrate our graduates. There is so much that is unknown about how and when our world will emerge from its present state that making safe alternative plans is challenging.

What we do know is that the Class of 2020 has shown perseverance and flexibility that will serve them well in life. As their superintendent, I am confident this experience has given our students a unique ability to succeed when faced with challenges. Their lives changed, almost overnight, and they answered the call to finish their senior year.

We also know that we want to honor their hard work. Our high schools will be producing an online commencement celebration to recognize their accomplishments. This plan follows guidance from government and public health officials that says in-person graduation ceremonies are not allowed at this time. If public health officials will allow in-person graduation ceremonies this summer, we will hold our ceremonies in our football stadiums on July 18. If large gatherings aren't allowed until August or later, we will not reschedule commencement ceremonies.

While this news is disappointing, we are working to provide something special for our seniors. This includes a Class of 2020 celebration package delivered to students’ homes that will include a special keepsake cap and gown embroidered with the school crest and other mementos from your high school. Your principal will be communicating details with you soon.

Please know how very proud we are of our seniors. We look forward to wishing them well and celebrating their accomplishments, even if it is not in our typical way.

Thank you for your continued support.

Karen Sullivan

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