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End of year ceremonies, events uncertain as social distancing guidelines are still enforced

The second semester of a school year is a time to wrap up everything that has been taught and a time to celebrate accomplishments that have been made throughout the year. Ever since the switch to e-learning, the original plans for certain events have been altered. According to Principal Russ Marcinek, multiple events will be held online. 

“The cum laude banquet will be a virtual celebration. Most likely a Zoom meeting where we will announce the students who have made this accomplishment to reach the laude status. The student speeches will still take place, so those four students will record their speech and what we will do is play it so that the people attending the meeting are able to hear,” Marcinek said.  “We are looking to make something along the lines of a powerpoint presentation that has pictures of the students and some information on them to celebrate their accomplishments.”

Annual ceremonies are still being held, but in a way that is unconventional from what has happened in the past. Marcinek states that through the online meetings, the ceremonies will go into more depth for both the laude banquet and the scholarship night. 

“This will be much like the laude banquet, a virtual gathering where the scholarship recipients will be announced. I have been in contact with the president of the Crown Point Community Foundation, Mary Neilson, and she will give me a list of the scholarship winners and for the online ceremony. We will make a slideshow to showcase them and learn a little more about the scholarship,” Marcinek said. 

Providing acknowledgement for students is important to the school according to Marcinek. Finding a way to hold the event and abiding by the state’s safety rules is crucial to administration. 

“We’re going to have similar virtual recognition for them and their families because they also get stoles to wear at graduation with their caps and gowns and so we’re going to have a picture of the student, probably of the recruiter that recruited them to go into the military depending on the branch,” Marcinek said. “This is an important event to us, we like to recognize our military students from the senior class and really want to hold onto it in spite of the social distancing and different adjustments we’ve had to make.”

Some parents and students may be assuming that since school is no longer in person, prom will not happen. However, Marcinek wants to emphasize that it could potentially happen. 

“I think it’s important to say that nothing is off the table. Obviously prom is an event where nearly 1,000 people are in very close quarters. We need to hear more from Governor Holcomb and updates on the rules of social distancing before we make any decisions,” Marcinek said. “I don’t want to take anything away from any of our students but nothing is off the table.”

Every senior class has gotten a graduation to celebrate their completion of high school and as of right now the class of 2020 will not be an exception.

“I think for graduation we are committed to having some kind of ceremony for our graduation seniors. How that’s going to look and when it is going to be, we just don’t know. I think a lot is going to depend on statements from the state of Indiana the first week of May regarding what our expectations are going to be with crowds and gatherings. We are open to pushing it back to a later date in the summer. So even if we don’t have it June 4 and we wait a little longer or we modify it to where there are less people there, maybe just immediate family members, I mean it’s just an idea,” Marcinek said. “I’m not saying this is what we decided, but through talking to a lot of parents if possible I think they would prefer a modified ceremony rather than a virtual ceremony.”

Holding a ceremony that will please both parents and health care professionals is a goal for administration.

“I think that everything not being off the table, we’re listening to suggestions from parents, from students, about what their requests are, but I think the key is we need to get more definitive information from health experts on the course of this virus and what their recommendations are going to be in the summer months,” Marcinek said. 

To Marcinek, the uncertainness that surrounds society’s current situation means the alterations that are taking place will allow lives to continue.

“None of us have ever experienced something like this before. IN fact, your grandparents or great grandparents, really even for World War ll life was going on pretty much as normal here in the country except maybe making adjustments to the products you bought or something like that but as far as the day-to-day life it went on,” Marcinek said. “Whereas here, it’s kind of stopped, it’s an adjustment for everybody but we’ll get through it.” 

Without guaranteeing that all events will occur the way they have in the past, Marcinek wants to emphasize that administration wants to make sure the senior class gets to experience these second semester events. 

“With prom and graduation there’s no definitive answer, but I think the biggest thing I want the kids to know is that we’re doing everything we can to make sure that especially our seniors get to experience what they can. I just can’t make any promises and I can’t guarantee anything because I don’t know for sure what we’re going to be able to do,” Marcinek said. “We’re thinking about our seniors and all our students, we miss them, we wish we were back in school and hopefully we’ll be back to normal at some point soon.”

Emma Frank
Emma Frank is a Sophomore and going into her second year of journalism at Crown Point High School and her first year on Inklings. Emma enjoys creating things for others to enjoy, she is on the varsity dance team and involved in multiple clubs. Emma cannot wait to produce quality content for her peers and community. Emma plans to attend college and study business.

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