Tentative plans for the end of a non-traditional school year

I hope this letter finds all community members doing well as we close out the month of April and enter the final stage of this very non-traditional school year. I know there are many school-related questions that students and parents in particular may still have, and the intent of this letter is to clarify as much as possible regarding all school-related information that is available to us at this time.

• PK-12 instruction: We wish to thank all of you for your flexibility with this process and are very appreciative for the support our parents have provided in working to make the best of this virtual/at-home instructional format. We will continue to provide instruction in this manner through May 29, the official last day of the 2019-20 school year. Teachers will continue to reach out to students regarding weekly academic expectations.

• Graduation: At this time, we are planning for a traditional graduation ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday, July 24. This is certainly subject to change, but we want to plan for this and adjust as needed.

• Senior awards ceremony: At this time, we are planning on hosting the senior awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 23. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.

• Summer School: Currently, schools are not able to provide traditional summer school options prior to July 1. Beyond that date, we are still required to follow the group assembly restrictions set by the state. We will make a final determination on summer school programming and communicate that to all parents by mid-May. If we are able to provide summer school programming this year, it will start no earlier than July 6. It is important to note, however, that we have full intentions to provide drivers ed classroom instruction in either July or August — virtually or in-house, depending on what is allowable.

• Junior prom: We will have a Senior Ball for the rescheduled prom Oct. 17. This will give this year’s junior class an opportunity to make up the event. All members of the Class of 2020 are invited to attend, as well.

• Eighth grade recognition: Both Birnamwood and Wittenberg are planning on providing some form of an eighth grade recognition program. Your building principals will be contacting you regarding the delivery format.

• PK-8 grade locker and classroom material pick-up: On May 5 and 6, parents will be able to pick up student materials left at both Wittenberg and Birnamwood elementary and middle schools. Curbside pick up times will be from 8 a.m to 3:30 p.m. each day. No appointment is needed.

• Food service breakfast and lunch distribution: The district will continue providing breakfast and lunch options for students on the Mondays, May 4, 11 and 18 and Tuesday, May 26.

Please know that everything listed above regarding graduation, senior awards and summer school is very subject to change and dependent on permissions granted to school districts concerning physical distancing and community gathering. If you have any questions regarding the plans and intentions listed above or anything else that we may not have clarified, do not hesitate to contact me at 715-253-2213 or your child’s building principal. Again, thank you for the continued support you are providing your children during this time, and we look forward to getting back to normal operation as soon as possible.

Garrett Rogowski is the superintendent of the Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District.