Uncertainty surrounds senior events

The Huntington North senior class of 2019 is pictured in the high school’s auditorium during last year’s graduation ceremony. The senior class of 2020 faces uncertainty on graduation and prom dates following interruptions amid the current COVID-19 outbreak.

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The Huntington County Community School corporation still plans to host prom and graduation for seniors if possible, according to HCCSC Superintendent Chad Daugherty, even if they have to be pushed back to the summer.

Seniors at Huntington North High School are experiencing an interruption to their grade school education as never seen before. With Governor Eric J. Holcomb’s announcement on March 19 that school buildings will remain shut down through May 1, there are several uncertainties facing the graduation and prom dates.

“We want to make sure that kids are going to have those experiences, and I think they’ve worked on pushing the prom back as late as they have to,” Daugherty said. “If we have to have it in the summer, then we’ll have it in the summer. It may be the same thing with graduation.”

The school corporation shut down its buildings proactively on March 16 ahead of Holcomb’s statewide order due to growing concerns amid the COVID-19 virus which had begun spreading to the state.

Since the building closure, HCCSC has released an eLearning schedule as all grade levels have transitioned to online learning. The Indiana Department of Education also announced on March 19 the cancellation of all state assessments.

Seniors will still need to meet their credit requirements before the end of the semester, and those who plan to enter college next year will still need to take AP testing.

“They’re still going to test AP. That’s the college board. That’s not in our control,” Daugherty said. “There’s a lot of unknowns for those types of programs. We’re going to work through that and get that information out as quickly as we can to those teachers and parents.”

Daugherty says the plan for the school corporation’s approach to all matters affected by the coronavirus school building closures has been “very fluid.” The school board is working to provide seniors with their graduation and prom experiences, just as all of the senior classes that have preceded them before.

“If we can do it, we want to do it because it’s a once in a lifetime experience for those young people, and those parents deserve to see that too,” Daugherty said. “They’ve worked really hard for that.”

Huntington University announced Saturday that all of the classes for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester will move to online format, including May term classes.

“This decision was not made lightly, but the timing of the decision allows the University to prepare for the remaining weeks of the semester,” a release from HU stated.

The university is requesting students to provide a definitive need to remain on campus in campus housing beyond spring break. International students, students who cannot return home for other reasons and/or those who do not have adequate technology infrastructure to finish their coursework online will be approved to remain in residence halls.

On March 13, Huntington University noted that although no decisions had been made surrounding their commencement activities, the university is considering hosting a virtual event.

HCCSC is updating information surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on the school corporation on their website directly under the parents tab on a page titled Coronavirus/COVID-19.

Huntington University is also updating information through a COVID-19 Updates page accessible on the university’s website.