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Local News

Breaking: Illinois State Board of Educations bans all in-person graduation ceremonies due to COVID-19 crisis

Matthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com
An aerial view of DeKalb High School is seen from a fully restored Ford Tri-Motor model 4-AT-E plane on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 at DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport in DeKalb.  The plane, nicknamed "Tin Goose" was the largest civilian passenger aircraft during its time in service from 1909-1926, and currently seats ten passengers during its present tour.
Matthew Apgar - mapgar@shawmedia.com An aerial view of DeKalb High School is seen from a fully restored Ford Tri-Motor model 4-AT-E plane on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 at DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport in DeKalb. The plane, nicknamed "Tin Goose" was the largest civilian passenger aircraft during its time in service from 1909-1926, and currently seats ten passengers during its present tour.

The Illinois State Board of Education has banned all in-person, drive-through or smaller-group graduation ceremonies indefinitely as school districts statewide scramble to determine how to honor graduation seniors in the Class of 2020.

"The directive extends to drive-through graduation ceremonies or events where students come in small groups to the school or another location for a photo or to walk across a stage," an email from ISBE Thursday reads. "The governor's extended stay-at-home order prohibits group gatherings."

DeKalb 428 Superintendent Jamie Craven forwarded the email to the Daily Chronicle Thursday.

On Tuesday, the Sycamore District 427 school board announced in a public board meeting that the 2020 graduation ceremony would not be held as originally planned, instead opting for a virtual ceremony at 2 p.m. on May 24.

The Sycamore district said if public health guidance allows for such a thing, free graduation photos could be allowed to occur on campus in July, with a reception August 2.

The D-428 school board has not yet voted on amended graduation plans, but are executed to do so at their board meeting Tuesday, set for 7 p.m., which will be available for anyone to watch on the district's YouTube channel.

In an email to district families Wednesday, Craven said details regarding the 2020 graduation ceremony have not yet been announced, but all end-of-year celebrations will need to be virtual moving forward.

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