By Jim Hagerty
ROCKFORD – Senior proms for Rockford Public School District 205’s high schools are officially canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, principals announced Tuesday.
“We’ve agreed as a group to cancel our senior prom plans for the Class of 2020,” the letter from Principals Jenny Keffer (Auburn), Jim Parker (East), Gus Carter (Guilford), and Don Rundell (Jefferson) and Morgan Gallagher (Roosevelt) said.
School leaders say they are disappointed at having to nix the events, ones the district hoped to allow sometime in July as the state continued to re-open as part of the Restore Illinois plan. However, because the plan does not allow for large indoor gatherings until fall.
“Our state is expected to move into Phase 4 at the end of this month, and — according to the governor’s guidelines — that would allow for gatherings of 50 people or fewer,” the letter said. “Unfortunately that limit will not allow us to host the senior prom events we had hoped for our students. This has been a wild year. We’re tired of saying it’s unprecedented, but it is. We hope our graduates enjoyed the special celebrations we held for the Class of 2020.”
Principals said they enjoyed visiting students with yard signs to recognize them, hosting drive-up diploma pick-up, and putting together the district’s virtual graduation ceremonies.
“Of course none of this is the same as hosting our traditional in-person big events for our senior class, but we enjoyed creating these special memories for the Class of 2020.”
In Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, indoor gatherings are capped at 50, outdoor gatherings at 100. Phase 4 begins Friday and will last for 28 days.