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St. Francis High School mulls alternative prom, graduation plans amid COVID-19

Posted at 7:45 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 20:45:54-04

ST. FRANCIS — Leaders at St. Francis High School are working on ways to make sure students can enjoy high school experiences they would've otherwise missed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

An online component to graduation or a mid-summer prom are a few of the alternatives school officials are looking into for seniors graduating in the Class of 2020.

Thursday, Principal Mike Lewandowski walked through the building. An unsettling silence filled the space.

That day he learned face-to-face classes would be suspended for the rest of the 2019-20 school year as Governor Evers' "Safer at Home" order was extended through May.

The hallways were empty. The cafeteria was quiet, and there were no morning announcements. The next time the bell rings for a scheduled class at the school is still up in the air.

"It's not what a school is supposed to feel like," Lewandowski said.

No school meant many students would go months without face-to-face teaching again in 2020, if at all.

"I have a lot of friends that are seniors," said sophomore Alexis Williams. "It's disheartening to see them not walk the stage for graduation."

Lewandowski said about 30 percent of his students choose to go on to college, while many others go into trades or the military.

"For about 70 percent of my students, they're not getting another graduation," Lewandowski said. "This is it. So, if I have to have graduation in my back yard, we're having a ceremony for our kids."

St. Francis High School is also a primary option for open enrollment in Southeastern Wisconsin and is still accepting applications.

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