Seymour R-II Superintendent Steve Richards has a single guarantee for the graduating class of 2020 at Seymour High School.
“Those seniors will have a graduation,” said Richards, who is in his first year as the top official for the Seymour R-II School District, which has nearly 650 students in preschool through the 12th grade.
“If we have to hold (graduation ceremonies) this fall, we’ll still have it. Those seniors deserve their special day as graduating high school is the biggest accomplishment of their young lives.”
Currently, classes at the local school are suspended until Monday, April 6.
All public schools in Missouri are following that model because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, Richards said he couldn’t offer any guidance on whether classes will resume once the first Monday in April arrives.
“We’re taking it day by day,” he said.
“It would be crazy for me to speculate on that. Honestly, this situation is out of my hands, out of my board’s hands. I think it all depends on how the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are working across the nation. If we see a decline in the infection rate, then we’ll see our classes resume. If not, then the opposite is true.”
Is there a chance classes for the current 2019-20 school year won’t resume?
“Sure, there’s a chance of that,” Richards said. “In some states, they’ve already called off classes for this school year for public schools. Many colleges have done the same thing. But as of now, we’re still looking at that April 6 date and staying optimistic.”
Regardless, he emphasized that his 2020 seniors will have their special day.
“Again, that graduation day might be delayed into late this spring, this summer or maybe even the fall, but Seymour High School will hold graduation ceremonies for its senior class. We’ve had a high-school graduation for every class here since the first class in 1901, and this class will have that same special day.”