Brownstown going virtual with awards day, graduation; prom canceled


Brownstown Central High School will have its awards day and graduation online in May.

Principal Joe Sheffer made that announcement early Monday afternoon while also sharing prom is canceled and eLearning will continue through May 7.

While flexibility has been given to school officials when looking at current seniors and how they are able to meet graduation requirements, eLearning will continue following the current calendar. Teachers are providing lessons and materials for students to complete, and grading will continue as if students were physically attending school.

The corporation also plans to continue delivering meals to students on Tuesdays. Every student in a household receives five breakfasts and five lunches. Around 230 students are being served right now, and if parents would like to add their child to the distribution list, they should send an email to [email protected].

Prom originally was scheduled for April 17 and then was rescheduled for May 8, but because of the recent extension of school building closures, social distancing recommendations, increasing risk and seriousness of the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic and coordination it takes to pull off the event, prom has been canceled.

Awards day is set for 8:30 a.m. May 22 and will be conducted virtually without an audience, much like how some churches are currently offering services without a congregation.

Following the lead of several colleges and universities across the country, plans are underway for Brownstown to conduct a virtual graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. May 23. Sheffer said gold tassels, academic honor medals and other graduation materials will be mailed prior to graduation. Graduates will be asked to take cap and gown pictures to share in a Google folder.

More plans concerning awards day and graduation will be forthcoming, Sheffer said.

Superintendent Tim Taylor said the decisions were made in an attempt to “flatten the curve” and keep students and the community safe and healthy.

“This is not a decision that we enter into lightly,” Taylor said. “Many of us being longtime school administrators and parents, we understand the sense of pride and accomplishment that both students and parents feel on these special days. That is why we give you our utmost commitment to provide the absolute best graduation ceremony that we possibly can. Thank you in advance for your understanding as we navigate these uncharted waters.