Information for the Class of 2020

Revised on May 15, 2020


Senior Awards

As we previously mentioned, the formal awards ceremony is canceled. However, the community organizations that have traditionally given awards at our awards ceremony will be reaching out to you directly with individual honors. Departments are also preparing special awards. Students who are being honored with an award will receive an email notifying them of the honor. We will then have certificates for these awards prepared for you and you will receive them at the collection and distribution day outlined later in this email. A formal program highlighting all of the awards will be prepared and posted on our website. Each student receiving an award will also receive a copy of the program. This is the procedure that we will follow for all awards except the Outstanding Senior Awards.

We have special plans for the Outstanding Senior Awards and hope that it provides excitement throughout the final week for our seniors.  The Outstanding Senior Awards are the most prestigious awards presented at South High School. This recognition is based upon service and demonstrated leadership, as well as academic accomplishment within the department’s four-year course of study. The Outstanding Seniors Display case will be updated with the pictures of those students honored. Those pictures will remain prominently displayed until next year at senior awards, holding a place of honor and distinction at South High School. Because we can’t all gather together this year, we are going to reveal a few Outstanding Senior winners each day during the final week. Speeches announcing the winners will be revealed at the times listed below on the District 99 YouTube Channel. We will celebrate the recipients at the times indicated.

Monday, May 11     

Tuesday, May 12

Wednesday, May 13    

Thursday, May 14

The final day of Remote Learning for seniors who are passing their classes is Friday, May 15.  Underclassmen and senior students still needing to complete work will have the last day of Remote Learning on May 19.  May 20 and 21 are Teacher Institute Days.

On May 15, we will invite all seniors to come to campus to receive awards, pick up caps and gowns and yearbooks, retrieve personal contents, and return school materials and Chromebooks.  We have designed a system that aligns with Shelter-In-Place and Social Distancing Guidelines and will allow all of this to occur without the student leaving their car.  Lockers are being cleared of all contents - any textbooks, library books, and other school issued contents in lockers will be returned to the respective spot in the school.  All other belongings will be placed in a clear bag and tagged with the students identifying information.  Those contents will be returned to the student on May 15. Students needing to keep their Chromebooks and textbooks to continue to prepare for Advanced Placement Exams may make arrangements to return those items at a later date.

On Monday, May 11, seniors can expect to receive an email listing those things that need to be returned to school.  On May 15, students will arrive to campus during a time period dictated by their last name (see below). They will enter the bus lot at the Southeast corner of the campus and follow the drive along the sidewalk in front of the building.  At the first station, they will return textbooks, Chromebooks, etc. and a member of our staff will radio ahead to the subsequent stations. The students will proceed to the stations that they need to stop at - locker items, yearbook distribution, award distribution, and cap and gown pickup. We are also working to have art projects available to be picked up as well. Senior athletes will be contacted by their coaches to arrange to get things from athletic locker rooms if needed.

Alpha Order Pickup

Last name A - C        9 AM - 10 AM

Last name D - G        10 AM - 11 AM

Last name H - L        11 AM - 12 PM 

Last name M - O        2 PM - 3 PM 

Last name P - R         3 PM  - 4 PM 

Last name S - Z          4 PM - 5 PM

Students unable to arrive during their scheduled time should call the main office at 630-795-8500 to arrange an alternate time.  For those not available on Friday, May 15, the office is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.

Parents may pick up their student’s belongings, but belongings will not be distributed to other students and/or other parents.

Linked here is a reminder flyer to put on your refrigerator.

The Counseling and Student Support Services Department has sent out a video to all seniors. The video presentation asks seniors to do three important things. Seniors are required to indicate their post-high school plans, which includes where their final transcripts should be sent. We strongly urge you all to take a few minutes and watch the video and complete the tasks requested. We value your feedback. Feedback from previous graduates have influenced some of the programming we now offer. Thanks in advance for doing that and providing us with your insight.

Relatedly, the College and Career Counselors from both North and South High School will present a live webinar on Wednesday, May 6 at 6:00 pm for parents and senior students to learn about the transition to college and other post-secondary options. An additional informational email will be sent with the link in the upcoming days.

On what was originally scheduled as graduation day, Friday, May 22, we hope to send a couple more videos to seniors.  The first will be a condensed version of a leadership workshop focusing on transitioning from high school. The second is the annual senior video. We hope that the members of our senior class find them to be enjoyable and beneficial.

Finally, there have been many questions asked about Remote Learning, timing and schedules for the end of the year, and grading. We have attempted to answer those questions in an Remote Learning FAQ, below.

You are cared for and valued. The contributions to South High School by the Class of 2020 were amazing before March 13, 2020.  They are even greater now. No one asked for this situation, nor deserves the related consequences of it, but the Class of 2020 has handled it with class and a can-do spirit.  We look forward to being able to celebrate these amazing people in the coming weeks.

Remote Learning FAQ

Q:  When is the last day of Remote Learning?

A:  Remote Learning for seniors who are passing their classes will end on May 15. Remote Learning for 9th-11th graders and any senior who is in danger of failing or earning an incomplete in a class will end on May 19.  

Q:  Will there be final exams?

A:  Final exams will not be given as they traditionally have been administered. While there might be some classes where a cumulative assessment is given, any such assessment will not carry the weight of a final exam, and there will be no final exam schedule.

Q:  Can a student’s semester grade be impacted by Remote Learning?

A:  If a student has been sufficiently engaged throughout Remote Learning, the student’s semester grade can go up but not down. During Remote Learning, teachers will continue to assess student learning and enter grades into the Home Access Center. This can certainly cause a grade to fluctuate up and/or down over time. If, at the end of Remote Learning a student’s grade has risen, that is the grade the student will receive for the semester grade.  If, at the end of the semester, the grade of a student who has engaged in learning and their grade has dropped because of assignments during remote learning, the grade will revert back to what it was prior to Remote Learning.  

Q:  What would cause a student to earn an Incomplete grade instead of a passing grade for the semester?

A:  If a student hasn’t been sufficiently engaged in Remote Learning and/or has not demonstrated an understanding of essential learning in the course, a student will be assigned an Incomplete grade for the semester and will not earn credit for the course until the work has been completed in a way that demonstrates mastery of the learning. Just as occurs in a normal school setting, the number and types of assignments vary from course to course so there is not a universal number of assignments that must be completed in order to earn a passing grade. Teachers will collaborate with their colleagues to determine the baseline of essential skills needed to earn passing grades.

Q:  How do students and families know if a student is in danger of earning an incomplete for the course?

A:  There are actually several warning signs:

Each Friday, teachers take attendance based on engagement for the week. If students have been sufficiently engaged in the work for that week, they are marked present. If they have not, then they are marked absent. Therefore, any student who has been marked absent on a Friday should interpret that as a warning of an Incomplete grade.

Students who are earning a D or F in the course (either prior to Remote Learning began or currently) are in danger of earning an Incomplete.  

Between May 4 and May 11, teachers will notify a student and family if they are in danger of earning an Incomplete grade for the semester.

Q:  What should a student do to ensure they do not receive an Incomplete grade?

A:  The single most important thing that a student should do is engage in all aspects of their learning.  Students should complete their assignments each week, participate in virtual classroom sessions, and if they have questions, they should contact their teachers for help. Deans, counselors, and other staff members are also available to assist.

Q:  What happens when a student gets an Incomplete grade?

A:  The student will be expected to make up the work.  Teachers will complete and share a form that outlines the deficient skills and assignments to be completed. One or more of the following may occur if students earn an Incomplete grade:

Require student to complete assignments that demonstrate learning of essential skills and/or content.

Assign student to a Remote Learning Summer School Class (yet to be determined).

Change student schedule for next year due to not completing the work or not meeting the prerequisites for the next level of a course.

Issue student a withdrawal grade with no credit but no GPA impact.

Q:  When can a student retrieve items from lockers and return school materials?

A:  Seniors will return and pick up materials on May 15.  A survey will be sent to underclassmen to help us determine the level of need for retrieving items from lockers and/or returning school materials.  School personnel will remove school issued books from student lockers.  Any student who needs something from a locker now in order to complete schoolwork for this semester should email Mr. Schwartz.

Q:  How do I get my student’s medication from the Nurse’s office?

A:  We are finalizing procedures that will align with the Governor’s Executive Order of Shelter in Place and will communicate that information to students and families in the coming weeks.

Q:  How do I get a refund of my SchoolBucks account?

A: Underclassmen with balances on their SchoolBucks account will carry over that balance into next year.  As long as there are no outstanding school fees, seniors with balances on their accounts will be issued a refund.  If a graduating senior has a younger sibling, the parents will have an opportunity to transfer that money to a sibling’s account.  Underclassmen who would like their SchoolBuck balances refunded can request that by emailing Ms. Ethridge at