School’s Out: Plans for Remainder of Semester

In compliance with Governor Mike Parson’s order that all Missouri schools will remain closed for the 2019-20 school year, the following updates have been made.

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ndsion.edu

The high school campus pictured before school starts.

Callie Cameron, A&E Editor

Principal Natalie McDonough posted updates about the new school schedule in accordance with the state’s rules. 

Distance learning will continue until the originally published end dates on the calendar. The last day of non-AP classes for seniors is May 5 and for freshmen, sophomores and juniors it’s May 8. With the end of fourth quarter all assignments will be due May 13, and first semester grades will be available to students on OnCampus May 22. As for courses, those originally designated pass or fail will continue to be assessed in that manner for the second semester with all GPA weighting for AP, ACCP and honors retained. Since there are no final exams, second semester grades will be calculated by averaging the quarter three grade 60% and quarter four 40%.

“I’m happy that they are trying to keep girls’ grades from going down in a sense,” junior Gabby Gaither said, “but I think it’s frustrating when some people work extra hard for a higher grade and now colleges will just see that everyone passed.”

 seniors will continue to attend their AP courses until May 8, after which they will attend AP review sessions. The tradition of honoring outstanding achievement in all facets will continue beginning on May 18 on the school website and social media accounts. Graduation is confirmed for June 25 with Commencement Mass June 24.  The Le Journal Senior Issue is being printed and will be mailed to all seniors in May. Plans for College Decision Day and Senior Mother-Daughter Luncheon programs are in the planning stages, according to the email sent by McDonough. 

Graduation is something we’ve worked really hard for and it means a lot to our entire class.”

— Senior Bridget Schumm

“Honestly I’m just glad we are given a chance to partake in the ceremony,” senior Bridget Schumm said. “Graduation is something we’ve worked really hard for and it means a lot to our entire class.”

All Missouri State High School Activities Association spring activities have been canceled. Coach Pilgreen will email all Senior athletes for uniform return. All senior uniforms must be returned by May 8. For freshman, sophomore and junior athletes, the uniform return will begin in June. To clean out lockers, seniors may sign up for a time slot from May 1-8. 

“I completely understand why sports were canceled,” Gaither said. “But I was really devastated about it because it was going to be my first year playing with my sister and starting varsity.”

Due to the current stay-at-home orders, this year’s senior service projects will not require the leadership component. Also, students will not be required to have a minimum of 15 marginalized hours for their projects.  the school will continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19 during the summer months, changes to the service hour requirements may be altered, according to an email sent by McDonough.

“I was supposed to be in Guatemala for my senior service project,” Schumm said. ”However, after that was canceled I did my best to reorganize another project. Due to the spread of COVID, it was canceled. A lot of other girls are in the same position and we worked hard with Mrs. Holmes so that we just respond to an alternate reflection on service at Sion.”

I am sad about this year coming to a close without us being able to see our students again in person. I miss them dearly. We all do.”

— Principal Natalie McDonough

Summer programs such as The High School Bridge Program, Class of 2024 Book Club and Sion’s Dimensions in Visual Arts summer course will continue, and to be offered as online classes. A second college essay and resume clinic will be added in August since the May and June sessions were canceled. Meanwhile, the summer sports camps will be rescheduled as needed, according to McDonough. All students can enroll in these events on the Sion website, but all summer travel has been postponed. As the school communicates with host schools, they plan on scheduling the international summer exchange next fall or spring of the 2020-21 school year. The Camino de Santiago trip to Spain will take place in June of 2021.

“I am sad about this year coming to a close without us being able to see our students again in person. I miss them dearly. We all do,” McDonough said.  “I do understand the importance of keeping this virus contained and not spread and save as many lives as possible. It is a learning situation and we are working hard and planning as much as we can to stay connected and honor our students. I hope that sending out end dates and the academic plan helped students see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to their school work.”

There is a possibility the virus could affect next school year 2020-21 and the administration is currently working on a plan. The plan may be a blended virtual and face to face school experience. Administration is working on what it would look like if they had to keep up with online OnCampus assignments but maintain small group gatherings. 

“I do think it is a possibility the virus could continue to affect our school year,” McDonough said. “There is so much unknown at this time. There is a lot of misinformation out there.  We know a second wave is possible as we learned from the pandemic flu in 1918. It is certainly our hope that we return as normal in August but we know that we must be prepared now for other options if there is still a need to limit contact.”