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Oregon, Polo school superintendents react to school closure

Governor closes schools through end of year due to COVID-19

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced April 17 that all schools statewide will be closed for the remainder of the school year amid ongoing concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oregon School District School Superintendent Tom Mahoney has said recently that he didn’t expect to return to school and planned online curriculums to meet those needs. 

“That’s the course we took from the beginning,” Mahoney said. “But there will be a real sadness if our staff loses the chance to say goodbye to our students. We hope to be able to make those moments a reality. We’ll see if there’s a way for us to provide some closure for staff and students.”

Last week, the school district set multiple tentative dates for end-of-year events like graduation, promotion and prom. Mahoney hopes those dates will still work, and said he especially wants to recognize seniors. 

The tentative dates for graduation are May 24, June 19 and Aug. 1. For promotion, the dates are May 22, June 18 and July 30. The dates for prom are June 6 and July 18.

“We’ll be following the leads of safety officials on when a large event can be hosted again,” Mahoney said. “We’ve had conversations around hosting virtual events. That is our last resort, but we might have to do it.”


Polo School District Superintendent Chris Rademacher said he saw the writing on the wall when states surrounding Illinois cancelled school for the year. 

“The teachers all want to be back, but that can’t happen this year,” Rademacher said. “We expected it. It’s too bad for the seniors. But it’s happening everywhere.”

Polo hasn’t set postponement dates yet due to the fact that it usually has 4-5 senior students that leave for the military in June and wants to make sure they’re included in any celebrations. 

Rademacher said the district still wants to get graduation done. A date at the end of May was the goal, but now it’s looking less likely, he said. The idea of virtual events is being considered as well. 

“We’ll do something and get it out to the community,” Rademacher said. “We’re still trying to get everyone’s availability.”