Prospect Principal Greg Minter sat down for a Q and A regarding the current coronavirus situation and its effect on Prospect High School.
What brought about the decision for after school activities being cancelled through spring break?
“We see school as being an essential at this point; whereas after school activities are non-essential. So [cancelling activities is] one way we can minimize contact [and] proximity.”
Is there a chance that activities could be cancelled past break?
“Anything is possible right now. The peak of this isn’t supposed to happen until mid-April. … I mean this is all conjecture — I’m not speaking with any official knowledge — but everything is dependent on what’s happening. Anything and everything is possible. It’s possible that this may not be as big of a deal as people think, and we come back after break and resume everything as normal. It’s possible that we don’t come back for three weeks. No one really knows.”
What would need to happen in order for school to be cancelled?
“We would need a confirmed case in the school or reason to believe that we need to [cancel] because an outbreak is imminent.”
Some people are worried about whether E-learning days would count towards the school year. Would they?
“They do [count]. We will not be extending the school year.”
What would E-learning look like?
“Some teachers might do a Zoom meeting, maybe the teacher might video conference with the group. That might happen, or maybe you are just turning in assignments digitally. It [might] not be e-learning whatsoever: your teacher might give you a project to do or some research to do. It does not necessarily have to be this online, engaged experience. It could be very much like your regular homework, but just the communication about it would be electronic.
But [teachers] are expected to maintain instruction; that’s the only way we get to call that a school day.”
What would be the immediate protocol if someone from Prospect got the virus?
“It would be like any other emergency situation. We’d contain them quickly and get them out of the building. What [could happen] is that we see someone who has symptoms, so we would make sure that that person goes home and goes to medical facility and is tested before we’d ever allow them back into school. Because it might just be the regular flu.”
Graduation and prom:
What would need to happen for prom and graduation to actually be cancelled?
“Well, that’s a long ways off. Is it possible? Yes. But we’d still have to be under threat of this being spread.”
What moment made you realize how serious this situation was?
“Yesterday all of the superintendents and principals met yesterday afternoon, and Dr. Schuler laid things out [and] made it real. It’s been all talk, but yesterday made it very real.”
Were there new decisions made at the meeting yesterday?
“The situation is changing [constantly]. Even since [Dr. Schuler’s] email went out. We’re talking to neighbouring school districts and trying to align with other people. The governor reportedly was considering cancelling all schools in Illinois today, so things could change very quickly. The governor could say no school, and that would change all of our plans. Things are just shifting by the minute.”
Continue to check https://prospectornow.com/22116/news/phs-related-coronavirus-updates-2/#photo for Prospect-related coronavirus updates.