The 2019-20 school year is ending on May 15, but leaving lots of uncertainties as far as the future concerns.

First, let’s talk about the things we know. Finally, the Minnesota Department of Education provided school districts guidance about our 2020 graduation. It was definitely not timely, but better late than never, I guess. Based on the guidance, Sleepy Eye Public School is looking forward to honoring our graduating class of 2020 on Friday, June 5, at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony will take place in our parking lot. Students and their immediate families will have the opportunity to participate in a drive-in ceremony following the appropriate guidelines. More information about the ceremony will be forthcoming after all the details are worked out and shared with the graduates and their families.

We had a virtual 6th grade recognition ceremony, via Google meets, on Thursday, May 14, at 2 p.m. The event was live-streamed on our district Facebook page.

We are also having a PBIS end-of-year celebration this week. We plan on prerecording the event and sharing the final product to our families. We will have many door prices to give away to our students who earned Pride Tickets this year. We are once again giving away a bike, thanks to a generous donation by the Denny Waloch Agency. Denny has been a great supporter of our program in previous years as well.

Our Tier 1 and Tier 2 essential worker daycare service last day will be on Friday, May 15, as well.

We plan on continuing our meal program throughout the summer. We will not be able deliver meals to homes any longer, however we are establishing several bus stops throughout the community where participating families will be able to walk to and pick up the meals. We will continue the school site pick up. Please contact our food service department for further information.

We also scheduled our technology device and library book pick up dates and times. We plan to do the drive-by option to accomplish the task. Pick up times are scheduled for Friday, May 15, from noon to 6 p.m. and on Monday, May 18, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.

Now let’s talk about the unknowns. We still do not know if we are able to have summer school this year and how will it look like if we can. Same goes to our school-age migrant program. We are also waiting on guidance for what the next school year start will look like. Are we able to return back to normal operations, will we have to continue with the distance learning option or will there be some type of hybrid option available for us to implement? We do not know if we will be able to have our fall activities. We also are very concerned about education funding moving forward. We know that the state budget forecast is expecting a $2.4 billion shortfall. There will be stressful times ahead for all of us as we hopefully make a transition back to normalcy.

In closing, I would like to thank the SEPS staff, students, and parents who all have done a fantastic job during our distance learning period. We appreciate your understanding and patience with this process.

Better times are coming!!!