Date: September 25, 2020
To: MHS Students, Parents, Staff, and Patrons
From: Joseph Graves, Superintendent of Schools
Re: Homecoming Week Activities
When we began this school year, we did so with three priorities:
Protect our students and staff to the maximum extent possible from COVID-19.
Hold school with students and staff physically in school because doing so provides the best educational opportunities for our students.
Launch our full scope of extracurricular activities—fine arts, sports, academic competitions, etc.—to enhance our educational program.
So far, so good.
However, as you have no doubt noticed, not all schools have been able to accomplish these three. In fact, like those schools, there is a strong possibility that Mitchell might, at some point in the future, have to move away from students present in school should our confirmed cases ‘spike.’
In order to give our schools the best, possible chance to have students learning in our classrooms and performing in our gymnasiums and on our stage floors, I am making the unfortunate decision to reduce the extent of Homecoming activities.
Spirit day themes/costumes will all still require that students mask.
Coronation will be virtual. Members of the Homecoming court, students participating in skits, senior choir, participating cheerleaders, members of these students’ immediate family, and school staff/Student Council members managing the event will be the only people eligible to attend coronation. We will stream the event virtually for anyone else who wishes to observe it.
The Burning of the M will not be held this year.
Volleyball, soccer, tennis, football, marching band, golf, and cross country events will be held as scheduled (unless subsequent events prevent) but with the Tier 2 restrictions in place.
The Powder Puff game will not be played this year.
The football game against Brookings will be the final Homecoming Week activity. No dance will be held this year.
I know some of these cancellations/adjustment to Homecoming Week activities are disappointing to many of you. The responsibility for two recent interruptions of school (with students physically present in the building) and outright cancellations of activity programs in our state are being ascribed to recent Homecoming activities in those school districts. While these conclusions can only be based anecdotal evidence, they are based on some reasonable thought processes. I have based the adjustments to our activities on the difficulties of social distancing in each and the priorities set out above.
I apologize for the fact that some of these decisions are, no doubt, disappointing to many of you. I hope you can understand the need to make some sacrifices in pursuit of higher priorities.