Class of 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Good afternoon! We hope this message finds you all healthy and well! After much consideration, discussion, deliberation, and consultation with both the Board Committee on 8th grade activities, the Student Council, and the Student Council President, Luc Acquaviva, the following is how we will be proceeding with the remainder of the school year as it relates to the 8th grade, and 8th grade activities:

Variety Show - All Variety Show ticket order purchases will be refunded.  This difficult realization comes to us because of the continued executive order that remains in place within the state.  We are so proud of the work put forth by all involved in this year's Variety Show, and we thank you for your time and efforts.

Banquet - In conjunction with the Variety Show, this year's 8th grade banquet will also be cancelled due to the continued executive order that remains in place within the state.  We thank the parent committees that began preparing for this event back in January, and we are beyond appreciative for the work that was done, and ideas that were generated for this year's banquet.

Camp Mason - This year's Camp Mason trip will also be cancelled because of the aforementioned reasons. Again, we are so appreciative to all those that signed up to be chaperones and security, and we are truly saddened that the final class to attend this special event will not be able to do so because of our current circumstances.

Moving forward, we can now discuss the positive innovations, ideas, and selfless generosity that has been displayed by our 8th grade students (not surprised!) in coming up with ideas on how to make the most out of this disappointing situation.

Promotion - As we wait for the forthcoming guidance and guidelines on how to address promotion from the state, we are already flooded with ideas and propositions on how to make this an event that will be very special, unique, and certainly unforgettable for our students.  We will work within the parameters we are provided to assure the event is safe, and although it will be very different from the traditional promotion in Milltown, this one will surely leave an indelible mark on the history of Joyce Kilmer, and we are so proud to be a part of it!

As per the Student Council's suggestions, in order to begin to utilize the funds raised by the class in lieu of the trip to Camp Mason, the class will be receiving sweatshirts to commemorate the unique circumstances surrounding their 8th grade year, and they will read, "The Quarantined Class of 2020." Additionally, and again, as per the Student Council's suggestion, the class will be making donations to both the local food pantry, and the Milltown Chamber of Commerce. Finally, as per the Board Committee on 8th grade activities, the remaining funds will be dispensed and given back to the students and parents as a scholarship check.

In the hopes of the possibility of holding a late August celebration with the students, we will be reserving a small amount per student to fund an event - only if possible and allowable by law. On the very outside chance that this should materialize, students would not be required to attend. We understand all the circumstances surrounding this possibility, and we understand the likelihood of this happening is slim to none, but we wanted to reserve the option for those that would be interested. Should we not be able to have some sort of celebration in August, the set aside funds will be used for another Student Council suggestion, the addition of more hand sanitizer stations throughout the school.

The usual detailed breakdown of the funds raised and how they were dispersed will be shared out as usual at the conclusion of the school year.

The collaboration between the Board of Education, the administration, and the Student Council on these issues and challenges has been nothing short of remarkable, and one of my proudest moments as an administrator. At the onset of this daunting challenge, the 8th students immediately became a model of perseverance and grit for the underclassman, and now, they have also displayed a selflessness and understanding like I have never seen before. This special group of students began to think more about their community as a whole, and who they needed to help, more than their well deserved trip to Camp Mason. This is evidenced by Student Council President Luc Acquaviva's letter to me regarding these issues where he placed donations to local organizations well above anything else material for the class. Luc's representation of the class displayed the strong will and giving nature of the entire class. When most would complain or express anger in a situation such as this, our students, your children, are instead choosing to seek out ways to help and assist those in need. This wonderful display of giving, along with the amazing example set forth by the 8th grade class, will be their legacy, and we could not be prouder.

I wanted to thank you all for your work with your children during the course of the year on the 8th grade activities. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, your efforts as parents are reflected beautifully in the unselfish, altruistic, and noble actions your children have taken in its wake. We also thank you for your continued support and understanding as these decisions were not taken lightly, and were made with care and consideration.

The class of 2020 will truly always be remembered!

Thank you,
Mr. Veit