BROCKVILLE – The ‘Class of 2020’ secondary school graduates in the Upper Canada District School Board will have to wait until June 2021 for their official graduation ceremony. The board announced today (May 13th) that it will be postponing all 2020 graduation ceremonies until next year.
“Given the circumstances and the uncertainties of this global pandemic, and in consultation with public health authorities, the UCDSB has no option but to postpone June 2020 graduation ceremonies at all of our secondary schools and at our TR Leger School of Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education until June 2021,” the board said in a release sent out late Wednesday afternoon.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce has been encouraging school boards to honour student achievement in the 2020 school year, and have graduation ceremonies when it is safe to do so.
The board said it supported the decision and agreed with recognizing the accomplishments of its graduating students.
“Moving the ceremonies to June 2021 will not impact the ability of our students to graduate from high school if they have met the diploma program requirements,” the board said.
Secondary schools in the UCDSB have been looking at alternative ways to celebrate the Class of 2020 this year. The board said postponing the ceremonies was not made lightly and doing so allows the schools to be able to honour students when the greatest risk of the COVID-19 pandemic was over.
“Each school’s Graduation Committee will decide how they will honour their graduating class of 2020 at that time, be it a stand-alone ceremony or combined with the graduating class of 2021,” said the school board. “Schools will stay in touch with their students and families to keep them updated about this important event.”
Already several schools have postponed or cancelled scheduled proms due to physical distancing and group size restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is no detail yet from the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario if it will follow suit for its planned graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020.