With Ontario schools being closed for at least another month, the Simcoe County District School Board is starting to take a closer look at the fate of graduation ceremonies.
The province has announced schools will remain closed until at least May 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re starting to look at it,” board chair Jodi Lloyd said of graduation ceremonies. “We recognize fully that these are really important to our students and their families, so we will be looking at alternate ways to celebrate these students. We’ve all learned over the past six weeks that there are other ways to do things.”
That could include virtual celebrations, but details still need to be worked out.
If the province’s announcement about its plans for reopening the economy is any indication, “it’s going to be a slow return,” Lloyd said.
“It’s not going to be quickly flicking a switch and everything goes back to normal.”
The Ministry of Education has stated students will graduate this year, she said, adding the province has not indicated there will be a pass/fail option.
“Teachers are working with the students to finish the credit accumulation that needs to take place,” she said. “They are moving forward.”
They’ve been moving forward with distance learning, too, which has been a work in progress for educators across the province.
“They’re working very hard and creatively to keep things going. They’re leveraging technology and figuring out ways to support students,” Lloyd said, noting, for example, Orillia’s Harriett Todd Public School has been posting its morning announcements daily to social media.