Staff at the Upper Canada District School Board have laid out plans for this year’s graduation ceremonies. 

Director Designate at the board Valerie Allen says after speaking with a focus group of experienced secondary principals, and the local health unit, they’ve established three options.

She says the board is allowing schools to take part in either a virtual ceremony, a drive-thru option, or a home delivery event. 

“We’ve incorporated what the government is asking to have some sort of in-person piece, but we aren’t able to gather large groups of people together as we don’t feel it’s safe at this time,” Allen said. 

The drive-thru option will allow students to go to their school to receive their diploma, and any awards or bursaries they’ve received, while the home delivery option will see schools bring those accolades to students personally. 

Allen says they will also be providing these options to students graduating from grade 6 and grade 8.

“The consensus is that everyone wants a celebration, and everyone wants people to be safe, and not have the numbers go up over the summer,” Allen said. “So, that’s why we feel this option is the best option.” 

Staff at the board are still seeking additional guidance from our public health partners and clarity from the Ministry of Education, however it is unlikely that schools will be shifting their plans dramatically from what they already have in place.

Allen says while it’s vital to recognize the milestones of these students, it’s important to do it in accordance with public health guidelines. 

“We want to honour the students and the hard work they’ve done, and we intend to do that,” Allen said. “It’s important we recognize these accomplishments, but we do it in a very safe manner.”