The Minister of Education is encouraging school boards to honour student achievement for the 2020 school year and have graduation ceremonies and celebrations when it is safe to do so. The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) supports this decision and whole-heartedly agrees about the importance of honouring and recognizing the incredible accomplishments of our graduating students.

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.

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.

In light of this decision, many of our secondary schools are already exploring a wide range of alternative and suitable ways to celebrate and send off our graduating class of 2020 this spring.

The decision to postpone graduation ceremonies until June 2021 was not made lightly. Doing so will allow our schools the greatest opportunity to plan and honour our graduates when we can be more certain that school buildings will be fully operational, and the greatest risk of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us. The UCDSB is following the example of other school boards and post-secondary institutions that have already decided to postpone their graduation events.

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. Schools will stay in touch with their students and families to keep them updated about this important event. Several schools have already initiated these conversations around the annual senior prom which – depending on the specific secondary school – may have a link to the annual graduation exercise.

Our graduates have worked hard to achieve their high school diploma and the UCDSB is committed to ensuring they have the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments with family and friends at a commencement ceremony.

Below is a copy of the letter sent to parents and students.