Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce through a statement announced that school boards, subject to local COVID-19 health and safety limitations, can proceed with celebrations of student achievements during summer and fall.
He says students and parents deserve to celebrate graduation ceremonies and he expects boards to preserve opportunities to recognize success and achievement resulting from the hard work of students.
All publicly-funded schools in Ontario will remain closed until at least May 31, 2020.
He said, “Students have worked incredibly hard this school year, and we know that the COVID-19 outbreak has forced some schools to cancel or delay important milestones to recognize student achievement, such as prom and graduation ceremonies.
Although we are making great efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario, it may still be some time before schools and boards are able to offer the kinds of ceremonies and traditions in the same way they have in previous years.
I spoke directly to many graduating students and their parents. Their stories have moved me to act. I firmly believe Ontario students deserve this positive conclusion to their academic journey, even if ceremonies are delayed.
Despite this uncertainty, I am encouraging boards to reschedule these events based on input from local medical officers of health. In some cases, this might mean facilitating graduation ceremonies and proms during the summer or fall when it is safe to do so.”