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Graduation Ceremonies – Clarification for families

Dear BHNCDSB families,

This communication is to provide clarification about graduation ceremonies.

Recently, the Provincial government stated that school boards can have in-person outdoor graduation ceremonies, for all grades, where physical distancing is possible. We understand how important these ceremonies are to everyone and want to clarify how our school district is handling them.

At this time, Ontario is in a stage of reopening which only allows 10 people to gather outdoors. This has brought the board to the decision to place the safety of all students and staff first, and continue with existing plans for graduations that include:

Grade 8 Graduation Ceremonies

As per communications already sent out by schools, Grade 8 graduation ceremonies will be held the week of June 21-25, 2021. To ensure the health and safety of participating students, families and staff, no gatherings will take place but rather, a contact-free drive-through and pick up process has been established for schools. This option was consulted on with public health and was deemed to be safe. Schools will also be celebrating other ways like virtual gatherings, sharing a video of the valedictorian’s message, celebratory signage, etc.

Secondary Graduation Ceremonies

All secondary graduation ceremonies will be held in the fall of 2021. As more people in the Province are vaccinated, we are hoping that provincial guidance will allow in-person gatherings at that time. More information is being provided to families from their secondary school.

I’d like to thank our staff for the work they have done so far organizing inclusive and safe graduation ceremonies for our students and families. Although we know everyone would prefer to be together, in-person for these events, we continue to do our part in keeping everyone safe during this pandemic.

Thank you,
Mike McDonald, Director of Education