Dear Parents/Guardians and Graduating Grade 8 Students,
In our April 30th update, we communicated the decision to postpone spring graduation ceremonies until the fall, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our students and staff continue to be our first priority. This has been such a challenging year for all of us, but I am especially aware of the disappointment our graduating students in Grade 8 must be feeling.
Our decisions and actions at St. Clair CDSB are guided by our local Medical Officers of Health and Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act as we move forward in these unusual times. Because we cannot predict what special orders will be in place in the fall, we have decided that it is best to proceed with virtual graduations this spring in both our elementary and secondary schools.
Our elementary school principals are working within existing public health protocols to develop virtual graduation ceremonies that honour and celebrate the accomplishment of our Grade 8 students and the contributions they have made to their schools and their communities. We are also working with our parish and Diocesan partners, to ensure the celebrations reflect our faith in Christ, which has been so much a part of your child’s Catholic elementary school experience.
There are however, some events that will not be included as part of these events. The province’s current emergency order does not permit ‘drive by’ parades and as a result, ‘drive-bys’ of student homes or our elementary schools will not be part of any school-organized celebrations. In addition, the St. Clair Catholic District School Board will not be responsible for any events or celebrations organized by parents/guardians, which are not sanctioned by the Board.
There is no doubt that 2020 is a year in which history is being made! Although our virtual graduations will be very different from those to which we have become accustomed, our schools are making every effort to ensure these events celebrate what is most important in any graduation ceremony – our students.
Your school principal will be sharing more information with you in the days ahead about Grade 8 virtual graduations at your child’s school. God bless you and your family as we eagerly anticipate these important milestone celebrations!
Director of Education