Province encouraging innovation in graduation ceremonies

Wesmor Public High School’s Class of 2019 tosses their graduation caps in the air following the conclusion of Tuesday’s ceremony at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

The province of Saskatchewan is expected to announce plans for the fall school year later this week and addressed the importance of graduation as the province reopens. Premier Scott Moe emphasized that the education system has done well with distance learning

“Recently we have been asked a number of questions on the potential for Grade 12 graduation. I would like to make a few comments to clarify the province’s position on graduation. It has always been our view that graduation ceremonies can or should occur, albeit in very innovative ways. We would ask that these events could include in-person ceremonies respecting all of the public health recommendations and orders that are in place,” Moe said.

The province is expected to announce plans for the next school year later this week.

Moe explained that he has heard of innovative ideas such as parades and small gatherings.

“I would encourage graduates, parents and those interested in organizing their ceremonies directly with their school or there school division to make these events possible. Grade 12 graduation is a very special recognition of the many years of hard work and commitment that you have provided.”

Moe noted that the initiatives are innovative and being done by schools and school divisions.

“If parents are looking to hold a graduation whether it be virtual or in person they should work with their schools and school division on what they can do that would operate within the public health recommendations and the public health orders that we have. We have always indicated that there is an opportunity for graduations to occur and occur safely.”
Chief Medical Health Officer Saqib Shahab said that the innovative graduation ideas have reached the level of local public health officials.

“I think we are looking at those models in that some may allow for a safe graduation ceremony as long as the basic principles such as social distancing (are in place).”

Shahab also recommends following outdoor protocols of phase three and keeping gatherings at 30 people.

“Going forward I think we need to think about, especially as far as phase five, what have we learned that allows us to hold larger indoor or outdoor gatherings in a way that we reduce the risk of further transmission,” he said.

Moe emphasized that schools and school divisions can innovate within the Public Health guidelines and parameters.

“I would like to take a moment today to offer my congratulations to each and every one of this year’s graduating class on their monumental achievement,” Moe said.