ontario graduation

All students in Ontario will get to have in-person graduation ceremonies this summer

After a hectic school year that included a lot of back and forth between in-classroom and online learning, students in Ontario will at least get one part of normal academic life back this month: real-life graduation ceremonies.

Students around the globe in 2020 had to accept a strange temporary reality of classes, grads, proms, orientations and other activities being held over Zoom, with millions losing out on these integral experiences along with things such as living in student housing and, you know, actually meeting their peers and forming and maintaining friendships.

But as things in the province finally start to reopen this month (many steps behind the rest of the world, mind you), all youth in elementary and high school will get to attend real-life celebrations of their achievements, though they didn't get the green light to finish up the year in the classroom.

"Students have worked incredibly hard throughout the pandemic, with important milestones like graduation ceremonies impacted," the province stated in a release on Wednesday. "Ontario students deserve this positive conclusion to their academic journey, safely."

But, of course, these ceremonies will have restrictions, which will be in line with Doug Ford's reminder during his presser on Wednesday that "inside bad, outside good": The events will be small, per class, homeroom or quadmestered class, as well as short in duration, outdoors and physically distanced.

They will be for not just those who finished up Kindergarten, Grade 8 or Grade 12, however, but students of all grades — an idea Ford apparently got from a young neighbour named Arthur who proved to be particularly passionate about the subject.

Ceremonies will be organized by each school board in conjuction with local health officials.

Ford also mentioned that there will be other opportunities for kids to meet with their friends in-person and outside before the end of the academic year, and that they will definitely have summer camp to look forward to this season and in-person classes come September.

Lead photo by

Jill Carlson

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