Graduating students from Seycove Secondary in Deep Cove, North Vancouver, B.C. throw their hats during a physically distanced graduation photo Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Graduating students all over the world are celebrating their grads in different ways due to the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Canadian Paediatric Society calls on education ministries to allow graduations

Many in-person graduation ceremonies have shifted to a virtual model or been cancelled or postponed

The Canadian Paediatric Society is calling on education ministries to allow safe, in-person graduations for students to help give them closure and support after a challenging end to the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The association said it’s concerned that students moving on to middle/intermediate school, high school or to college, university or the workforce will not experience the usual transition and celebration that comes with their achievement.

In a news release Wednesday, the CPS encouraged provincial and territorial education ministries and school boards to allow educators, schools and parents to collaborate and ensure there is flexibility for physically distanced graduations.

“Kids need to see their teachers, their principals, their classmates, knowing that it’s the last time they’ll be all together,” said Daphne Korczak, chair of the CPS mental health task force. “They need to have their years of hard work and achievements recognized.

“These rites of passage are very important in helping children prepare for transition, in gaining closure on the familiarity they are leaving and prepare psychologically for the next chapter in their lives.”

With many students having had minimal if any contact with peers and teachers since March, they may not have had the typical supports before starting new academic streams for the fall or been able to visit their new schools, the CPS said.

Many in-person graduation ceremonies have shifted to a virtual model or been cancelled or postponed, leaving little opportunity for students to say goodbye and be recognized for their accomplishments.

Some provinces have eased restrictions, with Nova Scotia permitting ”drive-in” graduations and Quebec’s public health department allowing Grade 6 and graduating high school students to go back to school for one final day for photos and to have their yearbooks signed, the CPS added.

Physicians who work with families and children are concerned about students’ mental health, the CPS also said, and worry about how they’ll fare in the new school year.

“Transitions are frequently points of vulnerability,” said Korczak, a child and adolescent psychiatrist. ”It will be challenging for kids to look forward to September if they aren’t ready to make the move, if a part of them still feels they never really left their old school because of the abrupt end.”

The CPS represents more than 3,300 pediatricians, pediatric subspecialists and child health professionals across Canada.

PHOTOS: Creston school erects Class of 2020 banners after COVID-19 disrupts graduation

READ MORE: 157,000 students returned for part-time lessons at B.C.’s schools: education ministry

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusEducationGraduation 2020Schools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

In photos: Penticton Speedway celebrates opening weekend

Despite having to turn away roughly 700 cars, organizers celebrating a successful weekend of racing

BC Wildfire Service to conduct night vision trials for helicopters in Penticton

This technology could assist with future firefighting operations

RCMP investigate bear spray assault outside Penticton pub

Two patrons assaulted with bear spray outside Nanaimo Avenue pub

Coalmont woman airlifted after ATV crash

Off-road vehicle swerved to miss oncoming traffic

Summerland campground to provide COVID-safe accommodations for temporary farm-workers

The managed seasonal worker campsite will be located within a separated area of Peach Orchard Municipal Campground

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Kamloops man pleads guilty in vehicle-ramming incident that injured a Mountie

Adam Hibbert was arrested following a collision during a police pursuit on May 26, 2019

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Victoria man dies after skydiving incident on Vancouver Island

34-year-old had made more than 1,000 jumps

GoFundMe launched for man severely injured in West Kelowna crash

Doctors say it could be 12 months before Tyler Sheriff is able to walk again

Most Read