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

Just Posted

Court strikes down Sidney’s denial of proposed cannabis store

Justice Jennifer Power orders municipality to reconsider application and pay court costs

VicPD seeking witnesses for fatal crash on Hillside Avenue

A pedestrian was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, where she later died

VicPD searching for three men in connection to random assault that put two in hospital

If you see these men you’re asked to call VicPD’s non-emergency line

Public welcomed back to Sidney Spit ferry and camping ground

Service opens July 20 with new ferry contractor and other pandemic-related changes

B.C. ends short experiment with growler fills at restaurants

Province extends take-out sales of six-packs, wine

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

Feds fund safe drug supply pilot program for Cowichan

The opioid overdose crisis continues to be one of the most serious public health crises

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Most Read