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

BREAKING: Cloverdale McDonald’s employee tests positive for COVID-19

McDonald’s Canada immediately shut down the restaurant

Southridge students raise $5,600 for hospital meal program

GoFundMe campaign funds two months of meals at Peace Arch Hospital

Surrey kids get cooking during free SuperChefs camps pushed online by pandemic

‘Enthusiastic’ launch of program, which sees ingredient pickup at one local school

Court awards woman $143K for two Whalley rear-ender crashes, one by a bus

In both cases, Brigitte Bergeron’s vehicle was hit from behind while stopped at an intersection

Surrey RCMP searching for missing woman last seen in Crescent Beach

Milcah Kasomali-Chirumbwana last seen at 4:35 p.m. July 5 in the 12300-block of Beecher Street

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Abbotsford school vice-principal accused of getting Instagram ‘confessions’ page shut down

@A.S.S.S.Confessions page claims school officials contacted families to find out person behind page

Recreational chinook openings leave First Nations frustrated on the Lower Fraser

Limited recreational openings for chinook on the Chehalis and Chilliwack rivers being questioned

Most Read