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

VIDEO: Cariboo-Chilcotin rally aims to stop antlerless moose hunt

Cow Moose Sign Project supported by First Nations, guide outfitters, ranchers

Quesnel Waveriders jumping into fall swim season

Pandemic restrictions mean swim meets are out, and athletes need to be distanced during practice

More B.C. food options coming to Northern Health facilities

Northern Health is now part of the provincial Feed BC program

The legacy of the Battle of Britain

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 94 marked Battle of Britain Day with a small service Sept. 15

Quesnel golfers make the cut

The Quesnel Golf Club hosted championships for men and women over the past two weeks

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Transgender B.C. brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

Most Read