Coronavirus: Saskatchewan premier encourages innovative ways to celebrate graduations

The premier of Saskatchewan encouraged people to work with their high schools, and within public health recommendations, to find creative and innovative ways to celebrate Grade 12 students’ graduations.

Scott Moe made the comment during the government’s update on the COVID-19 situation in the province on Monday.

“It’s always been our view that graduation ceremonies can and they should occur, albeit in very innovative ways… And I’ve heard of numerous very innovative suggestions ranging from parades to smaller gatherings,” he said.

“If parents and graduates are looking to hold a graduation, whether it be virtual or in-person, they should work with their schools and their school division on what they can do that would operate within the public health recommendations and the public health orders that we have.”

“We’ve always indicated that there is an opportunity for graduations to occur and occur safely but there are a number of public health recommendations that we would hope the school divisions and the individual schools would be able to follow.”

Moe added that graduates deserve recognition and is hoping parents and the school boards can work together to hold some type of celebration for the milestone.

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“Grade 12 graduation is a very special recognition of the many years of hard work and commitment that you have provided. I would like to take a moment today to offer my congratulations to each and every one of this year’s graduating class on their monumental achievement,” he said.

Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said local public health staff have received requests for innovative graduation ceremonies.

“We’re looking at some of those models in a way that some may allow for a safe graduation ceremony as long as the basic principles of physical distancing, people not handing back things and trying to keep, even in an outdoor setting, individual gatherings limited to 30,” Shahab said.

“While we all have important milestones in our lives that we want to celebrate and may be able to celebrate, we just need to curb our enthusiasm with some caution… that minimize risk of transmission because I know there’s a lot of interest in graduations.”

The Saskatoon Public Schools said on Monday that all of its collegiates are planning virtual graduation ceremonies.

Regina Public Schools did not have a comment while the Regina Catholic School Division did not respond by this article’s publication.

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