Coronavirus: Calgary Board of Education cancels 2020 graduations, celebrations

Click to play video '‘It sucks we don’t get that milestone’: Calgary students upset about cancelled grad' ‘It sucks we don’t get that milestone’: Calgary students upset about cancelled grad
WATCH: Many people are trying to get the Calgary Board of Education to reconsider its decision to cancel all school graduation events this year. As Gil Tucker reports, students and their families say they understand the COVID-19 concerns, but they’re upset about missing out on a major milestone – Apr 17, 2020

Students attending schools run by the Calgary Board of Education won’t be celebrating finishing their school year — which itself is ending in an unconventional way — with the traditional ceremonies, due to the novel coronavirus.

In a statement on its website Thursday, the CBE said it “made the difficult decision to cancel graduation ceremonies, banquets and school-based celebrations for the 2019-20 school year.”

“This decision was not taken lightly and was based on the City of Calgary’s decision to cancel all public gatherings up until June 30,” the board said.

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The CBE said schools are exploring options to have graduates receive their yearbooks, certificates and possibly video tributes in June.

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“We know graduation is an important and meaningful milestone for students, families and friends. It is an irreplaceable event that marks many years of hard work, sacrifice and support,” the board said.

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“We feel your sadness in having to cancel graduations and empathize with students not being able to walk across the stage to celebrate their academic achievement.”

Students and families can expect to hear from schools on their plans for picking up both graduation materials and other personal items in the coming weeks.

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Graduation fee refund information will also be shared from each school individually, the board said.

“Given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation, we are unable to communicate plans for the fall at this time,” the CBE said.

CBE students have been out of the traditional classrooms since Alberta’s chief medical officer of health ordered all classes be cancelled on March 15.

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Teaching has moved to online or paper-based platforms and will remain that way for the rest of the year.