After two years of atypical, or simply non-existent, graduation ceremonies, area students and staff are excited about a return to normal graduation ceremonies and prom celebrations this year. The events had been cancelled for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 schools years due to pandemic restrictions and other safety concerns brought about by COVID-19. Instead of graduation ceremonies, many schools produced lawn signs for graduating students, so that they could proudly display their accomplishment. Some parents also organized private end-of-year parties in lieu of traditional, formal prom events.
Principals from all English-speaking North Grenville schools were asked to weigh in on the return to pre-pandemic graduation and prom celebrations.
“Yes, it has returned to a more normal end of year here at NG, which we are excited about, both students and staff,” said Christopher Bourne, Principal at North Grenville District High School. “For the graduation ceremony, we will be returning to an in-person ceremony at NG on Tuesday, June 28 at 10 am. The ceremony will look similar to previous years, with families and dignitaries joining us in the gym. We have been so fortunate, again, to have tremendous community support for our graduates, and will be able to offer a number of bursaries to our graduating students.”
The prom celebration for NGDHS was held on June 4 as a community event. “Our students, along with parents, have done a phenomenal job planning and fundraising for the event, and have managed to reduce the cost for the event to a very manageable amount,” Christopher said. “Michelle Ansell has been the lead parent behind the prom.”
Brad O’Neil, Principal of Oxford-on-Rideau Public School, also weighed in. “Oxford staff and students are pleased to be able to have both a Kindergarten moving up celebration and a Grade 6 Leaving Ceremony,” he said. “Students and staff are excited to revisit these traditions. They mark significant milestones in the students’ educational journey. The grade 6 students are looking forward to a special night for them to be recognized with their families and peers as they move on to Grade 7. For the Kindergartens, it marks the moving into Grade 1 next year and sends a great message to parents and the kids about the value and importance of learning. They get excited about going into Grade 1, and their parents are so proud of their accomplishments. The staff are also happy to have these traditions back; they love to see the results of their collective efforts, and find joy in having the learning journey with the kids.”