Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

SD57 engaging with graduation community after 'misunderstanding' of ceremony plan due to COVID-19

School District says it has detailed plans on how graduation will
SD57 secondary schools create petition for alternative ways to host the Class of 2020 graduation ceremony. (via petition)

School District 57 (SD57) says it's engaging with Prince George's graduation committees after a believed misunderstanding around recently released ceremony details.

After an emailed letter was sent to graduates, parents and/or guardians on May 8 outlining some ceremony details drew confusion and frustration, due to lack of information among students and parents, a petition then appeared online voicing displeasure regarding the ceremonies that have been altered due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

A petition (Prince George Graduation Ceremony 2020) appeared earlier this week, created by students, says while they appreciate the organizing that has gone into the ceremonies, they say they believe it has "not been thought through."


CaptureSD57(via SD57)

"As the Grad Class of 2020, we appreciate all of the organizing that the district has put into planning our graduation ceremony," the petition reads. 

"We are grateful that we have been thought of and taken into consideration during this worldwide pandemic, however; we as a community grad class do not feel that we have been heard as to what we feel is the most important to us during this very important day and one of the biggest ceremony milestones we get to share with family and friends.

"Obviously we are limited to the things that we can do, and we respect that, but we strongly all agree and feel the decision that has been made for our 2020 grad class has not been thought through with any other options as well as it could of been. There are so many other options that can take place that have come up by students, parents, members of PG, and these other options are still practicing safe distancing and abiding by the rules and regulations from the provincial health authorities."

The petition says "there are many outdoor venues that can be taken into consideration" including the CN Centre parking lot, soccer fields, Fort George Park and the drive-in theatre. 

"Our goal as the Prince George grad class of 2020 is to have some alternative options that include our needs and wants (like we were asked) for in the end to have our voices heard and to have the decision that has been made for our graduation ceremony to be re-evaluated with other options we would like to present as a whole grad glass of 2020," the petition continues.

When reached for comment by PrinceGeorgeMatters on the use of city-owned venues for ceremonies, spokesperson Michael Kellett says staff is going over all details in the province's restart plan. 

"The city is reviewing BC’s Restart Plan and how it will affect City operations and services," Kellett said, "We are expecting to announce our plans soon."

The City of Prince George announced on April 3 it was closing recreation facilities and civic playgrounds due to the ongoing pandemic. 

"As well, the city will not be taking any bookings for outdoor civic facilities, parks or sports field including Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park Pavilion and Bandshell, Masich Place Stadium, Connaught Hill, and Rainbow Park Gazebo for use before May 30," the city stated.

SD57 Superintendent Anita Richardson said in an email to PrinceGeorgeMatters the district is currently engaging with grad committees to help clarify details, while also said, based on what has been heard so far, the petition was based on a misunderstanding of the plan. 

"We do have detailed plans about how grad is envisioned to work," Richardson explains. 

"We are currently engaging with our grad committees to further explain and explore our planning and what we have heard so far is that the petition is based on a misunderstanding of the plan. We intend to continue the conversations and see where this takes us."