A modified in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021.

A modified in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021.

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Petition to
Ottawa Catholic School Board

Why this petition matters

Started by Students of OCSB .

To Mr. D’Amico,

We hope that this letter finds you well. We are writing on behalf of the OCSB students in the graduating class of 2021. We would like to share our experience as grade 12 students during the pandemic, and present our thoughts on this year’s graduation ceremony. 

To begin, we would like to acknowledge how difficult this year has been not only for the students, but for all of the OCSB community. We know that everyone has been doing their best to keep students safe while at school, and we appreciate the extraordinary efforts from board members, teachers, and school administrations this year.  

Although the many safety measures taken this year are undoubtedly necessary, they have also had a significant impact on student mental health. This school year has been isolating, stressful, and disappointing for all students, particularly the grade 12s. Many of us have lost our final sports seasons, school traditions, and student organizations. Additionally, we have missed nearly all of the experiences that unify the graduating class and make our last year of highschool memorable. These losses have been deeply felt by our graduating class, and left many of us feeling hopeless and exhausted. 

Despite the constant uncertainty of our current situation, our class has remained hopeful about the possibility of a final graduation ceremony. Graduation has always been a meaningful  celebration for grade 12 students, but we believe that this year, it is more important than ever. For us, it symbolizes overcoming a year of unprecedented adversities, and it is a celebration of our resilience and strength. After facing every up and down together as a graduating class, we believe that we should be able to finish the year together, in person. 

We understand that given the pandemic, this seems like a lot to ask. We want to let you know that we’ve come up with options that we think are realistic, affordable, and most importantly, safe. Some examples include splitting the graduating classes into multiple different ceremonies, having the event take place outdoors, and having only the students attend, with a livestream option for parents to watch. Furthermore, we would be wearing masks, distanced, and completing a self-screening before arrival. These are just a few of our ideas on how we can make our graduation ceremony happen in a way that is both meaningful and safe for everyone. 

As a class, we feel strongly that a safe graduation ceremony is possible. We are committed to helping make this happen in any way we can, and we would be happy to share further ideas with the board. We ask that you consider the option of having some component of our graduation ceremony be in person, so that we can come together for a final celebration of our perseverance, success, and optimism. 

Thank you for your time and consideration, we look forward to hearing from you. 

Graduates of 2021



1,497 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!