Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Message to the Graduating Class of 2020

May 19 Update

May 8 Message to the Graduating Class of 2020


Hello,


As the school year is drawing to a close, I wanted to once again reach out to our Graduating Class of 2020 to provide you with some reassurance and hope for the future.


Especially for our Grade 12 students, we are truly sorry about the way this school year turned out, due to circumstances that were far beyond anyone’s control. None of the decisions made to this point were easy or done without a great deal of thought. Although some were not popular, every decision we made was in the best interest of the health, safety and well being of our students, our staff and their families.


As of this writing, school closures have been extended until May 31, however, we are not certain if we will be able to return to our buildings beyond that date. With that in mind, I want to provide you with some important information regarding the remainder of the school year.


Exams and Assessment


There will be no final exams for secondary students. Exam days have been replaced with instructional days and we expect that students will continue to remain engaged with their teachers and their studies during those days. The traditional 70/30 mark distribution is not applicable during this time. Final grades will be determined solely on the results of term work, consisting of learning tasks, projects and culminating tasks (ISUs).


Using professional judgement, teachers will review tasks and adjust weights as necessary to accommodate the change in course delivery while keeping in mind what is reasonable and in the best interest of students. 


Final report cards will be issued to all secondary students. The mark reported at mid-year, which recognized performance prior to March 13, is the lowest mark a Grade 12 student will receive on their final report card. Teachers will provide students with multiple opportunities to improve their grade throughout the remainder of the school year. 


Post-Secondary Applications


I want our graduating students to know that we have received assurances from the Ontario government that provided students have met all of the necessary requirements of the institution to which they are applying, that their applications will be processed as usual. Between now and the end of the semester, teachers are committed to ensuring that you will be prepared for your post-secondary education. Should you have any questions about the process, I would encourage you to email your school’s guidance counselor for support.


Graduations


A graduation committee has been established and we are currently exploring virtual options that would replicate our traditional graduation ceremonies. We appreciate that while this option is not the same as a typical ceremony, we want to assure you that we are committed to doing our best to ensure these virtual ceremonies will still have all of the professionalism and gravitas that we would typically include in our traditional ceremonies.


Expect to hear directly from your school in the near future with more details on when your ceremony will be held.


Proms


Once again, we completely understand and appreciate how disappointed so many of our students must be that proms were cancelled this year. We are aware of the fact that a number of organizations have established virtual online prom parties and we would encourage our students who choose to participate in these to do so safely and responsibly while observing all of the necessary social distancing protocols.


One in particular that we would encourage you to enjoy is run by the WE movement and will include a star-studded line up of performers and speakers and will air on CTV on June 6. You can find out more information about that event here.


In conclusion, I want the Graduating Class of 2020 to know that you remain in our prayers. We understand that these are completely unusual circumstances for everyone, but we certainly hope that during your time with the WECDSB, we have inspired you, empowered you and taught you to remain faithful and resilient. We hope that you will continue to make the most of the situation, and that you will go on to successfully fulfill all of your individual aspirations.


Sincerely,


Terry Lyons
Director of Education