TDSB STAFF CAUGHT OFF GUARD BY FORD'S SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT OUTDOOR GRADUATION CEREMONIES

Jun 03, 2021

By Jane Brown

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Staff at the Toronto District School Board say they were given no advance notice of the premier’s plan to allow outdoor graduation ceremonies.

An email from the TDSB was sent to parents Wednesday afternoon saying the proposal for outdoor graduations is brand new and staff is now awaiting information from the province on parameters for outdoor gatherings, along with guidance from Toronto Public Health, prior to making any decision on these events.

The first step of the province’s reopening plan, which is still tentatively set for June 14th, only permits outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people. But a spokesperson for Ford’s office says the government is looking at the necessary amendments to the reopening plan in order to allow school boards to hold outdoor graduation ceremonies.

In a message posted to Twitter following Ford’s remarks, Toronto Catholic District School Board Trustee Norm Di Pasquale said that virtual graduation plans have now been underway for weeks and that boards weren’t consulted about the change.

He said that it would “be very hard to throw all that prep work away” and be ready in time for an outdoor graduation ceremony at this point “to say nothing of how our local public health unit would feel about this.”

In addition to this surprise announcement for outdoor graduations, Doug Ford confirmed that in person learning at Ontario schools will not resume until September.

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