Share your Feedback: Commencement Ceremonies and Awards Policy

Share your Feedback: Commencement Ceremonies and Awards Policy
Posted on 02/22/2024
Share your Feedback: Commencement Ceremonies and Awards Policy

We’ve heard from many families, students, staff, and community members about the proposed changes to our policy on graduation and commencement ceremonies and awards. We are reviewing your comments and updating our Engage OCDSB webpage with answers to your questions. The end of high school is a major milestone, and the new commencement format would give students with diverse educational journeys an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments together with other peers in their cohort. 

Here are a few key facts to know about the proposed changes:

  • Only students who have completed all of the requirements will obtain an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
  • In Ontario, students who are leaving high school without an OSSD may receive an Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC) or a Certificate of Accomplishment. The new commencement format would include these students in the celebrations.
  • Commencement ceremonies could provide an opportunity to recognize students who are new to the Ontario education system, students with Specialized Education needs, and students who need more time to complete their OSSD requirements due to extenuating circumstances or other factors (such as a serious illness).
  • Schools will continue to distribute awards, either  as part of the commencement ceremony or at a separate ceremony.
  • These changes do not lower the standards for graduation; they reflect practices which are more inclusive of the secondary school pathways in place in schools today.

Following the online consultation, all feedback will be considered and the draft policy will be updated. It will be brought to the Ad Hoc Policy Committee for further discussion. We appreciate the feedback you've shared and will continue to keep you informed through Engage OCDSB.

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