OTTAWA -- Graduating students at Ottawa’s Catholic high schools will have to wait until the fall to receive their diploma.

The Ottawa Catholic School Board has informed Grade 12 students and parents that graduation ceremonies will be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As the province of Ontario remains in a state of emergency, it has become clear that we will not be able to celebrate graduation this spring,” write Denise Andre, Director of Education.

“As a result, we will be rescheduling all graduation ceremonies to the fall, provided that it is safe to gather at that time.”

All publicly-funded elementary and secondary schools in Ontario will remain closed until at least May 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Education announced there will be no final exams for high school students in June.

“We are saddened that you will not be able to complete this year in the manner you expected and that we will not be able to celebrate the important milestone of graduation with you until October,” Andre said.

The school principal will be in touch with more information next week for students.