Even with vaccine distribution ramping up in Saskatchewan, there's still a lot of uncertainty in the months to come.

This is an issue facing the province's schools as they try to prepare for graduations in the spring. Last year, plans were made and scrapped and made and scrapped multiple times as restrictions seemed to change on a daily basis.

Tony Baldwin, the Director of Education with the Prairie South School Division says this was hard not just on students but also on teachers and principals as well.

"They want to throw the best celebration they can for the students who have been in their care for all those years. Grad is very much a community celebration and not having one impacts lots of folks."

The situation is much more stable now, but that they still can't try and plan too far in advance.

"We don't have a definitive answer from Public Health yet," says Baldwin. "We're hoping for an idea of what those limitations might be as early as possible so that we can act with that reality in mind."

Baldwin says that they already know that some options - such as any kind of indoor ceremony - are completely off the table but that they are still trying to narrow in on whether outdoor graduation could take place.

"Last year the guidelines allowed for some drive-in grads where family units could be together but couldn't intermingle with other families...there was a time last spring when there was an opportunity for some larger outdoor gatherings but we don't know if similar rules will be in place this year."

As in most things, Baldwin says there probably isn't a perfect answer for every school. In Prairie South, there are some rural schools with a graduating class as small as three students, while some of their urban schools see close to 150.

"We've been trying all along to match our response with the specific needs of the school. So, grad this year could certainly look different depending on which school you attend."

According to Baldwin, the overall sentiment among students and families is that they'd like grad this year to be like it always has been. No matter what, Baldwin says there will have to change this year. Still, he believes that the students graduating in 2021 are feeling more hopeful for the future as opposed to their 2020 counterparts.

"We're closer to the end than we are to the beginning and as long as you can see the horizon you have a point that you can try and get to. Last year, the students were in such a tough spot because they know that we were just in the beginning. The kids graduating in 2021 should have a bit more certainty that once the fall comes around, things should be more normal."