Update from Head of School re: COVID-19 response

To the Ashbury community,

With ongoing developments with the global COVID-19 pandemic, the following provides an update as to the status of school operations and our distance learning delivery plan at this time. Our Board, Leadership/COVID-19 response team, as well as many interactions with public health authorities, government and school associations, continue to inform our response during these unprecedented times. We are committed to ensuring the health and well-being of our community and, where possible, providing academic program continuity for our students.

School Calendar Changes

  • As announced last week, the school is closed for face-to-face classes on campus until Monday, April 6. Should there be any further delay in our return to campus learning, or other calendar changes, we will notify you as soon as possible.  

Campus Access Closed for Students, Parents and Visitors

  • Please note that our offices remain open for essential services only. We are asking students, parents and visitors not to come to campus or enter the school until further notice. The Public Health Agency of Canada is asking in its latest travel notice for travellers to self-isolate for a period of 14 days following any travel outside of Canada, including the USA. Our expectation is that current return from travel and social distancing directives will be respected by all members of our community in an effort address the local and global spread of COVID-19. 
     

Arrangements for Boarding Students

  • Boarders who remained in Canada for the March break may opt to remain with their guardians or homestays during our delayed return to campus period. Boarding families may also decide to have their children return home where possible. Please note that today the Canadian government announced it will restrict entry to the country to citizens and permanent residents, with some exceptions, and that incoming international flights will be restricted to four national airports. 
  • Several Ashbury families have offered their homes to our boarding students during this period. Please contact Padme Raina should you require assistance with these arrangements. Although we would like to be able to host students on campus residences, we must maximize social distancing practices where possible and ensure that each boarding student is in a safe and nurturing environment that allows them to focus on their distance learning studies.  

Continued Teaching and Learning via Edsby

  • All students should have access to high-speed internet and a computer to access continued academic program delivery. Students will be provided a general orientation and expectations for schoolwork beginning early next week. The main portal for program delivery will continue to be Edsby with various tools used by different classes and teachers. Specific instructions will follow from the Heads of Junior and Senior Schools and classroom teachers as soon as possible. Distance learning will take into account time zones and flexibility to students’ studies.
  • Students, particularly graduating students, may have concerns about their graduation status for June. We are seeking to ensure that students are able to earn their credits leading towards the OSSD in this academic year and will update you as to any developments with the Ministry of Education in this regard. IB examinations remain scheduled for May 2020, but updates will be provided by the IBO should there be any changes.
  • If students are unable to return to Canada once the delay period is completed, we will continue to offer support for continued distance learning at all grade levels.
  • A number of co-curricular events and activities planned for the spring term have been postponed or cancelled. These changes  will be communicated to students and parents by the various staff organizers. To date, please  note that the Round Square, CIS Ontario and CAIS student events have been cancelled including CISMF music festival and CAIS national rugby tournaments. Local school sports leagues have been suspended until further notice. Others will likely follow and we ask you do not contact the school about these kind of events at this time. 

More information will follow in the coming days and please direct any questions to covid19@ashbury.ca. Please note this remains a rapidly-evolving situation and plans may be subject to revision at short notice.

Thank you for your time and attention in these ever-changing times. Safe travels and good health to all.

Sincerely,

Norman Southward
Head of School – Directeur

Useful resources:
Ottawa Public Health
Public Health Agency of Canada

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