Ashbury’s Return to School Plan & COVID–19 Updates

UPDATE – September 11, 2020

COVID update message (September 10)

View our Return to School Protocols

COVID student screening form link (access through student account login) – to be completed daily

COVID student screening form (printable version) – to be completed daily

Parent & Student Agreement re Return to School (to be printed and submitted first day)

We continue to prepare school opening details in consultation and following the directives of the Ministry of Education’s Private and International Schools Unit, Public Health authorities and CIS Ontario. Our planning teams are ensuring our return to campus is safe and learning continues for our students in a meaningful and engaging way. At a general level we are still aiming to have Junior School in a five-day-a-week model with strict cohorting and special measures in place, and Senior School beginning with a hybrid model to ensure cohorting, a lower density school environment and minimized daily class transitions. Several Questions and Answers below provide specific detail for parents and students.

What will the first week look like?

September 7
Boarding Students Move-In Day (beginning at 11 am)

September 8
On-campus Orientation Day  – Junior School (New) 8:40 am – 2 pm
Senior School (A and C House Cohorts New Only ) 8:40 am – noon

September 9
 Junior School classes begin
Senior School (N and W House Cohorts New Only) 8:40 am – noon

September 10
On-campus Classes / Junior School (All)  and Senior School (A/C House Cohorts – New and Returning Students)

September 11
On-campus Classes / Junior School (All)  and Senior School  (N/W House Cohorts New and Returning Students)

As of September 14 – Classes and Programs as per Junior and Senior Schedules

What will the schedules and distance learning look like?

There will be full-year learning across all subject areas.

Junior School students will be on-campus for five-day-a-week learning, with strict class cohorts in place. They will remain with their cohort for the entire day. View the Junior School schedule

Senior School will use hybrid learning with-on campus classes for 50% of time, and via distance (synchronous and/or asynchronous) for the other 50% of time. Students will be cohorted by house with two of four houses on campus on any given day reducing the overall density of students on campus. Alexander House and Connaught House will attend Day 1–4 and New House and Woollcombe House will attend Day 5–8. House cohorts may change at school breaks if need be. Half of students for any class will be in person, the other half online with teachers delivering lessons from classrooms. Students will be on campus for four cycle days, followed by four days distance learning thereby normally being on campus two–three days each week. There will be two class blocks each day, with shorter Wednesday blocks in the morning only, all reducing school day transitions. Wednesday afternoons will be reserved for meetings, co-curricular activities, athletics, academic preparation, and specific times for other activities will be available after class time on other week days. View Senior School schedule

Assemblies and other group gatherings will take place online. Phys Ed, Music and Art programs will be modified.

All classrooms will be equipped with video capability, allowing for participation of distanced learners via MSTeams. Synchronous and asynchronous activities will be supported in both the Junior and Senior School. View the distance learning plan

How will Ashbury assure a safe and sanitized school environment? Will students wear masks?

Ashbury College remains fully committed to the health and wellness of our students and community members.

Students will be expected to sanitize their hands each time they enter the school and a classroom. Hand washing and sanitizing stations will be provided. The school has enhanced its cleaning regimes and protocols throughout each day. Signage is in place to maintain physical distancing in communal spaces.

Students will be required to complete health screening via the app or printed questionnaire each day before they arrive on campus.

Plexiglass barriers have been installed in key locations and the school’s HVAC and air filtration systems have been updated.

Strict entrance and exit requirements have been introduced, and visitors to campus will be limited.

Students and staff will be required to wear masks indoors at school; this includes hallways, classrooms, washrooms and gymnasiums. We recommend students bring three masks with them each day (note that bandanas and gaiters will not be permitted) and that the masks be laundered as needed. Masks should be appropriate in look, and plain colours are suggested.

What are plans for sports and other non-academic co-curricular activities?

Co-curricular activities and clubs are central to the Ashbury experience. Although our primary focus will be on a return to campus for teaching and learning, co-curriculars and clubs will be introduced as appropriate as the school year evolves, including integrated activities in the school day schedule, after school and weekends where possible.

Will bus service continue?

At this time bus service will continue to operate for families in the National Capital Region following new standards. All information about school bus registration can be directed to Ms. Diane Budge at diane.budge@ashbury.ca .

What are the uniform requirements?

Uniform requirements for the 2020–21 school year have been modified, and blazers and ties will not be worn. Uniforms can be ordered through the online school store.

What about before and after school?

It is recommended that students arrive between 8:30 and 8:40 a.m. each morning to their respective entrances (Glenwood entrance for Senior School, Junior School entrance for Junior School). Dismissal will be staggered to reduce the number of students in hallways. All students will be encouraged to return home once school is dismissed in order to reduce contact with others. Vehicle drop-off traffic should be confined to the front loop.

Parent/guardian access to the inside of the school will be restricted. Drop off and pick up should happen outside.

What will the boarding experience look like? What are the quarantine requirements and can boarding students be accommodated on campus?

Currently planning has all boarding students accommodated in both Matthews House (boys) and Heather Gillin Residence (girls). Each room is either a single or double with an en-suite bathroom. Maple Residence will be available as a flexible space as required. The nurse’s residence on campus is equipped with several private rooms and will also available to students as needed.

The boarding program will continue to ensure a supportive and nurturing environment for students including a rich array of weekend activities and programs.

Currently, any travellers, including day and boarding students, entering or returning from outside of Canada are required to quarantine for 14 days. Updates and protocols can be found at the Government of Canada website and all community members are expected to abide by and attest to completion of quarantine requirements.

Asymptomatic boarding students arriving from international destinations may opt to quarantine at Ashbury College at no cost to families. Students will be permitted to arrive on campus beginning in August, with transportation provided from the airport. During this quarantine period, each student will have a single room in our residences with en-suite bathrooms and all food services supplied by the College. Our residences will be fully operational with supervision and support from our team of Residential Faculty. Specific academic support and orientation programs will be available to online students. Quarantine will also be offered during fall and winter, as required. Of course, all measures are subject to government and public health regulations. Additional details will be circulated in as soon as possible and questions can be forwarded to Ms. Louise Di Prisco, Director of Boarding.

What about eating on campus and food services?

Day students will be asked to bring their lunch and snacks to school with them each day, along with a pre-filled water bottle. Note that microwaves and refrigerators will not be accessible, so parents should plan accordingly. Sharing of food will be discouraged. Students will eat in their classrooms under teacher supervision. Boxed lunches and a milk program are being considered on a phased-in basis for Junior and Senior Students. Boarding students will be cohorted and food services will continue to be offered in Maclaren Hall or in the residences following new guidelines.

What information is available on health insurance plans for international students? What additional support will be in place for student well-being and mental health?

Ashbury’s tuition includes student enrollment in a medical insurance program called Guard Me and has comprehensive coverage package including COVID-related illness. Our Wellness Centre and Student Services staff are here to support student well-being. Whether through our on-campus Nurses, Life Skills Coordinator, School Psychologist, Teacher Advisors or Form Teachers, there are many people students can turn to if they are experiencing difficulty. A new resource this year is Keep.MeSafe, an online counselling service available to Grade 8–12 students who can access resources and support remotely.

Will the residences be open during school breaks? Will students be able to leave campus?

Residences will be open to boarding students who cannot travel due to pandemic-related restrictions during scheduled school breaks, including December and March. Day student families may also be available to host boarding students during school breaks where possible.

Day students must remain on campus during the school day. Boarding students will be restricted to the main campus building during the school day with the ability to sign out to leave campus during the non-academic day as per normal practices, provided they follow public health guidelines and expectations. It should be noted that masks are required to enter stores and public places of commerce.

What health and wellness protocols will be in place? What happens if someone within the school community contacts COVID-19?

There will be renewed emphasis on hygiene practices for all staff and students. Daily health screenings will be required, allowing for contact tracing. All public health and ministry directives will be followed in the event of illness.

Ashbury’s two nurses will be on site each day. Enhanced mental health supports will be offered through Student Services.

Students should bring only the minimum number of belongings and materials required with them to school each day. Lockers will not be available and students will be required to keep their belongings with them at all times. Sharing of belongings will be discouraged.

Ashbury College must report COVID cases to Ottawa Public Health and we will take specific guidance from them on a case-by-case basis. Public health officials will assist us with contact tracing and community communications. Our distance learning model has been designed to allow for a continuation of learning in the event of a cohort or school disruption due to COVID.

If students are delayed in returning to campus due to COVID-19, can they continue to learn via Distance Learning?
As we continue to support families awaiting Study Permits, we are expecting some students to be delayed arriving to campus. Students may also have personal circumstances that do not allow them to come to campus for learning. Ashbury is committed to continuing distance learning for as long as necessary during the 2020–21 academic year given these unique times.

Students may be accommodated to continue learning via distance due to specific personal and health circumstances.

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