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Boarding is an immersive environment of discovery and opportunity where you can embrace your individuality, discover who you are, and strive for the future. Welcome to boarding at Ridley!

Below is the general information that all boarders should know before arriving in September.

Jump to the information you need most:


Houses

Every Ridleian, whether day or boarding, belongs to one of our ten boarding Houses. Each House possesses its own culture and charm and is named after Ridley’s founding members. Each has its own unique personality - mascot, chants, colours, traditions and history. 


Arrivals

All new boarders are invited to move into their Houses on September 3rd, while previous Ridley boarders are invited to return on September 4th. 

Plan your arrival using the information below. 

Transportation to Campus

Option 1: Niagara Airbus  

You can book a Niagara Airbus transfer through TigerNET. The cost will be billed directly to your child's student account. 

Steps for booking Niagara Airbus transportation: 

  1. Log into your TigerNET account. 
  2. Click on 'Resources' in the top navigation.  
  3. Select the 'Form Central' tile.  
  4. Find the 'Transportation' heading and click on the 'Airport Transportation Request Form' link. 
  5. Complete the form, and our transportation coordinator will book and send you the confirmation.  

Alternatively, you may book directly with Niagara Airbus. When booking directly, please mention that you are a Ridley student. Contact Niagara Airbus at 905-374-8111, [email protected], or through their website.

Option 2: ISGC Airport Transportation Programme

International Student Guardianship Canada (ISGC) offers individual or group transportation services to any location, including Ridley College's St. Catharines campus.

Accommodations 

If your child will travel alone and arrive in Canada before September 4th, they may require a safe place to stay before school starts. Below are some accommodation options: 

Option 1: Hospitalité Canada 

Hospitalité Canada has been working with Ridley College for over 15 years to provide care to international students needing a kind and safe place to live during school breaks. 

You can submit your child’s homestay request via their online form

Option 2: ISGC Short-Term Homestay Services 

International Student Guardianship Canada (ISGC) offers a short-term homestay programme which allows students to spend school breaks in a safe and friendly home within a community in Ontario. All host families are visited regularly, and their homes have been screened for safety and cleanliness. ISGC homestay families provide annual police background checks for natural parents' comfort and peace of mind. 


Values and Expectations

Ridley College’s mission is to inspire flourishing lives. Through lived experiences, boarders develop a system of values to achieve a more flourishing experience and enjoy living here. 

Values

Being a good housemate and roommate may come more naturally to some than others, but students must live well alongside each other. Different cultural or practiced norms are common in a school that draws from over 55 nations. As such, differences in opinion and conflict will happen. Ultimately, it is the Head of House who will address significant issues or violations of the House values. Students should inform the Head of House directly when issues cannot be settled.

Expectations

In addition to the student-driven values, the residence life team (adults in the House) expects the following individual contributions from each student:

  1. Effort and the pursuit of excellence in all academic endeavours.
  2. Participation and attentiveness in all extra-curricular commitments that require your presence, including chapel and assemblies, House meetings and advisory, sports and activities, and weekend programming.
  3. Active involvement in community service events that support your House charity, community awareness, education, and fundraising.
  4. Commitment to wellbeing and the wellbeing of others, including PERMA-V activities.
House Jobs

On a rotational basis, the boarders in the dorm will be assigned House jobs on a weekly schedule that help to keep the dorm House functioning while, at the same time, helping our amazing cleaning staff. These will be overseen by a student House captain and inspected by the adult on duty.

The House jobs include but are not limited to:

  • Inspecting rooms for cleanliness and obstacles
  • Organizing and cleaning the kitchenette
  • Filling up the flat water jugs (if applicable)
  • Maintaining the orderliness of the common room, laundry room and gym
  • Assisting the faculty on duty during the weekday nights
  • Removal of garbage from the trash bins on the weekends

Your Dorm Room

Your home away from home. 

Packing List

We've compiled a list of packing items that we suggest students bring when moving into a boarding house at Ridley.

Download Your Packing List

Contents

Each room has some basic furniture and storage areas, but students should feel free to make it feel as much like home as possible with décor, personal items, and comforts.

As a foundation, each room includes:

  • A single desk for each student
  • Desk chairs
    • These chairs are grey plastic, and students may bring their own desk chair if desired.
  • A single bed frame with a twin mattress for each student.
    • Students occasionally bring their own mattress toppers for additional comfort. 
  • A wardrobe for each student which is lockable
  • Shelves and drawers for storage of personal items
  • One under-desk outlet for electrical items 
  • Window coverings
  • Corkboards (bulletin boards) around the walls for hanging items
  • Small garbage bin
Storage

Valuable items should always be locked in the student's wardrobe. If there is a concern about large amounts of cash, travel documents and student visas, the Head of House has a safe in their office to hold onto such items and should be given advance notice when they need to be retrieved. 

We do not have unlimited room to store as much as students may have at home. Students need to be able to move around their room easily in the case of an emergency, and the cleaning staff needs to be able to vacuum the floors. Students should avoid cluttering and messy rooms. Students are strongly encouraged to consider what they need to bring to campus and what could be left at home. 

Prohibited Items

There is often a desire to bring your whole home life with you when travelling to campus. While this may help you feel more comfortable, students should consider the following list to avoid travelling with or purchasing the following items.

Note: The Head of House can confiscate and/or hold any of the following devices until the student can remove the item(s) from campus. 

Prohibited items:

  • Air conditioners (window and portable units)
  • Appliances (basic appliances can be brought if kept in the common room kitchenette)
    • Blenders
    • Broilers
    • Coffeemakers
    • Crockpots
    • Deep fryers
    • Electric frying pans
    • Electric kettles
    • Electric knives
    • Griddles
    • Grills (countertop)
    • Hot plates
    • Immersion coils
    • Microwave ovens
    • Popcorn makers
    • Rice cookers
    • Toasters/Toaster ovens
    • Water coolers
  • Candles
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Fireworks
  • Fog machines
  • Flammable liquids and compressed gases
  • Halogen lamps
  • Hookahs
  • Holiday lighting
  • Hoverboards, self-propelled scooters, and similar devices
  • Irons and clothes steamers (provided in the laundry room)
  • Pets
  • Space heaters
  • Televisions, monitors, and gaming consoles

Common Areas

Study, play and build lasting friendships in our common areas. 

Common Room

The main floor common room is the primary place for meetings and social events. The common room is open to students from around campus when accompanied by a student from the House. This is the only location where students who do not live in the dorm may visit. It is expected that all students care for the common room as if it was their own home.

This includes:

  • Cleaning up food waste, garbage, and any other items that should be removed
  • Placing furniture back in their original positions
  • Caring for the controllers, remotes, pool cues, ping-pong paddles and accessories by storing them appropriately
  • Turning off the lights and electronics when leaving the room

Each House will have various items to make students feel more at home. Examples include:

  • TVs
  • Gaming systems such as PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch
  • Cable television and Apple TV (DAZN, Netflix, etc.)
  • Pool tables
  • Ping pong tables
  • A kitchenette in which to prep small meals and snacks:
    • Microwave, toaster oven, electric hot plates, kettle, coffee maker
    • Mini fridge, full-size refrigerator/freezer
  • Pianos
  • Board games, chess boards, cards, and poker chips
  • Tables and chairs to collaborate on group projects or play games
  • Couches and chairs for relaxing
  • Sports equipment, including soccer balls, basketballs, footballs, volleyballs, tennis rackets, spike balls, Kan Jam, etc. 
Bathrooms

Each floor of each House has a common bathroom with stalls, showers and urinals (boys' Houses only).

The bathrooms are always open, and the lights are motion censored. Keeping the bathrooms clean is important for the wellbeing of all students and our cleaning staff, who will be encouraging good habits. 

Bathroom etiquette includes:

  • Bringing toiletries to and from the bathroom each day
  • Cleaning up a mess if one is made
  • Keeping showers to a reasonable length
    • Showering should not be done during study or after lights out
  • Flushing only toilet paper down the toilet

Students should notify an adult if there is a plumbing issue or another problem in the bathroom as soon as possible. 

Long-Term Storage

There are various long-term storage options for mid-year and summer holiday storage. 

  • The long-term storage rooms are locked areas which can accommodate nearly anything students may need to keep safe and out of the way, including sports equipment, seasonal clothing or airport luggage.
  • Students may request access to these facilities from an adult in the House. 
  • Houses do not have unlimited room in storage. Ideally, students should leave no more than two to three large plastic totes or pieces of luggage, plus large items like fridges, here over the summer holidays. 
Hallways

The hallways and foyer of the House are shared spaces and should be cared for similarly to the other areas. 

  • The hallways contain several garbage and recycling bins that must be used appropriately for effective waste management. Signs for what can and cannot be recycled will be placed above each bin. Students will be expected to empty their room garbage and recycling bins into these hallway bins on the weekends. 
  • No items should be left in the hall while students are away. This includes dirty sports equipment or clothing. 
Laundry

There is a shared laundry room facility in each House for the students to wash and dry their own clothes. The laundry room is always open, and students are encouraged to do it in their free time. This does not include during study or after lights out. 

In the room, there are: 

  • Washing machines
  • Dryers
  • An ironing board and iron
  • A countertop for folding
  • Clothing baskets for the temporary storage of wet or dry clothes
  • A large sink for washing muddy clothes or shoes

With so many boarders using these facilities, things can get quite busy. Students must be attentive to their machines and maintain order in the room. As such:

  • Washing machines are simplified and require one button to start. Loads typically take 30-40 minutes to wash. 
  • Students should use laundry pods or liquid soap, which they will need to purchase independently.
  • Dryers can be set for different times, but no more than 40 minutes are required for a typical load of laundry.
  • Primary lint traps (dryer) and the secondary trap (wall) should be cleaned before each use to avoid strain on the machines.
  • If there are no free machines, it is acceptable to place a fellow housemate’s items in the corresponding laundry basket with the same label as the washer/dryer for easy identification.
  • It is not acceptable to dump anyone’s laundry on the floor, on top of a machine or the counter.
Printer and Scanner

Each student will have access to the printers and scanners across campus to meet all their academic or personal needs. All students will be given a student number (located on their key card), which will be needed to use all printers and scanners on campus.


Building Access

The safety and security of our boarding Houses is our number one priority.

Keys

Each student is provided with a room key (for their dorm room), and great care should be taken for its safety. 

These keys are stamped with an individual identification number and registered to that student for the year. If the stamped number of the returned key does not match the registered number, the student’s key will be considered lost. 

If the student's key is lost, the lock will be replaced, and new keys will be issued to all students in the room to ensure the room's security is not compromised. To cover the costs, $100 will be charged to the student’s account. 

Key Cards

Each student will also receive a key card for access to the dorm and all student areas on campus. This includes access to the academic buildings and athletic complex but does not include other dorms. 

This key card will also allow students to access printers around campus and pay for items at the on-campus store. 

The loss of a key card must be reported immediately to the Head of House so the card can be cancelled. A new key card will be issued to the student at a cost of $25. 

Students should always have their key and key card with them, and rooms should be kept locked whenever there is no one there to ensure the security of everyone’s belongings. Rooms must be kept unlocked whenever someone is in the room to ensure quick and efficient room checks in case of a fire.


Daily Schedules

While specific academic schedules will be posted on the TigerNET platform under Form Central, the House will have its own routines as well. Below is a sample schedule for each day of the week. 

Monday-Thursday
  • Students are free to wake up at any time before their classes begin (typically around 9:00a.m.), but they should be allowing themselves enough time to attend breakfast, shower, or conduct morning sports or exercise.
    • Some sports hold mandatory morning practices on rotation, and students must meet those obligations if they plan on joining those sports.
  • The House is open during the day for students to return to between classes or during lunch.
  • Following the academic day, students must transition from academics to extra-curricular activities quickly.
    • Boarding students are not permitted passes off-campus from Monday-Thursday unless permitted by their residence team.
  • Dinner is typically held from 5:30-7:30p.m. and students may attend at any time at the Upper School dining hall.
  • Evening sign-in will occur in the House common room from 7:15-7:45p.m.
  • Following sign-in, students will remain in the dorm for mandatory study, which takes place from 8:00-9:30p.m. and can be done in several different ways:
    • Silent study in the dorm rooms
    • Supervised study in the common room with the adult on duty (by request or requirement)
    • Supervised tutorials (both virtually and in the Second Century Building)
    • Silent study in the library
    • Group Study in the common rooms and in supervised locations around campus
  • At 9:30p.m., students have free time until curfew at 10:00p.m., but must remain on campus. This allows them to meet up with friends quickly, go for a short walk, or relax in the common spaces around campus.
  • Curfew means that students must have checked in with the adult on duty by the 10:00p.m. deadline.
  • Lights out (bedtime) during the week are staggered to allow for some flexibility for older students. This time refers to having all lights turned off, personal electronics put away and charging, and no noise to disturb others on the flats.
    • Grades 9-10 are to be in their rooms and settled by 10:30p.m.
    • Grades 11-12 are to be in their rooms and settled by 11:00p.m.
    • If an adult on the residential team notices that electronics are used after lights out, we reserve the right to confiscate them for a period of time.
Fridays

Friday is similar to every other weekday (during the day) but differs slightly after the academic classes conclude.

  • Students who do not have sports or activities after classes may leave campus with permission. 
  • There is no mandatory study on Fridays, and students can join the many on-campus events or seek one out locally, such as at the movie theatre or restaurants.
  • Curfews and lights-out times are the same as the other weekdays, as students typically have a wide range of programming to attend the following day.
  • There is flexibility with lights out if students do not have mandatory programming on Saturday morning.
Saturday
  • There is typically a morning program and sports practice, which lasts until lunch.
  • Students must check in with the adult supervising the dorm at lunch (1:00p.m. at the latest) to provide details on how they will spend the day.
  • The second half of Saturday is free-time, and students may attend the optional on-campus events, relax with friends, or arrange to leave campus.
  • A second check-in with the adult on duty must happen at dinner time (6:30p.m. at the latest)
  • Curfew on Saturday nights is staggered, but all students must check in with the adult on duty at their specific times:
    • Grades 9-10 curfew is 10:30p.m.
    • Grade 11 curfew is 11:00p.m.
    • Grade 12 curfew is 11:30p.m.
  • Students are expected to be quiet on the flats to respect the sleep routines of others. The common room is often busy with late-night sporting events or games. Big lights are expected to be off, but desk lamps are fine as long as you are respecting your roommate.

 

Sunday
  • Sundays are usually open for students to relax, catch up on work, or play optional sports and activities. It is also a good opportunity to get rooms in order, do laundry, and change sheets.
  • Students must change their bedsheets on Sunday and will need to show proof to the adult on duty. 
  • Sign-in times with the adult on duty still occur at both lunch and dinner as they were on Saturday.
  • There is a mandatory study period from 8:30-9:30p.m. that operates the same as it does throughout the week (but only in-House study options are available). 
  • After 9:30p.m., no students are allowed out of the House unless provided an exemption by the adult on duty. 
  • Lights out are the same as they are throughout the week for all students.
Weekend Events

Various weekend events (both mandatory and optional) will be available for the students to participate in. These vary greatly but may include some of the following:

  • Community service events such as cleanups and fundraisers
  • House intramural competitions
  • Celebrations around significant cultural, athletic, or entertainment events
  • BBQs or group meals
  • Holiday parties
  • Off-site trips
  • On-campus athletic fixtures and performances
  • Student-led activities
Excellent Standing

Excellent Standing (ES) recognizes students who have proven their academic and social self-discipline. Head of Houses, who are informed about both social and academic performance, grant qualified students ES.

Students who have earned ES can determine when and where they will conduct their evening study as long as they do not disturb other students. The privilege can be lost through irresponsible behaviour or lack of academic effort, as determined by the Head of House bi-weekly.


Passes

A pass is what the boarding House refers to any time a student departs from campus. This may happen for a variety of reasons, including:

  • A student wishes to travel to a coffee shop or store
  • A student is travelling for a school/sports trip
  • A student is staying overnight with family 
Orah

Each House uses an application called Orah that enables the residence staff to keep track of where each student is and who they are with. Students will be shown how to operate the Orah application upon arrival. There is also a downloadable Orah app for smartphones that students can use to ‘tap’ into one of the several locations around campus, including the House. 

Every-Day Passes

For school trips such as sports fixtures or class outings, students will:

  1. Notify the Head of House regarding the time of departure and return so they can be safely accounted for in an emergency. School trips and sports fixtures have an alternate form of student tracking that can be cross-referenced. 
  2. Notify the Head of House when they have returned.

For boarding students wishing to leave campus for short durations during approved times (such as to go to the store), students will:

  1. Seek permission from the Head of House or Assistant Head of House*.
  2. Go onto the iPad located in the House and enter the appropriate information. 
  3. Sign back in on the iPad when returning to campus.

* This pass procedure does not require parent input. 

For day trips that last for several hours, including leaving the city, students will:

  1. Seek permission from the Head of House.
  2. Have a parent approve the trip via text, email, or phone with the Head of House.
  3. Go onto the iPad located in the House and enter the appropriate information. 
  4. Sign back in on the iPad when returning to campus.

Upon arrival to campus, students will be shown how to use Orah and the House iPads. 

Overnights and School Break Passes

The process is slightly more complex for overnight trips, requiring approval from parents through Orah. For this process to be started, parents will receive an email inviting them to create an account to link to their child in the Orah system. After the account is created, parents can use it to request, decline, or approve passes.

Requesting passes involves inputting the planned activities of your child, including:

  • The destination address
  • The method of transportation
  • The adult who will be supervising and their contact information
  • The anticipated return time

Once a request is made, the supervising adult (if not the parent making it) will be notified for their approval. Finally, the Head of House will be notified to place their approval on the pass. If there is any question about the validity of the information, you or the adult on the pass may be contacted to verify the plans.

Students may also request these types of passes and must go through the same process, though parents will receive an email notification once it is complete.

Approving and declining passes will only require a simple click of a button from an auto-generated email initiated by your child. If you are the parent of a returning student, you can use last year's account. You can retrieve your password from the login page if you have forgotten it.

Students are expected to remain at the school until the official end of classes and to return on time at the end of each weekend and vacation break. Problems with travel arrangements should be discussed with the Head of House.

 


Birthdays

Birthdays are celebrated throughout the year in many ways. As you know, boarders won’t have their families around, so the residence team will seek ways to help celebrate those students by providing treats for the individual or House on their behalf. Parents often reach out to surprise their children with a treat from a local business, which is always a huge hit and something the children genuinely love. If you would like to send treats or coordinate a local supplier to deliver items, please get in touch with the Head of House. 


Mail and Shipments

Students may receive mail and parcels at the school from retailers or residential origins. 

Receiving Mail

All deliveries should be clearly labelled with the student’s name. The central mail room will determine which House to send the mail to, and it will be delivered two to three times a week. For larger items, students may be requested to pick up the item from the mail room after receiving an email notification. Students are not to go to the mailroom to grab packages on their own unless they have permission from their Head of House and it has been communicated to the mail room.

It is not common practice for mail to be searched upon arrival on campus, and it is assumed that students take responsibility for the items being delivered. If this trust is broken, student deliveries will be re-routed to the Head of House and must be opened in their presence.

Mailing Address

The schools mailing address is:

2 Ridley Rd.
St. Catharines, Ontario
L2R 7C3
Canada

If a PO box is required, use 3013.

Outgoing Mail

Outgoing mail can be sent directly from the school. Packages and shipments will be weighed and quoted for mailing costs, which will be charged to students’ accounts. 


Emergencies

Upon arrival, students are taught safety procedures for their House in the case of an emergency so that they can live with peace of mind knowing what to do, no matter the situation. 

Illness or Injury

Ridley College maintains 24-hour health coverage at our on-campus health center.

  • A nurse is always either present on campus or available on call
  • Physicians occasionally hold clinics at the Health Centre
  • The health center has facilities to provide overnight care to students in need
  • The student and/or medical staff will contact parents about any significant medical problem.
  • Students have the right to privacy and confidentiality, and health information is only released with written consent from the student.
  • Students may not stay in the dorm if they are sick and must report to the health center for further direction.
Fire

Fire is a significant threat to any communal living situation. Drills are carried out within the first week of school and periodically throughout the year. In the event of a drill or an actual fire, an alarm will sound, and all students will be expected to exit using the closest and most accessible door possible.

The assembly area for each House will be communicated by the Head of House to their students.

Alerting a sleeping roommate, finding that person outside, and organizing by flats is an essential action for students to help assist with the quick counting of all students.

Lockdown

Ridley College has a comprehensive lockdown procedure that is used in the event of an emergency.

The procedure is updated and tested annually with Niagara Regional Police and the Fire Marshal's Office. All students are trained in the lockdown procedure in the fall, including recognizing the lockdown alarm and messaging over the speaker system. While this training will primarily take place in the classrooms, students who find themselves in a dorm should:

  • Lock their doors and stay inside their rooms
  • Alert/confirm with the Head of House that they are in the dorm
  • Remain silent and wait until the all-clear message is sounded on the speaker system
Public Safety

Students should never approach anyone acting suspiciously on campus. While we are a gated campus, people from the community can be spotted on campus before security has a chance to intervene. Such events should be reported immediately to someone of authority. Students should not use their key cards to let someone gain access to school buildings.

Security

Students should enter the Campus Security contact number into their cell phone directory lists (905- 932-3188). This is not to replace 911, where an immediate response of the Police, Fire or Ambulance is necessary. A security guard is on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Security Cameras can be found in the high traffic areas of the dorm and on every exit. These high-resolution cameras are in place to further increase and protect the security of our students and the campus itself.


Questions

Following House placement in the spring, your Heads of House (HOH) will send a welcome email and additional information for the coming school year. Once you have your HOH's contact information, you can ask them questions about your boarding House. 

If you have any general questions about boarding at Ridley, please get in touch with the Dean of Boarding, Mick Bett, at (905) 684-1889 ext. 2228.