Return to Campus

Executive Summary

Welcome to the Ridley College Return to Campus Roadmap. This document is the result of many months of thinking, researching, planning, and collaborating on the part of our faculty, staff and administration. The plan is designed to provide some initial information and reassurance to our school community regarding our return to campus life and learning.
As you will read, we have developed many strategies that will be deployed as layers of an approach to mitigate risk. Working together, these layers will serve to minimize and reduce the risk of infection and spread of COVID-19. However, it is also important to note that there is no such thing
as 'zero risk'—instead, as a community, we are focused on identifying and reducing exposure to the virus.
Although we have been influenced by hundreds of resources from public health, boarding school associations, higher education, and government publications, our Return to Campus Roadmap is informed by three publications in particular:
First, the Ontario Independent Boarding Schools Coalition has produced an excellent safe re-opening charter with recommendations and standards pertaining specifically to boarding schools and congregants living in Ontario.
Second, the Toronto advisory group led by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) released a prudent series of recommendations for school re-openings in Ontario, titled COVID-19: Recommendations for School Reopening. The report calls for a balanced approach that in a way, "maximizes the safety and well-being of students, staff and their families."
Finallythe Harvard School of Public Health published its own resource titled Schools for Health. Our roadmap is modeled after this publication and employs the same structure to explain our whole campus health and safety plan. As you will discover, our plan is organized by the following categories:
Healthy Community
Safe practices and risk mitigation habits
that will keep our classrooms and campus community healthy.
Healthy Campus
The modifications and enhancements we are making to our facilities and physical assets on campus.
Healthy Schedules
How we will use our time—daily, weekly, monthly and annually—to safely deliver an outstanding and innovative learning experience.
Healthy Boarding 
The measures and procedures we will employ to keep our boarding students as safe as possible.
Healthy Policies 
Details on our school-wide policies aimed at reinforcing a culture of health and shared responsibility.

Healthy Activities
How we will modify student activities, athletics and events in order to promote physical fitness and engagement.

Upper School

Lower School


Mask Health

Headmaster's Letter

Dear Ridley Families,
Ridley College is committed to returning to our on-campus learning experience for the 2020-21 school year, and we are eager to welcome students back safely to campus.  
We have been pouring much energy into creating this comprehensive plan that ensures the quality of the Ridley experience, while mitigating against COVID-19 risks. Over the past several months we have sought the advice of experts from Public Health Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Education and boarding school associations in Canada and around the world. As noted in the Executive Summary, publications from SickKids hospital and Harvard's School of Public Health have served as seminal works in our preparations. We have also learned from the re-opening experiences of independent and boarding schools in the U.K. and Australia.
These resources and conversations have shaped our thinking and planning for the upcoming school year, as we respond to evolving provincial guidelines and as we continue to track the emerging science on COVID-19. The result is the current version of our Return to Campus Roadmap, which is distinguished by a few central features:

  • It brings all students together on campus together, every day;
  • It preserves, deepens and elevates face-to-face learning and relationship building;
  • It is nimble and provides us with the ability to quickly adjust our direction based on changing conditions;
  • It includes ‘de-densifying’ and 'cohorting' strategies; and
  • It features an innovative academic schedule and learning model.
Some of these features are described within this document and further details will be forthcoming.
Our planning and decision-making have been founded upon three central ideas:

1.              Protecting and enhancing community health and wellbeing;
2.             Fulfilling the promise of our vision to ‘inspire flourishing lives’;
3.             Sustaining and prioritizing culture, community and relationships.

For the world—as for our community—these past months have been some of the most challenging in decades. I remain proud of our collective response; we have faced the pandemic with typical Ridley resilience, stoic resolve and compassion for others. This September, we will once again come together and begin the process of strengthening our community. While initially things may look and feel different, we are confident that once students and faculty are together on campus, the spirit of Ridley will once again spring to life—this is the real magic and legacy of a Ridley education.
We recognize families will likely have some questions and butterflies throughout this process, and we vow to do our very best to partner with you to make the transition as worry-free as possible. We remain committed to keeping our families updated over the course of the summer as our plans become more focused and we become more fully prepared for September. For now, we would like to share with you our Return to Campus Roadmap.


J. Edward Kidd,

P.O. Box 3013, 2 Ridley Road St. Catharines, Ontario L2R 7C3 Canada 905 684 1889
With more than 700 students from 60 countries, the largest boarding programme in Ontario and the third largest in Canada, Ridley College is a truly international, co-educational, day and boarding school of the world that prepares students for the world. It has provided enriching learning and life-shaping experiences focused on the arts, academics, and athletics since 1889. Ridley’s Lower School offers JK-Grade 8, its Upper School consists of Grade 9-PG, and Ridley graduates attend some of the top universities and colleges around the world. Ridley is the only   co-ed independent boarding school in Canada and one of only three in North America authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum programme.