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,