Return to Campus

Healthy Boarding

A House isn't a 'home' without its boarders—and we look forward to reintroducing the energy of our boarding students to Ridley life. While we have considered all students in our planning, these 'family units' require additional layers of planning as boarders both live and learn on campus. We believe the added mitigation measures listed below are worth the intrinsic benefits these students gain through their boarding experiences.

International Boarders & Self-Isolation Process

For months, we have been facilitating our international students' return to Ridley through a carefully managed self-isolation plan that has been reviewed by Niagara Region Public Health. By conducting surveys and personal outreach, we have a strong understanding of when our international boarders will arrive to Canada and their personal self-isolation plans—including the option to complete their government-mandated 14-day self-isolation process before the start of school. No exceptions will be made regarding this quarantine and we have communicated clear expectations to our families. Should any Ridleian be prevented from returning to campus—for whatever reason—either in September or throughout the school year, they will have access to Ridley Remote Learning (R2L).

For more information on our self-isolation plan, parents may refer to the COVID-19 Resources in TigerNET.

Enhanced Boarding Risk Mitigation

Residential life at Ridley has always been a complex system of schedules, environments and connections. We recognize that this specific subset of our community requires added consideration to ensure student and staff health and safety. Below are the augmented and bespoke strategies we have developed in consultation with public health to address these unique needs.
  • Boarding students will complete a daily screening and temperature check at the start of each day. They will also complete a daily self-assessment of their wellbeing.
  • Boarding Houses are considered 'family units' and will act as a secondary form of cohorting. Students living in a particular House will be encouraged to socialize with housemates as opposed to those belonging to different Houses. This will mean that, within their House, students will continue to respect required social distancing norms, but in a more relaxed atmosphere.
  • Houses will be off limits to visitors of any kind for the foreseeable future (including parents), while day student access will be limited for the first few months of the 2020-21 school year.
  • Although day students will remain integral members of their Houses, they will no longer have desks and/or storage in dorm rooms. Day students will be provided with an alternative space to store personal belongings, study and socialize during the day and evening.  
  • House meetings and special activities will remain an essential aspect of residential life for both day and boarding students.
  • To minimize anxiety over shared washrooms and laundry facilities, we will assign toilets, showers, sinks, and laundry facilities to groupings of students in each flat of each House. To avoid congestion in these areas, we will designate times of use during peak hours (mornings and the evenings).
  • Boarding students will have access to their own House Common Room, but we will minimize all movement of students between different buildings and Houses for the first few months of the year. Therefore students will not be permitted to visit peers in Houses outside of the one to which they belong.
  • Our Boardingware application will be enhanced this year; students will be able to check themselves in and out of buildings around the campus via their phone app. This will enable us to effectively contact trace and will limit the use of shared iPad screens within each House.
  • Student and employee movement around campus is designed to minimize cross flows of people. Signage and floor markings will direct boarders as they move throughout their House. Students will be required to wear masks in designated 'mask zones' where physical distancing of two metres is not possible. (See Healthy Community.)
  • Boarding students will be asked to remain on campus, with restricted access to the local St. Catharines community. For the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, excursions off campus will be limited, however, delivery services will be permitted for online shopping or food orders.

Campus Closures & Holidays

In the event that the school must close, due to an unforeseeable event or government directive, we will maintain the operation of our boarding houses and the school will immediately return to Ridley Remote Learning. Day students, faculty and staff will remain at home, and only essential services allowed on campus to maintain boarding life and facilities. Boarders who are able to return home or to the care of a Canadian guardian will be encouraged to do so.
  • Houses will remain open during long weekends, where students will have the option of staying on campus in their own dorm rooms. There will be other options available to boarding students during these weekends, such as staying with day students or at a homestay. We will ensure that the ‘on campus’ option will be similarly priced to our homestay providers.
  • The option to have students remain on campus during long weekend breaks and holidays will be communicated via their Head of House. As previously stated, we predict that some students may choose to spend their long weekends and holidays with local friends or family, use one of our local homestay options, or remain on campus with supervision. If parents require their child to remain on campus, there will be an additional fee.  
  • For the Christmas and March breaks, should travel restrictions and quarantine requirements prohibit students from returning home, Ridley will continue to provide local options for families and our campus will remain open for students to stay with supervision. We intend to present options to boarding families by the first week of October and our Heads of House will reach out to parents to confirm plans for their child. As above, if parents require their child to remain on campus, there will be an additional fee.   
We remain committed to your child’s wellbeing, and deeply value your support and the trust you have put in our residential programme. Rest assured, we are here to help and answer any questions you may have.


List of 7 frequently asked questions.

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.