Return to Campus

Healthy Policies

"COVID-19 risk mitigation is an exercise based on shared responsibility. It is necessary for each of us to acknowledge our ability to both spread and contract an infectious disease, and our obligation to participate in proven mitigation strategies to protect our own health and the health of others. Now, more than ever, we require honesty, transparency and selflessness."

—Teresa Stevens, Nurse Manager
Our Return to Campus Roadmap is founded on and supported by a number school-wide policies and procedures which have been developed and revised since March. Together, they serve as the backbone of our plans for risk reduction. All health policies have been developed by our Schmon Centre Health Centre professionals, in consultation with our school physicians, Dr. O'Reilly and Dr. Kundi, and with the assistance of our local Public Health Niagara colleagues. Additionally, we continue to collaborate and consult with our local medical and health partners, including Brock University and the Niagara Health System

Before our return in September, our faculty and staff will be trained in each relevant policy as part of their professional development.

Our school health policies outline:
  • Protocols for symptomatic students, including testing and contact tracing;
  • Immediate communication with parents and local health authorities;
  • Dedicated isolation rooms for suspected or confirmed cases;
  • Clear protocols for students to return to campus and regular activities;
  • Daily health screening protocols; and
  • Protection of vulnerable students and employees.

Illness Policy

During these exceptional times, we have reviewed and updated our Illness Policy to reflect the increased need for vigilance and monitoring symptoms in order to keep our community healthy. As a precaution, day students with COVID-19 symptoms or other illnesses will be sent home immediately. We will require a parent, guardian or contact to be available in a reasonable time frame to pick up students who are ill and need to return home. Boarders will become in-patients in the Health Centre immediately. If it is determined that the student is not required to be tested for COVID-19, they must remain either at home or as an in-patient for a minimum of 48 hours, or an extended period of time, until they are free of symptoms.

Infectious Disease Policy

All students and employees are entitled to a safe and healthy environment. Certain communicable diseases are designated as "notifiable" by the Public Health Agency of Canada, to allow measures to be taken to prevent large outbreaks among children and other citizens. Ridley is required by law to report to our local Niagara Region Public Health office the number of individuals affected by a communicable disease, including but not limited to COVID-19. We have a responsibility to safeguard the health of any student and employee who has contracted or been exposed to a communicable disease. We continue to liaise with the Niagara Region Public Health office and follow best practice guidelines, in order to safeguard our community from communicable diseases.

Case Management Policy

We have developed a fulsome Case Management Policy in collaboration with Niagara Region Public Health to care for students or employees who are symptomatic or have a confirmed case of COVID-19. Our policy is based on scientific resources that guide our understanding of the virus, and contains detailed plans to care for the student and our community. Key strategies include accommodation for isolation and self-isolation, testing, health care and monitoring, contact tracing, student and community health teaching, and a communication plan to keep our students and families informed.
Symptomatic Student or Employee
Any student or employee who presents with symptoms throughout the school or work day will be removed immediately from shared spaces and brought to a containment space. Containment kits have been developed with the safety or our community in mind, and will provide both the responder and symptomatic person with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) required to keep the members of our community safe.

Symptomatic students or employees who are suspected of having COVID-19 are required to complete testing before returning to campus or attending school.
Day students with symptoms are required to seek advice and care from their medical provider and/or local Public Health office. Those suspected of having COVID-19 are required to complete testing off-site at a local assessment centre, or a location otherwise directed by their medical provider. Day students are required to remain home and participate in remote learning as able, until they receive their test results.
Boarding Students with symptoms will be isolated in the Schmon Health Centre and assessed by the school physician. If COVID-19 is suspected, testing will be done at either the local assessment centre, on-site by the school physician or off-site at a private lab. Boarders will remain in isolation as in-patients in the Schmon Health Centre and participate in remote learning as able, until they receive their test results.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is an important part of our Case Management Policy. Upon receiving a report of a confirmed COVID-19 case, in collaboration with the Schmon Health Centre, our Outbreak Management Team will liaise with Niagara Region Public Health to immediately follow up with all at risk students and employees. In addition to our current attendance systems, our Boardingware app will help us quickly identify the ill person's movements on campus and the at-risk contacts who will need to be interviewed during the contact tracing process.

COVID-19 Outbreak Management Team 
In the event that we have COVID-19 on campus, or have an increased risk for transmission of the virus in our local community, we are prepared. Our Outbreak Management Team will immediately identify the internal and external drivers that would lead us to tighten or loosen restrictions. The role of the outbreak team is to:

  • Work directly with our local public health office;
  • Identify cohort groups on campus (ill, well, exposed, and COVID-19 positive);
  • Safeguard our high-risk students and staff;
  • Monitor student and employee absenteeism and illness;
  • Implement additional mitigation measures as required;
  • Disseminate COVID-19 communications to our community; and
  • Implement organizational changes as required for community safety.

Protecting High Risk Students & Employees

Boarding or day students who are at higher risk of adverse outcome from COVID-19—due to underlying medical conditions such as immunocompromised states, chronic medical conditions such as cardiac and lung disorders, and who are medically complex—should discuss a return to campus plan with their medical provider. Similarly, Ridley employees who meet the above criteria should discuss their roles with both their medical provider and Human Resources. With appropriate advice, individualized plans and accommodations can be made in collaboration with the student or employee.


List of 17 frequently asked questions.

  • Prior to their arrival on campus, what precautions should Ridley students take during their 14-day isolation period? 

    The Government of Canada has authorized a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for all visitors to Canada. Students must adhere to the regulations of the quarantine, which can be found here. 

    While self-isolating off campus for 14 days, students must not have any direct contact with persons whom they are not self-isolating with, and must remain at their self-isolation location. Students must monitor themselves daily for COVID-19 symptoms. If a student becomes ill during the 14-day self-isolation period, they must report this to the local public health unit by calling 
    Toll-free: 1-888-505-6074 
    If symptoms of illness present, the 14-day quarantine period may be extended. Students must inform Ridley College if they have become symptomatic during their self-isolation and inform of the direction received by the local public health unit.  

  • Will the school support my child’s academic study while we await our permit and visa if these are not available by the start of the school year?

    While international students await their immigration documents, we will work to develop an academic plan for students to follow while still in their home country. It is imperative that parents keep the school informed of where they are in the study permit application process and of any travel plans 

  • Will international students be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to Canada? 

    Yes. In accordance with the Quarantine Act, and while in effect, all international students must quarantine (self-isolate) for 14 days upon arrival into Canada.  
    Domestic boarding students are not required to self-isolate under current Quarantine Act guidelines for interprovincial travel. However, they must adhere to provincial self-isolation requirements: do not come to campus if they have been symptomatic in the past 14 days; if they are awaiting COVID-19 test results; if they have had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19; or if they have been directed to self-isolate due to any travelling they may have done in the past 14 days.   

  • When can my child enter Canada?

    If your child held a valid study permit prior to March 18, 2020, they are exempt from travel restrictions. Further details regarding travel restrictions may be found here. Students who do not have a valid study permit must wait for direction from the IRCC. Ridley is monitoring these updates daily and parents are encouraged to follow the IRCC website. 

  • Can I accompany my child to Canada? 

    If your child held a valid study permit prior to March 18, 2020, they are exempt from travel restrictions, as per the IRCC. As a parent, you must have written authorization from the IRCC to fly to Canada. Please visit the IRCC website, scroll down to “How to reunite with an immediate family member who is in Canada temporarily,” and follow the instructions. 

  • Can students enter Canada with a current study permit that expires on September 30, 2020? 

    Yes, a student with a valid study permit that expires on September 30, 2020 is permitted to enter Canada, provided they show proof of re-enrollment at Ridley College, as well as the items listed in the pre-arrival checklist. You may apply for your study permit extension in Canada if you have the appropriate documents.   

  • What documents should my child travel with when returning to Canada? 

     Before boarding their flight to Canada, please ensure students are travelling with the following documents: 
    ·       passport 
    ·       letter of enrollment for the 2020-21 school year 
    ·       tuition receipts for the 2020/21 school year 
    ·       current study permit 
    ·       current Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), or its estimated arrival date 
    ·       custodianship declaration and contact information 
    ·       Ridley Admissions Office contact details 
    ·       self-isolation plan 

  • If I need immigration advice, who can I speak with?

    We recommend contacting International Student Guardianship Canada (ISGC) for immigration services and support. The school cannot provide legal advice or immigration services.  

  • How can I find out study permit and visa processing times for my area? 

    You can find Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) processing times here. Please note, however, that due to the pandemic, these processing times are only estimates and subject to change. 

  • Who do I contact if I need supporting documents for my application?

    For information on supporting documents, please contact or The list of documents needed to apply for a study permit can be found here  

  • How will Ridley screen students, faculty and staff for COVID-19 and how often? 

    Each day, using our Boardingware app, all students, faculty and staff are required to complete a health questionnaire before arriving on campus or leaving their dorm house. Once they arrive at school, daily on-site temperature monitoring will be completed as a secondary measure.

  • What PPE will students, faculty and staff be required to wear? What if someone wants to wear additional PPE?  

    Students, faculty, staff are encouraged to wear, at minimum, a non-medical mask for source control. There are areas on campus—designated as mandatory 'mask zones'—where individuals will be required to wear a mask. Upon their return to school, Ridley will provide all students, faculty, and staff with three cloth masks. Training on how to safely use, clean and store masks will be completed. 
    At times, personal protective equipment (PPE) may include surgical/procedure masks, eye protection, gowns, and gloves. PPE may be used outside of the Health Centre by those who are involved in providing direct care or services to students, faculty or staff who are symptomatic .  
    The choice to wear additional PPE in the school setting while completing daily activities is dependent on each person's level of comfort. With the exception of gloves, we will not prevent students, faculty or staff from wearing additional PPE. Gloves must only be worn when providing direct care to a symptomatic person, or cleaning and disinfecting. Hand hygiene is the single most important action in preventing the spread of the virus and, if not worn correctly, gloves can increase the spread of viruses. 

  • What if I have a medical condition or religious belief that prevents me from wearing a face mask?

    Exemptions to wearing a non-medical face mask are as follows:  
    • For medical reasons, the person is unable to wear the face mask because it would inhibit their breathing;  
    • The person cannot safely wear a face mask for other medical reasons, such as having respiratory disease, cognitive difficulties, or difficulties in hearing or processing information;  
    • For religious reasons, the person cannot wear a face mask, or cannot wear one in a manner which would properly control the source; and/or 
    • The person is a child under the age of two.  
    The ability of a child or youth to follow direction and wear the face mask appropriately is dependent on a variety of factors (e.g. age, maturity, physical ability, comprehension). It will be important for students, parents or employees to assess the individual's ability to properly use and care for the mask. Ridleians who are unable to properly wear a face mask will be required to wear a face shield as an alternative in the specified zones. 

  • How will Ridley protect students’ private health information? 

    Ridley maintains compliance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA) and the Personal Information Protection and Electronics Document Act (PIPEDA). We will continue to safeguard personal health information of our students, faculty, and staff. In relation to a positive case of COVID-19, PHIPA regulates the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information. The Act also specifies that during certain circumstances, consent to collect this information is not required. During a pandemic, the Niagara Region Public Health office will be requesting information that will assist them in determining the extent of the illness. This may include details about absences and/or contact information about students, faculty and staff in order to assist with contact tracing. 

  • What happens if a student, faculty or staff member tests positive for COVID-19? 

    Ridley has developed a fulsome Case Management Policy in collaboration with Niagara Region Public Health to care for students or employees who are symptomatic or have a confirmed case of COVID-19. Key strategies of our plan include: accommodation for isolation and self-isolation; testing; health care and monitoring; contact tracing; student and community health teaching; and a communication plan to keep students and families informed. 

  • Where will students be isolated if they test positive for COVID-19? 

    Boarding students who have tested positive for COVID-19 or present with symptoms will remain at the Schmon Health and Wellness Centre under the direct care of a school nurse. Day students who have tested positive for COVID-19 or present with symptoms will remain home. Whether boarding or day, students will remain in isolation until they have met current guidelines set out by the province of Ontario and may return to school.  
    Note: If they have tested positive for COVID-19, boarding students who live within a four-hour radius of Ridley College will be required to return home for their isolation period.  

  • What if only one of my children is sick?

    If one of your children is unwell, for example with a fever, this raises the question about whether their sibling(s) can come to school. In line with our school policy, the sick child will need to be off school for a minimum of 48 hours without fever and be assessed by their medical provider or public health office.

    If it is recommended that the ill child be tested for COVID-19, then we ask that the sibling does not come to school until the test results are known. If it is not recommended that the ill child be tested for COVID-19, and everyone else in the household has been well over the past 10 days, then the sibling can come to school, given they pass the daily health screening requirements.

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.