Return to Campus

Healthy Schedules

Learning in a shared physical environment provides a host of positive intrinsic benefits, which is why we have made accommodations to allow our students to safely return to campus. Alterations have been made to daily and weekly schedules in order to reduce the risk of transmission and maintain the health and well-being of our community. Importantly, in reimagining student routines and spaces, our goal has also been to provide an enriching, enjoyable experience for Ridleians across all grades.
Ridley is blessed to sit on a generous 90-acre campus, with spacious buildings and classrooms that allow for physical distancing and reduced density. These factors allow us to ensure that all students, every day, will be able to enjoy a safe and continuous learning environment. Nevertheless, we will manage transition times, dining and the curricular and co-curricular timetable in a manner that will keep students as healthy as possible. Our compassionate and patient faculty will monitor and assist students to learn their new routines.
Here, we have outlined modifications to our Lower and Upper School daily schedules and routines.

Lower School: Kindergarten to Grade 8

Arrival & Departure
Unlike in the past, parents will be asked to say their morning goodbyes outside of our Lower School building, as we are limiting visits within the facilities to essential personnel and by appointment only. (See Healthy Policies.) Where possible, we will establish separate entrances and exits for different groups of students in order to reduce density and exposure. Additional changes will be made to vehicle traffic flow in order to help make your drop-off and pick-up a safe and simple exercise. End-of-day routines will require students and parents to locate one another outside, either on foot or by car. Further instructions on our Lower School drop-off and pick-up procedures are forthcoming.
Daily Health Screening

Each day, upon arrival to school, all students, faculty and staff will complete a daily health screening, which includes filling out a questionnaire in Boardingware, temperature checks and hand sanitization. (See Healthy Community). Once screening is complete, students will join their teachers in their classrooms and participate in a morning meeting (PYP) and homeroom (MYP), which will provide a welcoming, reassuring start to the day.

Day parents play a critical role in home health screening and creating a culture of self-monitoring. Parents must refrain from bringing students to campus if there is even the slightest suspicion of illness or COVID-19 symptoms, or if a student has come in direct contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 and/or is awaiting a test result.
Daily Schedule & Learning Routines

All of our students will learn on campus—every day.

We have gone to great lengths to ensure the safety of students in terms of scheduling, from morning to afternoon. Students will enter the Lower School through different entrances at staggered times in order to minimize unnecessary contact, while ensuring a safe and healthy start and finish to the school day. Students in Grades 4 to 8 are required to wear a mask or face covering while indoors (Please see Healthy Community section for details and exemptions). As recommended by reduced density guidelines, students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 will cohort in small groups. Physical distancing measures require that a two metre separation be observed between desks in each classroom setting. Movement and transitions between classes will be reduced as much as possible, while child-friendly floor markings and wall signage will assist our youngest Ridleians to navigate hallways in an organized manner. Classes will remain in cohorts throughout the day and be distanced from other classes. Specialist teachers will move to homerooms, to reduce unnecessary student travel.

We will continue to offer our full IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP) curricular framework when we return to school this September. Classes and subjects will be offered within a carefully crafted schedule that provides designated time for learning support, collaboration and interdisciplinary studies.

  • PYP subjects include: Language Arts, Mathematics, Units of Inquiry, French, Art, Music, and Physical Education and Health (PSPE in PYP). PYP students will continue to begin each day with a morning meeting, followed by four periods of instruction with their homeroom teacher, and two periods with specialist teachers.
  • MYP subjects include: Language and Literature, Mathematics, Individuals and Society, Science, French, Design, Arts (Music and Visual Art), and Physical and Health Education. Grade 7 and 8 students will take a rotation of four subjects each morning. All subjects will be taught in the morning to allow students unable to travel or attend school to access learning from all time zones. Morning classes will be followed by two CONNECT classes in the afternoon. Every four-day cycles, Grade 7 and 8 students will have a CONNECT class with each of their subject teachers. CONNECT classes are an opportunity for faculty and students to consolidate learning from morning lessons and work in smaller groups. This time with teachers will allow greater personalized instruction, based on students' learning needs. Students will also be given time to begin work assigned during morning lessons and ask questions. Students in different time zones can schedule time outside of CONNECT classes to ask questions about course work. Similar to a 'flipped classroom' model, this framework features morning classes where content is delivered, followed by CONNECT classes where learning is consolidated and deepened.
Our blended learning model allows us the flexibility necessary to ensure all students have access to learning at all times—whether on campus or at home. Should it be necessary to fully transition back to remote learning for any reason (e.g. a provincial school closure), our Lower School schedule is designed to allow for immediate adaptation to Ridley Remote Learning (R2L), so students may continue learning from home. During blended learning, teachers will be recording and broadcasting lessons for those unable to physically attend class.
Activities & Co-curriculars

As a complement to daily lessons, we will also focus on advisory, Chapel, sport, and co-curriculars. These events further amplify our investment in relationship-building across the Lower School through community, collaboration and consolidation opportunities. After-school sports, clubs and House Team events will be held on a daily basis. Multiple supervised recess and play times are scheduled daily with appropriate adherence to cohorting. Children will play in coordinated and designated zones, but will not be prohibited from interacting safely; this fundamental time with their peers is crucial to their development. Please refer to Healthy Activities for more information.
Hand Hygiene & Disinfection Practices

Recognizing that washing and disinfecting is not always top of mind for children and youth, we will introduce intentional hand hygiene breaks and, in a friendly manner, educate students on the benefits of doing so. Additional sanitization stations, which dispense 70 per cent ABHS, will be easily accessible for quick and effective hand hygiene practices (e.g. before eating). Additionally, age-appropriate signage and videos will encourage the act of hand-washing throughout the Lower School.

Enhanced cleaning protocols will include more frequent cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, including desks and other high touch points. Ridley has acquired two new electrostatic disinfection units which provide rapid, best-in-class disinfection to virtually any surface; these will be incorporated into enhanced cleaning schedules.
Healthy Dining Routines

In order to balance healthy eating and COVID-19 risk mitigation, we must introduce modifications to our campus dining experience. We are fortunate to be working closely with our partner, Chartwells to design the best dining experience possible. Chartwells is committed to impeccable safety standards and we remain confident in their ability to deliver an outstanding experience.

The dining experience will be modified to provide appropriate physical distancing and other safety precautions. Lunch will continue to be served to both day and boarding students. Families should expect the following adjustments to daily dining:

  • Prepared lunches and snacks will be delivered to classrooms for students in JK to Grade 8.
  • With exception to prepared lunches, throughout the school week, Lower School boarders will continue to enjoy meals in Williams Hall, but self-serve stations will no longer be available.
  • All weekend meals will be enjoyed by Lower School boarders in Williams Hall.

Upper School: Grades 9 to 12/PG

Daily Health Screening

Upon arrival to school, each day all students, faculty and staff will complete a health screening, which includes a questionnaire, temperature checks and hand sanitization. (See Healthy Community.) Day parents play a critical role in home health screening and creating a culture of self-monitoring, and boarders will be assisted in ensuring best practices by residential staff and the Schmon Health Centre. Students should not report to campus, classes or activities if they display the slightest suspicion of illness or COVID-19 symptoms, or if a they have come in direct contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19.
Daily Schedule & Learning Routines

All of our students will learn on campus—every day.

The Upper School schedule remains the best vehicle by which Ridley can articulate its vision and mission, and the 2020-21 schedule is no different. It has been co-created upon several central and enduring promises. We shall continue to prioritize community, relationships and wellbeing; ensure equity of access to the Ridley experience; seek innovation and look for new ways to enhance learning; provide clear and easy to follow routines that will offer students and parents normalcy and stability; all the while promoting the paramount importance of the health and safety of our entire community.

Ensuring that our schedule routines reduce density and align with Public Health recommendations, we will observe two metres of physical distancing between students, wear masks (see Healthy Community section) and class sizes will be small. To accommodate these smaller class sizes, we have developed a learning model—to be delivered daily—which includes a combination of synchronist learning, asynchronist learning, and CONNECT classes.
Each morning, teachers will deliver two in-person classes to students in the classroom (synchronist). Each classroom will be fitted with a video camera, which will live stream the content to students who are unable to be there in person (asynchronist). This would only apply if classrooms were to reach maximum occupancy for physical distancing or if students are unable to be on campus. Alternately, students who are in different time zones or unable to view the classes in real time, will be able to access the recorded content on their own schedules.
In the afternoon, all students will come together for CONNECT classes, where they will be placed in small groups if they are physically in the classroom, or as one large group if they are online. These CONNECT classes will unify students, overcome the limitations of distance, and enable each student to engage with and go over important material with their teacher. Over lunch, students will also be able to access teachers in Learning Labs and Tutorials.
This blended model ensures all students will be fully supported in their learning, allowing them to connect with lessons, teachers, and each other—whether they are online or on campus. It also allows us the flexibility necessary to ensure students can access learning at all times, whatever changes are required to keep our community safe.

Ridley will continue to offer students a broad and rich curriculum, keeping their safety top of mind. Access to scheduled classes in the Arts and Physical Education will continue to provide students with a variety of opportunities to foster the development of mind, body and spirit. Health care protocols will require students to work in smaller groups and participate in Music, Theatre, Art, and Physical Education classes which have been organized in compliance with physical distancing measures. Additionally, the regular sanitation of equipment and teaching spaces will be an ongoing priority. Our Saturday programme will begin in earnest this September, with a particular focus on flourishing practices—we are committed to keeping student well-being at the core of all we do.
Activities & Co-curriculars
At Ridley, we believe in educating the whole child and recognize learning happens both in and outside the classroom. As such, activities and co-curriculars are central to the Ridley experience—and an integral part of our community and culture. We know that participation fosters connection and helps build relationships, and this, in turn, supports wellbeing. With this in mind, we remain committed to delivering a robust co-curricular, arts and athletics programme, supported by appropriate modifications to ensure student health and safety in our studios, theatre and gymnasiums. For details regarding COVID-19 mitigation measures adopted by our sports and co-curricular programmes, please refer to Healthy Activities.
Healthy Dining Routines

In order to mitigate risk and ensure a healthy dining experience for our students, we're working closely with Chartwells, our partner who is equally committed to meeting the high level, impeccable standards needed to keep our community safe.

Starting in September, the dining experience will be modified to provide appropriate physical distancing and other safety precautions. Lunch will continue to be served to both day and boarding students. Families should expect the following adjustments to daily dining:
  • Lunch period will be staggered across two hours, in order to limit density in the Great Hall.
  • In addition, there will be a new service hosted in the Iggulden Gym, where students will be able to pick up packed "Grab and Go" lunches.
  • Boarders will continue to enjoy breakfast and dinner in the Great Hall, but will take dining shifts. Self-serve stations will no longer be available. During weekends, all meals for boarding students will be provided on campus.

For each of the above considerations and plans, our Upper and Lower Schools are committed to an atmosphere of collective responsibility—by thinking about ourselves, not just as individuals but as part of a community, we can continue to keep Ridley safe.  


List of 6 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.