Campus Re-Opening Plans 2020–21

When will Ashbury College open for the 2020–21 school year?

Ashbury is planning for a return to on-campus learning and is ready to modify programs with distance learning as necessary. Our school year calendar can be found here.

Boarding students arrive and move onto campus on Monday, September 7 unless they have arrived earlier for quarantine reasons on the weekend of August 21.

Opening Days for both new and returning Junior and Senior School students will take place over two days for two student cohorts on Tuesday, September 8 and Wednesday, September 9 for orientation activities.

The first on-campus/distance learning classes and/or camp/team-building activities will begin on Thursday, September 10.

What will the school week academic schedule look like starting in September?

Our planned schedule will allow for flexibility should we be in a position to add more on-campus learning or, alternately, fall back to a distance learning situation should the public health situation deteriorate. At this time, Ottawa Public Health is indicating an improved situation in our region and province, however this is being monitored daily on regional, national and international levels. Our planning continues in consultation with Ministry of Education, government and public health directives, and our national and international school associations and networks.

In order to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment, while recognizing the importance of face-to-face learning, our planning takes into account a number of considerations, including class sizes, physical spaces, screening, hygiene and sanitation, student cohorts, group gatherings, boarding, student and staff family circumstances, and total numbers of students in the school at a given time.

As of July 13, our re-opening plan is preparing the following scenarios and is subject to change:

Option A: Full school, five days a week for all grade levels

  • All students in school five days a week, while adhering to strict physical distancing, hygiene and screening protocols, appropriate class sizes and cohorting where possible. Some schedule program modifications should be expected. Should this scenario not be possible due to new government directives and guidance a hybrid model of five-day learning is being developed specific to various grade levels.

Option B: Hybrid learning – on campus and via distance may include a number of
measures to meet government and public health requirements including:

  • Grades 4, 5 and 6 students being on campus every day meeting strict physical distancing and hygiene protocols and cohorted as specific student units.
  • Grades 7 & 8 students dividing their learning time between on-campus and synchronous distance learning where required to achieve approximate class sizes.
  • Grades 9–12 day students dividing their time between on-campus and synchronous distance learning where required to achieve appropriate class sizes.
  • Boarding students learning on-campus every day with synchronous/ asynchronous distance learning as required to accommodate late arrivals or special circumstances.

Under Option B, Grades 7-12 students will likely begin the school year learning on campus for two consecutive days followed by two consecutive days of distance learning. This scenario may be adjusted upwards or downwards as necessary. Students can expect to be on campus at least two or three days a week. Specific schedule modifications or afternoons will be identified for co-curricular activities, sport and outdoor activities. Details of times will be confirmed as the summer evolves with students in class for four-five periods of 60-70 minutes per class. Staggered class transition times will reduce interactions in corridors and common spaces. An optional evening class block for on-campus learning may be available for select courses for students in Grades 11 & 12. Co-curricular and club activities may be modified as needed.

Option C: Distance Learning

  • Five day a week distance learning will be available should any government or public health emergency order require school closure, or to students whose personal circumstances related to COVID and student visas do not allow them to come to campus.

How will Ashbury assure a safe and sanitized school environment?

Ashbury College remains fully committed to the health and wellness of our students and community members. We have secured Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should this be required for our school community in 2020–21 whilst training for staff and students, signage, protocols and hygiene stations are being expanded. Our operations and cleaning services have increased to ensure the sanitization of all spaces on campus, including our residences with day and night services in place. Ashbury College has two full-time nurses within our Wellness Centre for day and boarding students and additional resources within the National Capital Region to ensure that our community members can receive the best possible care. Screening measures for school arrivals are to be expected.

Families should be prepared for students to come to school with a mask each day, however further directives around mask use will be communicated prior to the start of the school year.

Visitors and parents will not be permitted on campus unless special permission has been granted based on health and safety protocols. Campus access during non-academic hours may be limited for students.

What are plans for sports, arts and other non-academic co-curricular activities during the week and on weekends?

Co-curricular activities and clubs are central to the Ashbury experience. Although our primary focus will be on a return to campus for teaching and learning, co-curriculars and clubs will be introduced as appropriate as the school year evolves, including integrated activities in the school day schedule, after school and weekends where possible.

Will bus service continue to serve day students within the National Capital Region?

At this time bus service will continue to operate for families in the National Capital Region following new standards. All information about school bus registration can be directed to Ms. Diane Budge at .

What are the uniform requirements for 2020–21? What about textbook orders and locker access?

Students are required to wear both summer and winter dress uniform as per the student handbook however the school blazer will not be required in 2020–21 for reasons related to hygiene and dry-cleaning requirements. Families should not purchase blazers at this time and school sweaters and cardigans will be acceptable alternatives. All uniform inquiries should be directed to the Ashbury School Store at The School Store remains closed until further notice, but details on online ordering will be available soon.

School textbook orders continue through our student portal, which will be active as of July 15.

Students must aim to carry their personal items with them each day in a careful and sustainable way and expect limitations to locker and locker room access.

What will the boarding experience look like?

Currently planning has all boarding students accommodated in both Matthews Residence (boys) and Heather Gillin Residence (girls). Each room is either a single or double with an en-suite bathroom. Maple Residence will be available as a flexible space as required. The Nurse’s residence on campus is equipped with several private rooms and will also available to students as needed.

The boarding program will continue to ensure a supportive and nurturing environment for students including a rich array of weekend activities and programs.

What are the quarantine requirements and can boarding students be accommodated on campus?

Currently, any travellers, including day and boarding students, entering or returning from outside of Canada are required to quarantine for 14 days. Updates and protocols can be found at the Government of Canada website and all community members are expected to abide by and attest to completion of quarantine requirements.

Asymptomatic boarding students arriving from international destinations may opt to quarantine at Ashbury College at no cost to families. Students will be permitted to arrive on campus beginning on August 21, with transportation provided from the airport. During this quarantine period, each student will have a single room in our residences with en-suite bathrooms and all food services supplied by the College. Our residences will be fully operational with supervision and support from our team of Residential Faculty. Specific academic support and orientation programs will be available to students, as well as opportunities to go outside in a private setting. Quarantine will also be offered during fall and winter, as required. Of course, all measures are subject to government and public health regulations. Additional details will be circulated in as soon as possible and questions can be forwarded to Ms. Louise Di Prisco, Director of Boarding.

What will food services look like for students?

Browns’ Food Services, Ashbury’s food service provider, have adapted to new safety guidelines while ensuring high quality meals. Boarding students will be cohorted and food services will continue to be offered in Maclaren Hall or in the residences following new guidelines. To begin the school year, food services will be available only to boarding students in Maclaren Hall. Lunches for day students will be taken in classrooms, or an alternate location, and a bagged lunch may be available to a limited number of day students from Monday to Friday from Browns.

What information is available on health insurance plans for international students? What additional support will be in place for student well-being and mental health?

Ashbury’s tuition includes student enrollment in a medical insurance program called Guard Me and has comprehensive coverage package including COVID-related illness. Our Wellness Centre and Student Services staff are here to support student well-being. Whether through our on-campus Nurses, Life Skills Coordinator, School Psychologist, Teacher Advisors or Form Teachers, there are many people students can turn to if they are experiencing difficulty. A new resource this year is KeepMeSafe, an online counselling service available to Grade 8–12 students who can access resources and support remotely.

Will the residences be open during school breaks?

Residences will be open to boarding students who cannot travel due to pandemic-related restrictions during scheduled school breaks, including December and March. Day student families may also be available to host boarding students during school breaks where possible.  

Will students be able to go off campus and interact within the National Capital Region?

Day students must remain on campus during the school day. Boarding students will be restricted to the main campus building during the school day with the ability to sign out to leave campus during the non-academic day as per normal practices, provided they follow public health guidelines and expectations. It should be noted that masks are required to enter stores and public places of commerce.

If students are delayed in returning to campus due to COVID-19, can they continue to learn via Distance Learning?

As we continue to support families awaiting Study Permits, we are expecting some students to be delayed arriving to campus. Students may also have personal circumstances that do not allow them to come to campus for learning. Over the course of the last four months, Ashbury has instituted a robust distance learning plan, which will continue in the fall of 2020 for those students unable to be on campus in September. Ashbury is committed to continuing distance learning for as long as necessary during the 2020–21 academic year given these unique times.  

Students may be accommodated to continue learning via distance due to specific personal and health circumstances.

Ashbury College

362 Mariposa Avenue, Ottawa
Ontario, Canada, K1M 0T3
Phone: +1 (613) 749-5954 | Fax: (613) 749-9724