COVID-19

As we welcome our students back to The Bishop Strachan School, our priority remains the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty.
The Program and Health and Safety Plans below outline the guidelines, structures and expectations we have put in place to help minimize the potential exposure of our students and staff to COVID-19. These plans also allow us to quickly transition to other learning models according to government regulations, changing health parameters, and our evolving understanding of teaching and learning practices. We will continue to work with our health partners to develop and evolve our planning during this pandemic. We are confident that we will be able to care, as we always have, for our students.

School Closure Update - January 12, 2021

The Ontario government provided an update on COVID-19 projections and announced additional lockdown measures to help slow the transmission. As of Thursday, January 14 at 12:01 am, an Ontario-wide state of emergency and a stay-at-home order will be in effect for at least 28 days.

BSS will remain closed until February 10, and continue to provide remote learning for our JK - Grade 12 students during this time. Current families may access further information through myBSS. We will provide additional updates as the situation evolves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Academic Program

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • Who can come to campus after BSS reopens in September 2020?

    All healthy students and employees who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 can come to school. Staff who are not required to be in the building will continue to work from home. Visitors, including parents/guardians, are strictly limited and only permitted by prior appointment. Non-essential visitors are not allowed to enter the school.

    No person should attend school if unwell or any members of their household are unwell with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
  • How is the BSS Junior School facilitating classes?

    Junior School students are back at school full-time in small classes of 10 - 13 students. Classroom spaces allow for 2-metre distancing within the rooms. Students’ daily activities take place in their homeroom classroom or outdoors.
  • How is the BSS Middle School facilitating classes?

    Middle School students are back to school full-time and are assigned to cohort groups of 14 or 15 children. Students learn in a designated classroom the entire day, with the possible exception of some PE instruction or recreation. Opportunities for students to interact between cohorts via Google Meet (e.g. assemblies, Chapel) or between a teacher and a student (e.g. Study Hall) occurs virtually.
  • How is the BSS Senior School facilitating classes?

    Senior School students are back in school four days per week for face-to-face instruction and are assigned to small classes of approximately 15 students. Off-campus virtual learning and larger interactions such as assemblies and Chapel take place every Wednesday.

    BSS is implementing a semester-style timetable for the 2020-21 academic year with a balanced focus on three to five (four?) courses per semester instead of eight. Most classes will take place every day and incorporate a blended learning model. Some courses run every other day for the full year, including online music courses, Grade 9 and 10 face-to-face math, and face-to-face physical education.

    Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered in Semester One with opportunities in Semester Two to engage in learning and feedback. Some AP courses are offered online with synchronous Wednesday classes.
  • Is there an option for students to learn remotely?

    Short term remote learning is available. Remote learners will connect with their teachers and cohort through a combination of live Google Meets and independent online work. This option is available for the fall term.
  • How does BSS support students?

    Junior School
    Students can access support at school from their teachers, including Learning Resource teachers. Students can also each out online to their teachers during designated office hours. Daily homeroom time allows students to connect with their peers and teachers. The Advisory program also continues for Grades 4 - 6.

    Middle School
    Supports for Middle School students include the Blastoff program, Homeroom, the Middle School Counsellor, wrap-around monitoring, technology training and skills development, and extra academic help.

    Senior School
    We continue to support student social and emotional wellness through the collaboration of counsellors, teachers, the School Psychologist and Learning Resource Centre teachers. Students can meet virtually with counsellors and the psychologist. To help our students succeed in a blended learning environment, we provide academic support including the creation of a Learner Profile for each student, extra help and community learning, and technical support and training.
  • Are co-curriculars offered during the 2020-21 academic year?

    We are offering co-curricular programs online, beginning in September 2020, for students in all three schools:

    • In the Junior School, co-curriculars include athletics and after school programs (Fun Plus).
    • In the Middle School, co-curriculars include athletics, service learning opportunities and other activities. Students will receive an orientation in early fall.
    • In the Senior School, we will offer student life activities, councils, clubs, athletics and more, posted in August and September.
    Fall athletics programming will be offered virtually, with a focus on skill development and maintenance.
  • What will happen if BSS is required by government regulations to close again?

    Students would move to a distance learning model if conditions and regulations require a closure of the BSS campus. Our Academic Program Plans allow us to quickly transition to other learning
    models, according to government regulations, changing health parameters and our evolving understanding of teaching and learning practices.

Health & Safety

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • How is BSS reducing risk and the potential spread of COVID-19?

    Until a vaccine against COVID-19 is developed, we are implementing preventative measures into the daily school routine.

    Small Classes
    In the Junior and Middle Schools, classes are divided into cohorts so that students will stay with the same class group to limit mixing between classes and years. This recognizes that for younger students, close interaction, such as playing and socializing, is central to child development. While close contact may be unavoidable between members of a cohort, general infection prevention and control practices (and, for older students, physical distancing) is maintained where possible.

    In the Senior School, classes will be kept small and to a limit of approximately 15 students.

    Physical distancing
    Physical distancing of at least 2 metres between students, cohorts and staff is enforced as much as possible.

    Enhanced cleaning protocols
    BSS is implementing enhanced cleaning protocols, including increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfection of all indoor surfaces, especially high-touch surfaces.

    Health & Safety training for staff
    All BSS staff and faculty have been trained on:
    • BSS health and safety procedures;
    • what to do if there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 at BSS;
    • use of PPE;
    • appropriate cleaning and/or disinfection of items;
    • the risks associated with infectious diseases; and
    • the importance of appropriate immunizations.

    Minimizing contact
    Staff who can work from home continue to do so, and visitors (including parents/guardians) are strictly limited and may enter the school by appointment only.
  • Are students and staff required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, gloves, etc. while on campus?

    Employees, students, parents, contractors and visitors are required to wear a mask within the school at all times. Students in JK to Grade 3 are encouraged to wear a mask inside the classroom and must wear their mask in common areas or when in close contact with others.

    Staff can use a face shield in addition to their mask. Gloves can be worn if hands will be exposed to a risky situation.

    Wellness Centre staff are expected to wear a medical-grade mask and gloves. When dealing with more serious situations, face shields, eye protection, gowns and other applicable PPE are required.
  • What health and well-being supports are available for Boarders?

    The Wellness Nurse, Boarding Counsellor and Boarding staff are available to discuss any issue with Boarders. Additionally, programming and resources will be provided on mindfulness and managing anxiety to minimize potential mental health impacts of the pandemic. Boarders will continue to have access to fitness areas within the school. All Boarders must have emergency medical insurance.
  • What will BSS do in the event of a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 in a staff member or student?

    If the student or staff member is not at school, BSS will follow Toronto Public Health guidelines for contact tracing and will inform the BSS community.

    If the student or staff member is at school, the Wellness Nurse/school administrator will immediately inform those in the same room. The infected person will vacate the room, apply hand sanitizer and don PPE. All students and parents will be informed immediately and given further direction if isolation or monitoring is needed.

Boarding

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Are international Boarders required to self-isolate upon returning to school in September 2020?

    It is mandatory that international Boarders self-isolate for a 14-day quarantine period prior to the start of school. They may:

    • Arrange to stay in their own accommodation, supervised by family or family-nominated guardians in Toronto, or
    • Access the BSS-arranged and supervised hotel, for which there is a fee
  • What measures is BSS taking to reduce risk and ensure physical distancing in Boarding spaces?

    Each Boarder is assigned a cohort group to minimize the number of Boarders and Boarding staff that an individual comes into contact with, and to maintain consistency in those contacts as much as possible.

    Boarding has undergone enhanced cleaning procedures for the fall. Washrooms, common areas, and high-touch surfaces will continue to be cleaned twice daily, seven days a week, and additionally as needed. Hand-wash stations and hand sanitizer are available in all hallways, common spaces and entrances.

    Our food services follow the regulations of the local health authority to ensure the implementation of best protocols for the preparation and serving of food in the dining areas.
  • How will BSS manage a COVID-19 outbreak within Boarding?

    BSS will strictly follow Toronto Public Health and Public Health Ontario guidelines. Boarding has dedicated isolation rooms on-site in the event that cases of the virus should appear despite our prevention measures.

Visiting BSS

List of 2 frequently asked questions.