Glenlyon Norfolk School will continue to add to these FAQs as more questions are asked and as more decisions are made as to how we will move forward to ensure teaching and learning continues in a highly effective manner.
From the World Health Organization: “COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.” Read more
At this time, there is no vaccine available yet to protect against this new disease so all family members should continue to practice good hand washing techniques and hygiene practices. To help reduce your risk of infection HealthLinkBC advises people should:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
In line with the travel recommendations put out by Health Canada, all international travellers to Canada (including the United States) are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of the presence of symptoms or contact history.
Contrary to the way in which independent schools are often characterised, the reality is that only a very small handful of independent schools have significant financial reserves that can be called upon at times like these. What we do have are significant fixed costs, particularly related to our academic staff, all of whom are continuing to deliver teaching and learning, co-curricular opportunities, pastoral care and support to your children this term. We also have to cover the unanticipated expenses necessary to support online learning. Additionally, there are areas of our budget where we are losing revenue this term from non-tuition sources such as the school store, lunch program, facility rentals, and spring break camps. In addition, we need to continue a sensible level of maintenance and upkeep so that the campuses can re-open quickly and to the same standards when that time arrives. As a result, the school is not generating any material operating surplus which might otherwise leave us with the ability to provide partial refunds for the current academic year.
At this early stage, we feel confident that our students will continue to receive expert support from their teachers to finish the year’s curriculum. As the situation continues to unfold, we will continue to refine our offering of GO! and re-assess this throughout the term.
We will issue refunds for these fees as decisions are made to cancel trips, sporting events, and camps. Parents can expect to receive refunds by the end of each month for cancelled events that would have occurred that month. For more information please contact Karen Leach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The majority of our families who are on the monthly payment plan will have made their last monthly payment on March 1. For those who still have a balance remaining, please email Karen Leach at email@example.com to confirm your balance owing and determine the timing of payment. Consideration for extensions will be given in exceptional circumstances.
Supporting our families while preserving school operations is our top priority. We recognize that these are exceptional times and have therefore expanded our payment plan options to allow families greater flexibility. In addition, we have moved our payment deadline from May 29 to June 15. Please click here for our payment options for 2020/2021.
Yes. We understand that the impacts of COVID-19 are creating unanticipated financial stress for many people, and we implemented a process for families to apply for short-term financial assistance when certain criteria are met. Please click here for more information.
Our school policy is that deposits are non-refundable. However, if your child is unable to attend due to travel restriction regulations in place in British Columbia or in your country of residence at the start of the school year, we will consider these circumstances and may make exceptions to our policy. At this time, there are still uncertainties and we thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate the current circumstances and plan accordingly.
The Finance Office, located in Admin House on the Pemberton Woods Campus, will remain open during normal business hours. However, please note that our employees are being encouraged to work from home when possible. We welcome your questions by email and phone, so please feel free to contact Karen Leach by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone 250-370-6812. Please refer to our Methods of Payment information noted in the Schedule of Fees found here for Canadian students and here for International students for convenient online payment methods.
Since the school closure on March 10, all facilities at both of our campuses were cleaned according to BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) guidelines. Our maintenance team continues to wipe down door handles and other high-touch points daily. Hand sanitizers are available throughout our campuses, including all entrances.
We recognize the importance of summer camps for your child’s emotional, social and physical development and the need for childcare in order for our parents to return to work during these challenging times. From the guidance of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the provincial health officer, we have developed a COVID-19 action plan with policies and procedures in place to maintain the health and safety of our participants, families and staff. Please be advised that although our camp registration is open, additional precautions, activities to maintain physical distancing and smaller group sizes will change the camp experience significantly. We are continually reviewing and monitoring the current situation and our camps are subject to change. Cancellations may occur in the rapidly evolving situation and we appreciate your on-going understanding to keep our community healthy and safe.
These are sent electronically in the summer and the Ministry of Education sends the final transcript showing proof of graduation to universities around the world. Students need to log back into, or create a new account on the site: www.studenttranscripts.gov.bc.ca. Please contact either of our University Guidance Advisors, Ms. Colibaba (email@example.com) or Ms. MacMillan (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
When students complete their coursework and any exams and the final marks are transferred to the Ministry of Education, normally at the end of June, the Ministry of Education will produce a final transcript showing proof of graduation and send a graduation certificate (the “Dogwood Diploma”) to the school. We mail the certificate and final transcript to students in August.
School leadership and staff are meeting and working daily by distance to collaborate in consultation with regional, provincial and national colleagues and experts to ensure the school is ready to adjust based on changing circumstances.
While students have transitioned to distance learning with Gryphons Online (GO!), our students have also had the opportunity to take part in co-curriculars. There is a wide variety being offered to students, including options in arts, athletics, academics and service. Please review Gr. 6–12 Co-curricular Program guide to learn about all the opportunities available in the Senior and Middle School.
The International Baccalaureate Organization has made the following announcement: "The May 2020 examinations as scheduled between 30 April and 22 May for Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme candidates will no longer be held." Read More
None of our Middle and Senior School students will be returning to campus for May or June of this academic year. Mr. Holtum, incoming Head of Schoo,l said this in his email on May 22:
We are not planning to reopen the Middle and Senior School campuses for in-class learning in June. Distance learning via GNS GO! will continue through the final day of classes on June 18 in the Middle School and June 16 for the Senior School. We feel this maximizes the teaching and learning time available to students in a way that a part-time return to campus could not. Of course, an opportunity for students to return to campus to retrieve any remaining possessions will be arranged if necessary.
Following the latest information from the federal and provincial governments, we are planning for GNS to be open for the start of the new academic year in September 2020. From Mr. Holtum’s May 22 message:
The Return to Campus Task Force is also researching and creating plans in anticipation of the resumption of face-to-face instruction for all grades in September. Acknowledging that this will not mean a return to the “past normal,” we are planning for a variety of scenarios, the details of which will be shared with you in due course. As always, these plans will be made with the health and safety of everyone in our community as the number one priority.
Canada, like many other countries, has introduced temporary travel restrictions in response to the pandemic. These restrictions came into force on March 26 and will remain in place until June 30 2020. We hope that the restrictions will be changed or lifted after June 30, but we cannot say for sure. We will continue to communicate with you about travel restrictions and update you immediately if there are changes.
In the meantime, these are the current travel restrictions:
Most foreign nationals (non-Canadians) cannot travel to Canada.
There are exemptions to the travel restrictions which include:
Canadian citizens are able to travel to Canada.
Any international student who has a valid study permit, or who was approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020 is able to travel to Canada.
This means, currently, anyone who has not yet received their study permit, or received it after March 18 2020 is not allowed to travel to Canada until the temporary restrictions are lifted or changed.
It’s important to note that if the travel restrictions change for study permit holders, they may not change for those with visitor visas or electronic travel authorizations (eTAs). This will be a consideration if your parents or other members of your family are planning to travel to Canada with you.
The Government of Canada put the temporary travel restrictions in place on March 26, 2020. The order which put these restrictions in effect runs until June 30, 2020. We hope that the restrictions will be changed or lifted after June 30, but we do not know if that will happen. We will continue to communicate with you about travel restrictions and update you immediately if anything changes.
If you cannot enter Canada because of travel restrictions or because you don’t yet have your study permit, GNS will provide some academic support during the time you are not able to be in school in person. This will not be the same as online school, but will be similar to the kind of support that is provided for any student coming to GNS after the beginning of the academic year and will provide you with the preparation you need to ensure a good start when you are able to be at GNS in person.
No. We believe that the Middle and Senior schools will reopen for in-person learning in September 2020. This assumption is based on the information we currently have from our government. If the school is open for face-to-face classes then there will be no online learning option for students. If anything changes and for some reason the school campuses do not reopen in September, online learning will still be offered.
Currently the temporary travel restrictions cover different types of visas, including study permits, eTAs and visitor visas. We do not know if the travel restrictions will be lifted on all types of visas or just on study permits. The Ministry of Immigration is unable to provide any guidance on this question, so we recommend consulting a local immigration expert.
If you are currently not allowed to travel to Canada, we advise you not to book your ticket until the travel restrictions change or are lifted.
For Family Boarding students who are able to travel to Canada, we will advise you of your return date before the end of June. Please do not book your ticket before you get this date from us, as we are making arrangements for your 14-day quarantine (see details below). You will complete the 14-day quarantine before school starts, so you should expect to return in mid-August at the latest.
International Families should make arrangements to ensure you are able to complete your 14-day quarantine before school starts in September. See below for more information about quarantine.
Before travelling to Canada, make sure you have what you need to show you’re exempt from the travel restrictions.
Under the current travel restrictions, students must bring a valid study permit or a port of entry letter of introduction that shows that you were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020.
You must also present a plan on how you will fulfil the government requirements for the 14-day quarantine. Family Boarding students will be provided with the plan by GNS for the quarantine organized by the school.
International families who are not part of the Family Boarding program must prepare their own plan for the 14-day quarantine—see below for more details on the requirements.
Your health will be assessed when you arrive in Canada. This will happen for all travellers.
There is currently a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travellers coming into Canada, Canadians and foreign nationals/non-Canadians.
Whether you have COVID-19 symptoms or not, the 14-day quarantine must be completed.
Family Boarding students will participate in a quarantine organized by GNS which will follow all the requirements set by the government. A quarantine plan will be provided to Family Boarding students to present to immigration.
Family Boarding students will move in with their host families after the quarantine is successfully completed.
Any alternative quarantine arrangements for Family Boarding students must be approved by the school.
The Government of Canada put the quarantine requirement in place on March 25, 2020. The order which put quarantine into effect runs until June 30, 2020. We hope that this requirement will be changed or lifted after June 30, but we do not know if that will happen. We will continue to communicate with you about quarantine and update you immediately if anything changes.
Student safety, and the safety of our staff and families, is extremely important to everyone at GNS. Guidelines are being issued and GNS will ensure that they are met and, where necessary, exceeded. The following guidelines were issued to schools in British Columbia on May 6, 2020:
Routine daily screening for all staff and students.
Routine and frequent environmental cleaning.
Implement a range of options to reduce transmission including
smaller class sizes;
separation of desks;
potential of differential school attendance on a routine basis each week;
strong focus in the daily routine on frequent washing of hands and other hygiene practices;
small group activities and wearing of non-medical masks for those group activities;
no high contact sports;
limit group sizes of extracurricular activities.
Explicit policy for children, youth and staff who have the symptoms of a cold, flu, or COVID-19 with coughing or sneezing not coming into school or taking part in co-curricular activities and sports.
Planning over the summer for increased use of remote online learning, especially for high school children.
Early arrival and self-isolation for 14-days of international students.
By the time Family Boarding students return, additional procedures will be in place to ensure that you and your Host Family will be safe based on the guidelines provided by the government. We have learned a lot from our recent experience and these lessons will be integrated into the Family Boarding program.
Family Boarding students are covered under the same medical program as all Canadians (the Medical Services Plan, MSP). New students are covered by private health insurance until they are enrolled into the MSP, which usually takes three months following their arrival. We are currently reviewing medical and health provisions for Family Boarding students to ensure they are robust and sufficient in the time of pandemic.
Having been through this extraordinary experience once, we have learned a lot and we are integrating these learnings into our processes. GNS is working on a variety of scenarios based on what might happen in the future. These will be shared with you in the coming months. The safety of our students, staff and families is paramount, and GNS will always follow recommendations from the Provincial and Federal governments and health authorities.
We will be discussing the question of whether the Family Boarding program will be suspended, as it was in March 2020. There are a number of important health and safety considerations to be investigated and a variety of different scenarios to plan for. We will update you when procedures for this eventuality are put in place.
Yes, GNS Admissions will continue to process applications for admission to the 2020/2021 academic year. As always, prospective students are invited to inquire online or connect with our team at email@example.com during our regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
GNS Admissions will be adapting admission processes so that interviews and our literacy and numeracy assessments can happen online. Interviews, where applicable, will be conducted via Skype or Google Hangouts. Testing will be sent by email for completion and tests will be invigilated online. Completed work would be immediately scanned and emailed back to GNS Admissions.
We would have loved to show you around our campuses and introduce you to our teachers and students, but while our facilities are closed, we still want to give you a glimpse of the GNS experience through a virtual visit. You can browse through the 360° images of our facilities on our Virtual Tour webpage. We also have student ambassadors who are willing to meet with prospective families online to share their perspective of the GNS experience. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to further explore these options.
Q: What do I do if I have a question not covered in the FAQ?
If you have a question that is not answered here, please fill in the form below or email email@example.com and we will direct your inquiry to the member of our team most able to offer assistance. An answer will be provided as soon as possible.