The Glenlyon Norfolk School website uses cookies to ensure the best possible user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of these cookies.

COVID-19 Updates

Glenlyon Norfolk School is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation and we have created this space to keep our community up-to-date on the latest developments, school decisions, emergency procedures and other important information. We will continue to add to our COVID-19 FAQs as more questions are asked and as more decisions are made as to how Glenlyon Norfolk School will move forward to ensure teaching and learning continues in a highly effective manner.

Email Updates from GNS

List of 16 items.

  • Updates from the Head of School 070620

    Dear GNS Families,
     
    I trust you are safe and well and that you’ve had a chance to begin enjoying a much-deserved summer break.
    June 30 marked the close of a school year that was unlike any other in the history of GNS. The last three months have brought challenges to bear that were impossible to predict, let alone plan for. COVID-19 has changed so much about the way we interact, the way we live, and the way we learn. But what it hasn’t changed is the soul of our school. I’ve been so heartened and inspired by the ways this community has risen to meet every challenge, by how our staff remained committed to our students and our families, and by how our families supported the abrupt but necessary switch to distance learning. For that, I offer both my admiration and my gratitude.
     
    As I step into my role as Head of School, I wanted to share some important information as we look to the start of the 2020/2021 school year.
     
    Beach Drive Campus
    There continues to be a high level of optimism that our new main building at the Junior School will be ready to occupy this September. Once we know more details we will share them with you, but our teachers are packed up and ready to move in anticipation of this possibility.
     
    Relocation of the Learning Pavilions and the Tent Gym
    As our new building at our Beach Drive campus is expected to open in September 2020, the modular learning pavilions and the tent gym that our Junior School students have been using during the construction will need to be relocated. We are planning to move the gym and five of the classrooms to our Pemberton Woods campus for the coming school year, to the lawn adjacent to Denford Hall.
     
    It is our desire to have all of our students return to in-person on-campus learning in September. Like all schools, we will need to adhere to the provincial government’s health and safety guidelines with regard to physical distancing and the addition of these facilities will assist in the transition back to in-class learning. I must stress that this extra classroom space is not intended to result in an expansion of our student population. We are in the process of applying for a permit to proceed with this project with the City of Victoria and would hope to begin the installation of the structures in late July. We will let you know further details as soon as we can.
     
    Upgrades to Our Middle School Learning Commons
    Beginning in early-July, we will begin upgrades to our Middle School Learning Commons. This project involves seismic improvements as well as the installation of two large bay windows and that will help create a more warm and welcoming space for our students. The proposed rejuvenation will create a space for the whole Middle School community to come together—a Learning Commons that will be the heart of our Middle School.
     
    Through the incredible ongoing philanthropic support of our community, I am thrilled to share that we will be naming this area the “David Graham Learning Commons.” While I never got a chance to meet David, I have heard from many what a wonderful person he was and it is a privilege to tell you all that we are now able to honour his great legacy. David was the beloved first principal of our Middle School from 2005 to 2009. Under his leadership, our Middle School became a caring, values-based community that supports a remarkable environment for learning. If you would like to learn more about how to support this project please reach out to Mary Anne Marchildon at mmarchildon@mygns.ca.
     
    Restart Plans for September
    We will be ready to return to in-person learning in September for all grades on both campuses. We are expecting to be instructed by the Ministry of Education in late August what stage of the BC’s Education Restart Plan we will be operating in for the Fall Term. We hope that this will be Stage 1 which means 100% of our students at school 100% of the time with physical distancing and some restrictions on large gatherings like assemblies. However, we are also planning for the possibility of some form of hybrid instruction (Stage 2 to 4) as well as ensuring we have the ability to pivot back to distance learning should it be required (Stage 5) at any point during the school year. Incorporating the feedback solicited during the Spring Term and utilizing the recent training and knowledge gained by our teachers, I am confident that GO 2.0 (Gryphons Online version 2) will be outstanding, should it be required.
     
    As in previous years, each principal will reach out to their respective school families throughout the summer to provide more detailed information pertaining to any changes in staffing and programs. We know there will be some limitations on what programs and co-curriculars we will be able to offer, but we will provide the first-rate education we have all come to expect from GNS.
     
    We have created two task forces, one focussed on the Return to School and one on the Student Experience. These groups will meet weekly throughout the summer to plan for various scenarios. In addition to the guidance provided by our Leadership Team, we are also grateful for the ongoing support of the GNS Society and Foundation board members.
     
    Task Force Memberships
     
    Return to School Task Force:
    Focus on Operations (logistics, policies and procedures), Health & Safety, and Business Continuity
    Student Experience Task Force:
    Focus on the Student Experience: academic model, schedules, timetable, space planning, events, athletics and student life.
    • Chad Holtum, Head of School
    • Duncan Brice, PW Chair & PW Safety Coordinator
    • Dr. Deepa Singal, MSc. (Epidemiology), PhD (Public Health)
    • Chrissy Raniseth, CFO
    • Kim Holmes, Human Resources Director
    • Robin Bennett, Facilities and Maintenance
    • Sarah McKerlich, Director of Risk Management
    • Jean Bigelow, Junior School Principal & JS Chair
    • Gavin Bowers, Junior School Vice-Principal & JS Safety Coordinator
    • Damon Henry, Middle School Principal 
    • Doug Palm, Senior School Principal & PW Chair
    • Cheryl Alexander, Director, Marketing & Communications
    • Chad Holtum, Head of School
    • Cole Carlson, Deputy Head, Academics
    • Duncan Brice, PW Chair and PW Safety Coordinator
    • Doug Palm, Senior School Principal & PW Chair
    • Damon Henry, Middle School Principal
    • Kate Pagett, Middle School Vice-Principal
    • Jean Bigelow, Junior School Principal & JS Chair
    • Leanne Giommi, IB PYP Coordinator
    • Angie Girard, IB Diploma Coordinator
    • Samantha Goddard, Curriculum Coordinator, PW Campus
    • Julian Daniel, Director of IT
    • Harvey Thorau, Senior School Vice-Principal
    • Gina Simpson, IB MYP Coordinator
    • Trevor Mannion, Director of Enrolment
    • Cheryl Alexander, Director, Marketing & Communications
     
    We expect to communicate our complete September Restart Plan to families in late-August as soon as we have confirmation from the Ministry of Education and the provincial health officer regarding at what stage schools will open in September 2020. Rest assured that we will be ready for whatever comes our way and are looking forward to welcoming your children back to GNS.
     
    Our International Students
    To facilitate their safe return to our school community, all Family Boarding students who are exempt from travel restrictions will participate in a supervised quarantine organized by GNS which will follow all the requirements set by the government. The students will stay in boarding facilities with strict procedures in place. Once the quarantine is completed, Family Boarding students will move in with their host families. Any alternative quarantine arrangements made for Family Boarding students must be approved by the school.
     
    Moments to Celebrate
    This has been a year of learning and challenge, but also of achievement, and it was wonderful to help celebrate that during the recent Junior, Middle and Senior School closing events as well as our live-streamed Graduation Ceremony. It was especially rewarding to see many of our students with their families during the Junior School parade, the Grade 8 Goose Chase, and the Grad Photo Event where our Grade 12 students walked across a stage to receive their certificates.
     
    And last, but certainly not least, congratulations to the Class of 2020! This remarkable group of young people has accomplished so much during their time at GNS. Despite the challenges they faced due to the pandemic with significant changes in their learning and the cancellation of the traditional grad events, they persevered and finished their year in a manner that exemplified our core values of truth, courage, caring, individuality and community. These 70 Gryphons have earned 257 offers of acceptance from post-secondary institutions across Canada and around the world, an average of 3.6 per grad. They have chosen to attend schools as nearby as the University of Victoria, and as far away as Spain. And, collectively, they have earned offers of over $1,388,500 in scholarships. We are so proud of all of you and look forward to hearing about all of your upcoming adventures.
     
     
    Although we face a challenging year ahead, I know that, together, our strong community can weather the storm. Our international student numbers will rebound in time and our new local enrolment looks very promising. Although it is only early July, we have already registered more than 100 new local students for this September which is higher than what we had enrolled when we opened last September. We have been here for 107 years and we will be here for 107 more!
     
    I wish you all a wonderful summer.
     
    Chad Holtum
    Head of School
  • Important Updates to Families about June and September

    Dear GNS Families,
     
    To begin, I’d like to once again offer my gratitude for your willingness to work with us throughout these unprecedented times. I’ve lost track of all the examples I’ve witnessed of the amazing community we are all a part of at GNS, and I’ve so appreciated all of your emails and constructive feedback. As you know, we are partners in your child’s education, and this unique connection endures through graduation and beyond. Thank you for everything you do in support of our school.
     
    At this time, I’d like to share with you our plans for the school in the upcoming months.
     
    June 2020: Safe Return to Campus JK to 5
    We have created a “Return to Campus Task Force” that is working with our provincial and national independent school associations to develop strict protocols that will allow a safe return to campus for both students and staff. Our provincial association, the Independent Schools Association of British Columbia (ISABC), has been working closely with public health authorities and member schools in creating these policies. We are also working with Island Health to customize the Safe Return to Campus Plan for GNS. The mental and physical safety of our community is our number one priority. Jean Bigelow, our Junior School Principal, has been working with faculty and staff at the Beach to develop a program that combines some of the best elements of the previous on-campus experience with some new ideas that recognize our current circumstances. Jean has reached out to all JK to Grade 5 parents and students to learn which families are planning for their children to return to campus and she will communicate the full Safe Return to Campus Plan by the end of next week.
     
    Middle and Senior School
    In recommending a one-day a week return to school for Grades 6 to 12, we recognize that the government is trying to address challenges faced by many public schools across the province where systemic limitations have meant that online learning has not been delivered in the same manner as at GNS. Our Chromebook and laptop programs have meant that our students could meet with their teachers and peers each school day following their regular timetable. Without technology like that, many schools have only been able to interact with students in a very limited way.
     
    Our plan is to continue to deliver our GO! distance learning program to students in Grades 6 to 12 until 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. Any attempt to introduce one-day-a-week attendance for 20% of the student body, as would be required to maintain social distancing, would drastically reduce the ability of our teachers to maintain the same level of strong student-focused learning they are currently able to offer.
     
    Grade 5 Celebration
    To mark this important milestone, we plan to personally deliver to each Grade 5 student’s home their book award and PYP certificate on June 19. This will allow us, in a socially distanced way, to thank the Grade 5s for their leadership and wish them the very best as they move on to their next learning adventure at the Middle School.
     
    Grade 8 Celebration
    We are planning an exciting way to recognize the transition from Middle School to Senior School. In the next few days, Grade 8 families will receive a ‘save the date’ message with further details about this important celebration.
     
    Graduating Class of 2020
    On May 6, Premier Horgan made special reference to the fact that the graduating students of 2020 are being uniquely affected by this crisis, and I couldn’t agree more. A committee of Senior School staff, with the help of our Grad Prefect Polina Vitrouk and Alumni Coordinator (and GNS alumna) Zan Plews, are actively researching and planning different ways to celebrate our grads in safe but meaningful ways. High school graduation is an important rite of passage, and we will honour this special occasion in the best way possible. The details of our plans will be shared with our Grade 12 families next week.
     
    Planning for September 2020
    In addition to their planning for the June return to Beach Drive, 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. One factor is determining how to make the best use of all the space available to us on both campuses while keeping the health and safety of everyone in our community our number one priority.
     
    Planning for September 2020 for International Families
    There are a number of additional considerations for our international families to consider when planning for a return to school in September. We will be sharing FAQs developed specifically for international students and their families early in the week of May 25. 
     
    GO! 2.0
    One thing that has been made clear by the Ministry is that we must plan to be nimble and flexible during the next 12 to 18 months. Should another school closure be mandated by the Provincial Health Officer during the 2020/2021 school year, we are confident we will be able to respond quickly. We have learned so much in the last several weeks, and we have a dedicated team of experts working to refine our distance learning for all grades to make sure that GO! 2.0 will be even more robust and inspiring if we need to call on it again.
     
    At the Middle and Senior School, the Academic Council and the Curriculum Leadership Team will develop plans to ensure continuity of learning for all students in the event we need to pivot back to distance learning on short notice. At the Junior School, classes on campus will be organized into a six-period per day timetable that will be maintained if we must return to distance learning. This is similar to the model the Middle School has been using very effectively over the last two months.
     
    2020/2021 Invoices
    In early April we sent an email to families outlining the steps the school has taken to provide additional financial support if required as a result of the pandemic. This includes more flexible payment options, increased financial aid and the opportunity to apply for short-term temporary assistance. We also extended the due date for next year’s tuition from May 29 to June 15. If you have any questions about our financial support options, please contact Chrissy Raniseth att craniseth@mygns.ca or 250-370-6820. Invoices have now been uploaded to your child’s profile in Blackbaud, and payment is due by June 15. If you have any questions about the invoices or how to access them, please contact Karen Leach at kleach@mygns.ca or 250-370-6812. 
     
    Beach Drive Campus Construction Update
    In last week’s GNS News we shared a video highlighting the exciting progress being made at the Junior School. Things are moving very quickly and, according to our contractor, we are now ahead of schedule. There is even some discussion about the possibility of moving into the new Main Building this September! I share this with you very cautiously, as a number of things need to happen to make this a reality. Regardless, I can assure you that we will be moving into the new building by Christmas.
     
     
    I appreciate what a strange and challenging time this continues to be for all of us, and I want you to know that we have a plan to safely and effectively continue providing a first-class educational experience for all our students, whether in-person, online or in a hybrid-model as our circumstances require. Your child’s safety—physical, emotional and mental—will always come first. We are so privileged that your family has chosen us for your educational journey, and we all look forward to continuing that journey together.
     
    Thank you for your ongoing support.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Chad Holtum
    Incoming Head of School
  • Next Steps for our Grade 12s #2

    Dear Grade 12 students and families,
     
    We hope that the first few days back to school are off to a good start. From our perspective, it has been wonderful to reconnect with Grade 12s. We hope that as the days progress, everyone will continue to feel supported and settle into the new normal.
     
    As questions arise from students and families, we are making every effort to keep track of them and send out regular updates. Please find below answers to the most recent questions.
     
    1) I am concerned about being able to meet the graduation requirement of service when I cannot leave my house. For when and how should I complete these requirements?
     
    As part of BC and GNS graduation requirements, all Grade 12 students must complete 30 hours of service over Grades 10, 11 and 12.
     
    The latest guidance from the Ministry of Education recognises the new constraints on students for completing service and offers this flexibility for those students who have yet to complete the required number of hours: "The 30 hours of work experience or career-life experience can now include life at home (i.e., yard maintenance, food prep, household accounting, household cleaning, etc.)".
     
    Here are some additional ideas for ways you could continue with service in the current climate:
    • Write thank you cards for hospital staff and send them to the nearest hospital. Post offices are still up and running!
    • Staying home is now more important than ever. Create awareness videos to share with your local community—focus on safety hygiene and the importance of self-quarantining.
    • Tutor your peers via video call or help your younger siblings with their schoolwork.
    • Reach beyond your local community and volunteer to teach English to Thai high school students via Speaking Hub.
    • Reach out to (elderly) neighbours and see if they need support picking up supplies or taking care of their property while adhering to social distancing guidelines and norms.
    • Reach out to grandparents/family to ask them if they need anything (i.e., grocery delivery, lawn mowing, other errands or tasks).
    • Do chalk art to uplift your community.
     
    Other ideas and organizations for which you could reach out to help (through social media), donate to, and promote awareness for:
    • Support Local YYJ  https://supportlocalyyj.com/ A one-stop website for you to buy gift certificates from your favourite local, independent businesses.
    • Mask a Hero BC https://maskaherobc.ca/ : A public resource to connect those with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies to donate to local hospitals across BC.
    The deadline for logging Service on ManageBac is May 31. This includes CAS questions and supervisors’ review sent. For any questions or help with Service, please get in touch with:
    Ms. Megan Coll: mcoll@mygns.ca
     
    2) When will Grade 12 classes end and will I have final exams/summative assessments?
    • Diploma courses will continue until the end of April, as was previously planned.
      • IB exams have been cancelled, so there will be no final exams for Diploma courses. Each Diploma teacher has put together a plan to wrap up content, ensuring students finish strong and are well prepared for their post-secondary plans.
    • Provincial courses will continue into June, as was previously planned.
      • As usual, grades for Provincial courses will be calculated based on the student's work during the entire year. Teachers are aware that working in these new conditions can be challenging. As such, they will prioritize the most important course content of the Spring Term and will work closely with every student to help them achieve their best.
      • The final Spring Term assessments for Provincial courses are unique to each subject. In most subjects, such as Art Studio 12, Theatre 12, Music 12, Creative Writing 12 there are no final year-end assessments but ongoing summative assessments this term. In other subjects, such as Pre-Calculus 12, Anatomy and Physiology 12 and Social Justice 12, there will be a final assessment in the form of a project or an exam, which will contribute towards students' overall grade. Teachers will keep you informed of the details of these and will support you in preparing for these effectively, taking into account the current constraints and challenges.
    3) How will my final grades be calculated in my Diploma and Provincial courses?
    • Diploma Courses: For all Diploma courses, you will receive two sets of credentials.
      1. A final IB grade (1–7) will be based on Internal Assessments, Predicted Grades and our school’s historical data. The IB has not published how they will weigh each component to arrive at students’ final grades. We are confident that the IB will do their best to ensure that students’ final grades will align closely with what they would have achieved had they written the final exams. We will continue to keep you updated as this process unfolds.
      2. or all Diploma courses, whether they are taken as part of the full Diploma or as individual courses, the final grades reported to the Ministry of Education will be presented with percentage grades. These are derived from the conversion from the IB grade at the end of April, based on coursework and assessment from September to the end of April. All of the schools that offer the Diploma Programme in BC have adopted the UBC conversion scale to convert students' grades to percentages when reporting out to the Ministry and to universities. As you may know, behind each IB grade, there is a percentage grade range. In Grade 12, we report out the high end of each range to account for the rigour of the Diploma courses.
    • Provincial Courses: Final provincial grades (percentages) will use coursework and assessment from September until June to calculate final results.
    4) University Guidance/CLC update:
    Now that post-secondary institutions have addressed student and staff safety, they are refocusing attention on day-to-day operations. Many admissions officers, including our former university colleagues, are safely working from home and evaluations are now running again at a steady pace.
     
    From what we can see, universities around the world are being flexible in the way they proceed with finalizing offers of admission. Many are planning to accept final grade documents in whatever way their high schools deem appropriate. The message we are receiving from institutions is that admissions offers will not be affected by disruptions that are outside students’ control. Post-secondary institutions will be flexible and do all they can to support students to progress to higher education. Universities are finalizing their policies on how offer conditions and final grades will be considered and they will be notifying students directly. With this in mind, it is essential students continue to check portals, read emails and continue to monitor these sources of information diligently.
     
    Here are some updates we have been given. 
     
    With rapidly approaching deadlines, please also be sure to follow through on accepting offers of admission, accepting offers of scholarship, paying acceptance deposits and applying for on-campus housing. Be aware that deadlines vary by school, program, and even student. This and course registration information will be communicated directly to the applicant. Please remember to email admission offers with conditions to acolibaba@mygns.ca or smacmillan@mygns.ca.
     
    Prior to the end of April, Grade 12s will be completing their CLC Capstone report and presentation. The new deadline for the written report is April 25, and Ms. Colibaba and Ms. MacMillan will be coordinating online options for presentations.
     
    Future post-secondary students, in case facility closures continue in the fall, most universities have now resumed classes online or in alternative format.
     
    English Proficiency Tests
    TOEFL and IELTS tests were cancelled around the world. In response, ETS launched TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition which may be taken on a computer at home and is monitored by a human proctor online. We have also noticed a number of universities announcing they plan to accept the Duolingo English Test as it may also be completed online.
     
    We are here to help. Please contact us at acolibaba@mygns.ca / smacmillan@mygns.ca 
     
    5) Graduation Plans
    We continue to discuss various plans. We are all hoping for the best but also mapping out options. Our booking at the Crystal Gardens for June 20 is still open, so we have a venue if gathering in groups is a possibility at that point. We are discussing what a virtual grad might look like as well.
     
    Please make sure your grad blurbs are completed. We would also ask that you send three photos of yourself—baby pic, elementary age and a "grad photo" you would like to use to calexander@mygns.ca. Polina, our Grad Prefect, has suggested that if we are still self-isolating, that a photo in grad dresses or with a suit and tie would be wonderful. If you have actual photos, please take a photo of them. If you have digital copies, please send them as well in large format.
     
    Please continue to reach out and contact any one of us should you have further questions or concerns. We are here to help and will continue to update you as the term progresses.
     
    Best regards,
     
    Doug Palm
    Principal, Senior School
    (dpalm@mygns.ca)
     
    Harvey Thorau
    Vice-Principal, Senior School
    (hthorau@mygns.ca)
     
    Angie Girard
    Diploma Coordinator
    (agirard@mygns.ca)
    Samantha Goddard
    Coordinator, Curriculum Leadership
    (sgoddard@mygns.ca)
  • Next Steps for our Grade 12s

    Dear Grade 12 students and families,
     
    We thank you for your patience as we work through these trying times together. Since the cancellation of the IB examinations on Monday, we know that you have been waiting on tenterhooks for answers to your questions. We would like to provide some insight into what the remainder of the year will look like for you, our graduating students. In addition, IB has now provided all schools with additional details and we would like to share these with you.
     
    Our key goals for our Grade 12s as they embark upon the Spring Term:
    • To meet Ministry of Education and Diploma Programme requirements
    • To finish the year strong and feeling supported
    • To be well prepared for post-secondary life
    What is the plan for the remainder of the year?
     
    IB Diploma:
    • Diploma courses will continue until April 30 during which time students will be wrapping up content, ensuring they finish strong and are well prepared for their post-secondary plans.
    • This is an opportunity for students to improve upon their Spring Term Grades which may have a positive impact on the final grades which appear on the students’ BC transcripts.
    • For Diploma Candidates, the CAS wrap-up will continue as planned using the posted deadlines: 
      • April 3 – all reflections/evidence added and completed in ManageBac
      • April 6 to 15 – CAS Advisors review portfolios
      • April 16 to 30 – Final CAS interview takes place virtually
    • For Course Candidates, we will work with students to ensure that the graduation requirement of service is met.
    Provincial:
    • Provincial classes will continue into June, as was previously planned, during which time students will be wrapping up content, ensuring they finish strong and are well prepared for their post-secondary plans.
    Graduation:
    • Our Senior School Leadership Team has been working hard to formulate a plan on how best to celebrate our graduates and send them off in style in case our original plans are not able to go ahead. We have been discussing a number of scenarios and we will outline plans for the end of the year as we get closer to May. Communication will come from Mr. Thorau and will be sent directly to families, and through our Grad Prefect, Polina Vitrouk. 
    IB Questions & Answers:
    Will IB Diploma and Certificates still be awarded?
    Yes, the IB will still be awarding Diplomas and Certificates based on a variety of data. See below.
     
    How will the IB final results be calculated?
    IB will use Internal Assessments, Predicted Grades and historical data to calculate final results.
    We are all familiar with Internal Assessments and Predicted Grades, but historical data most likely needs to be clarified. Historical data will include analysis from previous exam sessions, GNS school data, and subject data. 
     
    How can the IB be certain that they are not disadvantaging those students who perform better in exam conditions than in coursework?
    The IB will use a calculation that is based on the relationship between coursework marks, predicted grades and subject grades to estimate the subject grades candidates would have received if the exams had gone ahead. If the relationship between these elements shows that in previous sessions candidates globally tended to achieve higher outcomes on their exams than their coursework, the calculation used will reflect that.
     
    Will the IB refund exam fees?
    This information is not yet available from IB, but they have indicated that they will provide more information related to all finance questions in due course.
     
    Will universities accept the results?
    IB has been in frequent contact with universities since the pandemic was first announced and has established a working group to focus on the challenges that this situation presents to schools, students and staff. They will provide universities with clear information about the process by which final marks were determined this year. IB will also continue to ensure the validity and reliability of their assessment protocols. Each university will be able to make informed decisions as they have done in the past regarding admissions, credit granting, advanced standing, and scholarship awards. Our University Guidance Advisors, Angela Colibaba and Sarah MacMillan, will continue to monitor the situation and will update students and families as new information becomes available.
     
    How can I let IB know where to send my grades?
    Mme Girard will be sending out a Google Form by April 15 which you will complete with the required information and submit. She will then upload your requests to the IB information system.
     
     
    Please do reach out and contact any one of us should you have further questions or concerns. We are committed to ensuring that this final term at GNS, although unique in many ways, will be meaningful!
     
    Best regards,
     
    Doug Palm
    Principal, Senior School
    (dpalm@mygns.ca)
     
    Harvey Thorau
    Vice-Principal, Senior School
    (hthorau@mygns.ca)
     
    Angie Girard
    Diploma Coordinator
    (agirard@mygns.ca)
    Samantha Goddard
    Coordinator, Curriculum Leadership
    (sgoddard@mygns.ca)
  • GNS Family Update COVID-19 032720

    Dear Members of the GNS Community,
     
    During this unprecedented and challenging time, it is very positive to see how our community continues to pull together to keep each other safe, maintain our programs and assist others. Since we first received a report from a thoughtful and courageous member of the GNS community who was ill, had travelled and had been tested for Covid-19 following a visit to the school, we have been working diligently to do our best to be proactive and innovative.

    GNS GO!

    We wish to say thank you to all of our faculty members who, despite being on a well-deserved break, have worked enthusiastically to ensure we are able to launch our remote learning program, Gryphons Online! (GO!), on Tuesday, March 31. We are also thankful to our staff members, especially those in the IT Department, who have been instrumental in preparing for GO! We are excited to be able to share with you the results of all their efforts and invite you to read through the documents linked below:
    1. GNS GO! for the Junior School
    2. GNS GO! for the Middle School
    3. GNS GO! for the Senior School
    We are looking forward to seeing our staff and students come together next week as well begin this new journey in learning together. Many of our staff created welcome back messages for their classes and we hope you enjoy these compilations:

    Financial Matters

    Over the past two weeks, we have received numerous inquiries from families regarding financial matters. As part of our ongoing effort to keep you informed, we have developed a list of FAQs to respond to these questions and will continue to update them on a regular basis. The Finance FAQs can be found on the website on our COVID-19 Support page.

    GNS Virtual Admissions

    With the help of Blackbaud and Google, GNS Admissions was easily able to adapt its application and assessment process to an online format and is already busy processing new students who will enter GNS for the 2020/2021 school year. 
     
    Prospective families—both local and international—can complete the admissions process remotely by following these steps:
    1. Virtual Tour of GNS – Coming soon!
    2. Complete the inquiry form – families then receive an invitation to our online application form
    3. Initial Meeting using Google Meet – families can learn about GNS from our Admissions Team and ask us their questions in real-time
    4. Math and English Assessment – once applications are received, each student will complete assessment testing while being invigilated by a member of our Admission Staff via Google Meet
    5. Interview (Grades 6 to 12) – a 30-minute meeting with each student via Google Meet
    6. Decision – the Admissions Committee will make a decision within one week of testing and interviews 
    Prospective families can contact GNS Admissions Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at admissions@mygns.ca or by calling 250-857-3718.
     
     
    The current situation is very fluid, but we expect to have greater clarity in the coming days and weeks. We will continue to work to keep you informed on a weekly basis, if not more frequently. Please do not hesitate to send us your questions so we may address them.
     
    Finally, it is really positive to recognize that we can be certain that self-isolation, social distancing and the closure of the school we love, and value will not last forever. In the meantime, these actions will help to protect many as we move towards a resolution. We are very fortunate to be able to work together and, as members of the GNS community, do our best to help our families, others in our local area and around the globe.
     
    Warmly,
     
    Glenn Zederayko
    Head of School
  • Important Guidelines for School Visits on March 26

    On Thursday, March 26, we are providing access to our campuses for students and parents to retrieve any necessary supplies or personal belongings. Please carefully follow the instructions that were included in the emails sent yesterday evening. The outlined procedure was designed to ensure this access occurs in a safe environment for all the staff, students and parents involved.
     
    For those students, particularly our Family Boarding students, who are not in Victoria and therefore unable to visit the school to retrieve their belongings, the school will be in touch soon with a plan for how this, and various other issues, will be addressed.
     
    Here is a reminder of those instructions:

    Important Guidelines for Both Campuses

    1. Please bring a bag(s) to collect any supplies or belongings.
    2. Please drive to your campus and limit the number of people coming to the school as much as possible. For Junior School families it would be best if one parent only were to visit the school. For Middle and Senior School families, one parent (to drive and wait in the car) and the student(s) should attend.
    3. Students should not come to school without a parent.
    4. Please observe, and instruct your children to observe, social distancing guidelines and remain 2 metres away from other parents, students or staff while onsite.
    5. Please remind students that this is not an opportunity to socialize or visit with peers on campus. The focus should be on retrieving belongings while maintaining the safety of everyone.
    6. Students and parents should follow the directions of any staff on site.
    7. Please do not linger on campus any longer than is necessary.
    8. Please do not come to campus if anyone in your house is ill. Contact your principal to discuss other options.

    Junior School

    1. Please arrive at the school during your assigned time slot. Parents with more than one child may pick up any other children’s materials at the same time.
    2. Proceed to the cone marked for your child’s class.
    3. Mr. Bowers and Mrs. Giommi will direct parents to enter the classrooms one person at a time.

    Middle School

    1. Please arrive during the time slot allocated for your child’s homeform.
    2. Parents should wait in their car in the Maddison Street parking lot while students enter the campus via the stairs outside the Scott Learning Commons.
    3. Students should go to their homeforms and lockers to retrieve their supplies. Non-band students should then immediately return to the Maddison Street parking lot and head home.
    4. As their final stop, any band students may retrieve their instruments from the Henderson Music Centre. Please enter the building via the doors closest to the art and choir rooms and exit through the main doors into the Maddison Street parking lot.
    5. The Middle School Leadership Team will be present to ensure this procedure is safely followed.

    Senior School

    1. Please arrive during the time slot allocated for your child’s homeform unless alternative arrangements have been made with Mr. Palm.
    2. Parents should wait in their car in the Maddison Street parking lot while students enter the building where their locker is located.
    3. Students should go to their lockers and retrieve their supplies. Non-band and non-visual arts students should then immediately return to the Maddison Street parking lot and head home.
    4. As their final stop, any band students may retrieve their instruments from the Henderson Music Centre. Please enter the building via the doors closest to the art and choir rooms and exit through the main doors into the Maddison Street parking lot. Visual arts students may also visit the art room to retrieve any necessary supplies.
    5. The Senior School Leadership Team will be present to ensure this procedure is safely followed.
  • First steps to Moving to Online Learning at the Senior School

    Dear Senior School Families,
     
    As you are all fully aware, both GNS campuses were closed on March 10 out of an abundance of caution that was specific to our community. Subsequently, it was announced that all schools in BC will be closed for the foreseeable future. As a result, our teaching and learning will move to a system of online delivery that we are calling GO! (Gryphons Online!). We have been immersed in contingency planning and feel well prepared to transition to online teaching and learning following both a synchronous and asynchronous model.
     
    On Friday of this week, we will send parents and students specific details about this as we approach the first day of GO! which will commence on Tuesday, March 31, when,at 8:30 a.m., students will be contacted by their homeform teachers to join a Google Meet as a homeform. Homeform teachers will outline the steps and expectations for the future, whilst giving the opportunity for technical troubleshooting, and allaying any anxieties or worries our students might have. Throughout there will be ongoing contact with all students, made by homeform and subject teachers using a variety of tools, including email and Google Meet.
     
    We are very understanding of the support at home, as GNS families work to provide a learning environment that is conducive to continued learning. We also believe that keeping a clear schedule is in the best interests of our students in this process. An example of this is to plan a regular lunchtime and breaks, at home, just as we do when we are in school. This is also a good opportunity to get away from screens and have some flexibility to move around the home.
     
    We are also mindful of the fact that we don’t want our students to be connected to devices for the duration of each day. Our teachers will try to ensure that learning is balanced and inclusive, and gives multiple opportunities for students to have access to exercise, the backyard, face-to-face conversations, inquiry-based activities, as well as creativity and play.
     
    Thank you for understanding. We will continue to keep you informed and please do not hesitate to reach out with any further questions you may have as we begin this new journey in learning together.
     
    All the best,
    Doug Palm
    Glenlyon Norfolk Senior School, Principal
    dpalm@mygns.ca
    Cell: 250 507 5241
     
    P.S. We’re delighted to share with you that Darren Laur, the White Hatter, is running some free online workshops around digital safety and citizenship. These run at 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, March 26. More details available at www.thewhitehatter.ca.
     

    EXTRA INFORMATION:

    We are striving to provide a system that will allow students to pick up any necessary supplies in a safe environment. Please be aware that all areas of GNS have had a deep clean since they were last open. We would also like to make it clear that families only need to come into school if they feel it is absolutely necessary.
    • The Senior School buildings and locker areas will be made available Thursday, March 26 for students to pick-up resource materials, instruments and technology, at allocated times.
    • The expectation is that students will clean out their lockers and take all belongings home. Please bring a bag with you when you come.
    • The Senior School Leadership Team will be present to assist with this process.
    • We will be ensuring that student safety is a priority and so will be following the rules of social distancing for the duration of student visits to campus.
    • In order to facilitate this process efficiently and safely, we ask that you follow the homeform schedule indicated below:
      • 1:00 - 1:15 - Brown, Irvine, Burnett, Doerksen
      • 1:20 - 1:35 - Colibaba, Kemble, Dalin, Drury, Easton
      • 1:40 - 1:55 - Giommi, Elbert, Girard, Vallance
      • 2:00 - 2:15 - Harris, LeSurf, MacMillan, Mikes
      • 2:20 - 2:35 - Lundgren, Nielson, Morales Gill
      • 2:40 - 2:55 - O’Callaghan, Nordin, Stanley
      • 3:00 - 3:15 - Wells, Ver
      • 3:20 - 3:35 - K Thomson, S Thompson
      • 3:40 - 3:55 - Smook/Penty, Sicotte
      • 4:00 - 4:15 - Reeves, McKerlich
    Please note, we feel the best way to ensure social distancing is for families to come to the Maddison Street Parking Lot at the allocated time, by car, and wait in their vehicles for further instructions. All school doors will be open, and students will enter the building where their locker is located taking instructions from the staff member present. If there is a need to pick up an instrument they may finish their visit by going into the Henderson Music Centre to pick up instruments as necessary, entering from the door nearest the art/choir rooms and exiting to the Maddison Street Parking lot by the main steps. We will chaperone this very carefully to ensure safe, social distancing at all times. We request that once students empty their lockers, they are left open, with the lock inside.
     
    If you cannot make any of these times, please contact Doug Palm by email (dpalm@mygns.ca ) to arrange alternative arrangements.
  • First steps to Moving to Online Learning at the Middle School

    Dear Middle School Families,
     
    As you are all fully aware, both GNS campuses were closed on March 10 out of an abundance of caution that was specific to our community. Subsequently, it was announced that all schools in BC will be closed for the foreseeable future. As a result, our teaching and learning will move to a system of online delivery that we are calling GO! (Gryphons Online!). We have been immersed in contingency planning and feel well prepared to make this transition to online teaching and learning following both a synchronous and asynchronous model.
     
    On Friday of this week, we will send parents and students specific details as we approach the first day of GO! which will commence on Tuesday, March 31. The first communication for Middle School families from GO! will come from homeform teachers who will outline the steps and expectations for the future, whilst giving the opportunity for technical troubleshooting, and allaying any anxieties or worries our students might have. Throughout there will be ongoing contact with all students, made by homeform and subject teachers using a variety of tools, including email and Google Meet.
     
    We are very understanding of the support given at home, as GNS families work to provide an environment that is conducive to continued learning and engagement. We also believe that keeping to a clear schedule, that follows the times of our current timetable, is in the best interests of our students in this process. An example of this is to have a regular lunchtime followed by Drop Everything And Read time from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m. every day, at home, just as we do when we are in school. This is also a good opportunity to get away from screens and to have some time for movement and fresh air!
     
    We are mindful of the fact that we don’t want our students to be connected to devices for the duration of each day. Our teachers will try to ensure that learning is balanced and inclusive, and gives multiple opportunities for access to exercise, the backyard, face-to-face (virtual) conversations, inquiry-based activities, as well as creativity and play.
     
    Thank you for understanding. We will continue to keep you informed and please do not hesitate to reach out with any further questions you may have as we begin this new journey in learning together.
     
    All the very best,
    Jake Burnett
    Glenlyon Norfolk Middle School, Principal
    Cell: 250 507 2745
     
    P.S. We’re delighted to share with you that Darren Laur, the White Hatter, is running some free online workshops around digital safety and citizenship. These run at 3.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, March 26. More details available at www.thewhitehatter.ca 
     

    EXTRA INFORMATION:

    We are striving to provide a system that will allow students to pick up any necessary supplies in a safe environment. Please be aware that all areas of GNS have had a deep clean since they were last open. We would also like to make it clear that families only need to come into school if they feel it is absolutely necessary.
    • The Middle School classrooms and locker areas will be made available Thursday, March 26 for students to pick-up resource materials, instruments and technology, at allocated times.
    • The expectation is that students will clean out their lockers and take all belongings home. Please bring a bag with you when you come.
    • The Middle School Leadership Team will be present to assist with this process.
    • We will be ensuring that student safety is a priority and so will be following the rules of social distancing for the duration of student visits to campus.
    • In order to facilitate this process efficiently and safely, we ask that you follow the schedule indicated below:
      • 6HJ 8:30 - 9:00
      • 6BD 9:00 - 9:30
      • 6GH 9:30 - 10:00
      • 7OS and 7GP 10:00 - 10:30
      • 7GH 10:30 - 11:00
      • 7HM 11:00 - 11:30
      • 8CW and 8CM 11:30 - 12:00
      • 8MS 12:00 - 12:30
      • 8SS 12:30 - 1:00
    Please note, we feel the best way to ensure social distancing is for families to come to the Maddison Street Parking Lot at the allocated time, by car, and wait in their vehicles for further instructions. All school doors will be open, and students will enter the campus by the Scott Learning Commons. Their final stop would be the Henderson Music Centre to pick up instruments as necessary, entering from the door nearest the art/choir rooms and exiting to the Maddison Street Parking lot by the main steps. We will chaperone this very carefully to ensure safe, social distancing at all times. We request that once students empty their lockers, they are left open, with the padlock inside.
     
    If you cannot make any of these times, please contact Jake Burnett by email (jburnett@mygns.ca) to arrange alternative arrangements.
  • First steps to Moving to Online Learning at the Junior School

    Dear Junior School Families,
     
    As you are all fully aware, both GNS campuses were closed on March 10 out of an abundance of caution that was specific to our community. Subsequently, it was announced that all schools in BC will be closed for the foreseeable future. As a result, our teaching and learning will move to a system of online delivery that we are calling GO! (Gryphons Online!). We have been immersed in contingency planning and feel well prepared to make this transition.
     
    During the initial phases, families will be contacted by their children’s homeform teachers, outlining the steps and expectations for the future, whilst giving the opportunity for technical troubleshooting, and allaying any anxieties or worries our students might have. On Friday of this week, we will send parents and students specific details about this as we approach the first day of GO! which will commence on Tuesday, March 31. Throughout there will be ongoing contact with all students, made by homeform and subject teachers using a variety of tools, including email and Google Meet.
     
    We are very understanding of the support given at home, as GNS families work to provide an environment that is conducive to continued learning and engagement. Keeping a routine for your child is important to making remote learning a success. Work on devices, projects, etc., needs to be interspersed with activity and movement. Reading every day, both for pleasure and challenge, is expected on a daily basis.
     
    To help establish a routine, we plan to have an assembly each week that we will send to you via video link. Homeform teachers will join with students in small groups daily via Google Meet to chat, discuss and otherwise maintain the important connection with their teacher and their peers. A number of activities/assignments will be sent home, with students being given some choice on how many they actually accomplish. There will be a minimum number of assignments that must be completed and, additionally, there will also be optional activities students may choose to do over and above what is required. Specialists will connect in with the learning, but not in a way that will overwhelm our students. Our primary focus will be keeping up with foundation skills in literacy and numeracy. Units of inquiry and specialist subjects will be included as appropriate, but not to the same extent.
     
    We are mindful of the fact that we don’t want our students to be connected to devices for the duration of each day. Our teachers will try to ensure that learning is balanced and inclusive, and gives multiple opportunities for students to have access to exercise, the backyard, face-to-face conversations, inquiry-based activities, as well as creativity and play.
     
    Thank you for understanding. We will continue to keep you informed and please do not hesitate to reach out with any further questions you may have as we begin this new journey in learning together.
     
    Warmest regards,
    Jean Bigelow
    Glenlyon Norfolk Junior School, Principal
    jbigelow@mygns.ca
    Cell: 250 507 8294
     
    P.S. We’re delighted to share with you that Darren Laur, the White Hatter, is running some free online workshops around digital safety and citizenship. These run at 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, March 26. More details available at www.thewhitehatter.ca 
     

    EXTRA INFORMATION:

    Pick-up of Materials Timetable
     
    In anticipation of a possible complete shutdown of non-essential movement around the city, we will be opening up your child’s homeform classroom, Thursday, March 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to give you access to the materials (iPads, worksheets, etc.) your child might need for the resumption of the ‘virtual’ new term starting Tuesday, March 31.
     
    When you arrive at the Junior Campus, during your assigned time (schedule below), please proceed to the cone indicating your child’s class. We shall be observing social distancing guidelines as outlined by Dr. Bonnie Henry, remaining 2 metres away from the next person. Spacing will be indicated on the ground by smaller cones.
     
    Mrs. Giommi and I will be at the school to direct one person at a time into each classroom.
     
    If, unfortunately, you can’t visit the campus during the designated time, please organize for another parent to pick-up your child’s things. Parents with more than one child are welcome to pick up any other children’s materials at the same time. Please bring a bag to collect any school supplies you want to take for your child’s use at home. We once again ask that you line up at your child’s class cone and observe social distancing guidelines.
     
    Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten will not require any materials from school to resume regular classes. Therefore, we ask that you remain home unless there is something essential that you need to pick up from your child’s cubby. If you do need to pick-up something, please do so, under the direction of Mrs. Giommi, between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m.
     
    Grade11:00–11:3011:30–12:0012:00–12:3012:30–1:00
    1 Filgate (16)1. Bateman
    2. Bi
    3. Colibaba
    4. Crowe
    1. Demetrioff
    2. Dong (Christopher)
    3. Dong (Nanxi)
    4. Gill
    1. Madunic
    2. Merino
    3. Pan| 4. Simpson
    1. Traylen
    2. Wall
    3. Zhou
    1 Graham (16)1. Blenntoft
    2. Carkener
    3. Clark-Shigley
    4. Daniel-Park
    1. Hayes
    2. Howard
    3. King
    4. Parkes
    1. Plett
    2. Sangha
    3. Son
    4. Steele
    1. Tasko
    2. Ubeda Bosman
    3. Wall
    4. Xin
    2 Durovick (18)1. Arneja
    2. Bjornson
    3. Curran
    4. Davey
    5. Gao
    1. Heal
    2. Hodgson
    3. Khurram
    4. Kim
    5. Lavrenyuk
    1. Martel
    2. Menzies
    3. Nielson
    4. Putland
    1. Saibish
    2. Singal
    3. Warder
    4. Wright
    2 Newman (19)1. Algar
    2. Barnes
    3. Baterina
    4. Chan
    5. De Meo
    1. Harrison
    2. Larson
    3. Li
    4. Moss
    5. Pathak
    1. Payette
    2. Pereira
    3. Saklas
    4. Scott
    5. Shultz
    1. Simpson
    2. Spytz
    3. Story
    4. Tiampo
    3 Crossley (18)1. Bateman
    2. Carrow
    3. Crowe
    4. Dhrolia
    5. Ertz
    1. Ewert
    2. Huculak-Payne
    3. Humber
    4. McCall
    1. McLaren
    2. Mills
    3. Pagett
    4. Proctor
    1. Shaw
    2. Sutton
    3. Wilkinson
    4. Zhang
    3 Palm (19)1. Barrie
    2. Brooks
    3. Coughlin
    4. Gage
    5. Hselip-Giovando
    1. Humber
    2. Laing
    3. Lawson
    4. Lloyd-Kruger
    1. Robinson
    2. Proctor
    3. Sangha
    4. Shanks
    1. Shaw-Lewis
    2. Sluggett
    3. Winters
    4. Zhang
    4 McCall (17)1. Adam
    2. Bellhouse
    3. Dallin
    4. Holtum
    5. Lomnes
    1. Kim
    2. Metso
    3. Pelligra
    4. Ritzer
    1. Scott
    2. Simpson
    3. Smith
    4. Stamp-Vincent
    1. Staniforth
    2. Stohmann
    3. Webb
    4. Yu
    4 Seliwoniuk (18)1. Bandechha
    2. Bellhouse
    3. Bergseth
    4. Burn
    5. D’Angelo
    1. Doerksen
    2. Esparza
    3. Hart
    4. Laing
    1. Hassani
    2. Iqbal
    3. Maycock
    4. Nadra
    1. Rowand
    2. Serowka
    3. Staniforth
    4. Toffoletto
    5. Traylen
    5 Stark (23)1. Barnes
    2. Beiderwieden
    3. Blenntoft
    4. Breese
    5. Brooks
    6. Esposito
    1. Golonka
    2. Hodgson
    3. Horton
    4. Johal
    5. Mall
    6. Milford
    1. Papps
    2. Saklas
    3. Sangha
    4. Scott
    5. Shultz
    1. Spytz
    2. Stewart
    3. Tasko
    4. Tiampo
    5. Ward
    5 Wallace (23)1. Beiderwieden
    2. Brunkan
    3. Carino
    4. Colquhoun
    5. Drohlia
    6. Golonka
    1. Hartfield
    2. Hlady
    3. Huang
    4. Lam
    5. Mann
    6. McElroy
    1. Martel
    2. Murray
    3. Nyantahe
    4. Pagett
    5. Pope-Lau
    6. Roach
    1. Stark
    2. Ward
    3. Wei
    4.Wharton
    5. Wilson
  • GNS Family Update on School Closure: COVID-19 031820

    Dear GNS Families, 
     
    I hope you and your family are well during these uncertain times. As indicated by the recent decision to close the school, GNS is committed to a careful approach that ensures we do our best to keep every member of our community healthy and safe. Your patience, understanding and adaptability in this are greatly appreciated. I fully understand that all of this uncertainty must be concerning on a personal and family level. We urge you to be rigorous in taking precautions regarding social distancing, hand hygiene and cough etiquette. On a personal level, I am optimistic that in the final analysis, individually and as a community, we will have much to celebrate with regard to how we live our core values and look after others through this time. 
     
    We want you to know that GNS will be providing consistent online and virtual approaches for effective teaching and learning, following the end of March Break. Our programing will continue to respect the needs of students of different ages and stages. I am thankful to the members of the leadership team, all of whom have been fully engaged to ensure that our efforts are highly successful. One area we also remain focused on is providing support for Grade 12 students to be well prepared to complete their IB Diploma studies, including external exams, and to meet their graduation requirements and gain acceptance to the university of their choice. In conclusion, this means that all GNS students will begin learning online and connecting with their teachers on Tuesday, March 31. More details will follow shortly.
     
    I want to note that most of us are venturing into new territory with this effort and recognize that it is likely to be difficult at times. Just as importantly, this will be different and challenging for our students. We do not expect perfection to be accomplished immediately as students, teachers or staff work through this unprecedented situation. I have encouraged and supported my colleagues to approach their work as an opportunity to learn as they strive to do their best for students, parents and each other. Risk-taking, innovation and being adaptable will be encouraged. As parents, assisting your child to understand that this will be a new and, at times, a challenging experience, will be helpful. 
     
    These are extraordinary times, and we are grateful to have a focused commitment by GNS teachers and staff, to do their best to keep our students learning and engaged, and to keep you as parents informed. The members of the leadership team will remain open to hearing from members of our community as we plan, assess and fine-tune.
     
    At this time, there are some additional developments that may be of interest you:
    1. The IB PYP, MYP and DP evaluation visit has been postponed and will not take place as originally planned from April 15 to 17. We have been told that the visit will likely be rescheduled for the Fall.
    2. Our International Young Round Square Conference planned to start on April 30 has, regrettably, been cancelled. We have also cancelled our upcoming Middle School student exchanges. These decisions are based on recent updates from the Canadian Government regarding 14-day self-isolation periods for travellers coming to Canada.
    3. The BC School Sports Board of Directors has, effective immediately, suspended the Spring Season of Play indefinitely, and in the interest of student-athlete safety, has suspended all school sport-related activities including training, practices, jamborees, scrimmages, matches and similar inter and intra school sport activities.
     
    As we start the next term, we anticipate opening both campuses in a controlled fashion to allow students to obtain what they require for their learning at home. In Junior Kindergarten to Grade 2, we will send materials and activities directly to parents through Seesaw, via email and through Google Meetings. In Grades 3 to 5, we will loan cleaned, school-owned iPads to students for their use at home. They have the appropriate filters installed to keep students safe online. We know that students in Grades 6 to 12 are already prepared to access an online learning system by using Chromebooks and Laptops. With a view to ensuring that everyone is kept safe, we will schedule visits carefully and assist you to observe exemplary practice in relation to hygiene and social distancing.
     
    We are pleased to let you know that the other functions of the school are being staffed, but in most cases remotely, to keep people safe. Our colleagues are more than happy to assist you with questions and requests around tax receipts, enrolment, tuition payments, donations, etc. In addition, we have created a space on our website to share updates, answer questions and to provide links to resources: https://www.mygns.ca/school-wide-updates.
     
    Undoubtedly in the next few days and weeks, there are going to be moments of stress, anxiety, and disappointment as we face something unprecedented locally, nationally and internationally. GNS is committed to providing a level of comfort and consistency to our students, our parents and our colleagues in a time of many questions and much uncertainty. We know that together we will do our very best. As this situation is very fluid, we will re-evaluate our decisions and update you frequently. As I have noted, the degree to which our community is pulling together at this time is both important and impressive. I am confident that we can achieve much success together.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Glenn Zederayko
    Head of School
  • Update on School Closure Number 5: COVID-19 031420

    Dear Members of the GNS Community,
     
    GNS is very pleased to announce that the test results for our community member for COVID-19 have come back negative (i.e., no infection).

    The school was closed as a precaution earlier this week because a member of the GNS community reported that they may have been exposed to the virus. The individual, who was tested earlier this week, received the results back this morning—delayed beyond the expected 2 to 3 days because of a significant increase in tests being done at this time.

    GNS thanks our students, parents, and staff for their patience and understanding in this uncertain time. We will be in touch with further updates in the coming week.
     
    Warmly,
     
    Glenn Zederayko
    Head of School
  • Update on School Closure Number 4: COVID-19 031320

    Dear Members of the GNS Community,
     
    I want to let you know that in an email earlier today to my colleagues, I noted how very proud I am of our community as we pull together to address this difficult situation. I can well imagine it is proving to be very challenging for you as rapid and often concerning changes in our world continue to occur. I am grateful to everyone for being calm and working to provide a high degree of care and support for each other.
     
    Testing Update:
    Unfortunately, we do not yet have the test results for the individual. This is incredibly frustrating for you, the community and the individual. The individual has indicated to me that they are very sorry that we are all in this position. I stressed that this is not the individual’s fault in any way. We have both worked to try to expedite the sharing of a result. We have been told by public health and the individual’s doctor that, because of the volume of tests being conducted across the province, the wait times have increased beyond what was originally indicated. Until we receive a result, our campuses will continue to be closed and our Spring Break Camps have been cancelled. I will update you as soon as we hear the results of the testing.
     
    Non-Essential Travel, Reporting and 14-ay Self Isolation:
    As noted yesterday, the BC government announced it is discouraging all non-essential travel outside of Canada including visits to the US. We are hearing that many of you have altered your plans. We are thankful that all who travel outside of Canada will self-isolate and remain away from work or school for 14-days upon return. As part of this, we will work to provide support for students who are self-isolating. In order to assist us to ensure everyone is safe, and to help us provide support if your family has travelled outside of Canada, please contact my assistant, Gail Windle (gwindle@mygns.ca), prior to the end of March Break to provide information including dates of travel, destinations and locations of connections. Out of respect for your privacy, we will only share your information with those teachers who need to know and request that they keep this confidential.
     
    With regard to ensuring the safety of our community, we will be asking faculty and staff to share the same information regarding any of their travel and insist they strictly observe the self-isolation mandate. For the most part, they have already cancelled any travel plans. Finally, we want you to know that 29 of our 35 family boarding students have not left Canada and will not require any form of self-isolation. The remaining 6 students and their families are working closely with us to determine the best solution to keep learning happening while keeping all members of the GNS community safe.
     
    Post March Break Planning:
    We are planning how we will continue to deliver our programs regardless of the circumstances after the break. We all know that the GNS team members are committed to doing their best for their students. They recognize that, at this time, we must be nimble and inventive. We are committed to ensuring that highly effective teaching and learning in our IB programs continues and will share what we believe to be the best approach prior to the end of March Break.
     
    In closing, on behalf of all members of our community, I wish you the best possible experience during March Break. I was reminded today, listening to our Prime Minister, that we are all in a very fortunate position as members of the GNS community where we have the ability to look after ourselves, friends and neighbours. He also reminded me that we are fortunate to have the opportunity to look after those who are in more difficult circumstances. Knowing the strong values we share, I look forward to all of us working together to ensure the best results under these challenging circumstances.
     
    Warmly,
     
    Glenn Zederayko
    Head of School
  • Update on School Closure Number 3: COVID-19 031220

    Dear Members of the GNS Community,
     
    I’m writing tonight with an update regarding the current situation at our school as well as the implications of new travel guidelines from the BC government. Due to the apparent backlog of COVID-19 testing, we still do not yet have any test results for the individual in our community. We understand the uncertainty and concern the current situation has generated, but want to reassure the entire community we’re taking guidance directly from the Provincial Medical Health Officer, who has assessed the likelihood of infection as low.

    I know many of you are anxious about what happens at GNS after March Break, particularly with the announcement by the Province that individuals travelling outside the country must now observe a 14-day self-isolation period upon their return. We will, of course, insist that families observe this procedure. In addition, now that the WHO has declared COVID-19 is a worldwide pandemic, we are planning for ongoing potential challenges through the end of the school year. We have been anticipating this situation for some time. We will take time over the coming weeks to finalize our plans that focus first on keeping all members of the GNS Community safe. We are also doing our best to ensure teaching and learning continues in a highly effective manner. We will update you more about this work prior to the end of March Break.
     
    Your ongoing support and effort to assist us to do our best to keep everyone healthy and safe is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Glenn Zederayko
    Head of School
  • Update on School Closure Number 2: COVID-19 031120

    Dear Members of the GNS Community,
     
    The results of testing have not come back yet. We are optimistic that we will have results to share on Friday at the latest. We continue to work with the BC Medical Health Officer to guide us in our actions, and we continue to hear that this does not appear to be a high-risk case.
     
    Many people have asked us about travel. Advisories continue to be updated from the Government of Canada at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html
     
    For those families with Spring Break travel plans, please note that in addition to final destinations, flight connections should be avoided in areas where the Government of Canada Travel Advisories have assessed a Level 2 (Practise Special Precautions), Level 3 (Avoid Non-Essential Travel) or Level 4 (Avoid All Travel) advisory.
     
    We are very sorry that we cannot give you more information at this point and we know that this is very frustrating. Please know we are continuing to do our best to keep the school a safe and healthy place for everyone while respecting privacy concerns.
     
    Best regards,
     
    Glenn Zederayko
    Head of School
  • Update on School Closure Number 1: COVID-19 031020

    Dear Members of the GNS Community,
     
    We have been continuing to work closely with the BC Medical Health Officer, a doctor from Island Health, to guide us in our actions. We have been advised that this does not appear to be a high-risk case based on the individual’s travel. Additionally, we have been told that results of testing for the individual mentioned in our previous communication should be available by Friday at the latest. At this point, we are unable to ascertain when it will be safe to enter the school buildings and therefore will continue to restrict access to all buildings on both campuses. Therefore, the school remains closed.
     
    People have asked us many questions about medical-related issues and how to keep their families safe. We are not qualified to answer these. We have been counselled by Island Health that the best source of information, and a place that is both reliable and up-to-date, is the relevant section of the VIHA website at: http://www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/diseases-conditions/novel-coronavirus-information
     
    This site covers issues about self-isolation, advice for visiting high-risk individuals as well as sharing good practices around good hygiene, keeping healthy, and ongoing preventative measures. 
     
    Many people have asked us about travel. Advisories continue to be updated from the Government of Canada at: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html
     
    We are also aware that some media have erroneously reported that the individual referenced has tested positive, which is untrue. We still await the test results. As many rumours and misrepresented facts may continue to arise over the course of the next few days, we encourage you to all obtain your information related to this issue from official GNS publications only, which will come directly from the Head of School. 
     
    We know you have many questions. We cannot address some of these based on our commitment to protecting the privacy of the members of the GNS Community. We appreciate that this is a source of frustration and for that, we are very sorry. We will update our families again tomorrow with regard to this situation.
     
    Best regards,
     
    Glenn Zederayko
    Head of School
  • GNS Closed Until Further Notice 030920

    Dear GNS Families,
     
    This evening, we learned that a member of the GNS community who has been in the school for a significant period of time this past week is ill and, based on their travel history, has been advised by their physician to self-quarantine at home, to await the results of a COVID-19 test. While their doctor advises that the risk is limited, we have made the difficult decision to close the School early for Spring Break beginning Tuesday, March 10 out of an abundance of caution.
     
    Maintaining a sense of calm for our students, staff and the larger community is important, and the safety of everyone remains our greatest priority. We are hopeful that the individual has not been infected but we wanted to act quickly to safeguard our community. We will be communicating with you regularly with updates.
     
    We will be deep cleaning both campuses over March Break with an intensive treatment and plan to resume classes as scheduled following Spring Break on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
     
    Please note the School closure applies to all sporting events, special events, field trips, and clubs for the remainder of the week at both campuses.
     
    We will be creating a contingency plan regarding remote curriculum delivery should the school remain closed beyond the Spring Break. We will be working on arrangements to allow people to access essential items from the school buildings, which are currently closed and secure, when it is safe to do so.
     
    Thank you for your support,
     
    Dr. Glenn Zederayko
    Head of School

COVID-19 FAQs

Visit our COVID-19 FAQs page to find answers to frequently asked questions about Finance, Admissions, Health, and Academics and Programs.
 
On this website you will find information and resources that we hope may support you during these unprecedented times of worry, uncertainty, hope and possibility.

Glenlyon Norfolk School

Junior School (JK to Grade 5)

Middle (Grade 6 to 8) and Senior (Grade 9 to 12) Schools