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COVID-19 Updates


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.

Health FAQs

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: What is COVID-19?

    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
  • Q: What can families do to protect themselves?

    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.
    • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve.
    • Dispose of tissues appropriately.
    • Avoid contact with sick people.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    For further information on how to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19, visit HealthLinkBC or BC Centre for Disease Control.
  • Q: Who needs to self-isolate prior to a return to campus?

    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.
  • Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    Information on the prevention, transmission, symptoms, and treatment of COVID-19 can be found at the Government of Canada website Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Financial Matters

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

Facilities FAQs

List of 1 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: How is GNS keeping school facilities clean?

    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.

Academics and Programs FAQs

List of 7 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: Will Summer FUN at GNS Camps be running during the break?

    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.
    For more information, please visit Summer FUN at GNS or email
  • Q: How will the final transcript be sent to a university?

    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: Please contact either of our University Guidance Advisors, Ms. Colibaba ( or Ms. MacMillan ( if you have any questions.
  • Q: How will Grade 12 students receive “proof of graduation”?

    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.
  • Q: What is GNS doing to ensure it is prepared, as the situation evolves?

    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.
  • Q: Will GNS offer distance learning in the event of a prolonged school closure?

    Yes. GNS GO! (Gryphons Online) was launched for all our students on March 31. Please visit our GNS GO! page for more information about our distance learning program.
  • Q: Will co-curricular programs resume once students are back at school?

    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.
  • Q: Will my child be able to write his/her IB Diploma exam(s)?

    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

Family Boarding & International Students

List of 26 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: Will GNS reopen before the end of this academic year in June 2020?

    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.
  • Q: Will GNS consider any refund on tuition fees for the Spring Term, April to June 2020?

    GNS is aware that many members of our extended community have been facing challenges of financial pressure and considerable uncertainty in the current global crisis. Our assistance measures have been put in place to ensure we do not jeopardize our school and to ensure that we can quickly restart our full onsite learning programmes and co-curriculars as soon as we are able. However, because we have been providing continuity of education through GO!, our remote learning program, we will not be offering a refund or credit for our domestic students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 students.
  • Q: Has GNS provided any refunds on family boarding fees for the Spring Term, April to June 2020?

    We recognize that the boarding experience was not able to be delivered as a result of the pandemic, and as such GNS has refunded the Family Boarding fees related to the Spring Term.
  • Q: Will GNS be open for the start of the new academic year in September 2020?

    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.
  • Q: With the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 impacts, we would like to defer our decision to enrol our child until closer to September when more information is known. Can the school move the tuition deadline in order to accommodate this?

    As an Independent school with many fixed expenses, GNS needs to plan for next year and ensure we have the resources required to deliver an exceptional academic programme and student experience. Knowing our enrolment by the end of June is a critical component of our planning; therefore, we will not be allowing deferrals past the June 15 deadline. The school’s Tuition Refund Plan will apply if notification of withdrawal is provided after June 15. As noted above, if a student is unable to arrive for the 2020/2021 school year due to travel restrictions and you decide to withdraw your child from the school, we will provide a full refund of tuition and family boarding fees. The registration fees and deposits are non-refundable. Deposits can be used towards enrolment in a subsequent year.
  • Q: What will happen if I don’t pay my tuition fees by June 15?

    Your space is not secured until fees are paid. If the tuition fees are paid by June 15, 2020, there is no late fee. If they are paid after June 15, a $300 late fee will be payable. Late payment can also affect course selections, which may need to be re-done with more limited selections available later.
  • Q: Will I be able to travel to GNS from outside of Canada for the beginning of the new school year in September?

    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 July 31 2020. We hope that the restrictions will be changed or lifted after July 31, 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.
  • Q: When will the travel restrictions change?

    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 July 31, 2020. We hope that the restrictions will be changed or lifted after July 31, 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.
  • Q: What will happen if I cannot enter Canada in time for the start of the school year?

    If you cannot enter Canada because of travel restrictions, 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.
  • Q: If our child is not able to leave our country or enter Canada due to travel restrictions and we decide to withdraw our child from GNS, will the school provide any refund of fees?

    If you decide to withdraw your child from GNS, but you would like to wait until the next academic year, you can defer your enrollment. GNS will retain the fees paid and carry them forward. If you decide to withdraw your child and do not want to defer your enrollment, the school will provide a full refund of tuition and family boarding fees. The registration fees and deposits are non-refundable. Deposits can be used towards enrollment in a subsequent year.
  • Q: Will GO! (Gryphons Online!) be available to students in the new academic year?

    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.
  • Q: Should I continue applying for my study permit?

    Yes. This is the advice from the Government of Canada. It is important to continue your application so you will be ready when the travel restrictions are changed or lifted.
  • Q: I am only planning to come to Canada for less than six months, so I don’t need a study permit. Should I apply for one?

    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.
  • Q: I am an international student who lives with my parents in Victoria. What happens when we want to come back to Canada?

    If you and your parents are Canadian citizens, you will be able to travel back to Canada.
    If you and your parents are foreign national/non-Canadians:
  • Q: I am still in Canada but am planning to leave and go back to my home country before September. Is this advisable?

    Given the current situation, we advise you to stay in Canada until school starts in September if it is possible for you to do so.
  • Q: When should I book my return ticket?

    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.
  • Q: What will I have to do before I travel?

    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.
  • Q: What will happen when I arrive in Canada?

    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.
    • Full details for the quarantine requirements can be found on the Government of Canada website here:
  • Q: When will the requirement for quarantine be lifted?

    The Government of Canada put the quarantine requirement in place on March 25, 2020. The order which put quarantine into effect runs until August 31, 2020. We hope that this requirement will be changed or lifted after August 31, 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.
  • Q: Will there be an additional cost for the quarantine requirement provided by GNS for international students arriving for September?

    Yes, there will be an additional cost to cover the 2 week quarantine period. For new students, this will be added to the Head Start Fee. For returning students this will be charged to your contingency account. Further details about the arrangements for quarantine including the cost will be shared with international families as soon as possible.
  • Q: Will there be an orientation program for new Family Boarding Students?

    Yes. It might be a bit different from previous years, but we are committed to ensuring that our new Family Boarding students will be ready for school when we reopen in September.
  • Q: How will GNS keep students safe at school if the students return in September 2020?

    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.
  • Q: What will school be like in the new academic year?

    In the coming weeks, we will share a comprehensive School Reopening Plan which will cover this question in more detail following the recommended health guidelines.
  • Q: What medical and health provision is available to Family Boarding students?

    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.
  • Q: What will happen if there is a ‘second wave’ of the pandemic in the new academic year?

    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.
  • Q: How will GNS stay in touch with international students and their families over the coming months?

    GNS Admissions, Family Boarding and Finance staff will be working through the summer. You will be receiving more information over the coming months.

Admissions FAQs

List of 3 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: Is GNS accepting applications for September 2020 in light of the pandemic?

    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 during our regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Q: How can my child complete the assessments and interviews required for the GNS admission process?

    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.
  • Q: Will GNS be offering school tours or shadow days?

    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 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 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.

Additional FAQs?

Glenlyon Norfolk School

Junior School (JK to Grade 5)

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