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COVID-19 Updates
Return to School Plan

Gryphon Life


At the Junior School, students will wear their uniforms as outlined in the GNS Uniform Guide.
Middle and Senior School students will also follow this guide with one exception. In order to minimize close contact in enclosed spaces, all change rooms will be closed until further notice. On days when students have PHE, they will be permitted to wear their PHE kit to school and for the entire day. Students are expected to wear a clean uniform daily so acquiring an additional set of PHE kit could prove useful.

Courses and Subjects

GNS will maintain its commitment to delivering a high quality educational program for its students. Some courses, activities and learning spaces may need to be modified during the pandemic.

Support for Students

At Home Support
In the event that a student is unable to return to school during Stage 2 (e.g., due to illness, exhibiting symptoms, quarantining or testing periods), teachers will provide academic support similar to how they would during a student absence prior to the pandemic. Students may be provided with self-directed supplementary materials to support instruction missed in-class. These supplementary materials allow for continued learning but aren’t specifically designed to be considered remote learning options as what would be offered during Stage 3. Glenlyon Norfolk School is not licensed by the Ministry of Education to teach our curriculum remotely. Online teaching and instruction can only be made available if the ministry moves school back to Stage 3 and authorizes us to provide remote learning.
Students with Complex Medical Conditions
Most students with disabilities/diverse abilities or medical complexity are not considered at greater risk of experiencing severe illness from COVID-19.
According to the Provincial Health Officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control, most children who are immunocompromised can return to full in-class instruction when safety measures are in place. Protective self-isolation is only recommended for children who are severely immunocompromised, as determined on a case-by-case basis under the guidance of a medical doctor. Students will be required to obtain a doctor’s note indicating the need for accommodations due to severely immunocompromised health-related risks (e.g., students who have had a recent organ transplant, who are receiving chemotherapy, those with an illness impacting their immune system).
In the event that a student is unable to return to in-person instruction as per the aforementioned reasons, the school will work with families to ensure learning can continue and equity of access to learning. Students who require additional supports are identified through a needs assessment.
  • Continuity of learning plans align with the goals identified in a student's Individual Education Plan (IEP).
  • They are developed in consultation with parents/caregivers and the specialists who typically support the student.
  • As the school is not authorized by the Ministry of Education to provide remote learning, this may take the form of supplementary materials being sent home.
GNS maintains a focus on mental health and well-being supports for students at school and will monitor and assess how changes to the delivery of education are impacting the mental and emotional wellbeing of our community.
Movement on Campus
Traffic and movement patterns have been established to limit density and congestion on campus. No matter what particular mobility issue a person faces, they will be able to travel however best it is deemed for them to move about the campus. This may need to be planned and occur outside of busy transitions (just before/waiting until after movement).
Accessibility to Washroom Spaces
All Junior School grades have their own washroom facilities designated for their use only, so Learning Groups will not be sharing facilities. There are also designated staff washrooms that will be cleaned twice a day.
At the Pemberton Woods Campus, occupancy limits and accessibility have been taken into account to ensure access for students and to reduce the need for students to use washrooms in proximity with other Learning Groups.
In-Class Instruction and Support
GNS will continue to provide learning opportunities in accordance with students’ IEPs and their personal academic, social-emotional and behavioural goals. Individuals providing specialized supports will do so following guidelines established by their professional associations.
Across each division, the school makes use of consistent Google Classroom and Google Apps for Education in order to deliver instruction. The students are familiar with their use and they provide a consistent learning management system for the school to use in the event that we move to another stage requiring a hybrid or fully remote learning option. The school also has a 1-to-1 laptop and/or Chromebook program to support students' needs in a hybrid or remote learning stage.
  • Teachers will start the year consistently using online platforms such as Google Classroom, Managebac, and Blackbaud to ensure that lesson outlines, resources, and learning materials are readily accessible.
  • Assignments and assessments will be assigned and submitted online.
  • Students will not be penalized for absences, but will be supported by teachers and Learning Strategies staff to continue learning and completion of program requirements.
  • Learning Strategies teachers will continue to offer additional support with learning and assignment completion during after school Homework Club. These meetings may move to an online video conference if needed in the event that physical distancing cannot be maintained between members of different Learning Groups.
  • Learning Strategies teachers will continue to communicate regularly with parents regarding their child’s approaches to learning and progress on their Individual Education Plan. That is, we will develop goals for the students with IEPs and LPs (Learning Plans), meet with the parents (virtually and/or following safety protocols and distancing when in-person) and provide the same level of support we have always provided. For example, if a student was receiving 1-1 support for reading last year and that same student still requires 1-1 support for reading.
  • Students will continue to receive supports and services as identified in their IEP, including 1:1 supports; and will not be grouped in segregated settings as part of the establishment of cohorts.
  • The Learning Strategies Team (LS Teachers and Educational Assistants) will collaborate closely with teachers to identify students’ needs for support and differentiate instruction and adaptations to assessments as needed.
  • Students who are out of additional languages or elective courses to receive learning support will have designated Learning Strategies support blocks.
  • Learning Strategies teachers will continue to offer in class support and co-teach when appropriate. If working with students and teachers outside their assigned Learning Group, teachers will follow distancing protocols or wear personal protective equipment. If classes move to a stage requiring online learning, the Learning Strategies Teachers and Educational Assistants will continue to join classes in online meetings and offer individual and small group support in Google Meet.
Counselling Supports
The Counselling Offices will remain open for support and students and staff will be required to sit 2 metres apart when interacting with those outside of one’s Learning Group. In addition, hand sanitizing stations are nearby and masks will be worn when distancing cannot be maintained.
Glenlyon Norfolk School is committed to providing quality education to its students. In an effort to achieve this goal, school staff or parents/guardians may refer students for counselling within the school, or students may request counselling from the school counsellor. The aim of the school counselling services is to help students have more effective and rewarding educational experiences within the school community. Possible counselling topics are coping with changes, transitioning back to school, self-esteem, interpersonal relationships, mental health concerns, stress management, fears or worries, academic progress, conflict resolution, adjustment to school or culture, etc. The school counsellor(s) may triage, screen, and recommend that students and/or their family access additional long term therapeutic supports to enhance the student’s circle of care. The school counsellor is available to help navigate referral processes and mental health systems to coordinate appropriate and timely interventions. These services are available at no additional cost. These counselling services are not intended as a substitute for long term clinical counselling. In addition, school counselling is not designed to produce diagnostic assessments which may be necessary to assist a student.
Students of Concern (SOC) meetings are held biweekly in the Middle and Senior School to discuss students with academic, mental or physical health challenges that are impacting them at school. This team works confidentially to assess and make action items to support students individual goals and needs. The SOC consists of the principal, vice principal, academic advisor, academic coordinator, IB Coordinator, counsellor, and Learning Strategies Head of Department.
At the Junior School some of the programs in place to support students’ mental health are:
  • weekly classroom visits to facilitate mindfulness practice
  • weekly classroom visits to teach emotional awareness and regulation skills
  • one-on-one meetings with children with socio-emotional, behavioural, counselling needs
  • telephone contact with parents of children who require counselling support
Counselling will take place in outdoor spaces as much as possible.
Counselling staff created the GNS Wellness Wednesday website during the spring for the whole community to provide access to quality information, parenting resources, mental health and wellness information and community supports. This project will continue in the new school year.
GNS has recently posted for a School Nurse position and is looking to hire for this role prior to the start of the school year in order to support students from JK to Grade 12 with complex medical needs and concerns related to COVID-19. This individual will work closely with staff and faculty and serve as a liaison with parents in communications regarding students with illness, injury, or unique medical needs.


We are preparing for a positive return to our various co-curricular opportunities—arts, athletics, academics, outdoor education and service. More specific details about co-curricular offerings will be communicated as applicable during the year. We will be guided by the recommendations from the Ministries of Health and Education. We will aim towards maintaining distance between members of different Learning Groups and reduced physical contact between those within the same Learning Group. Inter-school events like competitions, tournaments and festivals are not occurring at this time. We anticipate continuing to offer a full and robust selection of activities and offerings. If the current situation deteriorates, we will be able to quickly pivot to online offerings similar to what was available during GNS GO.
Sports, clubs and extracurricular activities
Under the updated health and safety guidelines, high-intensity physical activities need to:
  • Maximize physical distancing
  • Reduce physical contact
  • Be held outdoors as much as possible
Under the updated health and safety guidelines, students and staff in music classes should be spaced as far apart as possible. K to 12 staff and students in Grades 4 to 12 are required to wear a mask while indoors. Masks can be temporarily removed while engaging in an educational activity that cannot be performed while wearing a mask, like playing a wind instrument, but must be worn while singing.
Shared equipment or items like musical instruments can be used only if they are cleaned between use, according to strict school sanitization guidelines.


There is no current evidence of COVID-19 transmission in playground environments and they are therefore considered safe. Steps will be taken to promote hand hygiene practices before and after outdoor play. More information on playgrounds is available on the BC Centre for Disease Control website.


Co-curricular athletic programs, camps, clinics, and activities will occur. In these situations, physical contact is minimized for those within the same Learning Groups; physical distance (2m) will be maintained for staff and for Middle and Senior School students when interacting outside of their Learning Groups; and physical distance (2m) will be maintained for students in the Junior School when interacting outside of their learning groups when indoors as much as possible. There are currently no in-person inter-school competitions/events scheduled; however, this will be re-evaluated throughout the school year. Please refer to the guidelines established for specific sports from their governing bodies and the Memorandum from BC School Sports and the BC Return to School Sports Plan for additional information.
  • Activities have been modified to limit interactions between individuals.
  • Aside from the participants, only the minimum number of individuals required to run the activity should be present. No spectators are allowed at this time.
  • Efforts will be made to run activities outdoors when possible.
  • For specific guidance on mask use during high/low-intensity activities, refer to the section on School Sports in the K–12 guidelines.

Travel/Outdoor Education/Field Trips

There will be no school-related overnight travel at this time. While in Stage 2, no field trips requiring international or overnight travel are permitted under ministry guidelines. The Outdoor Education program has also been suspended at this time.

Library/Learning Commons

The Library/Learning Commons areas will be open for student use; however, it is expected that students and staff will physically distance themselves from individuals of different Learning Groups. At this time, there is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted via textbooks, paper or other paper-based products. As such, there is no need to limit the distribution or sharing of books or paper-based educational resources to students because of COVID-19.
  • Where practical each student will have dedicated school books.
  • Textbooks that are shared should be covered in a wipeable plastic covering that can be wiped with a suitable household cleaning agent between uses.
  • Children should be encouraged to perform hand hygiene after using any shared item.
  • Books returned to the library (that have plastic coverings) will be held for 72 hours before being re-circulated.


The Arts Department at GNS will continue to offer our excellent visual and performing arts programs, while maintaining established health and safety protocols. Mitigation strategies include:
  • Classrooms, as well as rehearsal and performance spaces, will observe physical distancing guidelines when required.
  • Classrooms will have designated entrances and exits.
  • Hand sanitizing stations at all entrances/exits.
  • Establishment of routines for sanitizing musical instruments, equipment, and materials for each class.
  • Use of face coverings and/or physical barriers where required (faculty and students).
  • There will be no shared musical instruments and limited sharing of other supplies.
  • Increased utilization of technology and digital platforms to facilitate a transition to distance learning, if required.
  • Exploration of performance options for theatre and music classes, including limiting audience size, and/or utilizing recordings and livestreams.
  • Limit performing ensembles to single-grade configurations where possible, to avoid large groups of students.

After School Care

As outlined by the BC Centre for Disease Control and BC Ministry of Health, GNS will follow the Ministry’s COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Child Care Settings guidelines on daycare safety to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and maintain a safe and healthy environment for children and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please review the GNS After School Care COVID-19 Safety Plan for more detailed information.

Glenlyon Norfolk School

Junior School (JK to Grade 5)

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