Senior School Information

Students with model aeroplane

The information on these pages will continue to be updated. Please check our Latest Information page to know when new information is available.

Health and Safety at the Senior School

Following the Provincial Health Officer guidelines is essential for the health and safety of all individuals and groups as we return to a ‘new normal’ at the Senior School during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The prevention and mitigation strategies include:

  • public health measures (enforcement of protocols, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing) 
  • environmental measures (barriers, directional arrows, signage)
  • administrative measures (restructured timetable, staggered times, altered schedules, decreased density, learning cohorts)
  • personal measures (physical distancing, handand respiratory etiquette)
  • personal protective equipment (as a final layer after all of the other measures have been used)

All individuals are expected to follow and support the measures and protocols that have been put in place.

At SMUS, the following guidelines inform our practice:

  • By coming to school, individuals are confirming that they are well, are not exhibiting any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and have not had recent contact with someone diagnosed as positive for COVID-19.
  • Students, faculty or staff members may still attend school if a member of their household has cold, influenza, or COVID-19-like symptoms provided the student, faculty or staff member is asymptomatic. It is expected the symptomatic household member is seeking assessment by a health-care provider.
  • Please refer to the Face Mask policy for further information on mask wearing.
  • Individuals will use hand and respiratory etiquette which requires regular hand washing/sanitizing and limiting touching of their face.
  • Any person who is unwell must stay home. Any person must not be on campus if they display any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or have had recent contact with someone who has been diagnosed as positive for COVID-19. 
  • Anyone who becomes unwell or displays signs or symptoms while on campus will be isolated and arrangements will be made to leave campus (day community) or will be isolated in designated locations (boarding community).
  • Individuals are expected to stay within their learning group. If crossover of individuals from different cohorts is necessary, then physical distancing (2 m) is expected between cohort members and use of a mask is expected.
  • All individuals (international or Canadian) who have travelled outside of Canada will be expected to self isolate for 14 days prior to their return to the SMUS campus.


Please refer to our SMUS mask/face shield policy.

School Day Routines


The timetable at the Senior School has changed significantly. To reduce daily interactions and student movement and to put us in a position to easily shift to a remote learning environment, if mandated to by the Ministry of Education or Public Health, we are running six terms over the course of the academic year.

Students continue to take up to 8 courses, but will focus on only 4 in each term. Functionally, our previously linear courses have been split into thirds. This has allowed us to retain the benefits of year-long programming, while increasing our flexibility should we need to pivot to remote learning.

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3 Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
September 10 -
October 22
October 23 -
December 2
December 3 -
February 1
February 2 -
March 12
March 13 -
May 6
May 7 -
June 18
Course 1 Course 5 Course 1 Course 5 Course 1 Course 5
Course 2 Course 6 Course 2 Course 6 Course 2 Course 6
Course 3 Course 7 Course 3 Course 7 Course 3 Course 7
Course 4 Course 8 Course 4 Course 8 Course 4 Course 8

Daily Schedule

Like the Junior School and Middle School, we are moving to a 5-day, Monday to Friday schedule rather than a 10-day cycle. We also have a daily schedule that is staggered throughout the day to minimize cross-learning group interactions during recess and lunch time.

School Day Start and End Times

In response to ongoing feedback and a large body of research, we have adjusted the start time for classes at the Senior School. Between 8:10 and 8:30 am, students are welcome to schedule tutorials with a teacher (or they may be asked to meet with a teacher), meet with advisors or counsellors or use the time to study quietly. Students are not required to be on campus until the start time of their Period 1 class. If students are on campus at 8:30 am, we ask that they move to their Period 1 class regardless of their grade, in order to reduce congestion.

  • 8:30 am – Grade 9
  • 8:35 am – Grade 10
  • 8:40 am – Grade 11
  • 8:45 am – Grade 12

Of course, with a staggered start, comes a staggered finish.

  • 3:15 pm – Grade 9
  • 3:20 pm – Grade 10
  • 3:25 pm – Grade 11
  • 3:30 pm – Grade 12

Learning Groups and Class Sizes

Our learning groups are constructed within grades and we have structured our timetable to meet the requests of the majority of students within each learning group. The restrictions on the timetable may make it challenging for everyone to get each course they are requesting. In most cases, courses are restricted by grade in order to achieve appropriate learning groups.

In some cases, there may be more than one learning group in a classroom. This is rare and when it occurs, learning groups will be physically separated by 2 metres within the room and students will be required to wear a mask during the lesson.

Prior to the Ministry announcing the guidelines on learning groups, we were constructing our timetable with reduced density in mind. We have decided to carry on with this planning where possible. This means classes run within learning groups and allow for physical distancing.

Student Life

In accordance with the Ministry of Education guidelines, students are placed in learning groups for their classes. These groups are organized by grade and identifiable by coloured lanyards that students are assigned and expected to wear. When students are in class and with their learning group, physical distancing is not required; however, students should avoid any close contact with others.

Sun Centre Dining Hall

The Sun Centre dining hall is reserved for our boarding community only. As we move further into the term, it may become accessible for the day population.

The Howard Café

The Howard Café will be open for both day and boarding students.

Chapel and Assemblies

Traditional school assemblies are not held in person. Assembly messages are pushed out electronically or delivered in person to learning groups. Should students be asked to gather, they do so within their learning group.

Our chapel program continues to run, albeit in a different format. Students gather in smaller groups and within their learning group. Chapel messages may also be streamed to homerooms gathered in classrooms.

Recess and Lunch

To reduce learning group mixing, spaces are assigned by grade for lunch and recess.


Students need to have their own personal computer that is compatible with the latest technology. It is important that students lock their computer in their locker at any time it is not on their person. All public computing terminals have been removed from the campus to reduce high-touch contact points.

Extracurricular Fine Arts and Athletics

Our extra\curricular program will look and feel different this year, but we have every intention of continuing to provide exceptional experiences for our students within the guidelines provided by Public Health, the Ministry of Education and BC School Sports. Please see the specific FAQ.

Outdoor Education 

We have adjusted our outdoor education program to align with COVID-19 safety protocols.

In place of our traditional weeklong overnight trips, we are running a series of day trips for our students in Grades 9 and 10 in the fall. We believe this will help our students reconnect in a positive way, setting the stage for a successful school year.

  • Students in Grade 9 have their experiences on September 24, 25 and 26. 
  • Students in Grade 10 have opportunities on October 1, 2 and 3.
  • Grade 11 outtrips are now scheduled to take place in June 2021. 
  • Grade 12 Outdoor Leadership students who have not yet completed Stage 2 of the course will have the opportunity to do so in September/October. 
  • Grade 11 students interested in taking Outdoor Leadership have the opportunity to try out for the course on select weekends later in the fall.