Boarding September Information

Flags on campus

Introduction

We are excited to welcome students back to the boarding community in September. The health and well-being of our campus community is the highest priority, so while the experience will be different than previous years, you can rest assured that the sense of community will be the same. We are developing plans that are responsive to the needs of our community, while being focused on creating a welcoming home on campus. We are grateful for our Canadian and international communities, and we are creating responsive plans to welcome students back onto campus that are aligned with the recommendations from leading health experts and Canadian government agencies. Our Boarding community is a space to feel safe, welcome and supported to learn, and come September it will be just that.

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

Health and Safety in Boarding

The health and well-being of our students, teachers, staff, parents and visitors to campus is the highest priority. That rings even more true when our campus is also your home away from home. By adhering to and exceeding guidance from the Provincial and Federal Ministries of Health, the Ministry of Education, Island Health and other partner organizations, we have developed a comprehensive plan to minimize the risk of COVID-19 in our boarding community.

The spread of COVID-19 has been well managed in British Columbia, and particularly in Victoria, resulting in minimal cases and less severe impacts compared to many locations globally. Our campus-specific plans will continue to be based on the proven measures and guidelines for minimizing risks and responding to cases.

We look forward to welcoming our boarding community, both new and returning students, to campus this September. When students move in, there will be a number of new measures in place, with an eye on their health and safety, including:

  • To ensure community building while reducing campus contacts, boarding houses will be arranged as separate “family units” and all students in a family unit will be allowed to have close contact with one another.
  • Visitors will not be allowed to enter the boarding houses during the initial weeks of school. This includes students from other boarding houses. This will be reviewed as the term moves along and as government regulations are updated.
  • Boarding rooms are configured to allow for maximum distancing between roommates and exceed public health guidelines with each room having its own bathroom. 
  • Meals in the Sun Centre dining hall will be at staggered times and family units will sit in designated seating.
  • Boarding houses will remain open during long weekends. Decisions around permitting local leave and overnight leave requests will be regularly assessed and made based on the most current public health information, which may change throughout the year.
  • Isolation wards and isolation rooms have been established to ensure any boarding student who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms is physically separated from the rest of the boarding house. An isolated individual will be tested by the local health authority and assessed for a healthy return to the boarding and school communities. 
  • While not required in school settings, use of face masks may be considered when prolonged 2-metre (6 feet) physical distancing cannot be achieved.

Students will also have continued access to our counselling department and other campus staff to support their social and emotional well-being through these challenging times.

Learn more about our Middle School and Senior School responses for the start of the school year. One important note for boarding families is if we are required by government agencies to switch our educational model to remote learning, it is currently the school’s intention to keep our entire boarding community isolated together on campus.

All plans are subject to change with health and safety at the centre of all decision making. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation daily, and respond appropriately by taking our lead from provincial health experts and the Government of Canada. 

Quarantine Information for Students Arriving from Outside of Canada

Boarding students will be allowed to move into their boarding houses beginning September 8.

Anyone travelling from outside of Canada is required by the Government of Canada to self-quarantine for 14 days before arriving on the campus. This quarantine must happen off-campus; however, we have made arrangements to assist families by offering a quarantine program (beginning August 25) through local hotels, with a portion of the accommodation covered by the school.

Please see the Admissions FAQ for answers to some common questions about quarantine, as well as the Accommodations, Amenities and Activities section of our website for more information on hotels.

We are regularly monitoring the Government of Canada’s travel restrictions into the country and will keep families informed of any changes. We recognize that these travel restrictions mean some boarding students may not be able to get to Canada for August 25 or even the start of the school year. We will work with you and your family to ensure that your child can make it to SMUS when it is safe and allowable for them to do so.

Virtual New Boarding Student Orientation Program

We are delighted to welcome a number of new students into our boarding community this year, and while your orientation will look a little different than it normally would, it will be no less informative, engaging and fun.

Virtual New Boarding Student Orientation for all new Canadian and international students will run from August 25 to September 7, with engaging sessions and activities alongside your housemates to prepare you for life in boarding.

Check out the schedule of events for more information.

September Start Information (New and Returning Boarders)

Please keep an eye on our First Week at SMUS web pages throughout the summer for detailed information and schedules for our Middle and Senior School back-to-school week.

Families that are new to our school are also encouraged to visit the Welcome to SMUS section of our website, which provides helpful grade-specific resources and documents, as you prepare for the 2020-21 school year.