Preparing for September

General Questions

Can you confirm that classes will start in September?

Yes, we are certainly working towards in-class studies this September and look forward to welcoming new and returning students. The Admissions office remains open throughout the summer and will be in regular contact with families. Families are also encouraged to contact the school as questions arise.

What are your plans for physical distancing in classrooms, boarding residences, and other common areas of the school?

Our safety committee is preparing a program that will ensure that all health and safety standards as determined by the provincial health and education authorities are met. For example, we are considering areas where physical distancing will be implemented and areas where physical barriers would be preferable. Further, we are considering capacity levels for both classrooms and common areas.

If a situation arises requiring a blend of in-person and online learning, how will this be managed at SMUS?

If we are required to shift to a blend of in-person and online learning, we will be looking to maximize the time our students are in-person with our teachers. We are considering a variety of timetable scenarios in order to accomplish this across the whole school. Our academic program will be planned appropriately and our teachers will be prepared to shift their instruction modality fluidly between in-person and online learning. Our remote learning period this term has allowed us to learn more about successful instructional strategies in a remote learning period and also what can be improved upon should this situation arise again. In addition, we will be considering our learning spaces and determining student capacity so that we can maximize the number of students we can have in our learning spaces for face to face learning.

Will students be able to participate in sports while at SMUS?

The athletic program at SMUS is extensive with a wide range of options. Our pursuit of excellence will continue in face of any restrictions that are imposed upon us. SMUS has a long tradition of athletic success and we assure you that this will continue in September.

What changes/modifications do you expect to have in the students' lifestyle?

We realize that the pandemic we are all dealing with will necessitate a number of changes to our normal operations; but we are diligently working to ensure that the experiences students will have at SMUS will continue to be full and enriching. While there may be some modifications, clubs, sports and performing arts will continue as before.

If there is an outbreak after school commences, what measures will the school take?

Victoria has been without an identified case of COVID-19 for many weeks, and British Columbia remains much less severely impacted compared to many other locations globally. However, the safety committee at SMUS will be implementing measures to mitigate any possible outbreak with the minimum of disruption to school life.

Boarding-Specific Questions

How will the boarding program at SMUS operate in September?

While there are still uncertainties about what regulations and restrictions may be in place for BC schools in September, we are still intending to offer a boarding program model that meets the health and safety needs of our boarding students, while offering a rich and fulfilling boarding school experience. As we learn more from our government and health authorities, we will, of course, communicate this to our entire school community.

Governments are currently requesting a 14-day quarantine for international travellers. How will this be managed by SMUS?

We are working on a 14-day orientation program for boarding students to coincide with what we expect will be a required quarantine for students coming from outside of Canada. This will be held off-campus but it will involve SMUS faculty and staff. Details about this will be sent directly to impacted families. The Admissions office remains open throughout the summer and will be able to assist families and respond quickly to any changes or requirements.

If the issuance of a study permit is delayed, can a student learn online and then start physically at the school in January 2021?

We understand the need for flexibility and as such are planning for every possible contingency in this regard. Our commitment remains to the continuity of learning for all our students during the period of disruption.

What will be the protocol for boarders on long weekends and holiday breaks?

Boarding residences will remain open during all long weekends. Programming during these times will be reflective of a combination of student interest and what is feasible relative to the situation with COVID-19.

SMUS will continue to publish information for September to our First Week pages for returning families and Welcome pages for new families. Please also check these webpages regularly for updates.