Frequently Asked Questions

COVID 19

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When do you anticipate reopening the School?
At this time, we would like to share information about plans for September. More information will follow in the weeks ahead, and changes may be announced depending upon new guidelines from Public Health, but we want to let you know about the work that has been done to date.

Please know that our first priority is the well-being of our students and our staff. We continue to consult with experts to determine best practices in health and safety and will be implementing all procedures and processes as recommended by Public Health. We also recognize the importance of supporting our community emotionally. These are challenging times and we know that re-establishing routines, support networks, and providing predictability in a familiar setting will help our girls and our staff transition back to school.

We are basing our preliminary plans on guidelines being used currently in other jurisdictions. These guidelines include maintaining a social distance of 6 feet at all times, increased sanitizing of classrooms, washrooms and common areas, provisions for frequent handwashing, and enhanced food safety protocols.

It is our plan to welcome students back to campus in September but we will also be ready to transition smoothly to off-campus distance learning should schools in the province be ordered closed at any time during the next school year. Either way, learning will commence on Wednesday, September 9.

We will also look forward to welcoming back our boarders with enhanced protocols to ensure their safety while living at the Castle. Those boarders arriving from international destinations will all have completed a mandatory 14-day quarantine before returning to campus. Our dedicated and caring boarding staff will be working directly with those families to facilitate this process.

Please be assured that further details about our return to campus procedures will be provided over the summer. At that time, we will include additional information about health screening protocols, entry procedures and daily routines. We will also have more information about athletics.

Return to School Dates
In order to help students adjust to social distancing requirements and routines, we will coordinate our return to campus using a phased approach as follows:

Tuesday, September 8 

  • Grades 7 and 8 Boarders move in (this means an arrival date to Canada on or before Tuesday, August 25 for international boarders)
  • Virtual orientation for all students

Wednesday, September 9

  • Grades 4 to 8 – Classes begin on campus
  • Grades 9 to 12 – Distance Learning begins

Thursday, September 17 and Friday, September 18 

  • Grades 9 to 12 Boarders move in (this means an arrival date to Canada on or before Thursday, September 3 for international boarders)

Monday, September 21

  • Grades 4 to 8 – Continue classes on campus
  • Grades 9 and 10 – Classes begin on campus
  • Grades 11 and 12 – Continue with Distance Learning

Wednesday, September 23

  • All grades in classes on campus

How long will Distance Learning continue? 
We will continue Distance Learning for as long as the School remains closed. After the reopening of the School, we will also continue to provide distance learning for those students not in Ontario and unable to return at this time due to possible travel restrictions.

What is happening with activities, field trips and excursions?
All field trips, co-curriculars, athletics and excursions have been suspended for the foreseeable future. This includes the Grade 7 & 8 Science Fair, Cohort 21, the Business Etiquette Dinner and the CISMF concert at Roy Thomson Hall. In addition, the MATE Robotics trip that was originally scheduled for Thursday, May 7 to Sunday, May 10 is cancelled. We are currently in contact with the trip provider for the New York Long Weekend trip and will have more information for participants in the near future.

Will the School closure impact my eligibility to graduate?
Trafalgar Castle School will support students in continuing learning through Distance Learning. Lower School students will be supported in their learning through activities, projects and assignments. Teachers will work with families to ensure students are engaged and developing essential skills. Upper School students will be supported to work towards successful completion of their Ontario Secondary School program. Upper School students must participate in Distance Learning and complete all requirements for each course in order to be granted credit. At this point, we do not know how the Ministry of Education will manage the requirement for Community Service hours. We will communicate with students as soon as more information is known.

Will the closure impact my university acceptance?
The School will report final grades to universities and colleges as required. We understand that this can be a stressful time for Grade 12 students under normal circumstances and appreciate the added pressure of this exceptional event. Ms. Knight-Johnson will work individually with each Grade 12 student to ensure she is supported through to the end of the year.

Will the school year be extended into the summer months?
There is no plan to extend the school year.

Are academic and university counselling available during this period of school closure?
Tuesday, April 14: Universities and Colleges Information Night via Zoom for all students and parents in Grade 11 and those in Grades 9 and 10 who are interested. 
Wednesday, April 15:  US and UK Universities Information Night via ZoomThis event is for all students and parents in Grade 9, 10 and 11 who would like to find out more about US or UK destinations. Both events will be recorded for later access.

What if my daughter becomes ill and can’t complete her course work?
As with any extended student absence, the School will work with the student and her family to ensure that required course work is completed. In Lower School courses, teachers will ensure that students focus on the necessary core knowledge once they are recovered and may indicate what assignments can be waived. In the case of Upper School courses, extensions can be provided to allow students more time to earn the credit. In exceptional cases, credit courses may be extended beyond the end of the school year.

What if my daughter’s teacher becomes ill?
The School will endeavour to ensure that students have access to course material even in the absence of a teacher. An extended teacher absence may require the School to modify lessons and assignments. Information about any teacher absence will be communicated to students and families as soon as the School is aware and has made arrangements for continued learning.

What is happening with final exams, grades and report cards? 
While we await information from the Ministry of Education that may impact how credits are granted, plans are underway to ensure that final grades and report cards are produced. There is no Ministry of Education requirement for a traditional written exam and teachers are looking at alternative ways to effectively assess student learning through to the end of the year. We will provide additional details when more information is provided to us by the Ministry.

Is support available for my daughter? 
Academic and social support are available Monday to Friday. Please refer to the Wellness Communication Ms. Garcia emailed for more information.

What is happening with the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)?
The OSSLT has been cancelled.  The Ministry of Education has stated that the OSSLT will not be a requirement for students graduating in the 2019-2020 academic year.

What is happening with Advanced Placement courses and exams?
AP courses will continue via Distance Learning and 45 minute at-home exams will be allowed for the 2020 examination period. Content covered on the exams will be limited to the first 75% of the course. The specific units to be covered for each course may be found here. Dates for the exams will be published shortly and we will keep students informed. Live AP review classes are being arranged by the College Board and may be used to supplement students’ ongoing AP classes. The courses begin Wednesday, March 25. More information may be found here.

I am in Grade 11 and want to write the SAT. Can I still write it?
The College Board has cancelled all upcoming SAT exams. We will communicate further information as it becomes available.

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