At The Sterling Hall School, the ability to ensure the health and safety of our SHS community is one of the key principles of our return to school plan. Our goal is not merely to open school safely, but to maintain safe, effective operations for the duration of the year, despite the ongoing pandemic.
We are being prudent and thoughtful in all of our deliberations and our actions. Given the evolving nature of this public health crisis, we have created a back to school plan that is flexible, responsive and transparent, with health & safety and our boys' well-being as our top priorities. In addition to safety, we are committed to providing the highest degree of excellence within our academic program for each and every boy.
This September, we have invited ALL of our boys back to school for five days per week. We are in an enviable position in that we have the space on campus to maintain small cohorts of 9 - 15 students and the gold standard of 2 metres distancing between desks in classrooms.
We know that cohorting and physical distancing - as mitigation strategies - provide the highest degree of safety for our boys, our employees and their families, and we are delighted to be able to provide this degree of safety for all. Students will also have four 30-minute outdoor health breaks every day and the Eaton Shier Gymnasium will be available for movement-based activities.
In order to welcome our boys back this fall, our Logistics Team has collaborated and sought advice from health professionals, Independent School Associations (CAIS, CIS) and legal professionals, aligned ourselves with the Ministry of Education’s Approach to Reopening School, and participated in the Sick Kids Research Study to assess school reopening safety measures. SHS’s new model for teaching and learning embraces our core values regarding community, character and learning as well as reflects up-to-date Provincial guidelines and medical advice. We have worked diligently to re-imagine a Continuous Learning Environment that includes a safe On-Campus Learning Program and a new robust Remote Learning Model with a technology platform that supports student learning. Families will have the choice of returning to a full day at school on-campus, which includes an online learning component, or staying at home and experiencing our flexible remote program.
The following Health and Safety measures have been implemented so that our boys can attend school 5 days a week, safely. We will be dividing the school year into 4 sessions to maintain the health and safety measures of cohorting and distancing, while creating opportunities for specialist instruction and programs.
All SHS students will benefit from our newly implemented Continuous Learning Program and will have the opportunity to connect with each other daily. Our boys learning on campus will participate in both virtual and live learning tasks, developing a strong understanding of online tools and organization through our Sharks Online environment.
Students who are learning remotely will have access to many of the tasks and resources through a revised weekly planner, while also having access to synchronous, or real time participation a number of times through the day. This program will continue to develop to ensure these boys have a similar quality experience to the boys attending on-campus lessons.
We also recognize the importance of a strong remote program, in the event that another wave of COVID-19 causes the government to temporarily close schools in the future.