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Health & Safety Protocols

Appleby College has established rigorous health & safety protocols consistent with the advice and guidance of Halton Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Ontario Ministry of Health and address the following areas: Healthy Classrooms, Healthy Buildings, Healthy Policies and Healthy Schedules. 

Healthy Classrooms

Summary of Protocols

  • Masks to be worn at all times indoors and in the classroom
  • Teachers to wear Personal Protective Equipment
  • Wash hands immediately before: leaving home, leaving the classroom, eating, touching shared objects, touching one’s face, and leaving school
  • Wash hands immediately after: arriving at school, entering classroom, finishing lunch, touching shared objects, using the bathroom, coughing, sneezing, and blowing one’s nose, and arriving at home
  • Use hand sanitizer when washing hands is not possible
  • Maintain two-metre physical distancing 
  • Replace hugs, handshakes, and high-fives with smiles, waves, and thumbs-ups
  • Keep class groups as distinct and separate as possible
  • Avoid large groups and gatherings, both in and outside of school

Wearing a Mask

Students and visitors to campus will be expected to wear at a minimum a 2-ply cloth face mask at all times while indoors and outdoors when physical distancing of two metres is not possible. Students will be required to wear a clean mask every day. At the start of the school year students will be provided with a mask, but will be responsible for providing their own additional masks. Cloth masks available for purchase through the College Shop. Exemptions to wearing a non-medical face mask:

  • The person is unable to wear the face mask because it would inhibit their breathing for medical reasons.
  • The person cannot safely wear a face mask for any other medical reasons, such as having respiratory disease, cognitive difficulties or difficulties in hearing or processing information.
  • For religious reasons, the person cannot wear a face mask or cannot wear a face mask in a manner which would properly control the source.
 

Handwashing

We expect our community to practise strong social hygiene practises including regular handwashing and minimal touching of hands to face. Handwashing is the single most important thing we can do to prevent pathogens from entering the body and causing illness. Regular hand-cleaning with warm water and soap, or an alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) containing at least 70 per cent alcohol, for 20 seconds will reduce the risk infection in both children and adults. To promote hand hygiene over 250 ABHR dispensers are located around the school at entrances, exits, stairwells, common spaces, living spaces, and inside every classroom. With support from health services, faculty will teach students about why, how and when to clean hands, and to cover coughs and sneezes.

 

Uniforms

One unique challenge to mitigating the spread of the virus is school uniforms—particularly those items which require dry cleaning. To address these concerns Appleby’s dress code for the upcoming school year will be modified with the main uniform consisting of a white polo shirt, kilt with navy knee socks or grey dress pants with navy blue or dark grey socks, navy 1/4 zip crested sweater (optional), and black dress shoes. Students are expected to be in a clean uniform daily.

Students will also be required to have a school blazer but it will not be worn at least between the months of September and January. New students will still be presented a school tie at the start of the year. School ties will not be worn for at least the remainder of 2020 in an attempt to reduce uniform items that are not cleaned often and get dirty easily.

Athletics/Physical Education clothing will consist of athletics windsuit, navy or white Appleby athletics t-shirt, navy Appleby athletics shorts, proper athletics shoes, and white socks. Middle School students who have Physical Education/sport in the morning may wear their athletics windsuit to school for all morning classes and can change over lunch. Middle School students who have Physical Education/sport in the afternoon may wear their athletics windsuit to school for all afternoon classes and can change over lunch from their school uniform into the athletics windsuit.

Hoodies, spirit or House wear, and other Appleby clothing items are not part of the school uniform. Students not in the uniform options above will be required to change.

Healthy Buildings

Summary of Protocols

  • Hired additional custodial staff to increase cleaning protocols including cleaning high touch surface 3-4 times per day and performing nightly deep cleans
  • Increased training for custodial staff and provide PPE for protection
  • Increased fresh air circulation through HVAC systems and replacement of all filters
  • Verification of ventilation and filtration performance in select buildings by experts
  • Use of plexiglass shielding in areas where additional protection is required (reception, guidance, dining hall, etc) and in the classrooms where beneficial
  • Installed touchless infrastructure in many washrooms including taps, toilets and towel dispensers
  • Staggered bathroom use and capacity
  • Added wayfinding and educational signage throughout all buildings

Wayfinding & Signage

Floor labelling will be utilized throughout all facilities directing the flow of students and staff so as to best achieve social distancing. Protocols around movement will include some staggering in schedules as students and staff transition between areas.
 
Below are some examples of wayfinding signage that will be found around campus.

Directional
Decals

Do Not Enter
Decals

Standing Point Decals

Physical Distancing Decals

Classroom Rules Decals

Room Max Occupancy Decals

Fitness Area Station Decals

Fitness Area Rules Decal

Fitness Area Rules Decal

Procedural Decals

Procedural Decals

Health Centre Decals

Health Centre Decals

Washroom
Decals

Hand Dryer Decals

 

Air Flow & Circulation

An area that has received increased discussion has been transmission of COVID-19 via air handling systems. There are different scientific opinions on this issue, although most still suggest that droplet transmission is by far the greatest risk. Well ventilated spaces are increasingly associated with less likelihood of transmission. The school has undertaken numerous initiatives to improve air flow in various buildings across campus including cleaning systems, replacing HVAC filters and increasing exchanges of outside air circulation in classrooms and communal spaces. Students should expect increased fluctuations in air temperatures in classrooms as a result and we encourage dressing in layers. 

Plexiglass

We have tested a series of options and have installed plexiglass barriers in a number of locations on campus, including at the front of classrooms, on tables in dining facilities, and in a variety of reception areas across campus (main reception, Guidance, Admissions, Health Centre, etc.). This is an added layer of protection and is particularly important where physical distancing of two metres cannot always be achieved.
 

Cleaning

We will increase the frequency and intensity of cleaning protocols throughout the entire school with high-touch zones being cleaned two times per day with the availability of self-cleaning equipment in areas such as classrooms and semi-private residential bathrooms to allow for students and faculty to wipe down their spaces between regular cleanings, for instance at the time of classroom transitions.
 
In partnership with Sodexo, we will significantly increase the regular cleaning and disinfection of high traffic spaces across campus, such as classrooms, common rooms, washrooms, and dining areas. Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and shared resources will occur at least twice a day in accordance with public health recommendations. In addition, we will reinforce frequent handwashing as an important risk reduction strategy. Faucets and toilets will also be upgraded to non-touch in a number of the washrooms. Sodexo will also be conducting wide spread spraying or 'fogging' of classrooms on a nightly basis. 
 
Additional mitigation measures to reduce exposure to high-touch surfaces will be implemented, including reducing the number of common surfaces that need to be touched (e.g. propping open internal doors). There will be a reduction in communal equipment and supplies to minimize sharing.

Healthy Policies

Summary of Protocols

  • Establish and reinforce a culture of health, safety, and shared responsibility
  • Create and display signs around the school as reminders of rules, roles, and responsibilities
  • Establish a team to implement and disseminate COVID-19 policies
  • Facilitate contact tracing
  • Students and employees to stay home when not feeling well
  • Daily self-screening before school
  • Strict return to school policy requiring COVID-19 testing any time someone has symptoms, even if mild
  • Provide information on where people can go for testing
  • Develop a plan for what to do when a case is identified in the school
  • Establish a timetable for when someone with COVID-19, and their close contacts, can return to school
  • Provide necessary supplies and support systems to continue remote education for students staying home
  • Limit parent and visitor access
  • Promote work-from-home for administrative duties, where possible
  • Advocate for high-risk students and employees
  • Re-assign roles if needed to allow staff members to work while staying safe
  • Take extra precautions if high-risk students or employees come to school

Screening

Starting on Tuesday, September 8 (employees) and on Monday, September 14 (students), all students and employees will be asked to undergo daily screening via an app to help determine COVID-19 symptoms, which must be submitted prior to 8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday (boarding students will complete this screening process in their Houses). Students and employees residing or visiting campus on the weekends are asked to complete it prior to their arrival. Students and employees can expect to receive daily e-mail reminders for the first two weeks of implementation.
 
The free app is available for both Apple and Android devices by searching ‘REACH Boarding' in the applicable app store. Students will be sent an e-mail with a REACH User Setup Wizard link. Clicking the link will bring you to a screen to set a password, follow the instructions provided. Once your password is set, you can complete your daily screening either by using the “REACH Boarding’ app on your mobile device or in a browser on your computer (see download links below).
 
Click Here to download REACH App for iPhone
Cick here to download REACH App for Android
Click here to download REACH App for your computer
 
You can watch an instructional video on how to log into the app and complete the screening by clicking here or can view the instructions as a pdf by clicking here.
 
The purpose of the App is to protect the community by screening out individuals who may have COVID or been exposed to it, requiring anyone that answers ‘yes’ to a question to stay home/or in the health centre/dorm.
 
The screening asks such questions as "Please indicate ‘yes’ for any symptom that you have" (a list of 15 common COVID-19 symptoms is included), "Within the past 14-days have you or a member of your household been in close contact with any person who is a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case or have you or a member of your household been asked to self-isolate by public health authorities or your medical provider?" and "Have you travelled outside of Canada (including the United States) or in a region of Canada with a high rate of COVID-19 infections in the past 14 days?"
 
Upon completing the daily screening survey, the app will indicate whether you can come to school or must stay home (if you are a day student/local boarder/distant boarder without a local guardian), or stay in the Health Centre or your dorm (if you are a distant boarder without a local guardian). For distant boarders, the Health Centre will guide you on whether you will stay in the Health Centre or in your dorm room.
 
If you receive a GREEN badge, you have passed the daily screening survey and may attend campus. If you receive a YELLOW or RED badge, you have failed the screening survey and must stay away from campus as noted above. You may be required to show your GREEN badge to get on the bus to come to school, to attend class, and to attend other school activities and functions.
 
Completion of the daily screening app each day is a requirement. If you intentionally do not complete it, you will be contravening a school policy and the school will have to follow up.
 
Visitor (including parent) access will be limited to the school and all visitors will also be required to undergo screening before entry.
 

If you have any questions regarding the screening app, please e-mail the Appleby IT department at support@appleby.on.ca.

 

Student COVID-19 Safety Course

All Appleby College students are required to complete the school’s COVID-19 Safety Course prior to their first day of return to campus. Please follow the instructions below on how to access the online course which only takes a few minutes to complete:

 

Testing

The Health Centre team has been consulting a variety experts and systems as they develop more detailed protocol for managing cases. This has included working with the school doctor to outline sampling approaches allowing the Health Centre to take swabs from boarding students and forward them to either public or private labs (a fee-for-service arrangement has been established with Dynacare, if required) for processing. There is significant focus being placed on the protocols for case management, including differences between an individual being symptomatic (especially during cold and flu season) and the likelihood of COVID, as well as care and quarantining implications for different scenarios. This is an area Halton Public Health has offered to work with our Health Centre team, recognizing our uncommon situation as a school with a full Health Centre team, including an onsite school doctor, and a significant residential population of minors over whom we hold in loco parentis responsibility. Halton Public Health indicated that over the next few weeks, they will release guidelines with respect to what constitutes an outbreak and the scope of management. We have made additional provision for a case management and tracing specialist, who will work with a team of redeployed staff to assist in these situations.

 

Tracing

All students, employees and parents are strongly encouraged to download the Government of Canada's Tracing App by clicking here.

Day students who are ill or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to remain at home under the care and supervision of their parents. Local boarders who are ill or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to return to their home and to remain there under the care and supervision of their parents. Distant boarders who are ill or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be isolated in a building away from other students and faculty and cared for by Health Centre staff.

 

Return to School

While a student or employee suspected of having COVID-19 is waiting for test results they must be in isolation and cannot attend school in person. The individual can attend school virtually if they feel well enough to participate. 

Individuals who have had a COVID-19 test because of symptoms, but who test negative should not return to school until at least 24 hours after their symptoms have resolved. 

Where a student or employee has tested positive for COVID-19, the Halton Public Health will be in contact with the school to provide further direction on returning to school. Students and employees will need to be symptom free for 24 hours before returning. You will be asked to provide proof of medical clearance. 

 

Education & Communications

We will continue to communicate, educate and encourage our community to practise strong social distancing and personal hygiene practises including regular handwashing and minimal touching of hands to face. Since the start of the pandemic in Canada, we have provided regular updates and information to all members of our community. We will continue this practise utilizing school publications such as Appleby This Week, social media channels and others.
 
As per the Ontario government's Operational Guidance: COVID-19 Management in Schools we will be updating this website as our policies and procedures change including posting information if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 that involves a student or employee. The information that we post will at all times protect the privacy of the members of our community. If public health advises that a class, cohort or the school should be closed for a period of time, parents, students and employees will be notified immediately with a notice posted on this webpage. 

Density Reduction & Social Distancing

In support of our density reduction strategy, we will employ a very cautious approach to visitors to campus. Only essential visitors will be permitted on campus, and only following a successful health screening process. Parents will require an appointment to access the campus buildings and, as much as possible, parent-teacher meetings will be conducted via on-line technologies such as Zoom. We will apply a two-metre social distancing requirement wherever possible on campus.
 

Student Supports and Wellbeing

A healthy community is also characterized by good mental health. As such, student mental health and wellbeing will be an ongoing, core element of our Return to Campus Roadmap; it is foundational in ensuring a welcoming environment which supports learning, and where students are known and cared for. Support for student mental health and wellbeing will continue to be directed by our Guidance Team’s social and emotional counsellors, who will be supported by other members of the pastoral care team including Health Centre staff, School Directors, Wellness Director, Positive Education Directors, Advisors, House Faculty and the school Chaplain. The school will continue to share principles and practices of Positive Psychology with students, faculty and staff to provide tools for enhancing wellbeing.

Healthy Schedules

Summary of Protocols

  • Manage transition times and locations
  • Set up separate entrances and exits for different groups of students when possible
  • Use well-marked lines on the floor to encourage physical distancing and indicate direction of travel
  • Use student classrooms or other school locations as temporary lunchrooms to facilitate group distancing
  • Stagger lunchtimes and clean and disinfect surfaces between groups
  • Maintain physical distance between individuals eating lunch together
  • Package school-provided meals instead of serving food buffet-style
  • Open all windows on buses, even a little, and even in bad weather
  • Reduce the number of students in each school bus to allow for physical distancing
  • Encourage walking, biking, or use of personal vehicles

Middle School

For students in Middle School (Grades 7 & 8) the model assumes a traditional year-long programme, with faculty primarily dedicated to Middle School, with students physically segmented for most of the day from other students.
 
We intend for Middle School students who are able, to attend school daily. Remote learning at the elementary and intermediate levels tends to fall heavily on parents, which will not be an option with workplaces reopening in the months ahead. We also believe it is better for them to be with their peers and teachers on a more consistent basis. This is important not only for learning but also for students to gain an understanding of what is required as an Appleby student, in addition to learning how to learn. We also appreciate that students in Middle School need more support as well as consistent check-ins and follow-up on work. Being on campus will also provide students with opportunities for increased physical activity and experiential learning.
 
The school day for Middle School students will start at 8:30 a.m. and will conclude at approximately 3:50 p.m., five days a week. The Middle School timetable will include eight periods per day and classes will be 40 minutes long. While other grade bands will follow a semester format, Middle School classes will run all year long. Middle School students will also have every class, every day including Physical Education. There will be an Arts rotation of: Art, Music, Dance, Design. At the Middle Two level the World Languages rotation will also continue.
 
To support a safe and healthy learning environment for Middle School students, the school will be installing a network of portable classrooms on the East Field just north of the J.S. Gardiner Arena. Middle School class sizes will also be reduced to 10 students per room. Students will remain in the same classroom throughout the day with subject-matter teachers rotating as per the teaching schedule. For physical education and co-curriculars, students will move to the assigned area of campus while following social distancing protocols.
 

Upper & Senior School

We are moving to a semester HyFlex model for the 2020-2021 school year. In the semester model, the school year will be divided into a Fall semester that will run from September to January and a Spring semester that will run from February to June. First term semester exams will take place in January and second semester exams in June.

Students will participate in four daily teaching blocks with all courses having classes every day. We know that many students struggle trying to manage 6-8 courses in a remote model, so a semester system will work better for most high school students if there is the prospect of shifting back and forth between on campus and remote/on-line. The school day for Upper and Senior school students will begin daily at 8:30 a.m. Classes will end at 3:50 p.m and will be followed by co-curriculars and clubs.

The HyFlex model will allow members of each class to alternate between being on campus/in-class and participating remotely by video teleconference. We plan to install technology in each classroom that will allow for high quality, synchronous participation of those physically in the classroom with those on-line. Assuming two-metre distancing and the resultant decline in classroom capacities by well over 50%, we expect to start the year with students alternating day-to-day (i.e. 50% on campus and 50% on-line, so over a 10-day cycle, students will be in person for five days). Exceptions will be made for circumstances such as those who are immuno-compromised, ill and quarantining. The classes will be recorded and also made available on an asynchronous basis. The HyFlex model allows us to shift based on changing parameters. So, if the school is closed for a few weeks, it will easily pivot to a fully remote/on-line model If the social distancing requirement is reduced to 1.5 metres, we can move from a 50/50 split to a 75/25 split. It also works for students who cannot attend in person due to health issues, while also easily adjusting to a return to 100% students attending daily.

 

About Hyflex

Over the summer, we have created two types of HyFlex classrooms on campus:

HyFlex Full - an immersive experience with a dedicated display for remote users which allows them to interact with the class remotely, integrated audio/video and a Zoom room console. Most classrooms use this type of setup to maximize the in-person and remote student experience.

Hyflex Lite - a high definition camera, mic and speaker is used in collaboration with a teachers laptop, from which they host their zoom class. This is generally used in the Middle School Village and smaller classroom settings.

 

Boarding

The Residential Life programme continues to evolve and the team has been planning through issues such as supervision, flow in the boarding houses, protocols in common areas and bathrooms, care of students, free time options, dining, and community wellbeing. We continue to assume that we will reopen starting with one boarder to a room with the priority given to those unable to commute. However, almost all Canadian schools with significant boarding programmes (rather than small boutique supplements to large Day programmes) plan on opening with two or more students per room, using the principle of social groupings/bubbling the way family units operate. Based on other schools’ experiences and further regulatory clarity, Appleby will consider shifting to this mode early in the Fall term.
 
We appreciate that our Senior One students were looking forward to being in boarding in the Fall. For many boarding in Senior Two is the culmination of their Appleby experience as it is a core part of who we are as a school and a community. Unfortunately, the expected social distancing rules will likely result in the boarding programme opening with one student per room. While we are hopeful that as the year progresses, there will be flexibility to increase to our full boarding capacity, we are planning to open in September with one boarder per room with priority placement for our distant domestic and international boarders.
 
Senior Two boarders who are local will start the school year as day students. As we are able to expand the school’s boarding programme as allowed by Public Health authorities, we will look to move-in our local Senior Two students beginning with the school Prefects and House council members.
 
Washroom facilities inside the boarding houses will undergo a deep cleaning and sanitizing three times per day with non-touch fixtures being installed where possible. To encourage social distancing while using the facilities, capacity of each washroom will be labelled, and floor queues will mark two-metre distancing.
 
In addition to strict health-related protocols for boarding life, as well as enhanced cleaning and hygiene regimens, there will likely be additional limitations on off-campus travel/social interactions by boarders over the year. This will put an emphasis on increased programming both on regular weekends as well as potentially on long weekends and over the Christmas Break.
 

Dining & Meals

Providing meal service is a complex matter than includes a variety of factors, including pre-ordering, cohorting, physical spacing, protective barriers, waste reduction, and scheduling. In order to fulfill the goal in the Operating Model of continuing to feed all students, we are moving to a three lunch period model using multiple sites – the Dining Hall, the Old Gym and the Arena (until the November long weekend.) We are partnering with Sodexo to work through a variety of ideas and options which include pre-ordering, ‘grab-and-go pieces’, cleaning protocols, delivery to other spaces (classrooms, boarding houses) and use of outdoor eating sites.
 

Co-Curriculars

We intend to run a full range of co-curricular and club programmes starting the week of September 21, 2020, although we expect that many may be impossible or limited in the Fall or will have to be modified due to health parameters and the HyFlex model. Examples include many contact sports, service programmes involving senior citizens, and some activities that require close group interactions. We plan to replace these with other offerings and are working with faculty to identify creative alternatives such as intramural competitions, and other forms of arts and service programming. We also anticipate some restrictions involving large gatherings such as assemblies, Chapel, etc. and will adjust as required.

Experiential Education

With respect to experiential education, the team is considering more local programmes in parks and campus – especially on team building and skills development, including cooking, camping, survival skill; increased virtual programmes with partner schools around the world; Global competency development through on-line modular micro-credentialing course; focus on global issues and solutions (pandemic, social justice, DEI, contemporary politics, technological innovations); and considering adapting some global trips to domestic.
 

Gatherings

All School Assemblies, Chapel, Grade Band: We anticipate that there will continue to be restrictions in place regarding mass gatherings in the Fall so we will adjust these programmes accordingly.

Personal Belongings

For September, we encourage day students to limit the number of personal belongings they bring to the school (e.g., backpack, clothing, etc.), and ask that those items be labelled and kept in the student’s designated area. Students are expected to bring to school only that which is needed—taking care to ensure items are clean, in good order and stored safely is an individual responsibility. Storage space will be provided, but limited, so please bring only what is necessary.

Bussing

In designing this year's routes we have worked closely with our bussing provider, Attridge Transportation. We have also followed the guidelines issued by the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to ensure all public health, safety and transportation protocols for school bus operations are being followed. This includes various factors such as physical distancing, cleaning and hygiene measures and the use of personal protective equipment by students and drivers.

As we indicated previously, for this school year we will be implementing a zone pick-up and drop-off model. The primary reason for the introduction of this approach is to reduce the travel time for students from over an hour in most cases to approximately 40 minutes. The model will also provide us with the flexibility to adapt to changing conditions associated with the pandemic that would impact our school programme. In identifying the zone pick-up locations we have done our utmost to place them in locations that are convenient and in proximity to families on each route.

We will also require students to adhere to a number of rules prior to and while they are on the bus. Including:

  • Students will need to arrive at their pick-up location 10 minutes prior to their designated pick-up time.
  • Students will be expected to physically distance while waiting at zone pick-up locations.
  • Prior to boarding the bus each day, students will be required to undergo daily screening via an app to help determine COVID-19 symptoms, and will be asked to sanitize their hands upon entering. 
  • When on the bus, students will have assigned seating, will be required to wear a face mask, and upon arrival to school will exit the bus in an orderly fashion as directed by their driver.
  • Buses will be disinfected prior to and following each morning, early and late bus run.