Return to School Plan

This page outlines Greenwood’s plans and protocols for ensuring the health and safety of our students and staff during the 2020-2021 school year.
Throughout our planning, preventing the spread of COVID-19 has been foremost on our minds; however, we have also taken great care to ensure that the values at the heart of the Greenwood experience remain constant.

This Return to School Plan is based on the most recent guidelines and best practices available. We anticipate that updated guidelines and protocols may be released throughout the school year. All updates will be posted to this page, so we encourage you to bookmark it and check it regularly. We will also communicate any changes in Greenwood's plans and protocols to our community as soon as possible.

Health and Safety Measures

List of 12 items.

  • Screening

    Parents/guardians are responsible for screening their children for COVID-19 symptoms daily and keeping them home if they are sick. A screening reminder is sent to parents on every day that their child is scheduled to enter the building. The screening form is also accessible via the school's Resource Board.

    Staff conduct self-screenings prior to entering the building. Staff must also stay home if they are symptomatic or feeling unwell.

    Non-essential visitors are not permitted to enter the building. This includes parents, except in the case of an emergency. Essential visitors are required to complete a screening form prior to entry.
  • Attendance

    Greenwood will follow up with all individuals to determine the reason for any unplanned absences. If the absence is due to illness, symptoms will be recorded and the student/staff member will be encouraged to seek medical advice and/or COVID-19 testing.

    Attendance records will be monitored for patterns or trends (e.g. students in the same group or cohort absent at the same time).

    Comprehensive records of essential visitors will be maintained.
  • Response Protocol for Suspected COVID-19

    Any student experiencing COVID-19 symptoms at school will be immediately separated from others in the Nurse’s Station. Parents/guardians will be asked to pick up their child as soon as possible. Any staff member experiencing symptoms will leave the school as soon as possible.

    Ill students and those supervising them will wear surgical masks. Supervising staff will also wear eye protection.

    The space and items used by ill students or staff will be cleaned and disinfected. Items that cannot be cleaned (e.g. books) will be stored in a sealed container for at least seven days.

    Anyone present at the time a student or staff member becomes ill will be identified as a close contact. Toronto Public Health (TPH) will provide direction on testing and isolation of close contacts.

    Further information will be shared with parents/guardians as directed by TPH.
  • Testing for COVID-19

    Symptomatic students and staff will be referred for testing. Students or staff who have been in contact with a suspected COVID-19 case will be monitored for symptoms and grouped together until laboratory tests, if any, have been completed or until directed by TPH. All staff/student COVID test results must be shared with the Principal and the School Nurse. 

    Students and staff awaiting test results who are symptomatic or who have been advised to self-isolate by TPH should remain home.

    If asymptomatic, individuals who have been exposed to a confirmed COVID case are encouraged to get tested anytime within 14 days of the exposure. They will need to self-isolate for 14 days even if the test is negative.
  • Quarantine/Self-Isolation

    Students and staff will be required to isolate at home for 14 days if they:
    • are diagnosed with COVID-19;
    • have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;
    • have been advised to self-isolate by TPH; or
    • travel out of the country.
    Travel within Canada does not require self-isolation unless requested by TPH.

    Students/staff who are COVID positive cannot return to school until they are cleared by TPH (typically 14 days after symptoms started). Anyone displaying symptoms who tests negative for COVID-19 must remain at home for 24 hours after symptom resolution.

    Contacts of a contact (e.g. household member of a student who was exposed at school) do not need to self-isolate.
  • Nurse's Station

    Any student who becomes ill at school will go to the Nurse’s Station for assessment. The student will wait in isolation, supervised, until a parent/guardian arrives to pick them up.

    Greenwood’s Nurse will maintain, update and communicate illness protocols to all parents/guardians and students to reflect public health guidelines and any changes in practice related to COVID-19.

    Our School Nurse is Hannah Dawson, RN. Please feel free to reach out to Hannah with questions or concerns about COVID-19 protocols at Greenwood or other health inquiries.
  • Masks/Face Coverings

    All students and staff must wear a mask or face covering (covering the mouth and nose) while inside the school building. Students and staff may also wish to consider face shields in addition to masks.

    Masks may be removed to eat or drink, but must be replaced immediately afterwards. Hands should be washed or sanitized before and after mask removal.

    Toronto Public Health recommends that non-medical masks are washed after every use. Students may consider having a mask for each day they will be in the school building to reduce laundry requirements.
  • Hand Hygiene

    Students and staff will be encouraged to wash and/or sanitize their hands several times a day, including upon entering the building, before and after eating, before and after mask removal and after using the washroom.

    Hand sanitizer will be available at all entrances and in all classrooms and common spaces. Portable sinks/handwashing stations will be placed around the building on each level. Students may also wish to bring their own personal hand sanitizer and/or disinfecting wipes to school. 

    Signage will be placed in all washrooms outlining proper hand washing.
  • Signage

    Extensive signage throughout the building will remind students and staff of healthy behaviours, including:
    • physical distancing;
    • frequent hand washing;
    • respiratory etiquette; and
    • proper use of cloth masks.
    Visual cues, such as stickers, will be added to frequently touched surfaces to remind students and staff to avoid directly touching them with their hands (e.g. use an elbow instead).
  • Physical Distancing

    Greenwood adheres to provincial guidelines regarding the maximum number of people in any space. No large group gatherings will be held; events such as assemblies will be held virtually. The use of shared spaces (e.g. the Lodge, Learning Commons) is minimized and staggered.

    Students and staff are advised to avoid physical greetings such as handshakes, fist bumps and hugging.

    For students in Grades 9-12, seating has been arranged to allow for physical spacing of two metres as per Ministry of Education guidelines. This is not a requirement for Grade 7-8 students; however, we have been sure to allow as much space as possible between students when seated.

    Routes throughout the school have been designated and promoted with visual cues to control the flow of foot traffic and maintain physical spacing of two metres. 
    • All west staircases are “up only”. All east staircases are “down only”.
    • Arrows and lines on the floor indicate the direction of travel throughout the building.
  • Mental Health and Well-being

    Student mental health and well-being is an important element of the return to school. Supports for student mental health and well-being will include the following:
    • professional learning for Greenwood staff to support re-entry to school, as well as support students throughout the school year;
    • mental health supports delivered through the Adviser program; and
    • additional counselling and support through our Social Worker, who can also make referrals and guide students and families to access local resources.
    Greenwood’s Director, Student Well-being will ensure that we augment our social-emotional wellness programs to address a potential increase in student anxiety, stress, and emotional response to COVID-19 and the changing learning environment and health protocols. Our School Nurse will also be available as a source of support for students as needed.
  • Staff Training

    Greenwood will ensure that all staff are aware of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and understand the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

    Staff members will be trained to ensure they are aware of and can implement COVID-19-related policies and procedures.

School Organization & Timetabling

List of 9 items.

  • Voluntary In-Building Attendance

    The return to in-person learning is voluntary and based on parent choice. Online learning is available for families who choose not to send their child back to school in person. 

    This option will be in place for as long as public health circumstances require adapted delivery of education.
  • Models for 2020-2021

    The following models will be used for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year:
    • Grade 7-8 students: Normal school day routine with cohorting and enhanced health protocols (in the building 5 days/week)
    • Grade 9-12 students: Hybrid model with cohorting and enhanced public health protocols (in the building 2-3 days/ week)
    Grade 9-12 students will be divided into two cohorts (Cohort A and Cohort B), with approximately half of each grade (around 45 students per grade) in each cohort. 

    Each day, one cohort will be in the school building while the other participates in online classes synchronously. This model greatly decreases the density of students in the building, which is critical in minimizing the possibility of COVID- 19 transmission. 

    Siblings will be placed in the same cohort. Families will receive cohort details before Registration Day in September.

    Grade 9-12 Cohort Schedule

    Week ACohort A 
    At school

    Cohort B
    Cohort B
    At school

    Cohort A
    Cohort A 
    At school

    Cohort B
    Cohort B
    At school

    Cohort A

    Cohort A 
    At school

    Cohort B
    Week BCohort B
    At school

    Cohort A

    Cohort A 
    At school

    Cohort B

    Cohort B
    At school

    Cohort A
    Cohort A 
    At school

    Cohort B
    Cohort B
    At school

    Cohort A
  • Semestered Timetabling

    Greenwood will take a semestered approach to timetabling for 2020-2021. Advantages of a semestered timetable in the current learning environment include:
    • minimizing direct and indirect contacts for both students and staff; and
    • creating a more manageable schedule for students participating in online synchronous learning.
    Each student will have four subjects timetabled per semester. 

    Our Adviser program is a key support for student growth, well-being and community. As such, students will have scheduled contact with their Adviser all year, either through their Adviser course or Adviser sessions.
  • Online Synchronous Learning Model

    In an online synchronous learning model, courses are delivered both in person and online simultaneously by the same teacher(s). Teachers can see, hear and respond to the students participating online via web conferencing, and students can see all of their teachers and classmates. 

    The goal of this model is to deliver equivalent learning experiences whether a student is in the classroom or at home. This model also ensures that students who choose to learn from home, or who have to remain home for health reasons, can interact with their teachers and classmates in real time.

    We have ensured that our teachers and our classrooms have the technology needed to support this model, including:
    • Wireless headsets (assigned to individual teachers for hygiene purposes)
    • Document cameras, which allow teachers to present objects to students in person and remotely at the same time
    • Web conferencing enhancements
    • Webcams
    • Fully licensed online apps
  • Cohorting

    Greenwood’s timetable cohorts students as much as possible to limit the number of direct and indirect student-to-student contacts. The Ministry of Education requires that these contacts should number no more than 100 for any student or staff member.

    Students will be placed into cohorts or based on the following considerations:
    • ensuring that students receive their choice of courses and/or academic options;
    • minimizing contacts; and
    • keeping siblings in the same cohort.
    Grade 7 and 8 students will be placed into pods of 15-20 students. While we will do our best to cap pods at 15 students, pods of up to 20 may be necessary to ensure we deliver the personalized options and learning supports each student needs.
    • A student's pod will also be their Adviser group.
    • Students will stay with the same pod for most of their courses.
    • Some mixing between pods is required to accommodate academic options in these grade levels (e.g. core & reach-ahead math or French). In these cases, students from different pods will stay in separate halves of the classroom. A visual cue (such as a line on the floor) will ensure that the students know where to stay within the room in order to maintain the sub-grouping.
    • Although classes are semestered, Grade 7 -8 students will have English and math all year. Students will have full-length math and English classes in one semester and shorter classes in these subjects in the opposite semester.
    Grade 9-12 classes will be capped at 15 students. Classes will be created so that there is minimal mixing between various groups of students. Students will be in courses of their choice with specialist teachers, with movement and blending of classes kept to a minimum.

    Ideally, students will have 3-4 classes in a semester with the same students. This means that students will be directly and indirectly in classroom contact with no more than 30-50 students in a semester.

    Parents are welcome to request that another student is in their child's cohort; however, we cannot guarantee that these requests will be fulfilled. Ensuring that students get the courses and academic options they need is our top priority.
  • Bell Schedules

  • Staggered Scheduling

    Drop off and dismissal times for all students have been staggered to allow for physical distancing. See Drop Off and Pick Up for more details.

    Breaks, lunch times and dismissal times have also been staggered to allow for physical distancing. (See Bell Schedules for details.) This staggering will also allow our cleaning staff to access all classrooms for cleaning and sanitization. 
  • Drop Off and Pick Up

    Drop off/pick up times for all students have been staggered and will be distributed among our four entrances to allow for physical distancing. Students should plan to arrive at school at the following times:
    • Grades 7-9: 8-8:25 a.m.
    • Grades 10-12: 8:15-8:40 a.m.
    All students have been assigned a specific entrance door based on their grade levels. This information was shared with parents via email.

    Siblings should be dropped off at the earliest drop-off time (e.g. if you have a child in Grade 7 and a child in Grade 10, please plan to drop them both off from 8-8:25 a.m.)

    Parents driving their children to school are encouraged to drop off/pick up a block or two from the school, rather than directly in front of the building, to allow for physical distancing.
  • Grade 7/8 Arts Program

    Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we have cancelled Grade 7 & 8 vocal music this year. We plan to reinstate this program next year.

    Both Grade 7 and 8 students will rotate through four arts during the year. These include visual arts, media, drama and instrumental music. The Grade 8 media course will also incorporate design technology.

    Grade 7 & 8 instrumental music will focus on percussion, strings (ukulele), composition and music appreciation. Students may borrow a ukulele from the school during the weeks that they are taking music class. If a student would prefer to use their own ukulele, they should plan to bring this to school on the days they have music. Ukuleles will not be shared between students.


List of 4 items.

  • Building Modifications

    Some classrooms and spaces have been renovated to support cohorting and physical distancing. In addition, we have made the following changes throughout the building.
    • Tables reconfigured to allow for more space between students
    • Hand sanitizer placed at all entrances to the building, in all classrooms and in common areas
    • Doors (except fire doors) propped open where possible to minimize handling and increase air flow
    • Non-essential items/items that cannot be easily cleaned removed and stored
    • Extensive signage supporting way-finding, physical distancing and proper hand hygiene placed throughout the building
  • Enhanced Cleaning Protocols

    Classrooms and common areas will be cleaned at least twice per day. We are dedicated to exceeding this standard whenever possible and have hired additional cleaning staff to do so. High-touch surfaces (washrooms, doorknobs, light switches etc.) will be cleaned several times throughout the day.

    An electrostatic sprayer using an approved bleach alternative will be used nightly to disinfect classrooms and common areas. Shared objects will be limited and cleaned between uses.

    Students may also wish have their own disinfecting wipes to wipe down surfaces as an additional precaution.
  • Ventilation and Air Flow

    Our ventilation infrastructure has been recently upgraded and updated in conjunction with our renovation and expansion.

    Our high-quality air filters are replaced quarterly. Our three make-up air units are in excellent working order; one unit is brand new for the 2020-2021 school year. These units replace air exhausted by the building by conditioning fresh air.

    HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are highly effective at catching particles much smaller than the average virus. For this reason, we are adding HEPA filters to our classrooms to provide an added layer of filtration and protection for staff and students, who will spend most of their time in school in a classroom.

    We have confirmed that our HVAC system is balanced with the appropriate ratio of fresh air.
  • Food Safety

    Greenwood’s Food Services provider, Chartwells, has implemented several additional safety measures in their food preparation process. These measures are outlined below.
    • All staff are required to complete additional training covering sanitization, proper use of PPE and COVID safety. Training also includes heightened disinfection logs and how to safely receive vendor deliveries.
    • All food items will be in disposable packaging.
    • Tables and chairs in the Lodge will be sanitized throughout the day.
    • Chartwells staff delivering meals to eating areas will sanitize their hands frequently.

Student Experience

List of 9 items.

  • Dress Code

    Wearing clothes that are easy to clean is an important part of keeping our community safe and healthy. With this in mind, Greenwood’s dress code for 2020-2021 has been relaxed significantly. The adjusted dress code offers more options and greater flexibility, and emphasizes clothing that is easily washable.
    The dress code for all students includes the following items. All clothing should be washed regularly.
    • Any Greenwood-branded top. This includes uniform shirts, Grizzlies athletic wear, spirit wear (e.g. sweatshirts purchased at WinterGreen) and grad hoodies.
    • Beige pants, shorts or skirt. Pants and shorts should have belt loops and should not have drawstrings. Pants should not have elasticized bottoms.
    • Dark brown or black belt (with pants and shorts).
    • Navy socks or tights.
    • Black or brown closed-toe and heel-covered shoes (e.g. dress shoes, athletic shoes, deck shoes, Blundstones).
    Students engaging in online synchronous learning must wear a Greenwood-branded top of their choice (anything from the list above is acceptable). Other uniform items are not required. As in the school building, hats should be removed during class time.

    Students may wear their full Health and Physical Education (HPE) uniform to school on the days they have this class. This will minimize changeroom use. Sweatpants or track pants of any colour may be worn over shorts on cold days. HPE uniforms should be washed after every use.
    All uniform items should continue to be labelled with your child(ren)’s name(s).
    Some gently used uniform items are available through the Roundtable Uniform and Textbook Exchange on Facebook. This group is open to all current Greenwood parents and guardians. Please feel free to join if you are not already a member.
    Greenwood may opt to return to the regular school uniform later in the year, dependent on public health circumstances. We will provide families with ample notice in this case.
  • Lockers

    Students will not be assigned lockers at the beginning of the year. 

    All students will need to have a backpack or bag and carry their belongings with them during the day. Most students will be in the same room throughout the school day to minimize movement through the school.

    Students should bring only the personal belongings necessary for the school day with them.
  • Lunch

    Greenwood’s food service provider, Chartwells, will offer pre-packaged food for purchase to all students. Other food service will be limited at the beginning of the school year. All packaged food must be pre-purchased. Order details will be included in a future communication.

    Students may bring a bagged lunch and snacks from home. Please note that all food items must be nut-free. 

    Lunches brought from home should not require reheating. Microwaves will not be available, as these are very high-touch surfaces.

    Each grade will have a designated lunch area to distribute students throughout the school. Students will follow physical distancing and cohorting protocols during lunch and break periods. Outdoor locations will be available for eating in fair weather.

    All students must have their own refillable water bottle, which they may refill from our hydration stations. Drinking fountains will not be available.

    In keeping with the recommendation that students spend time outside during the school day, students in Grades 10-12 will have the opportunity to leave campus for lunch at the discretion of their parents/guardians. While off campus, students will be asked to remain with no more than 2-3 members of their cohort OR with students that their family has designated as members of their bubble (e.g. carpool group, walking/biking group). We ask that families establish these small carpool/walking/biking groups as needed (no more than 4 students per group).

    Students leaving campus for lunch are welcome to buy food offsite.
  • Classroom Experience

    Classroom protocols and practices will change in order to adhere to health and safety guidelines. However, Greenwood teachers will remain committed to providing a personalized learning environment to, and building a strong relationship with, every student.

    Some changes students will notice include:
    • demo-only science labs (to avoid handling of materials);
    • greater collaboration using technology, to allow students to maintain a safe distance  as they work together (see Technology Requirements); and
    • greater space between chairs and desks.
  • Co-Curriculars

    Plans are currently underway for co-curricular offerings that provide students with choice while also observing heath and safety protocols. Many of these offerings may be online only at the beginning of the school year. Updates will be provided in future communications.
  • Outside Time

    We recognize that regular outside time is critical to mental and emotional health, and that being outside greatly reduces the possibility of COVID-19 transmission. We plan to give students as many opportunities as possible to get outside during the school day in fair weather. These include:
    • lunch (in supervised areas);
    • Health and Physical Education classes;
    • Adviser classes; and
    • Daily Physical Activity (Grade 7-8 students).
    Teachers will also take students for outdoor "mask breaks" throughout the day as needed.
  • Technology Requirements

    In addition to a laptop or learning device, there are two technology requirements for students this year.
    • Students taking math and/or science must have access to a printer at home. This will support online learning.
    • All students must have an electronic pen input or touchscreen (on a laptop or auxiliary device) for safe collaboration.
    Using pen-input devices and/or their touchscreens, students will be able to collaborate with their teachers and each other from a safe distance using shared screens. Students will require pen-input or touchscreen ability when they are in class in the school building and when engaging in online learning lessons from home. 

    All Greenwood-issued laptops have touchscreen ability and a stylus. Students can write using their fingers or styli on their computer screens. If a student has a Greenwood-issued laptop, no additional device is needed to meet this technology requirement. 

    Smartphones cannot be used for the pen-input/touchscreen requirement. Phones should not be out in class and phone screens are small, so phones are not a viable option.
  • Adviser

    Our Adviser program will continue to be an integral part of the Greenwood experience. No adjustments have been made to the program or to the support Advisers provide to their advisees. During the semester when students do not have their Adviser course, they will have Adviser sessions scheduled into their timetables.

    Some students going into Grade 8 or Grade 10 might have a different Adviser from last year. These Adviser assignments have been changed to limit mixing of students between classes and thus minimize student contacts.

    If a student has changed Advisers, their past Adviser and their current Adviser will be in close contact to ensure that the student’s needs are clearly communicated and addressed.
  • Outdoor Education

    All Outdoor Education trips have been cancelled for September 2020. We have rescheduled our Fall Outdoor Education Week to June 2021, if circumstances allow. We are also planning for various urban activities to build relationships and community. An update on Winter Outdoor Education Week will be sent to all families later this fall.

Greenwood College School

443 Mount Pleasant Road
Toronto, ON M4S 2L8
Tel: 416 482 9811