Merrick Preparatory School’s (MPS) first priority is the physical and emotional safety of our students. As such, all staff and all students on the MPS campus are fully COVID vaccinated. All staff and all students wear masks at all times and maintain a two metre distance where reasonable. We have a Readiness Plan to Welcome Students Back to Campus that has been approved by three levels of government and we maintain regular contact with our local public health unit and assigned public health nurse. Our school has been inspected and approved to have students on campus. Our region has the highest vaccination rate in Canada, at over 93% of the population. We follow all Canadian Federal, Provincial, Public Health and Ministry of Education guidelines and protocols to ensure our students and staff remain safe.
For those unable to travel to the MPS campus we offer our Synchronous Learning Platform: all classrooms have been retrofitted with the best technology available, including state-of-the-art 360-degree tracking cameras, highly sensitive microphones and speakers, and multiple screens and projectors. Our Synchronous Learners, be the around the corner or around the globe, participate live, in real-time, with their teachers and their classmates from around the world in hands-on and experiential learning. From the student’s perspective it feels as though they are here on campus sitting in the classroom! Our Synchronous Learning students earn credits towards the world-renowned Ontario Secondary School Diploma and gain access to world ranked universities. The MPS Promise remains firmly intact!
Please view our Frequently Asked Questions and various resources outlined below.
Frequently asked questions
How are you teaching your students?
We support our students to ensure their success, regardless if they are on or off campus. We have developed a robust live Synchronous Learning Platform with state-of-the-art tracking cameras that follow the teacher’s movements and highly sensitive microphone and speaker systems so all students can participate in class discussions regardless if they are in the classroom or learning synchronously through their computer. This allows the synchronous learning student to participate fully in class with their peers, as if they were physically sitting in the same room as their teacher. We ensure students from around the world can partake and our teachers provide office hours to support learners in different time zones. All classes are recorded for students to review at any time. All teachers are available to meet with their students one-on-one for additional support.
How do you administer tests with Synchronous Learning?
Our tests are administered as per usual. The teacher electronically distributes the test at the beginning of class, and the students write the test and then electronically submit the test at the end of the class. During the test the teacher can see and hear all students via our live Synchronous Learning Platform and speak live to each student. Each student’s camera displays to the teacher the student, the student’s hands, and work surface. It is no different than if the student were writing the test in a classroom on campus.
Are students graded and are report cards issued?
Yes, all students are evaluated and assessed. Attendance and participation are mandatory, along with regular homework, essays/written work, quizzes, tests, exams, presentations and labs. Progress reports and report cards are issued monthly, and weekly personalized emails are sent home to parents each Friday by each classroom teacher.
Do your students go to university?
Yes, and it does not matter if you are a Day student, a Boarding student or a Synchronous Learning student. Since our founding in 2012 we have maintained a 100% placement rate to world-ranked universities for our graduates, many on scholarship. Last year our 15 graduates were given 75 offers to world-ranked universities!
When will MPS open?
Our school is currently open to Day students, Boarding students and Synchronous Learning students. All staff and all students on campus are full COVID vaccinated.
What is the Study Plan for the 2021-2022 academic year?
MPS offers a full suite of courses and programs as per usual for the 2021-2022 academic year through on-campus learning for our Day and Boarding students, and through our Synchronous Learning Platform for those who opt to remain at home.
What happens if I cannot come to Merrick Preparatory School (MPS) in Merrickville?
If you cannot come to MPS in Merrickville due to border closures or Study Permit delays or school closure, no problem! … you can still partake, live, in all classes through our sophisticated Synchronous Learning Platform. And when you can travel to Merrickville, you will be able to seamlessly join all your classes without concern or delay. We will refund any fees paid in excess of our Synchronous Learning Fees for Boarding students and for Day students a refund of $352 per month is offered.
How will you support students if the campus is closed in the future?
Student safety is our first priority, while ensuring that our students’ education is not compromised. We will follow the protocols as outlined by the Ontario Ministry of Education, the Ontario Provincial Government, the Canadian Federal Government, and the local Public Health Unit. We will ensure students are reunited with their family or assist in finding them local accommodation in the event they cannot return home. Courses will continue uninterrupted and uncompromised through our Synchronous Learning Platform, as will co-curricular activities and university preparation and guidance.
If a student returns home and then cannot return to MPS, how will you support them?
In addition to safety, our top priority is to ensure our students’ academic success. If a student cannot return to Merrick Preparatory School due to the border being closed, we will continue to support them through our live Synchronous Learning Platform as outlined in “How are you teaching your students”.
If a student contracts the Coronavirus COVID-19, how will you support them?
We will ensure they receive appropriate medical care. Public Health will be contacted. Anyone with a positive COVID-19 test will be immediately quarantined and monitored to keep the community safe. All Public Health guidelines would be followed. Our student insurance policy will cover medical costs.
What is your protocol if there is are additional waves of the Coronavirus, COVID-19?
We will follow the recommendations and directives of our local Public Health Unit, the Ontario Provincial Government, the Canadian Federal Government, and the Ontario Ministry of Education. Based on the situation it may require self-isolation in the school, returning students to their home countries, or any number of other measures as defined and directed by the appropriate overseeing bodies mentioned above.
How sophisticated and different is your Synchronous Learning Platform?
Very sophisticated! As noted in “How are you teaching your students?”; “How do you administer tests with Synchronous Learning?” and “Are students graded and are report cards issued?”, our synchronous learners attend classes live; it is the same as attending in-person. We are different from other synchronous learning and online learning platforms; we are not sharing a screen – our students see the teacher and their peers as if they were sitting in class! Our synchronous learners engage in group work, individual presentations, collaborative discussions and hands-on experiential learning with labs, experiments, outside field work and interviews.
Perhaps one of our grade 11 students, Khaled Beyk from Syria, said it best: “I LOVE MPS synchronous learning! Having actual live classes every day with my teachers, with assignment deadlines and no ability to “fall off the wagon” is great! I am actually doing well in MPS synchronous courses because there is clear structure, support and deadlines that the teachers support me in achieving, whereas in online courses you do not have a teacher and there are no specific due dates for assignments, and in other synchronous learning environments the structure is very lose, so it is really easy to fall behind, especially if you don’t understand a topic – you are on your own. I am really happy with MPS’s synchronous learning platform and the support I get from the teachers – it is far better than traditional online experiences or other synchronous learning platforms.”
How do I know if my child is attending class – is it required for Synchronous Learners in different time zones?
Yes, attendance and participation are mandatory for Synchronous learning students, just as they are for Day and Boarding students. Attendance is taken at the start of each class and parents are immediately notified via email if a student is not in attendance, if homework is incomplete, if assignments are not submitted, if there are any concerns. Weekly emails are also sent to parents with performance updates, in addition to monthly report cards. All students will be given a timetable at the start of each semester and expectations will be adjusted and clearly defined for those in different time zones. All classes are recorded and available for review.
Can all students earn credits and the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)?
Yes, all MPS students, regardless if they are Day students, Boarding students or Synchronous Learning students can obtain credits and earn their Ontario Secondary School Diploma, the #1 ranked high school diploma in the world.
What activities do you offer outside of class?
On campus we offer over 40 co-curricular activities, as well as nightly study hall and tutorial support, evening outings, sports and clubs, weekend activities and field trips, monthly House Cup Competitions, Spirt Week per semester, Leadership Day per semester, Staff versus Student hockey, soccer and basketball games, varsity sports (competing against other schools), Pi Competition, University of Waterloo mathematic competitions, Model United Nations, Terry Fox Run, IELTS preparation, Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test preparation, university guidance, selection and application, and a host of other activities. We have a very robust schedule of fun and engaging activities for our Day and Boarding students on campus. For our Synchronous students we offer all the same activities: co-curricular activities, Spirit Week, monthly House Cup Competitions, Staff versus Student FIFA Soccer Tournament, a physical challenge week, a Farewell Party, Graduation, academic advising, office hours and tutorial support, IELTS completion and university guidance. The Synchronous Learner’s experience is very robust in and out of class.
How are you maintaining your school’s sanitization?
We have numerous hand sanitizing stations throughout the school and all sinks have sanitizing soap and disposable paper towel. Our cleaning staff are experts trained in the safe sanitization of surfaces and ensure the building remains safe. We have met with our cleaning solutions and sanitization expert and have reviewed our protocols and cleaning products to ensure they are appropriate to manage all relevant bacteria and viruses, including the Coronavirus COVID-19. Boarding students have their own private bathroom available to them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Day students have a separate bathroom, as do staff. Staff and students wear masks at all times and maintain two metres distance when reasonable to do so. We have been inspected by the local public health unit, are in regular contact with our Public Health nurse and follow all of their recommendations. We will continue to evolve and adjust our cleaning, sanitization and distancing protocols based on best practice and the guidelines as defined by the Ontario Ministry of Education, the local Public Health Unit, the Ontario Provincial Government and the Canadian Federal Government.
Where can I find information regarding immigration?
Contact the Canadian Embassy or High Commission Office in your country, or visit the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship website: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/immigration-citizenship.html
How do you manage student quarantine?
Our quarantine policy has been approved by the Ontario Ministry of Health, the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit and is detailed in our Readiness Plan.
The following websites provide directives from various government bodies, updates and information on local COVID-19 cases and protective precautionary measures, in addition to ways to help manage stress and anxiety during these unprecedented times.
Public Health School Hotline: 1.866.236.0123. This phone line will be answered Monday to Friday from 7:00a.m. to 4:30p.m. Eastern Standard Time, as well as on Sunday’s from 8:30a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to answer any questions you may have regarding COVID-19.
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Public Health
Ontario Ministry of Education
Ontario Provincial Government
Canadian Federal Government
Ottawa Public Health
World Health Organization
Anxiety Canada: Coping with COVID-19 + Talking to Kids About COVID-19
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - Coping with Stress https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html