Merrick Preparatory School’s first priority is the health and safety of our students and staff. We take every precaution necessary, following the recommendations of our local Public Health, the Ontario Provincial Government, the Canadian Federal Government, and the World Health Organization.
Please do not hesitate to contact us directly should you have any questions.
Below is some information that our Merrick Preparatory School family, friends and community may find of value:
Frequently Asked Questions
How are you teaching your students?
On March 30, 2020, after the March Break, our students returned to “class” attending our “live” online learning platform with their classmates and teachers. The timetable was adjusted to maximize student participation and attendance as we have students in eight different time zones worldwide. Student who cannot attend classes live are required to view the recording of the class and then meet one-on-one with their teacher during the teacher’s Office Hours, specifically scheduled to ensure all students in all time zones can attend. All teachers are available to “meet” with their students one-on-one for additional support.
How are you administering tests?
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 online 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. In some instances, we provide “take home exams” where the students are given a test and a specific amount of time to complete and submit.
How sophisticated and different are your online learning programs?
Very sophisticated! As noted in “How are you teaching your students?”; “How are you administering tests?” and “Are students being graded and are Report Cards still being issued?”, our students are ostensibly still in class with us as if they were attending in-person. We are different from other online learning platforms as we teach live, in-person, with a hands-on experiential learning approach in a virtual world, with labs, experiments, outside field work, presentations and interviews e.g.: growing caterpillars to butterflies, crystal growth and analysis, organism diversity in different ecosytems, etc.
Perhaps one of our grade 11 students, Khaled Beyk from Syria, said it best: “I LOVE MPS online 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 online courses because there is clear structure, support and deadlines that the teachers support me in achieving, whereas in other online courses you do not have a teacher and the structure is very lose, with no specific due dates for assignments, 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 online learning platform and the support I get from the teachers – it is far better than traditional online experiences.”
Are students still being graded and are Report Cards still being issued?
Yes, all students are still being evaluated, assessed and report cards are being issued as per usual.
Will students graduate and have the opportunity to go to university?
Yes, all students who are eligible to graduate will earn their Ontario Secondary School Diploma and have the opportunity to attend university.
Will students obtain the same credits through the remote learning program?
Yes, all students participating in our online virtual learning platform will obtain the same credits as if they were participating in an in-person course here on campus.
When will your school open again?
We are taking direction from the Ontario Provincial Government. We will call our students back to the school when the Ontario Provincial Government deems it safe to do so.
Is anyone allowed in the school?
The Headmaster, one maintenance staff and one cleaning staff are the only staff allowed in the building, and social distancing is observed. Other staff are allowed in the building on an as-needed basis following a strict protocol and only at the permission of the Headmaster.
What is the study plan for September 2020?
We are taking future decisions day-by-day as directed by the Ontario Provincial Government. At this time, we anticipate returning to school as per usual in September 2020. If schools remain closed, we have a number of options available to us, including starting the school year later, moving to an online learning platform, or a hybrid synchronous (both in-person and/or “live” virtual) and asynchronous teaching model. We remain committed to our students’ education and will provide a robust and pedagogically sound program that will allow our students to progress and continue their education. A final decision will be announced on August 11, 2020 based on the Ontario Provincial Government directives.
How will you support your students if the school is closed in the future?
Student and staff safety is our first priority. We will follow the same protocol as outlined in the Headmaster’s letter of March 30, 2020. We will ensure students are reunited with family back home or assist in finding them local accommodation in the event they cannot return home.
What is the refund policy if the school does not open in September?
If the school does not open in September, we will continue to provide our world class education through our online learning platform as outlined in “What is the study plan for September 2020?”, and a pro-rated refund of $2,310 per month will be provided based on full tuition fees for each month that students are unable to attend in-person. If the school is open no refund will be provided. Our Refund Policy is outlined in our Financial Handbook
If a student returns home and cannot return to Canada, 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 online learning platform as outlined in the question “How are you teaching your students” and as outlined in the Headmaster’s Letter of March 30, 2020.
Can students remain in your dorms?
No, the school is closed, and the dorms are closed. We will assist in helping to coordinate their travel home or assist in finding them local accommodation.
If a student contracts the Coronavirus COVID-19, how would you support them?
We would ensure they received appropriate medical care. Our student insurance policy would cover the medical costs.
What is your protocol if the virus returns?
We will follow the recommendations and directives of our local Public Health, the Ontario Provincial Government, the Canadian Federal Government, and the World Health Organization. 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 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 buildings. 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. All surfaces, light switches, doorknobs, door push plates and ‘panic bars’ are sanitized at appropriate intervals to ensure the school remains safe. Our school will remain closed until the Ontario Provincial Government deems it safe to open, and at that time we will follow all guidelines, recommendations, protocols and best practices to ensure our students and staff remain safe.
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