Resident Support Services

Support from day one

We help students make the most of their exciting and sometimes challenging first days in residence. Multi-ethnic staff support students with language and cultural adjustments, peer mentors help them adjust to their new home and alumni share their experiences and words of wisdom. Students can attend orientation workshops on timely subjects such as living with roommates and time management. Staff help students with tasks like opening a bank account and ensuring they have adequate health coverage. Free tours of Hamilton, Toronto and Niagara Falls and opportunities to develop new friendships make students feel welcomed and connected to their new home away from home.

Custom care for each student

Columbia’s Total Care Living® approach ensures that boarding school life is meeting each student’s unique needs. Using the student’s ASEP assessment results, which identify specific academic, social, emotional and physical areas of need or concern, staff are able to adapt the residence life program so that it is the best fit possible for each student. Room placement, meals, residence life programming and residence services are all adjusted to the individual student based on their age, interests and needs. This helps students make a successful transition to living away from home and experience academic, social and personal success.

Quality programming

At Columbia, we think it’s possible to learn through play, which is why our staff create an interesting and educational living environment with high quality after-hours and weekend programming. Students take a break from studying and bond with friends on day trips to local historical and cultural hot spots. Leadership activities lay the groundwork for strong character. Arts, technology and sports-based activities help students become well rounded individuals and discover new talents. Team-building events create a well connected school community and positive culture. Interactive workshops teach important life skills such as good study habits, personal care and time management.

On-site health care

Taking care of the whole student means helping students when they’re ill. Each residence has a wellness room where students can rest and have their condition monitored by registered nurses, who visit the residences each day. Because illness often affects appetite, sick students are offered special meals from the cafeteria that give them a nutritional boost in a format that appeals to those who aren’t well. Columbia also has a medical clinic on campus, which is staffed by a registered nurse who is available to answer questions, book appointments with physicians and assist with the paperwork involved in health insurance claims.

Help with the day-to-day

Living away from home is an excellent opportunity for students to develop independent living skills appropriate to their age and ability. Columbia offers the support students need to manage daily tasks so they feel capable, not overwhelmed. We offer help with visas, passports and flights including visa and passport renewals and booking airline tickets. Parents can feel confident that pocket money is being managed carefully under our watchful eye, including long distance telephone expenses. We make it convenient for students to purchase bus tickets, phone cards, textbooks and uniforms and make sure that registered mail and parcels make it safely into their hands.

Special care for younger students

Students aged 16 and younger need special care and attention, which Columbia’s boarding school staff provide with supervised daily routines and individualized attention. Live-in staff are a loving and responsible presence in the residence and are available at all times to monitor student activity and respond to their needs. These caring “house parents” also offer one-on-one help with homework during evening study hall sessions. Counselling services for younger residence students make sure they are thriving academically and socially. We stay connected to parents, who can always contact staff for updates and answers to questions about their child’s progress.