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COVID Updates

[COVID-19 Update] March 20, 2020

By March 21, 2020January 29th, 2021No Comments

Friday March 20, 2020

Re:  Facilitate our students to study from home

To: All CIC Parents,

As we are living and studying under the current State of Emergency here in Ontario, we are receiving many requests from students and parents asking the question:

Can my child return to my home country and continue studying remotely?

Yes – Special Sign-Out requests from parents will be approved for students to return home and continue their studies remotely using a digital learning platform.

This is a family choice.  We encourage all parents and students to do what they believe is best for them at this time.

Currently, remote teaching-learning is allowed by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Families may choose to have their children continue their current studies remotely at home. This includes the 2020 high school and junior middle school programs which started in January 2020. The opportunity to complete the summer semester studies at home will also be available at this time.

Studying from home will present challenges for all of us with regards to:

  • Mandatory Quarantine
    • Many countries and/or cities required their citizens or visitors who travelled overseas to undergo some type of quarantine. The quarantine usually lasts a minimum of 14 days. Please check the requirements before travelling as this may impact your learning.
  • Different time zones
    • We recognize that students will be accessing their Google Classroom in different time zones, but the expectation is that they are online in their google classroom on our time zone with the new daily schedule. The teacher will be present and collaborating at this time. Students will be required to be in attendance, completing their assessments and participating actively in their lessons.
    • It is necessary to be online at the same time, in the Google Classroom platform, as our daily teaching schedule.  This allows for rich learning conversations and observation and valid assessment of student achievement. For students who can access Google Classroom this will be the requirement.
  • No Access to Google Classroom
    • Only if students have no access to Google Classroom, will they need to access courses offered under an alternate learning platform like Moodle – this will be a more independent style of studying and they will no longer collaborate with their classmates and teacher who remain in their current Google Classroom
    • Potentially, students who have no access to Google Classroom can continue their studies under the Moodle platform. Not all courses you are currently enrolled in are available on the Moodle platform. Students may have to choose a new course on the Moodle platform.
    • There is no mixing of learning on the two learning platforms and Google Classroom remains the optimal platform for teaching and learning.
    • Students who choose the Moodle platform will go through an additional registration process before starting. Students who continue with their learning on Google Classroom will require no additional registration.

Can my child sign out from residence and continue studying at a designated home in Canada?

Special Sign-Out requests from parents to reside in Canada.

The COVID-19 situation has resulted in borders closing, challenges with student visa renewals and limited flight options.  Given these restrictions, CIC Management is also considering all special sign-out requests where families are choosing to sign out their child from our residence for the remainder of the semester to live with a family member or designate here in the Hamilton neighbourhood or any location here in Canada.

Special sign out requests for students to live on their own with no adult supervision will not be approved.

Should the students choose to move out from our residences and are not returning home, parents should understand CIC is no longer the custodian of their children and they should provide their legal custodian if they are under 18 years old.

Out of the two options described above – the Special Sign-out to stay with parents or family friends or relatives is by far the preferred in terms of continuing to study using our Google Platform and in our Eastern Standard Time Zone.

Parents who choose to keep their children in our residence

Please know that our Total Care continues during this difficult time. We continue to provide ASEP support from our Medical and Wellness team, Admissions, Liaison, Residence staff,, Guidance, UPO, Student Development, IT, Security and all of our Total Care departments.

Students can stay in our residence with no course registration as long as there is a need. Students can stay in residence with a full meal package until they are able to safely return to their home. If students stay past their paid period (end of May or June), they will be required to pay for the extension (Residence, Meals, Technology, etc ). This policy is subject to review should the COVID-19 situation change.

Can my children return to Canada if they choose to go home (overseas) now and come back for Summer or Fall 2020 semester?

There are Canadian embassies around the world that have closed and are not offering visa service.  Please make sure the Canadian Embassy in your country is open and you have sufficient time to process the application for entry visa and study permit if you choose to go home.

For students going home for the summer and returning to CIC for August semester:

  • If your re-entry visa is expiring before August 15th you should apply for your study permit and visa at home or you may return to Canada at least one week before the expiry date of the re-entry visa. Please obtain a confirmation of enrollment letter from CIC before your return. Please email your request to

Students staying in Canada for the summer:

  • You should apply for your study permit and entry visa renewal in Canada.

If the Canadian Embassy in your country is not open for visa services, you may risk not being able to return to Canada on time to continue your study.

Re-entry to Canada

As per the announcement made on March 20, 2020, international students with valid entry visa and study permit are permitted to enter Canada for the purpose of studying.

We remain committed to updating our community on COVID-19 developments and our school’s response to supporting our students health and wellness, and their academic goals this semester.

In Closing

I want to reach out to our May and June Graduates in particular to say we are doing everything we can to maintain the quality of our academic program this semester so you can receive your OSSD and be best prepared for your post-secondary plans.

Please note that this correspondence reflects information that we have at this time. With the situation rapidly evolving, directives from the various levels of government may change and therefore Columbia International College may also have to alter our programs and policies accordingly. We are committed to providing up to date communication to our CIC community.

Yours in education,

Bill Ironside, Principal

Columbia International College

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