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[COVID-19 Update] March 19, 2020

By March 20, 2020No Comments

March 19, 2020 COVID 19 – Update #10

We all have a civic duty to make good choices, to stay healthy and act responsibly to protect ourselves, our friends and our entire school community.

The COVID-19 situation is fluid and rapidly changing. And so must our school’s response. Here is our Update in Q and A format.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are students not allowed independent access to the community outside of their assigned Residence buildings?

The school is following directive issued by our various level of government:

  • Monday’s (March 16) announcements from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
  • Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams’ outlining sweeping restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • Premier Doug Ford declared a State of Emergency on March 17, 2020

The government’s message is social distancing and banning gatherings of more than 50 people.

Under our Total Care Education approach, CIC is taking precautionary steps to keep the students safer and give better peace of mind to the parents.

For what reasons will students be allowed to leave residence?

Student will be only permitted to leave residence for essential services.


  • Hospital/Medical related visit assessed by CIC nurse
  • Family Emergency
  • Passport renewal (with confirmed appointment)
  • Banking that has to be done in person
  • IELTS (with confirmed appointment)
  • Academic related IT / Device issue repair (with confirmed appointment)


  • Buying snacks
  • Buying Personal care products
  • Haircut / Personal Grooming
  • Visiting Family and relatives

What is happening with Student Development activities this week (March Break)?

According to the social distancing recommendation from Public Health, we have to change the planned activities for this week. Updated activities schedule is posted on TV in each residence.

Students will use their own facilities and enjoy the activities within their residences.

How do students access other school services? Visa office? Guidance or UPO? Wellness? Accounting? Liaison Office?

Medical services are available in residences. All other student services will be available remotely.  Please contact them by phone or email:

Admissions & Liaison Team


School Calendar

What is the new daily class schedule effective March 23 – April 24?

Period 1           8:30 – 10:15 am

Period 2           10:20 am – 12:05 pm

Period 3           12:10 – 1:55 pm

Period 4           2:00 – 3:45 pm

Period 5           3:50 – 5:35 pm

Additionally, in order to achieve the necessary required hours, students are expected on the weekends to document on Google Classroom, a minimum of 30 minutes per course per day. Specifically, on:

  • March 28, 29 = 30 minutes/course/day OR 1 hour/course over the weekend
  • April 4,5 = 30 minutes/course/day OR 1 hour/course over the weekend
  • April 10, 11, 12,13 (Easter Weekend) = 30 minutes/course/day OR 2 hours/course over the long weekend
  • April 18, 19 = 30 minutes/course/day OR 1 hour/course over the weekend

Who should students contact if they encounter technical issues regarding remote learning?

For inquiries about internet connection and hardware:

For inquiries about Google Classroom and associated apps contact

How does remote teaching apply to courses like Arts, Music, Band, Hospitality and Physical Education for example?

Via Google Classroom. The 30% Final Assessment will emphasize Course Culminating Tasks and not a formal examination. Activities including recorded performances, observations/conversations, case studies, research projects, presentations, etc will be the focus.

How do students do final assessments?

Via Google Classroom. The 30% Final Assessment will emphasize Course Culminating Tasks and not a formal examination. Activities including observations/conversations, case studies, research projects, presentations, etc will be the focus.

What are the important withdrawal dates this semester?

The date for course Withdrawal with a Mark “WM” starts from March 25th until April 13th.

After April 13th students cannot withdraw from a course and will have to remain in the course with average marks to date shown.

Students who withdraw up until March 24th will show as WN “no mark”. These courses will not show on a transcript.

There is no refund on Withdrawn courses.

If a student is going home for the summer, what is the earliest flight they can book?

The earliest flight a student can book upon completing their studies is April 25.

When can May graduates get the graduation certificates?

This is yet to be determined. The Ontario Ministry of Education will provide this information when available. We will communicate to all grads as soon as we are aware.

When is the last day for the exam? What format will the exams be?

There is no formal exam period. Classes and final assessments end as scheduled on Friday April 24, 2020.

Can students go home (out of Canada) and study through remote learning?

CIC is exploring all options for students. We will communicate with you in a separate announcement.

When is the last day of classes for High School?

The current semester will end on April 24th for high school students.

Please note that students can stay in their residences even after the semester is done.

What is the last day of classes for JMS?

JMS students will adopt our new remote learning schedule and focus on core and developmental skills in specific curricular areas to prepare them for success in the next school year. Presuming our students participate and demonstrate their learning, they will progress and be prepared for their next school year. Junior Middle School students will also finish the year on April 24.

How can students order transcripts?

Transcripts can be ordered online on the Columbia website at under the contacts tab.

There will be no physical pick up in the school, all transcripts will be sent directly to the universities or colleges of applied arts and technology.

You can contact your University Counsellor to send your transcript to your university or college outside of Ontario or outside of Canada if it’s required.

Can students graduate in June by taking courses in the Summer Semester? Will the courses be online?

Yes, summer courses will be offered. Please contact the Guidance Office (Ext.2844 or email for course selection and registration.

Depending on the circumstances, the summer courses may be held online. We will provide you updates later.

Are there any changes in the Summer courses in Bark Lake?

To Be Determined

Can May and June graduates extend their stay in Residence if they are unable to go back to their home country?

Yes, May graduates can stay in residence until they are able to safely return to their home country. If students stay past their pay period at the end of May, they will be required to pay for the extension (Residence, Meals, Technology, etc ).

The same applies to June graduates, who have residence and meals covered until June 30, 2020.

What about non-graduate students who wish to stay in Residence after classes are over?

Students can stay in our residence if there is a need as stated above.

When will the Summer Semester start and end?

CIC plans to offer courses for our Summer Semester to start in early May. Mode of delivery to be determined. If circumstances permit, our priority is in-person teaching-learning. We will also provide online learning options. The ending will be in June to facilitate our June grads’ admission to university.

How do students change course registration?

Please contact the Guidance Office (Ext. 2844 or email for course changes and registration.

Can students leave now with their midterm mark and come back later (August 2020) to continue their studies?

No, Ontario Ministry of Education requires students to finish their courses within a semester. We CANNOT keep the mid-term marks and let students continue their courses when they come back. If a student chooses to withdraw now, he/she will have to re-take all the courses when he/she comes back in future semesters.

How is the weekend studying going to look like? Will there be classes on the weekends?

There will be a total of 2 hours per day of online learning required through Google Classroom for Saturdays and Sundays. Students are required to take attendance, demonstrate evidence of their learning to their teachers and complete an exit card. This participation is required and essential to achieve 110 hours of learning.

Is tutoring service available?

Tutoring service will only be available online. Please book appointments through

Please email Tutor Coordinator Ms. James ( if you have any questions

Will the school change the August semester start time?

At this time, the school has no plan to change the August semester calendar.

Will I still be able to access my locker?

Yes. Arrangement will be announced.

Literacy Test (OSSLT)

When can students take the Literacy Test (OSSLT)?

The Literacy Test (OSSLT) is cancelled for this year’s May and June graduates. Students will be able to graduate and obtain the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) without writing the Literacy Test this year. December graduates will be provided with more information when available.

Students who failed OSSLT and have already registered for OLC4O should still take the course?

Students should remain in their OLC4O course and benefit from the Literacy learning and earn the credit to be recognized on their Ontario Student Transcript.

Will the cancellation of OSSLT affect university application?

In this year (2020), OSSLT is waived for graduation requirements. It will not affect your university application.

External Events

Will students write the Waterloo Math contests?

The Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC) of Waterloo University postponed the Math Contests to May but no specific date is available at this moment. They will reassess the situation in mid April.

Please note the Grade 12 Euclid Math Contest will NOT be a factor in this year’s admission and scholarship decisions.

The Canadian Team Mathematics Contest (CTMC) is cancelled. Math Circles, Think About Math! Waterloo and Toronto and SPARCS are all cancelled.

For updates, please check this website:

Can students finish the Duke of Edinburgh Awards program?

May and June graduates have already completed their adventure trip requirement and should be able to have all other requirements met for Silver and Bronze programs on time.

For the Gold program, we have to continue monitoring the situation to understand whether or not they will be able to complete their adventure trip in 2 months. Students can complete the requirements and receive awards until they are 25 years old.

How do we send IELTS results?

Please send an email to CIC’s External Testing Office,, with your information and an officer will reach out to you with a TRF request form and Payment form (Only accepting VISA/MASTERCARD/AMEX) for you to complete.

How can student pick-up the IELTS result reports?

The result reports will be delivered to the residence. Please refer to the residence front desk for details and you can also review your result online.

How can I go to the test scheduled for this Saturday (March 21, 2020)?

The test is cancelled due to the State of Emergency declared.

Can I still register for IELTS?

Yes, you can still register currently but only credit card payments are accepted at this moment, however, we strongly suggest you to closely monitor the updates from IELTS.

Will students still be able to request a re-mark of their IELTS test?

Yes, you will have 6 weeks to request a re-mark and please email your request to For March 7th session, you have until April 17th to submit your request

For March 14th session, you have until April 24th to submit your request

Prom & Graduation

Will there be Graduation Ceremony in May and June?

The scheduled May Graduation Ceremony is cancelled. For the June Graduation Ceremony, we will reassess the situation in April and provide more information later.

Is there any schedule for Grad photos?

To Be Determined.

What will happen to 2020 Prom? Will we still have it?

The Prom is cancelled this year.

Community Service

How about the community service hours?

Student Development is working on options that are doable remotely or within the Residence. The school is also waiting on Ministry of Education guidance regarding deadlines and options.

Social / Emotional

How do students connect with friends living in other residence buildings?

The best way to stay connected is via Text/Calls/Social Media/Facetime, etc…

Will the WIFI connection issue in Linden Residence be fixed?

The school will ensure the WiFi can support the remote learning beginning next Monday.

What are the opening hours of the swimming pool?

7:00PM – 9:00 PM for resident Boys Only at Pine Boy

How often will the recess be?

There will be supervised recess scheduled regularly throughout the day. Please see posting on TV messages.

Will the recess be outdoors?

Yes, it will be outdoor.

What is the procedure for take-out food delivery?

In order to minimize transmission from outside the residence, we do not allow outside visitors to come into our residences.

You can order take out food online and delivery is permitted at the entrance to the residence. Please make sure the food providers have your name and room number on your order.

You may use online food delivery apps such as Uber Eats, Skip-a-Dish, Door-dash etc. Please use pre-paid options as you will not be able to interact with the delivery person. All packages and bags will be open and inspected by residence staff.

Can family/relatives drop off food similar to food delivery service?

Yes, food deliveries are permitted at the entrance of residences. In order to minimize transmission from outside the residence, we do not allow outside visitors to come into our residences. All packages and bags will be open and inspected by residence staff.

Can relatives drop food off for students?

Food deliveries to residences are permitted at the entrance. All packages and bags will be open and inspected by residence staff.


How can we purchase hygiene products so they are delivered in a day or two?

We recommend you to shop online and have the goods delivered to the entrance of the residences. For example, or Instacart (available in App Store or Play Store).

For those students who do not have credit or debit cards to shop online, please contact our residence front desk for help.

How can students go out for a smoke?

There will be supervised recess scheduled throughout the day.

Will there be medical support in residence?

There will be nurses stationed at all residences.

Are students allowed to wear masks?

Students will be allowed to wear medical grade masks. Cloth and cotton masks are not allowed. The school only provides medical masks to students who are sick.

Will the cafeteria staff wear masks?

Servers are wearing masks. With the new guideline from Public Health under the State of Emergency, we will be serving food in take-out packages to meet the requirement. Students are also required to consume their meal inside their room or other common spaces, NOT in the cafeteria, for social distancing purposes and personal protection. Students should not be gathering in groups larger than 50.

Will the school provide masks to students?

CIC nurses provided medical grade face masks free of charge to student(s) who are ill. For those who are not ill, they will need to provide their own medical grade face masks.

Can students open the residence room windows to get fresh air?

Yes. Students are allowed to open windows in their residence rooms.

Will there be sufficient provision for the school with respect to food, and basic supplies?

Yes. CIC is well prepared for the State of Emergency which is schedule to end by March 31, 2020

Will the administrative staff still be available after March Break?

Yes. Administrative staff will be accessible via email and phone. Some administrative staff will be on duty in our residences.


What if we need to go to the Campus Store?

Please send all inquiries to or contact your liaison officer.

Will April Bus Pass still be needed?

Probably not but it will be distributed to students.

Will my parents still be able to communicate with Liaison officers?

Yes, parents are still able to contact their liaison officers via Email and Calls.

Visa / Study Permit Applications

Can students return to Canada if they choose to go home now and come back for Summer or Fall 2020 semester?

As per the previous travel ban announced by our Prime Minister (March 17, 2020), only Canadians citizens and permanent residents can enter Canada at this time.

Holding a valid visa / study permit may not allow you to enter Canada until the travel ban is lifted.

As the situation is fluid, it is difficult to predict what will happen in the weeks ahead and this may be subject to change in the future.

Should I apply for my study permit / visa in Canada or at home?

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 so choose to go home. Use this link to see if the Visa Application Center in your country has closed: Check Visa Application Centers 

Students going home for the summer and returning for university / college in September

  • If your re-entry visa is expiring before August 15th you should apply for your study permit and visa at home.

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.

Students staying in Canada for the summer

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

How do students submit their documents to apply for entry visa / study permit applications?

You can submit your documents to

You can find all the necessary documents for your application at

How do students get passports that were given to the school for safe keeping?

YAA students will only be able to sign out their passports for a flight or for an emergency situation.

Non-YAA students who have given their passports for safe keeping, can request through their liaison officer, to have their passport returned.

Passports will be available at the residence that the student resides in.

What to do if a student’s Study Permit / entry visa application is already in process?

If you have already applied for a study permit in Canada and are going home, we will contact you once your application has been approved. At that time, you should immediately apply for your re-entry visa before you depart Canada.

If you have already applied for a Study Permit in Canada and are staying in Canada, you do not need to worry about your current Study Permit expiring. You will have implied status until a decision is made on your application.

If you have already applied for a re-entry visa in Canada and wish to go home, please discuss with our Visa Office staff before you make any decision.

If you have already applied for a re-entry visa in Canada and are staying in Canada, you do not need to worry about your legal status in Canada as long as your Study Permit is valid. We will contact you once your application has been approved.

Can students make payment to school for services?

Students can email

Payments for school services will be processed using your sundry account. Should your sundry account not have sufficient funds, we will process the payment via Credit Card. Debit cards cannot be accepted remotely.

Bill Ironside, Principal Columbia International College

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