Posted on July 20, 2020, by , in COVID-19, Featured, with No Comments

TIMELINE: 0:00 – Introduction – Mr. Stephen Goobie, Principal | 2:40 – Learning – Mr. Housam Hallis, Vice Principal | 5:10 – Academic Support – Mr. Shane Chaffey, Assistant Principal | 7:19 – Campus Life – Ms. Robyn Fallis, incoming Director of Boarding | 10:30 – Health & well-being – Ms. Meghan Dalziel, Senior Counsellor & Ms. Catherine Lamanna, Senior Nurse | 11:41 – Meal Services – Ms. Katherine Fung, Director of Support Services | 12:32 – Conclusion – Stephen

Dear parents,

At Bodwell, we provide “Education for a Changing World”.  We know that in this past half-year, the world has changed.  The pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus has made us all quickly rethink how we live, travel and learn.  We have learned a lot about how to do these as safely as possible.

Recently we asked parents and students for their feedback on our response to the pandemic.  We have put together these ideas with ours, as well as by working with other boarding schools across British Columbia.  While we will continue to focus on our same school mission and tradition, we are excited to present to you a renewed Bodwell for the new school year, full of even more support and exciting opportunities for our students.

This Fall, we are planning to fully run our school. For Bodwell, this means that our students are:

    1. learning in-person in the classroom with teachers, supported by technology
    2. receiving additional support in academics and English language improvement toward post-secondary success
    3. living together in a vibrant and safe boarding community
    4. enjoying engaging and unique week-round activities on and off campus
    5. receiving close support from a dedicated team of caring adults.

With careful planning, each one of these aspects of running our school is possible.

Enhanced Classroom Learning:

For the new school year, we are planning for in-person learning in classrooms, led by our experienced teachers, with the following features:

  1. Academic blocks A to E will no longer rotate each day, making the daily schedule more stable and consistent.
  2. Class sizes will remain similar to previous years and students will attend academic classes every day from Monday to Friday.
  3. Students will be assigned seating in the classroom. Each student will have their own learning supplies and will not share with others, and students will sanitize surfaces between classes.
What will instruction look like this fall? Going back to SCHOOL means doing:

In other words, students will learn in the classroom with their teacher, and at the same time they will use the powerful technical skills they have learned over the past half-year to collaborate and connect with one another. When classroom space requires more physical distancing, students in a class will sometimes rotate to a supervised study space connected in real-time to classroom learning.

For students arriving late to Bodwell in September because of unavoidable travel delays, teachers can assist students via recorded lessons and resources in keeping up with learning until they can join other students in the classroom. For greater convenience and safety, new students and parents will receive an online orientation to Bodwell.

Students can expect many useful and enhanced course offerings in many academic subject areas. There will be more Advanced Placement courses to challenge our most ambitious learners. Fall 2020 will also see the return of our Music Program, led by Mr. Jens Nissen in a new role, with special safety steps in place.

Academic Support:

This Fall, we are making academic support a priority at Bodwell. Students have done their best over the past many months of online learning, but we know that they will need extra help to accelerate and to ensure no student has missed any core areas of the curriculum. Although we will have a smaller student population this fall, we have made a special effort to have additional teachers refocus their attention on academic support.

Previously, students joined an extracurricular club once a week, and had Study Hall in the evening with tutors. This fall, each week, every student will attend two blocks of academic support on two days per week – on Monday and Wednesday, or on Tuesday and Thursday. These blocks are called G1 and G2, and they will happen after regular classes during the day. Boarding students will still have an evening Study Time to do their homework, supported by the advisors, and a quieter curfew time in the halls before sleeping.

G1 and G2 blocks will offer a wealth of learning support options, led by our Bodwell teachers.  Many students will need to attend IELTS Training and Writing & Literacy Clinic, as well as tutoring in academic disciplines such as math and science.  Additionally, many students will be able to choose an Active Learning option for one of their G-blocks, led by our Boarding Advisors, to help them to stay healthy and have fun together.  Some athletic pursuits such as swimming will also be available, closely following safety guidelines.

Additionally, our unique Saturday Enrichment classes will restart in October to offer students additional opportunities for career exploration, volunteering, skill building and university preparation.

Safe Campus Life:

Following many years of leadership in Bodwell’s University Summer Program (BUSP), Ms. Robyn Fallis will be stepping into the role of Director of Boarding this fall.


According to our Campus Restart Plan, students will return to a comfortable, convenient and engaging life in our boarding facility, with the following features:

  1. To start, students arriving on flights will be supported through a 2-week quarantine to ensure they are free from COVID-19. During this time, students will have their health and well-being monitored, and engage in online programming before joining our regular boarding community. This will include some self-study academic support, which will continue after quarantine until the start of classes in September.
  2. Our campus is redesigned to reduce the crowding of spaces and to allow students and staff to keep healthy distances. Key hallways and stairways will be one directional, with limitations on uses of spaces such as washrooms, cafeterias and other common areas. All students and staff will pass by a thermal camera each day to measure their body temperature, and staff will only come to work when fully healthy.
  3. Normally, our students are organized into 6 houses, and students in boarding live in the halls of these houses. This fall, there will be more spacious boarding areas and rooms. Each student will belong to a house, and our halls will be reorganized, mixing students from different houses together, supported by a team of boarding staff. Students will sometimes need to practice for the unlikely situation in which a student or staff is showing symptoms of COVID-19.
  4. Boarding activities here on campus, and those possible in the outdoors in the community, will be organized with safety in mind. To leave campus for brief outings during the weekday evenings or longer outings during the weekend, students will apply in advance. Away-with-permission (AWP) is only for staying with family members and need to be planned carefully. Students are encouraged to remain in British Columbia during the Winter Break and can enjoy a fun and lively holiday program here on campus.

Health care & Well-being:

We know that the pandemic has made life stressful for young people.  We want each student to feel cared for, and to know that they always have someone to talk to.  Our counsellors, advisors, teachers and nursing staff are available to help students with any worries or challenges they are facing.  We hope to keep students living a healthy and active life with special attention to their emotional well-being.

Our nursing team is well-prepared to support students’ health and medical needs.  We will continue to educate students in proper hygiene, especially hand-washing, and the importance of physical distancing.  Students will be regularly monitored for any cold or flu symptoms, and quickly brought for medical attention and isolation when necessary. You can expect to see many staff wearing masks or other personal protective equipment, and students are encouraged to wear masks when possible.  It is very important that students follow all school safety steps.


Meals and nutrition are a very important part of living on campus.  We will continue to create meal options that are healthy and that appeal to students from all over the world.

In order to serve meals safely and efficiently, and to reduce contact to surfaces, we will be serving meals in convenient takeaway packages.  This will allow students to pick up their meals quickly and to enjoy their breakfast, lunch and dinner in a more spacious setting.  Students staying on campus this summer have been testing this new meal feature and find it much faster and satisfying.

Boarding students will need to be present on campus during weekday dinner time.

Special Refund Policy Due to COVID-19 for New and Returning Students for Fall 2020:

Any new and returning students who seek to defer their Fall 2020 Term registration to a later term due to COVID-19 can have 100% of their paid fees transferred to a later term. A written request for the deferral must be received by Bodwell on or before August 15, 2020.

Any new and returning students who seek to cancel their Fall 2020 Term registration can have 100% of their paid fees refunded (except the registration and custodianship fees for new students). A written request for cancellation and refund must be received by Bodwell on or before August 15, 2020.

August Programming updates:

    • Due to lower interest from students, credit courses will not be offered in August.
    • AEP students arriving to campus before the start of fall classes will independently work through online AEP materials.
    • Regular students, especially in grades 11 & 12, will work through IELTS resources during their quarantine and before the start of fall classes.

  • New students will work on the Online New Student Orientation, including sessions with counsellors, upon arrival.

Let’s get back to SCHOOL!

As parents, you can have our assurance that we will do our very best to keep students actively learning in-person, living together in an inclusive campus, and following all necessary safety steps for the coming school year. We hope that BC continues its good progress in preventing the spread of COVID-19. At the same time, we are also ready to quickly adjust our safety measures should more cases in the community arise – without the need for students to return home. We are confident that our plans are robust enough to allow us to work through any unexpected changes in guidance from government authorities.

This is a new world we are living in. Together, with a spirit of courage, creativity, and adaptability, we are committed to the safety and success of your children. Thank you for your support and partnership as we move forward to the new school year! Please do reach out with any questions or ideas you may have.

Best regards,


Stephen Goobie


Special message from Dr. Esther Gan, 2007 Bodwell Alumni, on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19


“Our biggest hurdle to getting out of this pandemic may not be the development of the vaccine itself, but the massive uptick in anti-vaccination sentiment. For what the is point of having a preventative tool, if people don’t use it?”

We are very proud of the accomplishments of Dr. Gan, who earned her PhD from Duke-NUS Medical School in 2017.  She is now a research fellow at Duke-NUS Medical School, she is joining the Emerging Infectious Diseases team for a project in collaboration with Arcturus Therapeutics (USA) to pursue human clinic trials of a COVID-19 vaccine soon.  Good luck to Dr. Gan and the team in this important and timely endeavour!

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