Safety First: People, Place and Program

Program: Lakefield College School's Return to School Plan


LCS is committed to safely delivering on the promise of our vision to inspire students to become leaders who care, connect and contribute. Innovative and authentic learning experiences, being outdoors every day and embracing community first, uniquely position us to provide our students with the highest calibre of education, in and out of the classroom, and to achieve our vision together.
The LCS program will follow the guidelines as outlined in the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Approach to reopening schools for the 2020-2021 year as closely as possible.

In addition, LCS will also follow, as closely as possible, the
COVID19 Recommendations for School Reopening published by Sick Kids Children's Hospital (Ontario) and the CIS Ontario Guidelines for Reopening Independent Schools for the 2020-2021 School Year.  Where these documents are in conflict, LCS will follow the recommendation that is deemed the healthiest and safest for our students and school community as directed by our local public health unit and physician advisor team, taking into consideration a student’s whole health; mental, physical and spiritual.

In the Classroom: The Curricular Program

A great deal of planning is going into welcoming our students back for the re-opening of school in September with careful attention to the many health and safety protocols mandated by the Ministry of Education and public health. The provincial government has shared a plan for school reopening, and, as we learn more about how to stay healthy in this environment, we expect further changes to the regulations for operating schools. 

A major goal underlying our re-opening strategy and planning is to remain true to our values of ensuring a powerful and embracing community, rich and authentic learning and a commitment to outdoors every day. Or, staying “as Lakefield as possible,” while we prioritize government directives. Physical distancing and de-densification are key to creating a safe and healthy school environment. Our new schedule and small class sizes, which have long been the norm at LCS, will improve learning experiences and maximize the benefit of physical distancing as a risk mitigation strategy.  All classrooms and learning activities will be carefully designed to allow for maximum space and movement

List of 4 items.

  • Learning Safely: Classroom Guidelines

    Indoor Classrooms: 
    • Classroom desks and seating arrangements are distanced at 2m apart. 
    • To ensure appropriate risk mitigation, all students are required to maintain a 2m distance apart at all times.
    • When this is programmatically or situationally impossible, students and staff are to wear their masks. 
    • Protocols for science experiments are here.

    Outdoor Learning Spaces: 
    • While we will be carefully organizing and caring for our classrooms to ensure they are effective and healthy places to learn, we also recognise the outdoors is considered to be the safest and best place to avoid exposure to illness.
    • In keeping with Outdoors Every Day, a key strategy underlying a Lakefield education, teachers are encouraged to hold their classes outside as frequently as possible (weather permitting).
    • We will be adding a range of outdoor seating and surface options to our campus in order to facilitate outdoor classes. We have always prioritized the outdoors as a vital part of enhanced learning and the Lakefield experience—this year it will be truer than ever.

    Safely Shared:
    • While we are striving to maintain the rich Lakefield experience that we are known for within the framework of these safety protocols,  it will be necessary to mindfully adjust our common behaviours.
    • In a community like Lakefield, our lives, and all of the small elements of our days are commonly shared. Pens and books, calculators and markers are common examples of items we would share every day.  As a community will need to be more mindful of these common exchanges, and avoid them as much as possible.
    • Teachers are requested to minimize shared equipment.  If classes require shared use of implements (lab equipment, Outdoor Education Equipment, etc.) these shared implements must be disinfected before and after every individual use. 
    • All of our common and shared spaces will be subject to regular and more intense disinfecting regimens, and we will all need to work together to ensure these new expectations help us keep our community healthy and safe.
    • Classroom common touch areas will be cleaned and disinfected twice daily by trained Aramark staff.
  • A New Schedule Designed to Support Student Health & Wellbeing

    Designed to be flexible:
    • For two years, we have been deep into our research on a new school schedule. We have used much of this research to create a schedule for next year that will serve students well.
    • A vital aspect of our new schedule is its flexibility. We anticipate that throughout 2020/21, there will be changes in how COVID-19 impacts our region, and this could result in the easing and tightening of restrictions. Knowing this, all  LCS teachers are prepared and committed to supporting students as they learn through in-person, hybrid, or remote classes.
    • While our intention is to instruct in-person, every day, our schedule permits us to pivot quickly and teach remotely should the need arise.

    Designed to Improve Learning and Reduce Stress:
    • One of the key improvements we have made to our schedule is to limit the number of academic periods in a day to three. This has numerous benefits, one of the most important, reduced stress on students with a significant reduction in the number of courses for which a student has to prepare and balance at any one time.
    • We have lengthened each period, providing more time each day with teachers to pursue subjects in greater depth.

    Designed to Support Health and Wellbeing:
    • Our new schedule is also designed to support health and wellbeing. In addition to longer periods, we have significant breaks between classes, all designed to reduce transitions and crowding and slow the pace of our days, making for a physically and mentally healthier environment.
    • These beneficial changes also provide time for more daily academic support and enrichment opportunities.
    Learn more in our New Schedule FAQ.
  • Academic Support

    Extensive Support Team:
    • Now more than ever, it is essential that we continue to provide support to help all of our students find the success they are seeking and Lakefield has an extensive support team that works with all of our students.
    • For students who are in formal learning strategies courses, we will ensure these students have access to support all year, even when the formal courses conclude.
    More Opportunities for Support
    • More opportunities for support throughout the academic day have been designed into our new schedule.
    • We will continue to support our learners with our evening supervised study program. This program will be run according to the same standard of health and safety protocols as our day programs. 
    • The evening is also a time when students may have found access to tutoring. This can continue to occur. When that tutor is external to the LCS community, this work will be done via Zoom. However, if the tutoring is provided by a peer or in the form of extra help from someone within the community, this can safely occur, physically-distanced, in the school block.
  • Dress Code and Uniform

    Our standard dress allows students to be dressed appropriately for the wide range of learning activities they might experience in a day. Until Thanksgiving, students are not required to wear Formal Dress.  

In Arts and Athletics: The Co-Curricular Program

LCS is strongly committed to the physical and spiritual wellbeing that comes with being part of a rich and diverse co-curricular program.  Although the risk to exposure of COVID-19 may be present in these programs, we believe the holistic benefits outweigh these risks.  This belief is also strongly endorsed by SickKids in COVID-19: Recommendations for School Reopening. LCS will also strictly follow these safety guidelines to minimize exposure and thereby decrease the risk.

As with the curricular programming, the co-curricular program envisions being “Outdoors Most of the Day.” All co-curricular programs will abide by the distancing expectations of 2m.  Where this is not possible, students and staff are required to wear face masks.


LCS is a member of the Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association of Ontario (CISAA).  This governing body oversees the extent to which inter-school sport can be played and which sports can be played during the pandemic period.  For example, Cross Country running may be a likely program to run during the pandemic while more ‘contact’ competitive sports are unlikely to be played.  

All students will be required to engage in some form of physical activity during their time at LCS.  The school will provide intramural sporting activities for friendly competition while abiding by the appropriate safety standards.

List of 5 items.

  • Cleaning

    Coaches will refer to sport guidelines provided by the Government of Ontario Provincial/National Sport Organizations for specific cleaning requirements. The use of shared equipment is strongly discouraged, however, if shared equipment must occur, the equipment must be sanitized before and after every individual use.

    Athletes will be required to use hand sanitizer before every practice and sporting event, during select times and at the end of every practice and sporting event.
  • Masks

    All coaches must have one mask on them at all times.

    Coaches must mask in the Gym, High Performance Centre and Fitness Center. Students do not need to mask during physical activity.

    Students and coaches do not need to mask unless they are unable to maintain a physical distance of 2 meters. In smaller spaces (dock at waterfront, rigging a boat), masks may be necessary.

    First Aid
    Before conducting First Aid, it is a requirement to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) first before engaging with a student. Students will wear PPE when necessary. Coaches should carry spare masks (provided by the school).
  • Physical Distancing

    Athletics will primarily occur outside and athletes will be required to maintain a physical distance of 2m apart whenever possible (in lines, drills, during group discussion). They may come into this space during an activity as they do not allow prolonged or deliberate physical contact between players or if they have modifications to avoid physical contact between players.
  • Leagues

    Amateur and recreational sports leagues may resume so long as they do not allow prolonged or deliberate physical contact between players or if they have modifications to avoid physical contact between players.

    Leagues must contain no more than 50 participants total. If participants in a league exceed 50, the league may divide into smaller groups of no more than 50. Players are not yet permitted to play against players outside of their league or group (Government of Ontario, Phase 3 Guidelines).
  • Modifications to Activities

    Coaches will refer to sport guidelines provided by the Government of Ontario Provincial/National Sport Organizations on how to modify activity to support physical distancing and game play.


A variety of full year arts and clubs will be offered while abiding by the appropriate safety standards including String Ensemble, Concert Band, Improv, Language Clubs, Makerspace and our new Grove Records program.

List of 2 items.

  • Music Program

    Students are required to bring their own musical instrument to school.  Students who do not have their own instrument will be assigned an instrument for their personal exclusive use.  Instruments will not be shared by students or staff members.

    Students will be required to sanitize their hands upon entering the music room and instruments will be sanitized prior to every use.

    Students and staff may be required to wear special masks, face shields, etc. in order to safely participate in their program (ie. special vocal singing masks, shields, etc.).  Students who cannot abide by the safety standards will not be able to participate in the program for the duration of the pandemic period.
  • Dance

    The Dance program will practice outside as frequently as possible and abide by physical distancing of 2m.  It is important to note that the school will not compromise a dancers’ safety by practising on a surface that could cause an injury (ie. asphalt, etc.).

    When practising outside is not possible, the dance program will maintain physical distancing of 2m.  

    Each dancer will be required to work on their own yoga mat to assist in ensuring distancing requirements are met.  Students who anticipate joining the dance program or being in dance class (curricular) are requested to bring their own yoga mat to school.  

    Students who cannot abide by the safety standards will not be able to participate in the program for the duration of the pandemic period.

Busing and Transportation for Co-curricular Programs

If possible, students will be permitted to take their own transportation to and from a co-curricular fixture.  In these instances, the student must request permission from their respective coach.  Students are not permitted to transport other students in their vehicle at any time. 

All school busing in Ontario is required to follow strict health and safety protocols in accordance with the Government of Canada Federal Guidance During the COVID19 Pandemic document.

Students will be required to wash hands or sanitize their hands prior to boarding the bus.  Students will be required to physically distance themselves on the bus as directed by the bus operator.  Family members will be required to sit together (same seat) on the bus.

Students will be required to abide by all of the bus operator’s instructions. Any student who does not abide by the bus safety protocols will lose the privilege of riding a bus for the remainder of the pandemic period.

In School Life

Lakefield College School is committed to ensuring that a student's school experience is as fun filled, social and exciting as possible during the pandemic period.  The school is enhancing and increasing the number of quality of our outdoor seating and social areas to enable students to better enjoy each other's company safely.

Our school believes in Community First and we have developed a program that honours this belief and maintains the currently required health and safety standards of physical distancing of 2m, masking, and hand hygiene, as required by public health.  

List of 3 items.

  • Gathering Guidelines

    Students will always be encouraged to socialize outside (this is not new) as we believe in the health and wellbeing that one experiences when embracing the natural environment.  Students who socialize with other students who do not live with them in the same residence will be required to maintain a distance of 2m during their time together.  Students living in the same residence together are considered to be ‘cohorts’ and are not required to abide by the social distancing requirements when outside.

    At those times when it is not possible to socialize outside, students may use the indoor common spaces (Upper Hadden Hall, Lower Hadden Hall, etc.).  During these times all students must maintain a physical distance of 2m. 

    The School Life Guide is the community standard for staff and students to follow.  In those rare instances where the School Life Guide (SLG) conflicts with this document, the standards set out in the People, Place & Program will supersede the SLG for the duration of the pandemic period.

    All school-wide community meetings will be conducted outdoors (weather permitting) and remotely.  

    All large group meetings of day students and staff and residential students and staff (House meetings, Advisor meetings, etc.) will endeavour to meet outside as frequently as possible.  When this is not possible we will follow a hybrid model enabling all students and staff to participate in school-wide gatherings (remotely).
  • The Day Student Locker Rooms & Gym Change Rooms

    For the start of the year and to support the government's guideline of reducing density and social distancing of 2m, the Day Student Locker Rooms and Gym Change Rooms will be available for bathroom use and changing of clothes only and not for socializing.  These areas are limited to 6 people at a time.

    The Day Student Locker Rooms are assigned to Day Students in grades 11 and 12. The Gym Change Rooms are assigned to Day Students in grades 9 and 10.
  • Washrooms

    All school washrooms are common touch areas and will be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with the public health standard, a minimum of twice daily.

    Students are required to wash their hands after every washroom visit. 

    Students and staff are required to abide by physical distancing of 2m at all times.  As a result the larger ‘communal’ washrooms will have limited capacity in order to ensure distancing standards are adhered to.  The capacity will be posted on these washroom doors.

In the Community

Students will still be granted leave to the Village of Lakefield and Peterborough with some restrictions, in accordance with current local guidelines and the standards outlined in the School Life Guide (SLG).
  • Students who are not in the same residence will be required to maintain a physical distance of 2m while on leave.  
  • Students must wear their mask when walking to and from the village. Students are also strongly encouraged to take their own hand sanitizer with them when they are on leave.
  • The number of students on leave at any given time is restricted to eight students per house (four in Lakefield and four in Peterborough) to ensure that appropriate physical distancing is possible for students while on leave and to not overcrowd a particular location.
  • At this time, students will not be granted evening leave to Peterborough.
  • Students must go to their residence and sanitize their hands immediately upon return from their leave.
  • If students are taking a taxi or other public form of transportation they must be masked and must sanitize their hands immediately after exiting the taxi.
  • All student transportation must be in accordance with these Government of Canada Federal Guidance During the COVID19 Pandemic document guidelines.

In addition, the following protocols must be followed:

  • Everyone masked at all times and sanitized before entering the vehicle.
  • Students from the same residential house can share a seat (once cohorted).
  • Students from different residential houses will take individual seats physically distanced from one another.

  • Everyone masked and sanitized before entering the vehicle.
  • Students from the same residential house will wear masks and can ride 3 per car cab and 5 per van cab (once cohorted).
  • Students from different residential houses will wear masks and can ride 2 per car cab and 4 per van cab (no one sitting side by side).

School Vans
  • Everyone masked and sanitized before entering the vehicle.
  • Students from the same residential house will wear masks and can share a bench (once cohorted).
  • Students from different residential houses will wear masks and need a seat in between each student.

Boarding students are not permitted to ride in the vehicles of day students.

All students must sanitize immediately upon their return to campus.

Students who do not abide by these standards may lose the privilege of leaving the campus for the duration of the pandemic period.

Fire and Lockdown Safety

Pandemic response protocols are triaged in accordance with a standard of risk mitigation levels and in accordance with the directions of the Ontario Provincial Police.  At this time the school's lockdown protocols are not subject to change.

The school has an updated fire safety plan as directed under the jurisdiction of the Douro-Dummer Fire Department. In this plan, the primary change is to facilitate a safe evacuation during a drill or fire that upholds the standard of physical distancing while maintaining an expedient evacuation.

Holidays and School Breaks

The school is implementing a 3 phase system for school breaks.
  • Phase One: Students are required to remain in our care. No charge to parents, except for choice foods/activities (special cases TBA).
  • Phase Two: Students may choose to remain in our care. Choose from optional programming including staying on-campus. Charges may apply.
  • Phase Three: Students must leave. Campus is closed.
The school will be in Phase One for the Thanksgiving break which means that boarding students will only be allowed to go home to their parents or guardians.  During this time we ask all of our families to keep their social gatherings and exposure to an absolute minimum. 

During Phases Two and Three students may stay in the care of the school,
in loco parentis

In these cases the school usually offers a few options for our students to choose from:
  1. “Staycation” with limited activity and programs
  2. Local trip to Toronto, Ottawa, etc.
  3. Excursion to more distant destination
The availability of these packages will be dependent on travel restrictions, governmental regulations and student interest.

If you would like more information or wish to stay on campus and in loco parentis for a holiday or break, please contact Jennifer Horrigan as soon as possible. 

School Information

4391 County Road 29, Lakefield Ontario K0L 2H0   705.652.3324


Lakefield College School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12, located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.

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