Pickering College - Learning For Life. Creating The Future.


International Students Arriving to School

International students are asked to communicate their arrival plans directly to boarding (boarding@pickeringcollege.on.ca). They will be guided through the arrival process individually. They must submit all of their plans including flight information, arrival date and time, self-isolation plans.

The communication with Pickering College will include education on the requirements as outlined on the Government of Canada website. Families will be provided with the required documentation and instructions which include government and school consequence for not following the self-isolation requirement.

Families are required to sign a Quarantine Program consent form prior to arrival. All students arriving in Canada must download the ArriveCAN app and input all the necessary information and have a COVID-19 PCR test done within 72 hours of departure to Canada.

All International Students are required to have a Custodian in Canada as indicated on their Custodian Appointment Form.

Boarding Program

The Boarding School has put measures in place to mitigate the risk to our boarding students. Although we cannot fully protect everyone from COVID-19, we can put measures in place to reduce the risk to our boarding community.

Students will be placed in “Families” that will double as their cohort in an effort to keep groups of students together. The Family System will remain in place as it has been for many years, the difference will be that family members will also be a cohort and live in the same general area of the residence. Families/cohorts will have assigned washrooms and be expected to use only those facilities within the residence.

The flow of traffic in the Residences will be directed to ensure as much physical distancing as possible. Flow control measures will include floor and wall markings.

Quarantine Plan        

International students, who are not fully vaccinated with a Health Canada approved vaccine, arriving from any other country are required to comply with the legal government requirement to self-isolation for the required 14-day period before moving into boarding. Student families will communicate their plan to the Director of Boarding and Health Services. Students are provided with an entry letter from Pickering College outlining the agreed upon plan.

Students who have been fully vaccinated with a Health Canada approved vaccine are required to quarantine until they have received a negative result from the arrival COVID-19 PCR test. Test results must be shared with the Health Centre prior to arrival.

Pickering College has partnered with the Comfort Inn - Newmarket; located at 1230 Journey’s End Circle, to provide a Self-Isolation program that will allow returning boarding students to stay in a hotel room for the required 4 or 14-day self-isolation period that is required by the Quarantine Act Emergency Order . They will be under the supervision of Pickering College staff who will be on duty at all times that there is a student staying at the hotel. Arrangements have been made to provide this service to our students and any accompanying family members. The Self-Isolation Program is an additional cost for families as outlined in the consent form. The hotel self-isolation program includes a single room with washroom, meals, snacks, Wi-Fi, access to Pickering College staff and services. Accessible accommodation is available upon request. The Comfort Inn follows strict COVID-19 cleaning protocols as set up by their offices. The program is flexible enough to allow for use anytime and to use in the event that someone needs to isolate for longer than 14 days.

Upon arrival students and any co-arriving family members will meet the Pickering College driver outside the airport at the last post in the arrivals area. These details are all communicated in the arrival information provided to the student/family via email. The driver will ensure that the student and any accompanying family members are provided with a new medical mask and asked to put it on prior to entering the vehicle. Everyone is required to sanitize their hands prior to entering the vehicle. Each member will complete a screening form to ensure the absence of symptoms prior to entering the vehicle.

Students are required to go directly from the airport, upon arrival, to their self-isolation location in a private vehicle. Students and any accompany family members will be provided with a new medical mask upon arrival at the vehicle. They will be required to change their mask prior to entering the vehicle. Once in the hotel room, students are not permitted to leave. Students are provided with snacks and meals delivered to their room. While in self-isolation, Admission will complete a virtual registration. Boarding staff are responsible to collect documents from students. Students will have access to a PC staff member at the hotel 24 hours per day via phone. Students are required to change their bedding as needed. If laundry services are needed, Soap Box Laundry Services will pick up, wash, dry and fold laundry before returning it back to the hotel.

The Pickering College staff will conduct twice a day health checks on the students and record the results. The program will include evening programming virtually using MS Teams and Zoom. Meals will be delivered to the room as well as an afternoon and evening snack.

Students will also have individual time with the staff during the day to ensure they are doing well and that they are coping with the isolation program. Mental health and well-being a priority. Students and their arriving family members have access to the Health Centre staff virtually.

During the quarantine program students will participate in the boarding orientation and team building virtually.
Students participating in the PC self-isolation program will undergo COVID-19 PCR testing on day 10 of the isolation period to ensure the results are available before moving into boarding. Students will also have a test done if they exhibit any symptoms, as per the medical directive of the school doctor.

Students who have an off-campus arrangement for self-isolation with a Custodian or family member are required to check in with the Health Centre on a daily basis via phone/email to ensure there is a daily monitoring of their health status. Students in Canada will have virtual access to the Pickering College Health Centre staff.

Any positive cases of COVID-19 during the quarantine period will be reported to York Region Public Health and the Ministry of Education.

All students participating in the Pickering College Self-Isolation Program are required to have a signed Permission Click Consent form that outlines all the expectations and requirements of the Self-Isolation Program and includes costs and an attestation confirming their understanding the requirements. Participants are also required to download the Government of Canada ArriveCAN App prior to arriving in Canada. The app allows the traveller to submit their information securely and easily upon arrival and during the self-isolation period.

Families who breach the Quarantine Act 14-day self isolation will be reported to the Ontario Public Health Authority (1-866-797-0000) and will not be permitted to move into boarding as pre-arranged.

Students who opt not to participate in the 14-day self-isolation and not join in person classes can opt to withdraw through the Admission/Business Office.

Room Assignments

Students will be in double rooms with a roommate. We will endeavour to follow practices that put like students together.

Daily Screenings / Temperature

Boarding Staff will complete an assessment for each boarding student in the morning before school including a temperature check. Boarding Staff will be instructed on how to take a temperature properly by the Health Centre staff and each Duty Office will be equipped with a contactless thermometer. Students will then complete their own daily screening via the REACH app.


Boarding will be staffed by the House Directors, Associate Faculty and Residence Staff.

Staff will be scheduled at the Comfort Inn at all times that there are students completing their 14 Day Self-Isolation. The Duty Offices will be staffed during the day if there are students who are attending online classes for the day.

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfecting Practices

  • Housekeeping will disinfect high touch points twice daily with the approved cleaning/disinfecting products.
  • Students will be required to clean and disinfect their room on a daily basis. Staff will check right before study to ensure that all surfaces in the student room have been cleaned and disinfected.
  • Washrooms have sinks designated out of service to assist with physical distancing measures.
  • Boarding staff are required to clean and disinfect their own room on a daily basis.
  • The Duty Office will be cleaned and disinfected at the beginning and end of each shift by the staff on duty. A daily cleaning and disinfecting will be done by Housekeeping each morning.

Illness Policy

Boarding students who are ill with COVID-19 like symptoms, who cannot be cared for by their Custodian, will be admitted to the Health Centre and cared for in the Health Centre until they are well and cleared to return to school. If this is not possible students will be quarantined at the Comfort Inn hotel and families will be responsible for all associated costs including the enhanced cleaning of the hotel room.

If someone tests negative for COVID-19 they must remain off school/work for 48 hours after their symptoms have resolved without the use of medication.

If someone tests positive for COVID-19 they must remain off school/work and quarantined for 14 days after the onset of symptoms. Boarding students should work out a plan with their local Custodian to ensure that they have spoken about the possibility of them staying there if they are quarantined due to COVID-19 type symptoms.

There is no specific treatment for COVID-19. Those who have COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. If the illness progresses and becomes severe, hospitalization may be necessary. For most people the cold like symptoms can be alleviated by pain/fever medication. Those with COVID-19 should also drink plenty of fluids, get as much rest and sleep as possible. A humidifier or hot shower may help with the sore throat and cough.


International and domestic Students who require testing will be advised to visit the nearest testing centre/pharmacy for testing.

If possible, the Health Centre will conduct the COVID-19 test and send it to Lifelabs. It is estimated that it will take 48 hours to get the test results back from the lab.

Day students will be directed to their primary care practitioner for assessment and testing.

Boarding Programming

  • Boarding students will be scheduled on move in day (individual move in days will vary depending on arrival date into Canada plus the 14-day self-isolation) to prevent crowding and allow for physical distancing. Families were notified via email of move in day appointment times.

  • Boarding Programming will be built around the principles of cohorting and physical distancing.

  • Common Rooms have been set up to promote physical distancing. Students must sign into the Common Room and can only share it with members of their cohort. Common room occupancy is limited to 6 people.

  • No day students or visitors are permitted in boarding.

  • Evening Programming and orientation (including COVID-19 considerations and protocols) for boarding students will be done virtually or in small cohorts.

  • The start of the year boarding school community building activities will be held on campus.

  • Students who are not able to start in-person classes and physically be present in Boarding in September due to study permits and/or travel restrictions are still an integral part of the boarding community. To facilitate this, each new student will have a boarding student mentor (Proctor) assigned to them.

  • All students, regardless of where they are physically located, are part of our Boarding Community. All boarding evening/weekend and orientation activities include our entire community whenever possible with a virtual option for those who cannot attend in person or where restrictions of numbers for gatherings are in effect.

Evening Study

In Room Study is each evening from Sunday to Thursday. Students are required to study at their desk for a minimum of 1.5 hours each evening. Study is supervised and supported by our boarding staff (Associate Faculty and Residence Staff). They are available to assist students as needed during this time.

Boarding Excursions

Excursions are permitted and will be planned once students are settled with health and safety in mind.  We will continue to do some additional on campus activities to keep students interacting.

Long Weekends and Break Closures

Boarding will, again, stay open for the long weekends and extended breaks for this year. This will minimize the need for students to leave boarding and stay off campus risking exposure to other people and places. Programming will be in place for the breaks to encourage students to participate in different activities around campus.

Come Board Program

Suspended until further notice. 

If you have any questions about boarding, please feel welcome to contact Laura Mason – Director of Boarding and Health Services at lmason@pickeringcollege.on.ca