Pickering College - Learning For Life. Creating The Future.
Kindergarten teacher smiling with students

Junior School

In-Person Return to School

In planning for our return to school in September, our primary consideration is the maintenance of a safe and healthy environment for our students, faculty and staff and by extension, our families and the broader community. To that end, we will closely follow recommendations and guidelines published by the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health.

Members of the Junior School community will be sharing the PC campus with students from the Middle and Senior School as well as with their staff and faculty, and will benefit from the following health and safety protocols being implemented:

Safety and Hygiene Protocols Implemented 

  • Hand sanitizing stations have been installed throughout the school and at all entrances, classrooms and offices and are to be used upon entry and exit.

  • Increased hand washing routines throughout the day have been implemented.

  • Enhanced cleaning policies and procedures have been put in place for the school building, classrooms, school resources, and classroom materials.

  • Students will be with their homeroom cohort for all classes and activities throughout the day.

  • Students will not share technology or classroom supplies from common bins.

  • We have reorganized our spaces within the school to promote as much physical distancing as possible between students. 

  • There will be an increase in the number of classes taught outside in the open air.

  • According to our policy on staff and student illness, anyone showing signs of illness may not attend school.

  • Parents and guests will not be permitted inside the building in order to reduce exposure and risk to our students and staff.

  • Modified Dress Code - No blazer, dress shirt or tie required. Students may wear the PC golf shirt with PC skort, shorts, pants, skirt or tunic.

  • Masks: All students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 are required to wear a properly fitted non- medical mask or cloth mask while in school buildings. Reasonable exceptions will be made as required for medical or sensory conditions. Vented face masks are not permitted.

  • Students who remain in their class cohort while outside are not required to wear masks. Students must wear masks if mixing with other cohorts while outside.   

  • Parents/students must complete a daily health assessment via the REACH app for the student. Parents are asked not to send their child to school if they have any current common-cold, influenza or COVID-19 like symptoms (even if their symptoms are mild), if they have had symptoms in the previous 10 days and have been advised to self-isolate, or if there exists any other circumstances that pursuant to government orders or directive requires them to self-isolate (international or inter-provincial travel). 

Mental Health and Wellness

Our school’s commitment to health and wellness plays a critical role in developing and supporting each student as they grow and learn. The Pickering College Health Care team of experienced professionals provide students with the individualized support they need to lead lives that are physically, emotionally, socially and mentally healthy.

Health and wellness curriculum complements our academic program. When students are emotionally and mentally healthy, they are better equipped to develop competencies such as critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, and collaboration skills. In the Junior School, mental health and wellness is embedded in our curriculum. These lessons are delivered by homeroom teachers and are incorporated through our health curriculum and our Second Step Program.

We are excited that students in K-5 will be able to continue to engage in club and sport activities again and students in Grades 3-5 will be able to continue to participate in electives.

Our support team beyond the classroom includes the health unit staff, a learning strategist teacher and a child and youth worker.

Staggered Arrival and Departure Times  

  • Arrival times and dismissal times have changed and will be staggered to support physical distancing

  • For convenience, siblings can arrive together and supervision will be provided

  • We will have signage to direct students through the steps for entry and exit of the school building, and throughout the school. Spreading students apart and into different areas, as well as using visual cues on the floor will help students with physical distancing

There will be two entrances used for drop-off and pick-up. We will designate a specific entrance and drop-off point for each grade:

Kindergarten drop-off between 8:20 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. in the front circle
Enter and Exit through the door near the Old Gym and Firth House
Pick-up in the front circle at 3:30 p.m.

Grade 1 drop-off between 8:20 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. in the front circle
Enter and Exit through door near the Old Gym and Firth House
Pick-up in the front circle at 3:30 p.m.

Grade 2 drop-off between 8:20 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. in the front circle
Enter and Exit through door near the Old Gym and Firth House
Pick-up in the front circle at 3:30 p.m.

Grade 3 drop-off between 8:00 a.m. – 8:20 a.m. in the front circle
Enter and Exit through door near the Old Gym and Firth House
Pick-up in the front circle at 3:30 p.m.

Grade 4 drop-off between 8:00 a.m. – 8:20 a.m. in the front circle
Enter and exit through door by the 40s Student Lounge
Pick-up in the front circle at 3:30 p.m.

Grade 5 drop-off between 8:00 a.m. – 8:20 a.m. in the front circle
Enter and Exit through door near the Old Gym and Firth House
Pick-up in the front circle at 3:30 p.m.

Global Leadership Program

At Pickering College, every student, Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, benefits from the fully integrated, enriched programming of the Global Leadership Program. Our teachers have made careful plans to ensure that Global Leadership Program activities this year will continue to teach students to deeply consider the global context, and to develop the skills necessary to effectively participate in this context.

Weekly Schedule

  • The Junior School will have a five-day weekly schedule. Recess times will be staggered to reduce the number of students in the yard at one time. Some additional activities will resume during recess and we have different areas designated for each class to minimize the interaction between cohorts.

  • Junior School lunch will be served in the classroom, in order to reduce the number of students gathering in large spaces. Aramark will continue to provide quality hot and cold meals and snacks for our students. Lunch will be supervised by teachers and PC staff.

  • Before and Aftercare will continue to be a service that we provide to families who need the extra care. 

In-Person Class Schedule

JK to Grade 2


8:00 a.m. - 8:20 a.m.
Early care for siblings (if necessary)

8:20 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.

8:45. - 10:30 a.m.
Periods 1 & 2

10:30 a.m. - 11:00  a.m. 
Recess/Wellness Break

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Periods 3 & 4

12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Lunch/Wellness Break

1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
Period 5 & 6

3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. 

Grade 3 to 5

8:00 a.m. - 8:20 a.m.

8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Periods 1 & 2

10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. 
Recess/Wellness Break

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Periods 3 & 4

12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Lunch/Wellness Break

1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 
Period 5

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. 

Food Services

Food remains an important part of our student experience, but in this new environment, the delivery of meals will be different. We will provide high quality food offerings, choice and special dietary meals to Junior School students. Junior School hot lunch items will be individually served in dishwasher safe, reusable trays with lids and delivered to the classroom. Individually packaged drinks, fruit, desserts, sandwich/deli options and utensils will also be delivered to the classroom. Students will eat in their classrooms with their teacher. Hand sanitizing routines will be part of the lunch process. Daily individual snacks will be provided. We will monitor the situation as the year progresses to determine whether Junior School students will be able to access the Dining Hall for lunch. Our Aramark Food Services staff will be implementing enhanced disinfection and sanitizing protocols in the kitchen and servery which includes the use of PPE as needed.

Music Classes

A safe return to a comprehensive music program that includes singing and playing of wind instruments at school will happen cautiously. In accordance with the guidelines provided by the Ontario Ministry of Education, singing and playing of wind instruments is permitted indoors within a cohort as long as a minimum distance of two or more metres can be maintained. Music classes will be held outdoors when possible, and students will wear masks when singing. When playing concert band instruments, students will be provided with instrument covers fitted with MERV 13 filters as an additional precaution. Percussion instruments, ukulele, music literacy and composition will all continue to enrich the Junior School music program.

Health and Physical Education

Physical education courses, the use of the gymnasium, arena, indoor physical education equipment and shared outdoor physical education equipment are permitted with distancing. Masking is not required when playing high or low contact activities within the class cohort outdoors. Masking is required for indoor activities.


Classes will be able to attend day trips, with a particular emphasis on trips that occur outdoors. For example, students may have farm visits, outdoor hiking at nearby trails, outdoor education activities and/or leadership activities at a nearby camp.  There will be no overnight trips.


Regular attendance is an important aspect of academic success and community engagement. In the event that your child cannot attend school, contact the attendance administrator at attendance@pickeringcollege.on.ca no later than 8:20 a.m. and inform your child’s homeroom teacher by email. Your child should check Edsby, our learning management system, to see what work was assigned while they are absent.

We recognize that this coming year is unpredictable again and we will all need to be flexible. In the event that your child cannot attend school, your child will be supported to learn from home through Edsby. If your child is going to be away for a day or two, then you would follow the normal procedure of calling the school and emailing the homeroom teacher. In the event that your child is going to be away for an extended period of time, you would need to contact the director and they, along with the homeroom teacher, will co-ordinate a learning plan based on our Remote and Virtual Learning Policy.

Remote and Virtual Learning

We believe that an optimal learning environment and school community is one where students are present and engaged academically, socially, physically and experientially. To provide this experience, our return to school planning is focused on in-person learning.   

In some circumstances, specifically those beyond a student’s or family’s control, where students may be prevented from starting school in-person, it is our goal to provide these students with a remote and virtual program that will allow them to seamlessly join their classmates when they are able to arrive in person.

Remote and virtual learning will be provided under the following circumstances:

  • International students who are waiting for their travel or study documentation
  • International students awaiting vaccination in their home country
  • International students who are in quarantine
  • Students with documented health conditions that prevent in-person participation (required consultation with our Health Care Team)
  • Students with other exceptionalities or extenuating circumstances that prevent them from in-person participation

Remote and virtual learning will not be provided for short term absences or as a matter of convenience.

Remote and virtual learning requests and learning plans will be facilitated through the Divisional Director and the Learning Strategies Teacher.

Remote and virtual learning plans may consist of the following components based on circumstances, student needs and availability of resources:

  • Asynchronous (remote) learning through Edsby
  • Asynchronous (remote) learning through resource packages provided by teacher
  • Synchronous (virtual) learning
  • One-on-one check-in meetings with teacher

If a student stays home due to a short-term illness such as a cold or flu, or for appointments, virtual learning will not be available. Under such circumstances, students will follow the regular procedures for missed classes by informing their teachers and accessing Edsby for class updates and instructions. The exceptional circumstances where remote and virtual learning would be offered for a short period of time, would be the following:

  • If a class or grade level is required to quarantine due to COVID-19
  • If an individual student is required  to quarantine due to COVID-19


Virtual Learning Environment


We are designing our program to be flexible in responding to a changing situation. We are prepared to shift to full virtual learning should the need arise, and are fully committed to delivering a virtual learning program that reflects best practices in teaching and learning. In all Pickering College programs, we are committed to the following five principles of virtual learning:

Principle 1: 

We will establish and maintain regular effective contact with students and families. 

Principle 2:

We will create opportunities for student-centered learning and collaboration. 

Principle 3: 

We will create opportunities that have practical real world applications for students. 

Principle 4: 

We will provide continuous support for each student’s learning process and autonomy to help them reach their full potential.

Principle 5:

We will ensure all course content is readily and easily accessible to all students.


Synchronous Learning 

This is learning that happens virtually or in person, face to face with a teacher, in a scheduled block of time. Synchronous learning enables students to receive direct instruction from their teacher, ask questions and receive immediate feedback, while also having the opportunity to collaborate and socialize with their peers. In the event of returning to virtual learning in the 2021-2022 school year, the Junior School will run a minimum of three synchronous classes each day to provide instruction and support, plus an additional synchronous session each day which would provide additional instruction, extra help/support and some social time for students. There will also be a variety of optional clubs/activities such as; fitness classes, story time with our librarian, chess club and arts and crafts club.

Asynchronous Learning

Asynchronous learning provides students with the opportunity to research, practice skills and reflect on their learning. Through asynchronous work, students develop their organization skills and learn how to work independently. In the Junior School, asynchronous work will be assigned daily with a focus on math and language. Other independent work in the Junior School would include research and work for inquiry projects as well as Global Leadership Program projects. Teachers will also provide a variety of enrichment activities for students who take an interest in them or wish to go beyond the expectations. For students who find asynchronous work more challenging, support will be provided by both the homeroom teacher and our Learning Strategist teacher and may be done with small groups or individually, as needed.

Virtual class schedule

Primary (Kindergarten - Grade 2)

Primary K-Grade 2 schedule

Print a copy

Junior (Grades 3-5)

Remote and Virtual Learning Logistics 

Students will be equipped with a school device. This device will remain at school unless we move to virtual learning. Each student in K-2 will be assigned an iPad and each student in Grade 3-5 will be assigned a Chromebook, in order to reduce the sharing of equipment, and allow students to be properly equipped for virtual learning if the need arises.

In addition to having access to technology, students will require certain materials to complete work and to participate in certain clubs or activities from home. Kits of materials are being assembled by the school so there is no need to purchase any school supplies for the fall term. Some of the kits being assembled include:

  • Student pencil boxes with supplies
  • Art kits
  • Music kits
  • Inquiry kits

Technology Platforms

Pickering College provides secure technology environments to enrich student learning. The following electronic platforms will be used by Junior School teachers to deliver curriculum: Edsby, Google Meets, Google Classroom, Raz-Kids, Epic Books, IXL Math, and IXL Language. Email and Edsby are the primary communication channels between the school, parents and students.

Questions about technology?

Email IT Department

Technology Support

Students and parents can receive one-on-one support, related to hardware and software issues, from a member of our IT Department. Requests for support are to be sent to IT@pickeringcollege.on.ca. A member of the IT team will respond to requests within one business day during regular business hours. The IT Department will host parent training sessions, as well as provide reference and training materials to support the use of technologies. These will be shared with staff and parents as needed.

Technology Support Hours of Operation

Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by email, IT@pickeringcollege.on.ca.


In the Junior School, parents can expect to receive regular communication every two weeks from the director. Teachers will have regular communication to provide overviews of the work, to respond to questions, and to provide support where needed.


In-Person or Virtual

Assessment and Evaluation

Assessment and evaluation are a critical piece of a student’s learning experience, providing important feedback to support improved performance and benchmark against grade-level and discipline-specific standards. Whether in-person or virtual learning, assessment and evaluation requirements will continue to be aligned with Ontario Ministry of Education requirements, the Junior and Middle School Assessment Policy, and will take a variety of forms from quizzes and tests to project-based assignments, presentations and performances or oral assessments.

Virtual Learning

For virtual learning in the Junior School, evidence will be gathered through virtual learning tasks and assessment will be managed in the following ways:

  • Oral assessments completed through Google Meets
  • Individual reading assessments done through Raz-Kids
  • Writing assessments completed through submissions in Google Classroom and Edsby
  • Inquiry and Global Leadership work will be assessed through photo, video, and written submissions

Meetings and School Events

Our traditional school events are important to our school life and community. In order to keep our community connected, Morning Meetings will occur virtually; this way we can respect the distancing between cohorts. Other special events, such as spirit events, guest speakers, and GLP celebrations will continue in a similar virtual format to our Morning Meetings. Small gatherings may be held in the Egan House gym.

Co-curricular Programming

The ability of students to participate in activities outside the classroom is an important contributor to physical and mental wellness. Our Co-curricular Program will resume with clubs, recreational activities and some sports, following the safety protocols outlined for Health and Physical Education. Students will be in their cohorts and at this time, Grades 4 and 5 will not participate in competitive teams. We are awaiting further information about sports teams and inter-school sports before making a decision about our participation.

Following health and safety guidelines, students will have the chance to take part in a variety of low risk indoor and outdoor physical activities, with an emphasis on outdoor play. Primary students can expect to participate in fundamental movement activities where the focus will be on individual skill development as well as daily physical fitness. Some examples for Primary include soccer fundamentals, skipping, Karate and outdoor education activities. Junior students will have the opportunity to participate in sports skill development through drills and modified games. They will enjoy many outdoor education and low-organizational activities. Students can look forward to some club options, which will include chess as well as arts and crafts, and may include additional offerings.


School Roles and Responsibilities 

Peter Sturrup, Head of School

Peter Sturrup

Head of School

  • Lead the Senior Leadership team in ensuring continuity of learning
  • Communications to staff, families, students and the broader community
  • Maintain regular communication with other school heads and external organizations, including government and health authorities, the Canadian Association of Independent Schools and CIS
Janet Downer, Assistant Head of School, Academics

Janet Downer

Assistant Head of School, Academics and Student Programs

  • Lead the Academic team in ensuring continuity of the academic program and co-ordination between the three schools
  • Support the whole-school approach to program, learning, and teaching
  • Collaborate in the development of the online support and effective implementation of the online learning framework
  • Communicate with faculty, staff, and students as needed
Maria DiMambro, Director of Junior School

Maria Di Mambro

Director of Junior School

Lead specific planning and implementation for the academic program within the Junior School

  • Lead planning for student wellness
  • Communicate with faculty and staff, students and families as needed
  • Share responsibility for the review and monitoring of classes, learning tasks, and activities
  • Oversee matters related to student conduct
  • Oversee assessment and evaluation practices
Curriculum Leaders

Instructional Leaders/ Department Heads


  • Foster a dynamic and innovative program that delivers excellence
  • Lead their respective division/department in all aspects of learning, including pedagogy, assessment and administration
  • Ensure the effective integration of technology into programs



Junior School Faculty


  • Design and deliver learning experiences for students in accordance with school plans
  • Communicate with and provide timely feedback to students
  • Communicate with parents and families as necessary
  • Collaborate with colleagues to offer consistent, engaging learning experiences
  • Participate in professional learning experiences to hone skills particular to online learning
Stephanie Forgie, Junior Learning Resource

Stephanie Forgie

Junior Learning Strategist

  • Provide support to students by being available to meet with those experiencing difficulty and recommend helpful tools and strategies to students and families
  • Partner with faculty to support individual students
  • Support faculty in the development of learning tasks, activities and lessons and best practice pedagogy, including differentiation, as needed