QUARANTINE PROCEDURES; ‘SCHOOL OPENING PLAN’
The following procedures will be adhered to at the DEVI School in Mill Village, Nova Scotia, as set out by the provincial and federal governments:
Nova Scotia: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/travel/
1--Each staff member/student arriving in Nova Scotia will be picked up in a private vehicle from the airport/border crossing and taken directly to the lodgings in Mill Village, NS.
2--A 2-week quarantine will take place at the school boarding facilities. This quarantine will last until all students and staff have arrived. Students and/or staff who arrive late will be put in separate dwellings (with private bathroom) and will not come to the dining hall, school building or any collective space until their two-week quarantine is complete.
3--We will be upgrading all cleaning for all facilities, on a daily (in sometimes hourly) basis.
4--Face masks will be available for everyone and a policy of wearing face masks when outside of the school building/dormitories will be strictly enforced. Mask-wearing will not be enforced during outside physical exercise, but will be enforced in school when proper distancing is not possible, as per provincial guidelines.
5--We will be social distancing where and when necessary, especially when our quarantine is complete and we are entering shops or other collective spaces in the community.
6--We will be providing handwashing stations and hand sanitizer in all facilities. Careful and frequent hand-washing by all staff and students will be strictly enforced.
7--All food and supplies will be delivered during the quarantine period. There will be no outside shopping.
8--The School Building, located at 227 Medway River Road in Mill Village, will be used beginning on Tuesday, September 15th as part of our quarantine plan, as it is a very spacious building on five acres. It is well set back from the road and therefore keeps our students who are in quarantine very well away from any local residents. Once the two-week quarantine is complete, the school will be used as a functioning school for all staff and students.
9--No visitors will be permitted on the school or dorm premises while any member of the DEVI School community is in quarantine.
10--Although all meals and snacks are prepared through our collective kitchen, food for those in quarantine will be delivered to the door, and consumed in separate, private quarters. Dishes and cutlery will be washed in these private quarters and be kept separate and apart from collective dishes and cutlery.
If there are any questions or concerns about the above please do not hesitate to contact Mary Kuhn at 902-350-2313
We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to start on time in the Fall. Please see this site's Academic Calendar. (To save a PDF version of the school calendar click the Print icon at the top right hand corner or, to add the calendar to your own email calendar, click the "+" at the bottom right hand corner.) At this current time there are no points of entry for study permit or volunteer work visa holders in Canada, but we do expect this to change. Things are slowly opening up here, as the pandemic has not hit Nova Scotia very hard. Canada in general is in decent shape.
Many parents are already needing to purchase flights from their home countries to Halifax. We don't yet know what the quarantine requirements will be once people reach Canada - if any - but we'll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything. PLEASE be sure to buy a ticket which gives you flexibility, or at least is refundable. Most airlines are quite good about this now.
Christmas holidays run from December 15th (last day of classes for 2020) until January 13th (first day of classes for 2021). All dates are on our website, as mentioned. This is a fairly long holiday time, necessary for kids to travel sometimes long distances to get home. With the pandemic having no hard and fast end in sight, surely many parents will be enquiring about having their children stay in Mill Village over the holidays. This is understandable. We are already thinking about how we can manage this. We would need some parents to volunteer to come and stay with the children so that staff on-site could have a bit of a break. We will keep you posted on this front as well. Please let me know if you would be interested in helping out with Christmas supervision.
New parents, please don't forget that the first installment of the tuition is due to the school by August 1st, 2020. To all parents, please know that there is a possibility of adjusted tuition rates for the coming school year if our year is shortened. We will communicate further information if required.
We have no plans to move the DEVI School to an 'on-line' school if our physical gathering at the school needs to be delayed. We are just not set up for this. However, we do encourage students to keep reading in English over the summer! In some cases, summer reading lists will be shared soon.
The DEVI International Boarding School is a private, not-for-profit international Middle/High School (grades 6 to 12) with students from around the world. We currently board 53 students from 18 countries.
As a boarding school, we live together collectively - staff and students - as a large family. We have been self-isolating together since March 15th and practicing social distancing from those living outside our family since the provincial declaration of a State of Emergency on March 23rd.
We have been visited by Public Health via Nova Scotia Environment, and have had several follow-up communications with them regarding our school. We have been able to achieve compliance with the requirements set out by the Nova Scotia Medical Officer of Health during this outbreak. Amending and adapting our daily schedules - both in and out of school - has allowed us to remain operational.
There are no visitors or guests coming into our DEVI School community, neither are staff or students leaving Mill Village for outings or excursions - or even shopping - at the current time. Our needed food and other supplies are delivered directly to us. All DEVI School staff and students are well-versed in proper hand-washing protocols and enhanced hygienic handling of all parcels, deliveries, etc.
When students walk to and from school they practice social distancing, keeping apart from each other by at least 2 metres. And whether in school or at home in the boarding houses, students and staff are not in groups of more than five in one place together.
We hope that the above measures will keep those of us within the DEVI School community, as well as our dear Mill Village and Charleston friends and neighbours, healthy and safe. The safest place for our staff and students at this time is our beloved home here in Mill Village. We are indeed all grateful to be here together, and are anxious to do our part to bring this pandemic to a swift end.