CDS Return to School Plan

Our Return to School Plan for 2021-22

The base of this document was created for the Reopening Plans for 2020/21 in the height of the pandemic and in consultation with a team of dedicated medical experts (Dr. Tarek M. Sardana, Dr. Todd Walters, and Kelsey Houston) in an effort to create a school environment that allowed our students to learn, thrive, and achieve as much normalcy as possible back on campus.

This year, while the pandemic continues, there are many encouraging trends among vaccine rates and lower case counts that may help to create a more normal environment for the School. CDS has vaccine policies in place that strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff that are eligible to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible to help protect themselves, their families, and our community.

However, there is no doubt that we will have to continue to be vigilant as we will continue for an indeterminate time to have many of our students (those under the age of 12) unable to be vaccinated due to age restrictions. Therefore, we have reviewed our extensive plan from last year and updated our guidelines to be in line with the most recent recommendations from government and other expert sources.

Our motto, “Education with Balance,” can be applied to our return to school framework. At CDS, we support the statement from one of the world’s leading pediatric medical authorities, The Hospital for Sick Children, and the Ministry of Education when they assert that “It is critical to balance the risk of transmission and infection of COVID-19 in children with the harms of school closure on their physical and mental health.”
Notwithstanding the thoroughness of our planning, we recognize that Government guidelines continue to evolve and will most likely result in changes to our plan on an ongoing basis. As the understanding and impact of COVID-19 on our society continues, so too will the policies, procedures and risk mitigants that are recommended and adopted in our daily lives. We encourage you to return to our Return to School page often for the latest updates, guidance and procedures throughout the year.
The following is an overview of our current Return to School Plan.


Overall, our plan continues to focus on maximizing the opportunities (and the educational value) afforded by our:

  • large physical facility
  • extensive 100-acre grounds
  • dedicated and talented faculty and staff
  • existing outdoor education program, and
  • already low class sizes.
These favourable existing characteristics combine to allow the following features of the CDS Return to School Plan:

  • First and foremost, our reopening plan allows our students to attend school every day with all curricular subjects being taught and the return of extracurricular programming.
  • Students who require remote learning for medical reasons and wish to opt for remote learning will be accommodated, as synchronously as possible, and in an age-and-stage appropriate fashion on a monthly basis.
  • All classrooms will be configured to allow physical distancing, and students will be educated in an age-appropriate manner to maintain physical distance as much as reasonably possible in all situations. 
  • Students will continue to be grouped in cohorts whenever reasonably possible.
  • Students and staff will receive instruction on respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene.
  • In keeping with local public health and Ministry of Education directives, CDS will require all students in grades JK-12 and all adults at The Country Day School to wear masks while inside the building.

Reopening Plan Webinar - July 29, 2020

We hosted a webinar with our medical consultants and special guest, Dr. Ronald Cohn, President & CEO and Senior Scientist at SickKids Hospital on Wednesday July 29th at 7:00 p.m.

Reopening Plan Webinar FAQs

CDS Medical Consulting Team

List of 3 items.

  • Dr. Tarek M. Sardana, CD MD DRCPC FAsMA

    Dr. Sardana completed his medical school training at the University of Ottawa in 1992. He subsequently served in the RCAF until 2008 including three overseas deployments. He has spent the past 25 plus years working in all aspects of primary, urgent care and family medicine. Most recently, he has been assisting and advising many local and global companies with their Return to Work Programs (RTWP) related specifically to Covid-19. Dr. Sardana’s son just graduated High School from Ashbury College in Ottawa and is therefore very familiar with the independent school environment.
  • Dr. Todd Walters, BA MD CCFP FCFP FIAIME

    Dr. Walters completed his medical training at the University of Toronto in 1988. He has served in many areas of occupational health for the past 30+ years and is an expert in the application of medical issues to the workplace environment. As the occupational health physician for five regional hospitals, Dr. Walters has directed the redeployment/management of hospital staff through the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr. Walters is the president/owner of Walters Health Services Corp.
  • Kelsey Houston, B.Sc, MPH, CDS Class of 2012

    Kelsey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Life Sciences from Queen's University and a Master of Public Health from the University of Guelph. She completed her Practicum experience at the University Health Network, designing two Incident Management System (IMS) frameworks to respond to seasonal influenza outbreaks and measles exposures. Ms. Houston works as an Infection Control Practitioner at the University Health Network, working with immunocompromised patient populations at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Her responsibilities include monitoring of patient symptoms and lab results to determine when precautions can be discontinued safely, conducting surveillance for reportable pathogens, and managing outbreaks.

Safety at CDS with Kelsey Houston '12

Watch our health videos on masks, handwashing, physical distancing and transmission.
Telehealth Ontario
Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential service you can call to get health advice or information. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Phone: 1-866-797-0000
TTY: 1-866-797-0007
Toronto Public Health Hotline
Hotline: 416-338-7600
Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30am to 8pm and weekends from 10am to 6pm. Translation available.

School Information

13415 Dufferin Street King, Ontario L7B 1K5
(905) 833-1220
Founded in 1972, The Country Day School is a co-educational private school offering programs in JK-12 and located on 100 acres north of Toronto in King.