CDS Return to School Plan

Our Return to School Plan for 2020-21

The CDS Return to School Plan, created in consultation with a team of dedicated medical experts (Dr. Tarek M. Sardana, Dr. Todd Walters, and Kelsey Houston), has created a school environment that allows our students to learn, thrive, and achieve as much normalcy as reasonably possible, in a shared educational setting back on campus. At CDS, we support the statement from SickKids and the Ministry of Education 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.”

Our plan is a balanced one that focuses on the safety of our community first and foremost, while providing the educational experience that your family has come to expect from CDS.

Notwithstanding the thoroughness of our planning, we recognize that Provincial and Ministry guidelines continue to evolve.

The following is an overview of our Return to School Plan.


Overall, our plan is focused 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 covered.
  • Students who require remote learning for medical reasons or parents who, for any reason, wish to opt for remote learning for their children will be accommodated, as synchronously as possible, and in an age-and-stage appropriate fashion.
  • All classrooms will be configured to adhere to 2-metre physical distance guidelines and students will be educated in an age-appropriate manner to maintain physical distance as much as reasonably possible.
  • Students will be grouped in cohorts whenever reasonably possible in order to minimize interaction with other classes and grades.
  • Students and staff will receive instruction on respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene.
  • In accordance with local public health and Ministry of Education directives, all students in grades JK-12 and all adults at The Country Day School will be required 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.
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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.