Rothesay Netherwood School Creates a Safe Environment Where Students Excel

September 14, 2020
Huddle Staff

Rothesay Netherwood School provides opportunities for its students to learn about themselves, grow, and take on challenges in a supportive environment created through their world-class academics, extra-curricular activities, and an inclusive, global community that nurtures lifelong friendships.
“Grade 9 is the beginning of that journey toward university,” says Craig Jollymore, Assistant Head of School. “That grade is really about making a transition into a set of opportunities and new possibilities for what a student can become.”   
Meeting and exceeding New Brunswick’s public health guidelines for COVID-19 reflects how Rothesay Netherwood School is committed to providing a unique and exceptional transformative experience for students, even in today’s uncertain health climate.
“Our challenge is to create that transformation in new ways through some new routines. While our school day may flow a little bit differently this year, our goals haven’t changed at all,” says Jollymore.   
Rothesay Netherwood School began working in April with the Department of Public Health and the Medical Officer of Health for southern New Brunswick, Dr. Kim Barker.
“We’ve considered questions like how will a classroom operate, when will I wear my mask, how will I move differently in a hallway, what is it like as a teacher, how will we make certain the desks are clean between classes? There will be small changes to our daily routine but we remain committed to the same great experience for our students.” says Jollymore.
Virtual tours held by the admissions team are another way that Rothesay Netherwood School has adapted during the pandemic. These tours give parents a sense of what it means to be part of the RNS community. Jollymore says more than 90 percent of families who come to the RNS campus and meet their team choose to attend Rothesay Netherwood School. 
“For us, that virtual tour led by our admissions team is a way to help families understand the RNS experience and the facilities that are available on our campus,” he says. 
“I’ve seen it happen. One of our team members will be walking around campus with their phone, providing a tour by video to a family in Mexico, answering real time-questions and showing the entire campus,” he adds.
RNS is excited to be able to offer its full program including boarding. The school has worked closely with Dr. Barker to create a broad operational plan along with several smaller plans for specific aspects of school life.
The school’s New Brunswick location is another benefit for potential Grade 9 boarders.  
“We’ve had the second-fewest per capita cases of Covid-19 in Canada,” says Paul McLellan, Head of School, who also says that the school’s 125 acres of land make Rothesay Netherwood School a bubble community of sorts that can easily restrict access and contain the community if needed.
The school’s Health and Safety Guidelines for students focus on physical distancing, personal protection, health screening and hand and respiratory hygiene. McLellan says RNS is making every effort to ensure that all students are aware and comfortable with changes to the school programming and routine that support these health guidelines.
“Sometimes we forget that adolescent kids have an awful lot going on in their world. We might be thinking only about COVID and going back to school, but that’s not even on their radar,” he said.  “We’re constantly thinking about their physical, social and mental well being.”
This story is sponsored by Rothesay Netherwood School.