New Family Information

Welcome families of incoming 2024 students!

This page is designed to help families of  new incoming students prepare for the upcoming 2024-2025 school year. We will keep this page updated with new information as it becomes available, and so please bookmark the page and check back often to stay up-to-date on key information for the start of the school year. If you have questions that you cannot find answers for on this page, please reach out to our office at admissions@qms.bc.ca and we will be happy to help answer them!

 

Important Upcoming Dates

Please make note of the upcoming key dates for our incoming families. These may be subject to change, however we will communicate all key changes with new families.

EVENT DATE LOCATION NOTES
2024: A Spring Odyssey Thursday, May 9 Cowichan Performing Arts Centre We invite all our new families to see our Junior and Senior Band as well as our choir’s spring performance. (Tickets)
The Little Mermaid Jr. Friday, May 24 Cowichan Performing Arts Centre We invite all our new families to see the evening or matinee performance of our Junior School production. (Tickets)
New Parent Evening
(parents only)
Monday, June 10 QMS TLC II, Multipurpose Room 5:30-6:30pm – ECE & Junior School (Preschool – Grade 7)
6:00-7:00pm – Senior School (Grade 8 – 12)
While there will be school specific presentations at this event, families are invited to attend the entire evening as we encourage a Whole School approach at QMS. (RSVP Online)
New Boarders Arrive Monday, September 2 Campus-Wide New boarders arrive on campus to be welcomed into their new boarding house.
New Student Orientation Tuesday, September 3 Campus-Wide All new students are invited to attend an orientation day before their first day at school. More details to come.
First Day of School Wednesday, September 4 Campus-Wide The first day of school for all new and returning students to kick off the 2024-2025 school year. Kindergarten and ECE gradual-entry start begins.
Back to School Family Social Friday, September 6 Campus-Wide 3:00-5:00pm. Join us in kicking-off the school year as a community with food, refreshments and fun!

IMPORTANT WHOLE SCHOOL INFORMATION

Major Dates Calendar 2024-2025

For an overview of the 2024-2025 school year including list of all major school dates and school closures, please see the linked PDF below.

2024-2025 School Calendar

School Policies & Procedures

We encourage all new families to review and familiarize themselves with QMS’ policies and procedures, including the Code of Conduct for both Junior and Senior Schools; the QMS Cloud Computing, Photographic Images & Social Media Policy; and more.

School Policies & Procedures

PURCHASING UNIFORM

The QMS Uniform is a key part of the school experience. Find uniform requirements by grade on the QMS Website .

The School Store will re-open for new students August 19th by appointment only, and the booking link will be posted on the QMS website on June 25th. September 2 & 3rd the School Store is open for Boarding Students only

You are welcome to visit the School Store prior to the end of the school year, however please note that stock is limited at this time and therefore you may have to purchase additional items in August. The store is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:30am-4:30pm until the end of the school year.

Uniform items can be ordered online, but it is recommended for new students to come to the store to ensure correct sizing for the first purchases.

Bus Schedules

Please see below for our tentative Bus Schedules for the 2024-2025 school year.

If you are interested in your child taking advantage of the school bus network from Mill Bay to Nanaimo, please contact Kim Stinka at kstinka@qms.bc.ca.

Salt Spring Island and Crofton

Nanaimo and Ladysmith

Lake Cowichan

South Cowichan

Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for a list of commonly asked questions for our incoming families. If for some reason you don’t see the answer to your question below, please reach out to the Admissions Team at admissions@qms.bc.ca.

WHOLE SCHOOL

Daily Pick-Up and Drop-Off Times
School begins at 8:00am for Junior School and 8:15am for Senior School. Students not involved in an extracurricular activity are dismissed at 2:45pm for Junior School and 3:00pm for Senior School. After school activities take place after 3:00pm Monday through Friday. Times for practices, rehearsals or games will be outlined for students by their teacher or coach.

The Parking Lots and “Kiss and Go’s”
When dropping off your child at QMS, please be aware that young children may run unexpectedly across your path. Traffic travels in a counter-clockwise direction in both the Primary drop-off and pick-up area and the Intermediate and Senior drop-off and pick-up area. Please avoid blocking the flow of traffic at all times, as both of these entrance ways provide emergency access to the buildings.

Please respect all parking sign instructions, including reserved parking spaces.

Junior School Drop-off Times

Grade Time Location
Grades 4 to 7  7:40am–7:50am Founders’ Hall “Kiss and Go”
Kindergarten to Grade 3  7:50am–8:00am Primary Centre “Kiss and Go”
ECE 8:10am–9:00am ECE Centre

*Families with siblings: Please drop ALL children at the LATEST time.

Senior School Drop-off Time

Grade Time Location
Grades 8 to 12  7:50am–8:10am Founders’ Hall “Kiss and Go”

 

Junior School Pick-up Times

Grade Time Location
Kindergarten to Grade 3 2:45pm–3:00pm Primary Centre “Kiss and Go”
Grades 4 to 7 2:45pm–3:00pm Founders’ Hall “Kiss and Go”
ECE Pick-up times vary ECE Centre

*Families with siblings: Please pick up ALL children at the YOUNGEST child’s pick-up time.

Senior School Drop-off Time

Grade Time Location
Grades 8 to 12 3:00pm Founders’ Hall “Kiss and Go”

 

Kindergarten – Grade 3
All Primary students will have the necessary school supplies given to them by their teachers on the first day of school. Please do not purchase any supplies for students in Kindergarten to Grade 3. The cost of school supplies is included with tuition fees.

Grades 4 – 7
Classroom supply lists for intermediate students are provided in the school Handbooks, these will be shared upon completion (and linked here when released) Please refer to this list for purchasing your child’s school supplies for the year.

All ECE and Junior School students are required to have an Emergency Comfort Kit brought to the School in
September. Please ensure you provide one for your child. An itemized list can be found in the school handbook.

 

Senior School (Grades 8 – 12)
Senior School students need to arrive on the first day with a binder for each subject (or large binder with dividers), paper and writing utensils. School supplies can be bought locally. Students may be required to purchase course specific materials; subject specific school supply lists, if necessary, will be provided by the teacher on the first day.

All students are required to have a laptop computer and encourage to bring an agenda. All Grade 8–12 students are encouraged to keep a personal agenda to keep track of homework and school commitments.

Mondays are known as Centennial Days and therefore students will need to wear their Centennial Uniform. Tuesday through Friday are generally ‘MidWeek’ uniform.

Communications will be shared with families if there are changes to the uniform during the week such as Spirit Days, sporting events, etc.

If you have had a family member (ie. sibling, parent, cousin) attend QMS then you will be in the same House. All other incoming students will learn their House assignments on New Student Orientation Day.

Our teachers are trained to deal with minor injuries. We have Registered Nurses onsite until 5pm each day for more significant illnesses and injuries. We also have an Athletic Therapist to support our student athletes. In an emergency, we are lucky to be located next to the Cowichan District Hospital.

For Day Students, we will reach out to parents/guardians if your child needs to go home due to illness or injury. While we ask that you have someone pick up your child as quickly as possible, our Health Centre has facilities to supervise your child in the care of a nurse until you can come.

For Boarding Students, the School Nurse will supervise ill and injured students and is available on-call 24 hours a day. The nurses coordinate health care services, including arranging for medical, dental, vision, and physical therapy visits. In an emergency, we will contact you as soon as we are able. For non-urgent care we will seek parent permission before accessing external care. We ask that all routine health care needs, such as dental cleanings and vision checks are completed when the student is at home.

You can visit our Food Services webpage for a list of what is being served this week in Glide Hall.

You will receive a Fee Invoice for the upcoming School Year in April. Noted on this Invoice will be payment options (amount and timing) available.

Payment may be made by pre-authorized charges to your credit card or bank account, by e-transfer, cheque or bank wire.

In August a forms package will be sent via email to complete. There will be a volunteer form within it. Please check off those opportunities that interest you and your family. Our first PA Meeting will be on Monday, September 9 at 8:15am in Karin Quinn Hall and we invite you to join us.

As tuition mainly covers the operating costs of the school, our school relies on donations from our community to enrich the overall QMS experience for our students. By having families support the Annual Fund, you are making a personal commitment to the growth of our trailblazers. At QMS, it’s not just about what you give, but that you give. A charitable tax receipt will be issued for donations over $20.

All Day Students, including international day students must provide their own health/medical insurance.

Canadian Boarding Students are responsible to coordinate their own health insurance. You will need to ensure coverage starting the day of arrival at QMS. If you have questions about this, please email nurse@qms.bc.ca.

International Boarding students, as part of school fees QMS will purchase medical insurance for the student. They will have private insurance for the first 3 months and then will be covered through the BC Medical Services Plan (BC MSP). Families are responsible for any medical costs not covered by this insurance or can purchase their own additional insurance. Information about what is covered by BC MSP can be found at this website.

At Queen Margaret’s School we endeavour to provide a place where all students, staff and families feel safe and recognized. It is important that our teaching and learning reflects the diversity of our student body, community, nation and globalized world. We aim to live our values through the recognition of diversity, equity and inclusion by being brave, kind, curious, and true to ourselves—inside and outside of the classroom.

Equity means that we place value in treating people with fairness and in consideration of their individual needs.

This elevates all individuals to a place where they can be empowered in our learning environment. Diversity is represented by the characteristics that make us unique. These characteristics can be represented through race, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, language, age, mental health, appearance, religious affiliation, beliefs and diverse abilities.

Inclusion ensures that our diverse community can see themselves represented in the teaching, learning and opportunities that are presented at school. Inclusion ensures that everyone feels safe, heard and engaged. Inclusion ensures equitable access to resources. We further value the opportunities that inclusive practices present for enriching our own learning.

JUNIOR SCHOOL

Students should bring their backpacks, a water bottle, a recess snack, and their school supplies. The first day of school will be a “settling in” day so if students do not have all their supplies, PE uniform etc., teachers will make accommodations for the day.

(Kindergarten families please refer to the gradual entry day instructions sent in a separate letter)

Primary students will line up with their Homeroom teacher in front of the Primary Centre. School staff will be available to direct students to their lines at the Primary Kiss and Go area. Intermediate students may be dropped off at the Intermediate Kiss and Go area in front of Founders’ Hall and may proceed to their Homerooms in The Learning Centre. School staff will be available to direct students should they need assistance.

As always, we are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy Junior School environment. We will continue to emphasize good hand hygiene, well-ventilated spaces, and adequate space in classrooms. We continue to be a mask friendly school, and students will have the choice to wear a mask through the day or during specific activities. This choice will be supported and treated with respect. Please also remember that maintaining a healthy school is a shared responsibility, and we ask that you keep your child home when sick and not fully able to participate in school activities.

Information regarding instrument choice and rental, and Band Camp on August 29, 2024 (for all students who are new to Band) will be sent out from the Junior School Secretary in mid-August.

Private music lessons are available on campus after school. Information will be sent out about private music lessons in mid-August.

SENIOR SCHOOL

QMS employs a differentiated, student-centred assessment model at the Senior School level. Assessment requires teachers to make reference to specific criteria in the curriculum and determine what students know? What can they do? And what do they understand? When reporting focusses on where students are in their learning and what students need to do to improve, it can be valuable in helping parents, guardians and students focus on growth rather than only the outcomes. Assessment at the Grade 8-12 level is standards-based. Students will be provided with ongoing feedback and an understanding of their learning according to the curricular competencies, content and big ideas.

Standards-Based Assessment (SBA) along with British Columbia’s Proficiency Scale is a framework that empowers high school students to achieve success by focusing on specific learning objectives, rather than outcomes first. “Students who can identify what they are learning significantly outscore those who cannot.” (Robert J. Marzano) SBA is an educational system that focuses on assessing students’ proficiency in specific learning standards or objectives. It offers a more detailed view of your child’s academic strengths and areas that need improvement. Please view the information handout here.

Queen Margaret’s School is committed to ongoing communication of student learning. Teachers use a variety of assessment methods and apply student evidence of learning to determine what level of achievement best describes performance, process and progress. There will be a cumulative assessment period scheduled at the end of each course. As demonstrated by research, examinations are not always the most appropriate assessment for every course. As such, teachers may choose to offer an end-of-course cumulative examination, project or performance assessment at their discretion based on the learning objectives for each course. Homeroom teachers, classroom teachers and faculty advisors communicate student progress through a variety of channels. Queen Margaret’s school strives for a student-centered environment where assessment for learning provides students with clear information, exemplars, learning goals and descriptive feedback to support growth. Formal Report Cards will be issued in December, March and June. Students in Grades 8-12 also participate in ongoing self-assessments aligned with the BC Core Competencies.

As part of updated graduation requirements, students in the BC Graduation Program will complete three provincial assessments in Grades 10–12. These assessments focus on the demonstration and application of numeracy and literacy.

Grade 10 Numeracy Assessment 

Grade 10 Literacy Assessment

Grade 12 Literacy Assessment 

Provincial Graduation Assessments use a four-level proficiency scale for reporting student achievement results. All provincial assessment results will be reported on students’ transcripts.

New students will be able to select their courses beginning in May. New families will be contacted directly by our post-secondary counselling team to help provide guidance with course selection.

BOARDING

New boarding students are required to arrive on Campus on Sunday, September 2nd.

We do not pick up students at Vancouver International Airport. Students need to ensure that their flight arrives in either Victoria or Nanaimo BC.

Once your flight has been confirmed, your itinerary can be sent to our Transportation Coordinator who will then confirm your pick-up time and meeting point, once you have obtained your luggage.

Students will need to bring their own pillows, sheets, and blankets, as well as towels, and toiletries. We recommend pre-ordering items online and have items shipped to the school (during July and August). All parcels that QMS receives over the summer will be held in the boarding house for your arrival.

Most students will have a roommate, however the majority of Grade 11-12 students have single rooms.

While we do not share this information prior to arrival, you will have plenty of time to connect when you arrive!

Everything on the uniform list, and home clothes/casual clothing. Don’t forget to bring your PJs! For occasions such as Christmas dinner or other special events you’ll need some more formal or ‘smart casual’ clothes.

Your toiletries and personal care items. Other good things to bring would be pictures/posters for your room. Bringing a lamp and alarm clock will be very useful.

We celebrate cultural dinners and it would be wonderful if you brought any traditional dress you may have.

You should not bring medications, unless they are regular prescription medications. All medications for symptom relief (examples: pain, cold viruses, allergies, stomach aches) are provided free of charge by the School Nurse. If you require regular medication, please contact nurse@qms.bc.ca before arrival to make a plan for treatment.

Living in the house with you are your House Director, Assistant House Director, and Boarding Assistant. They are all nice and understanding so if you have any problems, feel free to approach them for help because that’s what they’re there for!

If you are moving in one day before school opens which is likely, casual clothing that is

appropriate for school is fine. You will have time set aside to get all your uniform prior to classes starting.

House staff are available 24 hours a day if any medical issues or major problems come up during the night, but this will be rare. There is also always a security guard on duty at night too. There are ‘emergency’ numbers posted on the main floor of the dorm.

There are different timings for different year groups for when tech must be handed in and these are displayed in the boarding house for you. You’ll get used to the routine very quickly, so don’t worry! Your sleep habits will change for the better.

You can spend time with your friends, catch up with Prep that you haven’t completed, read, exercise and much more. You may use your phone at times but with society becoming more aware of the potentially negative impact of social media, talking and interacting with your friends are more important and encouraged.

You can also play board games, talk to the teachers/ friends/other people, play sports, practice or listen to music, read books, watch movies, revise, relax, or almost everything. It is recommended that you use your free time wisely. You can also sign out for local leave during times.

The laundry schedule will be published, and you simply follow the timings. Please also ensure that you have your name on every clothing item.

The School Nurse will supervise ill and injured students and is available on-call 24 hours a day. The nurses coordinate health care services, including arranging for medical, dental, vision, and physical therapy visits. In an emergency, we will contact you as soon as we are able. For non-urgent care we will seek parent permission before accessing external care. We ask that all routine health care needs, such as dental cleanings and vision checks are completed when the student is at home.

You can ask anyone in the boarding house! Your allocated faculty advisors will be very helpful. There is always a member of staff on duty who you can ask questions to. But if the questions are about settling in or basic things like queries about school life, you should just ask the other boarders. The Head of House and House Prefects are always there to help.

You will get placed in a ‘family’ group if you are new to the school. They will be responsible for making sure you know your way to classes, briefing an average day at school to you and, they will help you get to know people who already attend QMS, so you can make new friends.

Breakfast sign in is at 7:15 am. Dinner sign in is at 5:30pm. You must go to all meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

On Fridays, Sundays, and Sundays, there will various activities planned locally and trips around the island. We also have on-site activities that are fun.

You will be asked to fill out a REACH boarding request by the Wednesday of each week.

You will need to arrive with a form of payment (bank card or credit card), and we can provide the locations of nearby ATMs. We do not give out pocket money.

This all depends on your year group. But unless you get a single room, you are very likely to change rooms every year and sometimes roommate changes occur. This would be in consultation with the House Director. You don’t get to choose which room you get or who you share with because it’s impossible for it to be fair if requests like this are granted. The House staff will have a system for who shares with who, either by grade or based on group dynamics.

You can but you don’t really need to because you get all the food you need provided by the School.

Who to contact?

We recognize that you may have many questions before the school year starts. See below for a list of key contacts at QMS.

ECE Program: Stacy Paton, ECE Program Manager – spaton@qms.bc.ca

Junior School: Kim Stinka, Junior School Secretary – kstinka@qms.bc.ca

Senior School: Maria Jones, Senior School Secretary – mjones@qms.bc.ca

Boarding: Wes Plater, Director of Boarding – wplater@qms.bc.ca

Equestrian: Angela Dobbie, Director of Equestrian – adobbie@qms.bc.ca

Uniform: Ann Buttner-Danyliw, Retail Coordinator – schoolstore@qms.bc.ca

Health Services: Mindy Swamy, School Nurse & Head of Health Services – mswamy@qms.bc.ca

Tuition & Finance: Yvonne Bungay, Accounts Receivable – Accounts-Receivable@qms.bc.ca

Admissions: admissions@qms.bc.ca