“Sometimes kids come to Canada and get lost in the system. SOC is a family unit. Students don’t fall through the cracks here. We know every student personally.”
Maryam Yusuf, Director, Admin & Student Services
Safety and Security
Southern Ontario Collegiate has staff from the Hamilton Police Force Community Service Department visit the school. Students benefit from this up-to-date information on community laws and how to protect themselves from theft and other risks. This positive exchange sets the stage for students’ understanding and knowledge of their community.
Every student is given a monthly bus pass which lets them travel on all HSR (Hamilton Street Railway) buses. The cost of the Bus pass is included in the fees. In addition, students learn where to find and how to use HSR timetables, maps, and travel apps to plan their travel between residence, school and other destinations. They quickly find their way around!
HEALTH & WELL-BEING
The Ontario Ministry of Education requires that all students have up to date vaccinations. Students should attempt to have all vaccinations in place before they travel, however students can receive vaccinations once they are here. (Please note that most insurance programs do not cover the cost of vaccinations.)
Students who do not update their vaccinations will be suspended from attending school by the Ministry until full compliance is met.
These vaccinations are mandatory for all students in Ontario:
- Tetanus *
- Meningococcal conjugate–C
- Meningococcal conjugate-ACYW
- Varicella (chicken pox) only for students who haven’t had chicken pox
- *multiple doses required
Students are registered for compulsory private health coverage as soon as they arrive at school. Their insurance card, claim forms and instructions usually arrive in 10 – 14 days. Those whose vaccinations are incomplete or out of date are provided with clear information on which vaccinations are needed. If a child needs medical care, SOC facilitates appointments at a medical clinic and gives students information and directions for other local clinics and physicians.
Emotional & Mental Health
SOC has a trained Guidance Counselor who provides confidential counselling for any student in need. Teachers also operate an open-door policy and are always available to provide help and a listening ear. As a small school, with a strong focus on holistic care, we are very aware of children struggling with culture shock, homesickness, depression or any other challenges. If a student needs extra support, we refer them to trusted local organizations who work with young people. These are Alternatives for Youth - https://ay.on.ca/ and Ngen Youth Centre – https://www.ngenyouth.ca.
If we believe a student would benefit from further intervention, we will refer the student to qualified mental health professionals, a benefit covered by their medical insurance.
SOC students are free to practice their religions and we do our best to support them in this regard. Christian students are provided free rides to the church of their choice on Sundays, while the Muslim students are notified of the locations of the nearest Mosque. During religious occasions such as Ramadan, Muslim students are provided with appropriate meals for fasting.
Students are held to high standards regarding both academics and personal behaviour. Each student is expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct (found on pages 5 – 11 of the Student Academic Course Calendar).
We know how important food is to teenagers! Every day, students can find a hearty selection of healthy and tasty meals in our cafeteria. Menus change weekly, but here are some typical menu choices below.
Breakfast choices include:
- Variety of Cereals
Lunch choices include:
- Chicken, fish, beef (cooked in a variety of ways)
- Hamburgers, hot dogs
- Jamaican Patties
The team at Southern Ontario Collegiate makes sure that each student is prepared for the new school year in Canada. We run a comprehensive orientation program to help the students navigate their new environment and settle down smoothly.
Students are met at the airport, taken to their residence or homestay and provided with a long distance calling card so that family knows they’ve arrived safely.
Students receive their uniforms in the first week of the semester. They are expected to wear proper uniform throughout the school day.
Telephone and Internet
Students will need a mobile phone and a laptop or electronic notebook. School staff will assist in registration with any of the excellent telephone and internet service providers in Ontario. Residences provide basic internet services, as does the school.
SOC staff will assist students (and families if needed) in opening bank accounts at one of the reliable nearby banks to facilitate transfers, savings and expenditures.
For more detailed information for new students please download the New Student Information Guide here.