FAQ Teacher

Frequently Asked Questions

Q? What if a student needs to leave the program early?

There are times when students need to leave the program early.They may include, but not limited to:

  • Injury or Illness
  • Inappropriate Behaviour at the Island Natural Science School
  • Emergency situation at home

We must always keep the safety of students at the forefront of our thoughts when deciding how, when and why a student should go home.Careful consideration of many factors must be taken into account including the reason the child may go home, the timing of the departure, the situation at home, and other points. In cases where the early departure is unanticipated and no prior arrangements for this departure have been formalized with parents and principal, then the following must happen:

NOTE: these arrangements take time and must be made around the schedule of the ferry.

If arrangements have been made in consultation with the Site Supervisor in advance of the visit then the following must be done by the Visiting School Staff:

  1. Parents must be fully informed of departure arrangements and must pick up child from the Island school.
  2. The Principal of the Visiting School must be made aware of the departure arrangements.

With careful planning, the early departure of a student will happen in a safe and openly communicated manner.

Q? What if we are sharing with another school?

At the INSS, our goal is providing positive experiences for all our visiting students and staff. With this in mind, here are a few points to remember when sharing your visit with another school.

  1. Students are ultimately the responsibility of the staff and principal of the school who brought the students.While we all must deal with situations immediately, (inappropriate use of language, illness, forgotten equipment, etc.), the visiting staff responsible for those students must do the follow-up regarding any situations.If you have had to deal with students from another school because of any inappropriate behaviour or illness, as soon as possible inform that school’s staff so they may follow-up.
  2. Supervision of students during Rec. Time, Showers, Dorms, etc., can be a joint effort, and often this makes things run smoothly; however, staff are ultimately responsible for their own students. Please do not assume that the supervision of your students will be done by the staff from another visiting schoolWhile shared responsibility between staffs of different schools can be negotiated (i.e. “I’ll take some of your students to the Common Room during Rec. Time if you take some of mine to the gym”), this must be an agreed upon arrangement.
  3. The Staff of the Island Natural Science School need to be kept informed! Please keep us updated by speaking with a member of the INSS staff or by posting information on the communication board in the Science Office/Bedroom Hallway.
  4. If a student needs to go home for any reason (illness, inappropriate behaviour, etc.), arrangements must be made by the visiting staff of the school to which the student belongs in consultation with the INSS staff. Please follow the directions on the “Students Leaving the Island Natural Science School Program Early Instruction Sheet”.
  5. The Visiting Staff are responsible for the safety, behaviour and supervision of their students at all times. This includes Rec. Time (3:00 – 5:00), showers, overnight, and times before and after meals and between meals and programs. The Science School Staff will be jointly responsible for students with visiting staff during meals, day and evening programs.The Science Staff are also available during other times to assist with emergencies or concerns involving your visit.

If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to any INSS staff member so that we may work with you towards a solution.

Q? What is your role as a teacher while you are on the island?

  • Prepare students prior to visit:r eview expectations, responsibilities, appropriate clothing, collect medical and permission forms and money.
  • Discipline students while at the Island Science School and en route.
  • Assist in supervision of some of the programs, both day and evening.
  • Supervise dormitories when any students are there.
  • Supervise recreation time from 3:00 – 5:00.
  • Assist in dining room supervision.
  • There are alarm clocks, linens and hair dryers available for visiting staff use.

The following details may be especially helpful if you have never visited the Island Natural Science School before.


  • Shortly after you arrive, there will be a Teacher Orientation Meeting.This meeting will orient you to our facilities, as well as give you the opportunity to share additional information about your students.
  • Update information, ie # of students, health/medical concerns, dietary requirements etc.
  • Finalize the program schedule and review visiting teacher responsibilities.


  • We will need assistance during some program and will ask at our Teacher Orientation Meeting for you to sign up for programs.At other times, we strongly encourage you to watch your students in other programs, tour the Island or take some personal time.
  • Our staff greatly appreciates your knowledge of your students. Your help regarding individual learning styles, inappropriate student behaviour, modification of program/content is always welcome.
  • Please help your students maximize their experiences by getting them to meals and program on time.
  • Please be at or near the Common Room at the end of program in order to receive students. We do encourage you to join groups on program at all times, and so we understand that you may still be out on program when other groups return.


  • Students who begin their trip on Wednesday MUST bring a bagged (preferably litterless) lunch. Lunch will be provided for the visiting staff. Please remind students to bring an allergen-safe lunch.
  • Please send the group that is responsible for dining room set-up to the dining room 15 minutes prior to the meal commencing, and to wait for an Intern to assist with set-up. Remind students to stand behind their chairs before the meal begins in preparation for a moment of quiet reflection.
  • Meals will be run by Island Science School Staff, however, we always appreciate additional assistance from the visiting staff.


  • There will be a fire drill at 3:15pm pm on the day you arrive. If the fire alarm should sound while the children are in the dorms, please follow the procedure as explained to the children on the first day. One of our staff will make a check to ensure that each student and staff member is accounted for. Blankets (if needed) should be taken from the blanket boxes for warmth and protection.


Pair your students for bunk arrangements in the dormitories. Arrange your students into groups.


  • Visiting teachers are responsible for students whenever they are in the dormitories.
  • At least one teacher must be in the dorms whenever any students are there.
  • Indoor footwear must be worn at all times in the dorms (in case of emergency fire drills).
  • No food or drinks allowed in the dorms (water is allowed).
  • Please use the dorms for sleeping, washing and changing. Use the Common Room and outside for Rec. Periods.
  • Please ensure that dorms remain tidy, and that nothing is left on the floor so that it does not impede exiting during fire drills.
  • Lights-out time and wake-up time are left to your discretion; however, we suggest wake up at 7:15 am and lights out at 9:30 pm and silence at 10:00 pm.
  • Once the students are asleep, feel free to use our staff lounge near the dorms to watch television, videos or just to relax with a cup of tea or coffee or conversation.


  • You are welcome to take groups of children outside to play in the schoolyard, from 4:00 – 5:00 provided that they are supervised by you. Clear boundaries immediately adjacent to the school and within sight and calling distance must be set out.
  • Teachers are responsible for the direct supervision of students during “Rec Time”.
  • We encourage you to use the outdoors, Common Room and Gym (if there are no after 4 programs happening).
  • There is sporting equipment in the large bin near the door of the Common Room/Dining Hall. This equipment is for OUTDOOR use only. Please have only staff access this equipment.There are quiet games and books in the Common Room as well.
  • Regardless of where “Rec Time” happens, students must be directly supervised by the Visiting Staff.


All students and their parents/guardians must sign the “Agreement to Co-operate” form prior to attending the Island Science School.While we do not anticipate any difficulties, the 3-Strike Rule is used at the Island Science School when students contravene the “Agreement to Participate”.

  • Strike one: student name is recorded, all staff are notified
  • Strike two: phone call home to inform parents and inform your principal.
  • Strike three: child is sent home

Extreme misbehaviour can result in children being immediately sent home.


  • Transportation is arranged by the Island. A bus will arrive at your school if your trip is on a Monday, between 9:00 and 9:15 a.m. to take you to the ferry docks for the 10:00 a.m. boat. If you trip is On Wednesdays, a bus will arrive at your school around 10:00 am, in time to take the 11:00 ferry boat. Call the school at 416-393-1910 if your bus has not arrived on time so we are aware that you are running behind schedule.
  • Following the ferry trip, a bus will transport you to the school. Please have one teacher at the back of the bus for supervision.
  • When traveling on the ferry, please have students travel INSIDE the cabins.