The Mackenzie building with the clock tower face the parade square at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston Ont., on Friday May 17, 2013. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Lars Hagberg)

The Royal Military College of Canada is sending its roughly 300 first-year students to learn from home the rest of the semester after the upcoming long weekend.

Brigadier-General Sébastien Bouchard, Commandant at RMC, said in a letter posted Monday that with basic training now completed for the first-year cadets on campus, it's the "responsible" decision to let them stay home and learn remotely after the upcoming Thanksgiving long-weekend. 

"The safety of the officer cadets and the staff remains paramount," Bouchard said, referring to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

"I'm confident with the steps we’ve all taken to keep everyone safe on campus. However, amid persistent pandemic conditions, I see this as an opportunity to pre-emptively take action to help protect the ongoing health of our officer cadets, keep the force safe, and set the conditions for a successful winter term." 

The cadets now join the roughly 800 other students at the school who have been learning from home since September. 

Bouchard thanked students who have been physically at the campus since the start of the school year, given the isolation period required and the general anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 situation, all whle undergoing basic training. 

He also thanked staff on campus, "from cooks to cleaners to professors and everyone in between, your dedication and hard work continues to amaze me."

Students and parents with any questions about at-home learning or travel arrangements are asked to contact their officer cadet directly.