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Urban Academy
Urban Academy
101 Third Street, New Westminster, British Columbia, V3L 2P9
Contact name:
Sonja Kennedy

Phone number:
(604) 524-2211×
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Urban Academy

Urban Academy

101 Third Street, New Westminster, British Columbia, V3L 2P9
601 Eighth Avenue, New Westminster, British Columbia, V3M 2R2

Liberal Arts
Grades (Gender):
JK to 12 (Coed)
$8,500 to 12,500/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
12 to 15
Day: 180 (Gr. JK - 12)

Get more information

Contact Name:
Sonja Kennedy

Phone Number:

School Address
101 Third Street, New Westminster, British Columbia, V3L 2P9
601 Eighth Avenue, New Westminster, British Columbia, V3M 2R2

About this school:


Urban Academy is committed to educating students in a way that will allow them to be engaged, motivated and excited about learning. Our educational approach that includes connecting classroom learning to technology, the arts and the outdoors, along with our small class sizes, helps each student make a deeper connection to the core curricular subjects. Our commitment to academic excellence is enhanced by our focus on personal development in order to prepare students for a bright and successful future.

The Our Kids review of Urban Academy

our take

Urban Academy was founded in 2001 with the intention of creating a school that was creative, engaging, and which delivered the core curriculum in a hands-on, cooperative, interactive way. The success of the program is evident in its growth—it is now housed within two campuses—and in its reputation. Families are drawn, rightly, to the academic program, though they are also drawn by the community that the school has described, one that approaches the arts, sciences, social studies equally, and building instruction around points there those fields intersect. The facilities are also one of the school’s strengths. The ideal student is one able to thrive in varied, challenging, creative, and very social learning environment.

Principal's Message


Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont, Head Of School

Hello Parents,

Urban Academy was founded in 2001 on the principle that each student could thrive if they were engaged in their studies, and received the guidance they needed to grow and develop. Now, many years later we are a flourishing school with two campuses, which has been built on this foundational idea. Students are thriving academically because of our small class sizes and lessons that include arts-infused and concept-based learning.

Through Inquiry Based learning, our passionate teachers maximize the potential each student has for higher-level thinking. Urban Academy students receive an enriched academic curriculum by interacting with core subject and specialist teachers. Included in Urban Academy's program is second language instruction for students at every grade level.

Ask an Urban Academy student about the atmosphere at our school and they will talk about how respectful older students are to younger students, and the idea of collaboration.  Both aspects of what will make them successful in both their post-secondary education, and chosen career.  Through our Urban Academy Student Profile we encourage our students to be powerful thinkers, powerful communicators, engaged risk-takers and reflective people.

Our community works collaboratively for the benefit of all students. Teachers work closely with parents to ensure effective communication between home and school. We welcome you to explore our community at www.urbanacademy.ca. We would also be happy to arrange a personal school tour for your family and we look forward to discussing in more detail how Urban Academy can engage your child/youth and help them to reach their potential.

Kind Regards,

Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

Urban Academy


Curriculum Liberal Arts

Primary Curriculum: Liberal Arts

What Urban Academy says: With some of the smallest class sizes in the Lower Mainland, and an arts infused approach, Urban Academy enriches its program to ensure every student is challenged and supported. By offering a more engaging learning environment, Urban Academy develops students in their entirety to establish a foundation of critical thinking, a positive approach to life-long learning and ultimately significant academic achievements.

  • Approach:

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Equal Balance

      These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What Urban Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    Early Reading Balanced Literacy

      Balanced reading programs are typically Whole Language programs with supplementary phonics training. This training might be incidental, or it might take the form of mini-lessons.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  

    • What Urban Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school periodically uses DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What Urban Academy says: UA runs an in-house school assessment testing.

    Writing Equal balance

      Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What Urban Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Science Equal Balance

      Science programs that balance expository and inquiry learning equally will likely have an equal blend of tests and experiments; direct, textbook-based instruction and student-centred projects.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: This information is not currently available.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature Equal Balance

      These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What Urban Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Social Studies Thematic

      The Thematic approach organizes the curriculum around certain themes or cultural universals. Students might spend time focused on food. Then they might focus on transportation or government, and so on.
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What Urban Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Humanities and Social Sciences Pragmatism

      Pragmatism in the humanities and social sciences emphasizes making learning relevant to students’ present-day experience. Assignments tend to centre around projects and tasks rather than argumentative essays; these projects will often have a “real-world” application or relevance. There might be more of a social justice component to a pragmatic program, though that isn’t always the case. Subjects like history and philosophy are still covered/offered, but they play a less prominent role in the overall program than in the case of perennialism. The social sciences (contemporary geography, sociology, psychology, etc), meanwhile, might play a more prominent role in pragmatic programs. The key goals are to make learning progressive and relevant, while teaching students real-life skills and critical thinking.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What Urban Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Foreign Languages Equal Balance

      These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What Urban Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    • Studying a foreign language is required until:   11
    • Languages Offered: • French

    Fine Arts Creative

      Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What Urban Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Computers and Technology Medium integration

      Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What Urban Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Urban Academy says: Based on the Ministry of Education requirements, students are exposed to, and taught physical skills appropriate to their age. In Grades 8-12 the 'Fit For Life' program is taught in PE. This program exposes students to various sports and activities that they may not have experienced before, with the hope that they may choose to integrate a new sport/activity into their lives. These sports include Fencing, skiing, capoeira, curling, as well as the traditional sport and track and field activities.

    Sex and Health Education
    Topics covered in sex and health education: This information is not currently available.

    What Urban Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.

    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.


    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.


    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.

    What Urban Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Preschool/K Curriculum Reggio Emilia

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Reggio Emilia programs aim to develop curiosity and problem-solving skills through the liberal use of “projects”, (as opposed to “activities” or “lessons”). Teachers design projects for children around their demonstrated interests. Projects can be geared to an individual student, a small group of students, or the class as a whole. Projects can last from a few days to the whole year. Art is strongly emphasized and is typically incorporated into every project. Teachers actively participate in projects alongside students, rather than sitting back and observing. A high degree of parent involvement is also encouraged, particularly when forming curriculums and project plans (which happens throughout the academic year).
    If you want to learn more about Reggio Emilia education, check out our comprehensive guide.

    If you want to learn more about preschool education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also read our in-depth answers to important preschool questions: What is preschool? What are the main preschool programs? What are the main pros and cons of preschool? What do children learn in preschool? How much does preschool cost?  What makes for a great preschool?

    What Urban Academy says: Inspired by the internationally acclaimed Reggio-Emilia teaching philosophy, Urban Academy's Junior Kindergarten (JK) program is tailored for pre-kindergarten children. Numerous international awards have helped recognize Reggio-Emilia as the best teaching environment for a child's first out-of-home learning experience. It encourages young children and their teachers to explore, question, and discover in a stimulating environment. The student is the communicator, the teacher is the guide, the parent is the partner and the environment is the third teacher. As a result, there is a significant focus on bringing the outside world in, and learning through all that nature has to offer.

    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What Urban Academy says about flexible pacing: Children are tested and assessed on a regular basis to ensure they are being appropriately challenged as well as to identify any gaps that may exist.

    Academic Culture Rigorous

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.

    What Urban Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced, Intellectual

    Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Intellectual
    Academically strong, creative, and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions.

    What Urban Academy says: Urban Academy works hard to ensure that students are supported to fully develop into their best selves and be positioned for success in their post secondary educational careers. With exposure to the arts, mentorship opportunities and community service we aim to instil confidence and help students learn more about the community and world in which they live. A strong academic background will allow them to pursue their dreams and have a positive impact in their communities.

    Special Needs Support Limited


    Urban Academy offers limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • What Urban Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    No Support

    Urban Academy does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Homework Policy

    In grade 12, Urban Academy students perform an average of 1.5 hours of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    Urban Academy 0 mins0 mins15 mins15 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins45 mins45 mins60 mins60 mins90 mins90 mins90 mins
    Site Average5 mins7 mins16 mins18 mins24 mins30 mins34 mins41 mins54 mins59 mins71 mins82 mins97 mins110 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered gradesJK to 12
    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackJK to 12
    Academic achievement reportingJK to 12
    Habits and behaviour reportingJK to 12
    Parent-teacher meetingsJK to 12

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.

    Recess Policy

    Non-lunch recessFrequency
    Lunch recessAmount

    What Urban Academy says: This information is not currently available.


    What Urban Academy says:
    • Through ISABC and GVISA, UA competes in track and field, soccer and volleyball against other private and independent schools throughout the province.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Chess Club
      Community Service
      Computer Club
      Dance Club
      Drama Club
      Jazz Ensemble
      Math Club
      Outdoor Education
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid




    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    Full payment all students5%
    2nd child (sibling)all students5%
    3rd child (sibling)all students10%
    4th child (sibling)all students10%

    Need-based financial aid

    Grade range that need-based aid is offered: K to 12
    Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid0%
    Average aid package size$0
    Percentage of total enrollment on financial aid0%
    Total aid available$0

    Application Deadline:
    January 31, 2016 Repeats annually

    More information:

    Application Details:

    This school works with FAST. for processing financial applications
    The online application process will require financial information to be submitted. Financial aid is based on need.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 180
    Average enrollment per grade12
    Average class size12 to 15
    Grades (gender)JK to 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)N/A
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Urban Academy says:

    The UA enrollment process has been designed to ensure you have all the information possible when deciding on a school for your family.  The first step, after having explored our website, is to call or email to make an appointment to tour the school. The Admissions Representative will be happy to take you on a tour of our facility and introduce you to our learning program. You will see some teachers and students at work, get a feel for the environment, and learn what it is that sets Urban Academy apart.

    If you decide that Urban Academy is a good fit for your child and your family you would fill out our online application form, submit your child's most recent report card (if relevant) and pay the application fee.  Next, an interview will be scheduled for you and your child with our Head of School. 

    In this meeting, our Head of School will get to know your child through interview questions and activities provided. We wish to ensure that the student will be able to thrive and Urban Academy, and the process also allows you to see if you feel that the school is the right fit for you and your family.

    After the meeting with the Head of School, we set up an assessment visit for your child to attend Urban Academy (either a half day or a full day depending on their age) at the appropriate grade level.  In this visit students are required to complete various assessments, and a report will be submitted to the Head of School by the teacher conducting the visit.

    Finally, for students applying to Grade 1 and above, we request that a reference form from their current teacher be completed and returned to the Admissions Department. 

    We are happy to answer any of your questions during our application process and we look forward to having the opportunity to support you in making an informed decision about your child’s education.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Urban Academy is looking for: We are seeking students who are able to participate in an academically challenging curriculum, infused with arts, technology and outdoor education and a passion for the wider community.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypeJKSK123456789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class sizeN/A
    *Canadian "Big 6" placementsN/A
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University, University of Alberta, or Dalhousie University.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)

    What Urban Academy says:

  • Urban Academy has 100% university acceptance for its graduates. Each grad has been accepted to every university they have applied to.

  • Stories & Testimonials


    Urban Academy Testimonials

    "My son has been at Urban Academy for two years and we've been thrilled with our choice to send him there. The head of school and teachers all take a genuine interest in helping him succeed and the smaller class sizes ensure that he doesn't get lost in the shuffle. He loves the school and feels safe and welcome." - The Findling Family

    "Our daughter is in the JK class, and we cannot say enough good things about Ms. Nadia. She is a true gem and she really starts the foundation that UA then builds on in subsequent grades. Right from when we first toured the school, we were very impressed with the culture of UA and the manner in which the children are addressed—with respect, understanding, patience and kindness. The opening circle is key to unifying the school and I love that various topics are addressed, from friendship to public speaking. These conversations challenge the kids to think critically which is a life skill many people lack. UA not only focuses on the academic educational component, but educating the child as a whole, from manners, to community-mindedness to celebrating our human uniqueness." - The Kawulka Family

    "Our son has only been at Urban Academy for a few months, but he loves it. He felt immediately at home in his JK class and is growing by leaps and bounds with the curriculum. Every new medium for learning—modeling clay while studying birds; wood and tools while learning about building houses; practically every kind of art material while studying volcanoes €”has been a great adventure for him. We wanted to provide him with a community of learning as well as a school, and most importantly we wanted an approach to education that cultivates creativity and values emotional learning. We feel we've found it with UA. Our son loves being a student here and is always very proud to tell people €˜My school is Urban Academy." - Katey Wright and Peter Jorgensen Family


    Urban Academy Testimonial

    I had taken the kids for a play at Queens park a couple of years ago (the old fire truck was still there). They were playing on a swing set together and there was a group of teens (boys & girls about 14 years to 17 years) sitting on the rail road ties that kept the gravel in the adjoining play area. My children were 5 & 6 and were openly engaging the teens in conversation for 3 to 4 minutes. My children then moved over to the old fire truck to play with a group of kids their own age. As I was moving over to the other play section, one of the teens approached me and asked the ages of my children. She shared with me that they had discussed the confidence and willingness of my children to talk on range of topics. The group of eight or so teens all felt that none of them would have had the confidence to talk the way my children had (that is - to talk to such a large group of teens and on such a variety of topics). They asked me where my kids went to school & I told them about Urban Academy. It was not until later that evening, after putting my kids to bed and recounting the conversation with my wife (who was not with as at the park) that it came to me that if a group of teens can recognise the confidence and character nurtured in my children, that we were definitely on the right track. As our original goal for Urban Academy was to raise confident, creative children it was awesome to have it recognised by a usually pretty critical segment of the community. - The Clarke Family


    Urban Academy Testimonials

    "At Urban Academy it is clear our children are being cared for, and guided through, the very important process of education by skilled, compassionate, committed professionals that have the student's best interest at heart!" - The Sanderson Family

    "We wanted to find a school that would nurture our children through their academic career as well as empower them with knowledge. We can confidently say, we have found that and so much more at Urban Academy. It is very rewarding to see our children grow intellectually and emotionally. We expected a high level of academics but we were exceptionally pleased with the self-assuredness and confidence that our children exhibit. We can not express how impressed and thankful we are, that our children are a part of this growing community. We started this venture hoping to give our children the best academic education possible, what we are getting is so much more." - The Uphill Family

    "I never intended to send my children to an independent school, but I felt strongly that my child should choose the school she was to spend 6 hours a day at. After visiting schools in our neighbourhood one of which was Urban Academy, my daughter chose Urban Academy. This empowered her and from days one she has had so many heartfelt things to say about the school. I, as a parent, can reflect on how I feel about the school, but ultimately it is my children who spend a large part of their childhood there. It is their feedback that I can say that Urban Academy is a school that provides my children with an educational experience that supports them in their development and learning at every level. I have consistently recommended this school to friends and acquaintances and will continue to do so." - The Fenwick Family

    "My daughter moved to Urban Academy for grade 6. She is now in grade 7 and loves her school. She has really blossomed because of the small class sizes and individualized attention she receives from the head of school and teachers alike. She feels very at home and comfortable in the school and takes great pride of being part of the Urban Academy community. Her grades have improved significantly and she takes a greater interest in her studies than she did in her previous (public) school." - The Lancaster Family


    In the News


    November 6, 2014 - Urban Academy Teacher Honoured with Prime Minister's Award

    Urban Academy is thrilled that Mrs. Vassev, has been recognized for excellence in early childhood education with the Prime Minister's Award. ...


    • Federation of Independent School Associations (FISA) Associations
    • Independent Schools Association of British Columbia (ISABC) Associations

    Social Feeds

    Other Highlights:

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    Contact Name
    Sonja Kennedy

    Phone Number:
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