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Albert College:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Preschool TO Gr. 12 — Belleville, ON (Map)


Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Albert College (2021)

Albert College alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Lori Foster, Hilary Wannamaker, Curtis Schmidt had to say about the school.

Video Contents

Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Lori Foster — current parent

Lori’s son is currently in Grade 12, and he has been there since Grade 2. Lori is also a member of the Albert College Board of Governors.

  • “We were looking for...a school that was a smaller school. We wanted to have an opportunity for [my son] to be in a smaller class size with individual attention, and most importantly, an exceptional educational experience. We also wanted him to be in an environment where he was going to be challenged on a daily basis as well.”
  • “And as soon as we drove onto the Albert campus, it was just such a warm and inviting experience. And I have to say that Albert College actually has a feeling—it's just that warm, family environment.”
  • “The excitement, the level of enthusiasm with the staff and faculty is very genuine. And we just felt that we had to be a part of this Albert family.”
  • “The most obvious expectation [we had] is the advanced academic program. ...There's also, at Albert, a wide array of extracurricular activities, and you can basically … be and do anything that you want. There's so many options available, which is fantastic.”
  • “The faculty is incredibly supportive and they go above and beyond to support the success of all students. … We also expected our son to be motivated and challenged, and encouraged to be the best that he can be. What we didn't expect...the arts program was just phenomenal at Albert. The music programs, the theatrical productions—it just went well beyond our expectations. Another thing we also love about the school is the fact that they also create opportunities for students and families, parents to make connections. And I think that's really important because it also helps strengthen the feeling of community and that level of support that Albert College is known for.”
  • “Albert really motivated our son to achieve at a high level, and just in every aspect of the Albert ‘As’ … We have the five ‘As’, which are Academics, Arts, Athletics, Adventure, Active citizenship. Albert College just really engages our students to be a part of this. ...They've created opportunities that we have never even imagined prior to enrolling in Albert through the five ‘As.’” 
  • “Albert College has also increased the confidence of our son. And I think that I can speak to many families and many students that having these opportunities through the five ‘As’ really elevates the whole level of confidence. … Having kids perform in theatrical plays and musical performance and even through sports is wonderful.”
  • “One other thing that has been a key player … in our experience at Albert is having … an advisor starting in the middle school from Grade 7 through 12—the advisor program that makes the students accountable. They have someone that they can go to every week. They have someone that they can ask for help. And it provides a consistent monitoring of progress … and which in turn, the advisors also communicate on a regular basis with the parents. So that in itself is a true gift that Albert has given all of us.”
  • “One other take away, too, is also the learning skills. Albert College has an evaluation process, … throughout the year. And it's an evaluation on responsibility, organization, independent work, collaboration, initiative, self-regulation. And the learning skills, it’s helped our son to realize the importance of becoming an independent learner … how to balance workloads and time-management skills … it also creates balance, which is essential moving forward into any career choice that they make.”
  • “Albert has the gift of being able to tap into the potential of every student and through these learning skills and through these advisor meetings and the five ‘As’, it's just a wonderful, wonderful package.”
  • “What our son really enjoys is that Albert [has a] high emphasis on achievement. But Albert College also provides the structure to help you reach your goals and your potential. So that's really important. And he also said that Albert meets you at your current level and sweeps you into a realm that you never thought was possible.”
  • “There's something for everyone at Albert College. You have the opportunity to focus your time and attention, and invest into your Albert ‘As’ in many different ways. And especially the Albert A's that speak to you, such as sports, active citizenship, the arts, adventure, that sort of thing. So you can really create your own goals and vision of where you want to be within the school.”
  • “It also gives you the opportunity to meet people from around the world, and gives you a taste of  different cultures.”
  • “[My son’s] final comments [about Albert] were… if you push yourself and put the time and effort in—the way Albert sets you up with high expectations—you can be the best person that you can possibly be. And you have that support and that guidance, which makes such a difference in your school years and the quality of your education.”
  • “Another thing that our son really enjoys is the fact that it's a small community, so you'll get to know everyone. And even though it's a small community, it can also be a competitive community, but this helps the students with their drive, and it helps you to excel.”
  • “[One word to describe Albert is] ‘committed’... So when I speak of committed, I am talking about the commitment to excellence, the high standards that Albert College has, the commitment to the students, the dedication of everyone from the faculty to staff to the parents, and that school vision. There is such a commitment and such dedication there that you just don't see that everyday, everywhere. And it's very special, I think.”
  • “[My second word to describe Albert is] ‘supportive.’ And so with a supportive environment, everyone thrives and excels … When you're in a supportive environment, you're willing to take risks and willing to think outside the box, which in turn makes you a successful person.”
  • “[My last word to describe Albert is] ‘innovative.’ So I love the fact that Albert has an ongoing approach to prepare students to provide the necessary tools and technology to achieve success, and also allow forward thinking for us with our students.”
  • “With Albert College, we have our set core values, which are Individuality, Compassion, Integrity, and Inclusiveness. And the Albert College mission is to inspire excellence in the five ‘As’, which is Academics, Arts, Athletics, Active Citizenship, and Adventure. And I think that the Albert values include everything from our thoughts, our words, our actions, which influence our lives and our children. I think our children and our families have embraced these values, which makes Albert a very positive and a very special place. And this is how we want our children to progress in life using all of these values of individuality, compassion, integrity, inclusiveness.”
  • “The transition [from public school to Albert] was relatively seamless, and … the thing that we really enjoyed about the junior school was the fact that the level of communication was extremely high. We had daily communication with the teachers, the principal, [and] messages were sent home. We had just a really wonderful, engaging experience as a parent and for our son.”
  • “And I think one of the main factors of that transition from the public system into Albert was also the safety factor. We always knew that everyday when we dropped our son off at school, we knew that he was in a warm, loving, safe environment, which was so comforting for us as parents being able to drop him off and leave and go about our day.”
  • “For our son too, it was really nice because at the same token, that difference from the public system to Albert, it was just such an engaging curriculum, and the teachers were always involved, so involved that it was just such a wonderful experience.”

Hilary Wannamaker — alum

Hilary attended Albert College for her final two years of high school, and she graduated last year. She is currently studying at the University of Waterloo.

  • “Something that I really appreciated the most when I was attending Albert College was how caring, considerate all the teachers were. … Making the switch [to] Albert College really opened my eyes, the compassion and devotion that all the teachers at Albert have. We had advisor periods, and that's mainly when I saw the most … during advisor periods, you always saw how useful the teachers were and how much they wanted to help.”
  • “Asking questions was a thing they wanted you to do. … So that's why I loved Albert College, and the teachers that really made you feel like they wanted you to do well. And now that I'm not attending Albert, something that I find myself missing a lot is the close connections to my teachers. … Especially with online and university, you kind of feel like you're doing it on your own, which is something that I never felt because you always knew that the teachers were there to help you.”
  • “I actually live an hour away from Albert College … so I was a five-day boarder. So I did the flexible boarding at Albert College. So five days throughout the week, I lived in the residence, and then on the weekends, I would go home.”
  • “Something that I would say most differentiates Albert is the close community and friendliness that it has that other schools don't have. Because I have the knowledge of going to a different school, I really do know how to compare it between different schools. ...The way that the community is and how friendly everyone is really makes it different because I find myself missing how close I was to everyone. I find myself wishing I could go back and say hi.”
  • “...I just miss the conversations...because everyone was just so friendly, and you never felt like you were alone at that school. You always felt welcome. And that's something that when you switch schools, you realize, especially going to university, which is really big. You miss the close connections you can have with all of these people.”
  • “So I think that the Albert community is very caring. They care a lot about your well-being, your grades, how you're doing, and they also just overall make you feel very welcome, which I think is a big part of the caring aspect.” 
  • “But I also think that determination is also a very big aspect in the way that Albert College makes you as a student, so you really need to be determined in order to achieve the goals that Albert wants you to get and that you want to get yourself.”
  • “[I would say] ‘inclusive’ [describes Albert] because of the amount of different clubs, athletics, and even just the different ethnicities and types of people that are represented at Albert College. Inclusivity would probably be my top thing to describe Albert College.”
  • “Something I find most surprising is the fact that Albert College sports teams and athletics are so inclusive. So if you think about different schools, sometimes you find people at the tryout for the teams, and people get cut and everything, but they don't do that. And that's something I really love. And I was honestly super surprised when I first went there.”
  • “So everyone at Albert College has to do their mandatory sports. And it's not something that Albert makes you do. It's something that they do to make it enjoyable for everyone, so that they can learn new skills … Albert's athletics aren't always competitive, but they are always fun, and that's what I always found, no matter what, because I was more into basketball than any other sport, and I still had to pick two other sports and I still found them super fun.”
  • “I was able to get involved in any way that I could, even if they weren't necessarily competitive. And speaking from my perspective, I played on the basketball team … and [our coach] played all of our team members whenever she could, no matter their experience.” 
  • “Advice I would give to students just entering Albert College is to not get so caught up in your friend group when you arrive. That was something that was really in my head when I first got to Albert because I was coming to a school, but I didn't know anyone … So I was really caught up in the fact that ‘What if I get no friends?’ ... But [making friends is] something that I don't think anyone should ever worry about when going to Albert because nobody there is going to say no to being your friend … People don't judge you based on anything other than the way you treat other people … [Everyone’s] happy to be there and they're happy that you're there with them.”
  • “My first favourite memory is probably like being with the prefect, being with the prefect team, and especially going to camp as a prefect team and just doing our prefect skit. … Every single year at the beginning of the year when school starts, the whole school from Grade 7 to 12 goes away to camp called Camp Tamakwa. And we spend about three days there. And you just get to meet everybody. You get to do some fun camp activities. You stay over and it's just super fun. And then one of the nights we have skits, so every cabin puts on a skit. And then also being in the play, the play was super fun, and it was something that I never thought I would do.” 
  • “In some classes that I found more difficult, I would second guess, so I'd love to talk to my teachers, I'd love to just make sure I was on the right track, and doing my assignments the right way, which I think is really important, especially for someone who's not very confident in their work. … But I'm pretty sure if I did need a lot of extra support, they would still support me either way, the teachers there are amazing.”
  • “When you live [in residence], every single Sunday night to Thursday night, you have a two-hour long study hall from 7-9. And depending on your learning skill level, depending on how you would use your time during study hall … you could have your door shut, you could be in your room because … they know that you have a good study ethic and everything. So you just have to stay in the building, and you can go work out if you feel like as long as you are achieving the goals that you should be achieving. … And it was useful, I liked it. You could get help from your friends if you needed it. That's the one part I loved [about boarding.]”

Curtis Schmidt — alum

Curtis was an Albert College lifer—he attended the school from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12. He is currently studying computer science at Queen’s University.

  • “Something I really appreciated about Albert College and I still do appreciate about it is the sense of community that they have at that school, primarily due to the low-class sizes and the lower population. It's really easy to meet everybody. And even if you aren't friends with everybody, you can associate a name with the face or just associate a face in general.”
  • “The teachers … get to know each of their students on a more personal level, including how they learn and what exactly they can do to help us learn the material better.”
  • “[Learning to develop personal relationships with teachers] really helped me throughout my time in college, because if I was ever stumped on anything, whatever teacher was teaching me in that particular subject could actually help me understand it better through personal means, rather than just reading off a script… .”
  • “My perspective changed after leaving Albert College. Basically, class sizes get a lot bigger and it's very difficult to approach teachers or just speak out when you have a whole bunch of other people watching or listening.”
  • “I think Albert did a very good job of helping me build up my confidence enough to know that asking questions is the best way to actually learn a subject. So I'm not afraid as much to speak out and say when I don't understand anything, but I really do miss those smaller class sizes and being able to have personalized sessions with the teacher.”
  • “One thing I thought made Albert really different … was the sheer amount of extracurriculars that we had available to us. Because I'd always hear about other people and how they would play soccer or they play basketball, and I was expecting that with sports when I got into the senior school, I was expecting to have different sports available. But then when I saw that there were arts and artistic activities available, I was really surprised because I would call myself more of an artsy person.”
  • “To see that I could play in band and that I could play chess, I could sing in the choir, I could participate in musicals. And then there were culinary arts and so many other things that I wasn't sure if I would be interested in when I came into them. But the fact that Albert got me to try them in the first place, they're now some of my favorite things to do.”
  • “[One word to describe Albert would be] encouraging. ...Teachers and the school itself, I always felt like they wanted me to succeed. It wasn't just myself pushing. I felt like I had a community of people backing me through my journey of learning and becoming a better person.”
  • “I chose the word ‘generous’ [to describe Albert] because of one of our ‘As,’ which is Active Citizenship, because even though we have mandatory community service in order to graduate, time and time again, you have students and faculty and just people setting up organizations … going way above and beyond to help other people in the community. And I think that's a huge part of the school because they provide us with so many opportunities to help everybody else around us.”
  • “I chose ‘wordly’ [to describe Albert] because even though we have our own community at Albert College, we are still full of many different cultures around the world … Coming into Grade 7 when I joined the school, I didn't know that much about the world around me. … Meeting people from around the world and hearing about their cultures, and being able to celebrate their cultures with them is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to learn about their cultures, and truly gain appreciation for the greater world around you.”
  • “I think the school itself actively tries to better itself for the students and for everyone around it. And they've done a very good job [laughs]. And I know that there are many student clubs that are also around to make student life better, or to have places for people to talk to each other.”
  • “Even though we have many different things that we are...made to do, it helps broaden people’s horizons because it's not like they just say, ‘Do soccer.’ And soccer is your only choice. You have multiple choices of arts and athletics that you can choose from. And I know a lot of people who had never played chess before in their life, and they saw it and they're like, ‘Hey, chess seems cool.’ And now they're kicking my butt because they practice with Mr. Profit, and they're really smart now about the game.” 
  • “[My mom was surprised about] public speaking and how they got us to do public speaking, starting very early and how she wishes that she had done that, because public speaking is a very important skill. And it's something that even though a lot of people are afraid of it, getting more comfortable with it can very much help you later on down the road.”
  • “My advice to anybody that's new, coming to Albert College would just be get involved in school spirit. Even though there's a lot of things that you are made to try out and to do, there's so many more that are completely optional. It might be daunting at first, you'll see a bunch of people who are very comfortable with the situation. That can be scary, but I promise you, they don't bite.”
  • “Everybody is always extremely happy to find someone who's also invested in the same thing they're interested in. And they will welcome you with open arms to things like trying out for the play, for example. A lot of people love it, even though a lot of people are afraid at first. I know everybody there is very, very welcoming. Just try out things. Don't be afraid. Everybody is very encouraging and you'll have a lot more fun memories afterwards.”
  • “I played trumpet in our band at Albert College. And this year, I got my first solo and I think playing that solo on actual performance night and … just standing up in front of everybody, playing it, and the audience clapping, honestly, was one of the best times I've ever had at Albert college. I was really nervous when I first got assigned the solo … but everybody believed in me. My fellow trumpet section believed in me and our conductor believed in me.”
  • “I think the dynamic [with boarding students] is pretty natural. I stayed a lot after school in between certain practices or certain performances, and there were always boarding students there. ...The only difference really was that they stayed at the school and I stayed at home. But I have a lot of friends who are boarding students, and it's really nice to talk to them because you get to learn about different things in their life and where they live and what's going on over there. The dynamic was always pretty friendly.”

More about Albert College

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Key insights on Albert College

Each school is different. Albert College's Feature Review excerpts disclose its unique character. Based on discussions with the school's alumni, parents, students, and administrators, they reveal the school’s distinctive culture, community, and identity.

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Our Kids Feature Review

The 50-page review of Albert College is part of our series of in-depth accounts of Canada's leading private schools. It provides a unique and objective perspective on the school's academics, programs, culture, and community.

  • Albert College has a rigorous academic program and a focus on educating well-rounded, global citizens. 
  • Albert College is a small school that provides an inclusive, welcoming, family environment.
  • Access to nature is plentiful both on and off campus and the school focuses on outdoor education and learning outside of the classroom.
Read our in-depth review

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Roundtable Q&A (2020)

Watch our Albert College Q&A discussion to gain fresh insight into the school's culture, values, and strengths.

Alum, Jasper Gilbert (2022)

Watch our alum interview with Jasper Gilbert to learn about the unique experience of attending Albert College.

Alum, Aruna Aundhia (2021)

Watch our alum interview with Aruna Aundhia to learn about the unique experience of attending Albert College.
See all video reviews (5 total)


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