REVIEW OF Alexander Academy BY parent, Kate Mezentseva
- Date of Review
November 03, 2022
- Child 1
Gr. 11 - 12 (Male, Current Day Student)
(5) Student Experience
The school is very compact, has under 100 students, and feels very private and personal. My son loves this school very much. He is indeed very happy with all the teachers and their instruction skills, as well as staff members who are always there when help is needed. Alexander Academy has many excellent programs as well as activities that happen throughout the day in homerooms and classes. My son enjoys science classes the most - physics, math and computer-related courses and clubs such as robotics. We, as parents, are very happy with how much new stuff our son has learned in the last year. Thanks to all the teachers and staff members for taking such good care of all our children. I would definitely recommend Alexander Academy to other parents who look for an excellent school for their kids in Vancouver.
(5) School Leadership
The administration at Alexander academy is far better than in any school my son, or myself, have ever been at. They respond to emails and inquiries fast and are always helpful with spot-on replies. They communicate effectively with students in person, as well as parents by email. In one of my recent visits to the school, to an in-person parents-teacher conference, we talked to all the teachers and the school principal and the counsellor. We listened to the presentation about school life and all the upcoming activities. Great for syncing parents to the active student life in and around the school.
When my son comes home, during dinner time he likes telling us about his day in school, both academically and socially. Teachers are indeed very knowledgeable and passionate about their subject, having different backgrounds and coming from different places all around the globe. What is also important is that every single teacher is very different. Some are very good at explaining completely new material, some at talking about specific topics, and some at presentations while showing a lot of interest in the topic, hence making classes way more interesting than usual. I am hundred percent confident that my son receives challenges and the support that is required to overcome barriers in learning and eventually get better academically, while also living his life to the fullest.
I believe that the learning atmosphere always plays a big part in one's education. Alexander academy provides anti-stressful vibes that result in better academic performance throughout the year. The school has a lot of counsellors for different needs that are always available to talk to or book appointments with, and all the teachers are available every Tuesday and Thursday for after-school tutorials from 3 to 4 p.m. Overall, I am very happy with the decision I made over a year ago to transfer my son to this school. It gives proper preparations for the real world beyond school, as teachers share their experiences and offer suggestions along with help to get ready for the university years. I would have loved to have such advisors in my final school years.
Alexander Academy offers help with finding volunteer opportunities for students so they are better involved with the community. This year, one of the clubs my son joined in, was the robotics club. In this club, a team of about ten students is trying to build a robot and program it to then participate in local school competitions with the goal to go to the vex world robotics championships taking place in Dallas, Texas in 2023. The club does not require any prior computer programming knowledge, so any student is able to join this club.
Ever since joining this school, my son has made a lot of friends from all over the world. He now has friends from counties like Brazil, Korea, Tunisia, Iran, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Burundi, Afghanistan and many more. Having so many students from all over the world brings more interest in class discussion since almost everyone has different backgrounds and opinions on political, economic and social matters, which gives deeper understanding and greatly expands overall appreciation of the complexity of the modern world. It is different from every school my son went to before this one. There, all the students were from the same hood and all had very similar backgrounds and identities. I feel jealous in some way that I did not have a chance to receive an education with students of such different backgrounds.
(5) School Life
I guess every child does not want to go to school. Only maybe one in a million does. However, my son feels very welcomed in the school. Every day he comes home with a smile on his face and says about the good day he had in school. The worst part for my son is definitely waking up. In the school he likes everything (to my knowledge). It is great that kids from different countries get on that well. Every class is fun as well as a great learning environment. At the start of the year, my son joined the robotics club, ping pong club and the outdoor skills club. He then joined the student council as a volunteer, and proceeded to like the school even more.
The community at Alexander Academy is welcoming. I personally enjoyed the parent-teacher night, where I got to know all of my son's teachers and talk to some of the counsellors as well as the school principal. It was a great experience to see the presentation prepared by the school and presented by the head of the school himself. The parents are welcomed very much to the life of the school. I believe that community for students is even better from all the information I collected from my son. He always brings home a positive vibe when coming directly from school. Not long ago, he joined the Student Council of Alexander Academy as a volunteer. He says that he likes the experience he gets every time the student council is held.
(5) School Location
We find the school location to be extremely convenient. We joined the school while living in Vancouver downtown, near Yaletown. Back then, our son walked to the school - it usually took him roughly 10-15 mins. Now, we moved to the North Shore and he takes the Seabus every morning which only marginally increases the overall commute to 40 mins, thanks to the school location - right in front of the Waterfront station/Seabus terminal. Overall, having a train station 2 blocks away makes the location exceptionally convenient when parents cannot drive the kids to and from the school.
The admission process was very easy and pleasant. When we first scheduled a school visit, the admissions director herself gave us a full school trip, explained the school policies, including the dress code, and well explained the academic process, student involvement in school life and other extracurricular activities. She also showed us some of the classes, and we even got to meet some teachers. Right after the first visit we felt welcomed as if to a second family. Afterwards, we filled out the application online. The school offered a very pleasant first-year stipend and offered a convenient payment plan. The same thing happened during the second year my son went to the school. Nothing regarding the admissions and application process was stressful. I would not change the current admissions process, since I feel like this one works well.
(5) University placement and counselling
Students from Alexander Academy get accepted to top Canadian universities, including UBC and the University of Toronto. Some of the students, from what I've heard, are accepted even in the best American universities, while others are welcomed in universities from all around the world. There is a dedicated student service manager who specifically helps students get prepared for their university applications, gives advice on requirements and reminds them of certain deadlines. And that is the main reason we feel really supported, since you at any time can schedule a meeting with the counsellor and talk about the plans regarding my son's academic future. After every meeting we had, we had a clear idea of what to do next. I do indeed feel we were given appropriate guidance to apply for undergraduate university programs.