Beamsville, ON | Grades 9 - 12 | Shortlist
The size and engagement of the staff, the school community, and the students all make this a wonderful place to attend. As with any school you will always find students who don't want to be there, but the majority of students are there because they want to be and are generally happy. Student engagement is fairly high. With the high level of support from staff and teachers, there is a lot of help and students who are stressed are quickly identified and given the help they need. Most alumni speak very highly of their time at Great Lakes and are passionate about the school. School life at Great Lakes is what a student makes of it - a student can be involved and engaged or can be disengaged and removed.
I absolutely loved going to school at Great Lakes. High school was one of the best times of my life, and I believe firmly that going to Great Lakes was what made that difference. I loved being able to go to a place that was a Christian environment. I was able to get involved with many extracurricular activities that made my experience so much more enjoyable. Most of the students were quite involved with the things that are going on in school. Every night it seemed like there was something going on that you could be a part of. The relationships between students, staff, teachers, and other community members also made it a positive place to be.
I think my daughter enjoyed GLCHS because she had a few students from a familiar background and the school had a balance in their admission of students from various nationalities. She found the school quite challenging in terms of academic standards, maybe considering where she was coming from but she eventually settled down and found the comfort subjects that she also had a passion for and would enjoy. In terms of the quality of life, of course, the students may prefer an environment that gives them more freedom but we, as parents believe that at the high school level, the students still require a bit of string. While the school boarding facilities were of a good standard, my daughter often complained about the school food. In my view, the school offered a balanced diet and to expect it to be like home food may be expecting too much.
The overall quality of student life at Great Lakes is great. I haven’t witnessed or heard of any major issues. They have a great staff and a healthy environment for students to grow in. From my children's feedback, it is quite challenging academically and was a bit of a struggle to adjust to initially as a new student (considering the different educational background she was in prior to joining Great lakes). She received a lot of support when she started as a result, and now she loves the school. Students are given their independence, but at the same time, faced with a few constraints to still maintain a safe community. The location of the school is perfect for me because it is a very quiet and safe neighborhood, which I appreciate as a parent. The secluded area has a few places to go to have fun, but also not too many places so that the students can concentrate on their schoolwork as well. My children have been especially touched by their winter and fall student retreats and the school has amazing Christian life counselors that are so passionate about the personal growth of students. They have been such blessings to my children.