I am a current student at Nancy Campbell Academy. I transferred in the second semester of my Grade 9 year because I was looking for a school that I felt was supportive, where teachers pushed me to learn but also helped me and was in a safe place. The one thing I wish I knew about the school before I arrived is what a great experience it would be. My first semester at a local school was filled with students who were doing drugs, full of drama and while some of my teachers were good, many didn't care. When I transferred to Nancy Campbell I was happy to see that the kids actually care about each other, they care about getting good grades and learning and I the school culture is one in which kids are kind, and accept newcomers like me.
I really like my Guidance Counselor Ms. Schaffer. She is really helpful, she actually listens to kids and helps them learn about and solve their own problems, provides academic support and really helped me get used to being away at school. The principal and Vice Principal are also availbel to talk to and participate in the daily activities of the school. We have a daily meeting and always eat lunch together as a school. I really like that my teachers and the principals are there because it helps me get to know them and build a relationship with them. The teachers are knowledgeable about their content area and are always available to help. Mr. Davids really believed in me and helped me to build my confidence and believe in myself.
I feel that for the most part teachers ask the right amount from us. There were times this year that I felt the workload was too high, especially at the end of the semester but I suppose that can't really be avoided. When I needed help they were there which was especially important when the classes switched to online due to COVID. My teachers are encouraging and help me make goals that push myself. I don't always love each of their teaching styles, but I feel they are fair, reasonable and effective. One thing I really appreciate is how they are involved in school life outside of the classroom and the mentor program. I was able to pick a mentor teacher that even though I don't have a class with I found supportive and helped me learn and develop.
As far as academics there were some units that I found very challenging, some that were easy and most were just right. The teachers are able to individualize the curriculum since it is such a small school so for units I already had a good amount of knowledge in they were able to adjust the lessons/assignments so I was still challenged. For units that I struggled with I was able to attend office hours and get the help I needed in order to learn. My teachers know I would like to be a physician and they are helping me identify the subjects and skills I will need to achieve my goal and are supporting me along the way. My RA also helps me with homework if I am stuck, which is really nice since I live in residence.
There is so much to be involved in and everyone is really involved so it's really easy to join things. I do wish my school had more sports teams, but we do get a YMCA membership so we can do sports and activities there too. There are lots of clubs, activities and volunteer opportunities. I earned over 50 hours of volunteer service in the community in just one semester!
Nancy Campbell Academy is a great school for anyone who wants to get a good education, meet people form a lot of different backgrounds, is accepting, wants to be challenged and wants to try new things. It is a perfect mix of being its own community but we are also really involved with the great community of Stratford, ON. I take dance classes at a local dance studio and my teachers and school are really supportive of this. The first couple of days were hard, but honestly I felt like the other students were my family very quickly! Everyone knows each other, supports each other and it is just a very positive place to be.
If I was giving a tour I would show the group the classrooms which are bright and full of natural light and the gym/auditorium where we have our daily meeting/assembly. This is where we come together as a community each day. I would also take them to Mr. Rushidy's class where our students create professional quality videos, music etc. I think the most important part is to meet our students and teachers as they are the ones who truly make this place special. The building is beautiful but the real asset is the people and to see the quaint town of Stratford, ON. I feel very safe at school and in the entire town. I really like that there are so many places to eat and things to do. We are also home to the world famous Stratford Festival and people come form all over the world to see the theater performances.
School definitely feels like home. There are so many people that care about me, many people here to help me, and do things with or to explore the town with. I really miss school and cannot wait until it starts back in-person! There is a lot of diversity in my school and everyone is welcome and included. I also really like that everyone gets their own room in the residence so I can create my space exactly how I want it! I really like that I have been able to both teach other students things and learn form other students as I feel it helps to create a bond. We also do a retreat each semester (Wild Fire) which is outdoor education center that helps us get to know each other and bond.
The school provides us with a bus pass as it is very safe and I really like that we can go shopping, see a movie, go to a restaurant etc. I really like to go to the YMCA with my friends on the weekend to work out and swim. The community also has lots of festivals each season that we volunteer with and help run booths etc. I really liked being able to run the children's booth and give back to our community.
The admissions process was pretty easy. I just had to complete some forms, get letters of recommendation and attend an interview. Mr Naylor, the principal made me feel very comfortable during the interview and even though I was really nervous in the beginning I got less nervous as time went along. The advise I would give someone applying for admission would be to just do it! The hardest thing is getting started or judging yourself. Once you start the process you will find everyone is helpful and wants you to succeed! The one thing I know now that I wish I knew when I applied is that is was nowhere near as stressful as I thought it would be. I am really glad I got to visit the school and get to experience the school culture.