Published Sept. 4th for the Montreal Gazette's Education Section.
There is no doubt that the world our children will live in will be nothing like the world we know. The driving force of technology is about to revolutionize all aspects of our lives within the next 10 to 15 years.
How are we preparing our children to cope with what awaits them? It is obvious that a traditional education is necessary but insufficient to cope with the skills that will be required in tomorrow’s world.
Kells Academy, a private kindergarten and elementary school, was established almost 40 years ago with the aim of providing its students with a solid base on which to build their educational futures. Based upon the principle that every child is a unique personality and has individual talents, the school has always maintained small class sizes that help nurture learning especially in the formative reading and math programs. In addition to the classroom, students have access to a resource room where students work individually with a learning specialist and focus on specific goals such as reading, math and executive function. This often eliminates the need for after-school tutorials for many students.
What has been the game-changer for both students and their parents has been the introduction of digital technology at the elementary level. It has helped provide the teacher with even greater flexibility to personalize and customize lessons as instruction can easily be adapted to individual learning styles. This two-pronged approach of combining traditional instruction with digital technology has proved to be extremely successful. “It’s hard to put into words what a dynamic, special place Kells Elementary School is,” said Marla Perlman, the principal of Kells Elementary. “This is a very vibrant and positive environment where students learn happily every day.”
The Flex program offers yet another dimension for the kids to develop their extracurricular interests. Students can choose from a number of electives that include dance, yoga, cinematography, set design, choir and instrumental music. Students also have access to the Green Committee’s school garden. With hands-on experience, students learn about protecting the environment.
“We approach teaching with a growth mindset: developing academic skills, talents and abilities is a lifelong process,” Perlman said. “None of this would be possible without the team of hand-picked teachers who put their students first and ensure that their educational experiences will last a lifetime,” she continued. “Trained and highly qualified, they provide a welcoming and supportive environment that ensures young minds will thrive and grow.”
This is what one parent, Amanda Lackey, who has three children at Kells Elementary had to say: “I was attracted to the school by the small class sizes, the enthusiasm of the teachers and the fact that each child is treated as an individual with different learning needs.” Her daughters, Illuminada, 11, and Enriqueta, 10, chose computer programming and cooking as extra Flex subjects. Her son, Carlos Acuna, 8, took cinematography in Grade 3. “All three children do sports well and I look forward to the school-wide musical theatre production held each year,” Lackey said. “They are all thriving at Kells.”
A building is only as strong as its foundation. It is no wonder that the most often heard comment from parents is “Kells gets it right!”
Visit www.kells.ca to learn more.
This story was produced by Postmedia Works on behalf of Kells Academy for commercial purposes.