Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Rosseau Lake College (2021)
Rosseau Lake College alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Adam, Chris Creswick, Jessica had to say about the school.
- 1:48 - What did you appreciate most about the school during your time there? And how has your perspective on that change now that you have some distance from the school?
- 3:30 - What's the best of your knowledge most differentiates the school from others?
- 6:57 - If the school were to be represented as a single person, what would its personality be like in only three words?
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Highlights from the Q&A discussion
Adam — alum
Adam graduated from Rosseau Lake College in 2020. He is now in his first year at university, studying economics. While attending Rosseau Lake College, he enjoyed small class sizes, a strong sense of community, and many outdoor activities on the beautiful campus.
- "What I appreciated most about Rosseau Lake College … was definitely this small community feeling. Before I came to Rosseau, I spent three years at a public high school in Parrysound, and there were about seven or eight hundred kids there. Coming to Rosseau, there were around one hundred students. It was definitely a really different feeling at first. But I remember by the end of the first week, I felt like I was really a part of the Rosseau community. I was a part of this collective group of individuals. ... It was a community feeling, there's no better way to describe it.”
- “The small class sizes were huge for me, especially in Grade 12, taking classes like physics and calculus [at Rosseau Lake College], it was nice to have that one-on-one time with your teacher. … Now that I've graduated, I appreciate those small class sizes even more.”
- “In only three words, if Lake Rosseau College was a person, they would be adventurous, kind, and exciting. I found Rosseau Lake College to be unlike anything I'd really experienced before. It's definitely a very unique feeling, especially where it's located. You can't beat that. The property right on Lake Rosseau is incredible, and they definitely really promote adventure. So that's why I first said adventurous, like always going on trips, and making sure we get into the wild and just to really care about community.”
- “ I didn't know the vast majority of people at that school. I really took it as an opportunity to just start fresh. ... It was just nice to kind of know that I could just be myself, and I was accepted at Lake Rosseau College. ... I would just say, go and make sure you participate in everything. Make sure you just are part of the school community, and just be yourself, and you'll do fine.”
- “If I could have started at Rousseau earlier, I would have done so.”
- “Ever since I was in Grade 12, I had a spare both semesters. Almost without fail, every spare I had in the winter, I'd throw on my snow pants, my big winter coat suit, and my mitts. I'd find someone else who had a spare, and we'd go sledding, or we'd go build a snowman. One of my favorite pictures that I have from my memories of Rosseau Lake College, is this big snowman I built on a spare in between my math classes.”
Chris Creswick — current parent
Chris has one son that graduated from Rosseau Lake College in June. His son struggled in the public school system beforehand, behaviourally and academically. Rosseau Lake College helped him improve in all areas, and encouraged him to be an active participant at the school.
- “One of the things about Rosseau [Lake College], is that it's that unfound gem in the Muskokas, three hours north of Toronto that people don't really know about.”
- “We took a drive up to Rosseau Lake [College] with [my son] to look at the school, and it was very easy to set up the interview. We drove into the school. And one thing that I was expecting was the beauty. So I wasn't surprised by the beauty, it's on a gorgeous lake. It's second to none, the setting of Rosseau Lake College.”
- “The one thing that I was not expecting was the friendliness, the welcoming, and the warmness of [Rosseau Lake College], that none of the other schools had. You could sense that. You could feel it.”
- “Over [my son's] three years at Rosseau, I definitely saw him grow from … potentially going down the wrong road in Grade 9, to taking the right road because of Rosseau Lake College. All I can say is, Rosseau Lake College gave him the opportunity to be the best he could be, in all fields. He's naturally athletic, and Rosseau Lake College gave him the chance and the confidence to be the best he could be. He did really well in his sports and athletics.”
- “[My son’s] academic results improved considerably because of Rosseau Lake College.”
- “[My son] was well aware of the negative impact of bad choices, and he was always wanting to help [other students]. He got a little shocked and realized he made some wrong choices. [Rosseau Lake College] gave my son the opportunity to share [his negative experiences], and mentor, because nothing is better than a mentor your own age. To communicate with other kids, Rosseau Lake College gave him that opportunity, which was fantastic. That had an impact on [my son] and still does today, which is why he's taking up teaching.”
- “[My son] said learning was made to be fun at Rosseau Lake College. And then the other thing he said [was] the teachers are all the same … . And that was meant in a good way, in that every single teacher is not just imparting the academic learning part of it. It's personalized, full-learning for a child.”
- “When [students] are outside of school hours, the conversations they have are not always related to academics .… It's a very well-rounded education, in a tight-knit family, and a small environment. And [my son] said all the teachers are like that. Every single one of them. He learned from every single one of the staff and the teachers at Rosseau Lake College.”
- “Three words definitely came to mind pretty quickly [to describe Rosseau Lake College]: supportive, friendly, and fair. ... This is what I'm feeling from the school based on my interaction with staff and with other students. Social events, which were organized pre-pandemic, were great, very friendly. You get to know everyone in the school. … You will not get that at any other school as close as that.”
- “The supportive part relates to how [my son] describes the teachers, the one-on-one personalized learning, and the involvement of parents [at Rosseau Lake College]. If there were any concerns, I was involved immediately. So I felt supported. I definitely felt supported with [my son], and felt fairness amongst all the kids.”
- “Two more that came straight to mind [to describe Rosseau Lake College] was honesty and inclusiveness. The honesty just relates to the open communication that the school has, totally open with parents and students and staff, and I think that is facilitated easier than a large school. Because the school is small, I think that's easier to apply. Inclusiveness is a no brainer. The school gets everyone involved. ... [Rosseau Lake College] allowed us and encouraged us as parents, and it was full knowledge, disclosure.”
Jessica — current parent
Jessica has one daughter who is currently in Grade 10 at Rosseau Lake College. The school was able to support her individual learning needs and has helped her reach her full potential socially and academically.
- “We knew we wanted something other than the private or public system. We toured, and when we arrived on campus at Rosseau Lake College. … It's beautiful. The campus is welcoming. The students are waving hello and [saying] ‘how are you?’ ... We just were new people and they're happy to see us. So right away [my daughter] knew that she would be welcomed there.”
- “The school saw that [my daughter] would have some unique learning needs ... [and we received] a personalized learning plan right away. [Rosseau Lake College] saw [my daughter] for the way she likes to learn. She's more visual, likes project-based learning, and completely let her go with that. She would go to the teacher with an idea, and it was never turned down. In fact, they'd welcome it. They'd say, ‘what do you want to do?’”
- “Right away, [my daughter] was being rewarded for the effort that she was putting in [at Rosseau Lake College], and it was a night and day experience from what she had been dealing with up to Grade 6 [in the public system], where really the teacher was just saying, ‘you're a good student because you're well-behaved and you sit there quietly.’ Now, she was a good student because she was showing the teachers what she could produce. ... She works hard with what she's given, and she likes to be rewarded for it.”
- “We certainly knew there were other opportunities [at Rosseau Lake College], the outdoors, the camping, those kinds of things. But originally, that isn't why we chose the school. It ended up being an added bonus for her attendance there.”
- “I would say the biggest thing that [Rosseau Lake College] has provided for [my daughter] is really to teach her to think independently. … Everyone says the same things about Rosseau. It's tight knit. It's a family. It's a strong sense of community. I truly believe that all of that has fostered [my daughter’s] individuality. ... She has the confidence and the strength to defend her opinions and her thoughts, and to voice them in class, which is the biggest change that we've seen in her.”
- “[My daughter] does appreciate the academic opportunity, but mostly the extracurriculars [at Rosseau Lake College]. Being on committees with older kids, her opinion being valued, and the outdoor education opportunities that, frankly, my husband and I just simply aren't interested in providing her with.”
- “I think [Rosseau Lake College] is innovative, creative, and resilient. I am one of the parents who are completely 100% on board with Discovery Day. I love the programming of it. I love how the students have to come up with their own ideas and utilize the knowledge that they've learned throughout the year to make that project a success. I think it's such an innovative way to learn.”
- “[Rosseau Lake College] nurtures the students’ creativity, but also the school creatively thinks of ways to best utilize what they're given. We have this amazing property, ‘when in doubt, get out and enjoy nature’ is the philosophy. And I find that there is a never ending list of ways that the school will do that. I'm impressed with the creativity that surrounds that.”
- “I think [Rosseau Lake College] respects each child as an individual, without compromising their sense of community, and their sense of family. Every child's experience is unique, and there is a wealth of talent we've got in the faculty and the staff. They get together, and even if they aren't teaching a particular student, they all brainstorm on how to make that child's experience the best it can be. In the end, it's about individuality.”
- “Canada's a dry, snowy cold. So the students really won't feel as cold as they're worried about. The activities are endless [at Rosseau Lake College]. The kids dress warmly, and they're outdoors almost every day in the winter. Even if they don't like winter, they are walking from class to class outdoors in the winter, so they certainly get hardened to it very quickly.”
- “There aren't any unique or special kids in the class, they're just another student who's learning in their own individual way.”