Rosthern, SK | Grades 10 - 12 | Shortlist
Academics at RJC are taken seriously and are an integral part of the RJC experience. Teachers are supportive in the learning process by creating unique learning settings for each individual student and yet push students to be their academic best with the intention to meet each student where they are at on their academic journey. There is a healthy competition among students for grades and marks but there are opportunities that exist outside of the classroom that reach a different type of learner. The grade 10 Imagine program teaches in a less traditional way giving opportunity for students to experience unique, out of classroom learning settings which appeal to learners that want a different academic experience. Student focused tutorials at the end of the academic day give students the opportunity to work one on one with teachers to ensure any subject issues students are facing can be addressed proactively.
The academic program at RJC is very diverse. There might be a gap between all the students in their academic levels, but since it is a smaller class size, it allows the teachers to work in different speed, according and adjusting with the class. Class materials can get creative, and they aren't all stuck in a classroom! We have a program called ALSO (Alternative learning and service opportunity), which we take the classroom outside of the province/country, travelling to BC/ Manitoba/ Alabama/ Guatemala, to serve and learn from different communities. I thought the way the teachers let us express our Academic ideas creatively, we have structures to follow, but also the freedom to express! I was stuck in the stressful-classroom learning style in Hong Kong, but at RJC, with the different ways of learning, I was not told that I wasn't good enough. I got help to thrive in ways I didn't know I could thrive before, and I was given chances to try things that I normally was told "not allowed".
RJC is leading the way in learning. The teachers are accommodating to the different learning styles of the students. For example, our son is a hands on learner. A few of his projects were building/replicating historical events for his classmates. Our son has made a successful transition from secondary to postsecondary, which I feel that this is due to the high standards that the teachers respectfully expect from the students. The teachers treat the students like young adults. They make themselves available to the students for additional assistance. It is the responsibility of the student to approach the teacher for assistance, exactly like post secondary institutions. RJC has recently renovated their biology and chemistry labs. They have dedicated science teachers for these classes. This is remarkable given the small community that RJC is located in.
RJC definitely pushes students to do their best. The atmosphere was relatively relaxed which made students more comfortable and willing to ask those questions that can challenge ideas. The students can be competitive academically. But I found the students are far more willing to assist their classmates with their work. I found the student body to be just as supportive as the staff which made for an incredible learning experience. What I enjoyed most was how we would go outside of the school campus to learn about certain events. Especially in native studies and history 30 class. We could go visit the site of the Riel revolution (batoche, gabriel dumont bridge, duck lake),go to waneskewin and learn about native culture, and really immerse ourselves in what we were learning.
The atmosphere is one of learning together, meaning though seeking high grades were encouraged, I never felt overly competitive. I would say the strength of the academic program is its collegiality. I remember helping people out in study hour and class to learn math or biology. As previously mentioned, learning together was emphasized. I felt I could have had better instruction on writing, which I did not develop skills in until later in university, but few people come out of high school with the ability to write well.
RJC has an excellent academic program. We feared that, being a small school, with a small staff, the program would be limited, especially when my daughter wanted to continue with French instruction. We were wrong... The school went out of their way to arrange for online instruction and assistance. I’m constantly amazed at the depth of teaching in all the subjects, as mentioned, with the great emphasis on not just bombarding the students with academic facts, but equipping them with knowledge to apply for life. The school is based on great values and the academic program is designed and tailored to emphasize those life values. With the small classes there is ample time for individual instruction, attention to detail and participatory discussion. In fact, academic participation is a vital strength of the program. Going on to tertiary education, our children were certainly far better equipped than the average.
The school has quality teachers, especially in math and the sciences. The science teachers were able to make me like science again, and I learned a lot more in English and history than I did in public school because it was taught differently, with a more human touch. I wouldn't have been able to take calculus in public school, but I did at RJC because they made it doable for those that struggled with math. The humanities are excellent at RJC, with many options like art class, concert choir, audition choir, musicals and theatre arts, and more. Students were still competitive if they wanted to be, or others just wanted to graduate which everyone did. I felt appropriately challenged and supported academically, absolutely. Learning is a priority, and they help you accomplish that.
The courses offered by the school are all really well done. What stands out most about the school in how almost the entire student body participates in the choir. Most teenage guys who would not otherwise be interested in such a class are part of it and have fun in the class. All of the other core classes are also taught very well and I felt like I learned more st this school than my previous one. The only downside of rjc is that due to the student body size they can’t offer as wide a range of elective classes.
The academic schedule allowed two times a day where you would get 30mins to do homework. In the afternoon you could find teachers to ask for help or work with classmates. In the evening study hour allowed for oh to work on group projects or ask classmates for help. I felt extremely supported academically. The academic schedule allowed for plenty of variety, there was many different art classes (art, theatre, choir), as well gym for each grade and then the more scholarly classes. You were in a bible studies class as well, and there was a tech class as well. For grade ten they had wood shop and home ec. The students were generally happy or excited to go to school, and felt calm and encouraged/confident.
Between the time our son graduated and our daughter started RJC the school made shift in the academic program to an experience-based curriculum that entailed many out of classroom learning opportunities. Grade 10 is Imagine, where students imagine a more just and peaceful world. During this year students explore ways to work with themselves and each other, to seek peace and social justice. Grade 11 is Thrive, where students explore healthy relationships with themselves, each other, God and the world. During this year students explore healthy lifestyle choices that benefit themselves and allow them to contribute to their community and the world. Grade 12 is Explore, where students explore and develop their leadership within the school and in the world. During this year students focus on global citizenship and post-secondary options. Spanning all grades is Belong, where students explore how to offer each other mercy and love. Through daily interactions in the school and in the residence students find their places as they build community together.
RJC is a small school that ensures that every student gets the attention they need. They may not have the latest and greatest technology in all the classrooms, but everything is there to give a child an excellent foundation. Recent upgrades to the labs and music program ensure they have any and all opportunities in the sciences and arts. I feel one of the strengths is the mandatory study hall each day and study hour in the dorms in the evenings. There is a structured time for work so that students can learn to manage their own time. This has been invaluable in going into post-secondary education. The school encourages students to reach beyond their comfort zone. For instance, every student participated in the concert choir.