Rosthern, SK | Grades 10 - 12 | Shortlist
Rosthern Junior College was the perfect stepping stone to independent thinking into adulthood. It’s a unique blend of academic education coupled with independent living under the guidance and rules set out by the school which prepared me for my future. I was left to my own devices to manage my time, my finances, my relationships and my education while being supported by the caring and watchful eye of a group of staff members that truly loved me. My parents were progressive thinkers in giving me the opportunity to attend this school knowing full well it was hard for them to let me go at the age of 15. Rosthern Junior College helped to grow in me a resilience that has been a key characteristic I have used in my adult life to get through trying and difficult times in relationships and professional decisions.
My overall experience at RJC was life changing. I always say that RJC has been the best years of my life, and it was most definitely one of the greatest gifts my parents gave me. It was not just any other school, it was not a building for you to go to classes, but it was an experience. You have to live through it, to grow and learn from it. RJC gave me the freedom, the tools, and the support to grow into the person I am today. Without RJC, I wouldn't have been as confident, I probably wouldn't have ran for an executive position at the University, and I wouldn't have gained the life skills I needed to be a young adult. The teachers and staff are more than just the people who worked at the building, they were educators, both in classrooms and in life. They have given me many gifts and helped my parents to be the parents for me, away from home. I have so much to thank them for, and I will continue to come back and give back to RJC, which I consider my second home. My university was great, but it was never the same as what RJC gave me, for the University was far too big for anyone to know everyone. RJC noticed me, RJC recognized me.
Rosthern Junior College was the perfect school for our son to attend to stretch his wings and learn to fly. He was able to live in the dorms, away from home in a safe, small town environment. He learned and applied the skills of living independently before heading to a post secondary College. I believe that attending Rosthern Junior College made that transition significantly easier. The students have a lot of fun and build a lot of friendships in the dorms. They also learn to manage their time with study hours and curfew. The friendships that he has made from the dorms will be life long. His experience at Rosthern Junior College has made him more aware of social issues that are happening locally, provincially and globally.
RJC gave me opportunities that no other school can offer. Not only did we learn in class, we learned life skills in the dorms, made connections with people from over the world. Upon graduation, I became part of a bigger community of alumni that shares the same experiences, fantastic memories, and gives us a foot in the door for opportunities later in life. Alumni are very supportive of freshly graduated students. I have seen alumni give graduates advance notice of places to rent in Saskatoon for school, post ads in the school about possible job opportunities, and many more tips and tricks to prepare graduates for after school life. RJC was the best thing I ever did. To me it is so much more than a school.
My time at RJC was exceptional. Due to the small size of the school and the high ratio of teachers to students, my academic experience was very positive. One on one interaction with the teachers and staff allowed for a more personal connection, creating more intimacy in the classroom between students and faculty. Something that stands out to me is the amount of extracurricular time put in by the staff at the school. Nearly every staff member was involved in coaching a sports team or leading a choir or club. Regarding what I would change, during my tenure some of the facilities were dated, but since my graduation the labs have been renovated and further renovations of the building continue, improving the school's ability to function. If you enroll, you should expect lots of opportunities to get involved. There are many committees, sports teams, SRC, etc. to join that enhance your experience at the school.
Going to RJC was amazing, the best choice I made. I remember loving getting to live with my friends and building the strongest sense of community I’ve ever had. Living in the dorms was really fun and I made lifelong friendships. My grades at school also went up at least 10% while at RJC because the teachers actually care about you, how you do, and how you learn best. I also was able to study with peers in the dorms which helped a lot. The designated time each night for homework helped me to actually focus for a bit before going and having fun again. I also did better in sports, as well as in choir/musicals, because the teams are great and again they actually care about you doing well! The school prepared me for life in more practical ways than other schools would have.
All three of our children attended RJC and lived in the dorms. Two of them returned to serve as deans (one is still there). That says a lot, for starters! We are originally from South Africa and had very different school experiences there than what we could find here. We were looking for a school with a high standard of education, excellent educators, a great atmosphere, school spirit and traditions, and, importantly, a place where our children could feel at home and nurture and develop their education, skills, values and talents. In short, our children got all of the above and so much more! They built close friendships for life and had the opportunity to grow in the intimacy of the “school family”, where every student gets special attention every day and no one is ever “left behind”. More than a high standard of school curriculum and choice of activities, they were equipped with experiences and life skills that they would never pick up elsewhere. (Without drawing negative comparisons, what they got in previous public schools was rudimentary and frustratingly inadequate at best.) Of course there was the initial apprehension about leaving home and living in a dorm, but that more or less changed on their very first days already. Our children thrived and had the times of their lives at RJC!
Before going to Rosthern Junior College I was a very shy person and had a hard time making friends. Once I got to rjc that all changed, the atmosphere at the school made it possible for me to grow as a person and come out of my shell. The staff is incredibly supportive of all the students and guides you on your journey. Having the experience of living in dorms and being responsible for myself while still having others around to help guide me made the transition to university much easier than it would have been otherwise. When moving into the rjc school body a student should be prepared to grow into a more reasonable version of themselves and to have the opportunity to figure out who they want to be.
RJC creates an environment of community. I felt like I belonged there. Everyone was friends. The class schedule is set up in a way that allows for time at the end of the day to study, do homework or ask your teachers for help. This was a bonus for me. There is many events through out the year, that help you get to know each other and have a little fun. There is a couple of events that get you out in the community and volunteering. They have an AlSO trip where you travel, and volunteer in a different community. I learned a lot about the world in my trip to Alabama. All in all RJC is a positive place to go, and teaches you a lot about the real world. It opened my own perspectives.
Our son and daughter both enjoyed the opportunity for authentic interactions with teachers and other students at Rosthern Junior College. Our son benefited from the social interactions with other students through after-school informal activities from living in a dormitory setting. Our daughter, who is more social by nature, thrived at the school, both academically and by being able to participate in sports teams, choirs, school musicals, and student newspaper. Both of our children credit Rosthern Junior College with helping them become the people they are today. They were encouraged by teachers to participate in all the school had to offer: academics, athletics and the arts. Our children strove to excel in their academic studies. Our daughter participated in several sports over the three years she attended and both kids participated in the choirs and spring musical. Our son played soccer, which is not something he would have considered had he been at a larger public school. Our children have both continued the friendships they began at Rosthern Junior College after graduation. Our daughter, being vegan, found the vegan food options limited at times. The cooks were open to receiving input from our daughter regarding suitable options to satisfy her dietary choices.
Both our sons attended RJC for high school. Our firs child was not sure that this was a good idea. We said he could try it and if he didn't like it, he could go back to his old school. Three weeks in, he was staying and wanted to move into the dorms, which he did. Their best experiences center around the dorm community, athletics, travel, and service. Learning to live in the community has been the biggest impact on their social development and maturity outside of high school. Now out of high school, their closest friends are their RJC friends. With respect to travel, they got to see things beyond museums and actually understand the world around them, one that is different from their growing up experience. Disappointments? Perhaps that their athletic teams did not reach their full potential; however, there is learning in that too!