Rosthern, SK | Grades 10 - 12 | Shortlist
As a private school with a residence RJC is in a unique position to truly develop relationships with students that are genuine and authentic. The staff, administration took their role as caregivers and nurturers very seriously and developed appropriate, supportive, and fair relationships with students. All staff members are on a first name basis with all students which supports the philosophy of a closely bonded community where students belong to a family. Discipline was always handled appropriately and fairly for situations that I experienced while attending RJC.
The school has a new Explore program, it is to allow students to step up and become leaders. I was elected as the Spirit leader two years in a row, and I had so much opportunity to serve my student body and the community on SRC. The teachers have been supportive and were very helpful as to giving us guidance to be better leaders. The handled discipline with love, and taught us to learn from our mistakes. RJC noticed me, RJC recognized me. They gave us room to shine and show the talents we have hidden away, whether we were told not to show, or didn't have enough room for us to show in a bigger school. RJC gave me the life-changing opportunity to shine.
If I had any hesitiations about our son attending RJC, they were dispelled after the parent teacher interviews. Every teacher, each year, started the interview talking about his personal strengths and how they would like him to demonstrate those talents in the classroom - from English to Math to Physical Education. The first part of the interview was about academics. Once all pertinent aspects of the course were discussed, the conversation turned to what our son could do in that class to be a better person. For example, in physical education he was asked to dampen his competitive spirit and involve the less athletic students.
As a student, we respected the staff very much. They were more than teachers and principals. They were true leaders. They pushed students to do their best while being fair to everyone. Discipline was fair and students always had an opportunity to explain their perspective when issues arose. Communication with parents, from my understanding, was very good. Be it emails, phone calls, newsletters. If parents had any questions, I believe they were more than welcome to ask and get the info the wanted.
School leadership does a good job of maintaining a low stress and casual environment. During some more stressful situations (i.e. student disobedience), slightly more serious and professional attitudes were assumed to deal with it. That is not to say that the staff are not professional in their approach, just that they assume a more casual approach to connecting with and teaching student, which I maintain is for the better. This allows for more inclusion and encouragement to those reluctant to participate.
The teachers and other leadership genuinely care about your wellbeing and how you’re doing. They go the extra mile for students even though they don’t have to. I struggled in math but with extra help (and treats) from the teacher, I was able to pass with flying colours! When I was sick, the deans made sure I was okay and the office administrator drove me to the doctor since my parents were far away. The teachers help you with assignments and how to succeed.
Our first interaction was during a summer holiday, having traveled far and stayed overnight to meet with the then principal, to find out if RJC would be a good fit for our eldest son. Right from the first sentence, it was clear that RJC operates more like a family, than a school. Although intimate and tight-knit, respect stands out as a guiding value. Just like in any loving home, there is clear leadership, proper guidance, great communication, good distribution of responsibilities, clear boundaries and the security of fair discipline.
While I was at the school there was a shared mutual respect between the administration and the student body. When it was required the administration would step in to do disciplinary actions but more often they would pull the affending students aside and have a conversation which lead to the student coming to their own collusion on how the discipline should unfold. Parents were always informed of how their kids were doing, no mater if it was good or bad. As students we knew that the administration was aware of what I had done but I didn’t feel like they were judging us for our actions.
The students respected the administration and it was reciprocated. The staff was helpful with life struggles that come with living away from home and living with 30+ other students. The staff were fair and just in all their decisions regarding discipline. The staff were always willing to help out and encourage the students. They are would go beyond expectations to help you succeed, and even when you wanted to give up they did not give up on you. I left RJC more confident in myself because of the staff.
Rosthern Junior College is a tightly knit community where teachers and staff strive to build a culture of acceptance and inclusion for all students. As parents we felt a part of the team that nurtured our kids. The school administration consults with students on decisions that affect them when it is appropriate. There is an open door policy for students to approach all staff and administration. I think our kids felt heard when they made suggestions or offered feedback. Both kids experienced disciplinary consequences for choices they made at school. We supported the consequences as being reasonable and logical.
The leadership set boundaries that were understood by all, and dealt with issues with fairness, realism, and always honored the relationship with the student and their place in the community. Teachers interact with the kids all day. The vice-principal goes through the dorm in the morning, ensuring all the sleepyheads are up. Dorm deans build relationships with the students after hours, providing boundaries but also helping the students have healthy fun. All of the staff showed they cared and had lots of contact with parents via email, phone call, and a scheduled interview.