Rosthern, SK | Grades 10 - 12 | Shortlist
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.
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.
The teaching staff is par excellence. The enthusiasm that the teachers have for the students is unrivalled and unmatched. They make themselves available to the students after classes for additional instruction. They are all involved in the extracurricular activities of the school. One teacher, Bev, even attends non school and out of town events with her camera to capture the kids off campus. These teachers want the kids to succeed in academics and in their life. They lead by example. I was listening to the principle speak about his goals for the students. He drew the Parthenon on the whiteboard. He spoke about each pillar representing one of his values and goals for the type of students that he wants to graduate. I can not remember all of the names that he had for the pillars. The ones that I do remember are to graduate students who have a sense of belonging to a community, that have a social conscience, and are global citizens.
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.
I don't know if every student is expected to participate in as many extracurriculars as possible or if the kids have that much fun together that they want to do as many as they can. For example, is there another school out there where the football players are also in the choir? And choir members are on the football team? The school has all of the standard high school sports teams. It also boasts multiple choirs. Many drama, theatre and one musical production each year.
One of the school programs is called Belong. The dorm / community councils do an incredible job of welcoming all new students at the beginning of the year. The school has multiple theme days and retreats through the school year to create deep and lasting friendships between the students. It appears to me that almost every student at Rosthern Junior College participates in multiple teams and clubs. It also appears to me that when a team, club or choir is performing, that the remainder of the student body is there to cheer and show support regardless of location. We had the wonderful opportunity to host a few international students over the weekend and holidays. After three years, our son and his friends referred to each other as brothers.
Our son's experience at Rosthern Junior College was all encompassing. He received a high quality education in a small town setting that allowed him to exercise his independence and become a mature young adult. There were many weekends that he did not want to come home. He wanted to stay at school to enjoy the activities and friends that were there. He was a part of numerous sport teams, the choir and other extracurricular groups. Our son enjoyed being a part of the community of Rosthern. It is a very welcoming and multicultural town. The school and the community exposed our son to many cultures and traditions. He has close friends around the world.
Rosthern embraces RJC and RJC gives back to the community to show their gratitude for the support. The community fills the gymnasium for the choir's concerts, school banquets and sporting events. There are members of the community who also billet students through the year. The parents of the local or day students are very welcoming to us parents that are new to the community. They extend a handshake or a hug to introduce themselves. When I entered the community of Rosthern, I knew that our son would be taken care of by the community, not just the school staff. Rostern is a self-sustaining community. It has a grocery store, restaurants, pharmacies, hospital, and medical clinic. It is conveniently located half way between two larger Saskatchewan cities - Prince Albert and Saskatoon.
There is a lot of pride and hardwork that goes into maintaining the Rosthern Junior College campus. There are multiple soccer pitches for the students and community to utilize. The students are able to leave the campus and explore the town. For the students that have a vehicle, Sasktoon and Prince Albert are a 40 minute drives away for all remaining amenities.
As a Saskatchewan resident, we found the application process very manageable and quite easy. The Admissions Director was easy to contact and answered all of the questions that we had quickly and with clarity. Fortunately, we did not ask a lot of questions about registering our son, dorms or payment plans regarding tuition since the admissions staff were so thorough in their presentation that we did not have anything to ask. I found that the forms were straightforward, clear and concise. Registering our son for his subsequent year's of high school at RJC were very easy and straightforward as well. As someone who has not lived in a dorm setting, I was impressed with how well the students were matched as roommates for the school year.
The counselling staff was very knowledgeable regarding the post-secondary application process and knew all of the class requirements that our son needed to have in order to apply for his chosen area of post-secondary education. I feel this is largely because there is a very high staff retention rate from year to year. They have seen it all regarding applications to national and international post-secondary institutions. Local students applying to local post-secondary institutions to international students applying to international institutions. They have the ability to foresee any potential application issues before we, as parents, do. When our son decided on the career that he wanted to pursue, the counselling staff ensured that he graduated with all that he needed academically and more. Thank you, Rosthern Junior College!