How we see Stanstead College
Stanstead’s history is long and varied—it will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2022—apparent in the buildings as well as the traditions that continue at the school today. It was founded in 1872 by the Wesleyan Conference as a co-educational school, though both of those things have fluctuated over the years: it became a property of the Methodist Church, became a boys’ school, became a property of the United Church of Canada, welcomed girls again in 1979, and then ended its denominational affiliation. All of that history is very present and celebrated, and it imparts to students a sense of permanency and of belonging to something greater than themselves. The student population is relatively small, at 200, and the community is very strong and centralized, something the school rightly sees as a strength. The academics, as you’d expect, are very strong, but the culture of the school is a primary draw, especially for families looking at the boarding program. Stanstead accepts both boarding and day students, though the school is structured around boarding and maintains a very global perspective across the curricular areas.
How Stanstead College sees itself
"Stanstead College is an independent boarding and day school for girls and boys in Grades 7-12, with a student population of roughly 260. Surrounded by the rolling hills of Quebec's Eastern Townships and nearby Vermont, Stanstead's unique situation opens doors to top universities and colleges in the United States, Canada and around the world. Caring teachers, small classes, rigorous academics and an advisor system allow students to become self-disciplined young women and men prepared for life after high school."
"Stanstead College is the only Canadian school accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, providing our students with access to top schools throughout North America. Stanstead College is located on the Vermont border in the rural heart of French Quebec, providing students from around the world with a true multicultural experience. Our hockey teams for boys and girls are considered among the top in North America."
"Parents and students are drawn by our family-style atmosphere and welcoming community. Tolerance and respect are integral to all aspects of our school environment. As a result, students form close relationships, including with their teachers, who serve as role models and mentors in the classroom, as coaches and advisors and as residence supervisors. Support is all around. In addition, our hockey program appeals to student-athletes who want to pair elite-level athletics with rigorous academics."
"Parents are surprised by the level of independence their children achieve. While students are supervised 24 hours a day, they are responsible for ensuring that they meet commitments and all school expectations. Adults are there to guide them along their way, but students leave Stanstead better able to balance life's demands."
"Students love the uniform! School dress puts all students on an equal level, contributing to the sense of community. Plus, students appreciate not having to pick out their clothes every day!"
"- Founded in 1872
- Prefect program develops student leadership
- Quebec curriculum Grades 7-11; pre-university curriculum including Advanced Placement options for Grade 12
- Competitive and intramural athletic options for all students
- 100% post-secondary placement"
Pat Burns Arena
Multiple playing fields
Two full gymnasiums
LeBaron Dining Hall
How people from the school’s community see Stanstead College
Top-down influence on the school’s direction and tone
Michael T. Wolfe, Head of School
Students from across Canada and around the world come to Stanstead College to study, to improve their skills and to prepare for university. They come to reach their potential. They develop strong characters and value systems that will carry them forward in a sometimes difficult world.
They enjoy small classes, rigorous academics, a physically and emotionally safe learning environment, and so much more that you’ll learn all about on our website.
But these are all words. What unifies them all, what makes them real, what sets Stanstead College apart, are the connections students make here. They are connections between friendships that will carry on for years after high school. They are connections between students and caring, inspiring teachers and coaches. They are connections between the traditions of our past and our present-day values. They are connections between cultures, perfectly placed as we are: an English high school in French Quebec nestled against the United States border. They are connections that can be something as simple as a friendly hello from a student on your first visit to campus.
This is what we hear time and again from new students and their families: we make them feel so welcome. There is an instant connection. This is a place where students can and do call home.
Stanstead College is a school with heart. The connections you make here are important and lasting. I hope you will have the opportunity to find out for yourself.
Most big schools provide your extroverted child with plenty of social opportunities and the ability to interact with different peer groups with a wide range of personalities, interests, values, etc. A larger student population and more extracurriculars—including activities like team sports, arts programs, and debate—will give them a broader scope of opportunities to participate in events that scratch their interpersonal itch. “This may also give them the opportunity to hone certain skills,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “For instance, they might run for student council to develop leadership and public speaking skills and learn to be a voice for other students.”
At a boarding school, your extroverted child will likely enjoy seeking out and interacting with peer groups from different backgrounds, away from home. In fact, studying and living with other kids for an extended period of time, as many alumni tell us, provides the unique opportunity to form close relationships that can last well beyond the school years. Many boarding schools also have large student populations and more extracurriculars—including activities like student council, team sports, and arts programs—which will give your outgoing child a broader scope of opportunities to feed off the energy of others, and possibly even become a leader, in a dynamic environment.
Keep in mind, though, “Being an extrovert can be a catalyst for getting involved in lots of activities, which can sometimes be hard to manage,” says Joanne Foster, Toronto-based education consultant and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids. “For instance, a particularly extroverted child may try to end up juggling too many people and activities. While they still may thrive at a boarding school, it helps to know your child and how much social interaction they can handle comfortably.”
Make sure any prospective school, no matter what size, provides the right social environment to help your child feel at home, make friends, and develop confidence. This is especially important at big schools, which are sometimes more socially overwhelming and challenging for an introvert to find their bearings in. Of course, “Because larger schools usually have a more diverse student population, introverted kids are more likely to find a small group of people like them, a peer group they can relate to and find acceptance from,” says Dona Matthews, Toronto-based education consultant and co-author (with Joanne Foster) of Beyond Intelligence.
Bigger schools often have a broader scope of extracurricular activities, which is another way to help your child meet the right group of friends. “This may also give them the opportunity to develop certain skills,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “For instance, they might run for student council to develop leadership and public speaking skills and learn to be a voice for other students. Remember, though, each child is different—so what works for one may not work for another.”
At a boarding school, your introverted child will be more motivated (and virtually compelled) to seek out and interact with different peer groups. Away from home and in a new environment, they’re more likely to take the initiative to form close friendships, which can boost their independence and confidence, and help them develop critical social skills.
"Consider, though, whether your child will be comfortable and confident while living away from home, and while having to navigate the various, and sometimes unforeseen social-emotional experiences, alongside the academic challenges,” says Joanne Foster, education expert and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids. Finally, ensure support systems are in place to promote their social and emotional development, and that your child is willing and prepared to take advantage of them. Your child will often need to advocate for themselves at a boarding school, and they’ll need confidence and perseverance to do so.
THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Stanstead College
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Continue researching Stanstead College with OurKids.net, or visit school website.