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Stanstead College:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades 7 TO 12 — Stanstead, QC (Map)


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Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Stanstead College (2020)

Stanstead College alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Rosalee, Luke Banaz, Julie had to say about the school.

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Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Rosalee — alum

Rosalee attended Stanstead College for her Grade 10, 11, and 12 years. She was Head Prefect, was involved in Model UN, and explored her love for public speaking. She credits the environment at Stanstead College for preparing her well for university in the United States.

  • “It’s the people, my classmates, teachers, coaches are what I've appreciated the most during high school [at Stanstead]. I've definitely created very strong bonds with my teachers. I think a good example of that is that every year for my birthday, Mr. Simard, my Grade 10 history teacher, and is also probably one of my best friends.”
  • “The students, I think, are kind of quirky, we definitely have very different interests and personalities, but we all magically get along, and maybe that's because what we have in common is that we're proud of that quirkiness. I went to another school for my first year of high school. And the fact that I liked being involved and I had clear goals made me a little bit of an outcast.”
  • “People [at Stanstead] liked that I studied for my grades. They liked that I tried, because everyone here is invested and tries really hard. When I told them I loved public speaking, I was interested in politics. No one ever mocked me. It was mostly like, ‘Oh, you should join model U.N.’ and I did.”
  • “Everyone encouraged me to kick butt before every competition. And I also did. I think growing those really close bonds, I really appreciated that. And now that we don't see each other every day anymore, we've kind of moved on with our lives. We're all doing very different stuff. But we still talk all the time … . I'm up to date with what everyone's going through in their lives. If I'm going through something, I can tell anyone. I have so many people I can tell.”
  • “I grew such a big, important support system from Stanstead and I love them and I'm going to love them even more in ten years because they're stuck with me for life.”
  • “Even when you look only at Canadian boarding schools, Stanstead is small. … Stanstead  [has] 250 students. I think that that size made a very big difference in my experience and education in high school.”
  • “When you look at academics, I got incredible support, help, and focus from my teachers. The average class size … I think it's 12, something like that, it differentiates… you really can't compare the focus you're going to get [from teachers] in a class of 12 vs. a class of the standard 30, in a day school. My favorite class ever was Advanced Placement Politics in Grade 12, and in that course we were seven students.”
  • “We kind of got to design the curriculum based on what we all wanted to learn, what we were interested in. You also get the opportunity, much more, to have small, let's say, hearty discussions where the teacher doesn't get involved that much. We get to discuss between each other readings or topics, whatever. We really get to have more discussion. I really like that. I feel like I had a better experience because of the small classes and overall, just being in a small school. At the other school I went to, it was the end of the year and I was still seeing people I had never seen in my life before.”
  • “I like being able to say hi to everyone when walking to class and knowing everyone's favorite colour or where they're from. I just enjoy it. I enjoy getting to know people. Because we weren't many, it really allowed us to mix together instead of having small cliques.”
  • “I suppose that you see in most schools where you're a group of five or six and you don't really interact with other people, you really know everyone and are friends with everyone. And you can sit wherever you want during meals. And you always have a friend there, which I really, really like.”
  • “Pretty much everyone here, you know, has that goal of going to university, so everyone puts a lot of energy into that, and works towards that. I always knew I wanted to go to school in the States. I was five-years-old and I was the French kid who was going to go to school in the U.S. With their help, we have the amazing Miss Thompson from Maine, who comes a few times a year, who is specialized for schools in the U.S.”
  • “She helped me a lot because it's hard. It is complicated. They use big words on the application stuff. I don't understand myself. I ended up getting in everywhere, big scholarships, everywhere also. That's partly due [to the fact that] Stanstead really gives you the tools to be a competitive applicant through clubs, sports, academics, everything.”
  • “They do really care about you, and they want to see you end up where you want to go.”  
  • “If you're really interested in it, you can create your own club at Stanstead, [if you] discuss it with teachers and get members, of course. I'm sure you could create an actual public speaking club, where you could find competitions to go to, but that would be up to discussion if your child decides to attend.”

Luke Banaz — alum

Luke attended Stanstead College as a day student who graduated in 2009. He went on to attend Bishop's University and graduated in 2013. He now works as an employee at Stanstead College, and considers his coworkers and the students to be as close to him as family.

  • “The thing I cherish the most about my two years here is pretty well everyone that I went to school with, I'm still in contact with. Without a doubt, my closest friends that I have in life today are all people that went to Standstead College … with.”
  • “The special part about it is we get so close in our time at Stanstead that as soon as we see each other now, we're able to pick up where things left off. So, it's really special, the kind of the bonds that you have, not only with the students, but the teachers, and now some of my co-workers. So that's also a neat aspect for me.”
  • “I think at Stanstead they keep you extremely busy. There's not a lot of free time. So, at the time it's something maybe as a student we didn't appreciate … . But later in life, I've kind of realized that it's really taught me how to time manage very well.”
  • “It taught me how to manage all those things and get them done on time, whether it's through the study periods, getting all the homework, making sure it's done on time. So, I'd say that the one thing that's really changed is the appreciation of how I can evaluate the time management.”
  • “So a typical day would be classes finishing at 3:30, and everybody has to go participate in the sport after that. So, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Fridays are sports days. So, you would do your sport from 3:30 to 5:00 or 6:00, and you have to do three different sports and everybody participates. So, some people that are really into sports, they'll be part of these teams that play games and practice all the time.”
  • “There’s also options for people that are less into team sports, and want to do something like outdoor pursuits or intramural, so they don't play games against other schools, but they're still active and they're doing some sort of physical activity.”
  • “Every Thursday you don't do sports. It's called a club day. … We have a chess club, board games, school play, community service, jazz band or soundtracks where they get together and play music.”
  • “In terms of other extracurriculars and other things you can do on the weekends, there's always organized animation trips. So that could be going to visit a restaurant, maybe bowling laser tag, a corn maze, really all kinds of stuff. So every Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, there's always organized activities as well.”
  • “In Grade 11, we already started talking about different university options when I decided to stay for Grade 12 … . The university guidance team does a fantastic job. They typically break it up into Canadian students looking for Canadian universities and then a group that is looking for American universities or some that are looking for both, I guess, because it's two very different application processes and deadlines.”
  • “We meet with them once a cycle in our schedules. So once every I'd say a couple of weeks, you're meeting with the university guidance team. They're making sure that you have everything up to date in terms of what schools you want to apply for. They'll also guide you. Everybody is different in terms of what type of school they want. I went from Stanstead, which I loved, which is a really small school of 250 kids, to Bishop's University in Sherbrooke, which is 3,000 people.”
  • “They do a great job in helping every single student kind of individually finding the right fit for them in university, and now working at the school, we have one 100 percent placement for university.’
  • “There's not a whole lot going on in the town. It's pretty quiet. So, Stanstead college is a big part of the town. It's really kind of like our own little community, inside of a very small kind of village. So, I would say a big advantage to that is the open area. There's tons of space. We have a great campus with all kinds of fields, fresh air, and a very safe environment. It's also been very safe during the pandemic.”
  • “Typically students don't really leave campus much. You know, they are allowed to walk into town and go to the grocery store, pick up whatever they need.”
  • “For the most part, students stay on campus, which creates a really neat environment because everybody's hanging out with each other. There's probably 15 to 20 teachers that live on campus, including myself. So, you're really involved with the other students. You're always with teachers, other people at the school. So by having a really small town, I think it really forces everyone to stay on campus and kind of create that boarding school environment.”

Julie — current parent

Julie has two sons, one who is currently enrolled at Stanstead College as a Grade 12 student. Her oldest son graduated from Stanstead in 2020, and now attends McGill University. Julie believes that her sons are prepared for life after high school because of the knowledge and skills given to them by Stanstead College.

  • “I allowed him to go for a visit, to take a tour and to spend the day there. I think that was as a parent that reassured me that the school was allowing my son to be able to go and just get a sense of what the school was going to be like. ... So, for me, I guess the expectations that I had at the school were that they would be committed to my son, to his education, to learning and opportunities, because I knew that there were a lot of foreign students.”
  • “[My son] was going to have the opportunity [at Stanstead] to be exposed to many cultures, you know, the language and the different cultural differences, like the holidays. One of my big expectations was that there would be preparation for university. Now, if you were to ask me what I didn't realize was going to happen was … the relationships that they were going to build there and the social-emotional development that they were going to get at Stanstead, which, being in the mental health field, I realize how important of a foundation it is, for our youth to know, and to understand themselves.”
  • “Doing your best, trying your best is really important. And sometimes you're going to succeed and sometimes you're not, but that's part of the lesson that you learn there … . I think they would say that they love having friends from all over the world. They love being able to learn new words. They love being able to find out about some of the things that they do. They also are really happy with the athletics there.”
  • “There are so many activities there that are team focused, or individual sports. So, wherever your interest lies.”
  • “I think that being in a dorm-like environment, they get a social life. So they get to hang out with their friends, who essentially both of them have said ‘it's their family,’ it's their second family, and they just really, really love that.”
  • “Looking at the school, and seeing what the school has offered to them, and the opportunities that they've been given, I'm so forever grateful.”
  • “One of the things that I feel Stanstead offers is the environment, the positive environment for social-emotional development. So, what I mean is, being able to communicate. Teachers encourage the students to approach them. The school has different things in place for kids to be able to communicate their needs. They teach independence and confidence, self-esteem in trying new things, you have to be responsible for yourself.”
  • “As a high schooler, you might think, ‘oh, my goodness, that seems like a lot.’ But, you’ll be in such a better place once you go on to university. I'm sure people can attest to that on the call. You know, being able to have those organization skills and the independence and confidence, I had no concern at all for my son Patrick when he left Stanstead in 2019.”
  • “Right now it's super safe [from COVID] because it's a small town. From what my boys have told me, so many of them just walk into town, when they were able to. They just love being able to hang out with each other and go to the grocery store, to the Tim Hortons or to the subway to get some food.”
  • “There are also many trips that are offered for students to go to. You go to the movies, or you go on some trips. Each break, there's different trips that kids can take part in.”
  • “French was not my son's first language, English was, and when he finished that Stanstead, he was completely bilingual. He has been doing interviews in French. He's had to do some papers. He's completely bilingual. In part just because of the classes that he had to take. ... There's quite an opportunity to be able to get a great foundation of another language.”
 

More about Stanstead College

Back to Stanstead College overview

More video reviews

Alum, Oscar Haase (2021)

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Alum, Jessica Lozano-Schmitt (2020)

Watch our alum interview with Jessica Lozano-Schmitt to learn about the unique experience of attending Stanstead College.

More written reviews

(4.8)

Parent, Annie St-Georges (2022)

My 2 children attended Stanstead College for 4 years. They loved the class sizes being small, the networking with students from all over the world. The teachers are also involved in the athletic life ...

(5)

Parent, Marisol Xolalpa (2022)

Being a part of the Stanstead College community has been one of the best decisions we have taken for our daughters, they not only have grown up surrounded by high-quality academics, but also grown in ...

(4.9)

Alum, Thomas Abbott (2019)

I had a life changing experience at Stanstead College. The supportive community at Stanstead enhanced my growth both as a student and as a person. I was encouraged to join athletic teams and try new c...
See all written reviews (5 total)
 

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