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Whytecliff Agile Learning Centres:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Gr. 8 TO Gr. 12 — Langley, BC (Map)

Whytecliff Agile Learning Centres:

Interview with Whytecliff Agile Learning Centres PARENT, Erica Williams

Erica, a parent at Whytecliff Agile Learning Centres, shares her experience regarding her son’s transformation at the school. She highlights the welcoming environment and the compassionate approach of the staff, which significantly improved her son’s mental health and social connections. Erica appreciates the staff's understanding and responsiveness, and their attentiveness to her son’s strengths.

Video Contents

Highlights from the interview

  • Prior to Whytecliff, our life was just completely wrapped up in the mental health struggles that our son was going through. It was a struggle, because his previous school kept wanting to pathologize him and was sure he had psychosis.We weren't able to properly support our daughter, who is also neurodiverse. I had to go on leave. Because of Whytecliff, we were all able to breathe again and focus on things going on for me and for my husband, and our daughter, whereas previously everything had really been centered on my son.

  • The biggest thing we both felt, when we visited the school, was that it was very open and relaxed, and not rigid, very welcoming, accepting, no pushing to talk if you didn't want to. We went and interviewed. And I'd had a couple of preliminary discussions with the staff on the phone. We knew there were youth workers, we knew there were educators there who had a lot of experience with kids who were neurodiverse, had mental health issues. It was just amazing, when my son and I both went; it was a completely different feeling.

  • It was life-changing instantly, and I wasn't anticipating that at all. From day one on, he went and he stayed. And he only missed school if he was sick. We were just amazed that within that first week, he had made social connections too, with brand new kids. In general, his mental health has been significantly better. So, we've just been really grateful that we were able to find a space where he could learn, because I had really been at the point where I thought he was going to have to drop out of school.

  • They just don't over-pathologize kids. The staff meets him where he's at, and they're not condescending. It's not constantly trying to correct children's behavior or change them, but accepting who they are and looking at them in terms of the whole kid, considering the social, psychological, and cognitive aspects, all of it together.

  • My son really appreciated that he wasn't talked down to. They approach the way they work with kids with a perspective of trying to provide them with everything that would make someone whole: socialization, acceptance, love, compassion, physical exercise, the academic piece, making sure they're eating properly, encouraging kids to be respectful, which can be really challenging with kids who are neurodivergent.

  • They want to know what his strengths are, his interests, working through potential issues that might come up. They don’t panic and call me if something happens at school, which has rarely occurred. Because of my son’s age, the fact that he's a teenager, they go to him first with questions, concerns.

  • I've gone from being such an active participant in his education to being able to be more of a parent versus the educator. I don’t have to constantly be there, trying to advocate, because I don't feel like the school gets it. In this case, I've been able to just step back, but know that if I have questions or concerns, I can phone or email and I get a response right away.

  • The staff are incredibly approachable. They are very responsive and really good listeners.

  • For him to finally have a place where he can show his strengths and be appreciated has been really important for him and for us. We've always known that my son has strengths. He's incredibly intelligent, he's got an amazing sense of humor, he's so articulate, he's incredibly creative.

  • From day one, he's been taking public transit home from school. I just drop him off, he goes into school, and then he takes public transit home, which again, is a huge deal. We had no idea that he would be able to manage that on his own.


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Our Kids Feature Review

The 50-page review of Whytecliff Agile Learning Centres is part of our series of in-depth accounts of Canada's leading private schools. It provides a unique and objective perspective on the school's academics, programs, culture, and community.

  • Whytecliff provides a highly student-centred environment that has a proven record of promoting student success.
  • Belonging within an inclusive, supportive environment is seen as the first step to student success, something participants find here for the first time.
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More video reviews

Parent, Jill Craven (2023)

Gr. 8 to Gr. 9 (current) — Watch our parent interview with Jill Craven to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Whytecliff Agile Learning Centres.

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Whytecliff Agile Learning Centres

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