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One step ahead: Private school helps students stay on track in-class, and online

Southpointe Academy has thrived in the challenging circumstances brought on by the global pandemic.
Southpointe Academy prides itself on its culture of innovation, high expectations and progressive practice. (Photo via Southpointe Academy)

Southpointe Academy has thrived in the challenging circumstances brought on by the global pandemic. The last several months have challenged schools to respond to unprecedented conditions in education, and Southpointe has met that challenge to the highest degree.

Throughout all the changing stages of education, from online learning to a partial return to school last June, to a full return this fall amidst the pandemic, Southpointe has ensured its students have not missed valuable instruction time.

Continuity of student learning has been protected without interruption.

Last March, when the Ministry of Education suspended in-class instruction, Southpointe quickly mobilized resources over Spring Break and launched its online learning platform on Apr. 2.

The school designed and rolled out its own customized, purpose-built learning platforms to provide resources and information to students and families. Two days after Spring Break, students picked up where they left off with their full schedule of classes, including all specialty subjects, like Art, French, Spanish, Music, PE and Drama.

The feedback from parents was overwhelmingly positive.

Students enjoyed the live synchronous lessons with their teachers and reaped the benefits of a full day of learning activities reflecting their normal schedule of classes.

The success of Southpointe’s online learning last spring was predicated on the strong relationships its teachers had built with their students.

This sense of community and connectedness sits at the heart of a Southpointe education and is critical to the school delivering on its mission to help every student learn, lead and succeed.

When students enjoy strong, connected relationships with their teachers, they are primed to achieve their personal best.

This fall, as the province transitioned back to a full return to in-class instruction, Southpointe ensured its health and safety measures were among the strongest in the province.

The school installed digital facial temperature scanners, designated separate outdoor playing areas, and mandated masks in all public areas of the school since day one, with most students and teachers wearing masks inside the classrooms as well. Southpointe also purchased plexiglass barriers for each of its 560 students and installed over 70 additional hand sanitizer stations throughout its modern 80,000 square foot building.

These are but a few of the extra layers of protection that Southpointe implemented over the last six months of school. The attention to student welfare has provided a safe, secure environment where students are free to focus on their learning.

Recently, Southpointe has been highly ranked by the Fraser Institute. Although flattered by the rankings, the school prides itself instead on its culture of innovation, high expectations and progressive practice.

The school focuses on the individual experience of each student as a more valid measure of success. It also ensures that each student is supported to gain access to the universities of their choice through a robust university counselling programme starting in Grade 9.

Southpointe students routinely attend some of the most competitive universities in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Southpointe Academy continues to look to the future as it navigates the current landscape of education. Moving forward, Southpointe will be developing its plans to enhance its campus and amenities for students, continue to develop its world leading IB programmes, and enhance its resources for students. More than ever, Southpointe graduates will be equipped with the skills and competencies for success in university, career and citizenship in the mid-21st century.