Old Scona Academic: A Top Notch Academic Option For Edmontonian Teens
Every February, hundreds of Edmontonian teens and their parents wait with anticipation as the various branches of each young teen’s application are assessed. Only 120 students, a pool comprised of top scorers, will be admitted to Old Scona Academic, a small school in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona neighbourhood that leaves a surprisingly large footprint. Old Scona’s students have been impressing examiners, community members, the media, and the world since 1976. Less than four hundred families watch with thoughts of pride and hope every school day as their kid steps onto the bus, into the front seat, or heads down the block with a bulging backpack positioned squarely over both shoulders. Though Calgary’s schools tend to score well on evaluations of Alberta schools, Old Scona school consistently surpasses many Calgary schools, joining the very high echelons as one of the top few in Alberta.
The school is ideal for parents who want their children to do extremely well in a nurturing environment while avoiding bullying, boredom, negative drama, and unsupervised daytime partying. Instead, those composing a school information guide declare that “students and staff respect and practice the values of cooperation, sharing, tolerance and achievement”, all of which might be used later in many aspects of life. There’s also as focus on “developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes to pursue lifelong learning”. The school, then, exceeds its capacity as a closed off, temporary, artificial environment. The writers of the school’s information guide stress lofty yet achievable goals, including focusing on “active and responsible citizenship” and “high level cognitive skills” while “preparing students for success in post-secondary education”. Completing the International Baccalaureate program is one way that students do so. Old Scona promises a “dedicated and caring atmosphere”. Not only does the school leave a large footprint but it also has a powerful, dynamic soul. There’s the promise that the school’s “small size offers students unique … opportunities to demonstrate their character attributes and leadership abilities … students are able to develop supportive and cooperative interpersonal relationships and never felt lost in the crowd”. Alumni join those who commend Old Scona, endorsing the school due to its influence on their lives. Graduates continue to study together, and they have opportunities to celebrate or rekindle friendships with their old schoolmates at pancake breakfasts and musical evenings.
These grade ten to twelve kids will likely need a high dose of incentive and a substantial breakfast consisting of more than just junk cereal. Students’ daily schedules are thorough. The core part of their routines, a typical school day, runs from 8:00 am through 3:36, with “optional” blocks from 7:09 am to 8 am and from 3:37 to 5:20 pm. This means that a teen might burn the candle at both ends, waking up at the crack of dawn on a farmer’s timetable or staying at school past sunset in order to stand at an easel or design an innovative webpage, pushing themselves and preparing for demanding careers and fulfilling hobbies.
So, what are Old Scona youths studying all day? Well, the IB (International Baccalaureate) program is a major feature of the school. You can learn more about this educational trek at www.ibo.org. There are both IB and diploma exams. IB involves high-level assignments and instruction, but there’s also a chance for the community to meet Old Scona youths and vice versa as they complete their CAS (creativity, action, service) hours. At this particular school, the facets of the IB program that are emphasized most and studied at the most intense and tough levels are English, Social Studies, Physics, and Biology. There’s a chance, at Old Scona, to align courses with personal talents and ambitions as well. Optional courses include French, Art, Computer Technology, Concert Band, Drama, Financial Management, Jazz Band, Leadership, Musical Theatre, Outdoor Education, Personal Psychology, Speech and Debate, and Show Choir.
Of course, though, there is much more to an accomplished teen’s life than academics. Old Scona’s list of clubs, active during lunch time and after school, is extensive. I counted more than forty lunch time clubs and nine after school clubs. There is something for everyone at Old Scona. A youth who is passionate about writing science fiction will likely find a supportive and creative peer group. A concerned and outgoing teen who aims to participate in outreach in order to help sick kids will be joined by others with similar intentions. Teens can nurture their generosity, creativity, or playful inclinations. There are opportunities to commit to social causes, create partnerships, and reach out in a constructive way to better one’s surroundings and society, through such organizations as the gender equality club, the gay-straight alliance, Amnesty International, and the Muslim students association. Principal Elder describes a “multi-cultural ethos”. Sometimes, though, these youth simply need to unwind, to yak about Harry Potter, or teach each other some yoyo tricks. There’s an opportunity to take play to the next level by excelling at chess. This extensive list does not take into account the student’s union or the council. Artists can thrive, whether their niche is playing jazz or perhaps sword fighting on stage. Young artists at Old Scona are sure to develop a broad, comprehensive set of skills. Sports include volleyball, basketball, handball, soccer, badminton, swimming, cross country running, and track and field. Proud families repeatedly find themselves in an audience of some kind, or on the sideline, witnessing their young polymaths perform and shine.
Busy teens need their moods to be elevated and they need to save time; Old Scona grants such wishes simply by its physical presence. Advocates note the ideal locality of the school, a position that aids teens with their daily commutes as well as their study endeavours. Old Scona is located at 84 Avenue between 105 St NW and 106 St NW, a handful of blocks away from the University of Alberta. The building itself is beautiful, creating an uplifting environment and making up for what it may lack in amenities by its heritage charm. In lieu of the exercise and training spaces that cannot be provided to athletes, Old Scona has improvised to find practice and game space in the community, where kids have worked their way towards competing in provincials.
There are numerous ways to be rewarded for hard work and for pushing one’s mind and body to the limits. Rewards come in several forms. There is a high chance of having one’s morale boosted by scholarship opportunities. A well deserved spring break overseas helps kids expand their horizons. Taking a breather in the mountains involves youths bonding with their peers, skiing and snowboarding.
Old Scona, then, is an avenue definitely worth considering. Fortunate Edmontonian families have the chance, every year, to enrich their lives. This might mean that, perhaps, Sunday dinners will be augmented by a teen’s animated discussions about literature, or it might mean that a family proudly collaborates on making flash cards as study aids for university level biology. If you’re interested in utilizing Old Strathcona to educate a teen and help him/her navigate through life, visit oldscona.epsb.ca with your questions and find out about details. If you’re new to Alberta, you can also visit the Alberta Education Website to find out more about your child’s future experience and curriculum. Grasp all that helps Old Scona live up to its capacity as a “university prepatory school”. Learn more about athletic victory, despite the size of the student body, and other triumphs. The school is designed for families with inquisitive attitudes and soaring hopes.

Brenna Turvey & Robert Fyfe are co-founders of EdmontonRealEstateReport.com -Providing high quality content and education to people who are interested in the Edmonton market was the main reason to launch the website. Reporting without bias, using the most up-to-date statistics on the real estate market, the economy and other influential factors will always be the standard. Robert Fyfe is a licensed REALTOR® with Realty Executives Progressive and writes regularly for multiple websites. Brenna Turvey is a professional writer.

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