“The biggest outcome of his CA experience is the belief he can do whatever he chooses to do.”
We began as a school where some of the brightest minds in education came together to create a new way of delivering education. Over the years, our technology and facilities have continued to improve, and our commitment to providing students and families with an exceptional learning experience is as strong as ever.
Whether you’re considering the Academy program for your child who is struggling to succeed in their core classes and is in need of specialized support, or the innovative Collegiate program for your student who is working at grade level and is ready for a greater challenge in their learning, Calgary Academy is the place to be.
Our results speak for themselves: 99% of our students graduate high school and 88% of them go on to pursue post-secondary education within one year of graduation.
We teach kids how to learn.
Students with learning difficulties can sometimes only see the symptoms of their struggles, like being unable to compute math or read a sentence. At CA, we focus on understanding the root cause, so we can prescribe individual remediation to address the specific skill deficit that’s getting in their way. That individual remediation gives students what we like to call their toolbox – the social and academic skills necessary to close their achievement gaps. That toolbox becomes the most valuable thing they learn at CA, as it is what teaches them how they learn. Helping students understand their unique learning needs is what empowers them to become independent learners who determine their own future.
Remediation is our core.
Remediation is more important than helping students stay at grade level. Remediation is synonymous with long-term independent success, sustainable for more than simply a year of school, but for life. With such a critical core focus, we’re committed to ensuring every part of our program consistently contributes to the larger goal of closing learning gaps forever. By developing students’ skillsets and mindsets, we ensure they are prepared with both the tools and resiliency necessary to overcome any challenge they face, both inside and out of the classroom.
Classrooms become communities.
One of the things that make our school unique is our commitment to building relationships. Our teachers are more than just your child’s instructors. They are role models for inclusive behaviour. They are facilitators of conversation and friendship. Our teachers focus on how differences can bring students together, transforming our classrooms into supportive learning communities. In addition to encouraging our students to build relationships with one another, our teachers are committed to building positive relationships with your child. We know that providing a safe, comfortable environment will ensure our students have one less thing to worry about, and when they feel valued and included, they can better focus on their learning.
Preparing students to prosper.
Our Collegiate Stream is designed to empower students to embrace an increasing level of independence in their learning. Students in the Collegiate Stream have already established their foundational academic and interpersonal skills and are ready for a greater challenge. In this program they will be challenged to dream and do bigger and better. Students will experience problem-based learning, and will design solutions for complex problems; developing their skillset for managing change, challenge and complexity. Our teacher-student ratios average 18:1, allowing students both individualized attention from their teachers and numerous small group collaborations.
Taking learning to the next level.
Students’ involvement in coursework is more than receiving instruction from their teachers; students share in the creation and direction of their learning. In addition to challenged core coursework, Collegiate students will engage in two unique experiences: the xBlock and Wednesday electives. In xBlock, students will collaborate with teachers from different disciplines to solve problems that cross subject boundaries. There are no easy answers to these challenges, and students will develop deep critical thinking skills. During Wednesday electives, they’ll participate in high-interest activities like robotics, social entrepreneurship and visual communications. These activities will give students a unique medium to explore innovation, creativity, collaboration and communication skills, better preparing them for the ever-changing world that awaits them after graduation.
Learning what hasn’t been taught.
When Collegiate students are exposed to highly-engaging learning experiences such as open-ended, complex problems, they are pushed to discover what hasn’t been explicitly taught. They gain the skills necessary to define their own questions, explore possibilities, troubleshoot problems and develop creative solutions. Students will be pushed to draw on everything they’ve learned before, while using logic, imagination to develop creative solutions. By challenging traditional classroom and student/teacher paradigms in this way, our Collegiate Stream develops the real-world competencies our students need to thrive in modern local and global realities.
We know your child is bright and talented, but may be struggling to see what they are truly capable of. In order to close their learning gaps as soon as possible, and get your child moving on to greater challenges sooner, Calgary Academy launched three Learning Centres to the Academy program in 2015 for grades 2 through 10. Your child will receive one full period each day where the focus is providing targeted instruction to their area of greatest need. During this period, your child will join all of the students in one grade. Together, these students will have access to the pooled attention and expertise of the classroom teachers and six specially trained Learning Centre instructors. This approach allows us to pool our instructors and work with students at our lowest ratios, typically anywhere 4:1 to 1:1, depending on what is best for the student, and allowing your child the individualized expert attention necessary to close his or her learning gaps faster.
We know learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom, it happens on playing fields, under spotlights and in art studios. We may be a small school, but there’s no shortage of options for students to experience their own Eureka moments. By giving them a variety of ways to explore what they love, we help them develop other intelligences and capacities, and have a lot fun doing it.
The timetables and options available vary by grade division. A detailed breakdown can be found below:
Elementary students can look forward to a daily gym period and up to four integrated studies options each year. In these classes, students from both the Academy and Collegiate programs join together, giving students a bigger pool of students to play and learn with. Students participate in one option daily for a 10-week period, before switching. As Wednesdays are half-days at CA, there are no integrated studies classes that day.
Students will participate in art, drama, multimedia, music and physical education. Spanish becomes an option for students in grades 5 and 6.
Students in our junior high program will continue to enjoy daily physical education classes and have additional integrated studies options to choose from. The options rotation schedule remains the same as the elementary program. Again, as Wednesdays are half-days, there are no integrated studies classes.
In high school, students select options to participate in one semester at a time. All students complete the Alberta Education-mandated Career and Life Management (CALM) course, as well as our comprehensive three-year career preparation program. After the first semester of Grade 10, students can choose if they want to continue physical education. Please refer to a full list of options available to high school students in the following table.
Students learn to develop their own unique aesthetic voice in the Art program. They progress from exploration of materials through formal concepts and techniques to synthesizing their experiences in self-directed work. Discovery, investigation and critical thinking are the focal points of a program that employs a diverse range of media and approaches. Whether casting with plaster, building with clay or painting large canvases, each student develops a skill set to self-expression and what we hope becomes a life-long passion.
The curriculum comes alive at CA Cycle, our hand-on “shop” program. Most students learn the basics of riding a bike from their parents; ours learn the mechanical skills in the shop so they can keep the wheels turning. Students will also learn ski and snowboard repair, skateboard lamination, C02 car design and construction, along with birdhouse building.
Whether students channel confidence through the part of a courageous warrior on the stage, or they practice personal risk-taking by sharing a script, drama is a supportive environment for students to explore their thespian interests, collaborate and express themselves.
Students will strum, pluck and pick their way to advanced guitar skills through individualized instruction in this class. Every experience level is welcome. Students learn chords and scales, finger coordination, and how to play different styles of music. For those interested, our experienced instructor can guide students through the process of creating their own music too.
Students learn to play instruments and gain an appreciation of music in this active participation-based class. Students learn the fundamentals of music theory, individual instruments and how to play within a larger group.
Students are encouraged to explore digital mediums such as graphic design, audio engineering and video production. Students are encouraged to create unique projects and expand their technical skillsets.
We think a campus that half-aspen forest is too unique a learning opportunity to be wasted. High School students take advantage of our woods to learn shelter building, orienteering and snowshoeing. They also have the opportunity to study mountain biking and hiking at off-campus locations.
It’s said that photography takes a minute to learn, and a lifetime to master. In this course we develop mastery of camera control and techniques, composition, light management, processing and display.
Students participate in individual and team activities designed to kick-start a lifelong interest in health and physical activity. In our engaging classes, students maximize their participation and confidence, while developing sportsmanship and leadership skills.
Psychology and Sociology
There’s no shortage of strange headlines about the confusing, complex and sometimes-illogical way people act. In this class students will explore theories of learning, personality, small group dynamics and what makes people behave the ways they do. This class takes the theories of psychology and sociology and applies it to interactive projects and participation, allowing students to learn more about both themselves and others.
Our Spanish program enables students to develop an appreciation for both the language and its associated cultures. Students cultivate their linguistic skills by learning to read, write, listen and speak Spanish. Students are also able to broaden their cultural horizons by making their own piñatas, re-enacting the battle of Cinco de Mayo and learning about Mayan civilization. Authentic opportunities to practice speaking the language are provided as well, such as visiting Hispanic restaurants with Spanish-speaking staff.
While the audience may only see a few actors on stage during a production, the reality is there are many hands behind the scenes contributing to its success. Students in grade 9 learn the aspects that go into making a production like lighting, set design, costumes, makeup and stage management. For students who love theatre but not the spotlight, this gives them an opportunity to have a huge impact. For students who enjoy acting, they gain insight and further understanding of how their performance is part of a bigger production.