Choice School, nestled in East Richmond, British Columbia, has been a beacon of unique and specialized education since its establishment in 1985. This independent school caters to a wide range of students, serving Kindergarten to Grade 9 in the Middle School Program. What sets Choice School apart is its Special Education Designation, granted by the BC Ministry of Education in 2016, recognizing its commitment to high potential, high ability, and gifted students, as well as those with a twice-exceptional designation.
The heart of Choice School's educational approach is a commitment to serving gifted students and supporting those with unique learning needs. This is underpinned by an understanding that gifted students often learn and understand differently from their peers and thrive when given opportunities that match their passions. Choice School's mission is grounded in challenging the stigma associated with being labelled as "special needs." Principal Sukhbir Bolina highlights, "Children with unique learning abilities are not wrong or abnormal; they are merely different."
Gifted students often face challenges like finishing work more quickly and subsequently becoming bored. However, at Choice School, these students don't have to pretend or stifle their potential. The school ensures they remain engaged and stimulated through a curriculum designed to meet their unique needs. In addition to the regular curriculum, students have an opportunity to participate in advanced classes for Math, English, Social Studies, and more.
Moreover, a cornerstone of Choice School is its small class sizes and experienced teaching and support staff who are well-versed in the academic and emotional needs of each child. Bolina elaborates, "Our classes maintain a small size, typically consisting of just eight students, each benefiting from the dedicated presence of one teacher and one educational assistant. The small student-to-staff ratio ensures that students receive individualized support and attention."
To further maintain exceptional standards, Choice School maintains constant communication with parents. This includes regular emails and monthly newsletters to keep parents informed about their child's progress, outlining specific concepts taught in class. Each student also has an Individual Education Plan (IEP), which outlines the specific strategies and support tailored to their unique needs, overall making school a positive journey for students.
Bolina shares, "There's a remarkable example of a student who has been with us since Kindergarten and is now thriving in Grade 7. This student, who is both gifted and slightly autistic, experiences a unique connection to our school. In fact, he expresses sadness when long weekends come around, as he will be away from school longer. This underscores the comfort, safety, and care that every child at our school experiences. I can confidently say that, without exception, our students are genuinely happy at school."
Unquestionably, Choice School stands as a testament to the belief that every child is unique and that the right educational environment can unlock their full potential. The educational haven is more than just a school; it's where gifted minds find a home and their wings to soar.