Headwaters Academy Announces ‘Headwaters Next, for Grades 8-12.
Students will gain their OSSD while participating in the community as workers, volunteers, entrepreneurs, and building on their talents and passions.
Headwaters Academy, founded in 2017 as a K-8 school, prides itself on small class sizes, the ‘one room schoolhouse ideal’, and experiential learning. It is located on 160 acres in the Georgian Triangle. Students enjoy daily cross country skiing or running, weekly authentic experiences, and recently tested more than two grade levels above their Canadian peers (on average across the school).
The level of success of students has brought about its own challenges. “It was around our third year that parents first started to ask us ‘what next?’” explains Mark Brown, the school’s Principal and Founder. “They would come to me and say ‘this is great that our kid is so far advanced… but if they’re just going to go back in the system at Grade 9 what is the point?’ We resisted offering education beyond Grade 8 until we had a an offering that is superior to that offered elsewhere. I now believe we have that program”.
Headwaters Next students will achieve their OSSD while gaining real-world experience in the community. The first half of the academic day will be spent in small class study, gaining credits in all the areas necessary for an OSSD. Students will then, each afternoon, have ‘co-op’ style placements under four themes: charitable work and public service; skilled and un-skilled labour placements in local workplaces; work of passion (lead by student interest and finding mentors for them); and entrepreneurship where students will run their own businesses.
“Both employers and post secondary institutions are looking for people who are innovative, can think outside the box, and already have the skills of working with a diversity of people (as opposed to a group of same-aged peers),” explains Brown. “Our program will give them all of that, most of which comes from experience in the workplace. They will also be building their own businesses, creating portfolios of real accomplishments, and have the ability to identify needs and have solutions. I am less concerned about our students finding jobs or post-secondary programs as I am about ensuring that they have the ability to create those jobs for themselves or exceptional post-secondary paths of study.”
“On the academic side we have always recognized that classes of 20 or more students is not conducive to building understanding in any subject. Thus, our academic offer remains delivered in extremely small classes where we can ensure both understanding but also a continued enthusiasm for learning”.
The program is limited to six positions and two have already been filled. Further information is available from the school at firstname.lastname@example.org or 705-351-1905.