When parents consider schools for their children, they rightly ask a lot of questions. They ask about academics, and sports.
One question they typically don’t ask – but perhaps they should – is: what does success mean to you?
Graham Vogt, Assistant Head of School, Academics for Rosseau Lake College was recently asked this very question during a parent town council meeting. The video conferencing call featured parents from throughout the globe, from Parry Sound to the Philippines.
Graham’s answer was thoughtful and engaging.
“We want our students to really understand that learning is hard,” explains Graham. “And we want them to lean into that. We do not want them to turn away from that. Academic success is building those skills to navigate the most challenging of times.”
Rosseau is a preparatory school in the classic sense, as the students intend to go on to post-secondary studies. The school prides itself on graduating students who have a strong sense of identity as learners, can describe who they are, and can analyze the experiences they’ve had.
“One of the things we do as a faculty, is to continually create challenges for our students that exist just beyond what they think they’re capable of,” says Graham. “Because when they achieve that, they have arrived at a moment that is lasting, that will sit with them and will carry them forward.”
The school was founded in 1967 and throughout its life has forged its own path, its own tradition. The students come because they want an education, but also because they are looking for something different. And that’s exactly what they find.
In addition to earning a diploma, they leave having spent the equivalent of two months on out trips. They’ll have paddled canoes, tied knots, and, for many, travelled the world.
Despite the small size of the school, they will also have learned alongside others from communities and cultures from around the world.
“We’re happy to say that when our alumni reflect on their experience here, those are exactly the things they talk about,” says Graham.