central Calgary is Rundle College, an independent school that has been dedicated for 25 years to giving
pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 students a superior educational experience through a less-is-more
The primary focus of the school, which was founded in 1985 by Dr. W.J. Collett and Dr. Rodney Conklin, is on an individualized approach to learning. Class sizes range from 12 to 14 students, with a 14-student cap to ensure that every child receives adequate attention.
“There is ample communication between teachers and parents with our small class sizes,” explains Lynn Moriarity, director of admissions. “There are no surprises when the report cards come in because there is close communication between home and school as the year progresses.” Thanks to this strong rapport, students are willing to try harder in the classroom, she says. Rundle celebrates academic achievement, and students strive to achieve honour roll status.
The student-teacher link is strengthened outside of the classroom, as well. Teachers and students interact through extra-curricular activities as they coach and participate in various clubs and athletic teams.
This, according to Moriarity, is critical to the school’s well-rounded approach to primary and secondary education. “We have a well-rounded program that, although academics are the priority, involves the kids outside the classroom. By the end of Grade 12 they have good academic marks, but also a portfolio that shows they’ve been involved in the community.”
And actively involved Rundle students are. The college requires that students contribute volunteer hours from the seventh grade, which instills these values at a young age. An annual Christmas concert is a student favourite, says Moriarity.
The college is broken down into three different campuses across Calgary. There is a primary school for children in kindergarten through to Grade 3, with two homerooms per grade. Enrollment increases at Grade 4 on the elementary campus (Grades 4, 5 and 6) where this is a four-homeroom cap. The final campus houses Grades 7 to 12. As with the other two campuses, Grade 7, the initial year, is another entrance year with an increase to six homerooms. In keeping with Rundle’s dedication to individualized attention, each homeroom is capped at 14 students.
Also under the Rundle College umbrella is Rundle Academy, which caters to students in Grades 4 to 12 with learning disabilities. The academy offers differentiated instruction and provides students with the extracurricular clubs and athletic opportunities that parents expect from any Rundle school.
The small class sizes and limited homerooms make entry into Rundle College competitive. In addition, the board of management runs the school as a not-for-profit organization, allowing for a lowered tuition rate that is greatly appreciated by prospective parents.
“We’ve seen great growth,” Moriarity confirms. “We don’t need to advertise a lot. Families are pleased with what they’re doing, and they tell their friends.” •
Photo Courtesy of Rundle College