Bright Minds: A Spotlight on Education

We’ve compiled a comprehensive listing of schools for a convenient, big-picture look at the private and charter school options in the city, as well as specialized programs available through the local school boards. Read on to see what’s on offer to meet your family’s education needs and goals.

Learning Beyond the Classroom

Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School transforms the way students learn with exciting environments.

Imagine a school where students go out for outdoor hikes, discuss newfound plants when they actually discover them in the wild and write poetry surrounded by nature. This is the reality at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS). 

Beyond influential teachers and families, children also learn a lot from their environments. STS educators know this, and it’s why they’ve established effective learning spaces to act as a third teacher for students.

Unique learning environments

At STS, outdoor learning is a core part of the curriculum. With a 220-acre natural campus — a vast outdoor space used for day-to-day classes — students study earth sciences, the arts, physical education and outdoor education all in the open air. Learning beyond the classroom is what sets STS apart, and it’s what intrinsically motivates its students to learn.

The care for learning environments extends to the school’s indoor spaces as well. STS has studios and labs designed for different student needs, a full-sized theatre and even a glass-walled outdoor classroom nestled in the woods. 

“Every square inch of our campus is designed with purpose: to create compassionate, curious and creative global citizens who lead with courage,” says head of school, Carol Grant-Watt.

Students also learn beyond the classroom through various global travel and service opportunities. STS offers extensive options for volunteer and community work, as well as international exchange programs and global leadership conferences. At STS, students learn from what surrounds them, wherever that may be.

Looking forward

To further advance the use of environments as a third teacher, STS has implemented Flourish 2031 — an ambitious 10-year strategic plan. The goal of the plan is a sustainable future for the school, focused on the development of good humans, thought leaders and global citizens. The plan commits to a brighter and bolder tomorrow, a profound sense of community, deeper student learning and engagement, and becoming a global hub in a natural setting. The aim is also to evolve from a local school to a global school with strong community roots by creating new connections and partnerships, expanding global opportunities and harnessing the power of new technology and innovation — all while anchoring the student experience in nature-based learning. 

“I often glance out my office window and consider how innovative spaces allow the beauty and wisdom of nature to weave their way into the hearts and minds of our students,” says Grant-Watt. “Just as they are exploring our expansive system of trails, so too are they connecting with all of the ways that they will become contributing members of the STS community and society as a whole.”

Flourish 2031 also celebrates the foundation that’s already been built at STS, and academic excellence is at the forefront of that. STS is Calgary’s only International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, meaning it offers IB programming intertwined with the Alberta Program of Study as early as kindergarten through to grade 12. 

For more information, visit


Financial Literacy Starts Early at North Point Schools

The Financial Academy program prepares students for the future in an engaging way.

Too often, students leave school without a clue about how to go about their finances. But North Point Schools’ program prepares students early on to tackle today’s challenging financial landscape. 

North Point offers a state-of-the-art financial program for all of its K–12 students. The Financial Academy enables students to hone skills and knowledge about personal finance, economics, investing and entrepreneurship, giving them the proper tools to financially succeed in the future. 

“Empowering the future of finance, where young minds trade, pitch and create, captures the essence of the activities and programs we offer,” says Bruce Groberman, director of the Financial Academy. 

Learning by doing

For students who might deem finances boring, the academy offers more than weekly lessons. It also provides fun learning opportunities through unique hands-on activities.  

“Learning by doing is so much more effective than just sitting and listening,” says head of school, Brent Devost.

North Point has Canada’s largest virtual investing simulation in a K–12 school with many simulations aimed for grades four and up. Students begin with a virtual cash amount and invest in different stocks, bonds, funds and more. To put their skills to the test, the school puts on two stock market and cryptocurrency investing challenges with this simulation. 

The program also offers a financial meme contest and a business pitch competition. And students participate in the Young Entrepreneurs Annual Business Fair, Canada’s largest student business fair, where they create a product or service and present it with a developed brand, business plan and marketing strategy.

For more information about North Point School for Boys, North Point School for Girls, North Point High School and its Financial Academy, visit


Setting Students Up for Success

Calgary Academy’s Early Years program helps develop fundamental life skills.

It’s not uncommon to walk into Calgary Academy and see students working on a variety of different activities. One might be figuring out a math problem on the board while some work in teams and others use more creative ways to problem solve. That’s because Calgary Academy bases its instructional approach on individual student needs.

At Calgary Academy, students develop lifelong skills in many areas, giving them a well-rounded foundation for success. While academics are key, great value is also placed on supporting student interests and expanding opportunities for engagement. The school encourages students to build skills and community through altruistic-based initiatives, athletics and Integrated Studies options such as art, drama, construction and multimedia.

“The magic in what we do is that there’s a place for everyone here. Every student is provided with a safe place to learn, where they can work not only on their academics, but on their whole self, and build skills that will support them later in life,” says Liz Thompson, Calgary Academy’s junior school assistant principal.

Building foundational skills early is critical. Calgary Academy offers an Early Years program, designed for kindergarten to grade three students. The program’s focus is on approaching numeracy, literacy and social-emotional learning from a play-based perspective where students can build interpersonal skills. Children move forward with stronger reading and writing skills, and they also learn to understand their emotions and discover valuable problem-solving techniques.

“We identify where there are opportunities for learning improvements with our students, then we work to build foundational building blocks to do so,” says Thompson. “The earlier we can intervene, the more effectively we can build those blocks so that as they get older, they have what they need to be successful.”

To learn more, visit


Connection Beyond Borders

Shaping Engaged Global Citizens through Immersive International Experiences.

In a world where global events often seem distant or inaccessible, Calgary French & International School (CFIS) stands as a beacon for students deeply engaged in global affairs, diverse cultures and multiple languages. At CFIS, students don’t just learn about the world — they live it, forging connections that bring the world closer together.

Immersive global education is at the heart of CFIS’s curriculum, beginning as early as junior preschool through to grade 12. Students receive more than just a top-tier education; they step into the world’s diverse realities through firsthand experiences. Starting with outdoor field studies in the nearby Paskapoo Slopes, CFIS experiential education opens doors to host international students and engage in enriching exchanges, embark on transformative trips and provide avenues to participate in global conferences and networking opportunities.

CFIS Travel Studies

Travel Studies experiences offer students the chance to explore new cultures and practice the French and Spanish languages they learn at school. CFIS inspires them to step beyond their comfort zones, fostering cross-cultural connections and nurturing their innate curiosities. The curriculum empowers students to deepen their social responsibility, catalyzing positive change both locally and internationally.

“Global education is all about preparing us for the complex challenges of the future; it’s essentially education to make the world a better place,” says Chantalle Bourque, associate director of Global Education and Experiential Learning at CFIS. “We really see firsthand the impact that it has on the students to be curious about a new place, to be exposed to new ideas and to be inspired by people that they’ve met.”

For CFIS students, traversing the globe isn’t about sightseeing. It’s an opportunity to hone skills, immerse in diverse communities, embrace new cultures, engage in multiple languages and leave a positive mark wherever they tread.

To learn more, visit

This content was produced for the advertiser by RedPoint Media for commercial purposes. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Avenue staff.

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