Squamish’s independent school offers safe and supportive space for students | Squamish Chief

Squamish’s independent school offers safe and supportive space for students

Despite new COVID-19 protocols, students at Coast Mountain Academy (CMA) are off to a great start for the new school year.

“During these uncertain times, students need to feel safe and have a sense of things they can rely on. Our goal as a school is to help maintain a sense of routine,” says school counsellor and director of student life, Melahnie Moodie.

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CMA, a small independent school for grades 7 to 12 is located on the Quest University campus. The university-preparatory school has fewer than 100 students,which means the entire school was able to adapt easily to the Ministry of Education’s learning cohorts mandate.

“Our school fits within one learning cohort, which is really nice because within a cohort, you have a little more ability to have regular learning,” Moodie says.

“We’re still practising all hygiene, handwashing and daily health checks, but mask wearing is optional within a learning cohort and you don’t have to physically distance. That means we can pretty much use our school the way we used to.”

In addition to rigorous academics, outdoor and physical education are strong components of CMA’s curriculum. Students begin the day with physical activity to encourage health and well-being.

For students who are unable to attend class because of illness, tablet devices allow them to participate in class in real time to stay engaged and invested in learning.

The low ratio of students to counsellors ensure there is time to connect one-on-one with students who need extra support. Moodie says CMA’s embrace of virtual technology has made it easier for students to connect with her. When needed, students can connect with video sessions from the comfort of their own homes.

“Our school values resiliency,” Moodie says.

“We go through lessons and activities about how to overcome challenges and how to recover from mistakes. We work to give students the tools to overcome adversity. And this current situation is one opportunity for us to work together to get through a challenging time.”

There are still spaces available for the school year at Coast Mountain Academy, and it’s not too late to apply. To learn more about CMA, visit the school online at coastmountainacademy.ca.

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