School Program~FAQ Sheet

What is the Sports Alternative Program?

Edmonton Public School Trustees established a mandate for sports alternative program schools to provide flexible scheduling to meet the academic and athletic needs of student athletes. Students in the program must meet the same academic requirements as other students, but are given the flexibility to complete their schoolwork around their training and competitive schedules.
 
What is the Green & Gold Soccer Academy at Vimy Ridge Academy?
 
Students from grades 7–12 have the opportunity to be involved in the Green & Gold Soccer Academy for three afternoons each week. Mornings are spent in regular academic study, and afternoons are spent working in the areas of athletic endeavor. Two afternoons a week are spent in option classes.
 
What is the philosophy of the school?
 
We believe that every young person is capable of succeeding in school and we’re focused on achieving superb results. Our staff works collaboratively with parents to provide students with the knowledge, skills and self-confidence they need to be successful in school and in life. We also recognize that our students are individuals, with unique needs and interests. To be successful, they need opportunities to discover their own potential and to explore the things that interest them the most.
 
Vimy Ridge Academy is a centrally located Grade 7–12 school, with a strong emphasis on high academic performance and excellence in leadership, citizenship, perseverance, physical fitness and ingenuity.  Vimy Ridge Academy offers alternative programs in three main areas: Canadian Studies, Dance and Sports. Our students turn their passion into academic performance.
 
What is The Vimy Advantage?
 
Recently recognized by “MacLeans Magazine” as one of Canada’s top 40 schools, Vimy Ridge Academy offers unique and compelling sports, dance, and Canadian Studies programs within a thriving academic community in a small school environment.
 
What are the benefits of a sports alternative program?
 
Students have the opportunity to excel at their individual sport while maintaining a balance with their academic programming. Many of our students have rigorous training schedules that impact their individual health and well-being. Our school scheduling allows students to train during the instructional day, and provides students with the balance to participate in regular evening activities including family time and homework competition.
 
Our school has a focus on the student athlete and we strive to recognize the individual achievements of our students. Our teachers understand the dedication that these students bring to their sport and are committed to being as flexible as possible with them.
 
How does the academic program at Vimy Ridge Academy compare to other schools?
 
We are thrilled with the number of students that are achieving high levels of academic performance at Vimy Ridge Academy. In our first and second reporting periods for 2005 – 2006, 43% of our school population achieved Merit, Honors or a Honors with Distinction standing. Our students do well on their provincial achievement exams and Diploma Exams. Last year over 95% of our grade 9 students Achieved Standard on the Language Arts exam, 25% achieved the standard of excellence. In Mathematics 88% achieved the Acceptable Standard with 20% achieving the Standard of Excellence. In Science, 92% of our students achieved the Acceptable Standard and 14% achieved the Standard of Excellence. In Social Studies, 92% achieved the Acceptable Standard and 23% achieved the Standard of Excellence. In every case we have increased in our academic performance both at the Acceptable Standard and the Standard of Excellence in 2005. In fact, our results are above the Provincial Averages.
 
Currently 97% of our students at grade nine are achieving above the Acceptable Standard (based on an average of their core subjects) and over 50% of those students are achieving at 70% (Merit Standing) or higher based on their third term progress report. 20% of our sports alternative population are achieving at Honors or Honors with Distinction.  VimyRidgeAcademy also offers a Jr. High Honors program beginning in Grade 7. This program was new in 2005 – 2006 and will be expanding to grades 8 and 9 in the next two years.
 
HIGH SCHOOL
 
What benefits are to be derived from enrolling at Vimy Ridge Academy for High School (grades 10 – 12)?
 
Our high school schedule is designed to support a full three-year academic schedule. Students are able to meet high school diploma requirements while maintaining a high level of commitment to their sport. Our staff members work with individual timetables to support the student athlete.
 
This next year, we will strengthen our emphasis on high academic performance by offering Advanced Placement Courses. The AP program is very flexible. Students may choose to take as many or as few AP courses as they want. This enables students to individually tailor their academic timetables in accordance with their abilities, interests and extra – curricular time commitments.
 
In our January 2006 sitting of diploma exams, 98% of our students in all courses passed their exams. 95% of our student’s meet acceptable standard, 48% were at Promise and 19% achieved honours.
 
Vimy Ridge Academy school is a high performance setting where students are expected to do their best in all aspects of academics and athletics. Our students are highly successful in both venues. Our students carry their passion for sport in to the academic setting. Teachers monitor academic performance, and in fact, participation in afternoon sports programming is contingent on maintaining a standard appropriate to each student’s ability. Extended learning opportunities and tutorial programs support student achievement.
 
What benefits do the schools provide that other sport alternative program do not?
 
There are many sports programs in Edmonton, but very few that focus on an academic/athletic partnership. Students at Vimy Ridge Academy are expected to maintain a personally appropriate academic standing. Teachers monitor academic performance and coaches and teachers work collaboratively to ensure that students receive the support they need to be highly successful in all venues of their education. Further, teachers work with the demanding schedules of athletes to provide appropriate flexibility with respect to programming. Distance learning can be provided when extended absences due to athletic commitments are necessary.  Vimy Ridge Academy also provide a full range of athletic training and support in areas of coaching, sport medicine, sport psychology and fitness and training. For more information, please contact the administration or one of the coaches or teachers in the sports program of interest.
 
What does Vimy Ridge Academy have to offer sports alternative programs in terms of scheduling, facilities…etc?
 
Vimy Ridge Academy is a newly modernized facility with two large gyms, a climbing wall, change rooms with showers and full lockers, a large sports field and access to Bonnie Doon Pool. Vimy Ridge Academy is situated close to soccer fields located at the Campus Saint-Jean. The Vimy campus also has three computer labs, a large library resource centre, fitness centre, foods lab, industrial arts lab, drama room, music room, dance studios and cafeteria with food services. 
 
What does the Modified School Calendar look like?
 
Our modified school calendar varies start times and vacation breaks and is based on strategies to improve student achievement and attendance. The modified calendar divides the school year into four terms. Instruction occurs for 8 – 10 weeks followed by a break. Students will return to school on August 20, 2010. There is a one-week October break and a two-week spring break in late March – early April. All other dates follow the Edmonton Public Schools calendar. The number of days in the school year and number of instructional minutes per day remain the same as a regular school calendar.
 
What does the timetable at Vimy Ridge Academy (grades 7 – 9 and 10 – 12) look like?
 
All core class instruction at Vimy Ridge Academy in grades 5 – 9 is scheduled into the morning. At the senior high level for grades 10 – 12, core classes occur during the morning and on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Morning start time is at 8:25 a.m. and morning classes are completed at 12:18. Afternoon classes at Vimy Ridge Academy begin at 12:54 p.m. and end at 3:20. This schedule allows for large blocks of afternoon time, dedicated to coaching and sport related learning. 
 
Are the full academic requirements of Alberta Learning met at the school?
 
Yes.
 
What courses/credits are offered at high school and how many credits are required to graduate?
 
Students require 100 credits to graduate. Programming for sports alternative students meets all graduation requirements. We also offer an Academic challenge stream for our students. Parents interested in having their child registered in this stream should contact the school administration during the registration process.
 
What are the option courses available?
 
For sports alternative students at grades 7 – 12, options include French, Drama, Art, Music, Foods, Computers, Dance and Study Skills. At the grade 10 – 12 level, Sports Performance is also available, however, option choices vary depending on the academic choices. Students choosing to complete all three sciences will have reduced timetable space to complete option programming. As an alternative, students can receive work experience credit for coaching or choose alternative delivery models to acquire additional option programming. Our grade coordinators can answer all your programming option questions.
 
What extra-curricular sports teams or activities are available?
 
We offer extracurricular and team sports in Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Floor Hockey, Wall Climbing, Badminton and Track and Field. Additional sport teams may be offered based on interest. Some of our many clubs include Drama Club, Students Union, Peer Support and Duke of Edinburgh Young Canadian Challenge. Depending on interest, the following additional activities are available to our students: Wrestling, Drill Team, Cycling Team, Photography Club, Biathlon, and Yearbook Club. Vimy Ridge also offers extensive off-site field trips, camps, community services and student exchanges. Many students participate in ceremonies, celebrations and performances in the community and across the country.