Many parents view education as a pathway to future success. In addition to exploring postsecondary options, parents should also look into specialized academic programs for their children in elementary, middle, and high schools.
Many public school boards offer specialized academic programs such as French Immersion, International Baccalaureate (IB), STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics), Advanced Placement (AP), the Arts, and Athletics, to name a few.
The advantages of these programs should not be overlooked. Some specialized programs provide opportunities for children to immerse in subject areas they find most interesting. Others provide academic rigor for children that thrive when challenged.
Nurturing children’s talents in specialized programs can lead to acceptance to prestigious programs in post-secondary institutions, receiving scholarships or both. For example, two students who recently graduated from Peel District School Board’s Cawthra Park Secondary School’s Regional Arts program were accepted to the world-renowned dance program at The Julliard School in New York. Similarly, many students who were successful in academically rigorous programs, such as the IB, received acceptances to highly competitive and sought-after university programs in Canada and abroad. Many recipients of large scholarships such as TD Scholarships ($70,000) and Schulich Scholarships ($80,000-$100,000) graduated from specialized academic programs.
Admission requirements vary for different specialized programs, but the more soughtafter the program is, the more competitive it is. Candidates should be in good to excellent academic standing with good reported learning skills. Depending on the school board, school, and program, there may be performance and written tests to assess candidates’ communication, leadership, and collaboration skills. Application deadlines are usually firm, and late applications are often not accepted.
Although the exploration and application process may be complex and tiresome, the effort may be worthwhile. Finding the right school program for your child may lead to a successful academic future. As Malcolm X once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
Right Schools For Bright Kids is an Educational Consulting firm dedicated to helping families find the right academic program for their children from elementary to post-secondary. It also provides time management and study skills training to help students reach their full academic potential.