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Academic Alternative Program

The Mission

The Academic Alternative combines a focus on academic excellence in the core subjects with strategies that foster a joy in learning through creative; critical and global thinking; and opportunities for youth to discover their own strengths as learners with a strong emphasis on developing character, in order to become citizens and leaders in a changing world.

Program Description and Key Program Elements:

The primary goals of the program are to foster the habits of mind that define global leaders with a life-long love of learning while preparing a strong foundation for post-secondary learning.  To accomplish these goals the following key elements will be integral to programming:

  • A strong academic program with additional time for study in the areas of English language arts, social studies, mathematics, science and French language
  • A selection of complementary courses that support, balance and enhance core programming including strong programming in the fine arts and physical education
  • A climate that reinforces learning for its own sake, promoting a love of learning through looking ahead to post-secondary, career and citizenship goals
  • An understanding of emerging global roles, opportunities and responsibilities are integrated into learning
  • Embracing technology as an integral part of students’ world, fostering a deep understanding of its role in a changing global economy

Our Academic Alternative program offers an accelerated mathematics and science program, which includes completion of Math 10C and Science 10 by the end of grade 9. As such, only grade 7 students are eligible to enter this stream. Students essentially complete 4 years of Math and Science in 3 years and are able to enter grade 10 with credits in these 2 courses. 

Target Students:

This program is targeted to students with a strong early interest in post-secondary studies who have an emerging desire to develop global leadership skills. They are committed to rigorous academic learning and also have an interest in creative approaches to learning. They demonstrate strong communication skills in English and in French that can be further developed as they work collaboratively to explore concepts and deepen understanding. They understand and appreciate that technology has rapidly changed that learning from accumulating knowledge to making use of existing knowledge in new and creative ways. They are willing to engage in interdisciplinary work and to collaborate with others to produce new knowledge, products and processes. 

Entrance Criteria

Students applying to Grandview Heights for the Academic Alternative Program must meet certain entrance criteria. Students will be assessed on their performance on their (1) entrance exams, (2) their current academic marks profile, and (3) their teacher/school recommendation. All students who reach a minimum benchmark on these screening criteria will form a pool of candidates eligible for open spaces. We believe that these criteria will give us the necessary information to select learners who will maintain our tradition of excellence at Grandview Heights.