Urban Academy Admissions FAQ
We encourage even our future students to ask questions. You can find answers below to some of the most common questions our Admissions Team encounters. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you require further clarification.
How Do You Engage Students In Their Academics?
We use technology, field study, the arts, and outdoor learning to create engaging and meaningful learning experiences. Through this approach, students understand not only what they are learning, but also why they are learning it. We bridge the gap between high-level academics and tangible applications, developing students who are excited to answer the question “What did you learn at school today?”
How Many Students Are In Each Class?
Class sizes are optimized for students of different ages, with Junior Kindergarten at eight students per teacher, Kindergarten have approximately 16 students per class, and Grade One & Two have approximately 18 students and Grade 3 and up have 20 students per class.
Do You Have Combined Classes?
We typically only have combined classes with a subject that is better with larger groups of students such as band, music, PE, Model UN etc. Explorations (rotating through a number of different electives) also allows combines students from Grades 6 and 7 to broaden connections and friendships. Core courses are grade-specific only. There are many other school opportunities such as houses (Grades 4-12), outdoor education opportunities, camp, field study or buddy pairings where students of similar ages are combined.
How Are Applicants Assessed?
Once we receive your application form and fee, Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten applicants will be invited in for a short one on one assessment within two weeks of the application deadline. Successful applicants then come for a social and interactive assessment morning. The final step is for applicants to come with their parents for an interview with the Head of School or Principals and Admissions Representatives.
Students applying for Grades 1 – 12 are invited for their assessment. Applicants who have successfully passed the assessments are invited in for a zoom family interview.
All students applying to Grade 1 and above will need to submit their most recent report card. We also request a current teacher complete their reference form that will be provided by admissions.
We pride ourselves in evaluating evenly and fairly, and admissions each year are based on students that represent the best fit for our learning philosophies, academic rigour and culture.
How Do Your Students Do In Their Academics?
Urban Academy has very high academic expectations, and our students never cease to impress us. The results speak for themselves: our graduates have a 100% acceptance rate, being accepted in every post secondary institution that they apply to. Our internal and external assessment results in reading, writing and numeracy also show that the vast majority of all Urban Academy Students are either fully meeting or exceeding expectations for their grade level.
How Is The School Financed?
We are financed by tuition fees, the BC Ministry of Education’s per capita operating grant to independent schools, and the Parent Equity program. Urban Academy also has an active advancement team made up of staff and members of the community, focused on raising funds for various initiatives and expanding school programming.
What Are Your Fees Per Year?
A detailed outline of tuition and registration fees can be in the Tuition / Fees section of our website.
Are There Any Tuition Assistance Programs Available?
Yes. Families may apply yearly for Tuition Assistance and based on the qualifying criteria and number of applicants, may receive assistance. Applications are due in January every year, are completed online, and all applicants are kept confidential. Please visit the Tuition Assistance section of our website for more detailed information.
What Is a Parent Equity Program?
The Board of Directors at Urban Academy has instituted a Parent Equity Program that enabled the School to purchase Robson Manor in Queen’s Park as its as its first site, and the Rousseau campus is now our long-term permanent site. It is a financial instrument by which the Securities Act provides a means for non-profit societies to raise funds. In short, each family is required to pay $20,000 per child in Kindergarten to Grade 12 (to a maximum of 2 children) for the time that the child is enrolled in Urban Academy. For Junior Kindergarten, each family is asked to pay $10,000 per child (up to 2 children). The sum (without interest) will then be returned to the family after the child is no longer enrolled as a student. We have set up an interest-only loan program at prime + 1% through our partners, Envision Financial for this program.
What Organizations Does Urban Academy Belong To?
Urban Academy is a member of the Independent School Association of BC (ISABC) the Federation of Independent Schools (FISA), the Greater Vancouver Independent Schools Athletic Association of BC (GVISAA), the Greater Vancouver Independent School Athletic Association, and the Network of Performance Based schools. Urban Academy is currently undergoing the rigorous accreditation process to become a CAIS (Canadian Association of Independent Schools) Member School and is a CAIS Candidate School at present.
Who Runs The School?
Urban Academy is operated by a non-profit society (The Urban Academy Society) that was established by the founding members and governed by an appointed Board Of Directors to govern the school. The school’s Board of Directors is made up of members of the school community who are responsible for the strategic direction and financial health of the school. The Board operates at arms length from the daily affairs of the school, which are managed by Urban Academy’s Head of School.
How Are Parents Involved In Urban Academy?
Involved parents make for more successful students. Urban Academy is committed to being an environment where parents feel welcomed and included. As part of their commitment to the school, Urban Academy families are required to provide a minimum of 20 hours of volunteer time per family per year. These hours can be made up from a wide variety of options during and outside of school hours from setting up chairs for a special event, to lunch supervision one day a week. This is based on an honour system, with families using a school app to learn about opportunities available, and to log their hours. Parents are encouraged to spend time in their child’s classroom, participate in special events and share their talents with the school environment.
What is The Basic Foundation of The School?
Urban Academy is a non-denominational, co-educational independent school that provides students with challenging academic, co-curricular and extracurricular programs. The school offers an enriched academic program that meets or exceeds BC Ministry of Education requirements. Urban Academy and its staff help students become future leaders and responsible citizens by fostering high standards of personal integrity and character. Urban Academy provides a safe and nurturing learning environment that embraces diversity and prepares students for continuing study at university.
Is There a School Bus?
Urban Academy runs a centralized morning and afternoon pick-up/drop off bus route coming in from North West Burnaby and a second route coming in from the Tri-Cities.
For the Burnaby route, please visit the Bus Service Page.
Our campus is also very much accessible via Skytrain (we are across from the Braid Street Station) and/or city transit bus routes.
Do The Students Wear Uniforms?
Yes. Parents can expect to spend about $500 depending on the amount of extras purchased for scattered laundry days etc.
What About Physical and Outdoor Education?
Our campus boasts a full-size gymnasium, large multi-purpose room and integrated outdoor spaces to facilitate physical learning. We also have 20,000 square feed of play deck spaces throughout the school. We are a 7 minute walk from Hume Park which has soccer fields, tennis courts a playground and water park.
We also take advantage of the beautiful amenities available throughout British Columbia. As we are situated in New Westminster, we are in close proximity to Canada Games Pool, ice arenas, golf courses, ski hills and track and field facilities.
Is There Homework at Urban Academy?
Homework levels for students vary on a per grade level and sometimes individually and increase with the age of the student and with the complexity of the curriculum.
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