Edward International Academy Opens In Wallaceburg
A new private high school in Wallaceburg has opened its doors for students all over the world to come study in the municipality.
Edward International Academy held an official opening ceremony on Sunday in the old DA Gordon building in Wallaceburg. The new sign in front of the school, which is located at 430 King St., was unveiled by Jack Tian, school president, and Carmen McGregor, Ward 5 councillor for Chatham-Kent.
“I think it was a really neat event. We had one student present some traditional Chinese music, we had a bunch of old teachers and students that were at the original DA Gordon School come and look around,” says Principal Jessica Brooks. “We got to give a tour of the building and all the changes we’ve made inside to accommodate boarding students.”
Brooks says the school will have mostly international students to start, but she’s hoping it could be an option for domestic students as well. She says the academy is planning different boarding and stay arrangements, which will include day students.
“Right now our dorm has a capacity of 38, but we have about 12 classrooms, so we can accommodate I would say a couple of hundred kids,” says Brooks. “That’s why we need to look at different boarding options. We’re looking at, if we get that big, to add some more boarding facilities, as well as homestay situations, and day students.”
Brooks says an ESL class at the academy started at the beginning of July, with a full slate of classes beginning in September for a number of Grade 9 and 10 students coming to the Chatham-Kent area.
The principal says a unique feature of the academy is that because the kids are boarding, the academic day is longer. The last period of the day starts at 3pm, when public schools usually finish at 2:30pm.
“We’re hoping to offer classes that maybe wouldn’t be available at their local public school. If they want to take a Mandarin or Chinese class, some art or music classes, and things that might not be available to them locally, they can jump into them here after their regular school day,” she explains.
Brooks says compared to a regular public school, the academy is smaller, which means the teachers will be more focused on each student.
“They have a very focused day because their day is longer. There are lots of breaks in between and there are lots of opportunities to do things, but it really is neat to see students interact with kids from different cultures and from different communities and how to communicate with each other and how to live together. It’s just a really great opportunity for the students in the building.”
Brooks says it’s also great for the community because the students bring their cultures here and also boost the local economy by shopping too. She says the labour force will also continue to grow.