At J. Addison School, the student population and staff are made up of various nationalities, which I love! Being an international student from Egypt, I thought this aspect was truly important, as I felt a sense of belonging. The school leadership and management is truly cooperative as well. I feel like I can visit the principal at any time throughout the day to have a conversation with him about any issue that I may have. Finally, I love the school policies to ensure the safety and well-being of the school community, especially during the current pandemic, where everyone is extremely worried about Covid-19 in Canada. The school provided assurance and ease that we will be safe and provided on-going support to any concern that we may have.
I believe that the school management puts the well-being of the students and staff as a top priority. During the current covid-19 pandemic, the school leadership team provided online classes for students who wish to return home for their personal well-being. In addition, they updated their policies/academic schedules to ensure the best health and safety practices for the school community by equipping us with masks, hand sanitizers, reducing large social gatherings and ongoing communication of any changes that were being implemented at the school.
From my academic experience, I feel that some teachers provide us with a wide range of homework to complete based on what we have learned inside the classroom. In addition, they provide the students with thorough feedback about our assignments and any support that we require from them. In my opinion, some of the courses at J. Addison School foster an independent study that prepare students for post-secondary life. I feel confident that I will be able to transition successfully in university based on the academic discipline that I've received at J. Addison School. The faculty of J. Addison School and their definition of success stems from the understanding of students' personal achievements, which is not merely based on physical awards but ensuring that we are equipped holistically to be good, responsible citizens in our community.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, I had the opportunity to be a part of various student and residence life activities. In addition, currently I am apart of Residence Council, which is a student leadership club that creates and plans fun activities for the school community. The school offers a large number of clubs for the students to participate, such as Badminton, Yearbook, Fitness, Computer/Video Games, Student Council and etc. Moreover, the residence life department plans community outreach activities for the school community, such as the Markham-Terry Fox Run, CIBC Run for Cure, Up-CN Tower Climb for United Way and etc. I believe that every student at J. Addison School to be involved and there is always something for them to do.
To be honest, each individual student is unique. Personally, the school work can be difficult at various times because it requires us to be more independent as well as accountable to complete the coursework within a specified timeframe. In addition, the incorporation of technology poses a challenge for me. Additionally, having presentations within the courses is also a provocation, as some students like myself can be extremely shy or lack the self-confidence to speak in front of a small or large group. Nevertheless, I still feel supported from the faculty and never feel pressured by them to be perfect. I feel that the skills that I have learned at J. Addison School thus far, will be useful, especially in university as it will help me to improve my self-confidence when meeting new people or having to conduct a presentation in university or in my career.
The students at J. Addison School are kind, humble and respectful. I feel as though, since the student population is roughly about 300 students, it creates a small community where everyone care and support each other. The school environment treats everyone fairly and I don't feel bullied or disrespected at the school. In addition, the students that attend the school are independent, responsible and adaptable. This is evident, as there is a large group of international students that attend the school, who learn a wide range of life-skills, such as grocery shopping, opening a bank account and paying their phone bill at such an early age. In addition, the students can also be described as hard-working as each individual has a personal motivation of why they attended J. Addison School, either for sports or academics. The students that tend to struggle are supported by school staff, such as the guidance department. J. Addison School ensures that every student reaches their full potential, never give up and succeed.
The first place I would take a group of visitors would be the classrooms. The reason why I stated the classrooms is because the visitors would be able to visually enjoy the dynamic learning and interactions amongst the faculty and students. Secondly, my next favorite location would be the student residence to see the state of the art recreation room where memories are created amongst dorm students. Within the recreation room, dorm students enjoy playing table tennis, watching movies, air hockey and foosball. Moreover, students enjoy late night socials that make living in the dorm quite fun. Finally, another favorite place I would visitors would be the gym and dance studio, where students enjoy ballet, yoga, karate, badminton, volleyball and other related sport-activities. The gym is quite huge with beautiful glass view windows that on look the Markham community.
I feel that J. Addison School can be described as a home, especially for international students, who are away from their own families and actual homes. The first time that I came to J. Addison School, I felt welcomed and accepted by the school community. My experience living in the dorm has been truly amazing as the dorm staff and students truly care for each other. In addition, I never felt depressed or lonely within this school environment because there are always interactions with others. In addition, I always feel appreciated, especially by dorm staff. For example, when I was extremely sick, they ensured my well-being was a top priority and checked on me daily. They provided assurance to my parents that I was okay and the steps that were taken to make me feel better.
Before the current pandemic, dorm students had the opportunity to leave campus freely once notified to the attention of school or dorm administration. This opportunity allowed dorm students to integrate within the Markham community in a safe manner while gaining responsible life-skills, such as grocery shopping, volunteering and engaging in fun social activities. Currently, this opportunity has been amended for the safety of our well-being, however we are still able to leave campus at scheduled times with a dorm supervisor until the current pandemic has ended.
My initial admissions process began when my family and I researched about international schools in Canada and based on the reviews of J. Addison School and their on-site residence, it met my expectations of living in a safe, protected and educated environment. The admissions process was quite easy for me, as we visited the school's website, filled out the online admissions form and submitted it. Within 2-3 days, an admissions officer contacted my family via email where they were helpful and cooperative in providing all of the requested information regarding the school community. In addition, they assisted myself in sending all of the required documents for immigration purposes. Moreover, they arranged my arrival in Canada and to the school. I would have to say that the overall experience was "stress-free".