Dr. James McConnell, Head of School
Doctorate in Education Leadership
Unisus School was founded on the desire to create an exceptional learning institution in the heart of the Okanagan. Significant resources have been utilized to ensure that from the beginning, Unisus is offering a world-class curriculum with dedicated and engaged teachers. To grow a new school takes patience, but we are sure that within a few short years Unisus will be recognized as a top BC School.
This growth requires dedication and perseverance, but perhaps it is the early arrivals to the school who benefit the most. We are still small and we can pay a great deal of attention to each student’s needs. Every child is known by all the staff. There is a great sense of community – and an entrepreneurial spirit of families who are benefiting from the strong learning environment.
The school is based on a few sound principles. First, our location and site create wonderful outdoor education opportunities. We will continue to develop this part of our curriculum so that students in all grades gain an appreciation of the environment and a sense of adventure as they try new activities.
Second, the collective experience of the founding team is rooted in the International Baccalaureate, the world’s top educational framework. We are on target to be fully authorized in all 3 programs in the shortest possible time: We are already a candidate school for both the IB Primary Years Programme and the IB Diploma Programme. We all believe that the overall philosophy of the IB provides us a global foundation.
It is that international experience that is our third focus. Our Senior School will attract students from around the world, who will stay in a new and welcoming residence facility. They will learn using proven innovative strategies that pay attention to independence and engagement. We are developing partnerships with schools around the world so that our outlook goes well beyond Summerland. The mix of local and international students will create a unique global perspective.
You can also see that we are putting an emphasis on math, science, engineering and technology, while at the same time understanding that students need strong foundations in humanities and the arts. Indeed, the IB itself ensures that students have a well-balanced education.
We believe that our mission is to prepare our students for an increasingly unknown future. We will create thinkers who can analyze information and determine what is useful, and what is not. Our graduates will have developed a personal and independent approach to their learning, and will be able to approach problems and issues from a variety of perspectives, and through critical and creative thinking, come up with inventive solutions.
All of this is in a very nurturing environment. All of us care about each and every student, and want to engage with parents as partners in this journey through primary and secondary education.
In the end, it is the quality of the teaching staff that makes the difference. We have been looking globally for the best teachers possible, and you will experience their special contributions on a daily basis. They have taught all around the world, and are trained as International Baccalaureate practitioners. The culture is collaborative and supportive, striving for excellence through constant reflection and commitment to modern approaches to teaching.
We welcome you to explore this site, and contact us for a visit. We hope you will be part of this exciting journey.
Dr. James McConnell