Be a part of our school community

Thank you for your interest in Ideal Mini School. Our school prides itself in the positive relationships we build among the members of our learning community. We encourage you to learn more about our unique program and the opportunities we offer to our students and families.

Why Ideal Mini?

We believe in developing well-rounded individuals who will become contributing members of our greater community.

Our overall program focuses on the three Core Competencies – Communication, Critical Thinking, and Personal and Social – set out by the BC Ministry of Education. Our revisioned program takes both a competency-based approach to learning along with developing skills in each subject area.

Our safe, inclusive setting fosters individuality, creativity, and curiosity in a supportive community of like-minded people who value the success and well-being of others.

Please explore further below for more information about what we offer, our teaching and learning approaches, and candidates who would benefit from our program.


Our school is built on the combined efforts of our students, staff, and parents.


Students learn to work and face challenges together.


Students will have opportunities to develop their leadership skills and explore their potential.


Senior students mentor younger ones through many leadership initiatives and opportunities.

Social Responsibility

We wish to develop individuals who are socially aware and responsible citizens in our society.

Ideal Mini School is the only 5-year Vancouver District mini school program that operates in its own building with its own name. Although we are administered by Sir Winston Churchill Secondary, we are located 2 blocks South. We are a small, unique, academic school. We pride ourselves in building a sense of belonging and family. We offer a complete Grade 8 to 12 cohort-based academic learning environment. There are six teachers and approximately 125 students. We emphasize personal responsibility, leadership, social justice, development of independence, and self-confidence.
One of our major strengths lies in the cooperative atmosphere we create. The school is a community effort. We foster cross-grade interaction and collaborative learning through leadership and social responsibility opportunities. There are frequent school activities, animated conversations, and weekly school meetings. These and other informal events are the roots from which school involvement and spirit grow.
Our curriculum focuses on the Core Competencies of the BC Curriculum including critical and creative thinking, communication, personal awareness, and cultural diversity. Our community-building and collaborative learning embodies the principles of place-based learning. We want Ideal students to develop the skills necessary to enter a post-secondary institution, to pursue chosen careers, and to deal effectively with the complexities of contemporary society.
It is our goal to recognize the individuality and creative potential of each person in the school.
Students who choose Ideal Mini school are looking to commit to a 5-year enriched learning environment that values individuality and cooperation. They benefit from closer relationships with their peers and teachers both academically and socially. In many instances, students desire a personal and supportive environment where informal counseling and friendships are possible. A large number of our students are involved in social responsibility, leadership, and community initiatives in both our school and the greater community.
We expect students to make a personal contribution to the school. This includes involvement not only in academic work, but also in social and personal initiatives. For all students, Ideal means participation in a positive educational experience. Here, it is possible for students to develop curiosity and confidence while improving educational and social skills. Because teachers work with the students over 5 years, they can help develop each students' social-emotional and personal growth. The positive impacts the teachers and community have on their students are long-lasting and are seen in their successes after graduation.
A maximum of 28 students are selected each year for our Grade 8 cohort. All potential candidates must register with the VSB and write the VSB Mini School Test (aka CSI exam) AND submit an application package to Ideal Mini School by the mini school registration deadline. Selection is based on the application and interview process.  Evaluation of candidates is based on:
  • Academic Merit - based on academic records ("Proficient/Applying" or better in academic areas), teacher comments, and district CSI test scores in various subsets.
  • Self-motivated and strong work ethic - shown through involvement (in/out of school community) and teacher comments
  • Sense of Community, Social Responsibility, and Leadership - participation in school and community, particularly in areas that benefit others rather than self development. These may be shown through report cards comments, written statements by the applicant, and/or supporting documents.
  • Social Awareness and Interaction - capable of developing and maintaining positive relationships with others, as demonstrated through teacher comments, personal video, and an interview.
  • Commitment - a desire to be fully immersed in our 5-year program, as shown on our application, personal video, and through an interview.
In general, we look for well-rounded students who are academically capable, socially aware, and leadership-oriented. Ideal Mini students are self-motivated, seek a small school environment, and appreciate the special community feel and interactions at our school. Students are encouraged to be involved and help create a positive, inclusive learning environment for those around them.
*Some selection criteria above has been modified for 2021-22 due to the current pandemic.

Promotional Video by our Leadership 12 class:

Reach for the stars

Aim high, accept challenges, strive for excellence.

STUDENT Testimonials


Dashielle R.

Grade 11

“I love ideal because of the great connections you make along the way. Ideal is a great place to meet friends that can last a life time.”

Class of 2022

Amber H.

Grade 11

“Ideal is not just a community, it’s a family.”

Class of 2022

Parent Testimonials

"Ideal Mini has a great community feel whilst also challenging the students to be the best that they can be academically. The individual is valued and accepted, but at the same time teamwork and leadership skills are encouraged and fostered. A place for students to grow and learn how to face the world as confident young adults."
Liz B.
Grade 9 Parent
"As a parent, I was thrilled that my child wanted to attend and was accepted to Ideal. In a small group learning environment, with teachers finding innovative ways for students to learn, be curious, and work together, my child is challenged academically. Equally important, the teachers strive to create a school environment that is based on community, cooperation, empathy, and respect. I am hopeful that when my child graduates from Ideal, my child will be prepared both academically for further schooling and socially to navigate this world as a young adult."
Elsie W.
Grade 11 Parent
"The true meaning of community and leadership are exemplified at Ideal Mini. Each student is encouraged to be actively involved in shaping the culture at the school. The small class sizes allow for the teachers to not only understand the needs of each student but allows them to encourage collaboration among the students. Every effort is made to extend unique academically-enriching opportunities, such as the Science Fair and trips to Japan and Bamfield. As a parent, I have seen my child grow into someone who is confident, able to collaborate with others and willing to take initiative -skills that will prove to be an asset as my child learns to navigate the real world."
Angely D.
Grade 9 Parent

Embraced by many

UBC Logo
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and many more...

“Ideal Mini School is an unforgettable community where you build everlasting friendships with peers and staff. They have helped me become the well-rounded person that I am today and will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Colleen Yee

Colleen Yee

Alumni 2011

“In Ideal Mini School, at 12 years old, I found an affirming and empowering community that would become my family for the next five years. It is a space curated to foster and support growth, exploration, and self-expression. I feel grateful to have been apart of this community that allows young people to feel safe testing our limits, exploring our strengths, and learning to collaborate.”

Sophie Noel

Sophie Noel

Alumni 2013

Come visit us

Join us for our annual Open House event in the Fall for more information about our school, student-led guided tours and more. We thank you for your interest in our program. Please contact us if you have further inquiries.
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