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.