Admissions FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

Ideal Mini School is a unique district program with its own small, separate educational facility. Our family-like environment helps develop student individuality, creativity, and passion in a safe, non-judgemental learning space.


Ideal students may graduate with a full BC Dogwood diploma without ever taking a course elsewhere. Those who choose to take classes we do not offer may do so during the summer school session.  We do, however, offer a diverse selection of Grade 10-12 electives exclusive to our students.


Ideal offers its own academically enriched program that is philosophically and academically different from the IB program.  If you are interested in the IB program then Ideal is not the program for you.


The academically based program at Ideal offers more than enough electives for entrance to post secondary institutions. In fact, most of our graduates go to the University or College of their choice after leaving Ideal. See our Alumni page for what our recent graduates have been up to since graduation.

Yes, technically

Although Churchill administers Ideal, we are a separate institution. Churchill is our steward school. Ideal students have access to the facilities of Churchill, such as the library and the gym. Ideal students are welcome to participate in Churchill’s clubs, sports teams and our students also sit on the student council as our representatives.


Ideal is an academically enriched program, but a student can’t advance ahead of their grade level. We simply cannot timetable them within our program.


Our new re-visioning of our program means that Ideal will be offer a complete program from Grade 8 to 12. Students may have limited opportunities to take off-timetabled classes at Churchill only, if available.


We get administrative support; a Churchill Vice Principal is assigned to us, as is a school counsellor. We get some departmental financial support from Churchill.


Ideal has its own Parent Advisory Council (PAC) that is an essential part of our school community. The integral involvement of our PAC has helped provide for our program and help it flourish. For parents interested, there will be opportunities to be involved in school events and fundraisers throughout the school year.

Students at Ideal are academically motivated, socially aware, young men and women who can flourish in a small school environment, and appreciate the value of close interaction with their fellow students and teachers. They are self-motivated, socially responsible, community-oriented, interested in leadership and seek a well-rounded academic program.  They are aware of the diverse world around them and interested in creating a better society for all. We are most interested in students that wish to stay at Ideal for the full 5 years of their high school experience.

Students come to Ideal each day to an open, non-judgemental, safe environment where we accept each other for our differences. We pride ourselves on our community and family-like environment. Students are expected to be prepared and work to the best of their abilities.

Students should generally be, at minimum, in the “B/Proficient” range in their academic courses and demonstrate strong work ethic.  Students below this general standing may find our program challenging.


as a district program, we are only able to accept 28 students who reside within the Vancouver School District. Also, we are unable to accept students with International Student status.

Yes, but…

we do not exclude applicants who do not rank our program as their first choice. That said, this IS one consideration that we take into account when selecting students as we want students who wish to fully commit to our 5 year program. We will also consult with other district alternative programs to help students find the programs of their choice.

*Please indicate your program rankings carefully online when registering. The VSB will not make changes once your selections have been made.


You will need to submit a Grade 9-12 application form by the Spring (April/May) prior to the start of the new school year in September. If space is available and your child is a suitable candidate then an interview will be scheduled. Following, a spot will be offered if your child is selected.

Unfortunately, we cannot timetable students outside of their grade cohort. Students currently in French Immersion are expected to take French class with their cohort. Such students may have the opportunity to be leaders in their classes and excel in the French language. By about Grade 10, all students should be at approximately the same level of aptitude.

We do not preclude students with IEPs from acceptance at Ideal. Like all other applicants they must meet our criteria and the competitive nature of the process. Please note that resource support is very limited at Ideal. We are very upfront about the accommodations we are able to make so that parents can make informed decisions for their children. If you have specific inquiries regarding special support or accommodations for your child, please feel free to contact our school.

What sets us apart?

Small School Setting

Being a small school means everyone knows each other regardless of grade levels.

Place-based Learning

We are the only VSB Mini School with its own building completely separate from its administering school.

Painted lockers

Our unique lockers are designed by our art students. We do not use locks as we promote honesty and trust within our school family.

A Variety of Courses

We offer a range of courses, including unique cross-curricular classes and inquiry-based learning.

Student Clubs

Our student leaders create their own clubs exclusive to our student body.

Participation at SWC

Ideal Mini students also have opportunities to join teams, clubs, and events at Churchill Secondary.

"Ideal Mini School is an amazing place to learn, grow, and develop long-lasting friendships. Our students are hard-working, eager to learn, and always demonstrate kindness to others."

Ernie Pao

Mathematics, Physics, and Educational Technology Teacher

Your dreams, our dreams.

Teachers at Ideal Mini are not only experts in their areas, but treat every student equally with compassion and care.

Our teachers understand that each child is unique and have their own individual needs. We do our best to meet their social-emotional needs as well as bring out their academic potential.

Sajid and Bill at Camp Timberline

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

― Benjamin Franklin​

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