While academic success is the number one priority at SAC, learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom. Everything a boy does at St. Andrew’s is a part of the “Complete Man” mission of the School. Whether it’s achieving good grades, making a new friend, scoring a touchdown, getting the lead in a school play, or exercising leadership skills, we approach every moment of a boy’s life as an opportunity to grow to become the "well-rounded citizen." Student life is created through the multitude of engagements offered, but it is also about the brotherhood that is formed among housemates, classmates, and teammates. It is about the mentoring that goes on between faculty and student, coach and player, head of house and resident. It is about the cherished traditions that have been created since the School's inception in 1899.
A boy can arrive in Middle School not knowing anybody and leave several years later with friends who span the globe. Whether he is Canadian or from overseas, he will understand what being an Andrean is, and the more he involves himself in co-curricular activities and leadership opportunities while he is here, the richer his memories will be when he leaves.
Arts Co-Curricular Plus (ACPlus)
ACPlus is a program built into our school schedule that gives Upper School students the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of activities that allow them to explore their interests, develop their passions, and broaden their experiences. Students may choose up to two different activities each term in a wide array of programming ranging from art and music to communication and coding. Activities have included, but are not limited to ceramics, rock band, university survival cooking, robotics, and Model UN.
Clan Events and Spirit Days
In both the Upper and Middle Schools several events encourage camaraderie between students and foster school and house spirit. These Clan events consist of friendly competitions between houses and range from traditional competitions like the Cross-Country Run to newer events such as the annual Shad River race, inter-house sports competitions, our highland games, and SpringSmash festivities to name a few. All of these activities garner points for each house/clan, and ultimately determine the winner of the H.B. Housser Cup and the Thomas A. Hockin Trophy in the Upper School and Middle School respectively for the best house/clan.
Upper School advisory period occurs formally every Tuesday from 11:30-12:00 p.m. Advisory is an opportunity for students to get together with their advisor in small groups to discuss a pre-determined topic or issue relevant to adolescent development. Study skills, course selection, and university guidance are also a regular part of the advisor-advisee relationship.
Aside from the formal advisor period, the advisor-advisee relationship is further enhanced through informal meetings outside the formal advisory period. Duty teachers have additional opportunities to connect with advisees who are boarding students when on duty in the residences. The relationship extends further into dinners and lunches with an advisor and his/her advisees.
Prefectship at St. Andrew’s represents the most prestigious position of student leadership at the College. Prefects go through a very rigorous selection/election process and the Prefect announcement is one of the most exhilarating and emotional days of the school year.
Student heads of house follow a similar election process in each of our eight Upper School houses. While Prefects serve in an ambassadorial role in the School, heads of house serve as the student leaders of each house and work alongside the faculty heads in the running of day-to-day activities and management of their residence/day house.
Both Prefects and heads of house play a significant leadership role and have responsibilities in helping manage the School. In particular, they serve as role models who are available to all students, help run Chapel, and serve as spirit and school life facilitators.
Student Leadership Councils and Other School Leadership
St. Andrew’s has one of the most extensive leadership development programs in the country with approximately 200 formal positions of leadership available to students in their high school years alone. The world needs leaders and SAC is the training ground.
This leadership can be in one of our 13 different formal student leadership councils focused on student life, arts and culture, philanthropy and community service, character development, school service, or residential life. To earn these positions, students must apply and undergo a formal interview process with the faculty supervisor of each council. Successful candidates will serve on these councils for one year and must re-apply each year.
In addition, leadership can involve working with younger students in a mentorship role - Middle School and Macdonald House Captains - and through our formal leadership, band, and the cadet program.
Many students take part in our expansive student-led club program in the Upper School, and these groups provide yet another opportunity for students to demonstrate leadership. These groups are completely run by students and meet weekly or bi-weekly and allow students who have similar interests get together and explore their passions in a particular area. While the subject of student-led groups changes periodically, past clubs have ranged from supporting Operation Smile to aerospace and entrepreneurship.
At St. Andrew’s we believe that boys need to be judged by the quality of their character and that bullying and harassment of any kind cannot be tolerated. The adage “Boys will be Boys” does not apply when it comes to issues of bullying or harassment.
The Mutual Respect program provides a formal mechanism to deal with these issues and resolve them in such a way that the negative behaviour stops, the victim feels better about their place in the School, and the learning experience for the antagonist is structured and consistent. Students who are harassed can seek remediation through “Informal Resolution,” “Mediated Discussion,” or “Formal Investigation.”
Mutual Respect helps to contribute to the positive learning environment at the School.
PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE
Jamie Inglis, Coordinator of Student Life, explains that the School is philosophically motivated to provide students with opportunities to participate. This philosophy is embodied in the School’s mission statement, “The development of the complete man, the well-rounded citizen.”
St. Andrew’s is more than a university prep school — we prepare boys for life beyond the classroom, through participation in sports, arts, clubs, activities, and a host of leadership opportunities…and more.
Our goal is to foster the development of leadership skills, responsibility, and social awareness, whether it’s through academic, athletic, or co-curricular pursuits. At St. Andrew’s, boys have every opportunity to pursue new challenges and discover new passions they’ve never dreamed of. For our students, this is an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime experience.