ECSD Spark Academy - New!
The ECSD Spark Academy: Ignite your Creativity. Ignite your Imagination. Ignite Brilliance Within!
The ECSD Spark Academy at Louis St. Laurent School is a technology-enriched program for both junior high and high school students looking to become leaders and innovators of the future. With a focus on problem-solving, designing, innovating, and creating, students will use a variety of applications and technologies to develop foundational and transferable skills that will prepare them for the dynamic jobs of the 21st century. Based around the S.T.E.M. philosophy, students will learn invaluable skills in computers, coding and robotics, CAD and 3D printing, audio/video production, automation, and game theory, while integrating content from various core subject and areas of student choice. Having a customizable, student-centered curriculum allows each student to participate in the design of their learning journey to ensure that their passions and areas of interest are explored. With career planning and entrepreneurialism as a key element of the Spark Academy, students will engage in a variety of community partnership opportunities which can include presentations, field trips, and work experience with some of the leaders in the Alberta tech community. If you are a creative, innovative thinker, looking to solve the problems of tomorrow, then this one-of-a-kind academy is for you.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How many students get in to the Spark Academy?
The Spark Academy has not set a limit for the 2022 academic year, however, the Spark Academy enrollment is on a first come basis and may be limited to specific class sizes due to classroom space and equipment.
2. Is there any exam to get in to the Spark Academy?
No, there are no exams to enter the Spark academy.
3. Do you need specific marks from math and science the previous year?
No, marks are not used as an entrance requirement when joining the Spark academy.
4. Is there a special fee to join the Spark Academy?
Yes, the fee for the Spark Academy is $25.00/month or $250.00 for the year. Note: There may be some additional costs throughout the year for specific field trips.
5. Is it a structured Spark program with teacher-led instruction and student self-directed learning?
The Spark Academy will be a combination of both teacher directed instruction that highlights specific outcomes within a given discipline, and a self-directed component for students to explore their passions and areas of interest through various projects and extension activities.
6. Can you participate in multiple subjects like EAP and the Spark Academy?
Students who register in the EAP program can register in the Spark Academy.
7. Can a student register for more than one academy in a year?
For Junior High, no. Students who register in the Spark program will not be able to register for other academies, nor sign up for regular option classes. For High School, it may be possible for students depending on course requests.
8. Can students take other option classes, like Band, as well as the Spark Academy?
No, Spark academy will be offered at the same time as our school Band program and other option classes.
9. Can you explain what it means when you say option classes?
Option classes, or complementary courses, are specialized areas of instruction relating to career pathways. Options allow students the opportunity to explore their own area of interest by choosing specific classes. Options may include some of the following at Louis St. Laurent: Building Construction, Fashion, Culinary Arts, Drama, Languages, Dance, Robotics, Design, Art, and Band.
10. Can students still take option classes like Design and Foods, for example, as choices if they don’t sign up for the Spark Academy? Or can only access these option classes within the Spark Academy?
Spark will include many aspects of other specialized options classes currently available at Louis St. Laurent. The student projects and self-directed learning will encourage students to explore various career opportunities that extend their learning into multiple disciplines. Students not enrolled in the Spark Academy are free to sign up for any option classes available at Louis St. Laurent.
11. Can you play on sports teams if you are in a sports academy or the Spark Academy?
Yes, students who join any academy will have the opportunity to participate in all school sports and extracurricular activities.
12. Do students take the morning core classes with the same kids as in the Spark Academy in the afternoon?
No, students will be placed in varied core course subject classes during the morning blocks. In the afternoon, during the Spark Academy, they will be together as a cohort.
13. Are the core subjects in the regular program the same as the Spark Academy, or is the Spark Academy more advanced?
The core subjects, math, science, social and english will be at the selected grade level for each student. Students will have the opportunity to choose a stream that suits their own interests and needs; either regular or EAP.
14. I'm interested in robotics, but I'm not the best at Math. Do you think the Spark Academy would still be right for me?
The Spark Academy will help to enhance the fundamentals of core subjects relating to science, math and technology, but you do not need to have math as your strongest subject area to join.
15. Does the High School still have an IB program or has that changed to AP (Advanced Placement)?
All of the IB programming at Louis St. Laurent will transition to the new Advanced Placement starting September 2022.
16. Is the Spark Academy a course or a class in high school, or is it an extracurricular program?
The high school Spark Academy program is a class that will be offered for an entire semester in the mornings.
17. Do Spark Academy high school students receive CALM and RELIGION as part of the course?
Yes, students in the High School Spark Academy program will receive instruction to complete their RELIGION requirements. This course will be integrated into the academy schedule. CALM will be integrated into the Physical Education-10 program.
18. Does Spark academy help students who are thinking of entering an Engineering program?
Yes, the Spark academy will be focusing on applications that relate closely to the engineering and computer science programs. Students who complete the full grade 12 level Spark course may be eligible to use their marks towards a university entrance requirement.
19. Can you drop out of programs like the Spark Academy?
No, students are recommended to remain in a course for the entire academic year unless special circumstances require change.
20. When is the registration deadline for entering the Spark Academy?
No, open registration begins February 11, 2022. Spark Academy enrollment is on a first come basis and may be limited to specific class sizes due to classroom space and equipment. Check the website for more information.
21. Can you join the Spark Academy in any year?
Yes, you can enter at any grade level in both junior high and high school, however, in high School, course prerequisites may be required before moving on to higher level choices within the Spark Academy.