EDITORIAL: Academies pique student’s interest in local high schools

It’s clear many have found academies a good answer to the growing question of how to keep students interested in school.

There are probably numerous reasons why some students lose interest in school once they reach the secondary grade levels.

Their interests are elsewhere; they may find the subject material irrelevant to their lives, they may be more interested in social pursuits, or any combination of those and other factors.

The emergence of school academies in Sooke in a variety of activities appear to be helping keep some students more interested in school and perhaps, more focused on their studies.

What began solely as a way for young athletes to gain more enhanced instruction in traditional sports such as hockey and soccer has branched into such activities as dance, equestrian and golf.

Now, there are those who may believe that academies are a rather elitist way of separating students from each other and somehow promoting the idea that these groups are above the youth who aren’t involved in academies or maybe in school sports at all.

But for those parents willing and able to spend extra money to give their children an opportunity to follow their passion, various benefits may follow for the students.

Such things as increased confidence, better overall fitness and the camaraderie and understanding of teamwork can be positive by-products of such experiences.

Academy programs are certainly not for everyone and should not be seen simply as a way to keep our young people busy. There’s hard work involved and dedication is pretty much mandatory.

But for those who approach it with the intent of learning more about their chosen activity – and themselves – than they otherwise would, it can be a life-changing experience that impacts them for a lifetime.

With more than 700 students in the district enrolled in academies, it’s clear that many people have found them to be a good answer to the growing question of how to keep their students interested in school.