A Student Perspective

In 2009, Equinox Holistic Alternative School opened its doors. I was in SK and my sister entered grade four. I didn’t want to leave my mom, but my first teacher, Sandee, had my back. She is a special teacher who still teaches our kindies. She was very aware of my worries and worked hard to calm me and make sure my first school experience was a great one. My sister had Marcia for grade four. Marcia was loving, kind, fiercely intelligent and creative – A perfect fit for my sister and what she needed.

Equinox is a school that works hard to ensure that children are taught in a way that embraces equity and inclusivity. Our school fosters a love of learning, an excitement to discover new things and dive deep. Our teachers understand the enormous benefit to meditation, yoga and qigong. We start our mornings with these practises and it clears our minds to allow us to focus on each new day.

Our school is always ready to explore paths of learning. For example, We take part each year in the p.i.n.e. project. This outdoor learning is rich and expansive. We incorporate our p.i.n.e. learning into our school room lessons. A teaching in wilderness survival may also become a geography report, an art project or even develop math skills!

My sister finished grade 8 at Equinox just under four years ago, and has been extremely successful in the IB programme of advanced academics. She is about to graduate from grade twelve with honours. Equinox prepared her well for her path. I am in my grade 8 year. I’ve spent my childhood educational years solely at Equinox, surrounded by an amazing community, caring staff and supportive teachers that I can count on. I’ve learned from Deborah, Sandee, Steve, Marcia, and now also Kyle and Madame Tera.

In the past year and a half Madame Tera has been helping with student council and has provided us with student leadership opportunities. I am so grateful to have these opportunities as I know it helps me grow as a student and have the courage to speak my ideas. I have learned through leadership training how to better work with others, How to express myself, and that we all can contribute to positive change. I’ve even been one of the first students in Toronto to bring a Service Dog to school! — and here she was greeted with open arms!

I have had more than a solid academic experience in Equinox — one that is holistic — and as we say here includes head, hands and heart. I am sad that my time at Equinox is almost at an end — but I know that I have been nurtured to be an environmental steward, to love and seek knowledge and truth, to live a balanced life, follow my passion and for me — to be a global leader.

Gwyneth - Grade 8 Student Speech on January 24, 2018 at the Equinox's Open House