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Looking To Our Future

Courage, Confidence & Passionate Presence!


“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.� ~ Douglas Everett


Please find the following information included in the Urban Academy Strategic Plan:

Our Journey…………………………………………………………………………………………...p.4 Our Essence………………………………………..……………………………………………….…p.5 A Mature Urban Academy………………………………………………………..…………….p.6 Planning Process…………………………………………………………………………………….p.7 Strategic Goals……………………………………………………..………………………………..p.8 Education……………………………………………………………………………………..………..p.9 Finance……………………….………………………………………………………………………..p.11 Community……………..…………………………………………………………………………...p.12 Staff……………………………………………………………………………………..……………...p.13 Governance………………………………………………..……………………………….……….p.14 Advancement……………………………………………………………………………….……...p.15 Facilities..…………………………………………………………………………………….……….p.16 Marketing & Admissions…………………………………………………………….………..p.17 Glossary of Terms…………………………………………………….……………….………….p.18


Urban Academy’s history speaks to what makes it such a special place today. Formed by three founding families who believed that a smaller, community involved school option was needed in the New Westminster area, this non-profit society humbly began in September 2001, with just one teacher and 10 students, Kindergarten to Grade One, in the rented space of Knox Presbyterian Church. The creation of the school was rooted in the belief that creativity, heart and collaboration of individual talents, were key in the success of a school and with sleeves rolled up, the founders began the undertaking. Developing an affordable learning environment that provided the opportunity for teachers to be at their best, included parents as partners in learning, valued the arts and was able to see each child as an individual, was a big vision, yet Urban Academy proved that “if you build it, they will come.” Soon many other parents, staff and students caught the vision and began to share their ideas, talents and hearts. Adopting a growth model of adding one grade at a time, Urban Academy has now grown to over 120 students from JK-Grade 12 and 21 Staff. Additional programs such as Out of School Care, summer camps, clubs and activities are now also offered. The patient, gradual approach taken to growth has allowed the school to maintain the intimacy and flexibility inherent in a smaller school and to develop a leading edge program of excellence in education. Most importantly, Urban Academy is a place where families can be part of a warm, caring and diverse community. Classes now take place in a beautiful 10,000 square foot heritage home, Robson Manor in beautiful Queens Park, purchased in 2006 and upgraded over the years. Leading by example to our students, Urban Academy continues to grow and develop with creativity, heart and the collaboration of the incredible talents of the individuals within our community. We invite you to be part of the wonderful memories and the continued success that will be added to the Urban Academy history.


We are a force for positive change in the world by cultivating courage, confidence and a passionate presence in everything we do.

We will provide an academically rigorous, arts-infused education in a safe and supportive learning community. We will ignite the personal potential of our students and empower them to become compassionate, powerful thinkers and leaders.

We value an educational approach that allows our students to: 

Acquire an outstanding academic foundation and be enthusiastic about continuing their learning

Face challenges with confidence, persistence and creativity

Develop self-awareness and reach their potential artistically, socially & emotionally

Bring compassion to their friendships and their local and global communities

We believe that community is built through the practice of open, supportive, and constructive engagement. Through this we will: 

Maintain a strong and vibrant community

Explore and develop opportunities for community growth and enrichment


Community is the fabric that gives Urban Academy its dynamism. It is a community of students working with one another cross grades, of parents collaborating together in a shared vision and the wider community supporting the creativity that emerges from our school. It is this community that has, and will continue, to propel Urban Academy to its ultimate maturity. As Urban Academy continues to grow, we will not lose or compromise our values. As such, the leadership has established our ultimate school maturity at two classes per grade, or 450 students. Studies show that the close community we have grown to enjoy can be retained in a school of under 500 students. This increased enrollment will allow Urban Academy to continuously expand its program offering and add further resources to the school. It will allow us to increase our size of facility and add the unique programming that we wish our students to have access to. It also supports the growth in our athletics and extra-curricular activities that will further expand our student’s access to sports, clubs and additional learning. The mature school size will allow students to further expand their social circles, and create an even wider network of friendships. Teaching staff will also benefit as they continue to learn from one another and challenge one another in their own professional growth. We are excited about growing into a mature Urban Academy that will not only maintain the strong values of community, but will also offer so much to a growing student body. Thank you for being a part of our growth as we continue to build a legacy of excellence!


The Urban Academy Board has worked hard in creating the vision for the future of the school and the strategy through which we will achieve that vision. Each member brings with them passion, experience and a drive to see Urban Academy truly achieve its potential. Here are our Directors who give much of themselves to continue to grow and build the academy to ensure it is the best possible place for our children today, and those to come in the future.

Deborah McKenzie, Chair Laura Bradley, Vice Chair Laura Drummond, Past Chair Elizabeth Fletcher, Treasurer Jennifer Danielson, Secretary Donna Clarke, Member at Large Ted Hamilton, Member at Large Cheryle Beaumont, Independent Member at Large Brian Drummond, Ex Officio Michael Bouchard, Ex Officio


This 2012-2017 five year strategic plan has been created to achieve goals set in eight strategic areas. The board will work hard to continually assess these goals, while the Head of School, Administration and Staff strive operationally to ensure the overall strategy, as outlined in the plan, is constantly progressing.


We believe that children are capable of greatness, and it is our responsibility to support them and challenge them in their educational career. We are committed to offering academic excellence, and constantly building up our program to ensure our students are met with the most innovative and comprehensive education possible. We will achieve our educational goal through the following objectives:


It is important to continue building Urban Academy as a school that is both accessible and well funded. Through increasing both enrollment and revenue, we can be sure to further enhance programming and ensure the other seven goals of the plan are met as effectively and efficiently as possible. We will achieve our financial goal through the following objectives:


Part of what makes Urban Academy so unique is the diverse and passionate community that includes young and old, students and parents, friends and alumni, neighbours and supporters. Our community is second to none, and we are committed to engaging and fostering positive relationships with this talented and dynamic group. We will achieve our community goal through the following objectives:


A school program can only be as good as the people standing up in front of our students, guiding them and challenging them every day. We value our staff and want to ensure they too are challenged to grow and learn. As we grow, we also wish to add new members to the team who will continue to bolster our programs and offer excellence in education. We will achieve our staffing goals through the following objectives:


Creating a vision and strategic direction for the school is the foundation for a successful organization. Urban Academy’s Board of Directors is committed to offering sound guidance and ensuring the community is kept abreast of the governance of the school. We will achieve our governance goal through the following objectives:


Urban Academy is committed to growing and building our advancement activity to support the current and future goals of the school. By increasing the awareness of advancement and integrating it into various aspects of Urban Academy, we will continue to build upon our solid foundation and support the vision of the school. We will achieve our advancement goal through the following objectives:


As we continue to grow and expand, we will further develop the facilities and infrastructure that our students need to be as successful as possible. We will achieve our facilities goal through the following objectives:


We have spent the last number of years honing in on our program and ensuring it is of the highest quality. Now we are ready to tell the world about it‌ and they are responding. We will ensure Urban Academy continues to build our community with families who share our passion and vision for education. We will achieve our marketing and admissions goals through the following objectives:


In order to be clear in our communication, there are specific terms used in this document that require further clarification. Please see clarification for the italicized terms found throughout the strategic plan. 21st Century Learning Program: A grade by grade plan stating the 21st century skills to be taught. 21st century skills include: real-world problem solving skills, concept-based learning, and technology skills.

Arts-Infused Learning: A process that encourages students to identify connections that transcend disciplines (e.g., language arts, math, science, social studies, and the Fine Arts) and apply their understandings in authentic and creative ways. In this process, concepts in the Fine Arts and other disciplines reinforce one another.

Academic Rigour: When instruction is academically rigorous, students actively explore, research and solve complex problems. Students engage in weighing evidence, considering varying viewpoints, examining assumptions, identifying patterns, evaluating outcomes, and/or assessing value.

Concept-Based Learning: Concept-based teaching involves placing concepts at the center of learning. Concepts are broad and abstract, universal in application, timeless, and can be represented by different examples that share common attributes.

Global Technology Plan: A plan to use a wide range of technology (e.g., Skype, ePals, Voicethread) to connect our students personally with people and cultures from around the world.

Community Service Plan: A plan with strategies laid out to provide JK to Gr. 12 students an opportunity to contribute to their wider community.


101 Third Street New Westminster, BC V3L 2P9 604 524-2211 www.urbanacademy.ca

Courage, Confidence & Passionate Presence!


Urban Academy Strategic Plan