Grade 8 Changemaker Leadership Academy

Welcome to our Grade 8 Changemaker Leadership Academy! Applications are now closed. 


“It’s like a gap year…”


Our Grade 8 Changemaker Leadership Academy (CLA) is a special full-time, one-year leadership certificate program (at a special reduced tuition rate) for students entering Grade 8. We are looking for students who are already demonstrating kindness and empathy and who enjoy being pushed to reach their personal best among like-minded peers. Through creative project-work, off-campus adventures and plenty of hands-on experiences as leaders, students will build a stronger sense of self, sense of belonging and sense of purpose and leave with the understanding that they can be Changemakers wherever the future takes them.  

This program runs full days (8:30am – 3:30pm) Monday to Friday. Students learn both the Alberta curriculum and our Changemaker curriculum through integrated studies and classroom projects, leadership activities, guest presenters, weekly trips off-campus and outdoor education adventures. CLA students are encouraged to lead younger students often as well as participate in Friday choice clubs including culinary arts and our art and music offerings.

Why Grade 8?

Often our brightest and most kind-hearted leaders find Grade 8 to be an extra challenging year socially and emotionally and can struggle to find their place among the chaos in larger schools.  As for homeschoolers, Grade 8 is often the year many students begin to express a desire for more social interactions with friends, more adventures, and may be interested in trying out a new educational environment for a year.  

We like to call Grade 8 “the renovation year”. If you have ever lived through a kitchen renovation where you are still living in your home, you know that it’s not an easy time for anyone in the family. While you know it will be worth it in the end, you feel out of place, routines go out the window, and it’s incredibly hard to stay organized. It can even be stressful, exhausting and emotional. This is similar to what students in Grade 8 can feel like as their brains change, their bodies change, and their social lives begin to change. No longer a child but not quite a mature teen or young adult, anyone who has been through the early teen years knows that it can be tough! 

However, we also know that, when provided with the right opportunities to engage in healthy risk-taking and further develop their leadership skills, Grade 8 students can surprise us with their relentless passion, a great desire to make a difference, and their vast capacity for entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity. Students will leave this program with a Changemaker Leadership Certificate, friends who are more like family, and life-long memories!