Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What makes Quest Alternative?
    Our size gives us the flexibility and intimacy to vary our approaches to curriculum (6-8 timetables throughout the year), to know our students well and to foster a commitment to group and individual responsibility whether in study habits, academics and large-scale school events. We value a broad based education that might be called liberal arts: math/science/technology, languages, history/geography, health & physical education, the arts. None of these is considered expendable.
  2. Is Quest a school for the gifted?
    No, and we do not consider ourselves a replacement for that program.
  3. Is Quest a re-entry program for students who have been out of school or who have attendance problems?
    No, we do not have the staff to provide the support required for such intense social and academic remediation. These programs exist at the high school level.
  4. What kind of student does well at Quest?
    A student with average and above average grade level abilities in core subjects, a strong work ethic and desire to learn in a variety of ways is the student who will derive the most from, and give the most to the Quest program. Those accustomed to coasting on natural ability and intelligence will struggle until their organizational skills and initiative work in tandem.
  5. Are there extra-curricular sports?
    No, however our Phys. Ed program is vigorous and thorough, and includes soccer, football, volleyball, basketball and baseball, and track & field; in addition we use the local ice rink during the winter for skating and hockey; swimming is also a regular part of the program. Our outdoor education program includes many activities. We have a Tuesday after school sports program for additional recreation.
  6. My daughter/son has been in French Immersion or Extended. How does that work at Quest?
    Our program is a Core French program. It is demanding for all students for the emphasis on the written as well as the spoken word. For those wishing to re-enter the Extended program at the high school level that possibility exists through special application at the receiving secondary school.
  7. Is there Music?
    All students study a wind or string instrument. Percussion is a limited choice. Classes are held twice weekly. They are led by two itinerant teachers who have been at Quest for a total of over 25 years. Previous experience is not necessary. Some students may be required to rent an instrument depending on availability at Quest.
  8. Is there Art?
    Visual art is an important part of the overall program throughout the year. Classes are held in most of the timetables throughout the year. In June one week is devoted to Special Art Week in which guest artists lead small groups of students in variety of activities such as stained glass work, acrylic painting, water colour painting, dance, drama, computer design, mask-making, food design etc. Drama is incorporated into our French and English programs. Student efforts in English are showcased twice yearly at our Winter and Spring Concerts.
  9. Are there excursions during the year?
    Yes, there are three trips annually. We begin at the end of September with our Fall camping trip to Greenwood Conservation Area in the Town of Ajax area where a full academic program is carried out. Each January we travel to Quebec for 5 days of immersion in the French language, the culture & folklore of Quebec and ski/board instruction. In June there are two trips in alternate years. We go to Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula for camping and hiking along the Bruce Trail. Our other trip is to a lakefront camp (Pinecrest) for cabin style camping and instructor led activities such as canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, archery etc. There are costs for the Winter and Spring trips. There is no cost for the Fall trip.
  10. How do Quest students fare at secondary school?
    Our students attend a variety of high schools, from the neighbourhood collegiate to any one of a number of schools with a specialized focus on the arts, athletics or science. Quest students and parents report that they have been prepared for the transition to high school. There is some initial difficulty adjusting to the difference in size but this soon passes. Quest students bring a background of personal organization, initiative and academic readiness to their new setting, often assuming leadership roles in student government and other aspects of school life.