School Spotlight: The Study

The Study is a Canadian private education all-girls school in Westmount that was founded in 1915. Both an elementary and secondary school, their enriched curriculum, exceptional bilingual learning environment and positive atmosphere of mental, physical and emotional balance nurtures each girl's capacity to be academically successful and well-rounded. MList was excited to chat with their Head of School, Nancy Sweer, and find out all about student life and the exceptional faculty at The Study.

Tell us about your school’s mission.

Our mission is to guide every girl in reaching her highest potential. We make it our priority to understand their passions, know them well, instill a love for learning, and we hope to help them develop leadership qualities and be great women in the local and global world.

What is student life like for a Study girl?

We have a lot of clubs, which are proposed by students themselves, and they involve everything from sports clubs to debating, music, dance, art, you name it! It runs the gamut wherever the girls’ passions lie. We’re fortunate to have a variety of staff members who also have a variety of passions themselves, and each staff member is responsible for creating activities for the girls.  

Do the students do any traveling?

We have the Ivy League tour to visit Ivy League schools as well as team-building trips at the beginning of the year. We also have a sister school in Nicaragua, and every other year our school goes there and teaches their students English, science and entrepreneurial skills.

How is technology playing a role at The Study?

We have clubs in robotics, and courses in coding as well as electronics. We changed our curriculum a little bit and started teaching coding as early as in kindergarten. Technology plays a very prominent role, but it’s not just the technology for technology’s sake. It’s about the application.

Do you teach students about cyber safety?

Absolutely. Whenever our IT director gives out technology equipment at the beginning of the year, she gives an hour-long presentation on the advantages and perils of social media and using technology inappropriately. We really embrace and encourage digital citizenship.

We also host events for parents where they learn about social media and its impact on their children. Sometimes parents don’t know exactly what site is appropriate or not, and our IT department is very up-to-date on what’s new and trendy. We really keep up on that. It’s important for parents to know what that is.

How do you educate your staff?

The teachers engage in a lot of professional development. They they have their professional goals for the year and their personal passions as well. And within the context of the school we have peer professional development – development for each other in terms of best practices, leadership and mindfulness. All these things are very important. And I, as the leader, attend conferences throughout the year and bring back information that is of great value to the teachers.

We understand overall wellbeing is important at The Study. Tell us about that.

We’re very concerned about student wellness. We recently had a student survey where we asked them many questions, some of which had to do with wellness in the school and how we can help with that wellness. We bring people in to do yoga or Zumba classes for the entire school. We have a wonderful new school counsellor, and two counsellors in total – one in elementary and one for the senior school. And it’s as much about wellness of our teachers – that is a big deal for us as well.