Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School

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Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School
Sts logo.jpg
Okotoks, Alberta, T1S 1A2
Coordinates 50.7751092,-114.0329038,
School type Private/Independent
Motto Nil Nisi Optimum
(Nothing but your best)
Founded 1971
Status Open
Headmaster Dr. William Jones (September 2007)
Director of Admission Lydia J. Hawkins
Grades 1–12
Enrollment 714
Average class size 23
Classes offered Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics, Design, Art, Drama, Music, Band, French as a Second Language, Spanish as a Second Language, Classics, Outdoor Education, Film Studies
Medium of language English
Language English (Spanish, French and Latin available for second language)
Hours in school day 6 hours, 35 minutes
Campus Rural
Campus size 0.81 KM (0.31 Miles)
Area Foothills of the Rocky Mountains
Colour(s) Green, Blue, White             
Athletics Track & Field, Basketball, Rugby, Field Hockey, Volleyball
Mascot Spartacus the Spartan
Nickname Strath, STS,
Team name Spartans
Rival West Island College, Rundle College, Webber Academy
School fees $19,253,934 (2016)
Revenue $21,172,780 (2016)
Alumni Dan Hays '54, Nick Graham '76, Shannon Bowen-Smed ’82, Jill Nation ’70, Justice Rosemary Nation ’71, Albert Schultz ’81, Jamie Clarke ’86, Dave Pierce ’90, Judd Palmer ’90, Craig Adams ’95, Heather Gilley ’78, Harvey Locke ’75, James Cross '80, Ryan Harris '90, Alim Mitha '93, Mark Alexander '82, Susan Elliott '89, Robert-Falcon Ouellette '95

Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School is a Canadian private school in Okotoks, Alberta, just outside Calgary. It has students in grades 1 to 12. Its grade 12 provincial exam scores are consistently some of the most highly ranked in the province, along with Old Scona of Edmonton.[1] Strathcona-Tweedsmuir is Southern Alberta’s first full IB World School, and Alberta’s only independent school authorized to deliver IB Programmes in Grades 1 through 12.[2] Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School ranks well in the annual Fraser Institute surveys.[1] Strathcona is also an active participator in the CESI (Canadian Educational Standards Institute) program, and often volunteers teachers for inter-school evaluatory interaction. STS is also a member of Round Square and CAIS (Canadian Association of Independent Schools).


The school opened in September 1971 as the result of the amalgamation of two of Calgary’s oldest independent schools – Strathcona School for Boys (founded 1929) and Tweedsmuir: An Academic School for Girls (founded 1959). St. Hilda’s School (1889–1905) preceded Tweedsmuir School for Girls (1905–1949).[3] In 2003, seven students from the school were killed in an avalanche in British Columbia while on a skiing trip.[4]

Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School has an Outdoor Education program involving various outdoor activities, typically a different activity each year for Grade 4s and up. Grade 10 students can take OE15, a class with several outdoor trips, as an elective.[5][6] STS provides laptops to students from Grades 6 to 12. STS also utilizes Smart Boards.[citation needed]

Educational divisions[edit]

  • Elementary School: Composed of Grades 1 through 6, the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School Elementary School is an active participator in the PYP (primary years program), or the developmental IB program, optional preparatory course, designed to enable students to develop the skills necessary to continue into the rigorous MYP and IB programs in later years at the school. Currently headed by Ms. Sharon Gibson.
  • Middle School: Composed of Grades 7 though 9, The Middle School is designed to continue the lessons learned in PYP (see "Primary School"), into the MYP. Headed currently by Mr. Cole Carlson.
  • Senior School: Composed of Grades 10 through 12, the Senior School is a fully certified participator in the IB program, and consistently delivers some of the highest scores across the province on the diploma exams, and enriched course material. Currently headed by Mr. Trevor Julian.

IB and Alberta curriculum[edit]

At STS, students take mandatory standardized provincial tests in Grades 3, 6, 9 and 12.

For Grade 11 and 12, students have the option between full IB Diploma, a mix of IB and Alberta Diploma or just Alberta Diploma. All students, including full IB students are required to write the standardized Alberta Diploma Exams.

STS is authorized to offer Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and IB Diploma.[7] The IB Diploma courses include Biology HL, Biology SL, Chemistry HL, Chemistry SL, Economics HL, Economics SL, English A1 HL, French Ab. SL, French B SL, History HL, Mathematics SL, Physics SL, Spanish Ab. SL, Spanish B SL, Theatre Arts SL and Theory of Knowledge.[7]

Student Life[edit]


Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School places high value on athletics. Students can participate in solo sports like long distance running, short distance running, golf, javelin, shot-put, high jump, and long jump, or team sports like badminton, basketball, field hockey, rugby, and volleyball.[8]

Speech & Debate[edit]

STS offers speech and debate clubs to all students from grade 7-12 and requires that all students grade 7-12 participate in a speaking event each year in March.

Notable alumni[edit]

2017 Expansion[edit]

In late 2015, Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School announced an expansion of the school that began in the summer of 2016. The new facilities will include a new elementary wing, new fine arts spaces, and new performing arts spaces.[10]


  1. ^ a b The Fraser Institute – Report Cards – School Performance
  2. ^ "IB World School". Retrieved 29 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "History of STS". Strathcona Tweedsmuir School. Retrieved December 16, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Seven Teenage Skiers Are Killed In British Columbia Avalanche". Agence France-Presse. 3 February 2003. Retrieved 20 January 2017 – via The New York Times. 
  5. ^ "Senior High – Physical Education". Strathcona Tweedsmuir School. Retrieved December 16, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Outdoor Education". Strathcona Tweedsmuir School. Retrieved December 16, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b IB Organization – School Statistics
  8. ^ "Student Life - Athletics - Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School". Retrieved 2017-03-05. 
  9. ^ Notable Events in JOE BOXER History
  10. ^ "Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School - New Facilities - Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School". Retrieved 2017-03-04. 

External links[edit]