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COMPASS BLOG

True Confessions of an Alternative Educator & The Deal with Classes

True Confessions of an Alternative Educator & The Deal with Classes

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“This course offers an opportunity to participate in a hands-on, experiential laboratory of creative innovation. We will study basic applied physics and structural engineering through the construction of simple and complex machines, examining the principles of buoyancy, flight, propulsion, gravity ...
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Satirical “Back to School” Guide

Satirical “Back to School” Guide

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A note to those who may take offence and feel that we are being overly cheeky with our satirical guide "Back to School" guide: A reminder that while school may have worked out okay for you (even though you would have still been cheering on a snow day), too many young people end up feeling dulled, d ...
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Because society says so.

Because society says so.

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The last 48 hours of my life have been a full-on Elon Musk-fest. I was already interested in Musk because I have read a little about the school he started for his children  so I was primed to be interested. A friend sent me this article, about all of the exciting, extremely innovative things Elon ...
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Why should you support Compass?

Why should you support Compass?

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We have not been proactive in asking for donations in the three years since we opened our doors. Co-founder and Co-director André Morson and I are educators first. The multiple hats we now wear: fundraiser, grant-writer, networker, mentor, graphic designer, writer, teacher have forced us on a steep ...
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Liberated Learners: Growth of a Movement

Liberated Learners: Growth of a Movement

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In each edition of our newsletter, we like to feature someone who is working to further self-directed learning in some aspect. Ken Danford, North Star’s co-founder, writes about how centres like Compass arepart of larger movement in North America that is growing fast.As I shook the hand of ...
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Rule #2: We Don’t Use Erasers

Rule #2: We Don’t Use Erasers

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Written by Compass Volunteer, Sean Hyatt. Sean presides over one of Compass’ most well-attended and well-liked classes. Art class drives our Mondays and gets our week started off on a truly groovy note. Thank you Sean for sharing your love of your craft with our teens. When I think back on my sch ...
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Reluctantly Enthusiastic

Reluctantly Enthusiastic

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Written by Brenda Vellino, Compass parent.Our family found Compass out of necessity. For all the years (JK – Gr 6) that our daughter Sarah had beenin the public school system, she struggled with feel- ing anxious, frustrated, and overwhelmed. Getting evening homework done was often a painful exerc ...
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Compass: The Perfect Fit for Me

Compass: The Perfect Fit for Me

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Written by Compass member, Sarah Vellino:Before Compass I had only ever been in regular school. It was all I ever knew, but it was never quite the right fit for me. For some people stress can be a motivator. It can help them come up with ideas and finish assignments quickly. For me, it is the exact ...
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What Draws Teens to Compass?

What Draws Teens to Compass?

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What draws teens to Compass? Sarah Vellino’s essay explores this in part and a reader might wonder how and why the environment at Compass is so non-judgemental and free from the bullying that occurs in many school environments. Two clues to answer this query can be found in both Sarah’s piece a ...
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Unconventional Music

Unconventional Music

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Written by Manon van Mil, Compass volunteer since January 2014I started teaching Cognitive Science at Compass in January 2014 and now teach three classes and facilitate a Roots & Shoots project. I discovered this opportunity via co-founder and co-director André Morson, who I met on our ...
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