Blyth Academy Thornhill Alumni Profile

Mitch M. - Alumnus, Blyth Academy Thornhill

Mitch. M

Graduating year: 2016
School: University of Guelph
Major: Political Science

I graduated in 2016. I am currently taking Political Science at the University of Guelph. I am working on two big exciting projects. I’ve been invited to give a Ted Talk X speech at York University, not a set date yet but I’m told it’ll likely happen in February. If not then, then in March. The topic is self-advocacy, particularly for chronically ill medical patients such as myself. I’ve already written it and am very excited to share it with the world. The other big thing that’s going on is my plan to publish the medical blogs I’ve been writing since 2011. They’ve been compiled into a memoir. It’s already finished, now I’m working with a professional writer to make a pitch to a publisher. I remember back in 2012 I submitted a few chapters in an assignment for the creative writing class when it was still just a blog.

On the not so great side of things I’m only able to take one university course at a time right now, unfortunately, my constant pain has been worsening. My marks are still high though at least, so law school is still the plan.

When it comes to Blyth Academy I think the greatest thing is that it allows you to get out of it what you put into it. It provides an encouraging space to learn and grow while removing inherent disadvantages from unfortunate situations as much as possible. For example, someone with pain-induced insomnia like myself could do their very best in a public school and still fail because of the rigid schedules. The flexibility at Blyth Academy lets you find the best program to suit your needs so that the only factor is your brain and your effort rather than your illness whether it be physical, mental, or a learning disorder. It also gives the option for private classes for those who work more effectively in a one on one dynamic. Whatever your need, Blyth Academy is a great choice and I’m forever thankful to them for helping me graduate with high hard-earned grades and making it to university well prepared.

Though our physical doors remain temporarily closed, the minds of our students stay open. Summer classes are continuing to meet on their regular daily schedules, in virtual classrooms with face-to-face instruction and peer interaction.  The Blyth Academy model of small class sizes, flexible scheduling and individualized approach have enabled us to remain faithful to our standards. Our commitment to ongoing and meaningful communication between school, teachers, students and families has been critical to this effort.

Although our students have transitioned into summer mode and COVID-19 restrictions have begun to loosen, we are looking ahead to what September will hold for our campuses and families.
We want to be clear - our preference and our priority is to get students back to our campuses, but we must ensure this is done in a safe and effective way. While we await official guidance from Public Health and the Ministry of Education, a "return to school" task force has been hard at work putting concrete operational plans in place for all likely scenarios. This includes a full return to campus with safeguards, a blended model of virtual and in-campus learning and the continuation of fully virtual classrooms. All scenarios will provide robust learning and live, daily instruction and interaction with teachers and peers. 
With ten campuses across Ontario, we realize that each one of our schools is a unique space and community. We will be implementing across-the-board policies on hand washing, facility cleaning and social distancing measures. Each school is also prepared to pivot individually based on the guidance of local health authorities and to best serve students and families. 
Our recent survey showed that over 80 per cent of Blyth Academy families are eager to return to campuses, and we are hard at work to prepare for this day. As September's scenario becomes clearer and more information becomes available, we will continue to communicate. 

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