When CDCI West closed, the building was put up for sale and it was bought by Jeff Weng who operates William Academy in Scarborough and will open a second Campus in this building in September. He plans to have 50 students to start – 30 international and 20 local. To encourage local students, he is offering 20 scholarships which will cover students as long as they stay at the school. To start it will be primarily grades 11 & 12 but will accept from grades 9 to 12. The idea is that both international and local students will benefit from mixing with each other. Jeff already operates the successful Scarborough campus but both he and the students like Cobourg so he wants this campus to expand to maybe 300 students.
A Principal (Anne-Louise Power – photo below) is in place and teachers are being hired or will operate in both school locations. The building is ideally suited as a school since it was built for that purpose although there have been extensive renovations. There are 3 gymnasiums including one that has been set up as a media room and during the open house on Saturday May 19, it was providing funky entertainment. The top floor classrooms have been converted into dormitories and can accommodate up to 80 students. Expansion will require off-campus accommodation but all students would get meals provided by the school and be bussed by the school every day.
Jeff was keen to demonstrate the security system with 60 high definition cameras throughout the school. He said that security is a major focus.
Students are expected to come from a range of countries – the mix in 2017 was:
- One-third Vietnamese
- One-third Chinese
- Others from Brazil, Afghanistan and Mexico.
Fees are significantly lower than the more elite Trinity school in Port Hope – details are available on the school’s web site. Owner Jeff Weng and Director Louis Sacco (photos below) said that they are aiming for a more balanced group. All students are expected to go to a University after graduation – the school actively helps with that, it achieves an acceptance rate of 96%.
Below is a video from their web site which emphasizes the Cobourg campus and the benefits offered. Although the school was not fully operational in 2017, students came from Scarborough for various events. The video is as much a promotion of Cobourg as it is of the school. It also explains how the Asian approach to school of discipline, a passion for learning and hard work mixes with the Canadian joie de vivre, creative and analytic approach so that the diverse cultures learn from each other. Living in Cobourg is seen as a benefit for International students and mixing with international students is a benefit for Canadian kids.
Cobourg has already given students and staff a warm welcome and Jeff commented that he had noticed.
Video from William Academy Web site