Have you ever driven by Opus Academy, located at the south end of Dunbar Street near West 41 Avenue, and wondered what takes place there?
Opus Academy was founded in 2004 by the school’s director Janette Lim, and was created to serve the growing need for enrichment education for students of all ages and skill levels.
“This school is my baby. It is my passion to help develop students’ potential by providing enrichment learning outside of school.” Janette Lim
Janette is an ardent supporter of education. After arriving in Canada 25 years ago from the Philippines she taught ESL at community centres and also tutored. She has earned three degrees: a Doctor of Education from Pepperdine University in Educational Leadership & Administration, a Master of Education from University of Calgary in teaching & Learning and a MBA from Queens University.
During her time teaching she received feedback from parents and discovered there was a lack of good enrichment programs.
Janette set out to create an enrichment program for students to enhance their academic performance, increase their self-confidence and develop a lifelong love of learning.
“Dunbar is a great location because we are situated between two of Vancouver’s top private schools as well as a number of great public schools,” Janette says.
Opus Academy has a number of small classrooms, which are perfectly sized for the low student to teacher ratio. Janette points out classes can either be one on one or can accommodate a maximum of four students.
Janette remarks, “Most of the families we work with live on the city’s west side so it is very convenient for them. All instruction is in English. Classes begin at 4:00 p.m. on weekdays and the school is also open on weekends. While some students attend once a week others come up to three times a week for different programs.”
Students range from four to twenty year olds although the majority of Opus’ students are teenagers. Some university students also attend to seek help with their studies.
One of the classrooms is dedicated to the Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY) developed by Stanford University in California. This program focuses specifically on Math (for kindergarten to university aged students) and English (Grades 2 to 10). Opus Academy is the only location in Vancouver where you will find this special program.
The courses use a variety of technologies to provide gifted students with a multifaceted, highly individualized learning environment. Students who show ready mastery move quickly through a course, while slower learners receive the attention they need.
EPGY courses are taught in a real classroom with face-to-face tutors who are available while the students are working on the computer-based curriculum. Qualified instructors monitor student performance and provide tutorial support.
Another of Opus Academy’s most popular programs is Communication Arts, which teaches students the art of public speaking, speech arts and drama to develop students’ creativity and speaking skills.
Janette says, “There are so many success stories. We have seen students flourish in this program. Our goal is to train students of all ages to speak and perform with confidence and empower them for a lifetime of success in their personal and professional lives.”
Opus Academy has a team of 10 teachers who are either B.C. certified teachers or hold Master’s degrees. In addition, four administrators round out the staff.
“Our teachers and administrative staff are our greatest assets. They take good care of the students and their parents by offering personalized care.” Janette Lim
Janette oversees planning and management. As well, she manages the Academy’s university counselling program. She has an incredible amount of knowledge to share as she has visited many of Canada and the United State’s top universities.
She is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counselling in addition to the Independent Education Consultants Association. She shares her knowledge to guide students through the complex application process to gain admission to American and United Kingdom universities.
She says, “Over 26 per cent of high achieving students in the U.S. use an educational consultant for this purpose. American universities look at grades, extracurricular activities and leadership qualities. My goal is to help find the best fit for the student and to make their application stand out.”
Opus Academy’s test preparation programs sharpen students’ skills to reach or even exceed their goals. Janette says, “Our students have seen great improvement in their scores; this helps them to achieve their admission goals.”
Opus Academy offers both spring and summer camp programs. If you are interested in these camps or any of the programs, contact the school to make an appointment to learn more.
In a world where technology is causing people to lose focus and attention spans are running short, Janette and her team encourage students to get back to the basics by spending more time reading and writing. It’s all about maximizing one’s potential in a competitive world while at the same time learning from people who teach with their hearts.
5635 Dunbar Street
Vancouver, BC V6N 1W5