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Catholic or private school?

Catholic or private school?

Catholic vs private schools

Find a list of schools  

Many parents feel that Catholic schools, like other Christian schools,  offer some advantages over public schools. But if you want the best education for your child is Catholic school or private school better? And what are the advantages of each, in a final analysis?

Catholic schools are an appealing alternative to public schools, especially as many of these have been built new in the last ten years, with excellent facilities featuring the latest technology and very up-to-date features. And (for example) in the province of Ontario, the government funds Catholics schools and thus free, as opposed to the high tuition required by private schools.

Private schools have more variety of exciting options for students than ever before. Private schools give children a solid educational foundation with greater involvement in academics and extracurricular activities. In addition, parents are encouraged to participate within the school community and also help with learning at home.

To compare specific schools one-to-one, visit our compare hub. You can also check out our list of private Catholic schools in Toronto, Mississauga, Ottawa, Ontario, Montreal, and Quebec. And if you want to learn about the difference between Catholic and other Christian schools, read our guide.

Advantages of Catholic Schools

Catholic schools participate in the mission of the Church, integrating religious education as a core subject in their curriculum. In many Canadian provinces, Catholic schools are funded by the province and may offer free education.

Catholic schools, whether private or public, profess different educational affiliations while encouraging students' growth in the life of the Church as well as study of doctrine and theology.

Are you required to be Catholic to attend Catholic school?

It is rare that (public or private) Catholic schools require students or their parents to profess the Roman Catholic faith these days. It is usually enough that schools are allowed to teach Roman Catholic doctrine to children.

Which schools have the better resources and academics, Catholic or private?

Arguably, some Catholic schools do not have the resources that private schools have. Also, many of these schools have larger class sizes. In general, private schools focus on smaller class sizes offering a distinct academic advantage. Many private schools focus on academics in a way that is not possible in publicly funded schools. Private schools are able to turn away applicants. This makes them harder to get into, of course, and also results in an improved classroom environment.

Yeah, but private schools just cost more than Catholic Schools

While this is true, investing in a good education reaps lifelong rewards for children.

Most private schools have smaller class sizes and teachers have more time with students. In many cases, private schools offer IB, AP, gifted, or international exchange programs (although there are also Catholic schools offering these courses and programs). Surveys show that private school students have better advancement in their career. The high standard of discipline in private schools is understood.

All private schools also have the following added advantages:

  • High standard of academics
  • Character training
  • A heightened focus on safety and security
  • Some may offer boarding options
  • Stronger focus on music, culture and arts

The community concept in private schools also discourages unacceptable behaviors among the students. The admission process in private schools is strict. This ensures that the standard of students admitted to such schools is high. Today, private schools are a way of life for students who get the opportunity to have new academic and life experiences. Many of the best private schools pride themselves on the diversity and excellent caliber of their students.

There are many private Catholic schools offering all the advantages of both private and Catholic schools. We list them below.

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List of Catholic schools

 
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  School Name Type Cost

Hawthorn School (est. 1989)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Girls/Coed
  • Homestay school
  • Day school
  • Homestay school
Hawthorn School is an all-girls school in Toronto that offers programs from toddler to grade 12. Our unique mentoring program is tailored to each girl to help them reach their full potential. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
  • Liberal Arts
$12,500 to $36,500


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Day Homestay Girls Coed 12500

Villanova College (est. 1999)  

  • King City, Ontario
  • 4 to 12 Coed
  • Day school (550 students)
Villanova College is York Region's only independent Catholic school offering Grades 4 to 12 in King City, Ontario. Average class size is 18 students. Specialty programs include STEM and AP. [View profile]
  • Traditional
$18,000 to $19,500

User
reviews (2)

• User reviews (2)
MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 18000

Guiding Light Academy (est. 2007)  

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • JK to 8 Coed
  • Day school (100 students)
Guiding Light Academy is a Catholic private elementary school in Streetsville, Mississauga. We offer an enriched curriculum for JK, SK and Grades 1 to 8. We are located just minutes away from the Streetsville Go Station. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Halton-Peel
  • Traditional
  • Montessori
$9,500

User
reviews (1)

• User reviews (1)
Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed 9500

Northmount School (est. 1990)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 8 Boys
  • Day school (115 students)
Northmount School offers an enriched curriculum in Catholic education from junior kindergarten to grade eight in Toronto. Its average class size is eight to 15 students. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
  • Liberal Arts
$16,000 to $19,900


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Boys 16000

College Bourget   

  • Rigaud, Quebec
  • PS to 11 Coed
  • Day school (1450 students)
  • Boarding school (100 students)
Collège Bourget is a day & boarding school situated between Montreal & Ottawa, that exceeds Quebec curriculum guidelines & ensures our students grow through different spheres: arts, sports, community service & science. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Montreal
  • Traditional
$4,700 to $35,000


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Coed 4700

Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic School (est. 2000)  

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • NS to 1 Coed
  • Day school (24 students)
Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic School offers programs for various grades in Mississauga. Its average class size is ten to 15 students. [View profile]
  • Montessori
$6,800 to $11,500


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed 6800

De La Salle College (est. 1851)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 5 to 12 Coed
  • Day school (670 students)
De La Salle College is a Catholic, co-educational, university preparatory school in Toronto from grade five to 12, with average class sizes of 22 students and tuition at $14,575. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
$14,575 to $14,875


MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 14575

Holy Name of Mary College School (est. 2008)  

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • 5 to 12 Girls
  • Day school
Holy Name of Mary College School in Mississauga, is an independent Catholic school for girls in grades 5-12 offering an enriched university preparatory programme. The average class size is 12 students. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto, Halton-Peel
  • Progressive
$17,250


MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls 17250

Academie Providence (est. 2002)  

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • Day school (200 students)
Providence Academy is the only Private French Catholic School offering a trilingual program of study in Ontario with classes from nursery to grade eight. Tuition: $8,800-10,300. Extracurricular activities: $600-$650. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Ottawa
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
$8,800 to $10,300


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed 8800

Clear Water Academy (est. 1994)  

  • Calgary, Alberta
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • Day school (440 students)
Clear Water Academy is a private Catholic school that stands ready to meet and expand the minds and passions of some of the brightest students in Calgary, and exchange students from around the world. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Calgary
  • Liberal Arts
$6,775 to $20,000


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 6775

St. Michael's College School (est. 1852)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 Boys
  • Day school (1035 students)
St. Michael's College School offers students in Grades 7-12 an enriched, Catholic, liberal arts education complemented by a diverse co-curricular programme. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
  • Liberal Arts
$19,500


MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys 19500

The Sacred Heart School of Montreal (est. 1861)  

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • 7 to 11 Girls
  • Boarding school (18 students)
  • Day school (230 students)
Since 1861, The Sacred Heart School of Montreal, the city’s only all girls English Catholic high school, has been graduating exceptional leaders. [View profile]
  • Traditional
$16,795 to $52,814


MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls 16795

Athol Murray College of Notre Dame (est. 1920)  

  • Wilcox, Saskatchewan
  • 9 to 12 Coed
  • Boarding school (275 students)
  • Day school (50 students)
Notre Dame is a private, independent co-educational high school with an exceptional educational & boarding experience with a balance of strong academic, athletic and spiritual growth in a safe & caring prairie community. [View profile]
  • Traditional
$10,100 to $49,900


HighSchools Boarding Day Coed 10100

The Priory School (est. 1947)  

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • K to 6 Coed
  • Day school (168 students)
The Priory School offers programs from kindergarten to grade six in Montreal. Its average class size is 12 to 14 students. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Montreal
  • Progressive
$16,475 to $17,920

User
reviews (2)

• User reviews (2)
Elementary Day Coed 16475

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