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Gifted education in Canada

The Our Kids guide to gifted schools and programs in Canada



Finding the right program for your gifted child can be daunting.

Our guide is meant to help. We cover the different kinds of gifted programs offered by private schools in Canada and discuss the many issues parents face when selecting a program. We then provide a comprehensive list of schools with gifted programs and tools for comparing those schools by their program offerings.




Quick summary:


  • Giftedness can be hard to detect. In fact, gifted children often do poorly in school before their need for more stimulating work is spotted. Abilities can also change over time, so parents need to stay on top of their child’s performance. Psychoeducational testing is the gold standard for identifying gifted learners.

  • Gifted children can’t “make it on their own.” They can’t be treated like just any other student. If they aren’t properly challenged or stimulated, they often disengage from school.

  • There are two main ways to support gifted students in the classroom. (1) Dedicated gifted programs are self-contained classes or schools where students learn alongside other gifted ones. (2) In-class adaptations, on the other hand, enrich or accelerate studies in one or more subjects for an individual student. The adaptations can be offered in a regular class—alongside regular learners—or in a dedicated gifted program.

  • The right kind of support will depend on a student’s learning abilities, social needs, and other factors. Often, students who are either highly or profoundly gifted, gifted in only one subject, or gifted in some subjects and weak in others will need some kind of in-class adaptation.

  • Public school boards are required by provincial law to support gifted students, although the boards can choose who qualifies for that support and what the support looks like. Private schools, on the other hand, are under no obligation to offer gifted programs. It’s up to parents to determine whether a school is capable of, or willing to, support gifted students. Many private schools don’t. But private schools that do have gifted programs can be ideal choices.

  • We list private schools with gifted programs on this site, and provide tools for comparing those schools. Moreover, our parent discussion forum allows you to discuss options and get answers to your questions.



The Our Kids podcast: what might surprise you about giftedness







 
Gifted students have very advanced learning abilities in one or more core subjects.


These are self-contained gifted schools, where 100% of the students are gifted. Teachers and staff can focus on tailoring the environment to gifted students, without compromise.

 
School NameTypePaceCost

Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E (est. 1993)

  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • 1 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (300 students)
Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E. is a private school for intellectually gifted students in Richmond Hill, Ontario, from grades 1 to 12. Tuition is $12,000. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Accelerated$12,500

Bishop's College School (est. 1836)

  • Sherbrooke, Quebec
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (60 students)
  • Boarding school (190 students)
Bishop's College School is an English boarding and day school for students in grades 7 through 12. Small in size and culturally diverse, BCS is a member of RoundSquare and offers an ESL program and AP courses. [View profile]
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
Standard-enriched$18,200 to $55,800

Hampshire Country School (est. 1948)

  • Rindge, New Hampshire
  • 3 to 12 (Boys)
  • Boarding school (25 students)
A friendly, active boarding school for bright boys who have good intentions but who may be too impulsive, intense, or bothersome for other schools and whose intellectual interests may separate them from their peers. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
Student-paced$56,200

Madrona School Society (est. 1993)

  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • K to 10 (Coed)
  • Day school (120 students)
Madrona School Society is a gifted school in Vancouver. It offers programs for kindergarten to grade nine with an average class size of six to 14 students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Student-paced$18,000 to $21,000

Glenburnie School (est. 1985)

  • Oakville, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (150 students)
Glenburnie School, Oakville, offers enriched, child-centred, responsive, academic programs from Pre-K through Grade 8. Class sizes range from 8 to 18 students depending on grade level. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Student-paced$8,950 to $17,800

Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc (est. 1954)

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Girls)
  • Day school (108 students)
In our all-girls environment, academic achievement in both official languages is the norm. A Joan of Arc Academy bilingual education prepares the women leaders for the challenges of tomorrow. Come and see the difference. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$14,825

Wheatley School (est. 1986)

  • St. Catharines, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (170 students)
Wheatley School offers programs from nursery to grade eight in St. Catharines. Its average class size is 15 students. [View profile]
  • Montessori
  • International Baccalaureate
Student-paced

Prestige School - Richmond Hill Campus (est. 2003)

  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school
The Prestige School offers programs from pre-school to grade eight in Richmond Hill. Its average class size is ten students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Accelerated$9,500

King's College School: International Schools for Bright and Gifted Children (est. 1994)

  • Caledon, Ontario
  • 3 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (48 students)
King's College School: International Schools for Bright and Gifted Children offers programs for grades three to 12 in Caldeon. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched

St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School (est. 1891)

  • Oakville, Ontario
  • Preschool to 12 (Girls)
  • Day school (550 students)
Oakville's SMLS continues to be a premier independent school for girls Preschool to Graduating Year since 1891. "Millie" graduates take on the world with confidence and the knowledge that they can do anything. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$9,000 to $26,300

Dearcroft Montessori School (est. 1968)

  • Oakville, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (170 students)
Offering Montessori programs from Preschool to Grade 8, Dearcroft is accredited by CCMA and staffed by great teachers. Tuition starts at $5,900. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Student-paced$7,750 to $19,200

Wishing Well Schools (est. 1978)

  • Markham, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (220 students)
Wishing Well Schools offers enriched programs from 18 months to Grade 8 in Markham. Montessori program from 18 months to 6 years old, advanced academic program from Grade 1 to 8. [View profile]
  • Traditional
  • Montessori
Accelerated$12,370 to $12,620

Prestige School - Toronto Campus (est. 2003)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (210 students)
Prestige School offers programs from junior kindergarten to grade 12 in Toronto. Its average class size is 10 to 18 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Accelerated

Robbins Hebrew Academy (est. 1957)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (360 students)
Robbins Hebrew Academy (RHA) teaches students to think critically and globally, in a community that builds self-esteem and life-long character. RHA is Toronto’s first Jewish school to be CAIS accredited. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
Standard-enriched

North Broward Preparatory School (est. 1957)

  • Coconut Creek, Florida
  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (900 students)
  • Boarding school (330 students)
North Broward Preparatory School is a K-12 co-educational day and boarding school located in S. Florida located minutes from the beach with IB, AP, and LD classes set on 80 acres with year round hockey. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
Accelerated$24,200 to $58,000

The Abelard School (est. 1997)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (50 students)
Founded in 1997, the Abelard School is a small private high school located in downtown Toronto. It offers small class sizes and an enriched, integrated curriculum. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
Accelerated$20,000

These schools have a separate, dedicated class (or classes) where 100% of the students are gifted. These gifted classes can be either full-time or part-time, and exist in parallel to regular, non-gifted classes.

 
School NameTypePaceCost

Wildwood Academy (est. 2002)

  • Oakville, Ontario
  • 2 to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (60 students)
Wildwood Academy is a special needs private school in Oakville. It offers programs from grades 2 to 8, with an average class size of four to ten students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Student-paced$24,000

St. Michaels University School (est. 1906)

  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • K to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school
  • Boarding school
Independent K-12 boarding & day school in Victoria, BC, Canada focusing on university prep. Find out how a SMUS education can benefit your family. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$17,235 to $61,590

Kendellhurst Academy (est. 2004)

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (270 students)
Kendellhurst Academy Private School is located in Streetsville, Mississauga for students preschool to grade 8. We offer daily French language, weekly martial arts/tai chi and yoga classes, an organic menu and much more! [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$11,500 to $15,540

The Thinnox Academy (est. 2014)

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school
  • Boarding school
The Thinnox Academy is a Mississauga private high school with a focus on technology, engineering and design. Graduates stand out from their peers when applying into University or College. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Student-paced$10,017 to $12,320

Westside Montessori School (est. 2008)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (80 students)
An authentic, CCMA accredited Montessori School located in downtown Toronto, offering programs for Toddlers, Casa and Elementary children. [View profile]
  • Montessori

The Dragon Academy (est. 2001)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 6 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (75 students)
Dragon Academy is the right fit for gifted students, grades 6 to 12. Dragon's small, discussion-based classes go beyond the classroom into our world-class city . An inclusive, exciting, can't wait to get there school. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
Accelerated$20,500 to $26,500

Century Private School (est. 1994)

  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
Century Montessori Schools in Richmond Hill runs from preschool to grade twelve, with class sizes as low as 12 students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Montessori
Student-paced$8,400 to $26,800

Académie Westboro Academy (est. 1993)

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (160 students)
Westboro Academy is a truly bilingual school serving JK-grade 8 students in the national capital region. We provide an exceptional education, in a community-focused and nurturing environment. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$13,410 to $14,333

The Junior Academy (est. 1988)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (100 students)
The Junior Academy offers programs for junior kindergarten to grade eight in Toronto. Its average class size is 12 to 14 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$18,000 to $22,500

Heritage Academy of Learning Excellence (est. 1989)

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (115 students)
Heritage Academy is an Ottawa private school that is designed for students with DYSLEXIA, ADD/ADHD and similar learning exceptionalities. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$14,000 to $15,500

Ellington Montessori School (est. 1990)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (225 students)
Ellington Montessori School, in Toronto, offers pre-school to eight grade individualized education since 1990. Small class sizes, lead by dedicated staff ensure that your child's needs are met. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Student-paced$7,900 to $14,000

Niagara Christian Collegiate (est. 1932)

  • Fort Erie, Ontario
  • 6 to 12 (Coed)
  • Boarding school
Niagara Christian Collegiate offers both middle school and secondary school programs from Grades 6-12. Graduating students achieve top university placements around the world. We accept both day and boarding students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched

Glenn Arbour Academy (est. 2005)

  • Burlington, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (125 students)
Our belief is that an exciting, challenging curriculum,combined with a supportive, nurturing educational environment enhances the student's ability to develop the positive attitude "I can do it!" [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$13,400

Taddle Creek Montessori School

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (125 students)
Taddle Creek Montessori provides an authentic Montessori education for children ages 2.5 to 12 years old in the Annex. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Student-paced$11,800 to $17,300

Shawnigan Lake School (est. 1916)

  • Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia
  • 8 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (60 students)
  • Boarding school (440 students)
Shawnigan Lake School is the largest boarding school in Canada. Located in Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island, we offer a comprehensive program to 500 young men and women in grades 8-12. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$25,500 to $61,200

Bishop Hamilton Montessori School (est. 1983)

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (185 students)
Bishop Hamilton Montessori School is a Christian Montessori school in Ottawa, Ontario, with classes from nursery to grade eight. Tuition starts at $8,870. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Student-paced$8,870 to $15,120

Avante School (est. 2009)

  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 3 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (26 students)
Avante School provides a custom tailored learning experience for accelerated success and much less stress. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Student-paced$6,500 to $13,500

The Study (est. 1915)

  • Westmount, Quebec
  • K to 11 (Girls)
  • Day school (365 students)
The Study offers a bilingual mother tongue programme in both English and French from kindergarten to grade 11 in Westmount, Quebec. The average class size is 12 to 18 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$18,415 to $20,735

Kuper Academy (est. 1987)

  • Kirkland, Quebec
  • K to 11 (Coed)
  • Day school (950 students)
Kuper Academy offers programs from pre-school to grade eleven in Kirkland. Its average class size is 22 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched

Venta Preparatory School (est. 1981)

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • JK to 10 (Coed)
  • Day school (65 students)
  • Boarding school (25 students)
Venta Preparatory School offers programs from senior kindergarten to grade ten in Ottawa. Its average class size is ten students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched

Star Academy (est. 1997)

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (75 students)
Star Academy offers programs from junior kindergarten to grade eight in Mississauga. Its average class size is ten students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Montessori
Student-paced$12,500 to $16,200

The Linden School (est. 1993)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 12 (Girls)
  • Day school (115 students)
The Linden School provides a challenging academic program for girls from JK - Grade 12. We create opportunities to discover the joys of learning and foster the development of critical thinking and physical well-being. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$13,000 to $17,950

High Park Gardens Montessori School

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (120 students)
High Park Gardens Montessori School is an authentic quality Montessori program for children ages 12 months to 12 years. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Student-paced$11,800 to $17,300

Kingsway College School (est. 1989)

  • Etobicoke, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (400 students)
Kingsway College School offers programs for PK to grade 8 in Etobicoke. Its average class size is 17 to 21 students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$8,000 to $25,500

Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School (est. 1973)

  • North Vancouver, British Columbia
  • K to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (175 students)
KGMS/Maplewood provides supportive individual and small group instruction for students with learning differences. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Student-paced

Academie Providence (est. 2002)

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler 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 starts at $8,050 [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$8,050 to $12,300

Cornerstone Montessori Prep School (est. 1990)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (130 students)
Cornerstone Montessori Prep School is a Toronto Christian Montessori school with grades from nursery to 12. Tuition begins at $13,500. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
  • Montessori
Accelerated

Crestwood Preparatory College (est. 2001)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (400 students)
Crestwood Preparatory College in Toronto offers grade seven to 12. The average class size here is 16, with a tuition cost of $23,700. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$24,900

Army and Navy Academy (est. 1910)

  • Carlsbad, California
  • 7 to 12 (Boys)
  • Day school
  • Boarding school
Army and Navy Academy is a life-changer for boys. As a Gurian Model School, we know how boys learn inside and outside the classrom, what motivates them, and how to develop each student's potential. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$22,000 to $37,500

Académie St-Laurent Academy (est. 2007)

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (200 students)
St-Laurent Academy is a gifted private school that offers programs from nursery to high school in Ottawa. Its average class size is ten to 15 students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$13,000 to $17,000

St. John's-Ravenscourt School (est. 1820)

  • Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • K to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (790 students)
  • Boarding school (40 students)
SJR is the world’s leading school in Debating and Public Speaking. It has produced 18 Rhodes scholars and three math olympiads. The School's graduates average a 98% university acceptance rate. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
  • Reggio Emilia
Accelerated$16,890 to $49,440

Collège Rivier (est. 1870)

  • Coaticook, Quebec
  • 7 to 11 (Coed)
  • Day school
  • Boarding school
Rivier is a college that welcomes students from secondary 1 to 5 (boarding and day school). Parents and students choose Rivier because it provides quality and personalized education in a warm family environment. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$2,985 to $22,500

Nile Academy (est. 2005)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (250 students)
  • Boarding school (100 students)
Nile Academy offers small class sizes and low student to teacher ratio, while also following the Ontario Curriculum, ensuring our students are well prepared for the rest of their educational pursuits here in Canada. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$8,000 to $25,500

OAT - Ontario Academy of Technology (est. 2013)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (40 students)
OAT is a high school in Toronto specializing in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Full credit courses, Booster programs and Reach Ahead programs designed to give students the support they need to excel. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Student-paced$500 to $1,500

Avenue Road Academy (est. 2010)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school
Academy C60 is a small school in Toronto for grades 9 to 12. Students earn credits while developing skills that best prepares them for post secondary education. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Student-paced$12,500

The Mildenhall School (est. 1967)

  • Etobicoke, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (120 students)
The Mildenhall School provides an authentic Montessori education for children ages 2.5 to 14 years old in south Etobicoke. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Student-paced$11,800 to $19,500

Hillfield Strathallan College (est. 1901)

  • Hamilton, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (1150 students)
Established in 1901, Hillfield Strathallan College offers co-educational programs from 18 months to grade 12 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Student-paced

Heritage (est. 1984)

  • Provo, Utah
  • 7 to 12 (Boys)
  • Boarding school (115 students)
Heritage offers expert care for at-risk adolescents including those diagnosed with Mood Disorder, depression, anxiety, defiance towards authority figures and those on the Autism Spectrum. Learn more on our website. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Student-paced$138,000

Banbury Crossroads School (est. 1979)

  • Calgary, Alberta
  • JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (90 students)
Since 1979, Banbury's student-paced approach with tutorial instruction is in small, multi-aged groups of 10:1. Meainingful relationships enhance learning. Member of Canadian Coalition of Self Directed Learning--CCSDL. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Student-paced$9,000 to $13,000

St. Peter's ACHS College School (est. 1990)

  • Harrow, Ontario
  • 1 to 8 (Boys)
  • Day school
  • Boarding school
St. Peter's ACHS College School in Amherstburg, Ont. is a day/residency school for boys grades 1-8 who love Sports and the Outdoors. Tuition starts at $8,900. and is a member of OFIS. We put "FUN" back into learning. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Student-paced

Calgary French & International School (est. 1969)

  • Calgary, Alberta
  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (800 students)
Calgary French & International School, a traditional, alternative private school, offers preschool to grade 12 with enrolment of 750 day students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$10,810 to $12,720

Woodland Christian High School (est. 1976)

  • Breslau, Ontario
  • 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (312 students)
Students receive an excellent education which prepares them well for university, college and a wide variety of workplaces. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
Standard-enriched$15,425 to $16,360

College Prep International (est. 1944)

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • 5 to 11 (Coed)
  • Day school (120 students)
College Prep International, a traditional private school in Montreal, offers English instruction with partial French immersion, for grades five to eleven. Its average class size is 12 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$11,000 to $12,500

These schools offer support for gifted students within the regular classroom. Gifted students stay with regular learners, while receiving special, individualized programming.

 
School NameTypePaceCost

Chamberlain International School (est. 1976)

  • Middleboro, Massachusetts
  • 6 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (25 students)
  • Boarding school (98 students)
Co-ed therapeutic boarding school in Massachusetts for students 11-22 years. Student support is offered for learning disabilities, OCD, anxiety, ADHD, NLD, ASD, attachment disorder, bipolar disorder and depression. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Student-paced

Elmwood School (est. 1915)

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Preschool to 12 (Girls)
  • Day school (370 students)
Elmwood School is Ottawa's pre-eminent school for girls from JK to Grade 12. Our high academic standards, small class sizes and safe, supportive environment ensure that each girl is inspired to reach her full potential. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Standard-enriched$12,956 to $22,980

Hawthorn School for Girls (est. 1989)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day 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]
  • Liberal Arts
Accelerated$10,000 to $31,400

Toronto Prep School (est. 2009)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (325 students)
Toronto Prep School starts later in order to maximize teen learning. The optimal time for teenagers to learn is late in the morning through to late afternoon. Our classes start at 10:00 am. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$23,850

Montcrest School (est. 1961)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (310 students)
Montcrest School offers programs from JK to Grade 8. Its average class size is seven to 18 students. Montcrest offers an exceptional academic experience with balanced opportunities in leadership, the arts, and athletics. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched

Alive Montessori & Private School (est. 2014)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (36 students)
50% off the first three months for new elementary students. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Accelerated$7,500 to $14,500

Shoore Centre for Learning (est. 1975)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 5 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (60 students)
Shoore Centre for Learning is a special-needs private school that offers programs from grades seven to 12 in Toronto. Its average class size is six students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Student-paced$29,000

Brookes Shawnigan Lake

  • Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (40 students)
  • Boarding school (110 students)
Brookes Shawnigan Lake, an IB boarding school on beautiful Vancouver Island, offers grades 7 to 12 for both day and boarding students with an average class size of 12 students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Standard-enriched$9,500 to $44,500

Columbia International College (est. 1979)

  • Hamilton, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school
  • Boarding school (1700 students)
Columbia International College is a day and boarding school, offering programs to international students in grades 7 to 12. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$2,300

St. Margaret's School (est. 1908)

  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 (Girls)
  • Day school (220 students)
  • Boarding school (130 students)
St. Margaret's School (est. 1908) is an independent school in Victoria, BC, offering empowering education for girls from JK to Grade 12. At SMS, girls don't just get equal opportunity; they get every opportunity. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$9,500 to $49,300

Neuchâtel Junior College (est. 1956)

  • Neuchâtel, NE
  • 12 to 12 (Coed)
  • Boarding school
Neuchâtel Junior College, in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, offers Canadian Grade 12 curriculum and AP to students from across Canada and elsewhere. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$29,000 to $54,500

Mississauga Christian Academy (est. 1977)

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (140 students)
We are proud to offer families a superior elementary school education where God and His Word are central to the curriculum. Our faculty of qualified teachers is committed to loving and teaching each child. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$9,055 to $10,622

Clanmore Montessori School (est. 1997)

  • Oakville, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (170 students)
Clanmore Montessori School in southeast Oakville offers a full spectrum, co-ed Montessori program from Toddler to Middle School. Tuition starts at $7,750. CCMA accredited. Member Oakville Independent Schools. Licenced. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Student-paced$7,750 to $16,500

St. Jude's Academy (est. 2006)

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (400 students)
St. Jude's Academy is an IB World School that offers programs from junior kindergarten to grade 12 in Mississauga. Its average class size is 16 to 18 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
Standard-enriched$7,500 to $10,500

TFS - Canada's International School (est. 1962)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (1225 students)
TFS - Canada's International School offers Canada's only bilingual IB programs from PK to Grade 12. Average class size is 12 to 22 students. Entrance Scholarship to Grade 7 is available. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Accelerated$17,600 to $31,100

Hudson College (est. 2003)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (320 students)
Hudson College is a non-denominational, co-ed school offering superior academic programs from JK to university entrance. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$15,000

Appleby College (est. 1911)

  • Oakville, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (491 students)
  • Boarding school (273 students)
Appleby College in Oakville is recognized globally as one of Canada's leading independent schools. Breadth, excellence, innovation and caring are the characteristics that define the essence of the Appleby experience. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
Standard-enriched$33,510 to $65,980

WillowWood School (est. 1980)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 1 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (250 students)
We are a new style of independent school for diverse learners where all students learn with dignity; where a warm and nurturing school serves as a foundation for remarkable lives; and where the whole person who matters. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched

Island Pacific School (est. 1995)

  • West Vancouver-Bowen Island, British Columbia
  • 6 to 9 (Coed)
  • Day school (65 students)
Island Pacific School offers distinctly different programs for middle school students on Bowen Island, BC. Its average class size is 12 to 18 students. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
Standard-enriched$14,250 to $19,500

Olivet School (est. 1893)

  • Etobicoke, Ontario
  • Preschool to 5 (Coed)
  • Day school (85 students)
Founded in 1893, Olivet School is a Christian private school in Etobicoke, offering PS-Gr5. Olivet School combines quality teaching with individual attention to help each child achieve their personal potential. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$595 to $10,000

Fern Hill School - Oakville (est. 1982)

  • Oakville, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (400 students)
Fern Hill School Oakville is a private independent school offering individualized learning in Preschool to Grade 8. Our school is regarded as one of the pre-eminent elementary schools in Canada. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Accelerated

Académie de la Capitale (est. 1998)

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school
Académie de la Capitale is an IB World School in Ottawa,ON. We offer programmes in both English and French, from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12. Students thrive in a culture of academic excellence and real-life learning. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Student-paced$11,200 to $16,715

Richland Academy (est. 2002)

  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (150 students)
Richland Academy is a Reggio-inspired, International Baccalaureate candidate school that offers programs from 24 months to Grade 8 in Richmond Hill. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
Accelerated$9,700 to $17,800

Northmount School (est. 1990)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Boys)
  • Day school (97 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]
  • Traditional
Accelerated$12,500 to $23,000

Tall Pines School (est. 1987)

  • Brampton, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (480 students)
Tall Pines School in Brampton provides enhanced Montessori and traditional classes from Infant to Grade Eight, is the longest accredited CCMA Montessori school in Canada, and is a leader in 21st Century education. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Student-paced$7,813 to $17,637

Peel Montessori Private School (est. 1992)

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (150 students)
Peel Montessori School offers an enriched, personalized program. Emphasis is on strong academics, and the development of personal excellence (leadership skills, creativity) in a supportive, family-like environment. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Montessori
Student-paced$7,500 to $15,000

King Heights Academy (est. 2004)

  • Woodbridge, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (150 students)
Located in Vaughan, King Heights Academy provides a unique educational experience for toddlers to grade eight, which includes the IB Program. [View profile]
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
Standard-enriched$11,598 to $11,998

ArtsCalibre Academy (est. 2010)

  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • Preschool to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school
ArtsCalibre Academy helps foster creativity while grounding students with leadership skills and mindfulness. Our program starts at Junior Kindergarten to Grade Six with plans to add a grade each year. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Student-paced$4,750 to $5,500

The Montessori Country School - Milton Campus (est. 2007)

  • Milton, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school
Montessori Country School has provided a first-class academic experience to students in an environment that is distinguished by its compassion, integrity and unwavering commitment to the individual child. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Standard-enriched$13,230

Randolph-Macon Academy (est. 1892)

  • Front Royal, Virginia
  • 6 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (56 students)
  • Boarding school (269 students)
Randolph-Macon Academy is located in Front Royal, Virginia. This college-prep school is for grades 6-12. Students develop a strong knowledge base while also building leadership skills and strong positive morals. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$14,350 to $40,525

Lynn-Rose Heights Private School (est. 1997)

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • Preschool to 10 (Coed)
  • Day school (300 students)
Lynn-Rose Heights Private School offers challenging academic programming from pre-school to grade eight in Mississauga. Lynn-Rose Heights school is an official International Baccalaureate World School. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Accelerated$13,770

Villa Maria (est. 1854)

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • 7 to 11 (Girls)
  • Day school (1400 students)
Villa Maria offers programs from grades seven to 12 in Montreal. Its average class size is 28 to 32 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$4,175

Blyth Academy Ottawa

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (117 students)
We focus on personalized education, very small class sizes, and experiential learning. Located in vibrant Westboro Village, Blyth Academy Ottawa is surrounded by art galleries, boutiques and the Gatineau Hills. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
Standard-enriched

Newton’s Grove School (est. 1977)

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • K to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (300 students)
Newton's Grove School offers programs from kindergarten to grade 12. Its average class size ranges between 12 to 18 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$14,000 to $16,000

Signet Christian School (est. 1975)

  • North York, Ontario
  • JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school
Signet Christian School offers programs from junior kindergarten to grade 12 in North York. Its average class size is six to ten students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Student-paced$7,000 to $14,500

Yip’s Music & Montessori School (est. 1990)

  • Unionville, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to SK (Coed)
  • Day school
Founded in 1990, Yip's Montessori Program cater to children from 1.5 to 6 years old. Yip's four campuses are located in Markham, Unionville and Thornhill. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
Student-paced$6,600 to $10,900

Rosseau Lake College (est. 1967)

  • Rosseau, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (33 students)
  • Boarding school (62 students)
Rosseau Lake College - The Personalized Learning Community Clearer personal goals- Diverse learning strategies- collaborative problem solving - Focus on building skills and competencies for the future. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$9,400 to $47,500

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]
  • Progressive
Accelerated$16,350 to $44,500

Waldorf Academy (est. 1987)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (240 students)
Waldorf Academy offers programs from pre-kindergarten to grade eight in Toronto. Its average class size is 18 students. [View profile]
  • Waldorf
Standard-enriched

Fern Hill School - Burlington (est. 1982)

  • Burlington, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (180 students)
Fern Hill School welcomes students from Preschool to Grade 8 and focuses on developing intellectual curiosity, creativity and confidence. Our maximum class size is 19 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Student-paced

York House School (est. 1932)

  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 (Girls)
  • Day school (656 students)
York House School offers programs from junior kindergarten to grade 12 in Vancouver. Its average class size is 16 to 20 students. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
  • Reggio Emilia
Standard-enriched

Trafalgar School For Girls (est. 1887)

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • 7 to 11 (Girls)
  • Day school (140 students)
Based in the heart of downtown Montreal, Trafalgar School for Girls is a diverse school community that challenges and inspires girls to love learning, build confidence and shape a better world. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
Standard-enriched$15,875

Canadian International Hockey Academy (est. 2011)

  • Rockland, Ontario
  • 8 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (5 students)
  • Boarding school (80 students)
The Canadian International Hockey Academy is Eastern Canada's Premier Hockey Prep School recruiting, educating and training students-athletes in grades 8 to 12 from around the world. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$17,500 to $44,900

Toronto District Christian High School (est. 1963)

  • Woodbridge, Ontario
  • 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (390 students)
We believe in project-based learning, enfolding, engaging and empowering students, and fantastic parent-teacher communication. We offer family friendly tuition with transportation included. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
Standard-enriched$14,390

Fairview Glen Montessori (est. 2007)

  • Burlington, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (115 students)
Fairview Glen offers authentic Montessori education for children 18 mo.-12 yrs. The academically driven, collaborative and supportive community, also specializes in French, Music, Visual Arts and Phys-Ed programs. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Accelerated

The Sacred Heart School of Montreal (est. 1861)

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • 7 to 11 (Girls)
  • Day school (230 students)
The pre-eminent All Girls English Catholic high school in Montreal, with 156 years of experience graduating young women of action with solid skills and tools for success. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$13,764

Avalon Children's Montessori School (est. 2000)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (90 students)
Avalon provides quality programmes from kindergarten to Grade 8 in the heart of the Beach. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Student-paced$6,400 to $14,750

CGS (Children's Garden School) (est. 1986)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 3 (Coed)
  • Day school (100 students)
CGS (Children's Garden School) offers co-ed, Preschool-Grade 3 programming. Small class sizes. Exceptional phonics program. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Accelerated$8,800 to $20,000

Edge School (est. 1999)

  • Calgary, Alberta
  • 4 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (320 students)
At Edge School, your child succeeds through integrated athletics, academics, and character-building programs. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$15,600 to $16,640

King's-Edgehill School (est. 1788)

  • Windsor, Nova Scotia
  • 6 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (125 students)
  • Boarding school (205 students)
King's-Edgehill School offers programs for grades six to 12 in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Its average class size is 15 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
Accelerated$17,350 to $51,950

City Academy (est. 1999)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school
City Academy offers courses which follow Ontario Curriculum Guidelines. Utilizing teachers who are subject specialists and following a flexible and unique timetabling format, we are committed to every student's success. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$1,600

Delta West Academy (est. 1993)

  • Calgary, Alberta
  • JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (145 students)
Accomplished, confident and innovative - adjectives that describe not only our programs but more importantly, our students! Developing critical thinking, creative problem solving and greater achievement for everyone. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
Standard-enriched$9,900 to $17,550

Hitherfield School (est. 1991)

  • Milton-Campbellville, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (100 students)
Hitherfield School offers programs from pre-school to grade 8. With an average class size of 14 students, we offer an excellent academic program along with a multitude of outdoor activities. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$10,920 to $13,825

St. Clement's Early Learning School (est. 1955)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 2 (Coed)
  • Day school (150 students)
St. Clement's Early Learning School 70 St. Clements Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4R 1H2 St. Clement’s Early Learning School provides a child with an opportunity for growth in all areas of his or her development. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Student-paced$8,500 to $20,500

High Park Day School (est. 2010)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (30 students)
High Park Day School offers an alternative program from JK to Grade 8. Reggio Emilia inspired Kindergarten and Project Based Learning programs inspire and engage while developing essential 21st Century skills. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Student-paced$14,000 to $15,900

Crescent School (est. 1913)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 3 to 12 (Boys)
  • Day school (715 students)
Crescent School is a Toronto independent school for boys only, Grades 3 to 12. Tuition starts at $30,750. Crescent offers a variety of extra-curricular activities including sports, arts, outreach and robotics. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$31,750

Royal St. George's College (est. 1964)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 3 to 12 (Boys)
  • Day school (426 students)
RSGC is an urban day school that combines academic excellence with a stimulating and supportive environment. Our mission is to challenge and inspire each boy to become the best version of himself. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$30,540

Oakville Christian School (OCS) (est. 1982)

  • Oakville, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (240 students)
Oakville Christian School offers programs from pre-school to grade eight in Oakville. Its average class size is 20 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$12,160

Crofton House School (est. 1898)

  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 (Girls)
  • Day school (885 students)
Crofton House School in Vancouver, BC is a university preparatory school with JK to grade 12 classes. Tuition starts at $16,000. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$18,960

John Knox Christian School - Oakville (est. 1959)

  • Oakville, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (300 students)
John Knox Christian School is a faith-based school that offers programs from junior kindergarten to grade 8 in Oakville. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Student-paced$12,100 to $21,100

Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie (est. 1905)

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • 7 to 11 (Girls)
  • Day school (1050 students)
  • Boarding school (60 students)
École secondaire francophone privée pour jeunes filles située à Outremont, Qc. Les frais de scolarité sont de 3 800 $ par année. Elle offre les profils Éducation internationale, Danse-études et Musique-études. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
Standard-enriched$4,000 to $9,150

West Island College (Montreal) (est. 1974)

  • Montreal (DDO), Quebec
  • 7 to 11 (Coed)
  • Day school (400 students)
West Island College offers French and French Immersion programs from grades seven to 11 in Montreal. It is a leader in innovative teaching methods. Average class size 22 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$11,900

Brampton Christian School (est. 1977)

  • Caledon, Ontario
  • JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (525 students)
Brampton Christian School in Caledon, Ontario, offers JK to Grade 12, with average class sizes from 17 to 19 students and a one-student tuition cost of $10,290. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$10,497

Oxford Learning Academy (Private School) (est. 1984)

  • Milton, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (65 students)
Oxford Learning Academy – where your child will experience a homeschooling approach with the benefits of socialization in a small classroom environment. This Milton private school runs from PK to grade 8. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched

Cambridge International Academy (est. 2015)

  • Ajax, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school
Cambridge International Academy offers an enriched curriculum from grades seven to twelve in Downtown Ajax. Central to the school’s philosophy is the belief that all students are capable of success. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$10,650 to $12,650

Rothesay Netherwood School (est. 1877)

  • Rothesay, New Brunswick
  • 6 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (131 students)
  • Boarding school (149 students)
Rothesay Netherwood School offers programs for grades six to 12 in Rothesay, New Brunswick. Its average class size is 14 to 16 students. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
Standard-enriched$20,110 to $54,090

Kells Academy (est. 1978)

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • K to 11 (Coed)
  • Day school (250 students)
  • Boarding school (50 students)
Kells Academy is a private school in Montreal which offers programs from Kindergarten to grade 11. Its average class size is 15 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Student-paced$15,250

Sherwood Heights School (est. 1989)

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (500 students)
Kindergarten to Grade 8. Enriched, Academic Programmes. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Accelerated$10,910 to $11,860

St. George's School of Montreal (est. 1930)

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • K to 11 (Coed)
  • Day school (451 students)
St. George's School of Montreal is a bi-lingual private school where students acquire a life-long love of learning as we challenge each student to excel and become confident problem solvers and engaged citizens. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Student-paced$17,390 to $21,217

Somerset Academy (est. 1990)

  • Markham, Ontario
  • 1 to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school
Established in 1974, Somerset Academy is an independent, not-for-profit private school that provides education to students in Grades 1 to 8. Somerset Academy has an average class size of 10 to 18 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$13,200

The Westside School (est. 2004)

  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • K to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (225 students)
Westside's unique approach combines the best practices of Canadian and European education. Students are known, valued and understood as they prepare for admission to the top 50 universities and contributing lives beyond. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Student-paced$9,000 to $55,000

Braemar House School (est. 1996)

  • Brantford, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (113 students)
Braemar House School is a not-for-profit elementary school that proves each day that children thrive in a nurturing environment that offers personalized attention. Class cap size is 16. [View profile]
  • Traditional
  • Montessori
Standard-enriched$11,813

Home Sweet Home Montessori Academy

  • Caledon, Ontario
  • Preschool to 3 (Coed)
  • Day school (60 students)
Home Sweet Home Montessori Academy offers our students an environment with an array of programming which supports them in discovering their passion within! [View profile]
  • Montessori
Student-paced

Country Garden Montessori Academy (est. 1995)

  • Newmarket, Ontario
  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (100 students)
Situated on seven acres of rolling parkland and gardens, Country Garden Montessori Academy in Newmarket is a co-ed private day school for students in grades PS-12. The school provides a family atmosphere and is committed the intellectual growth and emotional well-being of students. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Standard-enriched

Turnbull School (est. 1992)

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (330 students)
Turnbull School is dedicated to academic excellence in a caring environment. We offer highly qualified teachers, small class sizes, well rounded and enriching programming, and variety in athletics, science and the arts. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$18,100 to $19,975

Arts and Science Academy of Canada (est. 2003)

  • Vaughan, Ontario
  • JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school
  • Boarding school
  • Liberal Arts
Standard-enriched$10,000 to $31,000

West Island College (est. 1982)

  • Calgary, Alberta
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (550 students)
West Island College offers post-secondary preparatory programs from grades 7 to 12 in Calgary. It's class size varies from 15 to 25 students. French Immersion is offered alongside the English program [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$15,200 to $20,200

River Valley School (est. 1983)

  • Calgary, Alberta
  • Preschool to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (323 students)
RVS offers programs for the Early Learning & Elementary years in Progressive, Montessori & Arrowsmith environments. Specialists teach fine arts, physical education and French language. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Montessori
Standard-enriched$7,400 to $13,100

Quetico College School (est. 2013)

  • Atikokan, Ontario
  • 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (10 students)
  • Boarding school (30 students)
Technologically savvy classroom facilities combine with caring teachers to help ensure you are headed towards life goals that include knowledge, skill and responsibility. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Student-paced$16,000 to $28,000

Pear Tree Elementary (est. 2015)

  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • K to 7 (Coed)
  • Day school (45 students)
Small and intimate by design, progressive by choice, and innovative by necessity, Pear Tree Elementary is redefining what it is to teach and learn in the modern world. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Standard-enriched$15,000 to $18,000

Sidney Ledson Institute (est. 1982)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 7 (Coed)
  • Day school
The PK – Grade 6 program is a visible expression of the philosophy embodied in Ledson's books, Raising Brighter Children and Teach Your Child to Read in Just 10 Minutes a Day. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Accelerated

King's Christian Collegiate

  • Oakville, Ontario
  • 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (650 students)
King’s Christian Collegiate is an independent Christian high school providing superb instruction in a safe, stimulating academic environment. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched

North Point School For Boys (est. 2014)

  • Calgary, Alberta
  • K to 9 (Boys)
  • Day school (40 students)
North Point provides boys with an alternative learning environment to the traditional, outdated factory-style model that has been in place in our North American schools for the past 100 years. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Student-paced$6,000

Aurora Preparatory Academy (est. 1979)

  • Aurora, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school
Aurora Preparatory Academy is small by design, a supportive JK-8 community in which students thrive. Affordable tuition and an advanced programme, including all-grade French, music and art, and inclusive sports teams. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Standard-enriched$14,900

These schools offer no formal program for gifted students, but have an accelerated baseline curriculum. This means all students—gifted or not—do the work of older peers at other schools. For highly gifted learners (those in the 99th percentile), this alone is likely not enough to support their needs.

 
School NameTypePaceCost

La Citadelle International Academy of Arts and Science (est. 2000)

  • North York, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (200 students)
La Citadelle is a Bilingual Private School with exceptional advanced curriculum, excellence, compassion, discipline, achievement, respect, and Harmony. Nursery-12 [View profile]
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
Accelerated

TMS School (est. 1961)

  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (750 students)
Internationally recognized since 1961, TMS is a not-for-profit independent university preparatory school located in Richmond Hill where students, faculty and staff regularly Go Beyond. [View profile]
  • Montessori
  • International Baccalaureate
Accelerated$14,075 to $25,440

Royal Cachet Montessori School (est. 2006)

  • Markham, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 3 (Coed)
  • Day school (200 students)
Royal Cachet Montessori School is a Montessori school that offers programs from nursery to grade three in Markham. Its average class size is five to 15 students. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Accelerated

Walden International School (est. 2014)

  • Brampton, Ontario
  • JK to 10 (Coed)
  • Day school
Walden International School is pursuing authorization to become an IB World School. With a unique student-centred focus, it prepares all students to become globally responsible citizens. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
Accelerated$10,000 to $20,000

Upper Canada College (est. 1829)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • SK to 12 (Boys)
  • Day school (1072 students)
  • Boarding school (88 students)
Located in the heart of Toronto, Upper Canada College is the oldest independent boys' school in Ontario. Our graduates are highly regarded by top universities and post-secondary institutions worldwide. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
Accelerated$30,860 to $61,560

McDonald International Academy (est. 1994)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Boarding school
McDonald International Academy offers programs for grades 9 to 12 with 2 locations in the heart of Toronto. Its average class size is 10 to 20 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Accelerated$16,800

The Giles School (est. 1989)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (170 students)
The Giles School is a French immersion private school in Toronto for children age 2 (Pre-K) to Grade 8. Open Admissions through Grade 1, small classes, and Mandarin introduced as a third language in Grade 1. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
Accelerated$12,200 to $20,300

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
Accelerated$17,400 to $46,000

St. Francis High School (est. 1927)

  • Hamburg, New York
  • 9 to 12 (Boys)
  • Day school (500 students)
  • Boarding school (26 students)
Located in Athol Springs, NY, a small suburban community in the town of Hamburg just south of the city of Buffalo. The 65 acre campus is located 13 miles from the Canadian border directly on the shores of Lake Erie. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Accelerated

Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School (est. 1909)

  • Westmount, Quebec
  • K to 11 (Girls)
  • Day school (325 students)
Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School offers programs from kindergarten to grade 11 in Westmount, Quebec. Its average class size is 18 students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
Accelerated

Central Montessori Schools - Sheppard Campus (est. 1995)

  • North York, Ontario
  • Preschool to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (180 students)
The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one - the period from birth to the age of six. Choose Central Montessori Schools. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Accelerated

Mulgrave School (est. 1993)

  • West Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (900 students)
Mulgrave School offers programmes from Preschool to Grade 12 in West Vancouver. Its average class size is 20 students with teacher to student ratios of 1:8. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Accelerated$17,195 to $21,370

Bannockburn (est. 1993)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 6 (Coed)
  • Day school (125 students)
Bannockburn, a Montessori school in Toronto, Ontario offers grades nursery to six, average class sizes of 22 students and tuition from $10,350 to $20,700. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Accelerated$12,350 to $23,700

Wesley Christian Academy (est. 1988)

  • Markham, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (300 students)
Wesley Christian Academy offers programs from Toddler to Grade 8 in Markham. As we are a Christian school, we share our beliefs with all our students but we warmly welcome families from ALL faiths and backgrounds! [View profile]
  • Traditional
Accelerated$9,500 to $11,850

Trillium School (est. 1991)

  • Markham, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (300 students)
  • Boarding school
Trillium School is a montessori school that offers programs from pre-school to grade eight in Markham. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Accelerated$9,400 to $33,000

University of Toronto Schools (est. 1910)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (650 students)
University of Toronto Schools offers programs for grades seven to 12. Its average class size is 25 students. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
Accelerated$23,590

Meadow Green Academy (est. 1995)

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • Preschool to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (150 students)
Meadow Green Academy offers programs from pre-school to grade eight in Mississauga. Its average class size is 12 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
  • Montessori
Accelerated$12,990

TFS - Canada's International School (West Campus) (est. 1962)

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • Preschool to 7 (Coed)
  • Day school (165 students)
TFS - Canada's International School (West Campus) offers programs from pre-kindergarten to grade seven. Its average class size is 12 to 22 students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Accelerated$11,900 to $26,150

Aurora Montessori School (est. 1989)

  • Aurora, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (370 students)
Aurora Montessori School offers toddler to grade 8 with enrollment of 400 day students. Average class size is 18 to 24 with tuition from $9,510. to $15,000. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Accelerated

Prince Edward Montessori School (est. 1995)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to SK (Coed)
  • Day school (100 students)
Prince Edward Montessori School offers programs for various grades in Toronto. Its average class size is ten to 16 students. [View profile]
  • Montessori
Accelerated

Ashbury College

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • 4 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (592 students)
  • Boarding school (108 students)
This traditional private school in Ottawa, Ontario offers Grades 4 to 12 with 100 boarding and 600 day school students. Tuition is from $23,600 to $58,300. [View profile]
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
Accelerated$22,440 to $52,300

Bayview Glen - Whole Child. Whole Life. Whole World. (est. 1962)

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (1050 students)
Bayview Glen is a traditional co-ed day school in Toronto, Ontario from Preschool (age 2) to Grade 12, a global member of Round Square and offers Advanced Placement programme. Tuition ranges from $16,995 to $24,000. [View profile]
  • Traditional
Accelerated$16,995 to $24,000

Buffalo Seminary (est. 1851)

  • Buffalo, New York
  • 9 to 12 (Girls)
  • Day school (178 students)
  • Boarding school (47 students)
Independent day and boarding school for college-bound girls. Our STEAM curriculum is unique, and creative, independent thinking is valued. Located in Buffalo, NY, girls access the best of city living. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
Accelerated$19,840 to $46,715

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]
  • Progressive
  • Montessori
Accelerated$9,500







Related story:
Gifted kids shine in the right environment

As discussed above, keeping a gifted child in a regular classroom, without adaptations, typically leads to a mismatch between the curriculum and the child’s learning needs. The child will feel bored and frustrated as a result—not to mention the frustration created for parents, teachers, and school staff. This can give rise to social problems, such as conflicts with teachers and parents, and being excluded from peer groups.

Moreover, research suggests these problems can emerge at a young age. The well-known Marland Report on gifted children in 1972, the first of its kind, reports that

“Because the majority of gifted children’s school adjustment problems occur between kindergarten and fourth grade, about half of gifted children became ‘mental dropouts’ at around 10 years of age.”

It adds that

“Gifted and talented children are, in fact, deprived [if they remain in unsuitable learning environments] and can suffer psychological damage and permanent impairment of their abilities to function well which is equal to or greater than the similar deprivation suffered by any other population with special needs.”

For these reasons, gifted children usually shouldn’t remain in a classroom without significant modifications. Programs should be put in place to tailor the curriculum to their strengths and weaknesses. And, these programs should be administered by teachers with the right training (ideally, specialized training in gifted education).


gifted private schools
Gifted students can’t be treated like all other students. They typically need special attention and tailored instruction to keep them engaged.



Here we begin our review of the different types of programs for gifted kids. We first outline the options, along with their strengths and weaknesses. Further down the page, we synthesize this into a comparison table and look at what types of students might fit what type of program. Much further down, we offer advice on choosing a specific program, including questions to ask yourself about your child. Further down still, we provide tools for comparing those schools in terms of the specific accommodations they offer.


 
(i) Dedicated gifted programs(ii) In-class adaptations(iii) Other options
  • Schools for gifted kids only, where the curriculum is enhanced or accelerated for all students.
  • or
  • Full-time, dedicated gifted classes, in parallel to regular classes. The curriculum is enhanced or accelerated for all students.
  • Individualized support provided within a regular classroom, alongside regular learners, through a variety of strategies.
  • or
  • Adaptations can also, in theory, be used in dedicated gifted environments to better tailor curricula to individual learners.
  • Whole-grade acceleration (grade skipping). Note: some schools’ curricula are accelerated for all their students, whether formally gifted or not.
  • or
  • Part-time withdrawal gifted classes or support.
  • or
  • A variety of other, less common strategies.

One common form of gifted education is a dedicated program for gifted kids. Dedicated gifted programs are self-contained gifted schools or classes. In this environment, students work exclusively with other gifted learners. All the students in a dedicated gifted learning environment will have their curriculum enhanced, accelerated, or both.

Dedicated gifted learning programs typically provide a standardized curriculum: each student will work at the same (likely accelerated) pace and have their curriculum enriched in the same ways. Moreover, the curriculum will usually be accelerated and/or enriched in all subjects. That said, in some cases, it may be possible for teachers to make special curricular adaptations for individual students in this setting.


Dedicated gifted schools:

If your child’s a gifted learner, one option is to place your child in a school for gifted kids only. In these schools, all the children will be advanced learners. The curriculum is accelerated or enriched in various ways, to suit the needs of the students as a whole.

Dedicated gifted schools can provide gifted kids with the right kind of challenge, as well as the chance to meet and interact with students of like abilities and interests. Also, they can give students the chance to work with teachers who have some kind of focused training in gifted education.

On the other hand, if the curriculum is highly standardized, the learning needs of each child may not be taken into proper account—and often, gifted children have very different needs from one another. For some gifted students, then, being in an environment with other gifted children may not be enough: they may need individually tailored support, such as in-class adaptations (which we will outline further below). This is especially true for students who are highly gifted (who are above the 98th percentile), or who aren’t gifted in all core subjects. If you think your child might need tailored support, it’s important to make sure the school provides it.

Also, there are some social concerns with dedicated gifted schools. For starters, being in a segregated environment can reinforce a child’s self-image as “gifted” (and “different”), potentially in a negative way. These children might also experience social exclusion.

There’s also a concern that schools where all kids are gifted may lead to a kind of “hothouse” or “sheltering” effect. The worry is that there may not be enough opportunities to interact with a broad range of people, something that’s crucial to future success within and outside of school.

School breakdown:
Gifted support

graph

 Dedicated programs (12%)
 In-class adaptations (24%)
 No specialized support (64%)


Dedicated gifted classes:

Another option for gifted kids is a full-time, self-contained gifted classroom which exists parallel to non-gifted classes in the school. As with schools for gifted children, in this setting, your child learns exclusively with other gifted kids. This enables your child to interact with peers with similar abilities and interests. And your child will be instructed by teachers with focused training in gifted education.

There is a lot of support for this approach in Canada and the United States. Nancy Robinson (2003) describes these kinds of classes as “singularly inexpensive and ... probably constituting the easiest and most effective way to meet the needs of many (certainly not all) gifted children.”

The potential educational concerns for gifted classes are similar to those for gifted schools. Dedicated gifted classes—if their curriculum is highly standardized—may still not meet the needs of each student. Again, gifted students often have quite different learning needs from one to another. The teacher must have the right training to distinguish between the learning needs of different students and make the necessary adjustments.

Also, gifted classes can present the same social concerns as gifted schools. Children labelled as “gifted” and segregated from other students can be subject to social exclusion from the broader school population. And there’s the same concern that gifted classes don’t provide enough chances for kids to interact with a broad range of people—people they’re likely to encounter in different stages of their lives.


A different approach to gifted education involves making certain kinds of in-class adaptations for individual children. Provided the teacher has the right training and resources, these adjustments can be made within a regular classroom, alongside regular students. Instead of a full-time gifted class or school, then, you might choose a regular school or class that can support the needs of your child. (Not all schools provide this support, so it’s important to find a school that does).

In-class adaptations can also be used in dedicated gifted environments—that is, in full-time gifted classes and schools. Some gifted students need custom programming, even when in a class with other gifted students.

There’s a wide range of in-class adaptations that can be made for your gifted child. They include the following (see Being Smart about Gifted Education by Dona Matthews and Joanne Foster for a thorough discussion of these):

  • Curriculum compacting
  • Single-subject acceleration
  • Single-subject enrichment
  • Guided independent study
  • Project-based learning
  • Cross-grade resources
  • Cyber learning
  • Peer coaching
  • Career exploration
AdaptationFrequency
(% of schools)
Curriculum compacting 11%
Subject enrichment 21%
Guided independent study 16%
Cyber-learning 14%

Curriculum compacting:

Gifted children can often learn with far less instruction and practice than other students. In curriculum compacting, studies are condensed for those who need to work less on the basics.

Using less time to study some subjects frees up time and energy for other learning opportunities. As Matthews and Foster point out, it also gives some students the chance to explore areas of interest in deeper ways and to master material they otherwise wouldn’t have the time for.

This has the added benefit that it can reduce the boredom that stems from having to relearn material that’s already been mastered. It can also lead to improvements in behaviour, social skills, and emotional outlook.


Single-subject acceleration:

It’s rare for an advanced learner to require adaptations in all subject areas. As Matthews and Foster point out, focusing on just one subject area can be a good way to encourage a love of learning and a powerful engagement with school for many students.

Single-subject acceleration involves increasing the pace of studies for a student who excels in a subject. For example, a student gifted in science might be given an accelerated science curriculum tailored to the student’s strengths.

This could mean “skipping a grade” in a single subject. If the child is exceptionally gifted in that subject, it could mean skipping many grades.

In middle and high school, a student might pursue learning at a faster pace through Advanced Placement courses, International Baccalaureate programs, and other high-level options.


Single-subject enrichment:

In this case, studies in a single subject are enriched rather than accelerated. This means gifted students are allowed to explore similar topics as their peers, and at a similar pace, but with far more depth and breadth.

Single-subject enrichment can be done within the classroom or on a pull-out basis. It may be managed by a teacher, a librarian, or another member of the school staff who’s willing and able.


Guided independent study:

In independent study, students pursue interests beyond the classroom with the help of teachers or parents. Examples include learning about a period in history, the effects of carbon emissions on the environment, to the side effects of certain kinds of drugs. Because it’s independent, gifted students can pursue high-level, rigorous study of a subject they have a special interest in.


Project-based learning:

Project-based learning can be used in almost any subject and can be a great way to teach different subjects in an engaging way to advanced learners. Project-based learning involves learning by doing: students are challenged with real-world problems and asked to provide solutions that matter. It works with gifted students because of its inherent flexibility: there isn’t a ceiling to how sophisticated the student’s solution can be (provided that the original problem is interesting enough). Project-based learning can be done individually or in groups.


Cross-grade resources:

One effective in-class approach to gifted teaching involves using resources available to students in higher grade levels. For example, a student advanced in the area of languages might meet twice a week with a Spanish teacher and older students to speak Spanish and discuss Spanish books. The student might find that the discussion and debate in the regular meetings are enough to sustain their interest in Spanish.


Cyber learning:

If done well, cyber learning can supplement work done in class, enabling students to deepen and broaden their knowledge via computers and the internet. Of course, as Matthews and Foster say, there’s nothing wrong with some of a student’s learning taking place through websites, discussion forums, blogs, or any other online resource. What would be problematic, though, is if all of a student’s learning took place online.


Peer coaching:

Peer coaching involves working with other students of mixed strengths, with the help of teachers when needed. Gifted students can deepen their knowledge of topics by teaching them to others. However, for it to work, peer coaching must be tailored to the individual learning needs of the student being coached and to the learning objectives of the task.


Career exploration:

Advanced students might be given the chance to explore career options of special interest. This might involve meeting with adults to discuss their careers, doing thorough research on a career, or being in a co-op program where one spends part of the day or week working as an intern. Career exploration can enhance the interest in and relevance of school for gifted learners.


Dedicated programs for gifted kids and in-class adaptations are the two main approaches to gifted education. There are other options as well, though. One of these options is whole-grade acceleration or “grade skipping.” Another is withdrawal or “pull-out” gifted classes. In addition to these two options, there are several other less common approaches to gifted education. These less common approaches offer either full-time gifted programming or are intended to supplement a gifted student’s ordinary curriculum.


Whole-grade acceleration:

Sometimes children who are gifted students have their studies accelerated by skipping one or more grades. On the other hand, a child might skip a grade or more in just one subject, enter a program early, or be put in a split-grade classroom where the child progresses at approximately the same level as the older grade(s).

Acceleration of any type enables gifted students to move through school more quickly than usual. It can help to resolve the lack of stimulation felt by many gifted learners, as well as the social problems this can give rise to.

On the other hand, acceleration can impede a child’s social progress by preventing the child from being with children of the same age. Acceleration can also lead to gaps in knowledge, given the fast pace of learning and the practice of skipping over subjects other students look at more closely.

Keep in mind that many of the private schools listed on this site, even those not labelled “gifted,” have an accelerated curriculum for all their students. In these schools, students of the same age, whether they’ve been formally classified as gifted or not, do the work of older peers. This approach may be enough on its own for some gifted students, specifically those who are well-rounded and already well-adjusted. However, learners who are either highly gifted or whose strengths aren’t balanced across all core subjects will need a more tailored approach, such as in-class adaptations.

AdaptationFrequency
(% of schools)
Accelerated curriculum (school-wide) 10%

Withdrawal gifted classes:

Sometimes parents place their gifted child in a withdrawal gifted class or program. In withdrawal gifted classes, students are taken out of their regular class on a part-time basis to receive some kind of advanced instruction.

There’s been lots of skepticism about part-time gifted programs. Many, including Matthews and Foster, claim that the gifted learning needs of children are too important to be restricted to the day(s) on which their gifted class is scheduled.

Furthermore, as they also point out, children can be penalized for missing their regular class (for example, by missing a class field trip), and sometimes teachers resent the pull-out teacher taking the strongest students out of their class. Perhaps most worrisome, the work in withdrawal gifted classes is often not differentiated for learning needs or properly integrated into children’s other studies.


Less common approaches to modifying instruction:

There are also some less common teaching strategies that go beyond basic in-class adaptations. They include the following (for further discussion, see Matthews and Foster):

  • Second language immersion and dual-track programs: Language immersion programs and other programs focused both on general studies and more in-depth study of a subject, language, or skill.
  • Specialty subjects: In-depth classes or programs on subjects such as music, drama, dance, or computers.
  • Specialized schools: Schools with a specific focus on a subject or skill such as the performing arts, applied sciences, technology, or languages.
  • Alternative curricula: Schools that value a special type of achievement such as the International Baccalaureate or Montessori schools.
  • Homeschooling: Addressing gifted needs at home, using an approach that may not be used in the private or public school system.
  • Extracurricular activities: Supplementing school with activities that children find fun or stimulating.
  • Mentorships: Getting expert guidance in one or more areas of interest.
  • Books: Reading as a way to expand and deepen one’s interests and hobbies.
  • Travel: Exploring different places as a way to broaden one’s horizons.




The two main kinds of gifted programs are dedicated gifted environments and in-class adaptations. Each option has its benefits and potential drawbacks. To help your search for the right program, we summarize some common arguments used in support of each option. These arguments are generic, in that they aren’t tailored to your child. Moreover, it’s often just as important to look at the specific school or program as it is to look at the type of program.



 
Arguments for dedicated gifted programsArguments for in-class adaptations
Pedagogical
  • The curriculum is challenging across the board—in all subjects. Gifted students are likely to find this curriculum stimulating. This is particularly true for either students gifted in more than one core subject, such as math, science, or the language arts, or students who aren’t highly gifted (in which case they’ll need further accommodations).
  • Students can learn and interact with other gifted students. This can be ideal for some gifted learners. Students may find working with other gifted learners highly rewarding.
  • Teachers are likely to have specialized training in gifted education. This means they’re more likely to be proficient at differentiation—at tailoring their teaching style to the learning needs of each student. This is extremely important in gifted education.
  • These programs target students’ unique learning needs and interests. Instead of being given a “one-size-fits-all” curriculum, education is accelerated or enriched in only certain subjects—the ones students are advanced in. Since gifted learning abilities are often subject-specific, this has obvious advantages. Students are less likely to fall behind in certain subjects or develop gaps in knowledge.
  • Students who are exceptionally gifted can still be supported, due to the inherent flexibility of in-class adaptations.
  • Students are less likely to feel the pressure that sometimes goes with the “gifted” label. This allows them to simply focus on their schoolwork in a healthy way.
Social
  • Students interact with peers who are likely to have more in common with them. This increases their chances of finding friends among their classmates.
  • Particularly for gifted schools, students are less likely to feel excluded in social situations. When gifted students aren’t in the minority, they’re less likely to be bullied or ostracized, at least for being gifted. On the other hand, being in a “different” school or class can reinforce a child’s idea that they themselves are “different.” This self-labelling can hurt their social development, depending on how they internalize it.
  • Students are less subject to the “hothouse effect.” They’ll be able to learn and interact with students with a wide range of abilities and interests. This can promote healthy, well-rounded social development.
  • Students don’t have to be labelled as “gifted,” and thus don’t have to be labelled as “different.” They can feel a part of the regular class—and be treated by their peers as such.


Ultimately, neither approach— dedicated environments nor in-class adaptations—is “better” than the other. What matters is the fit between the approach and your child. Below, we outline which students might be suitable for which approach. Remember: there is a lot more to picking a school than just the points below. This table is meant to stimulate your thinking, not replace it. Note that your child might display signs from both columns.





To discuss which option might be best for your child, go to our parent discussion forum, frequented by other parents, schools, and education experts.

To start looking at schools, see our list. You can also compare schools by the specific programs they offer (including what kind of in-class accommodations they offer).

While our focus thus far has been on distinguishing between dedicated gifted programs and in-class adaptations, there’s another distinction that cuts across these approaches. Janyce Lastman, a Canadian education consultant and case manager, draws an important distinction between acceleration and enrichment. Some programs, whether dedicated or in-class, emphasize acceleration; others emphasize enrichment.

In acceleration, the student completes studies in less time. This approach increases the pace of learning, as students move quickly to topics normally reserved for older students. It includes options such as whole-grade acceleration, single-subject acceleration, curriculum compacting, early entrance to school, Advanced Placement courses, and International Baccalaureate programs.

In enrichment, on the other hand, students cover topics at more or less the same pace as their age-peers. However, they cover these topics in both a broader and deeper manner than regular students. This approach includes options such as independent studies, project-based learning, mentorships, career exploration, cross-grade resources, dual-track programs, and specialty subjects.

Some approaches to gifted education can involve either acceleration or enrichment, or both. These include cyber learning, peer coaching, and extracurricular activities.



gifted private schools
There is no one learning environment that’s suitable for all gifted students. What really matters is the fit between the student and the environment.

 
Acceleration approachEnrichment approachBoth approaches
Dedicated gifted environments
  • Some dedicated schools and programs emphasize acceleration over enrichment
  • Some dedicated schools and programs emphasize enrichment over acceleration
  • Many dedicated schools and programs balance both acceleration and enrichment
In-class adaptations
  • Single-subject acceleration
  • Curriculum compacting
  • Independent studies
  • Project-based learning
  • Mentorships
  • Career exploration
  • Cross-grade resources
  • Dual-track programs
  • Specialty subjects
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Peer coaching
  • Cyber learning
Other
  • Whole-grade acceleration
  • Early entrance to school
  • AP courses and the IB curriculum are other acceleration approaches. That said, they aren’t dedicated gifted programs, given that their students don’t need to be formally identified as gifted. Nor are they in-class adaptations, given their level of standardization.



What’s a better bet for your gifted child: a private school or a public one? Well, it depends on the private school you’re looking at, along with what’s available in your public school district.

Public school boards are mandated by provincial law to provide some kind of gifted programming for kids who need it. School boards vary, however, in who they deem gifted and in need of programming, and in what that programming looks like. Sometimes, gifted programming takes the form of a dedicated gifted class. Students enrolled at a school without separate gifted classes might be asked to switch to a school which does have those classes. Sometimes gifted programming involves in-class adaptations, assuming the teacher is qualified in gifted education. Some school boards in Canada also have dedicated gifted schools, though this is less common in the public system.

Some public schools offer the GATE program, which stands for Gifted and Talented Education. The GATE program is designed to address the learning styles of students identified as talented and gifted. In Canada, there is a GATE program offered in Calgary, Alberta, by the Calgary Board of Education (CBE).

Private schools, unlike public schools, are under no such obligation to support gifted students. It’s up to parents to find out if a private school will make special accommodations for their child. Many schools don’t. Remember, public schools are expected, at least in theory, to try to accommodate everyone.

Private schools, on the other hand, can be more narrowly focused. They can choose their “type” of student, and don’t have to compromise when designing education programs specifically for that type. (It can be inefficient to try to be all things to all people). This, in fact, is one of the virtues of private schools: they offer a wide array of niche choices.

What that means, however, is not all private schools will be the right choice for your child. Gifted children are by definition “exceptional”—they don’t fit the norm. It’s up to you, then, to find a private school that’s able and eager to be flexible in supporting a gifted student. Luckily, in most areas of Canada, there are private schools that do support gifted students, whether they offer dedicated gifted programs or in-class adaptations.

Of course, the benefits of private schools—assuming they support gifted children—are numerous. The right one can be an excellent way to get individualized support for your gifted child. In particular, you should look for a private school that’s attentive and responsive to the learning needs of your gifted child.

Whether you’re looking at private or public schools, though, the quality of gifted programming will have a lot to do with the teachers. Look for schools with teachers who are trained in educating gifted children. Unfortunately, in Canada, the federal and provincial governments provide little funding for teacher training in gifted education (or for gifted education itself).

For more general information on private schools, see our private school basics guide. You can also visit the parent discussion forum.




Certain alternative curricula are associated with advanced learning, including language immersion, the IB program, AP courses, and Montessori schools (which are unique in that they have mixed-age classrooms). It’s a good idea to look into these alternative options for your gifted child. While these options have benefits for gifted children, they also have some potential drawbacks.

A language immersion program offers a dual-track curriculum where students learn to speak two or more languages. In language immersion programs, most or all subjects are taught in the second language, beginning as early as preschool and continuing to the end of high school. For example, in Toronto, children can enrol in a French immersion program beginning in kindergarten.

Language immersion programs can enrich a student’s education. Learning some or all one’s subjects in a second language provides the right kind of challenge for many students, including some gifted students. It can keep gifted students interested in school, while also enabling them to develop another skill: fluency in a second language.

On the other hand, language immersion programs aren’t always the right choice for gifted students. As Matthews and Foster point out, for children whose main strengths are reasoning and the ability to master complex concepts, it can be years before their competency in a second language is strong enough to support their advanced learning abilities. Until students achieve enough competency in the second language, they’ll struggle to have high-level, meaningful discussions with teachers and peers. For the first few years, then, these programs can be frustrating for some gifted learners.

Gifted students typically prefer high-level instruction. But when most or all one’s subjects are taught in a foreign language, the level of sophistication is usually much lower for core subjects than would otherwise be the case (in the early years, especially). For many gifted students, Matthews and Foster claim, the best option is to separate second-language instruction from core instruction, at least until second-language proficiency improves. This is particularly true for students who lack a strong interest in second languages.

You can read our guide to language immersion programs, or skip down the page to our school comparison table, where you can identify schools with both gifted programs and language immersion.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a program offered in many elementary, middle, and high schools. In high school, it offers a wide-ranging curriculum, where students enrol in six subject areas and fulfill a variety of community service and extracurricular requirements. Students also write an extended essay or dissertation at this level.

IB curricula tend to be more challenging than regular high school curricula. Upon successful completion of the program, students are awarded credits which can be transferred to first-year university. Because the curriculum is so rigorous, IB programs often attract highly motivated and intelligent students with strong academic track records. Thus the IB diploma is highly regarded by universities around the world.


The IB program can be a good option for gifted students: it offers them a demanding education.


Many gifted students enrol in IB programs, and some do so at an earlier age than their peers to accelerate their studies even further. The IB can indeed be a good option for some gifted students: it offers them a more demanding education.

On the other hand, IB programs are likely not a good option for students who resist a traditional curriculum. Since most IB programs follow standard course syllabi and use standard evaluation schemes, they leave little room for the level of flexibility some gifted students want. Students who tend to “march to the beat of their own drums” are thus usually not a good fit.

For similar reasons, many gifted students who want to explore non-core subjects that interest them, pursue independent projects, or follow their passions, find that the strict curriculum of IB programs is not for them. Moreover, research indicates that some IB courses, especially in math and science, aim more for breadth than depth, and may not be rigorous enough for some gifted students.

That said, this is mostly only true of the high school IB program. In the primary and elementary programs, there tends to be far more curricular flexibility. While certain topics do need to be covered in these programs, there’s lots of variation in how they’re covered. Even gifted students who resist a traditional curriculum, then, may be a good fit for primary and middle school IB programs.

You can find a guide to IB schools here on Our Kids. You can also find schools with both gifted and IB programs above.

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are university-level courses offered by some high schools in Canada, the United States, and elsewhere. By taking an AP course, students can both earn a university credit and help prepare for the advanced level of university. Many gifted students enrol in AP courses late in high school, and some enrol in them earlier to accelerate their studies.

AP courses are more challenging than typical high school courses. Moreover, since AP courses mainly contain highly motivated and intelligent students, they can be very stimulating. Often, they provide the right kind of challenge for gifted students, one that meets a wide range of their learning needs.

On the other hand, AP courses likely aren’t a good option for those who lack a strong work ethic, self-confidence, or intrinsic motivation. They’re also not a great option for those who aren’t high achievers. Finally, they tend to be a poor fit for “unconventional” students who resist a traditional curriculum, whether these students are gifted or not. AP courses follow a standard curriculum, taught at a prescribed pace, with strict standards of evaluation. They thus leave little room for flexibility on the part of teachers.

That said, there’s much variance among and within schools in the way AP courses are taught. Some teachers have the ability to modify teaching to meet the learning needs of gifted students. Other teachers lack the expertise to make the necessary adjustments to enable some gifted students to realize their full potential in an AP classroom.

You can find a guide to AP courses here on Our Kids, and browse schools with both gifted programs and AP courses.

There’s lots of variation among Montessori schools in terms of specific policies and practices. While many of these schools provide an ideal learning environment for gifted students, some don’t. Below, we outline the main benefits and drawbacks of a Montessori education for gifted students.

gifted private schools
Gifted learners often find alternative curricula stimulating and rewarding.


 
BenefitsDrawbacks
  • Most Montessori schools offer mixed-age classrooms, with toddler classes from birth to age 3, primary classes for ages 3–6, elementary classes for ages 6–9 and 10–12, and so on. This environment offers gifted students the opportunity to work with and learn from older classmates, which research has shown to be highly beneficial.

  • Montessori schools provide a good environment for gifted children to accelerate their studies. They give kids lots of leeway to determine the focus and pace of their learning. They can often move quickly through their work in this setting, allowing them to stay engaged and stave off boredom.

  • Montessori preschools (from birth to age six) can be an especially good option for many young gifted children. They tend to be more academic oriented than traditional preschools. Also, their focus on concrete learning over imaginative play helps to hone the reasoning and problem-solving abilities of young kids. In fact, they have a reputation for churning out “little engineers.”
  • Gifted children who need external standards of evaluation often aren’t a good fit, since most Montessori schools don’t have tests or assignments that are graded. On the other hand, Montessori schools can be a great fit for gifted children who are intrinsically motivated and enjoy learning for its own sake.

  • Some Montessori schools are reluctant to move kids too quickly through the curriculum, or to move them to a higher age-level class. These particular schools may be a poor fit for some gifted students—especially those who are highly gifted (who are higher than the 98th percentile in terms of learning abilities).

  • Most Montessori schools restrict pretend play (though they nurture creativity in other ways), in favour of concrete learning. If your child is mostly gifted in the creative arts, they may find these schools less engaging than progressive, arts-focused schools.


In some ways, Montessori schools are similar to other schooling options for gifted children. If they’re willing and able to meet the learning needs of gifted kids, through special programs or adaptations, they can be a great fit. If they’re not able to do this, they’re unlikely to be a good fit. It’s thus very important to look at the specific policies and practices of any Montessori school, to see whether it’s able to meet the special learning needs of your gifted child.

If you’re interested in learning more about Montessori education, check out our guide to Montessori schools.


gifted private schools
From a young age, gifted students enjoy taking on tasks that are challenging. This can enable them to improve their reasoning and problem-solving abilities.




As we’ve discussed, gifted students tend to have advanced learning abilities that are subject-specific. Often, they are gifted in some subjects, while possessing average to below-average abilities in other subjects. It’s less common that a student is equally advanced across the board. This makes it important to find the right gifted program for your child, one tailored to their unique learning strengths and weaknesses.

As a rule, students with very subject-specific giftedness are better off in a classroom that makes tailored adaptations for them. In this setting, students can have their studies accelerated, curriculum compacted, or studies enriched in a single subject.

Dedicated schools or programs for gifted kids, on the other hand, are not usually devoted to one subject. They’re generally more suitable for students who are gifted in many subjects. Having said that, if a student is gifted in a “core” subject—such as math, science, or the language arts—dedicated gifted programs can still be a good fit. This is especially true if the student’s learning abilities are at least average in most other core subjects.

Below, we look more closely at some of the options available for students with common forms of subject-specific giftedness.

Some students have gifted learning abilities in only math or science. These students might be given subject-specific accelerations in which they skip a grade in math or science, or in which their math or science studies are condensed. They might also be offered different kinds of enrichment: they might study with a high-level math or science teacher, or participate in a math or science study group with other advanced students.

There are also extracurricular opportunities for these students. For instance, there are after-school math enrichment programs or camps, such as Math Spirit, located in many cities in Canada.

There are also plenty of enrichment programs for advanced science students. In Toronto alone, for instance, there are part-time science programs provided by the Ontario Science Centre Science School and the University of Toronto Da Vinci Engineering Enrichment Program (DEEP). They offer lectures and classes in physics, biology, chemistry, engineering, and computer science.

When choosing a school, make sure to look into their approach to teaching math for gifted students. Some students do well with traditional math instruction, while others prefer the discovery approach. We identify the math approach of each school we profile on this site.

The same can be said of science instruction: some students do well with expository instruction, while others thrive with the inquiry approach. We also identify the science approach of each school we profile on this site.

Some students have advanced learning abilities in only the language arts. These students might have their studies accelerated or curriculum condensed in English or a second language, such as Spanish or French. The teacher might also offer some kind of out-of-class enrichment to help these students improve their language abilities. For instance, they might be given the chance to attend a Spanish discussion group or a reading group focusing on Spanish novels.

There are also extracurricular opportunities for students with advanced learning abilities in the language arts. For instance, they might attend an after-school second-language class in Spanish or French, or join a summer camp for language acquisition.

Some students are advanced learners in a subject not considered part of the “core curriculum.” For instance, some students are advanced in one of the fine arts, such as painting or sculpting. Other students are advanced in some area of music, such as composition or playing the piano. Yet other students are advanced in a sport, such as soccer.

These students would not be considered gifted based on provincial ministry standards, and likely wouldn’t be eligible for a dedicated gifted program. And given how specific their advanced learning abilities are, they likely wouldn’t be a good fit. These kinds of students are often better off obtaining in-class adaptations of the kind we’ve discussed: subject-specific acceleration, curriculum compacting, independent studies, mentorships, and the like.

Some of these students may also benefit the most from extracurricular opportunities. A student who’s a talented pianist may be better off, in some cases, taking after-school piano lessons, rather than obtaining in-class adaptations. A student who’s a talented painter might be better off taking after-school art classes or doing an apprenticeship, instead of receiving in-class adaptations. A student who’s a great soccer player might be best off playing on the school soccer team (if there is one), attending soccer camps, or both.


Students with very subject-specific giftedness are better off in a classroom that makes tailored adaptations for them.





Nominally, a gifted child qualifies as a “special needs” student in most parts of Canada. But it’s common for gifted children to have other special needs as well. These children are often referred to as “twice exceptional” students, since they have two special needs.

These children represent a unique challenge for parents and educators. If your child is twice exceptional, you’ll need to find a school or program where both their giftedness and their other special need can be supported. You’ll also need to monitor the situation closely, since both the strengths and weaknesses of dually exceptional children can evolve over time.

A common dual exceptionality is when a child is both gifted and has a learning disability (LD). Examples of learning disabilities are attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dysgraphia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysphasia, and dyslexia (which is now sometimes called a “reading disorder”).

Some gifted students with LDs can do well in a dedicated gifted program, as long as the teacher has the relevant expertise. Teachers can sometimes differentiate instruction to accommodate the learning strengths and weaknesses of gifted students with LDs. It also helps if the school or program has certain kinds of resources, such as special education classes, alternative instruction modes, tutors, and counselling services.

An important factor here is how severe the LD is and whether it’s likely to interfere with the ability to stay focused in class. Gifted students with a very severe case of ADHD or dyslexia, for instance, may not be good fits for full-time gifted programs, especially those with large classes (where there are more distractions). They may be better suited to a regular classroom, ideally a small one, that makes adjustments to address both their learning strengths and weaknesses.

Use our comparison table below to find schools that support gifted students with various learning disorders. You can also use our schools and ADD/ADHD guide or schools and dyslexia guide.

Some gifted children also have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), such as Asperger’s Syndrome. Depending on the particular disorder and child, these students can have difficulty reading body language and social cues, communicating and understanding certain kinds of messages, and being able to cope with certain environmental stimuli.

These students generally don’t do well in large classes, where it can be hard for them to focus. So regardless of the type of gifted program—whether self-contained, dedicated gifted programs or one with in-class adaptations—these students need their learning environment to be quiet and structured. Other important factors for these students include having a skilled teacher and access to out-of-class resources such as counselling and tutoring. Clearly, though, the right option for these students will largely depend on the severity of the social issue and the unique traits of the student.

Use our comparison table below to find schools that support kids who are both gifted and have autism or Asperger’s. You can also read our autism schools guide or Asperger’s schools guide.

Gifted kids can also have pronounced behaviour problems. These problems might include a lack of flexibility, trouble controlling emotions, and difficulty following rules. These kids also can disrupt their class, something that can harm relations with teachers and peers. Many gifted kids develop these problems at least in part because of not feeling challenged in school. Some of these children also have LDs such as ADHD, or developmental disorders such as Asperger’s.

If the child’s behaviour problems are severe, they often might not do well in a full-time, dedicated gifted school or program, especially if it has a large class. Because these kids can be disruptive and often have trouble maintaining their focus, they need a more intensive, one-on-one approach. Usually, then, they’re better suited to classrooms that make in-class adaptations.


If a child’s behavior problems are severe, they might not do well in a full-time, dedicated gifted school or program, especially if it has a large class.


If the child’s behaviour problems aren’t too severe, however, and they have access to out-of-class resources such as counselling and tutoring, they have a better chance of succeeding in a self-contained program. Remember that often a student’s behaviour problems will recede or disappear once they are appropriately challenged and stimulated in school.

In the end, though, the prospects for success in any of these learning environments will largely depend on the expertise and abilities of the teacher.

Use our comparison table below to find schools supporting kids (and adolescents) who are both gifted and have significant behaviour problems. If your child is older, you can also read our troubled teens school guide.

Finally, gifted students can also have a physical disability such as Cerebral Palsy (CP). There are not many schools in Canada, private or public, that are well-equipped to deal with these dual-exceptionality students. The main problem is one of accessibility: few schools are fully accessible to a student population with a wide range of physical disabilities.

If you’re looking at private schools, the main task is to find one that is both physically accessible and has a gifted program. Use our comparison table below to see if private schools near you can offer this kind of support. If not, you may have to look to the public system.

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It’s extremely difficult to identify giftedness in preschool-age children, and indeed it often goes undetected in the early years. This is partly because these kids haven’t been in school for long (if at all), so there is a short history from which to spot patterns. Moreover, young kids are less able to communicate their thoughts and needs, and signs your child might be gifted can be confusing at the preschool age.

Yet, just like older children, these kids often end up feeling unchallenged and develop social and emotional problems. It’s important, then, to identify your child’s needs as early as possible, and offer various enrichment opportunities, if those are called for.

As the parent of a gifted toddler or preschool child, you’re faced with a few main options:

If you decide to place your gifted child in a preschool, you’ll have to consider the type of preschool you want. There are no full-time, dedicated gifted programs or schools for preschoolers, but there are other options to consider. There are academic, play-based, Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia preschools. We compare types of preschools in our main preschool guide.

Each type of preschool has its own underlying philosophy and way of addressing the needs of gifted children. It’s important not to get too consumed with picking the “best” preschool approach, and instead focus on the following:

  1. The specific characteristics and needs of your child, and how those might or might not fit with a particular approach.
  2. The specific practices of the school you’re investigating.

The Young Gifted Child guide outlines the following best practices for any preschool for gifted learners:

You play a crucial role in fostering the learning abilities of your young gifted child. Again, The Young Gifted Child guide outlines some best practices:

If you have a young gifted or precocious child, check out the excellent book Beyond Intelligence: Secrets for Raising Happily Productive Kids (2014). It provides a treasure trove of parenting insights by two Canadian experts in child development, Dona Matthews and Joanne Foster.

If you’re ready, you can look at our list of gifted programs and filter it for preschools.

At the elementary or primary school level, there are more reliable ways to identify gifted children. Since kids are in school at this age, there are more chances to identify their learning needs and, in particular, whether they have advanced needs in any specific areas.

It becomes increasingly important to identify the learning needs of kids at this level, since at this age they tend to be more engaged in the learning process. For parents who suspect their school-age child has advanced learning needs, a formal gifted test or assessment is often recommended. Usually, a formal test can determine whether there’s a mismatch between the learning needs of a child and the instruction provided. The mismatch can then be corrected by tailoring the curriculum to the child’s learning needs.

As already discussed, there is a wide variety of schooling options for gifted children at this level. These include dedicated gifted programs, such as self-contained gifted classes and schools. They also include adaptations made in a regular classroom, such as condensing the curriculum, accelerating the pace of study, and providing out-of-class enrichment opportunities.

When searching for an elementary school for your gifted child, you should choose a school that’s the right fit. This means choosing a school that can meet your child’s specific learning needs and gives them the best chance to thrive both academically and socially.

You’ll need to be diligent in trying to understand your child’s unique learning profile so that you can select the right school or program. Typically, though, the search for the right school or program for a gifted student is an ongoing process. Adjustments to curriculum and teaching methods often need to be made. In some cases, you may make the decision to move your child to a new school or program in order to adapt to their evolving learning needs.

If you’re ready, you can look at our list of gifted programs and filter it for elementary schools.

At the middle school or junior high level, it’s recommended that children thought to be advanced learners be given a formal gifted test or assessment. Ideally, this assessment will determine whether there’s a mismatch between the child’s learning needs and their current instruction, and show how this mismatch might be fixed.

Unfortunately, if a gifted child hasn’t been given a formal gifted test by this time, there’s a good chance their learning needs are not being met and that they’re feeling unchallenged in school. These children may already have experienced a lot of frustration, which can lead to social and behavioural problems.


There’s a wide range of schooling options for gifted students at the upper levels.


There are lots of schooling options for gifted students at this level. These include dedicated gifted programs, such as self-contained gifted classes and schools. They also include in-class adaptations, such as condensing the curriculum, accelerating the pace of study, and providing out-of-class enrichment opportunities. Also, there are some enrichment opportunities at this level which are not always available at elementary school. These include project-based learning, independent studies, and peer coaching.

To select the right school or program for your child, you’ll need a strong understanding of their learning needs. Depending on your child’s age and maturity, it’s often a good idea to involve them in decisions about schooling at this level. But it may be necessary to frequently adjust programming for your child in response to evolving learning and social needs, just as it may be at the elementary school level.

If you’re ready, you can look at our list of gifted programs and filter it for middle schools.

By the time high school begins, many advanced learners will already have been given a formal gifted test. If not, it’s imperative to do so, since any mismatch between your child’s learning abilities and their current instruction needs to be addressed right away. The assessment is all the more important for children with social or emotional problems, which may be due, at least in part, to unmet learning needs.

There’s an even wider variety of schooling options for gifted students at this level. There’s dedicated gifted programming, such as self-contained gifted classes and schools. There are also in-class adaptations, such as condensing the curriculum and accelerating studies. Also, there are even more out-of-class enrichment opportunities for high school students. These include project-based learning, independent studies, mentorships, and career exploration. There are also Advanced Placement courses and International Baccalaureate programs available at the high school level for gifted students (and students who aren’t deemed “gifted”), which we’ve already discussed.

To select the right high school program for your gifted child, you’ll need a strong understanding of their learning needs. At this level, it’s important to involve your child in the decision, given their ability to know their own learning needs. You should collaborate with your child to choose a school or program that gives them the best chance to thrive both academically and socially.

Gifted programs often provide good preparation for university, and many universities think highly of gifted programs. This means graduating from a high school gifted program can improve your child’s chances of both being accepted to a good university and excelling once they get there.

If you’re ready, you can look at our list of gifted programs and filter it for high schools.


gifted private schools
Young gifted children need lots of stimulation and plenty of learning opportunities.




In your search for the right gifted program, it’s important to consult with teachers, education specialists, and (in some cases) your child.

Begin researching gifted programs early, as much as a year before applying. You can research private schools with gifted programs here on this site (starting with our list of schools), on individual school websites, at open houses, during on-site visits, at our annual school expos, and other venues.

You’ll need to reflect on several questions during this process.

Consider exactly what you’re looking for in a school or program, and why. Your focus should not be on the school, but on the fit between the school and your child. Your first step, then, is to develop a clear picture of your child’s personality, learning style, and academic abilities. This means being clear on both their academic strengths and weaknesses.

Here are some questions to get you started:

Then you need to start thinking about the following:

You want to have an idea of the kind of environment your child will thrive in academically, socially, physically, and emotionally. Your idea can be tentative—but you should have it clear in your mind.

There are some standard questions to ask schools when investigating them.

Beyond those, there are also questions to ask schools about their gifted program. They include:



 
In-class adaptations Dedicated gifted programs
  • Do you offer in-class accommodations for special needs students, and if so, which kinds?
  • Do you offer in-class accommodations for students with advanced learning abilities (a particular kind of special need)?
  • Does a student need to be formally identified as “gifted” to be given these accommodations?
  • What kinds of accommodations do you offer for gifted learners?
  • Do you offer accelerated studies or out-of-class enrichment opportunities?
  • Are your accommodations offered on a continual basis (so that children will be able to receive them for their entire stay at the school)?
  • Exactly what kind of training do your teachers have? What training do they have in gifted education?
  • Are your teachers trained to differentiate between students according to learning needs?

Print this list

  • Do your teachers have specialized training in gifted education, and will they be offered ongoing training in this field?
  • In what specific ways is your curriculum different from ordinary curricula (for non-gifted students)? Is it accelerated (or condensed), and if so, how? Is it enriched, and if so, how?
  • Are your standards of evaluation different than in non-gifted programs?
  • Do you make any in-class adaptations for gifted students who don’t fit the typical mold of their fellow classmates?
  • If your child needs it: do you offer in-class special needs support?
  • Do you offer out-of-class enrichment opportunities such as independent studies, mentorships, specialty subjects, career exploration, and leadership opportunities?
  • What kinds of resources are available to students (libraries, homework help, tutoring, and counselling services)?
  • What opportunities are there to interact with students not in the gifted program?
  • Are there any chances for students to do Advanced Placement courses?

Print this list



It’s best to first discuss these questions with the admissions officer. You can then speak to school directors or principals, as well as teachers. It’s also a good idea to attend one or more classes to get a sense of how they’re run, teaching philosophies, school culture, and the like.

If you want to ask these questions of many schools in one place, look into attending one of our private school expos.

If you’re seeking specific in-class adaptations for your child at their current school, no formal application process is usually involved. In some cases, you can simply make the request to the teacher. If the teacher is willing and able to make the necessary adaptations, they will do so (with your consent).

On the other hand, if your child is trying to get into a new school, there will be a formal application process. The application materials required will be similar to those required for any private school. These may include:

In some cases, though, they may also include:

The application process for different gifted schools and programs varies widely. Generally, when applying to gifted programs of any kind, the school will try to understand your child’s full cognitive, academic, and social/emotional profile. This helps in deciding how, or whether, a school can adapt its instruction to meet your child’s special learning needs—their strengths and weaknesses.

The right mindset to have is that the school is working with you, not against you. For more general advice on applying to private schools, see our “getting in” guide.

The role of teachers

The quality of gifted programming will always be closely linked to the quality of the teachers running it. Teachers with the expertise to tailor instruction to the learning needs of advanced students can often provide the right kind of programming. On the other hand, teachers without this expertise often can’t.

This is especially true in a regular class where instruction is modified. Teachers will need to be able to recognize that a student has unique learning needs and be able to make the necessary changes. Since teachers vary in their ability to do this, there will be great diversity in the quality of in-class gifted programming.

Thus it’s important to inquire about the credentials and abilities of teachers. You should ask school officials whether teachers have specialized training and experience in gifted education. You should also ask whether teachers are offered any form of ongoing professional development, such as classes, workshops, or seminars in gifted education.



Some private schools offer needs-based financial aid or bursaries. This means that, if you can demonstrate a need for it, the school will cover either a portion or all of tuition.

A school’s decision to grant needs-based aid is not tied to academic performance or giftedness. Nor does asking for aid affect your child’s chances of admission. In most cases, a school will first decide who they want to admit, and only then turn to the question of aid. Also, most schools will have a third party assess a family’s financial aid application. The third party will then recommend to the school how much aid, if any, they should offer.

Remember that schools offer aid because they want a diverse and talented student body.

If you are unsure if you would be eligible for aid, you should ask. Schools that offer aid often tell us parents underestimate the availability of aid. Paying for private school can strain even the most comfortable middle-class family, and schools know this.

Financial aid applications are typically very thorough, and you’ll need an organized record of your finances to apply. They often ask for information about family income, real estate assets, mortgages, vehicles, investments (including RRSPs), liabilities, expenses, and even information about child support received. Once again, typically this information is reviewed, confidentially, by a third-party company, who then makes recommendations to the school.

You should begin researching financial aid early by visiting private school websites and calling schools.

Merit-based scholarships

Some students receive scholarships for attending a private school, which is a merit-based form of financial support. Based on specific criteria, such as past academic performance, extracurricular activities, and potential to contribute to the school’s values, your child may receive a scholarship to help finance their education.

That said, most schools don’t offer scholarships, and the scholarships that are offered often only provide partial coverage of private school costs (such as a reduction in tuition fees). We list some of the available scholarships here.

For general advice on affording private school, refer to our paying guide.

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If your child is gifted in one or more subjects and is having trouble engaging in school, this is sufficient reason to seek out a gifted program.

Ultimately, gifted programs are meant to address students’ true abilities and passions and properly engage them in school. This can relieve many students of boredom and make school a source of wonder and pleasure again. With students deeply engaged in school, they’re less likely to develop (or sustain) social and behavioural problems. They’re also more likely to optimize their academic and intellectual development. This re-engagement is achieved in gifted programs through a number of means:

gifted private schools
Students can pursue many different types of interests and passions in gifted programs.




 Legend:

DS: Dedicated gifted schools
DC: Dedicated gifted classes
SE: Subject-enrichment
CC: Curriculum compacting
IS: Guided independent study
CL: Cyber-learning
AC: Accelerated pace
LI: Language immersion
AP: Advanced Placement
IB: International Baccalaureate
SN: Special needs and LD support
 
 DSDCSECCISCLACLIAPIBSN
Wildwood Academy
La Citadelle International Academy of Arts and Science
Chamberlain International School
Elmwood School
Hawthorn School for Girls
TMS School
Toronto Prep School
Montcrest School
Alive Montessori & Private School
St. Michaels University School
Kendellhurst Academy
Shoore Centre for Learning
The Thinnox Academy
Brookes Shawnigan Lake
Columbia International College
Westside Montessori School
St. Margaret's School
Royal Cachet Montessori School
Neuchâtel Junior College
Mississauga Christian Academy
Walden International School
Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E
Upper Canada College
Clanmore Montessori School
St. Jude's Academy
TFS - Canada's International School
McDonald International Academy
Hudson College
Appleby College
The Giles School
WillowWood School
The Dragon Academy
Century Private School
Bishop's College School
Island Pacific School
Olivet School
Fern Hill School - Oakville
Académie de la Capitale
Villanova College
Richland Academy
Académie Westboro Academy
The Junior Academy
Heritage Academy of Learning Excellence
Northmount School
Tall Pines School
Peel Montessori Private School
Ellington Montessori School
St. Francis High School
Hampshire Country School
Niagara Christian Collegiate
Madrona School Society
King Heights Academy
ArtsCalibre Academy
Glenn Arbour Academy
The Montessori Country School - Milton Campus
Randolph-Macon Academy
Glenburnie School
Lynn-Rose Heights Private School
Villa Maria
Taddle Creek Montessori School
Blyth Academy Ottawa
Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School
Central Montessori Schools - Sheppard Campus
Newton’s Grove School
Mulgrave School
Signet Christian School
Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc
Shawnigan Lake School
Bishop Hamilton Montessori School
Yip’s Music & Montessori School
Avante School
Bannockburn
The Study
Rosseau Lake College
Holy Name of Mary College School
Wheatley School
Waldorf Academy
Kuper Academy
Venta Preparatory School
Fern Hill School - Burlington
York House School
Star Academy
Wesley Christian Academy
The Linden School
Prestige School - Richmond Hill Campus
Trafalgar School For Girls
High Park Gardens Montessori School
Trillium School
King's College School: International Schools for Bright and Gifted Children
Kingsway College School
Canadian International Hockey Academy
Toronto District Christian High School
Fairview Glen Montessori
The Sacred Heart School of Montreal
University of Toronto Schools
St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School
Avalon Children's Montessori School
CGS (Children's Garden School)
Meadow Green Academy
Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School
TFS - Canada's International School (West Campus)
Edge School
Academie Providence
Dearcroft Montessori School
King's-Edgehill School
City Academy
Cornerstone Montessori Prep School
Aurora Montessori School
Delta West Academy
Crestwood Preparatory College
Hitherfield School
Army and Navy Academy
Wishing Well Schools
St. Clement's Early Learning School
High Park Day School
Crescent School
Royal St. George's College
Oakville Christian School (OCS)
Académie St-Laurent Academy
Crofton House School
John Knox Christian School - Oakville
Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie
St. John's-Ravenscourt School
West Island College (Montreal)
Prince Edward Montessori School
Brampton Christian School
Oxford Learning Academy (Private School)
Cambridge International Academy
Rothesay Netherwood School
Collège Rivier
Prestige School - Toronto Campus
Nile Academy
Kells Academy
Sherwood Heights School
OAT - Ontario Academy of Technology
Avenue Road Academy
The Mildenhall School
Ashbury College
Hillfield Strathallan College
St. George's School of Montreal
Bayview Glen - Whole Child. Whole Life. Whole World.
Somerset Academy
The Westside School
Braemar House School
Heritage
Home Sweet Home Montessori Academy
Robbins Hebrew Academy
Country Garden Montessori Academy
Turnbull School
Arts and Science Academy of Canada
West Island College
River Valley School
Buffalo Seminary
Quetico College School
Banbury Crossroads School
Guiding Light Academy
North Broward Preparatory School
Pear Tree Elementary
St. Peter's ACHS College School
Sidney Ledson Institute
King's Christian Collegiate
Calgary French & International School
North Point School For Boys
Woodland Christian High School
College Prep International
Aurora Preparatory Academy
The Abelard School




 
Tuition (day school)Students receiving financial aidGrade eligibility for financial aidAvg. aid package size (annual)
Elmwood School$12,956 to $22,9806%6 - 12$8,500
Hawthorn School for Girls$10,000 to $18,00035%JK - 12
TMS School$20,250 to $25,440K - 12
Alive Montessori & Private School$13,500 to $14,50020%JK - 8$2,000
St. Michaels University School$22,020 to $26,20020%K - 12$11,685
The Thinnox Academy$10,017 to $11,44825%9 - 12$5,000
Brookes Shawnigan Lake10%7 - 12$5,000
St. Margaret's School$11,900 to $21,900
Upper Canada College$30,860 to $33,86018%5 - 12$15,000
TFS - Canada's International School$17,600 to $31,100Preschool - 12
Hudson College$15,000JK - 12
Appleby College$33,510 to $41,12017%7 - 12$26,300
The Dragon Academy$20,50020%7 - 12$3,000
Bishop's College School$18,200 to $22,90040%7 - 12
Island Pacific School$14,25015%6 - 9$5,000
Olivet School$10,00014%JK - 5
Villanova College$17,400 to $18,1004 - 12
Richland Academy$16,500 to $17,800JK - 8
The Junior Academy$18,000 to $22,5004%JK - 8$3,000
Northmount School$12,500 to $19,0005%JK - 8$10,000
Ellington Montessori School$7,900 to $14,0005%1 - 8$3,000
Madrona School Society$18,000K - 9
Blyth Academy Ottawa9 - 12
Mulgrave School$17,195 to $21,3705%11 - 12$10,000
Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc$14,825
Bishop Hamilton Montessori School$11,740 to $15,120Nursery/Toddler - 8
Yip’s Music & Montessori School$10,550 to $10,900
Avante School$6,50050%3 - 12$4,500
Bannockburn$23,700
The Study$18,415 to $20,73515%
Rosseau Lake College$9,400 to $18,8005%7 - 12
Holy Name of Mary College School$16,35010%5 - 12
Waldorf Academy20%JK - 8$5,000
The Linden School$13,000 to $17,95020%JK - 12$10,000
Trafalgar School For Girls$15,87520%7 - 11
Canadian International Hockey Academy$17,50020%8 - 12$5,000
Toronto District Christian High School$14,3909 - 12
The Sacred Heart School of Montreal$13,76425%7 - 11$5,500
University of Toronto Schools$23,59015%7 - 12$11,000
Avalon Children's Montessori School$13,100 to $14,7505%1 - 8$10,000
TFS - Canada's International School (West Campus)$21,420 to $26,150
Edge School20%5 - 12
Academie Providence10%1 - 8$10
King's-Edgehill School$17,35033%6 - 12$15,000
City Academy$1,6009 - 12
Delta West Academy$9,900 to $17,5505%3 - 12$10,000
Crestwood Preparatory College$24,900
Army and Navy Academy$22,00020%7 - 12$7,500
Crescent School$31,7503%7 - 12$33,770
Royal St. George's College$30,5403 - 12
Crofton House School$18,960
John Knox Christian School - Oakville$12,100 to $21,10010%JK - 8$3,600
Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie$4,0007 - 11
St. John's-Ravenscourt School$16,890 to $19,13010%6 - 12$8,100
Rothesay Netherwood School$20,110 to $21,48028%6 - 12$15,500
Collège Rivier$2,98510%8 - 12$1,500
Avenue Road Academy$12,500
Ashbury College$22,4408%4 - 12$6,700
Hillfield Strathallan College
St. George's School of Montreal$17,390 to $21,217
Bayview Glen - Whole Child. Whole Life. Whole World.$16,995 to $24,000
Somerset Academy$13,2005%1 - 8
Robbins Hebrew AcademyNursery/Toddler - 8
Arts and Science Academy of Canada$10,000 to $19,00020%1 - 12$1,000
Buffalo Seminary$19,8409 - 12
Banbury Crossroads School$9,000 to $10,00010%K - 12$3,500
North Point School For Boys20%K - 9$6,000
Woodland Christian High School$15,42520%9 - 12$2,500
College Prep International$11,000 to $12,5001%5 - 11$1,000
The Abelard School$20,00020%9 - 12$10,000



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