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Gifted schools in Ottawa

Find the top gifted schools and programs in Ottawa.

On this page, we cover private schools in Ottawa, Ontario that offer gifted programs and support. This includes gifted schools and programs in downtown Ottawa, Ottawa-Gatineau, Rockliffe Park, Rockland, Kemptville, Kanata, Centretown, the Glebe, Riverside Park, and Hampton Park. We also touch on public schools for gifted children.

For a more complete guide to gifted education, including a discussion of private vs. public options, start with our introductory guide.

Table of contents

  1. List of gifted schools in Ottawa

  2. Choosing a school

  3. Tuition at gifted schools in Ottawa

  4. Compare gifted schools

  5. A primer on gifted education
  6. Further resources


Gifted schools

Listen to the Our Kids gifted programs podcast


Private schools are not obligated to support gifted learners with special programs. Many private schools don't — even ones with strong academic reputations. The schools listed on this page, however, do. We organize the schools into groups: dedicated gifted schools, schools with dedicated gifted classes, and schools offering in-class gifted support. Then, in the fourth group, we identify schools that don't offer formal gifted support but have accelerated curricula for all their students.

  • The Element High School
  • Elmwood School
  • Académie de la Capitale
  • Heritage Academy of Learning Excellence
  • Académie Westboro Academy
  • Parkdale Montessori School
  • Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc
  • Macdonald-Cartier Academy
  • Academie Providence
  • Ashbury College
  • Blyth Academy Ottawa
  • Bishop Hamilton Montessori School
  • Académie St-Laurent Academy
  • Turnbull School
  • Astolot Educational Centre
  • Cedar Ridge High School
  • Canada Star Secondary School

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

Académie de la Capitale (est. 1998)  

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Preschool to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school
Académie de la Capitale, an IB World School in Ottawa, offers 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
$11,760 to $18,128

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

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Girls)
  • Day school
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

Astolot Educational Centre (est. 1997)  

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (40 students)
Astolot Educational Centre is a day school with grades 1 to 12 in Ottawa, Ontario. Classroom teacher-student ratios are 1 to 10. Students have the ability to reach their full potential with Astolot programming. [View profile]
  • Traditional
$13,800 to $15,800

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

Heritage Academy of Learning Excellence (est. 1989)  

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (120 students)
Heritage Academy is an Ottawa private school that is designed for students with DYSLEXIA, ADD/ADHD and similar learning exceptionalities. [View profile]
  • Traditional
$14,600 to $16,000
reviews (3)

• User reviews (3)

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: $8,800-10,300. Extracurricular activities: $600-$650. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
$8,800 to $10,300

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 Infants to grade eight. [View profile]
  • Montessori
$9,315 to $16,170
reviews (5)

• User reviews (5)

Académie St-Laurent Academy (est. 2007)  

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (200 students)
St-Laurent Academy is a private school that offers programs from nursery to high school in Ottawa. Its average class size is ten to 15 students. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$13,000 to $17,000
reviews (1)

• User reviews (1)

Cedar Ridge High School   

  • Kanata, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (75 students)
Cedar Ridge High School is an independent high school, grades 7 to 12, in Kanata, Ontario. Our school offers an Ontario Secondary School Diploma with a focus on leadership, innovation, student engagement and academics. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Montessori

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

School NameTypePaceCost

The Element High School (est. 2003)  

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (100 students)
The Element nurtures focused, engaged and internally motivated students who strive to do their best. The Element High School provides conditions that will put youth ‘in their element,’ in school and beyond. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Montessori

Académie Westboro Academy (est. 1993)  

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (165 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
$13,410 to $14,333

Parkdale Montessori School (est. 2007)  

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • Nursery/Toddler to 6 ()
The School offers authentic Montessori education, individualized learning, accommodations to meet each child’s needs, hands-on learning, enriched curriculum, and outdoor exploration. [View profile]
  • Montessori
$7,500 to $18,260

Macdonald-Cartier Academy (est. 1990)  

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • 7 to 8 (Coed)
  • Day school (64 students)
Macdonald-Cartier Academy teaches Grade 7 & 8 students how to learn and offers an intensive French immersion program combining rigorous and accelerated academics with athletics and fun experiential learning. [View profile]
  • Traditional

Blyth Academy Ottawa   

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (120 students)
Blyth Academy Ottawa focuses on personalized education, very small class sizes, and experiential learning for Grades 7-12. Big experience in a small school! [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
$12,495 to $15,895

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
$18,900 to $20,850

Canada Star Secondary School (est. 2016)  

  • Richmond, British Columbia
  • 8 to 12 (Coed)
  • Day school (50 students)
  • Boarding school (10 students)
Canada Star Secondary's vision is to provide superior academic opportunities that allow our students to develop interests, pursue passions, and to follow the path to success and admission to top-ranked universities. [View profile]
  • Traditional

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

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
$13,500 to $25,660

Ashbury College (est. 1891)  

  • 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
$26,300 to $64,700

Our gifted education guide has advice specific to finding gifted programming. For insights that are more general (on how to evaluate school options), we recommend you review our hub on choosing a school. You can also read our guides to questions to ask private schools and questions students get asked at school interviews.

Private school expos

Private school expos are ideal launching pads for your school-finding journey. The Ottawa private school expo allows you to speak with 15+ of the leading Ottawa private schools — all in one place. Find a gifted school near you.

Parent discussion forum

Word-of-mouth is another powerful tool in your school-finding arsenal. The Our Kids parent discussion forum allows you to discuss your options and debate topics about gifted education. You can use our community of parents, educational experts, alumni, and school officials to help answer your questions and stimulate your thinking.

Upcoming open house events

Attending open houses is a great way to learn more about a school and get a feel for the environment. For some general advice on open house visits, go here. For questions to ask that are specific to gifted programs, check out our main gifted education guide.

School nameDateLocation
Elmwood SchoolOctober 20, 2018 9:00 amElmwood School
261 Buena Vista Road Ottawa Ontario K1M 0V91
Turnbull SchoolNovember 06, 2018 8:45 amTurnbull School
1132 Fisher Avenue Ottawa Ontario K1Z 6P7
Académie de la CapitaleNovember 21, 2018 6:00 pmAcadémie de la Capitale
1010 Morrison Drive, Suite 200 Ottawa Ontario K2H 8K7
Académie de la CapitaleFebruary 13, 2019 6:00 pmAcadémie de la Capitale
1010 Morrison Drive, Suite 200 Ottawa Ontario K2H 8K7
Académie de la CapitaleApril 13, 2019 10:00 amAcadémie de la Capitale
1010 Morrison Drive, Suite 200 Ottawa Ontario K2H 8K7

Broadly speaking, the cost of gifted schools in Ottawa reflects private school tuition in general. Private schools can range from $5,000 to over $30,000 per year for day students.

There are quite a few affordable private schools for gifted kids. Inexpensive schools can often provide an excellent education by focusing on the classroom basics. You don't need to spend a fortune on bells and whistles: the key is getting your child individualized support. Having said that, the pricier schools will tend to provide a wider breadth of in-class and extracurricular opportunities. They will also tend to be larger and more established. Nonetheless, for most schools, the largest operating expense is usually teacher salaries.

Many schools offer financial aid (also known as "bursaries", "tuition relief", or "tuition assistance") and scholarships. Financial aid is needs-based, while scholarships are given for some measure of merit (whether it be academic, athletic, or something else). You can read more about financial aid and scholarships in our dedicated guide. Generally speaking, the larger and more expensive private schools provide the most aid. Even comfortable middle-class families can be eligible to receive aid, so don't be afraid to ask a school about it—whatever your financial situation.

Below you'll find the range of costs at Ottawa private schools with gifted programming:

Tuition (day school)Students receiving financial aidGrade eligibility for financial aidAvg. aid package size (annual)
The Element High School$17,448
Elmwood School$13,500 to $25,6606%6 - 12$8,500
Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc$14,825
Academie Providence10%1 - 8$10
Ashbury College$26,3008%4 - 12$6,700
Blyth Academy Ottawa$15,89510%7 - 12
Bishop Hamilton Montessori School$13,760 to $16,170Nursery/Toddler - 8


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


Primary curriculum
Secondary curriculum
Curriculum pace
Academic culture
Average class size
Language immersion
Special needs support
Tech integration
The Element High SchoolProgressiveMontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveIndirect SupportHeavy integration
Elmwood SchoolProgressiveInternational BaccalaureateAcceleratedRigorous15 to 17No supportHeavy integration
Académie de la CapitaleProgressiveInternational BaccalaureateStudent-pacedSupportive8 to 12Withdrawal AssistanceHeavy integration
Heritage Academy of Learning ExcellenceTraditionalStandard-enrichedSupportive6 to 12Special needs school
Académie Westboro AcademyTraditionalStandard-enrichedRigorous17No supportMedium integration
Parkdale Montessori SchoolMontessoriStudent-paced15 to 24Indirect Support
Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'ArcProgressiveStandard-enrichedSupportive8 to 19No supportMedium integration
Macdonald-Cartier AcademyTraditionalAcceleratedRigorous14 to 16No supportHeavy integration
Academie ProvidenceProgressiveReggio EmiliaStandard-enrichedRigorous8 to 20Special needs schoolMedium integration
Ashbury CollegeTraditionalInternational BaccalaureateAcceleratedRigorous17No supportMedium integration
Blyth Academy OttawaLiberal ArtsStandard-enrichedSupportive6 to 8No supportHeavy integration
Bishop Hamilton Montessori SchoolMontessoriStudent-pacedSupportiveWithdrawal AssistanceLight integration
Académie St-Laurent AcademyProgressiveStandard-enrichedRigorous10 to 15No supportMedium integration
Turnbull SchoolTraditionalStandard-enrichedSupportive10 to 18No supportMedium integration
Astolot Educational CentreTraditionalStandard-enrichedSupportive5 to 10Special needs schoolMedium integration
Cedar Ridge High SchoolProgressiveMontessoriStandard-enrichedRigorous8 to 10Resource Assistance
Canada Star Secondary SchoolTraditionalStandard-enrichedSupportive10 to 15No supportLight integration



Learning disorders:
 Auditory processing disorder
 Language processing disorder
 Non-verbal learning disorders
 Visual motor deficit
Development disorders:

Behavioural and emotional:
 Troubled teens
 Substance abuse
 Oppositional defiant disorder
 Cystic fibrosis
 Multiple physical

 Admission deadlineSSAT requiredInterview requiredAcceptance rateNext open house
The Element High SchoolDay: rolling7 - 9100%
Elmwood SchoolDay: rollingPreschool - 1270%Oct 20, 2018
Académie de la CapitaleDay: rollingPreschool - 1290%Nov 21, 2018
Heritage Academy of Learning ExcellenceDay: rolling1 - 1275%
Académie Westboro AcademyDay: Nov 18, 201690%
Parkdale Montessori School
Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'ArcDay: rollingJK - 8100%
Macdonald-Cartier AcademyDay: rolling7 - 885%
Academie ProvidenceDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
JK - 8JK - 8100%
Ashbury CollegeDay: Mar 9, 2018
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
4 - 1170%
Blyth Academy OttawaDay: rolling7 - 1295%
Bishop Hamilton Montessori SchoolDay: rollingNursery/Toddler - 899%
Académie St-Laurent AcademyDay: rolling9 - 1290%
Turnbull SchoolDay: rolling80%Nov 6, 2018
Astolot Educational CentreDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
1 - 1290%
Cedar Ridge High SchoolDay: Dec 31, 1969
Boarding: Dec 31, 1969
Homestay: Dec 31, 1969
Canada Star Secondary SchoolDay: rolling
Boarding: rolling
Homestay: rolling
8 - 1274%

The Element High School
Elmwood School
Académie de la Capitale
Heritage Academy of Learning Excellence75%75%75%75%75%75%75%75%75%75%75%75%
Académie Westboro Academy90%90%90%90%90%90%90%90%90%90%
Parkdale Montessori School
Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc
Macdonald-Cartier Academy85%50%
Academie Providence100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
Ashbury College70%70%70%70%70%70%70%70%70%
Blyth Academy Ottawa95%94%95%95%95%
Bishop Hamilton Montessori School99%99%99%99%99%99%99%99%99%99%99%99%99%
Académie St-Laurent Academy
Turnbull School
Canada Star Secondary School70%70%70%80%80%

Ashbury College70%70%70%70%
Canada Star Secondary School

 MathScienceLiteratureHumanities Social SciencesForeign LanguagesFine Arts
The Element High SchoolEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalancePragmatismEqual BalanceEqual Balance
Elmwood SchoolEqual BalanceInquiryEqual BalanceEqual BalanceCommunicativeCreative
Académie de la CapitaleEqual BalanceInquiryEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual Balance
Heritage Academy of Learning ExcellenceEqual Balance
Académie Westboro AcademyEqual BalanceInquiryEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual Balance
Parkdale Montessori School
Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'ArcEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceWe don't offer Foreign LanguagesEqual Balance
Macdonald-Cartier AcademyEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceCreative
Academie ProvidenceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceAudio-LingualEqual Balance
Ashbury CollegeTraditional MathEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual Balance
Blyth Academy OttawaEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceCommunicativeCreative
Bishop Hamilton Montessori SchoolEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalancePragmatismEqual BalanceEqual Balance
Académie St-Laurent AcademyEqual BalanceInquiryEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual Balance
Turnbull SchoolEqual BalanceEqual BalanceTraditionalEqual BalanceCommunicativeCreative
Astolot Educational CentreEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual Balance
Cedar Ridge High School
Canada Star Secondary SchoolTraditional MathEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceEqual BalanceCreative



Make no mistake: gifted kids have different needs than typical students. These learners are often so advanced in their intellectual abilities that they are outliers in the classroom: a normal curriculum and approach won't be enough. When these students don't receive the custom support they need, they can disengage from school -- and even become depressed.

If you know or suspect your child is gifted, you're faced with the following questions:

You can also consider other options, like language immersion programs, the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement courses (for older students), special needs programs, or other alternatives like Montessori schools.

If you're still grappling with these questions, start with our introductory guide to gifted education. Once you're versed in the fundamentals, re-visit this page to explore your specific school options in Ottawa area.

Private school policies

Private schools are not required by law to provide support for gifted children—and many don't. On the other hand, some private schools are able to offer highly individualized programs for gifted learners. The term "buyer beware" definitely applies here: it's up to you to make sure schools are properly set up for gifted learners. The list of private schools on this page (above) is a good place to start your search.