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Avalon Children's Montessori School

2181 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4E 1E5
31 Wood Glen Road, Toronto, Ontario, M1N 2V8
Grades (Gender):
Preschool to Gr. 8 (Coed)
$6,400 to 20,400/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
Day: 90 (Gr. PS - 8)

School Address
2181 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4E 1E5
31 Wood Glen Road, Toronto, Ontario, M1N 2V8

About this school:


Within walking distance of the library, boardwalk, parks & TTC, Avalon is an urban school in the heart of the Beach. Striving to provide a dynamic & nurturing environment where learning takes place naturally, we encourage our students to continually challenge themselves. In addition to our rich and engaging curriculum, Avalon offers a unique Learning Support Program (LSP) for students in grades 1 - 8. — Visit school website



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Our Take: Avalon Children's Montessori School

our takeAvalon began in 2000 with a single toddler room and one casa classroom and has happily grown ever since. The program today extends through Grade 8, offering a consistency for children through the primary and elementary grades. Likewise, the breadth allows for a greater interaction between generations than elsewhere, something that is rightly a cornerstone of the Montessori approach. The best Montessori schools are those that retain a fidelity to the core of the method while also meeting the needs of the community it serves, expressing their diversity and their values. Certainly, that’s a great strength of Avalon, and one of the reasons that families consistently turn to it. In the nearly two decades of the school’s life it has earned an impressive reputation for good work, professional development, and a strong delivery of the core curriculum. No doubt, it continues to provide all of that and then some.

Principal's Message


Sherry VanDerKooi, Principal and Co - Founder

Our doors opened in September 2000 with a toddler room and 1 casa classroom. Through the commitment and dedication of our staff and families, we have grown into a dynamic school that provides a quality education for children in pre-school through to grade 8.

We are very proud of the work that we do on a daily basis and enjoy a solid reputation in the Beach and surrounding area as well as within the private and Montessori community.

At Avalon, we are proud of the instruction that is delivered by our outstanding staff.  Over the years, we have built a very strong team. People who are committed to the children and providing the opportunity for an exceptional experience. I was recently speaking to a group of private school educators and it was noted that working at a private school is not a job, it is a lifestyle. That is absolutely correct; our staff have made that choice and we all benefit from it!

Avalon staff are committed to professional development and collaboration. We have mutual respect and support for each other as professionals. Avalon is an active member of the Ontario Federation of Independent Schools and is aware of developments in the Ministry of Education. Our school is firmly entrenched in the Montessori philospophy and teachers at the Casa and Elementary levels are Montessori trained.  As we prepare our adolescent students for the transition to secondary school, the program becomes more Ontario curriculum driven. This has been a very successful approach as evidenced by the experience of our graduates.  

Avalon has created a supportive, nurturing and educational environment that motivates students, builds confidence, teaches independent thought and offers individualized attention.  The needs and learning styles of the child are recognized and supported in our classrooms.  Our goal is to celebrate and embrace the uniqueness of each student. We are concerned with the welfare of the whole child, encouraging a sense of involvement, community and belonging.

One of the things that I love about Avalon is the sense of community that has been fostered. The school itself is a community made up of parents, teachers and learners. Located on the TTC line, Avalon students access all the city has to offer while enjoying the beauty of the neighourhood called the Beach.  

With this sense of community comes responsibility and we readily support the students as they explore their social conscience. Students at all ages are involved in a variety of programs including the Hop A Thon for Muscular Dystrophy, the Terry Fox Run, Hero Day for Second Harvest, fundraising activites for Free the Children as well as active involvement in We Schools in Action. 

Maria Montessori believed that education should sow the seeds of learning and that is one of our guiding principals. All of our student participate in gym and sports activities, music, drama, art and performance.  Our annual school production is the highlight of the year and we just staged an amazing version of Alice in Wonderland. For the sports minded, we currently hold the trophy for the ISAA track and field meet and look forward to defending our title in the next few weeks!

I encourage you to contact us to learn more about Avalon. The best way to experience one of the only JK to Grade 8 independent schools in Toronto is to come for a visit and spend time with us.

Sherry VanDerKooi







Curriculum Montessori

Primary Curriculum: Montessori

Particularly popular in the younger grades (preschool to elementary), but sometimes available all the way up to high school, Montessori schools offer an alternative vision to the standard lesson format of most classrooms. Lessons are highly decentralized: children typically work individually (though sometimes with others) on specialized "Montessori materials" -- without interference from the teacher. The materials are self-correcting and teach the student something about the subject at hand. The method's goal is to develop children's innate desire to learn, while freeing up time for teachers to help children individually, as needed.

If you want to learn more about Montessori education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also check out our guide to Montessori preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.

What Avalon says: Avalon adheres to the Montessori principles of education at the early childhood and elementary school levels. Students work at their own pace with the support of Montessori trained teachers. Avalon students are encouraged to develop intrinsic motivation and to be active participants in their own education. At the middle school level, we use a progressive approach while respecting the expectations set out in the Ontario curriculum. Our students' interests and their natural curiosity are the driver for instruction. Avalon teachers provide materials, experiences, tools and resources necessary for students to investigate a topic or issue. Students are then encouraged to explore, reflect on their findings, and discuss answers, solutions, and insights. Collaboration and peer learning are key elements at all levels.

  • Montessori offered:
    Program = offered
    Montessori toddler
    Middle School
    High School
  • Approach:

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Equal Balance

      These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What Avalon says: Mathematics are an exciting part of the Montessori classroom. In the early grades ( K - grade 3) students use specially designed concrete Montessori materials to explore mathematic concepts. Our older elementary Montessori students ( Grades 4 - 6) begin to move away from the materials to a more abstract study of increasingly complex mathematics, geometry, and algebra. At this point, the JUMP method is introduced as it complements the Montessori approach. Middle school students use the JUMP method and their work is often supplemented with text books at a grade level ahead.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: The Montessori materials are used throughout and JUMP is introduced around Grade 4. Students in grade 4 - 6 use a combination of Montessori materials and JUMP while middle school students use the JUMP method.

    • Calculator policy: A calculator is a mathematical tool and students are encouraged to use this tool appropriately.

    Early Reading Phonics-intensive

      Systematic-phonics programs teach young children to read by helping them to recognize and sound out the letters and syllables of words. Students are then led to blend these sounds together to sound out and recognize the whole word. While other reading programs might touch on phonetics (either incidentally or on a “when needed” basis), systematic phonics teaches phonics in a specific sequence, and uses extensive repetition and direct instruction to help readers associate specific letter patterns with their associated sounds.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  

    • What Avalon says: Language is an integral part of the Montessori Casa classroom and is fostered through encouragement of self-expression, lessons and freedom of conversation.The language materials introduce the phonetic sound of each letter in the alphabet. Using these sounds, the child is able to build words, thus begins the process of reading. Along with preparatory exercises in Practical Life and Sensorial Education, language materials also foster muscle control for printing.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What Avalon says: This information is not currently available.

    Writing Process approach

      The process approach to teaching beginner writing aims to get students writing “real things” as much as possible and as soon as possible. The goal is to create the right environmental conditions to encourage a love of writing and a motivation to write well. With children invested in the writing process -- through assignments children find meaningful -- students are then given feedback on how they can improve.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What Avalon says: Language is an integral part of the Montessori Casa classroom and is fostered through encouragement of self-expression, lessons and freedom of conversation.The language materials introduce the phonetic sound of each letter in the alphabet. Using these sounds, the child is able to build words, thus begins the process of reading. Along with preparatory exercises in Practical Life and Sensorial Education, language materials also foster muscle control for printing. In the Montessori classroom, students learn to write before they read and the process is referred to as word building. At the early elementary level, students are encouraged to write on a daily basis using meaningful activities.

    Science Equal Balance

      Science programs that balance expository and inquiry learning equally will likely have an equal blend of tests and experiments; direct, textbook-based instruction and student-centred projects.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: At the elementary level, science is part of our culture curriculum and encompasses physical geography, botany and zoology. Students are encouraged to explore at their own pace with guidelines set out by the teacher. Exploration includes research, experimentation, class discussions and projects. Middle School science is a distinct subject and students have the opportunity to explore concepts that have been introduced by the teacher.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature Equal Balance

      These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What Avalon says: At a young age, our students are encouraged to read for pleasure. As they move through the Elementary grades, literature is explored through the Junior Great Books program ( grades 4 -6) and through intriguing and compelling novels. Students are encouraged to respond to literature not simply read it, to draw comparisons between different pieces of literature, to make connections not only to their to their own lives and experiences but to both contemporary and historical issues. Discussions are encouraged and form an integral part of the curriculum.

    Social Studies Thematic

      The Thematic approach organizes the curriculum around certain themes or cultural universals. Students might spend time focused on food. Then they might focus on transportation or government, and so on.
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What Avalon says: Using the fundamental needs of humankind as our foundation, Elementary students are able to explore different cultures and different time periods. Students make connections and draw parallels based on their understanding that there are certain commonalities between humans. Cosmic education is a key component of the Montessori curriculum, encouraging students to see the interconnectedness between all living things.

    Humanities and Social Sciences Equal Balance

      These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What Avalon says: The Humanities and Social Science courses for our middle school students encourage active exploration of the ways in which people, places, and events have - and continue to - shape our world today. Students develop critical thinking skills as they carry out assignments designed to help them view issues and events, both past and present, in the context of social justice. These assignments combine the "Big Ideas" outlined in the Ontario curriculum with the student-centred approach of Montessori pedagogy. Each year students participate in the Student Vote program by CIVIX Canada, and are always excited to cast their ballot in current Municipal, Provincial, or Federal elections. They are also exposed to national and global current events through the What in the World? resource, which enhances their understanding and encourages interest in issues affecting our world today.

    Foreign Languages Equal Balance

      These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What Avalon says: French is introduced to the students at the early Elementary level.

    • Languages Offered: • French

    Fine Arts Creative

      Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What Avalon says: The Arts are an integral part of the program at Avalon. Our students engage in music, drama, dance and visual arts classes with an emphasis on exploration and creativity. Passionate and qualified instructors work with the students on a regular basis. Both our Fine Arts and Drama programs enable the students to enhance the depth and breadth of their creative expression and allow for intuitive responses to creating and exploring art. Emphasis and focus is placed on the creative process itself, while engaging the students with blended inquiry-based learning and active hands-on art-making. Drama culminates in an annual production that is staged at The Papermill Theatre.

    Computers and Technology Medium integration

      Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What Avalon says: Technology is an integral part of life in our society and our school reflects that. Computers are used by the students in Grades 4 - 8. Middle school students use digital devices - computers, tablets, phones on a daily basis. They are provided with access to an online study tool called StudySmart, developed by a former Avalon parent, to aid them as they plan and organize their personal tasks and assignments. Students build on their technological skills and understanding as they begin to integrate web and app-based programs into their assignments and presentations. Avalon continues to explore the ways in which technology can support the varied learning needs of all students.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Avalon says: Our physical education program is driven by our philosophy which stresses balanced opportunities in skills acquisition, leadership athletics, personal growth and healthy competition. Our goal is for students to develop healthy habits that will remain with them for life. All students are members of the cross country and track and field teams and participate in a variety of sports, onsite and in the community. These include skiing, snowboarding, and tennis. On a competitive level, Avalon is very successful at both cross country and track and field. We currently hold the trophy for the senior track and field event and look forward to defending our title.

    Sex and Health Education Doesn’t follow Ontario curriculum
    Topics covered in sex and health education: This information is not currently available.

    What Avalon says: At Avalon, we follow the children in all areas of the curriculum and this applies to sex and health education. Correct, factual and developmentally appropriate information is shared with the students in a safe and supportive environment.

    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.

    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.


    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.


    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.

    What Avalon says: Our sex-ed curriculum is part of our health program and follows the guidelines set out by the Ministry of Education. The curriculum is developmentally appropriate, factual, holistic and delivered without moral comment. We believe the teaching of values in this area should be done within the family.

    Montessori ApproachModerately Orthodox

    Orthodox Montessori     Moderate Orthodox Montessori    Moderately Non-Orthodox Montessori     Non-Orthodox Montessori

      Primary Lower Elementary Upper Elementary Middle
    Age groupings 3 to 6 6 to 9 9 to 11 11 to 14
    Uninterrupted work periods 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
    Tests and assignments Never Occasionally Occasionally Regularly
    Graded work Never Occasionally Semi-regularly Regularly
    Arts and crafts 0% 0% 0% 0%
    Whole-class lectures
    • Orthodox

      Whole-class lectures should never be given. Students learn best through small group lessons, interaction, and independent work.

    • Moderately orthodox

      Whole-class lectures should only be given occasionally (e.g., at the beginning of a term or unit). Students usually learn best through small group lessons, interaction, and independent work.

    • Moderately non-orthodox

      Whole-class lectures should be given semi-regularly (e.g., at the beginning of a lesson or a week). While students often learn best through group and independent work, it's sometimes important for teachers to set the stage for and contextualize learning.

    • Non-orthodox

      Whole-class lectures should be given often (e.g., every day). While group and independent learning is important, teachers need to provide lectures on a regular basis to provide the foundation for learning.

    What Avalon says: Avalon is fully Montessori at the Primary and Lower Elementary levels with more traditional activities being introduced in Upper. Our Middle School is Ontario Curriculum driven but delivered in a Montessori manner as we need to prepare our students for the expectations of traditional secondary school.

    Special education Moderately orthodox
    • Orthodox

      External special education support isn't necessary. Core teachers can deal with all special education needs, by offering the relevant support for each student.

    • Moderately orthodox

      External special education support is only rarely necessary. For instance, a psychologist might be brought in to help out a student with a severe developmental disorder.

    • Moderately non-orthodox

      External special education support is quite important. Outside specialists are needed for a fairly wide range of special needs, such as developmental and learning disabilities.

    • Non-orthodox

      External special education support is very important. Outside specialists are regularly brought in to support students with many different types of special needs, including developmental and learning disabilities, language and speech issues, behavioural issues, and advanced learning abilities.

    What Avalon says: We believe that the Montessori method works for all children but there are exceptions and times where it is important for specialists to provide support to the student and the teacher.

    Specialist classes Moderately non-orthodox
    • Orthodox

      We don't have any specialist teachers or classes. Core teachers are well-equipped to teach all subjects.

    • Moderately orthodox

      We only use specialist teachers and classes in rare cases (for instance, to teach a second language). Core teachers are well-equipped to teach almost all subjects.

    • Moderately non-orthodox

      We have a fairly wide range of specialist teachers and classes (for instance, in languages, music, and art). Core teachers are well-equipped to teach most subjects.

    • Non-orthodox

      We have many specialist teachers and classes (for instance, in languages, music, art, gym, science, and math). It's important that students receive specialized instruction in many subjects.

    What Avalon says: While all areas are incorporated into the Montessori classroom, Avalon does have specialists for French, music, art and physical education. These teachers work closely with the classroom teachers, are well versed in the Montessori philosophy of education and contribute to the healthy development of our students.

    Modern-day technology Moderately orthodox
    • Orthodox

      Modern-day technology is never used in the classroom. This can interfere with students' social and emotional development and can be a distraction.

    • Moderately orthodox

      Modern-day technology is very rarely used in class, since it can be a distraction and interfere with development. Students at the upper levels, though, might be permitted to use a computer or a tablet to do research for a specific project.

    • Moderately non-orthodox

      Modern-day technology is used in moderation since it can be a distraction. For instance, computers and other digital media might be used for research, writing, and multimedia projects.

    • Non-orthodox

      Modern technology is used fairly regularly. For instance, computers and other digital media might be used for research, writing, multimedia projects, and to learn keyboarding skills. Teachers may sometimes also use digital media, such as interactive whiteboards, to teach lessons or introduce topics.

    What Avalon says: Technology is introduced in Upper Elementary and is a key part of the program in our Middle School. It is important for the students to be literate in technology.

    Overall approach : Whick option best describes your overall curricular approach?
    • Orthodox
      38% of schools

      Schools that adhere strictly to the original Montessori program. They follow Montessori principles to the letter.

    • Moderately Orthodox
      36% of schools

      Schools that adhere to the original Montessori program and principles. On occasion, though, they supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.

    • Moderately Non-Orthodox
      11% of schools

      Schools that are faithful to the original Montessori program and principles, but sometimes supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.

    • Non-orthodox
      15% of schools

      Schools that are faithful to the original Montessori program and principles, but often supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.

    Teaching Assistants: This school uses teaching assistants.

    What Avalon says: There are TAs in the Primary and Lower Elementary classrooms. They are an integral part of the team and support the classroom teachers and students in all areas of school life.

    Preschool/K Curriculum Montessori

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Montessori programs aimed at preschool and Kindergarten- aged children allow young learners to choose which “tasks” or activities interest them. These tasks centre around special Montessori puzzles -- the essential features of these puzzles being they contain a “right answer” and allow for self-correction. A strong emphasis is therefore placed on learning being concrete and rooted in practical experience, along with children developing a sense of self-sufficiency and confidence. Specially trained teachers act as guides, introducing children to progressively more difficult materials when appropriate. A Montessori classroom is typically very calm and orderly, with children working alone or, sometimes, in small groups.

    If you want to learn more about Montessori education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also check out our guide to Montessori preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.

    If you want to learn more about preschool education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also read our in-depth answers to important preschool questions: What is preschool? What are the main preschool programs? What are the main pros and cons of preschool? What do children learn in preschool? How much does preschool cost?  What makes for a great preschool?

    What Avalon says: The Montessori Casa program provides a prepared environment for children ages 2 1/2 to 6 years. The didactic materials used in the classroom are based on the pedagogy developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, and aid the child in the learning process. Spontaneous and self-directed learning is fostered in this non-competitive environment. Children are free to work independently or in collaboration with peers, gaining important social skills. Self-esteem and confidence develop as children explore with the materials and master important developmental skills. Avalon offers full day and part time Kindergarten options.

    Curriculum Pace Student-paced

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    The main curriculum pace is non-standardized and is HIGHLY responsive to the pacing of individual students, (via differentiated instruction, differentiated assessment, etc). In theory, some students outpace the default/normalized curriculum, while others spend periods "behind schedule" if they need the extra time.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What Avalon says about flexible pacing: Flexible pacing allows the students to fully comprehend a concept before being 'forced' to move on. Differentiated instruction allows students to work at their own pace, remaining engaged and challenged.

    Academic Culture Supportive

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

    What Avalon says: This information is not currently available.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced, Intellectual

    Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
    Equal attention is paid to a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical.

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Intellectual
    Academically strong, creative, and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions.

    What Avalon says: This information is not currently available.

    Special Needs Support Partial Integration

    Partial Integration

    Students are placed in a separate special education class, but are strategically integrated into a regular classroom for certain periods.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Extra support
    • What Avalon says: In accordance with the Montessori philosophy, we believe it is our mandate is to meet the needs of the child. Accommodations, modifications and extra support are an innate part of our school culture. We strive to embrace the uniqueness of all our students. For those students with clinically diagnosed learning disabilities and ADHD, we work with the students to develop a strategy that works best for them. We also strive to maintain open communication with the parents/guardians to ensure that we are working together to best meet the needs of the students.

    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Learning disabilities
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Williams syndrome
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Clinical anxiety
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Multiple sclerosis
      Cerebral palsy
      Muscular dystrophy
      Spina Bifida
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:
      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Speech-language therapy
    • Summary: Commencing September 2017, Avalon will have a specialized program to support students with diagnosed learning disabilities and IEPs. The goal of the program is to support the academic, social, emotional and physical development of the student. Support will be given in a variety of ways, including indirect support, resource assistance, withdrawal assistance and special education within an integrated program, Program specifics are based on the individual needs of the student, in collaboration with the support team and parents/guardians. Space in this program is limited.

    Gifted Learner Support Dedicated class; in-class adaptations

    Dedicated gifted programs:

    Program = offered
    Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
    Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)

    Curriculum delivery: Acceleration and enrichment (There is an equal emphasis on acceleration and enrichment.)

    In-class adaptations:
    Practice = offered
    Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)
    Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)
    Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)
    Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)
    Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)
    Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)
    Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)
    Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)
    Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)

    What Avalon says: The goal of our LSP is to support the academic, social, emotional and physical development of the student. Support will be given in a variety of ways, including indirect support, resource assistance, withdrawal assistance and special education within an integrated program, Program specifics are based on the individual needs of the student, in collaboration with the support team and parents/guardians. \nSpace in this program is limited.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Homework Policy

    In grade 8, Avalon Children's Montessori School students perform an average of 45 mins of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    Avalon 0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins0 mins15 mins30 mins30 mins45 mins45 mins45 mins
    Site Average2 mins6 mins7 mins16 mins18 mins24 mins29 mins34 mins40 mins53 mins57 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered grades6 to 8
    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackPreschool to 5
    Parent-teacher meetingsPreschool to 8

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What Avalon says:
    • The diverse co-curricular program is driven by our philosophy which stresses not only academic development, but also balanced opportunities in leadership, the arts, and athletics. This allows for our students to develop skills for personal growth and citizenship. In addition to enriching school life and building a spirit of fun and community, it enables students to explore their passions and discover their own voices in a supportive and nurturing environment. It is this spirit that drives our annual school productions. All elementary students are involved in the staging of vibrant and engaging theatrical productions. Our 2016 production of Alice in Wonderland was another huge success!

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
      Downhill skiing
      Martial Arts
    • Clubs Offered
      Chess Club
      Community Service
      Drama Club
      Poetry/Literature club
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    Day Day (Half day)
    Day (Half day)$6,400
    What Avalon says: New applicants are required to submit a non refundable registration fee of $100. A non-refundable deposit of 10% of the tuition is due upon acceptance. Various payment schedules for tuition fees can be arranged; additional administrative charges may apply. Avalon Montessori School is a small independent school and tuition and registration fees account for over 95% of the school revenue.


    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    Early paymentDay5%
    2nd child (sibling)Day5%

    Need-based financial aid

    Grade range that need-based aid is offered: 1 to 8
    Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid5%
    Average aid package size$10,000
    Percentage of total enrollment on financial aid5%
    Total aid available$10,000

    Application Deadline:
    Rolling deadline

    More information:

    Application Details:

    This school works with other. for processing financial applications
    Please contact a School Director for more information.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 90
    Average enrollment per grade8
    Average class sizeVaries
    Gender (grades)Preschool to Gr. 8 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution:

    Day Enrollment743104923



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    Interview1 - 8
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Avalon says:

    Interested families are invited to contact the school to set up a visit and classroom observation. A classroom observation is a mandatory part of the application process. Following the observation, interested families will sit down with an Avalon Director to determine if the application process should proceed.

    At the Elementary level, students are invited to spend at day at Avalon, allowing for an informal observation by the teacher and an opportunity for the student to gain experience in the classroom. The elementary application must be accompanied by copies of the 2 most recent report cards.

    Students applying to the Middle School are required to complete a questionnaire in addition to the above.  We believe that the adolescent student must have a strong desire to attend Avalon and be willing to be active participants in their own education.  




    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Avalon Children's Montessori School is looking for: At the Casa and early elementary level, it is important that parents/guardians have an understanding of or a willingness to learn about the Montessori method of education. As older students apply to the school, it is important that families understand the nature and benefits of a small school and are committed to not only the growth and development of their own children but to the Avalon community as a whole. For the adolescent who applies to the Middle School program at Avalon, we are looking for students who are: Independent Creative problem solvers ‡ Tolerant ‡ Leaders or willing to become leaders ‡ Curious and excited about learning ‡ Socially conscious ‡ Able to think outside of the box ‡ Willing to take responsiblity for his/her own learning

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypePSJKSK12345678
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    8 - 10 (90%)3 - 5 (90%)3 - 5 (90%)6 - 8 (90%)2 - 5 (90%)2 - 5 (90%)6 - 8 (75%)2 - 5 (75%)2 - 5 (75%)6 - 8 (75%)2 - 4 (75%)

    Notable Alumni


    Alumni Highlights

    • We are so proud of the Avalon Class of 2011 who have successfully transitioned to post secondary school, including Ryerson University and Algonquin College.
    • 3 athletes, who started in the Avalon lunch time karate program, have pushed themselves very hard in their karate training. On June 11, 2016 each was awarded the rank of (Junior) black belt and were selected to compete in the Karate competition at the Ontario Summer Games in August. They had to meet specific selection criteria and only 8 competitors per division were picked, province-wide. Their next goal is to try and make the Karate Ontario Provincial Team for the 2017 National Championships in Quebec City. Karate was voted into the Olympic Games in August 2016. These athletes are on the Olympic pathway as my club is recognized by Sport Canada. Great things start with the first step...thanks for your support.

    Stories & Testimonials


    Another Proud Avalon Mom

    Just a little kid brag and a thank you to our Avalon teachers who have become our family. As a mom who's son is graduating high school this year, going off to University next year and was just accepted to attend the Forum for Young Canadians in Ottawa, I truly feel like we owe a debt of gratitude to the women who helped him grow into the young man that he has become.

    <3 to our magical unicorn school who let my square peg be himself, supported him, nurtured and encouraged him, allowed him the freedom to grow at his own speed and who never let him feel like anything was impossible.

    Of all of the decisions we have made, as parents, the one thing that neither of us regret, for one second, is our decision to send Hank to Avalon from cradle to grave. 

    * this photo was taken during Grade 12 exams when Hank came back to help out in one of our classrooms.


    Proud Avalon Mom

    My turn to share a proud Avalon Alumni Mum moment... :-)
    My daughter Samantha joined the Avalon community when she was 3 1/2 and moved through Casa, Lower, Upper and Senior Elementary. She was Valedictorian for her grade 8 graduating class, Avalon's first graduating class. She selected a high school that was the best match for her. She moved through the transition and the unfolding years of high school with courage and grace and learned much about life, herself as well as academics along the way. Although she graduated in June 2016 as an Ontario Scholar, and received acceptances at several Universities, she once again chose to carve her own path - the path less traveled. She declined all acceptances. She chose to enrol in alternative high school for one semester this past fall to pick up additional credits, and to weigh which academic path she truly wanted to pursue. She excelled once again and at 12:10 am February 1st (the first day that Uni/Colleges can notify prospective students of acceptance) she received an offer to enter a Bachelor of Commerce degree program in Applied Accounting in September. I guess they really want her ;-). And so she returns to her LOVE of Math, a love cultivated by her beloved Avalon teachers. And beyond what Avalon instilled in this beautiful, caring, clear, confident, smart, independent young woman about to officially become an adult, is a strong sense of self. Strength to look deep within herself. Strength to be true to herself. Strength to carve her own path. I'm excited to see what unfolds for her these next few months as she opens to fully living..playing..discovering and readying for her next academic chapter. Thank you Sherry, Angie, Chris, Tanya, Brianna, MrsV...and all <3


    Public School Alternative


    When my oldest son was five months old he was sitting up and crawling around. At seven months he was walking. At ten months he was running everywhere as fast as his little legs could take him and if you turned your head away from him for one second – he was gone!  There was no stopping him. He was on a mission to see the world and, with his carefree attitude, did not seem to concern himself with where “mommy” was and how far away he had strayed. He had boundless energy to burn and I could hardly keep up with him. He was a bright, inquisitive child who simply could not sit still. There was always too much to see and do – a world of adventure at every turn.  

    When he started Junior Kindergarten at our local inner city public school it had not occurred to me that my spirited son, who had been in daycare since he was nine months old, would have any trouble fitting in or possibly dislike going to school.  However, that was exactly the case! Although he made plenty of friends and was well liked by all, I would get calls for interviews by the teacher to sit down and go over my son’s behaviour in class.   The teacher would say, “He is a very bright boy, but he has trouble focusing in class. He doesn’t sit still and he is always doing something; fidgeting or distracting the other children.”  These comments were repeated throughout his Junior and Senior Kindergarten experience.  

    It got to the point where both his father and I began to expect to hear these words repeated over and over again. Unfortunately, what was more apparent to both his father and myself was that our son began to complain about school.  He didn’t seem excited to go and it started to get harder and harder to convince him that school was fun and that learning was enjoyable.  I could see that my once curious, adventurous and spirited boy, was becoming frustrated and withdrawn.  

    We realized that the structure of the public school system might not be suited for our son but what other options did we have?  We began to look into alternative schools.  

    By chance, we made an appointment to see the Avalon Montessori School, in the beaches area. At that time it was a twenty-five to thirty minute TTC ride from our homes. As soon as we walked into one of the school's classrooms, we were both in awe.  There were students reading, calculating math using number rods and other tactile materials, children working on assignments together and individually.  I had never seen children so interested in learning and doing all of this on their own with little direction from their teacher. The classroom was quiet as they were all so focused on their own individual work.  I was amazed!  I knew right away that this was the type of environment that my son would be happy in and could flourish in.

     After the tour, the principal, Sherry VanderKooi,  took us into her office to discuss our son and the possibility of him attending the school.  We happily signed him up. He was going to Avalon! 

    Now that many years have passed ( 9, in fact) and I’ve seen how well my son has done at Avalon, I can genuinely say that Avalon has been a blessing.  I can’t say enough about what Avalon has provided for our son.  He continues to impress me with his wit, courteous attitude towards others, broad knowledge and skills, and independent confident spirit. This is honestly the result of the many encouraging years he spent at Avalon.

    He is now a very happy and well adjusted grade 9 students and we are so thankful for his Avalon experience. 






    International Family

    You may call it a coincidence that we ended up at Avalon Montessori School. In our family we call it serendipity. 

    Just off the boat from Denmark, we were looking for a full day kindergarten program in the Beaches for your youngest. The school choice was made already for our oldest and he was going to attend the local public school - or so we thought. After meeting up with Ms. VanDerKooi to discuss the kindergarten program, we felt determined that Avalon was right for our son too and we decided to enroll both children. We have not regretted this once. 

    The loving and curious staff at Avalon took both our kids under their wings instantaneously and provided safety and security for them in their transitioning into Canadian life. They made our big transition smooth. Within a few months, both children had acquired English and were able to function socially as well as academically.

    Looking back at three years at Avalon, we are stunned by what our children have learned in the Montessori classroom – and not just academically. Also in terms of personal leadership and resiliency, Avalon has provided numerous opportunities for our children to blossom, gain self-confidence and take on the role of independence, and we truly feel that Avalon has helped our children become develop the right social and emotional skills for a diverse, global world. 

    Needless to say, both we, as parents, and our children are very sad to have to say goodbye - for now. For Avalon is not just a great school. It’s a wonderfully embracing community.




    From the Archives

    Dear Teachers, Staff, Parents, and Families of Avalon,

    It all started with a small ad. Just a few lines in the local paper - I know we still have it somewhere. It announced that a new Montessori school was opening and they were accepting applications for enrolment. For us, the timing was perfect. We were a young family, new to the area and this was exactly what were looking for. Now it seems it was just yesterday. So much has happened, so much has changed. Our children have learned so many new things and more importantly, they have become, just like their friends, wonderful little individuals who are delightful and charming to spend time with. All the while this was going on at school, we were able to make a cherished new group of friends, sharing a common experience and extending the scope of our family in ways we never anticipated. Every day we are learning something new and more importantly, we are doing it as a family.

    Thank You



    Dear Avalon

    I will miss you very much and I will miss all the teachers, including Mrs. V. I have been in this school since I was 18 months but now that I am leaving this school, every time I think of it, my eyes water. Avalon Children's Montessori is a part of my life and always will be. Thank you for teaching me all those amazing things. I have met some of my best friends at Avalon. I will remember when I sang at Casa and did plays in Elementary. But still that is not the most important thing, it is that I LOVE AVALON!

    Thank you and I will miss you.


    In the News


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