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BrightMinds Online School

Unit 2. 4681 Highway 7 East, Unionville, Ontario, L3R 1M6

Liberal Arts
Grades (Gender):
Gr. 9 to Gr. 12 (Coed)
$449 to 599/course
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
Day: Varies (Gr. 9 - 12)

School Address
Unit 2. 4681 Highway 7 East, Unionville, Ontario, L3R 1M6

About this school:


Located in Unionville, Ontario, BrightMinds is an online private high school, offering grade 9-12 e-learning credit courses to local and international students on a part time and full time basis. BrightMinds is registered and inspected by the Ontario Ministry of Education and has the authority to grant credits towards the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Our BSID # is 883674.

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Our Take: BrightMinds Online School

our takeIt’s perhaps a somewhat novel concept at the moment, though it’s clear that online learning will continue to grow as an option for many. BrightMinds offers online courses toward completion of the Ontario high school graduation diploma. Students are free to advance through the course content at their own pace, though all courses begin and end at set times, per their bricks and mortar counterparts. If there is a downside to online learning, it’s the lack of peer interaction and the in-class experience. That said, the majority of students who take online courses do so in order to augment traditional coursework. As such, online learning provides a lot of benefits, including the ability to work ahead toward completion of the diploma, or to remediate, addressing weaknesses or soft patches within a student’s transcript. The courses are taught by skilled, accredited instructors who otherwise teach in physical schools in Ontario. The interface is two-way, with students free to approach their instructors via online messaging, phone, or, in some cases, in person, where appropriate. It may be some time yet before online learning provides an alternative, outright, to traditional instruction, but in the meantime, BrightMinds offers quality courses by skilled instructors. And, for many students, they will no doubt prove invaluable toward reaching their academic goals and completion of their high school education.  

Principal's Message


Shani Polito , Principal

It is with great enthusiasm and happiness that I welcome you to BrightMinds Online School. At BrightMinds, we believe in quality education that equips students with academic knowledge and skills of being a successful professional in a globalized world. With the help of latest educational software and a team of highly qualified and committed e-learning instructors and administrative staff, we deliver credit courses that are tailored to the ever changing interests, demanding schedule and diverse learning ability of our students. We take pride in that our reputation is built on our students’ success. We encourage you to visit our website and learn more about our programs.


Curriculum Liberal Arts

Primary Curriculum: Liberal Arts

What BrightMinds says: All courses offered at BrightMinds Online School are designed and developed in accordance to the guideline and expectations of the Ontario Secondary Curriculum and Growing Success document. Our e-learning programs are designed and delivered by certified and well trained teachers who are committed to the success of their students in the virtual classroom.

  • 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 BrightMinds says: At BrightMinds, it is our goal to encourage and support our students to become independent learners and critical thinkers. As such, our instructional approach in teaching mathematics utilizes a balance of traditional and discover approach in delivering the concepts. For lower grades such as 9 and 10, more of a transitional approach will be used to help set a strong foundation. For senior levels such as grade 11 and 12, discover approach becomes the more prominent teaching methodology.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: At BrightMinds, Nelson and McGraw Hill text books are frequently used as a secondary resource.

    • Calculator policy: At BrightMinds, students are allowed to use a scientific calculator for assessment and evaluation.

    Science Inquiry

      Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: At BrightMinds, science courses are delivered with a considerable emphasis on the inquiry approach. STEM projects are built into the assessment and evaluation of students.

    • 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 BrightMinds says: A balanced approach is used in teaching of literature courses at BrightMinds. While students learn about more traditional elements of literature such as plot and characterization, they are guided and encouraged to analyze the literature in both social and historical context got a better understanding and appreciation of the piece.

    Humanities and Social Sciences Pragmatism

      Pragmatism in the humanities and social sciences emphasizes making learning relevant to students’ present-day experience. Assignments tend to centre around projects and tasks rather than argumentative essays; these projects will often have a “real-world” application or relevance. There might be more of a social justice component to a pragmatic program, though that isn’t always the case. Subjects like history and philosophy are still covered/offered, but they play a less prominent role in the overall program than in the case of perennialism. The social sciences (contemporary geography, sociology, psychology, etc), meanwhile, might play a more prominent role in pragmatic programs. The key goals are to make learning progressive and relevant, while teaching students real-life skills and critical thinking.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What BrightMinds says: In delivering social science and humanities course, BrightMinds e-learning instructor emphasis on the real life application of the concepts and themes learned and discussed during lectures. While students become familiar with the work of great minds, they are encouraged to make connection between the great ideas and their life.

    Foreign Languages Communicative

      The communicative method of language acquisition emphasizes the use of the target language in authentic contexts. The approach commonly features interactive group work, games, authentic texts, and opportunities to learn about the cultural background of the language. Drills and quizzes may still be used, but less frequently than with the audio-lingual method.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What BrightMinds says: At BrightMinds, language is taught and learned through continuous communication activities. Online discussions, debates, media presentations and oral story telling are frequently used to assess student\'s language learning ability and to provide feedback for improvement.

    • Languages Offered: • French • ESL

    Fine Arts
    • Program offers:

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

    • What BrightMinds says: The arts program at BrightMinds is deigned to help students meet the compulsory credit requirement for their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). The program takes an expressive approach in delivery of the curriculum expectations.

    Computers and Technology Heavy integration

      A major effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy throughout the curriculum and in everything students do. Digital literacy is understood to be a fundamental skill in the 21st century: it therefore follows, the idea goes, that teachers should find ways to connect every lesson back to technology. Effort is made to ensure the use of technology is meaningful and advances students’ skills beyond what they would otherwise be from using computers outside the classroom.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What BrightMinds says: At BrightMinds, computers and technology play a major role in design and delivery of the e-learning programs. Latest educational softwares are used to create academically stimulating learning environment for students.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What BrightMinds says: At BrightMinds, the physical education course is only offered at grade 9 level to help student meet the compulsory requirement of their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). While learning the big ideas through e-learning platform, students will plan and complete a personal fitness program throughout the semester. Students can choose indoor and/r outdoor activity and will maintain a log record of their participation and progress.

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

    What BrightMinds says: This information is not currently available.

    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 BrightMinds says: This information is not currently available.

    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 BrightMinds says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    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 BrightMinds says: At BrightMinds, we understand and value the fact that each students has a unique academic/career goal in mind. We also recognize that students learn differently from one another. We work closely with our students to make sure that they are supported in their learning.

    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 BrightMinds says: At BrightMinds, we believe in a balanced instructional approach that prepares our students for both post secondary and job market. In designing each e-learning program we focus on a wholesome approach in which there is ample opportunities for intellectual, social and even physical development.

    Special Needs Support No support

    No support

    BrightMinds offers no/limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.

    • 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 BrightMinds says: We encourage parents to have a timely and honest communication with us in terms of their children\'s learning ability. In return, we are honest in terms of what we can do to support the student and what is beyond the scope of our resource and expertise.

    • 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: At BrightMinds, e-learning instructors offer the following modifications: \n\n1. Instructional accommodations: changes in teaching strategies, including styles of presentation, methods of organization, or use of technology and multimedia. \n2: Assessment accommodations: changes in assessment procedures that enable the student to demonstrate his or her learning, such as allowing additional time to complete tests or assignments

    Gifted Learner Support 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 BrightMinds says: We do offer \"Reach Ahead\" program to Grade 8 students who wish to take one of their grade 9 courses before officially entering their secondary years.

    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 12, BrightMinds Online School students perform an average of 30 mins of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    BrightMinds 15 mins15 mins30 mins30 mins
    Site Average69 mins80 mins95 mins108 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered grades9 to 12
    Prose (narrative)-based feedback9 to 12
    Academic achievement reporting9 to 12
    Habits and behaviour reporting9 to 12

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What BrightMinds says:

    This information is not currently available.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Online Magazine

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    Day (Domestic: in province)$449 / course$499 / course$549 / course$599 / course
    What BrightMinds says: At BrightMinds, students pay the fee on a course basis.

    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment Varies
    Average enrollment per gradeVaries
    Average class sizeVaries
    Gender (grades)Gr. 9 to Gr. 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.



    Admissions Assessments:

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

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What BrightMinds says:

    International students, homeschooled students and those transferring to BrightMinds from outside Ontario might be required to complete assessments (placement tests) in English, math and science. In addition and in order for an informed placement decision to be made, students are required to provide any an all documents that support their previous learning experience. 



    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student BrightMinds Online School is looking for: We welcome students from all walks of life.

    Day ESchool

    Student Entry Points

    Student Type789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    0 (90%)0 (90%)0 (90%)0 (90%)
    ESchool Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class size25
    *Canadian "Big 6" placements20
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University, University of Alberta, or Dalhousie University.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)

    Schools our students are admitted to (last 4 years): Our students either attend a post secondary education in Ontario, BC, Quebec or a post secondary institution in their home country (China, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Iran, Russia, India, South Korea, etc. )
    Schools our students attend (last 4 years): Our students either attend a post secondary education in Ontario, BC, Quebec or a post secondary institution in their home country (China, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Iran, Russia, India, South Korea, etc. )


    • The Ontario Federation of Independent Schools (OFIS) Associations

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