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Dalton School

1585 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4T 1Z9

Grades (Gender):
JK to 6 (Coed)
Main Language:
Spanish & Mandarin
Avg. Class Size:
16 to 24
Day: 60 (Gr. JK - 6)

School Address
1585 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, M4T 1Z9

About this school:


The Dalton School is a dual language English/Mandarin school for children in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6. Children spend half their day in an English speaking environment and half their day in a Mandarin speaking environment. Core academic subjects such as math, language, science and social studies are taughtr in both languages. — Visit school website



The Our Kids review of Dalton School

our takeDalton is a dual-language school, so it doesn't use the language immersion model that most Canadians are familiar with. Dual immersion programs admit children for whom either instructional language is the language spoken at home, and Dalton has both Spanish and Mandarin programs, with parents enrolling their children in one or the other. They then learn in a school environment that uses both instructional languages--either Mandarin/English or Spanish/English equally. There isn't as much direct language instruction as many might expect, though, given the age of the children, the results can nevertheless be remarkable. Indeed, visiting the school can be, and often is, a striking experience. Most Canadians, truly, have never experienced an academic environment quite like it, with very young children functioning easily, casually in two languages. The school is still quite young, though it's already demonstrating the value of the program. Dalton has a very close, community feel, and parents are welcome to be involved in the life of the school.

Principal's Message


Donna Booth, Principal

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Hola! Nihao! Welcome to Toronto's first global, dual language elementary school. Founded in 2012, The Dalton School is a dual language private school for students in JK to Grade 6, located in midtown Toronto.  Parent can choose between the English-Mandarin stream or the English-Spanish stream.  The two way immersion (TWI) system establishes literacy and mathematical skill simultaneously in two languages: English, as well as Spanish or Mandarin.  Both languages are used as the language of instruction for all subjects:  mathematics, language arts, grammar, technology, social studies, physical education, art and music.

In today's global society cultural understanding and fluency in more than one language is a vital asset. The way of the future involves a global understanding of differing cultures and languages.  

At The Dalton School children will receive a well-rounded, global education.  Based in the Ontario curriculum and integrating aspects of other international curricula, we have developed a unique and truly exceptional syllabus for our students. Our teachers are eager to work with your child.  We can say with confidence that they are a kind, dedicated and talented group, filled with energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Your child will excel at Dalton!

We look forward to welcoming you,

Warm regards,

Donna Booth


The Dalton School


Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

What Dalton School says: The Dalton School offers a fully immersed dual-language English/Spanish or English/Mandarin program. Taught by committed educators with a keen interest in child development, our curriculum is designed to challenge young minds and build confidence. Students spend half of their day in an English speaking environment and the other half in a fully-immersed Mandarin or Spanish environment.

  • 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 Dalton School says: Our math program is innovative and uses a variety of approaches. Using the JUMP Math systematic approach, along with a variety of hands on manipulative materials students develop a strong foundation in basic math skills. Teaching students to understand fundamental operations, along with the memorization of math facts helps students work quickly and accurately through daily math work.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    Early Reading Balanced Literacy

      Balanced reading programs are typically Whole Language programs with supplementary phonics training. This training might be incidental, or it might take the form of mini-lessons.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  

    • What Dalton School says: The Dalton School has developed a very strong reading/literacy program beginning at the JK level. In English, we have developed our reading program around the 5 Pillars of Reading: Phonetic Awareness: understanding letter sound recognition Phonemic Understanding: understanding that letters can be blended and combined to make different sounds (often referred to as the mechanics or building blocks of reading) Vocabulary: understanding word meanings, application to context Reading Comprehension: reading for meaning and understanding, inferential and interpretive skill development Fluency: reading with speed, accuracy and expression (no longer focused on the mechanics of reading). We follow these same principles to develop reading skills in Spanish. For Mandarin, recognition of characters begins at the JK level. We focus on simplified character development and the use of pinyin is introduced at the later SK/Grade 1 level.

    • DIBELS Testing: This school periodically uses DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

    • What Dalton School says: This information is not currently available.

    Writing Equal balance

      Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What Dalton School says: As well as a strong emphasis placed on reading development, our program exposes students to the different writing genres. Our writing program begins with understanding words, development of the different types of sentence writing leading to paragraph writing and finally to writing for purpose/audience. Development of strong spelling and grammar skills rounds out our literacy program. Our Spanish program follows a similar progression to develop solid writing skills. Mandarin writing skills focus on the development of proper character strokes and sequence.

    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: Our program develops a foundation for understanding the world through various scientific strands such as: biology, ecology, matter, experimentation, energy, weather, structures and mechanics. Collecting, sorting, comparing, observing and analyzing data help our young students to develop a scientific approach to the world. Exposure to scientific vocabulary, as well as experimentation, allows our students to build the skills needed for future scientific learning.

    • 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 Traditional

      In traditional literature programs students focus on decoding the mechanics of texts: plot, characterization, and themes. These texts tend to include a balance of contemporary and “classic” literature. When studying a past work, students investigate its historical context -- but only insofar as this adds understanding to the work itself. Past works are therefore studied “on their own terms”, and not merely as historical artifacts to be deconstructed: traditional literature programs are firmly rooted in the humanities, and carry the belief that great literature can reveal fundamental and universal truths about the human condition. These programs emphasize class discussions and critical essay writing, and aim to develop in students critical thinking, communication skills, and a cultivated taste and ethos.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What Dalton School says: Students are introduced to the mechanics of reading in English, Spanish and Mandarin at the JK/SK level. Once solid mechanics have been developed students progress to independent reading, group guided reading and finally to novel study discussion groups where emphasis is placed on inferential and evaluative skills. Students are introduced to a variety of genres within our program. Students coming out of our JK/ SK program enter the Elementary with solid reading skills in all languages. Those graduating from our elementary program are thoughtful, reflective readers who read for meaning and understanding.

    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 Dalton School says: Our Social Studies program is thematic in nature. At each grade level we incorporate the main aspects of the Ontario curriculum, while enriching the students' learning of world geography through stories, traditions, and holidays of the major cultures of the world.

    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 Dalton School says: The Dalton School is a dual language program following a 50/50 model. Subject areas are taught in two languages; either Spanish/English or Mandarin/English. Mandarin and Spanish are used as a medium for instruction rather than as a "subject" that is taught. All aspects of the language and culture are incorporated through a diverse, innovative curriculum.

    • Languages Offered: • Chinese-Mandarin • Spanish

    Fine Arts Equal Balance

      These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Program offers:

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

    • What Dalton School says: Art exploration along with art appreciation are regularly incorporated into our program. We value student creativity and exploration and encourage the use of a variety of mediums. Students are exposed to a wide range of activities such as dance, music, and drama in preparation for our yearly concert performances.

    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 Dalton School says: Computers and technology are incorporated into everyday classroom activities. Students are introduced to word processing at the grade one level beginning with keyboarding skill development and simple document formatting. More advanced skills are introduced throughout the elementary grades. Internet safety is introduced as students begin to use the computers for research. A variety of online programs in English, Mandarin and Spanish are used for learning/skill development throughout all grade levels.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Dalton School says: The Dalton School uses the SPARK Physical Education Curriculum. SPARK (Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids) is a researched-based, public-health organization dedicated to creating, implementing and evaluating physical education principles that promote lifelong wellness. Instructional units are designed to develop students’ motor, cognitive, and social skills. Units include: Movement, Parachute Activities, Balance and Tumbling, Catching and Throwing, Dance, Dribble, Volley and Cooperative Games. In later grades, once fundamental skills have been developed, more team oriented sports are introduced such as soccer, basketball, badminton and volleyball. Spark PE has been translated to be used in the Mandarin and Spanish PE classes in tandem with the English PE class.

    Sex and Health Education Doesn’t follow Ontario curriculum
    Topics covered in sex and health education:
    Topics We begin covering this topic at: Begins in Ontario
    Body parts Gr. 1
    Nutrition JK Gr. 1
    Human development Gr. 5 Gr. 1
    Puberty Gr. 4
    Sexual health and hygiene Gr. 4
    Reproduction Gr. 5
    Pregnancy Gr. 7
    Sexually transmitted infections Gr. 7
    Sex and decision-making Gr. 7
    Contraception Gr. 8
    Consent Gr. 9
    Sexual orientation Gr. 8
    Gender identity Gr. 8
    Misconceptions relating to sexuality Gr. 10
    Relationships and intimacy Gr. 8
    Bias and stereotyping about sex Gr. 12
    Sexual harassment Gr. 9
    Body image issues Gr. 7
    Mental illness Gr. 11
    Social justice and diversity

    What Dalton School 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 Dalton School says: This information is not currently available.

    Preschool/K Curriculum Academic

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

    Academic-based preschools and Kindergartens are the most structured of the different types, and have a strong emphasis on math and reading readiness skills. These programs aim to expose children to what early-elementary school is like. While time is still allotted to free play, much of the day is built around explicit lessons guided by the teacher. Classrooms often resemble play-based ones (with different stations set up around the room), but at an Academic program the teacher leads students through the stations directly, and ties these activities to a whole-class lesson or theme.

    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 Dalton School says: The Dalton School JK/SK dual language program offers children a solid foundation in language, math, social studies and social skill development in two languages. Throughout their day children are engaged in a variety of activities such as small group lessons, guided inquiry and play based centres. Students eagerly participate in activities that promote and reinforce the building blocks to all future learning success.

    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    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 Dalton School 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 Dalton School 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 Dalton School says: This information is not currently available.

    Special Needs Support Limited


    Dalton School offers 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

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    Dalton School does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.

    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 6, Dalton School students perform an average of 30 mins of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    Dalton School 0 mins15 mins15 mins15 mins15 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins
    Site Average5 mins7 mins16 mins18 mins24 mins29 mins34 mins40 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered grades6 to 6
    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackJK to SK
    Academic achievement reportingJK to 6
    Habits and behaviour reportingJK to 6
    Parent-teacher meetingsJK to 6

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.

    Recess Policy

    Non-lunch recessFrequency 3/day 3/day 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day
    Location Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside
    Amount 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30
    Lunch recessAmount 30 30 30 30 15 15 15 15

    What Dalton School says: This information is not currently available.

    Non-lunch recesses: All of this school’s non-lunch recesses take place between classes or academic periods. Recess segmentation: This school segments recesses by grade

    What Dalton School says: This information is not currently available.


    What Dalton School says:

    This information is not currently available.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Foreign Language Club

    Tuition & Financial Aid



    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 60
    Average enrollment per grade7
    Average class size16 to 24
    Gender (grades)JK to 6 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution:

    Day Enrollment1010101010



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    Interview2 - 6
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Dalton School says:

    To apply please send in the application form along with the application fee of $250 by December 4th.  There is a wait list for some classes so apply early.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Dalton School is looking for: We welcome all students interested in learning languages.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypeJKSK123456
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    5 - 10 (100%)5 - 10 (80%)000000

    Stories & Testimonials


    Chinese Calligraphy

    Chinese calligraphy takes time and patience! Students need concentration to be precise.  Look at their beautiful work!





    Hiking Through the Woods

    Sometimes during our playtime we go for adventuresome hikes in the woods.  We talk about nature and learn about the wildlife native to Toronto. It's always a fun and exciting time for the students. 


    Yoga Anyone?

    Each week we have been learning a new pose.



    Smart Board Learning

    The Smart Board is so much fun!  I love it!


    Thanksgiving at the Dalton School

    What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than with baking!  We had a great time reading recipes, following instructions and baking a delicious apple crisp to take home to our families.


    Young People's Theater - Cinderella a Ratical Tale

    What a wonderful performance and a fun twist on a traditional fairy tale.  



    Off to the Brickworks

    It was a beautiful autumn day for our field trip to the Brickworks.  We hiked to the top of the "mountain" and through many of the trails.  Enjoying a picnic lunch by the ponds we saw geese, ducks, herons, turtles, to name just a few of the wildlife inhabiting the quarry gardens.  Our trip ended with a tour through the resource conservation area.


    Chinese New Year

    The Dalton School students are busy preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year!  We are ready and eager to welcome the year of the snake next week. 



    Arctic Studies

    What a blast we've had studying all about the Polar Regions in our JK/SK class. From animal studies to Inuit Art, the children have learned all about the iciest places on Earth! Do you know where the coldest, driest and windiest place in the world is?



    Benefits of Bilingualism

    Academic Advantages

    The academic benefits of dual language education are far-reaching.

    Research shows that the early acquisition of a second language impacts intellectual growth in a wide variety of ways:

    • Cognitive skills are strengthened.
    • Student’s ability to adapt to different types of learning is strengthened.
    • Creativity and problem-solving skills are enhanced.
    • Overall academic performance in general is improved.
    • Higher scores on standardized tests are frequently seen in students enrolled in dual language programs.

    In the STARlight, Issue 3

    Written by:
    Laura-Ann Petitto, Ph.D.

    Focus of Research

    Six distinct lines of inquiry were undertaken over several years, each consisting of several sub-studies. One method used to examine the optimal age for bilingual language exposure was to study young bilinguals who were exposed to their “other” language for the first time beginning from ages (i) birth, (ii) three, (iii) five, and (iv) seven; these ages correspond to key periods of brain development and provide a first-time window into the biological factors that contribute to successful bilingual acquisition. Also studied was the age of first bilingual exposure and its enduring impact on adult bilingual language processing. Additionally, this issue was looked at by examining children acquiring two languages across a variety of social contexts (home, community, and classroom only). Hearing babies acquiring two spoken languages were compared with signing-speaking babies who can potentially produce their two languages simultaneously. Also studied was whether they take this option, and under what conditions, as a window into the knowledge that underlies all childhood bilingualism. Finally, multiple research methodologies were utilized (spanning from behavioral measurement to brain imaging). This threefold approach (using an interdisciplinary perspective, multiple populations, and multiple methods) provides the most powerful lens to lay bare the answers to any research program.

    Summary of Bilingual Findings (all studies)

    Overall, this research endeavor has been spectacularly successful and has yielded many important findings that bear directly on the nation’s educational priorities and policy towards bilingual children. As hypothesized, the age of bilingual exposure has a significant impact on bilingual language development. Moreover, early age of bilingual exposure has a positive impact on multiple aspects of a child’s development: linguistic, cognitive, and reading. Children who experience early and extensive exposure to both of their languages quickly grasp the fundamentals of both of their languages and in a manner similar to that of monolingual language learners. As adults, these bilingual individuals, in addition to their good behavioral performance on language tasks, also show brains that process their two languages in a similar manner. The field raised concerns that early bilinguals may be linguistically, cognitively, and academically disadvantaged. Our findings suggest that early bilingualism offers no disadvantages; on the contrary, young bilinguals may be afforded a linguistic and a cognitive advantage. Early dual-language exposure is also key to skilled reading acquisition. Moreover, learning to read in two languages may afford an advantage in key phonemic-awareness skills vital to reading success.

    Please use the link below to read the full article:





    Why Dual Language>

    In our Dual Language Programs the central goal is for both languages to be used as the medium for content instruction rather than the "subject" of instruction.  We are not an ESL program or a learning Mandarin or Spanish course - The Dalton School is an academic program taught in two languages (Mandarin/ English or Spanish/English).  Subjects of math, reading, writing, language, and cultural studies will all be taught in both languages. 



    In the News


    June 14, 2016 - Dalton School students get 100% pass rate on Youth Chinese Test

    Three years in a row, Toronto's Dalton School elementary students ace the difficult Mandarin proficiency test. ...

    June 25, 2015 - Spanish/English Dual Language Program Beginning September 2015

    We are very excited to announce the opening of our Spanish/English dual language JK/SK program! ...

    Social Feeds

    Other Highlights:

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