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Don Valley Academy

4576 Yonge Street, Suite 408, Toronto, Ontario, M2N 6N4

Grades (Gender):
Gr. 9 to Gr. 12 (Coed)
$9,900 to $13,200 /year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
8 to 10
Day: 60 (Gr. 9 - 12)

School Address
4576 Yonge Street, Suite 408, Toronto, Ontario, M2N 6N4

About this school:


Don Valley Academy is a private high school whose primary aim is to prepare our students for post-secondary studies. Our low student-teacher ratio allows us to provide a respectful, safe, and nurturing environment. In this positive atmosphere, our students are able to focus effectively on their studies and acquire the knowledge and skills they need to excel academically. Our carefully selected teachers are committed to motivating and inspiring each student to reach his or her full potential. — Visit school website



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Our Take: Don Valley Academy

our takeDon Valley is one of those little gems within the city that doesn’t get nearly the attention that it deserves. It’s a small school, and the size is one of its strengths. Students choose Don Valley because they are looking for something different, something more personal, where they can exercise their talents and abilities in the ways they choose to exercise them. It requires a certain amount of responsibility, of course, though the program rewards those that arrive with it. This isn’t the school for a student looking for a full complement of intramurals, for example, but instead is looking for a respectful, quiet, challenging academic environment peopled by students and faculty that are true peers. The ideal student is one looking for a challenge, is operating at the top of his or her peer group, and is able to make the most of a flexible learning environment.


Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

What Don Valley Academy says: Don Valley Academy is dedicated to providing programs that meet the individual needs of each student. Whether a student needs extra attention, or is gifted and requires a challenge, our school provides a personalized success plan that guides each student to achieve his or her goals. Particular focus is given to developing and refining study skills and research techniques, as well as fostering motivation and time management. The customized approach in a Don Valley Academy classroom not only provides our students with a strong background in a particular subject area; it helps to build stronger, more confident students. Keeping classes small allows our teachers to maintain the individual attention and close relationships we believe are essential to helping our students face challenges, overcome obstacles, and develop confidence. Our students are encouraged and supported to take ownership of their own education, they become increasingly aware of their personal learning style, and effectively develop the skills and the confidence necessary for success in university and beyond.

  • 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 Don Valley Academy says: This information is not currently available.

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

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    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: This information is not currently available.

    • 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 Don Valley Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Humanities and Social Sciences
    • What Don Valley Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Foreign Languages
    • What Don Valley Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    • Languages Offered: • French • Spanish

    Fine Arts
    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • What Don Valley Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Computers and Technology
    • What Don Valley Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Don Valley Academy says: This information is not currently available.

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

    What Don Valley Academy 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 Don Valley Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    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 Don Valley Academy says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    Academic Culture Rigorous

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.

    What Don Valley Academy says: Students at Don Valley Academy benefit from the individual support available with their teachers to reach their full potential. The close relationship with their teachers challenge and inspire students to push themselves to meet or exceed their academic goals. Almost all of the graduating students are preparing for future University and College programs.

    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 Don Valley Academy says: We are dedicated to providing educational programs that meet the needs of each student. Our aims are: ~ To develop respectful, passionate, and motivated students ~ To build a community of learners where each individual is respected and valued ~ To inspire and challenge

    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
    • 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

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    Don Valley Academy 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 12, Don Valley Academy students perform an average of 2 hours of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    Don Valley Academy 60 mins60 mins90 mins120 mins
    Site Average69 mins80 mins95 mins108 mins

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What Don Valley Academy says:

    This information is not currently available.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Chess Club
      Community Service
      Computer Club

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    This information is not currently available.


    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    Full payment all students6%
    Early paymentall students$205
    2nd child (sibling)all students10%
    3rd child (sibling)all students$10
    4th child (sibling)all students$10

    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 grade15
    Average class size8 to 10
    Gender (grades)Gr. 9 to Gr. 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution:

    Day Enrollment



    Admissions Assessments:

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

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Don Valley Academy says: This information is not currently available.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Don Valley Academy is looking for: This information is not currently available.

    Student Entry Points

    Student Type9101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class sizeN/A
    *Canadian "Big 6" placementsN/A
    **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)

    Stories & Testimonials


    Thank you

    Thank you for providing a very positive, hands on learning experience for our daughter, Vanessa. Not only did it give Vanessa the opportunity to substantially improve her mark (after graduating) from a 66 to an 88, but it provided her with the confidence to pursue Math in her future studies. It also provided her with a number of academic university scholarships worth a few thousand dollars. Great experience at your school and for her future.

    Thank you.
    Heidi K, Parent



    ‘Real World’ Approach to Learning

    I want to thank you for the invaluable  contribution you all have made to my son’s education and, ultimately, to his  life. In September 2006 when I first made contact with the Don Valley Academy, I  was impressed with your ‘real world’ approach to learning, i.e. teaching  students how to take responsibility for their learning while maintaining close  supervision. As you recall, I explained to you that my son Brian had had bad experiences in public school and that I was worried that he would not be able to  attend university.

    After talking with Brian you assured me that you and  your staff would help him turn things around. Literally within weeks, Brian’s attitude began changing and, as he improved his organizational and work  management skills, his work also improved and, with it, his interest in his  work. By March Break, the Don Valley Academy had turned Brian’s cycle of  mediocrity into one that focused on seeking excellence.

    From November  2006 to June 2007, Brian evolved from a mediocre student on which the public  system had given up into an ‘A’ student who was accepted by every university to  which he applied, namely, The University of Toronto, The University of Western Ontario and York University.

    I am grateful to The Don Valley Academy for  the outstanding competence, dedication and integrity of its staff and the effectiveness of its approach to education. It is not an exaggeration to state  that The Don Valley Academy has left an indelible mark on my son’s life and on  mine.

    Thank you again, so much.
    Bernard B, Parent


    Thank you DVA!

    Dear Mr. Evans (Alex),

    I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the extraordinary contribution that you personally and your team at Don Valley Academy (“DVA”) have made to the progress, well-being and success of our son, Benjamin. We – and he – couldn’t be more satisfied with and grateful for the experience that Benjamin had as a student at DVA.

    Benjamin came to you at a time of real disaffection with the conventional approach to teaching, learning, growing, developing and socialization promoted and implemented at other “leading” schools in the community. Initially, Benjamin turned to DVA for tutoring and extra help while still enrolled full-time in another school. But as Benjamin began to appreciate and respond well to the attitude, style and approach of the DVA staff, he asked his mother and I to agree to move him to DVA on a full-time basis for the remainder of his high-school program. At first we were sceptical about the proposed move, not because we doubted the integrity of DVA’s curriculum or pedagogical philosophy, but because we assumed that Benjamin’s “issues” would follow him wherever he went and the school itself would probably not make the difference.

    Nevertheless, we put our faith in Benjamin’s own judgment and in DVA’s promise of a student-centred, personalized approach – one which placed the emphasis on individual growth and learning strategies and on fostering a spirit of personal responsibility in the student – and we enrolled Benjamin in DVA on a full-time basis for his last two years of high-school. And, as it turns out, our faith proved to be entirely justified.

    As if miraculously, Benjamin responded almost instantly and in the most salutary and positive ways to the DVA environment and pedagogy. DVA helped foster Benjamin’s sense of personal initiative and responsibility and his pride and interest in achieving, excelling and learning. Under your direction and with your guidance and encouragement, Benjamin began to take charge of his studies, of his work and of the mission to get through the program in a creditable fashion. The results have been remarkable. Benjamin has developed – and continues to develop – into a fine, responsible, articulate and competent young adult. He has become more engaged in the world of ideas, of current affairs and of issues that he will have to address and problems that he will want to help solve in the challenging and daunting world which he is entering as a full and civically active member of society.

    His intellectual curiosity was stimulated and rewarded at DVA. His self-confidence has grown ten-fold since attending DVA. His enthusiasm about the prospect of taking his place in the polity and the economy which we live in has been enhanced. DVA was just what Benjamin needed and we couldn’t be more grateful for it. Benjamin respected, responded well to and was enamoured with every one of your teachers. The proof is in the pudding. Benjamin graduated with a very high grade point average; he was accepted to every university to which he applied for admission (a couple of them even offered generous entrance scholarships!). DVA successfully shepherded our son through one of the more difficult stages in the development and life of a young person: adolescence. You managed to get him through this period with flying colours, both as to his personal, psychological and emotional development and as to his intellectual growth and his acquisition of indispensable study and learning skills.

    Thank you DVA!
    Peter B, Parent


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