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Bright Start Academy

318-4630 Dufferin Street, North York, Ontario, M3H 5S4

Grades (Gender):
Preschool to Gr. 12 (Coed)
$12,500 to 22,500/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
4 to 6
Day: Varies (Gr. PS - 12)

School Address
318-4630 Dufferin Street, North York, Ontario, M3H 5S4

About this school:


At Bright Start Academy, we believe each child carries a special and unique difference that we choose to embrace. We provide a positive learning environment that helps elementary and secondary school-aged students with learning challenges to harness their learning abilities. We provide students small classrooms and one to one support to enhance them to become academically independent and successful learners. We provide credit courses for students. — Visit school website



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Our Take: Bright Start Academy

our takeThankfully, not all children are created the same, and, just as thankfully, not all schools are either. Bright Start is dedicated to providing support for some learners who, for a range of reasons, aren’t rising to their potential within other learning environments. At Bright Start, they find a community of peers, something that in itself can be transformative. They also find a faculty that is empathetic, experienced, and dedicated to their success. Academics are important, though confidence is, too. For many kids, that awareness of personal ability, and a knowledge of what they can bring to their interactions with others, is what makes all the difference. And it’s at that point—an awareness of ability, rather than deficit—that Bright Start begins.

Upcoming Events Next event: April 25, 2018

upcoming events
  • April 25, 2018BSA Open House
    Bright Start Academy, 318-4630 Dufferin Street, North York, Ontario
    Join us Wednesday, April 25 from 04:00 pm - 06:00 pm

    Friends, families, students and educators! Bright Start Academy invites you to come visit our open house on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 (4:00pm - 6:00pm). We look forward to meeting you and showing you our school! Please contact us to register your visit - [email protected] or 416-514-1415.

  • June 04, 20182018/2019 School Year Registration
    Bright Start Academy, 318-4630 Dufferin Street, North York, Ontario
    Register by Monday, June 04 from

    Registration for the 2018/2019 school year is now open!  Visit our school website www.brightstartacademy.info and proceed to the admissions section to begin your application. 

    Email [email protected] for any questions. 

Principal's Message


Allie Offman, Executive Director

Children have such an amazing ability to learn. Children with learning exceptionalilites are amazing individuals with the greatest hearts! They learn, they laugh and they have such some great talents!  We learn when we are taught well and have fun!  Our students make some of the greatest gains in skill development!

Remember, children are like birthdays. Some just open their presents later than others!


Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

What BSA says: We teach according to the Ontario Curriculum with the added support of Social Skills and Life Skills. We teach our kids based on functionality.

  • Approach:
    Focus Special needs
    Academic Special needs

  • 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 BSA says: Our Math programs are based on methods that include but are not limited to a hands on approach with Visual Supports to aid our students I learning the foundations of Math

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: Touch Math and Jump Math

    • 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 BSA says: Our students benefit from embark, Kaufman and Direct Instruction

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

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

    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: Currently grade 1 to grade 10 is based on the Ontario Curriculum expectations

    • 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 BSA says: This information is not currently available.

    Social Studies Core Knowledge

      Usually focused on teaching history and geography at an early age, the core knowledge approach uses story, drama, reading, and discussion to teach about significant people, places, and events. Breadth of content and knowledge is emphasized. The curriculum is often organized according to the underlying logic of the content: history might be taught sequentially, for example (as students move through the grades).
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What BSA says: Social Studies for our students are taught at Grade Level with the necessary accommodations required.

    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 BSA says: This information is not currently available.

    Foreign Languages
    • What BSA says: This information is not currently available.

    • Languages Offered: • ESL

    Fine Arts
    • Program offers:

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

    Computers and Technology Light integration

      Computers are used in the classroom from time to time, but integrating technology into everything students do is not a dominant focus. Digital literacy is understood to be a legitimate skill in the 21st century, but not one that should distract from teaching the subject at hand, or more fundamental skills and literacies. The idea is today’s students, being “digital natives”, are likely exposed to computers and new media enough outside the classroom: the role of the school, rather, should be to develop competencies that may otherwise get missed.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What BSA says: Our students enjoy learning how to use computers on a daily basis. Our students are taught how to navigate computers and use programs that include word and excel.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What BSA says: We teach our students the fundamentals of physical education with emphasis on group participation and skill development.

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

    What BSA 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 BSA 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 BSA says: Our preschool students work on both play based and language based programming.

    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 BSA 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 BSA says: This information is not currently available.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced

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

    What BSA says: This information is not currently available.

    Special Needs Support Special needs school

    Special needs school

    Full-time programming is offered for all students which is exclusively focused on one or more 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 BSA says: We support student's with learning exceptionalities. We provide a safe and caring environment to all of our 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: We accommodate when necessary based on the individual needs of the student. Speech Therapy is offered as additional services.

    • What BSA says: We support student's with learning exceptionalities. We provide a safe and caring environment to all of our students.

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    BSA 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.

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What BSA says:
    • Social Skills Thursdays! (Affectionally known as 'Friends Club') Students learn how to make friends, understand feelings, say the right thing and have a winning attitude!
    • Tutor me Tuesdays: This is an hour program for your child who needs extra support in a subject or two.
    • Life Skills: This program takes place on Wednesday afternoons. We focus on how to take the TTC, banking and the skills necessary for more independent living.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Computer Club
      Drama Club
      Science Club

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    Day Day (Half day)
    Day (Half day)$12,500
    What BSA says: Tuition is based on a September to June Schedule. Individual Needs are taken into consideration. You must apply in person.


    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    Full payment all students2%
    Early paymentall students$2,000

    Need-based financial aid

    Grade range that need-based aid is offered:
    Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid0%
    Average aid package size$0
    Percentage of total enrollment on financial aid0%
    Total aid available$0

    Application Deadline:

    More information:

    Application Details:

    This school works with other. for processing financial applications

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment Varies
    Average enrollment per gradeVaries
    Average class size4 to 6
    Gender (grades)Preschool to Gr. 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    Interview9 - 12
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What BSA says:
    • School Transcript – copy of most recent transcript

    • Report Cards – copies of two most recent report cards

    • Psychological / Educational Assessments – copies of all assessments

    • IEP – copy of most recent Individual education plan

    • Birth date / Citizenship Verification – copy of either:

    • Birth certificate, Passport OR Record of Landing

    • Recent Photograph – copy for our files 


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Bright Start Academy is looking for: This information is not currently available.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypePSJKSK123456789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    6 - 8 (100%)2 - 6 (100%)2 - 6 (100%)3 - 8 (100%)4 - 8 (100%)4 - 8 (100%)4 - 8 (100%)4 - 8 (100%)4 - 8 (100%)4 - 8 (100%)4 - 8 (100%)6 - 12 (100%)6 - 12 (80%)6 - 12 (80%)6 - 12 (80%)

    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)

    Schools our students are admitted to (last 4 years): Our students work towards a Work Placement or College Program. Students that do not receive all Credits will work towards a Certificate of Achievement.

    Stories & Testimonials



    Whether your child is learning how to cook or go to the grocery store, they will be having fun on all their adventures.  Our students learn how to make nutritious meals and/or snacks while learning how to grocery shop for the items necessary.  Our students also learn banking, how to use the TTC and Subway as well many other necessary skills needed to be more independent.



    Life Skills

    Class Structure and Size Our students start each day in their Homeroom class which can be between 4 - 6 students. Students are placed according to grades 1 through 3, grades 4 to 6 and grades 7 to 8. Our High School Classes are based on students in Grades 9 or in Grade 10.  Students will work according to their overall skill level.   Teaching of our core subjects is done in small Learning Groups. There are 3 to 6 students in this class and children are placed according to abilities within Grade Structure. Direct Instruction is taught in small groups in order to ensure students are all at the same teaching level. Individualized Instruction: Students are assessed upon entry to Finding the Way Academy and an IEP and ISP (Individual Service Plan) is prepared to outline each students goals and teaching strategies. If a student is struggling in an area, a staff member modifies the goal to ensure success is made. Schedule: Students arrive between 8:30 and 8:45 to allow students to put away lunches, snacks et. Students then go to Homeroom. Schedules are balanced to allow students to have enough teaching time along with Break Times and Nutrition Breaks. Students work through out the day on Academics, Social Skills, Life Skills as well as are provided individual support if needed. Students who require 1:1 support are able to have an additional support staff. Fees may be different for those students requiring additional support. Please contact the Director of Admission for the information regarding tuition fees at 416-514-1415 To email directly, please email Kat @ [email protected] or


    TTC workshop

    Bright Start Academy is a Private School for students with autism and other learning exceptionalities. Founded in 1993 by a parent of children with Autism, Bright Start Academy is located in North York (Dufferin just north of Finch Ave).  We offer a full time and part time option for students that require support in the learning process.  We believe that through teaching in a positive environment, our students will reach their fullest potential.



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