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Girls' schools encourage girls to be themselves

How a girls' education inspires individuality and builds confidence

Find a list of schools  

"It's kind of easy to be yourself here - you pretty much don't have to worry about what other people are thinking, or about impressing boys," says Alison, a student at St. Clement's School, an all-girls school in Toronto, Ontario. The Grade 8 student, who's attended the school since Grade 1, says she enjoys the strong sense of camaraderie she enjoys with her peers, and the ability to focus on academics without any interruptions.

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"I like all the house spirit. At a coed school, it might be uncool to be spirited, but here, everyone is," Alison says. "It's also probably a bit easier at an all-girls school because you get rid of all the distractions and the gossip, and it minimizes the drama."

The social and academic benefits to which Alison is referring are backed up by the facts. A March 2009 study released by the University of California, Los Angeles found that female graduates of single-sex high schools in the United States were more academically oriented, intellectually confident and politically engaged.

"In an all-girls learning environment, girls are encouraged to express themselves and to take healthy risks they might not otherwise try in a coed environment," says Susan Beck, executive director of The National Coalition of Girls' Schools.

"They're also surrounded by other girls performing at the highest level in every area, so there's lots of positive reinforcement."

When it came to academics and career ambitions, the study found that the single-sex school grads were more comfortable with their abilities in traditionally male-oriented areas: they had greater confidence in their math and computer skills, and were more likely to begin college aspiring to become engineers.

Science happens to be Alison's favourite subject, one she says she'd like to pursue further upon graduating: "I'd like to study it at Queen's University or the University of Toronto, and then possibly go into the health sciences field."

Alison's success at school and beyond is bolstered by LINCwell, an innovative female-oriented student enrichment initiative at St. Clement's that's designed to help students achieve their academic, co-curricular and personal goals. Customized to the developmental needs of girls, the holistic program includes yoga, tai chi and Pilates classes, school-life balance support, study skill-building seminars, and nutrition and brain development workshops.

"What we're hoping to do, through LINCwell and through girls' education in general, is to affirm that the unique strengths these girls have in communication, emotional connectedness and relationships are valuable to being leaders," says Dr. Leanne Foster, director of the LINCwell program. "We're laying the foundation that allows them to launch themselves and go further."

—Sharon Aschaiek

Series: Girls Schools

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List of Girls' schools encourage girls to be themselves

School Expo Exhibitor
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    School NameTypePaceCost

    Alive Montessori & Private School (est. 2014)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • PS to 8 Boys/Girls
    • Day school (5 students)
    50% off the first three months for new elementary students. [View profile]
    • Montessori
    Accelerated$7,500 to $14,500Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Girls Boys Day7500

    Branksome Hall (est. 1903)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (834 students)
    • Boarding school (66 students)
    Branksome Hall is an all girls school in Toronto, from JK to Grade 12, including 56 boarding students. Tuition ranges from $28,995 to $31,245 for day students. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Liberal Arts
    • International Baccalaureate
    Standard-enriched$29,590 to $56,855Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day29590

    Hawthorn School (est. 1989)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • NS to 12 Coed/Girls
    • Day school
    Hawthorn School is an all-girls school in Toronto that offers programs from toddler to grade 12. Our unique mentoring program is tailored to each girl to help them reach their full potential. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Liberal Arts
    Accelerated$10,000 to $31,400Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Coed Day Homestay10000

    Elmwood School (est. 1915)

    • Ottawa, Ontario
    • PS to 12 Girls
    • Day school (370 students)
    Elmwood School is Ottawa's pre-eminent school for girls from JK to Grade 12. Our high academic standards, small class sizes and safe, supportive environment ensure that each girl is inspired to reach her full potential. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Ottawa
    • Progressive
    • International Baccalaureate
    Standard-enriched$12,956 to $22,980Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day12956

    St. Margaret's School (est. 1908)

    • Victoria, British Columbia
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (220 students)
    • Boarding school (130 students)
    St. Margaret's School (est. 1908) is an independent school in Victoria, BC, offering empowering education for girls from JK to Grade 12. At SMS, girls don't just get equal opportunity; they get every opportunity. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Vancouver
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$9,500/program to $49,300Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day9500

    Trafalgar Castle School (est. 1874)

    • Whitby, Ontario
    • 4 to 12 Girls
    • Day school (125 students)
    • Boarding school (85 students)
    Located just 45 minutes east of Toronto, Trafalgar Castle School offers world-class curriculum in a small-school environment that inspires and encourages growth. * Day and boarding * All Girls * Grades 5 to 12 [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Standard-enriched$21,995 to $56,950MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day21995

    The Sacred Heart School of Montreal (est. 1861)

    • Montreal, Quebec
    • 7 to 11 Girls
    • Day school (230 students)
    • Boarding school
    The pre-eminent All Girls English Catholic high school in Montreal, with 156 years of experience graduating young women of action with solid skills and tools for success. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$13,764 to $49,492MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day13764

    Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc (est. 1954)

    • Ottawa, Ontario
    • JK to 8 Girls
    • Day school
    In our all-girls environment, academic achievement in both official languages is the norm. A Joan of Arc Academy bilingual education prepares the women leaders for the challenges of tomorrow. Come and see the difference. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Ottawa
    • Progressive
    Student-paced$14,825Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Girls Day14825

    Trafalgar School For Girls (est. 1887)

    • Montreal, Quebec
    • 7 to 11 Girls
    • Day school (140 students)
    Based in the heart of downtown Montreal, Trafalgar School for Girls is a diverse school community that challenges and inspires girls to love learning, build confidence and shape a better world. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Standard-enriched$17,995 to $26,000MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day Homestay17995

    York House School (est. 1932)

    • Vancouver, British Columbia
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (656 students)
    York House School provides an exceptional education for girls from JK to Gr. 12. We instill in each girl the belief and confidence that girls can do anything! [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    • Reggio Emilia
    Standard-enriched$20,600 to $21,400Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day20600

    Villa Maria (est. 1854)

    • Montreal, Quebec
    • 7 to 11 Girls/Boys
    • Day school (1400 students)
    Villa Maria offers programs from grades seven to 12 in Montreal. Its average class size is 28 to 32 students. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$4,175MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boys Day4175

    Odyssey Heights School for Girls (est. 2017)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • 3 to 12 Girls
    • Day school
    OHS has three programs: Core Comprehensive, Pre-Professional Dance, and Equine Science & Equestrian Studies. Tuition inc. overnight OEE trips & riding lessons. School starts at 10am with 1hr of yoga, dance, or fitness. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    • Montessori
    Student-paced$7,995/program to $31,775MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day Homestay7995

    Buffalo Seminary (est. 1851)

    • Buffalo, New York
    • 9 to 12 Girls
    • Day school
    • Boarding school
    Independent day and boarding school for college-bound girls. Our STEAM curriculum is unique, and creative, independent thinking is valued. Located in Buffalo, NY, girls access the best of city living. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    Accelerated$19,840 to $46,715 USDHighSchools Girls Boarding Day19840

    Venture Academy Troubled Teens Program (BC)

    • Kelowna, British Columbia
    • 7 to 12 Boys/Girls
    Venture Academy is a therapeutic private school providing educational and clinical support services, individualized instruction and engaging interaction to get students back on track and restore confidence. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-pacednot providedMiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boys Homestay9999999999

    Collège François-Delaplace (est. 1963)

    • Waterville, Quebec
    • 7 to 12 Girls
    • Boarding school (200 students)
    COLLÈGE FRANÇOIS-DELAPLACE is a private Traditional / academic boarding school in Waterville, Quebec. The school offers programs for grades 7 to 12 with enrolment of 200 boarding students. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$7,950 to $30,300MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding7950

    The Study (est. 1915)

    • Westmount, Quebec
    • K to 11 Girls
    • Day school (385 students)
    The Study offers a bilingual mother tongue programme in both English and French from kindergarten to grade 11 in Westmount, Quebec. The average class size is 12 to 18 students. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Montreal
    • Progressive
    Standard-enriched$19,230 to $21,655Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day19230

    St. Clement's School (est. 1901)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • 1 to 12 Girls
    • Day school (470 students)
    St. Clement's School develops outstanding women who are intellectually curious, courageous and compassionate. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Liberal Arts
    Standard-enriched$28,350Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day28350

    Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie (est. 1905)

    • Montreal, Quebec
    • 7 to 11 Girls
    • Day school (1150 students)
    • Boarding school (60 students)
    École secondaire francophone privée pour jeunes filles située à Outremont, Qc. Les frais de scolarité sont de 3 800 $ par année. Elle offre les profils Éducation internationale, Danse-études et Musique-études. [View profile]
    • Liberal Arts
    • International Baccalaureate
    Standard-enriched$4,000 to $9,150MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day4000

    Alpine Academy (est. 2001)

    • Erda, Utah
    • 7 to 12 Girls
    • Boarding school (70 students)
    Alpine Academy isn't just a school, it is an experience that prepares young women for life beyond our campus. Students learn to engage in not only academics, but also family, community, and interpersonal relationships. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Traditional
    $120,000 USDMiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding120000

    Havergal College (est. 1894)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (870 students)
    • Boarding school (50 students)
    Havergal College is an all-girls school in Toronto for students in JK to Grade 12. Preparing Young Women to Make a Difference Since 1894. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Liberal Arts
    Standard-enriched$31,725 to $58,000Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day31725

    Holy Name of Mary College School (est. 2008)

    • Mississauga, Ontario
    • 5 to 12 Girls
    • Day school
    Holy Name of Mary College School in Mississauga, is an independent Catholic school for girls in grades 5-12 offering an enriched university preparatory programme. The average class size is 12 students. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto, Halton-Peel
    • Progressive
    Accelerated$16,650 to $45,950MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day16650

    The Linden School (est. 1993)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (115 students)
    The Linden School provides a challenging academic program for girls from JK - Grade 12. We create opportunities to discover the joys of learning and foster the development of critical thinking and physical well-being. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Progressive
    Standard-enriched$14,000 to $19,400Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day14000

    Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School (est. 1909)

    • Westmount, Quebec
    • K to 11 Girls
    • Day school (320 students)
    Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School offers programs from kindergarten to grade 11 in Westmount, Quebec. Its average class size is 18 students. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Montreal
    • Progressive
    Accelerated$17,095 to $19,570Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day9999999999

    Venture Academy Troubled Teens Program (ON)

    • Barrie Area, Ontario
    • 7 to 12 Boys/Girls
    Venture Academy is a therapeutic treatment and education program for students who may be struggling with ADHD, learning challenges, underachieving, behavioural issues, and a variety of clinical diagnoses. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Student-pacednot providedMiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boys Homestay9999999999

    Heritage (est. 1984)

    • Provo, Utah
    • 7 to 12 Boys/Girls
    • Boarding school (115 students)
    Heritage offers expert care for at-risk adolescents including those diagnosed with Mood Disorder, depression, anxiety, defiance towards authority figures and those on the Autism Spectrum. Learn more on our website. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Student-paced$138,000 USDMiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boys Boarding138000

    The Bishop Strachan School (est. 1867)

    • Toronto, Ontario
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (825 students)
    • Boarding school (80 students)
    Located in Toronto, The Bishop Strachan School is Canada's oldest independent JK to Grade 12 day and boarding school for girls, welcoming students from Toronto and around the world. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
    • Traditional
    • Reggio Emilia
    Student-paced$31,740 to $60,130Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day31740

    St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School (est. 1891)

    • Oakville, Ontario
    • PS to 12 Girls
    • Day school (550 students)
    Oakville's SMLS continues to be a premier independent school for girls Preschool to Graduating Year since 1891. "Millie" graduates take on the world with confidence and the knowledge that they can do anything. [View profile]
    School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto, Halton-Peel
    • Progressive
    Standard-enriched$9,000 to $26,300Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day9000

    Crofton House School (est. 1898)

    • Vancouver, British Columbia
    • JK to 12 Girls
    • Day school (885 students)
    Crofton House School in Vancouver, BC is a university preparatory school with JK to grade 12 classes. Tuition starts at $16,000. [View profile]
    • Progressive
    Standard-enriched$18,960Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day18960

    Queen Margaret's School (est. 1921)

    • Duncan, British Columbia
    • PS to 12 Girls/Coed
    • Day school (254 students)
    • Boarding school (94 students)
    Queen Margaret's School is an independent day/boarding Senior School for girls in Grades 8-12 and co-ed Junior School from Preschool to Grade 7 in Duncan, BC. [View profile]
    • Traditional
    Standard-enriched$5,325 to $53,600Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Coed Boarding Day5325