Kells Academy
Kells Academy
6865 De Maisonneuve West
Montreal, Quebec, H4B 1T1
Contact name:
Lesley Farrell

Phone number:
(514) 485-8565×
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Kells Academy

Kells Academy

6865 De Maisonneuve West, Montreal, Quebec, H4B 1T1
2290 Cavendish Boulevard, Montreal, Quebec, H4B 2M7

School Type:
Grades (Gender):
K to 11 (Coed)
$14,150 to $17,950 per year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
12 to 18
Day: 300 (Gr. K-11)

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Contact Name:
Lesley Farrell

Phone Number:

School Address
6865 De Maisonneuve West, Montreal, Quebec, H4B 1T1
2290 Cavendish Boulevard, Montreal, Quebec, H4B 2M7

About this school:

Kells Academy supports students in reaching their full potential. In separate Elementary and High School campuses Kells offers small classes with a focus on creativity and technology, excellent academic, arts and sports programs, an exciting Flex program as well as a wide variety of extra curricular activities and clubs. Kells enjoys a close to 100% graduation rate, high acceptance in all disciplines in CEGEP, is co-educational, privately funded and students do not need a Certificate of Eligibility to attend.

More information on Kells Academy
Kells Academy is an academic, day school in Montreal, Quebec. The school offers programs for grades K to 11 with enrolment of 300 students. Kells Academy has an average class size of 12 to 18 students and has a tuition of $14,150 to $17,950 per year. Founded in 1978, this private school requires students to wear uniforms and the language of instruction is English.

Principal's Message


Irene Woods, Director

Working as an educator in the public sector, I found that devoting time to after-school tutorials was a most positive and enriching experience for my students. I was consistently impressed at what students were able to learn and accomplish in a few short tutoring sessions, in comparison to the hours spent trying to master the same material in the classroom. This led me to consider a practical application of the tutorial model in a classroom setting, and resulted in the 1978 establishment of a unique tutorial service: the Westmount Learning Centre; and ultimately, to the foundation of Kells Academy.

To recreate the one-on-one tutorial experience we committed to small classes, in a warm, welcoming environment, and engaging the participation of supportive and enthusiastic teachers. Using this model we were able to make learning more interesting, meaningful, and relevant, and most importantly, teach at the individual pace of each student— attributes we maintain and adhere to, to this very day.

In 1990, Kells Academy acquired its own building in NDG at the corner of De Maisonneuve Boulevard West and Park Row West. Further expansion took place in 2004 with acquisition of the Hydro Quebec building situated on Cavendish Boulevard corner of De Maisonneuve, and now, our thriving elementary campus under the direction of Marla Perlman.



Application Deadlines:

Type Date
Day Rolling

Application Requirement:

Completed Application Form with application fee ($50, non-refundable) Report cards from the current academic year and previous school year Photocopy of educational assessment if applicable School Reference letter by teacher or principal Photocopy of Birth Certificate and Immunization Records Passport size photograph MELS Achievement Record (Quebec Grades 10 and 11 only) Once the application package is complete and submitted to the school, an appointment for an interview will be arranged by the Admissions coordinator. Placement testing and a class visit will also be scheduled for your child. Tours of the school are given throughout the year, by appointment. Please feel free to call us to arrange a visit. A Certificate of Eligibility is not required.

To receive an admission package please contact:

Lesley Farrell
Request a package
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School Entry Points:

  • Entry Points (Day): Students Admitted
    K 5 - 15
    1 5 - 15
    2 5 - 15
    3 5 - 15
    4 5 - 15
    5 5 - 20
    6 5 - 30
    7 Limited
    8 Limited
    9 Limited
    10 Limited
    11 Limited

Tuition & Financial Aid



Type Tuition
Day Students $14,150 to 17,950 CDN

Scholarships & awards:

  • Scholarship
       Amount: $5,000
       Type: Merit based
       Grade(s): 1 to 11

Stories & Testimonials


Kells Elementary: Celebrating diversity and geared to student success

Kells Elementary offers an exciting environment that celebrates the uniqueness of each student. Every student brings his or her own interests, experiences and culture to the learning environment and the school understands that a one-size-fits-all approach to learning just does not work.

The N.D.G. school, with classes from kindergarten to Grade 6, is made up of a diverse population of Canadian and international students, many of whom benefit from the small class sizes and the differentiated approach Kells takes in its teaching.

“This diversity is a good blend,” said Marla Perlman, the principal, “that paves the way for a rich and meaningful education.”

At Kells Elementary, learning happens not only in the classroom, but in the resource room, the library, outdoors and, more recently, online.

A low student/teacher ratio and access to state-of-the-art classrooms and a resource room ensures that each student’s needs are taken care of.

“At Kells Elementary, we understand that the Internet is a big part of today’s reality and we ensure that students benefit by all it has to offer,” Perlman explained. “Technology can be a great equalizer in education in that it enhances learning for students who may struggle with the skills of reading and writing.”

Social media can also be a powerful teaching tool and last year, Kellsstudents were thrilled to be able to communicate with Olympic athletes via Skype during the Olympic games in Sochi.

It is, however, important that students be taught what is acceptable behaviour online and what needs to be avoided. They need to understand the significance of their digital footprint.

“We promote responsible use of social media including Facebook, Twitter and Skype — we call it digital citizenship,” Perlman said. “It’s important that kids be taught what is acceptable and what to avoid.”

Each year at graduation, students become emotional about leaving Kells Elementary as they recount the happy times and activities they shared with their teachers and friends. A highlight of the year is the spring concert at Oscar Peterson Hall, where students get to showcase their talents to a large audience of parents and friends. “They also tell us how much they enjoyed the overnight trips, the sports, the clubs, and the great support they felt during their years at Kells Elementary.

“Many of our students continue on to Kells High School, a few blocks away, where the continuity in academia, the arts and technology eases the transition to the next phase of their education.”

Kells educators have high expectations of students without putting pressure on them to achieve.

“Irene Woods is Kells’s founder and our driving force,” Perlman said. “She is passionate about learning and seeing students reaching their full potential, and her enthusiasm trickles down to both myself and my staff.

“We want every student to succeed; we will find a way and never give up.”


Kells High School: A Unique Place of Learning

Kids love coming to Kells Academy, a unique learning institution. This is, in great part, because its founder and director, Irene Woods, is an educator who thinks differently.

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” — Albert Einstein

“I believe that every student can shine — and even small accomplishments are potential launching pads to greater triumphs,” Woods said. “Academic success often begins with the discovery of the pupil’s optimal learning style.”

With its low teacher-student ratios, Kells’s educators have the opportunity to address and respond to individual needs.

“Another way we help students to thrive is with our state-of-the-art educational technology,” Woods said. “Kells graduates, many of whom struggled in public schools, have gone on to acquire university degrees. They now enjoy satisfying careers and productive lives.”

Tutorial model — As its name suggests, the tutorial model allows teachers to engage students as a private tutor would do, when working one-on-one. For example, not everyone learns best by listening — a percentage of students are, by nature, more visual. Some prefer to work alone while others blossom in group settings. Teachers at Kells are expert at assessing what will help a pupil absorb material most easily. Feelings of achievement can facilitate the evolution of a reluctant student into an eager one.

Educational technology — At Kells, everyone has an iPad, so teachers can send information to a whole class electronically, in an instant and students can respond — making the communication process interactive and quick. Emailing between students and teachers is the norm. 
Another extraordinary use of the iPad, in the classroom, is for pre-tests. During a pre-test, the educator receives students’ responses immediately to questions about their prior knowledge or interest on a given topic. This directs the instruction, making the teaching more effective and relevant to students.

Flipping (something students will love) — For many, the word “homework” comes with a big dose of angst. At Kells, they flip homework on its head with an innovative concept. In a traditional learning model, a lesson is taught in the classroom, followed by a homework assignment to reinforce the learning. With the flipping model, a video or PowerPoint presentation is uploaded onto the students’ iPads to be watched or reviewed at home. The next day, a related assignment is completed in the classroom. Students work together, brainstorm and figure out the best answers.

The portal (something parents will love) — In the evening, when a mom or dad asks what happened at school, teenagers tend to offer few details. With the Kells portal system, parents can log on to a website and read about their children’s school day: assignments, project deadlines, required materials and test results.

They can even arrange a parent-teacher meeting via the portal — a brilliant idea!


The Power of Technology in Education

In 2012, at the National Association for Independent Schools (NAIS) educational conference in  Seattle, Bill Gates – the founder of Microsoft – declared that the next ten years would bring about a radical change in education and technology would be the tool to drive this revolution. He went on to emphasize that technology was only a tool and that the key to learning was to motivate and inspire the students to work together and solve problems – a task that only teachers could help the students accomplish.

Irene Woods, the Director of Kells Academy, Montreal was one of the members of the audience. She had already started implementing a technological approach to education at Kells a couple of years earlier.  Hearing Bill Gates that evening only made her more determined to innovate and have technology play a larger part in the classroom.

In a recent interview she said: “ Kells Academy embraces technology as a powerful asset to making learning more interesting, fun and relevant. Through technology, we are able to better personalize and customize learning. While nothing can replace the personal motivation and help that students receive from working directly with their teacher, we see our many technological aids as a most powerful and innovative tool for helping students prepare for the future.”

She asserts that technology does not override the human aspect of learning and will never replace the teacher. As she explained, “Kells was founded on the practical application of the tutorial model in a classroom setting.  A limited number of students guided by dedicated teachers led to a more positive and enriching experience for the students . They were able to accomplish a lot more in a few short sessions as compared to hours spent trying to master the same material in the classroom. This resulted in the establishment of a unique tutorial service: the Westmount Learning Centre in 1978 ; and ultimately, to the foundation of Kells Academy.”

Today Kells has a full-fledged Elementary and High School on two campuses and a large and growing  number of international students who are attracted to the school,  its academic programs  and the various extra-curricular activities and  state-of-the-art resources that it offers.

Ms. Woods is committed to the Kells tradition of small classes in a warm and friendly environment where each student can get individual attention and create and  develop their own potential with the guidance of dedicated teachers teaching at the individual pace of the student.   But she now envisions this very successful model propelled forward by the power of technology.  Kells Academy has embraced technology as a powerful tool in making learning more interesting, fun and relevant and considers itself as a leader in this field

Students are introduced to computers in Elementary School.  Irene Woods  elaborates on how technology has revolutionized the role of the teacher in the classroom.  It is now routine for all Kells teachers to assign topics and have the students review it on their iPads ahead of class time, so that actual face-to-face time can be used for more in-depth discussions. Ms. Morris,  the resource teacher for example, particularly likes the interactive learning feature that the iPad permits in teaching and Mr. Aitken, head of the  high school, is convinced that the use of iPads permits students to become active participants in their own individual learning path. As Marla Perlman, Principal of Kells Elementary, explains: “We are using innovative technology in innovative ways, and have even had public school teachers visit our school to learn how to use iPads more effectively in their classroom.”

Kells Academy lays as much emphasis on the physical, social and cultural development of  its students as it does on learning through technology and students participate in numerous after-school activities. The school's soccer, basketball and rugby teams compete successfully in inter-school sports each year.  The visual-and-performing arts  and music are encouraged at all grade levels and the Spring Concert is one of the highlights of the Kells calendar . This year students from the debating team won their way to the Canadian finals in Calgary, having successfully competed in Montreal and Halifax.
Involvement in extra-curricular activities starts at an early age. “It is a very dynamic program,” explains Marla Perlman. “Extra-curricular activities at the elementary level take place during the lunch hour. Students can participate in drama, sports, the arts or join one of the Clubs like the spirit committee, chess club, lego club, glee club, primary club or the green committee that is responsible for the school garden - one of the first school gardens in the city.” These activities, as well as tutoring students for those who need it, are part of the new extended day for elementary students that now runs from 3 to 6 pm.

The nurturing and blossoming of each student has resulted in a close-to-100 percent graduation rate. Students from Kells go on to the CEGEP's of their choice in all faculties of commerce, health , pure and applied science, social sciences, fine arts – and, of course, technology. 

Ms. Woods is justifiably proud of how her dream has translated into the reality of Kells Academy.  Looking ahead to the future of the school, she continues to believe in the founding principles of the institution that are anchored in a humanistic view of education . The focus at Kells Academy will always remain on individual students learning, innovating and thriving in a harmonious community - but using the power of technology to help each student develop their maximum potential. ...

Public Speaking at Kells

Congratulations to Yasmeen Dajani for placing second in the Quebec Public Speaking Competition held at The Study on November 30 th, 2012. This entitled her to compete in the Canadian National Public Speaking Championships, hosted by St. John’s-Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg in February. This prestigious event took place over three days, and included multiple events including Persuasive Speeches, Interpretive Reading, Impromptu Speaking, and Parliamentary Debate.
Only the top four students in each province, having qualified at the Provincial Championships, were invited. Yasmeen, a grade 10 student, spoke beautifully in all four categories and received high scores across the board. Although she did not qualify for the World Championships, she had a wonderful experience and learned a great deal from the top young speakers in Canada.2013 Canadian National Debate Championships.


Europe Trip 2013

Spain –culture, cuisine and castanets

During the March break, 14 students ventured on an excursion to Spain. The trip would take them from Barcelona to Gibraltar while touring the Andalusia area and the Alpujarras mountains. In Barcelona, students took in the unique works of the famous architect Antoni Gaudi which included the incomplete Sagrada Familia, la Pedrera and the majestic Park Guell.

After visiting the Moorish castle of Alhambra in Grenada and learning the basic steps of flamenco dancing, students traveled through the twists and turns of the Alpujarras mountains to stay in a secluded eco
lodge. They were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime cooking workshop in Narilas, a town with a population of about 80 people, where they were welcomed with open arms by the inhabitants of this beautiful region.

Then there was Seville, a city fuelled by the joy of living and full of Andalusian hospitality. After visiting the Alcazar castle and the Catedral de Sevilla, home of Columbus’ tomb and the Giralda tower (which gave them a superb panoramic view of the city from up high), they stopped in the park for a picnic and a soccer match that got everyone’s legs ready for a walking tour of the historic neighborhood surrounding the Alcazar. The night ended elegantly when the students visited the world’s only flamenco dance museum. The visit was crowned by a one-hour live flamenco show. The energy was palpable
on the way back to the hostel as hands were clapping, feet were stomping and Kells’ voices were resonating in the streets of Seville. Thankfully, as the Spanish enjoy dining late, very few were woken up from their sleep.

As the students made their way back towards Barcelona for a final day of shopping and fun, they got a chance to experience a little more of Spain’s hospitality for one last time. The plane ride back seemed unexciting after a routine of delicious Spanish cuisine and cultural discoveries. The only thought that consoled the travelers was the knowledge that their memories would be forever engraved in their hearts and would be shared with their peers on returning home to
Kells Academy. ...

Classe Nature

Brrrr ! Nous avons eu froid ! Mais nous avons surtout eu beaucoup beaucoup de fun !

Et le fun a commencé depuis le voyage en bus. Après une dixième vérification et un dixième appel… c’est parti ! À l’arrière, ça chahute et ça grignote. À l’avant, Mr Chung et Mr Nahas découvrent de véritables talents de chanteuses chez les filles ! Quant à Mme Ghanem, elle arpente le couloir sans arrêt pour s’assurer que tout va bien.

On arrive ! Les animateurs de la Base de Plein Air du Mont-Tremblant  se souviendront longtemps des élèves de Kells Academy !

Pendant deux jours, les 11 et 12 octobre 2012, ça courait, ça criait, ça riait, ça se bousculait dans les chambres, dans les couloirs et dans la cafétéria du Centre.  45 diablotins en tout s’en sont donné à cœur joie, accompagnés par 4 de leurs enseignants (Mme Ghanem, Mr Chung, Mr Nahas et Melle Sikias) et encadrés par 4 jeunes moniteurs bien sympathiques surnommés Chatouille, Prez, Goliwok et Azimut : Rabaska sur une eau gelée (If you’re happy and you know it, paddle paddle !), geocaching, tir à l’arc, ballon et autres jeux à l’extérieur et à l’intérieur…Le temps est trop vite passé !
En soirée, la pluie de plus en plus forte ne nous a pas empêchés de nous réunir autour d’un feu de camp-marshmallows avant de courir nous abriter pour une veillée improvisée, en pyjamas, autour de la cheminée.

Là, bien au chaud, nous avons chantonné avec Monsieur Nahas et sa guitare, avant d’écouter les histoires terrifiantes de ce cher (Deer) Teho.  Toujours affamés, les heures de repas étaient toujours les bienvenues… Les cuisinières assourdies par le vacarme de la cafétéria n’ont toutefois jamais perdu le sourire et servaient généreusement et patiemment le groupe surexcité. Mais avant de quitter la salle à manger, il faut nettoyer les tables. Une grande première pour la plupart des jeunes qui n’ont pas toujours fait le travail à la perfection… Sans doute le manque d’expérience...
Pour la nuit, les chambres à lits superposés ont fait la joie de tous. Au rez-de-chaussée, le pavillon des filles (Les Cèdres) n’a retrouvé le silence qu’à une heure bien avancée de la nuit. Pareil pour les garçons qui créchaient à l’étage, dans l’aile des Pins.

Le lendemain matin, une fine pluie de flocons annonçait une journée froide. Retour donc aux chambres, après un bon petit-déjeuner, pour enfiler des vêtements chauds avant de se séparer (en groupes) pour les activités du matin. Au programme, entre autres : Survie en forêt (orientation à la boussole et construction d’un abri) et escalade aux arbres.
Retour pour manger et boucler les bagages. Mille vérifications, le temps de retrouver les propriétaires de chaque manteau, chaque couverture, chaque objet traînant par-ci, par-là…  Enfin, adieu aux moniteurs et….tout le monde dans le bus !  Une belle escapade « Nature » dans les Laurentides, sans iPads et sans téléphones cellulaires !!
Oui, c’est possible ! Foi de Secondaires 1 et 2 de Kells Academy !


Kells Honour Roll Students

Math, Science, English, French and History, not to mention school spirit, school activities, clubs, sports and volunteering, are what make up a student's life. Juggling academic success and healthy social involvement isn't easy. It requires hard work, organization and determination and, of course, hours dedicated to studying. These are the qualities that lead to a successful academic standing. Our Honour Roll students know all about what it takes to achieve an 85% overall average. They understand the importance of homework and have developed practical study skills that will carry them through major assignments, critical projects and stressful examinations. They are recognized for their effort, commitment and success. There is a lot to get caught up in during these high school years; their focus is admirable. A round of applause for our Honour Roll students!  ...

Warm Wishes for Kells Elementary

Dear Mrs. Perlman, You can't imagine how much my girls and I miss Kells and everyone there. Kells is a magical place where children learn without even realizing it. Everything seems easy and fun, every day is enjoyable. Every teacher is a good example and someone who knows you and cares for you. I am still amazed at how much Clarisa and Fernanda learned in a year, and they loved every moment of it. Thank you so much for that year, we returned home changed and we will never forget you. Ana Toro. ...

Thanks from Doreen Horen

Last year, after having finished yet another challenging year, my son, Daniel was left in a lurch as to where to complete his high school education. At a friend's recommendation, I phoned Kells Academy. One phone call later I was convinced that this might be the place for my son. All my questions were answered with compassion and understanding. Every obstacle was worked out with efficiency and swiftness. The respect which my son was treated with on all levels starting with the interview, helped him rise to the occasion. Kells has proven to be a positive experience for my son. He is concluding his high school with the intention of continuing his education. His dreams have once again been rekindled as his belief in himself has prospered. Daniel has been in three other high schools prior to Kells and has never been so eager to go to school. He claims that his teachers are stimulating. The education bar is high enough to be challenging yet there is understanding and patience from all the staff. The accommodations made for his individual learning style help him be the best he can be. The staff hows genuine caring as they always have the time and interest to work together as a team. When the government talks about "success for all" in the Reform, they were thinking of Kells. I can never thank this school enough for helping my son blossom into the wonderful young man he is becoming. My one regret is that we were part of the Kells family for only one year. ...

In the News


February 11, 2015 - Science Fair Wows Judges

Once again, Kells' talented young scientists delighted and impressed judges and visitors with their innovative projects. ...

April 14, 2014 - Kells Students Know How to Debate!

Junior and Senior Debate Teams compete year-round in both national and international tournaments. ...

March 24, 2014 - Pink Shirt Day Fundraiser

Kells Elementary students and staff marked Anti-Bullying Day by wearing a pink shirt and participating in anti-bullying activities. ...

Curriculum & Programs

Curriculum & Programs

    Specialty Academics

  • Summer studies
  • University counseling

    School Support

  • After-school program
  • Full-day kindergarten
  • Lunch program
  • Private/Individual lessons
  • Transportation
  • Tutoring

    Special Needs

  • Learning differences support (ADD/ADHD)


  • Acting
  • Band
  • Drawing
  • Electric music
  • Music history
  • Music theory
  • Painting
  • Recording
  • Sculpture
  • Song writing
  • Voice/Vocal/Singing

    Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Canadian history
  • Creative writing
  • Debate
  • Ethics
  • Public speaking


  • English
  • ESL
  • French

    Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Computers

  • Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Computer science
  • Geometry
  • Physics
  • Statistics
  • Trigonometry

    Academic / Social Clubs

  • Chess Club
  • Debate Club
  • Environmental Club
  • Foreign Language Club
  • Math Club
  • School newspaper
  • Science Club
  • Student Council
  • Yearbook


  • Art Club
  • Band
  • Drama Club


  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Rugby
  • Running
  • Running
  • Soccer
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Yoga

    Admissions & Finances

  • Entrance exams
  • Interview required
  • Scholarships
  • Sibling discounts

    Religious Affiliation

  • Non-denominational

Social Feeds

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Contact Name
Lesley Farrell

Phone Number:
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