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

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

Kells Academy

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

Traditional,  Special Needs
Grades (Gender):
K to 11 (Coed)
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
12 to 18
Day: 300 (Gr. K - 11)

get more information Get more information

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.

Upcoming Events Next event: October 07, 2015

upcoming events
  • October 07, 2015High School Open House
    Kells Academy, 6865 De Maisonneuve West, Montreal, Quebec
    Join us Wednesday, October 07 from 07:00 pm - 09:00 pm

    You are invited to attend our High School Open House on Wednesday October 7th at 7:00 PM. You will have the opportunity to meet the Principal and speak to the teachers who help Kells students to excel beyond their expectations.

    We look forward to meeting you!


  • October 14, 2015Elementary Open House
    Kells Elementary, 2290 Cavendish Blvd., corner De Maisonneuve West, Montreal, Quebec
    Join us Wednesday, October 14 from 07:00 pm - 09:00 pm

    You are invited to attend our Elementary School Open House on Wednesday October 14th at 7:00 PM. You will have the opportunity to meet the Principal and speak to the teachers who help Kells students to excel beyond their expectations.

    We look forward to meeting you!


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.



Curriculum Traditional, Special Needs

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

Secondary Curriculum: Special Needs
Special needs schools have classrooms structured around providing individualized and one-on-one support. Their curriculums reflect this, in that they are highly flexible and variable to individual students and their needs.

What Kells Academy says: While Kells Academy adheres to guidelines established by the Quebec Ministry of Education, it delivers programs with significantly greater flexibility, identifying individual student skill levels as the first step in the process. By doing so, we ensure that students work within their range of ability and remain enthused and motivated, yet still challenged.

  • Special Needs offered:

    Program = offered
    All students at your school have special needs
    Not all students at your school have 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 Kells Academy says: [Kells Academy has not provided this information]

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: Elementary: Nelson Mathematics, Math Makes Sense (cycle 2) plus complimentary materials Key Math, IXL Secondary: Math 3000, Math Help Services, Adapted Mind

    • Calculator policy: [Kells Academy has not provided this information]

    Early Reading Phonics-intensive

      Systematic-phonics programs teach young children to read by helping them to recognize and sound out the letters and syllables of words. Students are then led to blend these sounds together to sound out and recognize the whole word. While other reading programs might touch on phonetics (either incidentally or on a “when needed” basis), systematic phonics teaches phonics in a specific sequence, and uses extensive repetition and direct instruction to help readers associate specific letter patterns with their associated sounds.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  

    • What Kells Academy says: Reading skills are developed using both research based teacher directed and online programs which approach reading in a systematic, sequential manner. In addition to phonics, phonemic awareness, word study, shared reading, guided reading, and literature study round out the program.

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

    • What Kells Academy says: Ongoing assessment, throughout the elementary years, allows us to continually monitor student progress and adjust programs to ensure success.

    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 Kells Academy says: Our approach to writing features a balance of word study, explicit teaching of grammar, sentence and paragraph structure, as well as, the opportunity to practice writing for a purpose, proofreading and editing in Writer's Workshops. Students learn to express their thoughts in a cohesive, organized manner while exploring various genres of writing. The study of literary techniques, allows students to discover how various literary elements are used to create pieces of writing. Vocabulary study enhances the quality of writing, Students take pride in completed writing pieces that combine sound writing techniques and imaginative, creative and critical thought.

    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: Beginning in the earliest grades, students are exposed to the scientific method with hands on opportunities for observation, experimentation and reflection. As they move forward through the grades, students are expected to question the scientific world, develop hypotheses, research, test and report and discuss findings using scientific vocabulary. Developing research skills and critical thinking through both group and independent projects is incorporated at all levels. Participation in the elementary Tomato Sphere Project, The Monarch Watch, nature trips, museum outings, workshops with professional scientists, environmental awareness activities, Earth Day celebration, and green school initiatives further enrich the program.

    • 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 Kells Academy says: The English program follows the guidelines of the Quebec Reform: CYCLE 1 (grades 7/8) COMPETENCIES Uses language/talk to communicate and to learn Reads and listens to written, spoken and media texts Writes a variety of genres for personal and social purposes CYCLE 2 (grades 9-11) COMPETENCIES: To read and listen to literary, popular and information-based texts To write self-expressive, narrative and information-based texts To use language to communicate and learn

    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 Kells Academy says: A project-based learning approach is taken to the social studies program. Students in Cycle 1, learn about their own place in society and demonstrate knowledge in various ways. In Cycle 2 and 3, students compare and contrast geographical settings, significant people and historical events, to the present day. Flexible methods of demonstrating concept comprehension ensure that individual needs are met.

    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 Kells Academy says: In Grade 7 and 8 social sciences and Grade 11 Contemporary World the courses tend to be more pragmatic. In Grades 9 and 10, we lean more towards a perennialist approach due to the requirements of MELS.

    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 Kells Academy says: [Kells Academy has not provided this information]

    • Studying a foreign language is required until:   11
    • Languages Offered: • French • ESL

    Fine Arts Creative

      Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What Kells Academy says: Students of all ages are highly involved in our fine arts classes. Our music program allows students to look at various periods in history from a musical perspective while cultivating individual skills in a band ensemble. Performances include an integration of instrumental music, voice, dance and drama.

    Computers and Technology Heavy integration

      A major effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy throughout the curriculum and in everything students do. Digital literacy is understood to be a fundamental skill in the 21st century: it therefore follows, the idea goes, that teachers should find ways to connect every lesson back to technology. Effort is made to ensure the use of technology is meaningful and advances students’ skills beyond what they would otherwise be from using computers outside the classroom.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What Kells Academy says: At the elementary level, iPads and laptop computers are at the disposal of the students and teachers. At the High School iPads are mandatory for students in Grades 7-10 and laptops for Grade 11 students. These devices are used extensively in the classroom for research and productivity. Online programs and various apps are used for language support, mathematics and science. Class response systems allow teachers instant feedback of student results. Using video creation apps, teachers are able to flip their classes, sending home videos of lessons to be watched before attending classes.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Kells Academy says: Kells seeks to ensure that students are active and developing healthy habits regarding physical activity and nutrition. A full array of sports, games, yoga and dance create a balanced program. Various annual special events such as the Terry Fox Run and Jump Rope for Heart encourage an active lifestyle while raising funds for worthy causes.

    • Kells Academy's approach to sex-ed: [Kells Academy has not provided this information]

    Religious Education
    • What Kells Academy says: [Kells Academy has not provided this information]

    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.

    What Kells Academy says: Our program is fully rooted in active discovery with multi-sensory experiences fundamental to the development of speaking and listening skills, emergent reading and writing, number sense, social competence, creativity, curiosity and critical thinking. Technology literacy, essential to this age of technological advancement, is achieved with iPads and laptops, via online reading and math programs and apps used for creation and collaboration.

    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.

    What Kells Academy says: [Kells Academy has not provided this information]

    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 Kells Academy says about flexible pacing: [Kells Academy has not provided this information]

    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 Kells Academy says: At Kells, flexibility is what distinguishes us from other schools. The curriculum provides the structure, yet its implementation is adaptable. We provide an innovative environment that celebrates uniqueness while offering a diversity of learning approaches, ensuring our students a learning experience that is rich, meaningful and challenging. We develop individualized programs, allowing students to work within their comfort zone, which may be above, below, or at grade level.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced, Social

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

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Social
    Socially aware and active citizens, motivated to change the world (or their community) for the better.

    What Kells Academy says: At Kells, we hope to shape autonomous, motivated, confident, self-directed, life long learners able to take on intellectual challenges. Socially and environmentally responsible, our students are involved in many local and global initiatives. As members of Peaceful Schools International, they are respectful and empathetic citizens. With many opportunities to be physically active in sports, dance and yoga, students learn the importance of healthy living..

    Special Needs Support Very High

    Very High

    Kells Academy is a full-time special needs school. All students at Kells Academy are receiving some form of specialized support. The school therefore offeres a very high degree of special needs support.

    • 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 Kells Academy says: Students with diagnosed learning disabilities enter a supportive, flexible and stimulating learning environment which addresses individual needs. Student progress is monitored closely through ongoing observation and assessment. An individual learning plan is developed to target specific learning goals so students may learn at their own level and pace. Additional support in our resource room is provided by our learning specialist. Engaging and innovative strategic programs are used to develop skills in reading and math, and to assist English language learners.

    • 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
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Additional Support:

      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
    • What Kells Academy says: Students with diagnosed learning disabilities enter a supportive, flexible and stimulating learning environment which addresses individual needs. Student progress is monitored closely through ongoing observation and assessment. An individual learning plan is developed to target specific learning goals so students may learn at their own level and pace. Additional support in our resource room is provided by our learning specialist. Engaging and innovative strategic programs are used to develop skills in reading and math, and to assist English language learners.

    Gifted Learner Support Moderate


    Kells Academy offers gifted learner support in the form of inclusive practices -- special, custom arrangements made for advanced learners (who otherwise remain in the regular classroom).

    Inclusive practices:

    Practice = offered
    Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)
    Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)
    Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)
    Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)
    Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)

    What Kells Academy says: [Kells Academy has not provided this information]

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered gradesK to 11
    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackK to 11
    Academic achievement reportingK to 11
    Parent-teacher meetingsK to 11


    What Kells Academy says:

    Kells Academy has not provided this information.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
      Downhill skiing
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Chess Club
      Debate Club
      Drama Club
      Environmental Club
      Foreign Language Club
      Math Club
      School newspaper
      Science Club
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid



    Day (Domestic) Day (International)
    Day (Domestic)$15,250
    Day (International)$15,250


    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    2nd child (sibling)all students10%
    3rd child (sibling)all students15%
    4th child (sibling)all students20%

    Need-based financial aid

    Kells Academy has not provided this information.

    Merit based Scholarships

    Kells Academy
    Amount: $5,000
    Deadline: 03/01/2012
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 1 to 11—Must demonstrate high academic performance, have strong leadership skills, and be good role models. Proof of consistent excellence along with a letter of intent is necessary when applying.
    For more details, visit: www.kells.ca/en/gak.php?node=76


    Total enrollment 300
    Average enrollment per grade25
    Gender (grades)K to 11 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution: We do not have this data for Kells Academy




    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    InterviewK - 11
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)K - 11

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Kells Academy says:

    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 along with a passport size photograph and 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.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Kells Academy is looking for: At Kells we accept applications from both local and international students with average to above average ability. We also accept students who require additional academic support. They should be respectful, motivated, hard workers with a wide range of interests and talents.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypeK1234567891011
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    15 - 30 (90%)15 - 30 (90%)15 - 30 (90%)15 - 30 (100%)15 - 30 (100%)15 - 30 (100%)15 - 30 (100%)15 - 30 (100%)10 - 15 (100%)15 - 20 (100%)15 - 20 (100%)15 - 20 (100%)

    Notable Alumni

    Alumnus Graduation Year Accomplishment
    Haya  Aziz 2010 Haya came to Kells in Grade 8 and was one of our Valedictorians (we had two that year). She is now thriving in Medicine at McGill University.
    Jean Pierre Falet 2010 After having been at Kells for 5 years, JP was our second Valedictorian of the Class of 2010. He is also studying Medicine at McGill University.
    Nour Khatib 2003 MD, CM: Doctor of Medicine and Master of Surgery McGill University and Resident doctor at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Toronto, Ontario.
    Mandana Moosavi 2002 Mandana graduated in Medicine from McGill University. Currently: Endicronology Fellow at Vancouver Coastal Health.
    Fangzhou Bian 2006 Associate Lawyer at Couzin Taylor LLP, allied with EY.

    Stories & Testimonials


    Innovative Teaching Tools Make for an Effective Learning Environment

    Just as no one size of school uniform fits all, so education should be custom tailored to the student, says the founding director of Kells Academy, Irene Woods.

    Learning has always been a very personal matter at the Westmount Learning Centre she founded in 1978, which later expanded into Kells Academy. Class sizes are kept small, and the focus has been on supporting each learner’s uniqueness. “Now we’re taking this approach, which works so well, to the next level — finding new ways to keep students active and engaged.”

    This fall, Kells high school is expanding two popular initiatives launched last year: Flex scheduling, which allows students to hand-pick elective subjects, and the innovative use of digital technology.

    The Flex program complements the school’s wide range of extracurricular activities. In the 2014-15 school year, it garnered rave reviews from students who leaped at the chance to select a course of special interest each semester. Building on this, Woods and her team have included options beyond the arts and sports programs for which the school is known. Students can select from a dozen subjects that range from jiu-jitsu to dance to calculus to music.

    While in Grade 9 last year, Jason Papagiannis, 15, took advantage of two Flex courses: law in one semester, philosophy in the next. His father, George, whose 18-year-old daughter Christina also attended Kells, said “Jason kept saying how he enjoyed the discussions and the camaraderie that developed” in the Flex courses. He also had the opportunity to mingle with students of different ages, since the program’s courses are open to all grade levels.

    “My son has also greatly benefited from the way technology is used at Kells, and the way it has been integrated into the curriculum,” Papagiannis added. “Jason learned important digital life skills and would not have achieved the same level of success at school without them.

    “The use of technology has definitely made the parents’ job easier,” he said, echoing the sentiments of many of the parents. “My wife and I both appreciate many aspects, including daily online access to our kid’s homework and class notes.”

    The introduction of digital technology to the classroom has been a game-changer for students and teachers. Kells has embraced it fully and finds that it permits teachers to offer instruction that reaches every learner, changing the classroom dynamics. In-class innovations include the “flipped classroom” and “Learning Response Systems.” Both are already used in educational circles and employ digital technology to promote active learning. Kells has adapted them to create approaches unique enough to be recognized at a conference for educators held at McGill University in May 2015.

    The flipped classroom reverses the usual teaching model, with lessons given at night, homework during class time. Students watch videotaped lectures or lessons at home, communicating with each other or their teachers via online discussions. “In-class time is used for discussion, activities and more one-on-one time with the teacher,” Woods said.

    Learning Response Systems refers to an interactive presentation system adapted for the classroom. The teacher poses questions verbally or on a so-called smartboard, a high-tech whiteboard. Students then provide their answers using remote transmitters such as an iPad, a process that keeps everyone in the class engaged. The system instantly collects the results, which the teacher can view and then give immediate feedback.

    The innovation in teaching programs and methods at Kells Academy is progressive and never ceases. A number of other programs are in the plans as the school continuously strives to build better learning methods that prepare their students with skills that will be essential in tomorrow’s world.

    Visit www.kells.ca to learn more.



    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


    September 8, 2015 - Kells Elementary featured in the Montreal Gazette

    Investing in a quality elementary school education at Kells Academy. ...

    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. ...

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