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Kohai Educational Centre

41 Roehampton Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4P 1P9

Grades (Gender):
Preschool to Gr. 12 (Coed)
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
2 to 6
Day: 35 (Gr. PS - 12)

School Address
41 Roehampton Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4P 1P9



About this school:


Taking an individualised approach to our students’ education, we design lessons and learning goals that are tailor-made for students with a range of learning challenges including those diagnosed with ASD and GDD. 1 to 1 learning within classroom groups allows teachers to target areas of academic need and to develop a curriculum unique to each learner that blends academics and life skills training. We’ve been teaching students with special needs for over 40 years. Kohai is a place where your child can thrive!

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Our Take: Kohai Educational Centre

our takeKohai began in 1973 as a summer camp for children with emotional, intellectual, and behavioural disorders. Parents were the driver, encouraging the founders to build out the programming based on the success that the summer program was having. It was formalized as a school in 1976 around the approach that had been adopted in the camp setting, one focused on small-group learning and student-directed instruction. Kohai addresses itself specifically to the needs of children who, simply, learn differently, and who require a setting that offers the kinds of supports that they need. The foremost, often, is an environment that is built with them in mind, and which sees their potential, first, rather than their limitations. Which is exactly what Kohai has been offering—impressively, beautifully, skillfully—for more than 40 years.

School busing:

Kohai Educational Centre offers bus transferring.
Additional notes: Kohai does not provide bussing. Our students are driven to school, walk, or take public transit.

Principal's Message


Barbara Brown, Principal

Welcome to Kohai Educational Centre, a small school in midtown Toronto serving students of all ages who have special needs. We offer small group learning with skilled teaching in core academic subjects and social skills training. 

Our students avail of a wide curriculum which includes art, music, and physical education programme. Many students begin at Kohai as young children and continue on until adulthood. Our students study in a small, safe environment where there is ample time for practice and learning in small incremental steps.

The Kohai Approach is unique and it works!


Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

What Kohai Educational Centre says: Our students experience a range of unique learning challenges. Many of our students have a diagnosis of ASD or GDD.

  • Approach:
    Focus Special needs
    Academic Special needs

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Equal Balance

      These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What Kohai Educational Centre says: Each student is taught basic numeracy, with a hands on practical approach. All other aspects of the math curriculum are taught to each student, each year. Students develop skills and use these skills in practical situations throughout the day.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: We use a variety of texts and develop many materials ourselves.

    • Calculator policy: At times students will have access to a calculator, depending on the goal of the lesson.

    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 Kohai Educational Centre says: Our approach is to use a phonics based format for teaching reading and spelling. We like the systematic approach that this instills in our students and gives them tools to decode and spell.

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

    • What Kohai Educational Centre says: We assess reading and comprehension skills. The assessments help us develop learning goals in a student\'s individualised curriculum. \n

    Writing Systematic approach

      The systematic approach to teaching beginner writing focuses on directly imparting explicit sentence construction strategies, along with planning, revising, and editing skills. Students are asked to learn these explicit strategies and skills and practice them before applying them in more holistic writing assignments. Grammar and parts of sentences tend to have a central role in systematic writing instruction.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What Kohai Educational Centre says: As with all skills, we teach a systematic approach to writing. We use various direct instruction texts and also make some of our own materials to enhance learning.

    Science Equal Balance

      Science programs that balance expository and inquiry learning equally will likely have an equal blend of tests and experiments; direct, textbook-based instruction and student-centred projects.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: We use science class to explore the immediate environment of our students and school. It gives us an ideal opportunity to teach our students about themselves, the school, our community and their families.

    • 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 Kohai Educational Centre says: We use a mixture of texts to enrich and teach our students how to think and to explore experiences.

    Social Studies Expanding Communities

      The Expanding Communities approach organizes the curriculum around students’ present, everyday experience. In the younger grades, students might learn about themselves, for example. As they move through the grades, the focus gradually broadens in scope: to the family, neighbourhood, city, province, country, and globe. The curriculum tends to have less focus on history than Core Knowledge programs.
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What Kohai Educational Centre says: At Kohai, we teach about our local community and use this information to explore, in real time and space. Our students benefit from involvement in the local community through sports, shopping and other activities.

    Humanities and Social Sciences Pragmatism

      Pragmatism in the humanities and social sciences emphasizes making learning relevant to students’ present-day experience. Assignments tend to centre around projects and tasks rather than argumentative essays; these projects will often have a “real-world” application or relevance. There might be more of a social justice component to a pragmatic program, though that isn’t always the case. Subjects like history and philosophy are still covered/offered, but they play a less prominent role in the overall program than in the case of perennialism. The social sciences (contemporary geography, sociology, psychology, etc), meanwhile, might play a more prominent role in pragmatic programs. The key goals are to make learning progressive and relevant, while teaching students real-life skills and critical thinking.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What Kohai Educational Centre says: Many of our students learn in a hands-on manner and benefit from direct instruction and learning. Our approach is grounded in a student\'s present-day experience.

    Foreign Languages
    • What Kohai Educational Centre says: Kohai students focus on learning to communicate in written and spoken English. We use direct instruction to encourage speech, expression and writing.

    • Languages Offered: This information is not currently available.

    Fine Arts Equal Balance

      These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.
      Learn about the different fine arts approaches  

    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What Kohai Educational Centre says: We teach the arts using a skill based approach. Students are then able to use these skills to enhance their personal expression.

    Computers and Technology Medium integration

      Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.
      Learn about the different computers and technology approaches  

    • What Kohai Educational Centre says: Our students receive much of their learning materials through traditional applications. The use of computers and iPads is integrated into the curriculum and used daily as a complement to textbooks and notebooks. We continue to use new technologies in our classrooms while staying true to our core values.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Kohai Educational Centre says: Our students receive at least 40 minutes of structured physical education each day. The phys-ed programme is designed by our occupational therapist who develops activities and exercises with our students in mind. Kohai students play sports and group games, learn gymnastics, dance and yoga. We visit our local park, ski hill and skating rink, seasonally.\n

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

    What Kohai Educational Centre says: Kohai students learn about their bodies with an emphasis on skills for self care and independent living. We teach students how to keep their bodies healthy with lessons on food nutrition and hygiene. We use concrete experiences to teach these skills in our teaching apartment and classroom environment. We teach students how their bodies change at puberty and how to manage menstruation etc. We also teach how to use household machines such as washing machines, dryers etc. We have classes on how to interact with friends, how to be assertive and to be safe in the community. We spend time in our local busy community teaching students route planning and personal safety skills.

    Mostly value-neutral

    By and large, we teach sex education free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. We try not to impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on our students when teaching sex and related issues.

    Fairly value-based

    Sex education is sometimes taught from a particular moral or ethical standpoint. Sometimes particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) are invoked when teaching sex and related issues.


    This includes a range of positions. A traditional approach might, for example, go as far as emphasizing the nuclear family and complete abstinence from sex before marriage. Alternatively, this approach might simply involve placing less emphasis on sex outside of the context of marriage and more emphasis on abstinence. Or finally, it might just involve focusing less on sex outside of the context of marriage.


    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.

    What Kohai Educational Centre says: Our students do not typically meet the usual cognitive milestones at the same time as other mainstream students. At Kohai we foster and teach an understanding of human bodies, inclusiveness and consent. This approach is taught from the early years depending on the understanding, and language of students. We notify all our families and consult with parents on their family values. We teach students to respect their bodies and those of others. We also teach students to ask for consent and teach what this means. We teach students how to respect themselves as independent young people in a safe and caring manner.

    Preschool/K Curriculum Academic

    • Play-based
    • Montessori
    • Waldorf
    • Reggio Emilia
    • Academic

    Academic-based preschools and Kindergartens are the most structured of the different types, and have a strong emphasis on math and reading readiness skills. These programs aim to expose children to what early-elementary school is like. While time is still allotted to free play, much of the day is built around explicit lessons guided by the teacher. Classrooms often resemble play-based ones (with different stations set up around the room), but at an Academic program the teacher leads students through the stations directly, and ties these activities to a whole-class lesson or theme.

    If you want to learn more about preschool education, check out our comprehensive guide. You can also read our in-depth answers to important preschool questions: What is preschool? What are the main preschool programs? What are the main pros and cons of preschool? What do children learn in preschool? How much does preschool cost?  What makes for a great preschool?

    What Kohai Educational Centre says: We teach a mixture of language, play and socialization at the level of each student.

    Curriculum Pace Student-paced

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    The main curriculum pace is non-standardized and is HIGHLY responsive to the pacing of individual students, (via differentiated instruction, differentiated assessment, etc). In theory, some students outpace the default/normalized curriculum, while others spend periods "behind schedule" if they need the extra time.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What Kohai Educational Centre says about flexible pacing: All our students learn at their own pace, within a small group setting. This means we can advance each student whilst teaching how to work together in a cooperative and effective manner.

    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 Kohai Educational Centre says: Kohai students receive lots of support to enable them to learn as individuals and within small groups. Our students are assisted with communication, academic achievement and social and emotional skill building. We use a behaviourist approach to teach skills in a step by step skill building approach. Students receive reinforcement from their learning which helps continue their learning and success.

    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 Kohai Educational Centre says: Our priority is to develop the academic achievements of our students. We use a systematic approach to learning by using phonics, direct instruction and a diagnostic approach. Our students gain skills in increments that we monitor and they learn to value feedback, error and success.\nKohai students also learn life skills, emotional regulation and how to build friendship and relationships. The balance of the whole student is important so that academic and independence can flourish.

    Special Needs Support Special needs school

    Special needs school

    Full-time programming is offered for all students which is exclusively focused on one or more special needs.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Extra support
    • What Kohai Educational Centre says: At Kohai we have over 40 years of experience teaching students with learning challenges, including students with ASD, GDD and ADHD. Our classrooms and curriculum are designed to be tailored to each learner's individual needs and goals.

    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Learning disabilities
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Williams syndrome
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Clinical anxiety
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Multiple sclerosis
      Cerebral palsy
      Muscular dystrophy
      Spina Bifida
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Cystic Fibrosis
      Multiple physical
    • Forms of support delivery:
      Support Type = offered
      A regular class with indirect support
      A regular class with resource assistance
      A regular class with withdrawal assistance
      A special education class with partial integration
      A full-time special education class
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Speech-language therapy
    • Summary: At Kohai we are able to accommodate students with many unique needs. Through the use of individualised learning plans, ongoing assessment by skilled teaching staff and our occupational therapist we are able to offer support that allows students to succeed to the best of their ability.

    Gifted Learner Support In-class adaptations

    Dedicated gifted programs:

    Program = offered
    Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
    Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)

    Curriculum delivery: Acceleration and enrichment (There is an equal emphasis on acceleration and enrichment.)

    In-class adaptations:
    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)
    Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)
    Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)
    Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)
    Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)

    What Kohai Educational Centre says: We teach to every student's needs and skills.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.

    Homework Policy

    In grade 12, Kohai Educational Centre students perform an average of 30 mins of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    Kohai Educational Centre15 mins15 mins15 mins15 mins15 mins15 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins
    Site Average2 mins6 mins7 mins6 mins16 mins18 mins24 mins29 mins34 mins40 mins53 mins57 mins69 mins80 mins95 mins108 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackPreschool to 12
    Academic achievement reportingPreschool to 12
    Parent-teacher meetingsPreschool to 12

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What Kohai Educational Centre says:
    • We offer a weekly after school club with a new theme each term. Past themes have included baking, dance, quilting and board games.
    • We participate in the Best Buddies programme. It offers the opportunity for our teenage students to meet with students attending other schools in the community.
    • Our [email protected] courses are weekly independence classes for teenage students. Life skills including grocery shopping, cooking a meal and clean up are taught in a social setting.
    • Our summer day camp happens annually at the end of the school year. Students participate in field trips around Toronto and a variety of other camp activities.
    • Each spring we put on a school concert where students perform songs for an audience of friends and family.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
      Downhill skiing
      Figure Skating
      Ice Skating
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Dance Club
      Outdoor Education

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    What Kohai Educational Centre says: Tuition at Kohai covers full time enrolment in a classroom with low student to teacher ratio. Our teachers are skilled and enthusiastic and love teaching our students. Kohai students enjoy an individualised programme in an enriching environment where they can succeed to the best of their abilities. Bursaries are available for qualifying families through the generous support of our donors.


    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    Early paymentall students320%
    2nd child (sibling)Day3200%

    Need-based financial aid

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

    Application Deadline:

    More information:

    Application Details:

    This school works with other. for processing financial applications

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 35
    Average enrollment per grade2
    Average class size2 to 6
    Gender (grades)Preschool to Gr. 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution:

    Day Enrollment22422225453



    Admissions Assessments:

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

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Kohai Educational Centre says:

    Parents visit the school, meet with the principal and tour the building.  This is an opportunity to ask questions, hear about the programme and view classrooms.

    Then prospective students come for an informal assessment which covers academic, social and independence skills.  Reports from former schools and other agencies are read by Kohai.

    The senior team at Kohai meet to assess "fit". Then if the student seems like he/she would benefit from attending a formal offer is made. Forms are sent to the family and time is given to process and decide.

    A start date is arranged and the plan proceeds.



    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Kohai Educational Centre is looking for: We teach students who have difficuties learning in larger groups and who typically have a need for skills to be broken into small skill sets. Our students learn within an individualized programme and learn how to be learners in a group.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypePSJKSKK123456789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    0001 (98%)1 (98%)1 (98%)1 (98%)1 (98%)1 (98%)1 (98%)1 (98%)1 (98%)1 (98%)1 (98%)1 (98%)1 (98%)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class size3
    *Canadian "Big 6" placements0
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University, University of Alberta, or Dalhousie University.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)

    Schools our students are admitted to (last 4 years): University of Toronto and Nipissing University
    Schools our students attend (last 4 years): University of Toronto and Nipissing University

    What Kohai Educational Centre says:

  • Kohai students typically move into work/ voluntary employment and continued study. Some students attend community college. We have graduates of University of Toronto and Nipissing University

  • Stories & Testimonials


    Kohai Testimonials

    Our daughter, Ally, moved to Kohai after spending two years in the public school system. The teachers at Kohai have creatively worked to find “ways in” to teach Ally to allow her to achieve her maximum potential. We are so appreciative of the dedication and support that Kohai has provided not only to Ally but to our whole family.
    - Ally’s parents

    Kohai provided a firm foundation for both Zaier & Akhtar, who joined this school as toddlers. Academically they are 
    already ahead of their peers in a public school setting. Kohai embellished their personality by giving them confidence, discipline and versatility. Their personal and social skills, gross motor and fine motor skills, imagination and communication were developed at Kohai to the mark of excellence. For them, Kohai meant a life filled with the 
    treasures of learning and exploring. They loved coming to school every day! We are proud to be a part of the Kohai family!
    - Saima

    Our son, Matthew, looks forward to school every day at Kohai. The skills he has learned at Kohai have been invaluable. Our family is now able to dine in a restaurant, go to a movie and even travel. Our family is grateful to the dedicated staff at Kohai.
    - Brad and Kathy

    When you’ve seen the experience of education through my son’s eyes, you know just how important this place really is.
    - Valerie Grundy 

    Brian has been a student at Kohai Educational Centre for 13 years now - the school has made a huge difference in his life and ours. My experience with public school system before Brian came to Kohai was that I always felt judged - that it was my fault that the child I brought them didn’t fit their program, and any issues were a failure on our side to bring them the right kind of student, and I was supposed to fix them. He started at Kohai when he was 8 years old - he's 22 now - and we're continually changing and adding new challenges.
    - Karen


    In the News


    April 11, 2017 - Smaller classes allow more focused attention

    Kohai Educational Centre was featured in the Toronto Star. ...


    • The Ontario Federation of Independent Schools (OFIS) Associations

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