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Little Owl Preschool Elementary

99 Sheppard Avenue West, Unit A, Toronto, Ontario, M2N 1M4

Grades (Gender):
Preschool to Gr. 8 (Coed)
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
5 to 12
Day: 65 (Gr. PS - 8)

School Address
99 Sheppard Avenue West, Unit A, Toronto, Ontario, M2N 1M4



About this school:


We are proud to offer our Little Owl Curriculum – the Ontario Curriculum plus enriched developmental activities that will engage your child in every subject, even French! Our full-day Kindergarten program gives consistency to your child’s life.   Our after-school programs include Chess, Art, French, Tennis and Math Clubs, and private piano lessons. Little Owl Preschool and Elementary school develops motivated, confident, and happy problem-solving individuals. We invite your child to become a Little Owl!

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Our Take: Little Owl Preschool Elementary

our takeThe student body at Little Owl reflects the diversity of the surrounding community, and the school uses that as a foundation to encourage and celebrate a multicultural perspective. Little Owl is small, which is a draw for the families that enroll, as is the program that runs from preschool through the primary and elementary years. There is a close, family feel, with an individual attention to the needs of the students. Likewise, there is an attention to building students’ emotional and social esteem within a values-based environment. The ideal student is one looking for something different, and who will thrive in a hands-on, community based academic environment.

Principal's Message


Natalia Galinskaya, Principal

At Little Owl Preschool Elementary, we Teach Your Children Well.
That means we use discovery-based learning methods and universally designed lessons. We also love to celebrate your child, our holidays, and the outside world. We go on fieldtrips, and we invite special guests and performers to engage and delight. A rounded developmental experience full of learning and inquiry is gained. Character development and education are key at Little Owl Preschool Elementary. We foster the development of confident, happy, and loving individuals. Our commitment to your child is reflected in our core values as our SPIRIT.

Support: With our support your child will develop confidence, self worth, and self-esteem.

Passion: We are passionate about your child succeeding in all their endeavours, present and future.

Integrity: Everything at Little Owl Preschool Elementary is done with integrity and honesty, so as to lead by example.

Respect: We respect your child’s feelings without judgment or criticism.

Imagination: Innovation and creativity are encouraged in every activity your child undertakes.

Trust: We assist your child in developing confidence and trust for self and others.

I thank you for choosing Little Owl Preschool Elementary.

Natasha Galinskaya
Little Owl Preschool Elementary


Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

What school says: We use discovery based learning activities, sensory manipulatives, and developmental centres to fully engage your child in their lessons. We assess your child's understanding and gently challenge them to continue their next developmental phase. We teach traditional academic subjects with an emphasis on supplemental activities and elements such as dance, drama and music to give our children a richer and fuller experience during their education.

  • Approach:
    Arts: Performing arts

  • 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 school says: We use the Ontario curriculum as our main guide to teach mathematics, with in-class activities to emphasize the topics learned. Younger children learn through more hands-on activities, and as they age, they learn more problem-solving based learning, while retaining the hands-on aspect of earlier grades.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    Early Reading Balanced Literacy

      Balanced reading programs are typically Whole Language programs with supplementary phonics training. This training might be incidental, or it might take the form of mini-lessons.
      Learn about the different early reading approaches  

    • What school says: Our students begin with a phonics-intensive program and as they become more comfortable and fluent with the language, they are able to move on to a whole language program. Learning to read is a gradual process and students will always find new words that they learn through both methods. We feel that both phonics-based learning and context clues are equally instrumental in the early reading process.

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

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

    Writing Equal balance

      Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
      Learn about the different writing approaches  

    • What school says: Our students start intially by learning specific grammar rules such as proper sentence structure and punctuation and writing methodologies, and as they become more familiar with writing, they are able to express themselves more personally in writing. Throughout the learning process, students will not only write sentences and stories, but focus on aspects such as word choice to convey mood or a specific idea and the place of writing in mediums beyond paragraph-based stories.

    Science Expository

      Expository science is the more traditional method of teaching science: students learn scientific facts, theories, and the relationships between them through direct instruction by the teacher. These programs still incorporate hands-on experimentation and “live science”; however, relative to inquiry-based programs, expository science tilts towards content mastery and knowledge acquisition. Direct instruction ensures this acquisition process is efficient. Textbooks are emphasized (starting in earlier grades than inquiry-based programs), as are knowledge tests: students are asked to demonstrate they have thoroughly learned the content of the course, and can apply that knowledge to novel and challenging problems or questions.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: Students gain foundational Science facts using a balance of inquiry and balanced instruction practices. Students read and learn from a diverse selection of school materials, textbooks, books, videos and inquiry. Besides this, we offer a variety of interesting collaborative learning opportunities through experiments and interesting research projects. Students use hands-on experiments to observe and test science facts in a fun and engaging way. For example, In Living Things, we chart and observe seed to plant growth and in Seasonal and Earth changes, we build and compare animal homes based on the habitat, time of year and other environmental conditions. In activities like these, we integrate the creative and scientific inquiry process.

    • 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 Traditional

      In traditional literature programs students focus on decoding the mechanics of texts: plot, characterization, and themes. These texts tend to include a balance of contemporary and “classic” literature. When studying a past work, students investigate its historical context -- but only insofar as this adds understanding to the work itself. Past works are therefore studied “on their own terms”, and not merely as historical artifacts to be deconstructed: traditional literature programs are firmly rooted in the humanities, and carry the belief that great literature can reveal fundamental and universal truths about the human condition. These programs emphasize class discussions and critical essay writing, and aim to develop in students critical thinking, communication skills, and a cultivated taste and ethos.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What school says: Children in English class learn to analyze texts and create their own. Literature is handled primarily as a learning tool for our younger children, but older ones begin to decode the mechanics plot, characterization and themes in basic texts.

    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 school says: Students begin their studies by focusing on themselves and their own lives, then by gradually expanding the scope of their studies to their local communities and finally, the globe. They study both local and foreign culture and history through readings and exercises designed to develop in them an appreciation of the complexities of the different people and cultures world and to analyze how they might connect those aspects to their daily lives.

    Humanities and Social Sciences
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.

    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 school says: Our French program places emphasis on proper pronunciation and the complexities of the language as compared to English. We encourage students to continue their learning outside the classroom to practice their structured learning in a real-world context. We believe that emphasizing proper pronunciation and rules allows students to experience the richness of the language outside the classroom without feeling self-conscious about their inexperience while also allowing them to discover the language at their own pace. Children learn Spanish through music, books and hands-on activities with new themes every week and a weekly "take me home" letter to practice vocabulary with the family at home. We also expose children to Spanish culture through art projects and short performances.

    • Languages Offered: • French • Russian • Spanish

    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
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What school says: We believe that the creative theatrical process is as important as the final result. As such, students are taught not only how to perform but how to create their performance from early brainstorming to script-writing and improvisation. Students learn that elements of theatre can be applied to their lives beyond the classroom and that there is place for both discipline and freedom at the same time. Our objective is to encourage students to explore their artistic potential. Through the fine arts program students are introduced to various mediums, application styles and art history. Our goal is to create non-judgmental environment where students feel confident and comfortable expressing themselves through their art.

    Computers and Technology Light integration

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

    • What school says: We believe that computers are a useful supplementary tool for lessons. The internet allows for access to a vast range of teaching materials and media. That said, the focus of our students' lessons is on the direct teacher-student relationship. When the student and teacher interact, with the ability to communicate with each other immediately, we believe that the teacher is able to gauge and provide the necessary guidance to the student without the need for any technology. The integration of technology in the children's lives happens all around them outside the school. There is still a place for interpersonal interaction in their lives at Little Owl.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What school says: We have a recess for every class as well as Yoga, Ballet and Martial Arts programs. Children are encouraged to participate and take part in at least 45 minutes a day of physical activity.

    Sex and Health Education Doesn’t follow Ontario curriculum
    Topics covered in sex and health education: We don’t cover any topics in sex and health education

    What school says: This information is not currently available.

    Mostly value-neutral

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

    Fairly value-based

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


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


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

    What school says: This information is not currently available.

    Preschool/K Curriculum Academic

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

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

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

    What school says: Young children are naturally imaginative. We incorportate this love of play into a more structured lesson so that they may learn to direct their energies and ideas into specific projects, lessons and activities. Play is an important aspect in the development of young minds, and our curriculum allows for a balance between focussed academic efforts and the natural need for free expression.

    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    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 school says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    Academic Culture Supportive

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

    What school says: We provide structure for children to follow with opportunities for them to explore the and instill in them a love of learning. Our students follow the Ontario curriculum as well as the Little Owl curriculum of enriched arts. We support children's love of learning and curiosity about the world. We seek to help guide them along their academic journey both creatively and academically.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced

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

    What school says: We aim to shape our students into well-rounded, healthy individuals with strong problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Children can become de-individualized in certain teaching methods and we aim to support each students individuality and self-expression. It is important for children to have a strong sense of self and by helping them hone their intellectual and emotional selves, we help them become confident and talented people with a drive to succeed and create success for themselves, both personally and in the world outside the classroom.

    Special Needs Support No support

    No support

    school offers no/limited support for students with learning difficulties or 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 school says: Students with mild learning disabilities are welcome at our school. We believe that every child deserves a good education and excellent care regardless of ability.

    • 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: Teachers are ready to accommodate students' needs in class, and we collaborate with an occupational therapist with experience working with children with ADHD, Autism, behavioural problems, and other learning disabilities who parents are free to get in contact with for information regarding their children.

    Gifted Learner Support Dedicated class; 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: Enrichment (The main focus is on enrichment. This means that while students may work at a marginally quicker pace than public school peers, the primary aim is to study subject in broader and deeper ways.)

    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 school says: This information is not currently available.

    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 6, Little Owl Preschool Elementary students perform an average of 45 mins of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    school0 mins15 mins15 mins30 mins30 mins30 mins45 mins45 mins45 mins
    Site Average2 mins5 mins7 mins16 mins18 mins24 mins29 mins34 mins40 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered gradesJK to 6
    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackJK to 6
    Academic achievement reportingJK to 6
    Parent-teacher meetingsJK to 6

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What school says:

    This information is not currently available.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Chess Club
      Dance Club
      Drama Club
      Foreign Language Club
      Musical theatre/Opera
      Poetry/Literature club
      Science Club

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    What school says: We offer a tuition payment program. Please call for more details.


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

    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    Little Owl Middle School Scholarship
    Amount: $1,200
    Deadline: 06/28/2017
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 6 to 8—

    This annual Scholarship is offered to new and existing students entering middle school.  Please call for more details on how to apply.

    Application Details:

    Existing students are eligible to re-apply for each new academic year.


    Total enrollment 65
    Average enrollment per grade5
    Average class size5 to 12
    Gender (grades)Preschool to Gr. 8 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution:

    Day Enrollment51015108755



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    InterviewPS - 6
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Little Owl Preschool Elementary says:

    Documents required: proof of date of birth (passport or birth certificate); report card from previous school; application form; admission fee.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Little Owl Preschool Elementary is looking for: We believe that every child can be smart, enthusiastic and curious and every child is welcome at Little Owl.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypePSJKSK12345678
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    5 (100%)8 - 10 (100%)8 - 10 (100%)9 - 10 (100%)9 - 10 (100%)9 - 10 (100%)9 - 10 (100%)9 - 10 (100%)9 - 10 (100%)

    Notable Alumni

    Alumnus Graduation Year Accomplishment
    Jeremy Zotov 2014 Jeremy is a multi-talented artist, with a particular proficiency for dance. He currently studies at the Russian Ballet Academy and performs for hundreds every year.

    Stories & Testimonials


    Excellent School

    “Little Owl is an excellent school. It encouraged my son to develop, while he was having fun exploring. He especially enjoyed the interactive learning they provided. He loved it so much he never wanted to leave at the end of the day. We will definitely return for the summer program.”


    Amazing Work

    “Keep up the amazing work! There is no other place I can imagine sending my own children. I have enrolled all three of my children from Preschool to Elementary. We live in Richmond Hill and Little Owl was a destination place for our family. We had a relationship with the school for almost ten years. Teachers understand and care about children. They are warm and kind and made them feel safe and happy.”


    Great Experience

    “Our experience with Little Owl has been great. Little Owl provided us with the best care my daughter could have outside of our own home. She learned so much, had fun, made friends and truly enjoyed her time at Little Owl. We love the school and are sad to go. We recommend it to any other parent!”


    In the News


    May 20, 2015 - Upcoming Graduation Party and Concert!

    June 19th is graduation day for our kindergarten students and the day of our Wizard of Oz concert! ...


    • The Ontario Federation of Independent Schools (OFIS) Associations

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