Our Kids 20th logo
Request a package from:Macdonald-Cartier Academy

Student Info:

  • required
  • required

Contact me by:


Special request:

Our Kids

This contact form is brought to you by Our Kids – The Trusted Source for thousands of families since 1998.

Send email to Macdonald-Cartier Academy


Our Kids

This contact form is brought to you by Our Kids – The Trusted Source for thousands of families since 1998.

RSVP for an open house


Our Kids

This contact form is brought to you by Our Kids – The Trusted Source for thousands of families since 1998.

Plan a visit to Macdonald-Cartier Academy

Connect with Macdonald-Cartier Academy about visiting the school:


Our Kids

This contact form is brought to you by Our Kids – The Trusted Source for thousands of families since 1998.


Macdonald-Cartier Academy

270 Crichton St, Ottawa, Ontario, K1M 1W4

Grades (Gender):
Gr. 7 to Gr. 8 (Coed)
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
14 to 16
Day: 64 (Gr. 7 - 8)

School Address
270 Crichton St, Ottawa, Ontario, K1M 1W4

About this school:


Macdonald-Cartier Academy teaches Grade 7 & 8 students how to learn and offers an intensive French immersion program combining rigorous and accelerated academics with athletics and fun experiential learning. Class sizes are kept small to provide an individualized education environment. Fluently bilingual, highly qualified educators help students reach their full potential–equipping them with computer, time management, listening, note taking and studying skills that serve them well in high school and university. — Visit school website



User-submitted reviews   (none submitted)

submit a review

Our Take: Macdonald-Cartier Academy

our takeMacdonald-Cartier was formed in 1990 to offer a challenging, academic, bilingual program, and it’s been happily and successfully been doing it ever since. The student body is small, with just 60 students annually, which translates into a very responsive, student-centered approach to curriculum delivery. The intention is somewhat unique, namely to give students a strong preparation for high school with an eye to university admission. The feel, as the name implies, is very rooted in a sense of place, and in that the school is an expression of the cultural and historical life of the national capital region. Likewise, there are a wealth of resources located locally, and Macdonald-Cartier rightly makes very good use of them.

Principal's Message


Jean P. Mantha, Headmaster


MCA was founded in 1990 to offer parents in the Ottawa area the option of a demanding academic program that would prepare their child in both the French and English languages. The program is designed to teach the students skills that will help them succeed in school and in life.

Being a small school is a big advantage when you want to give quality instruction and teach skills that will serve the students for life. We present them academic and physical challenges that will encourage them to leave their comfort zone and truly begin learning.

Our program has evolved to meet the demands of our Canadian society but our mission to teach the students how to learn has never changed.  The need to teach methods to improve their organizational skills and become responsible students is even more important today than it was when I founded the program in 1990.

We specialize in working with students at the junior high school level. I believe that this is an age where we can  influence the child`s academic and life skills the most to prepare them for high school, university and beyond. Our students have always worked hard and played hard with a big smile on their faces.  Some things should never change!


Jean P. Mantha


Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

What MCA Academy says: The program is designed to prepare the student for his/her learning needs in high school and college or university. At MCA we specialize in teaching grade seven and eight students the basic learning skills that are not always mastered in elementary school but are essential for those who want to excel in high school and university. We carefully select the students who demonstrate average to above average academic abilities. In doing so, we can accelerate the academic program and teach the student the skills to become responsible and efficient learners and workers. All MCA teachers work on these four keys to learning: the ability to listen in a classroom setting; note taking; time management of homework and corrections; and, methods for exam preparation. The student will have post exam evaluations six times a year where he/she will choose and try different strategies learned in Educational Anthropology class to maintain or improve their academic progression.

  • Approach:
    Focus Language-based
    Academic French immersion

  • 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 MCA Academy says: Develop a positive attitude toward Mathematics; Develop an appreciation for the place of Mathematics and its widespread applications in our culture; Develop problem-solving abilities and facility in communication skills involving the use of language and notation of Mathematics; Consolidate and extend his/her skills in arithmetic, algebra, measurement and geometry; Participate in those experiences that will lay a foundation for the development of more abstract features of Mathematics in later grades

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: Grade 7: Actimath 8 and Omnimath 8 plus several tablet applications. Grade 8: Actimath 9 and Omnimath 9 plus several tablet appications.

    • Calculator policy: Grade 7: 70% of work with no calculator / 30% of work with the assistance of the calculator Grade 8: 40% of work with no calculator / 60% of work with the assistance of the calculator When possible, mental calculation is strongly encouraged.

    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: Emphasis will be placed on ensuring that the skills and processes of scientific work are presented as the central component, from which the subject matter, applications and implications emerge. Safety awareness will be stressed in all activities and demonstrations in laboratory. Small group discussions and the Expo-Science independent study will provide the student the opportunity to express opinions and exchange information within the context of a formal learning situation.

    • 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 MCA Academy says: Through interaction with their peers and teacher, students will engage in reading,writing and speaking activities which will: 1) promote understanding and enjoyment of literature as will as an appreciation of its significance in the history of human experience and imagination; 2) encourage proficiency in the mechanics of English composition and i the use of spoken and written language for a variety of purposed suited tn specific audiences; 3) develop the ability to think critically and to respond thoughtfully to ideas communicated through various media.

    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 MCA Academy says: The History program will enable students to develop abilities that will permit them to understand the influences of people and events that have marked our Canadian History. this will help them to better appreciate the realities of Canada today. Through Geography the program shall permit the students to know, understand and better perceive general characteristics proper to North America and by studying people and their interaction with the environment, throughout the world.

    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 MCA Academy says: The French Language Arts program shall promote, encourage and give opportunities to the students and teachers through activities and assignments to: - become more proficient in the oral, listening and written skills, enabling the students to think, learn and communicate in French; gain self-esteem, pride and a sense of personal responsibility through experience emanating from the French Language Arts program; develop an awareness and an appreciation of the French culture and society.

    • Languages Offered: • French

    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 MCA Academy says: Students will take part of a 3 hour workshop every month in Visual Arts. During these three hour sessions, the students will get acquainted with various artistic movements and experiment with some basic techniques.

    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 MCA Academy says: The principal objective in Computer Science is to familiarize the students with hardware, software and applications that will serve them in school and in life. Some of the software covered will be: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, Research.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What MCA Academy says: Understanding the importance of physical fitness, health, and well being and the factors that contribute to them. Improving the basic movement skills they require to participate in physical activities throughout their lives. Personal commitment to daily physical activity and positive health behaviors.

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

    What MCA Academy says: The sex and health education program follows, in most parts, the Ontario curriculum and is presented by qualified physical education teachers and an Ottawa health department nurse.

    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 MCA Academy says: The sex and health education program curriculum is presented to the parents and they always have the choice to have their child opt out of any section of the curriculum.

    Curriculum Pace Accelerated

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    The main curriculum accelerates beyond the pace of the provincial one; ALL students do the work of OLDER public-school peers in tangible and measurable ways. This accelerated pace is maintained by the teachers and school, (through textbook selection, topic selection, grading, assignment standards and expectations, etc).

    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 MCA Academy says about flexible pacing: Each day, the students have a one hour and twenty minute study period where they undertake, in a large central room or the computer lab, the completion of their daily homework, continue to work on long term assignments or receive individual help from a teacher.

    Academic Culture Rigorous

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.

    What MCA Academy says: The students at MCA understand that the program exists to encourage all participants to learn how to learn. To be able to do so, the students will need to work and adjust to become more efficient, responsible and capable. Our goal is to have the students work hard and play hard, with a big smile on their faces.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced, Intellectual

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

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Intellectual
    Academically strong, creative, and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions.

    What MCA Academy says: At MCA we focus on middle school students and three facets of their development. The first is the academic facet that encompasses a challenging, fast-paced program. The second is the social facet where we encourage students to say \"bonjour\" and to be engaged, friendly and positive. The third facet is physical where we introduce students to a variety of challenging activities such as long distance cycling, canoe-camping and rock-climbing/zip lining. We find that the satisfaction of hard work combined with time for play can bring a smile to the face of a grade seven and eight student.

    Special Needs Support No support

    No support

    MCA Academy 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 MCA Academy says: We are a small school geared to preparing our students, through an accelerated program, for high school and beyond. Our staff does not have the expertise to help the student who is diagnosed with a learning disability. We do accommodate students who have mild difficulties and we do make adjustments to help them enjoy the program to the best of their abilities.

    • 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

    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 MCA Academy says: The Mathematics program is accelerated and all students are involved in a guided independent study program. The Science program is enriched by adding two full curriculum units in each year. One of those science units is an ongoing research project run in parallel with the regular science program where students are introduced to the scientific method of research. The English program introduces the student to essay writing and literature not normally taught until high school.

    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 8, Macdonald-Cartier Academy students perform an average of 1.5 hours of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    MCA Academy 90 mins90 mins
    Site Average53 mins57 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered grades7 to 8
    Prose (narrative)-based feedback7 to 8
    Habits and behaviour reporting7 to 8
    Parent-teacher meetings7 to 8

    Class Sizes

    Average class size for each grade:
    Grade 7 8
    Size 15 15


    What MCA Academy says:
    • extra curricular: sports: cross-country running, soccer, basketball, volleyball, badminton, ultimate, track. Experiential education activities: canoe-camping, long distance cycling/camping, outdoor rock climbing, zip lining/hiking, leadership and survival skills, alpine skiing, X-country skiing, dog sledding, white water rafting. Arts and culture: Drama production, public speaking /debating

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Drama Club
      Math Club
      Outdoor Club
      Outdoor Education
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    What MCA Academy says: Tuition for the school year is $16,900. It includes all sports activities (tournament , transportation and team uniforms). All activity fees are included ( 3 day trips/ 1 day trips - cycling, rock climbing, zip lining dog sledding etc...). Additional costs include optional trips such as: Europe trip during the March Break and the White Water Rafting trip at the end of the school year.

    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    Individual aid
    Amount: 50%
    Deadline: N/A
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 7 to 8


    Total enrollment 64
    Average enrollment per grade32
    Average class size14 to 16
    Gender (grades)Gr. 7 to Gr. 8 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution:

    Day Enrollment3232



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    Interview7 - 8
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)7 - 8
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What MCA Academy says:

    Prior to acceptance, all students must successfully complete qualification examinations. Normally these examinations are taken in the fall of the year prior to entrance. Applicants must submit a copy of their most recent report card.

    Applicants will be interviewed by a MCA administrator. The interview is designed to determine the applicant's willingness to work within a disciplined environment, and to verify the accuracy of reports submitted.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Macdonald-Cartier Academy is looking for: MCA's program was designed for students who demonstrate average to above average academic abilities. Students must be willing to work in a organized and disciplined environment and be willing to undertake challenges that are of academic and/or physical nature.

    Student Entry Points

    Student Type78
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    24 - 32 (85%)1 - 2 (50%)

    Stories & Testimonials


    Regional Science Fair

    Dear M. Mantha,

    While I don't know how many school were involved in the Regional Science Fair, there was an auditorium full of students, and you, and Mme Tousignant should be very proud that three of your students received both trophies in their categories as well as special awards from corporate supporters.

    It reflects tremendously on the academic strength of your curriculum and the confidence you instill in your students - all well turned out as representatives of MCA, well-spoken in both English and French, and confident, knowledgeable and conversant in their projects.

    Nos Félicitations! Sandy & Rod Bryden


    France trip

    Dear M. Mantha,

    This is just a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed travelling with the students of MCA to Paris. Their behavior was exemplary even when faced with difficult situations (ie. the return trip). This whirl-wind trip was tiring to say the least, and even though we walked and we walked and we walked, had some sore legs and feet, we forged on, and we saw a lot. It was very rewarding.

    I especially liked how the dynamics of the group developed. To see how everyone watched out for one another, making sure on one or nothing got left behind. I liked to see the tolerance and respect for one another even though not everyone was their best friend. They helped one another. They shared umbrellas. It was truly a pleasure.

    You should be proud of your students.They were delightful, fun and mature. Without hesitation, it would be my pleasure and honour to accompany them on any future excursion.

    With sincere thanks to the students and the teachers, I had a wonderful time, and shall always remember this trip with fondness.


    Maggie Steingass




    Social Feeds

    Next Steps

    The most direct action you can take is to plan a school visit. This is the best way to learn more about a school, and requires no obligation.

    Our Kids 20th logo
    Macdonald-Cartier Academy