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Magnificent Minds

37 Southbourne Avenue, North York, Ontario, M3H 1A4

Grades (Gender):
Preschool to Gr. 8 (Coed)
$8,400 to 25,000/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
4 to 8
Day: Varies (Gr. PS - 8)

School Address
37 Southbourne Avenue, North York, Ontario, M3H 1A4

About this school:


Magnificent Minds is a low-ratio, co-educational private school for students from pre-kindergarten to grade 8. Using the science of learning, and an experiential approach we motivate our students to achieve academic excellence, personal greatness and develop multiple intelligences. We offer an inclusive learning environment equipped to meet the diverse needs of our students. — Visit school website



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Our Take: Magnificent Minds

our takeThe mantra of private education is “fit”—finding the right environment for your child’s specific learning needs. Magnificent Minds is a great example of that concept, to be sure. While there are psychoeducational services and support in place for students who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, the school’s approach can benefit a range of learning needs; most often children arrive here coming from environments that, for whatever reason, were unable to provide the supports they needed. The school is small, and for the families that enroll here, that is one of its great benefits. Instruction is student-centred, adapting to the needs of each individual. There is an emphasis on play, and an awareness of the benefits of growing a positive sense of self within a close community of peers. The context of possibility, of celebrating and building upon a child’s unique talents and ability, for many students has been transformational.

Principal's Message


Alley Dezenhouse Kelner, Principal, Supervising Therapist

Thank you for considering Magnificent Minds as a potential community for your child(ren) and family. You may be seeking a first placement in which to begin your educational journey, responding to a current situation which is not meeting the mark, or acting proactively to pursue 'the right fit'. Wherever you're coming from, we welcome you.  

When families arrive at Magnificent Minds we often hear statements like “finally!", "and “I wish I had found you sooner!” Your community is waiting for you! At Magnificent Minds, you will find like-minded parents and professionals who champion your child to success, irrelevant of past experiences; we recognize that every child can learn to love their school, and take pride in their accomplishments.

Our approach reflects a strong foundation in language-based programming, emotion regulation training, education for students with complex profiles and a psycho educational niche which addresses the development of multiple intelligences. We work within a multi-disciplinary context and are supported by a team of dynamic and engaging educators with a history of successfully motivating our students to reach personal greatness.  

We look forward to discussing your particular needs, and wish you the best of luck as you pursue personal greatness for your child(ren). 



Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

What Magnificent Minds says: We believe that in order to get our students to their final destination, it's essential to understand where they have come from. With a hands-on approach to student-directed inquiry and a data driven evaluation process, we provide a concrete account of student gains, areas of need and next steps for programming. Working from the Ministry of Education curriculum and additional curriculum documents chosen for each class based on the needs of its students (social curriculum, language-based curriculum, emotional awareness curriculum, life/leisure skills curriculum and so on) , our program targets student growth across over 20 domains of development. Our program pursues holistic development, which targets the whole body and whole mind. We work from a psycho-educational framework which enables our teachers to understand and motivate our students in a way they have often never experienced.

  • 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 Magnificent Minds says: In the instruction of mathematics we strive to balance traditional and inquiry based methods. By teaching real life application of standard mathematical units we provide context and opportunities to practice skill development in a functional way.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: Varies by grade. Please inquire.

    • Calculator policy: No policy exists. In the event that calculators are needed, we will provide these to our students.

    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 Magnificent Minds says: We use a phonics-intensive approach to target the development of reading skills. In addition, we use systematic measures to address reading comprehension using leveled reading curriculum.

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

    • What Magnificent Minds says: We use a leveled reading curriculum to assess progress, and provide curriculum guidance.

    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 Magnificent Minds says: The teaching of foundational writing skills occurs with the use of a systematic procedures which addresses the core components of writing successfully. By learning the 'rules of writing' in a way that is concrete and quantifiable, our students develop the ability to plan, write, revise and publish various forms of written material.

    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: In science class, our students get busy 'doing'. We take curriculum strands and present information in a way that allows our students to generate hypotheses, make predictions and assess their findings.

    • 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 Magnificent Minds says: Our literature program begins by teaching foundational literary analysis skills, and develops into a more sophisticated application of these findings. Students are asked to make links between what they read and what they know; we provide our students with a framework for literary analysis which maximizes student success.

    Social Studies Thematic

      The Thematic approach organizes the curriculum around certain themes or cultural universals. Students might spend time focused on food. Then they might focus on transportation or government, and so on.
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What Magnificent Minds says: Thematic social studies units allow our teachers to create engaging lessons at every grade level. By offering a balance between student-directed and teacher-directed learning, our students explore culture, communities, and more.

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

    Foreign Languages
    • What Magnificent Minds says: This information is not currently available.

    • Languages Offered: • 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
      Graphic Design
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

    • What Magnificent Minds says: Our arts-based programming reflects an appreciation for the creative process. Using arts-based modalities, our program targets the development of creativity, imagination, self confidence and an appreciate for the process of art-making (without any pressure to pursue perfection; it's all about the process). Students are encouraged to investigate a variety of forms of art, develop an appreciation for iconic artists and explore art-making in a way that is student-centered.

    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 Magnificent Minds says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Magnificent Minds says: Our program upholds the ideal that an active body yields an active mind. We integrate daily physical activity into our classrooms through outdoor adventures, daily sports and recreation periods, bi-weekly yoga classes, and a focus on health and wellness training. In addition to physical activity, we put significant focus on nutrition and health and strive to teach stress management techniques throughout the day.

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

    What Magnificent Minds 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 Magnificent Minds says: Varies by individual education plan.

    Preschool/K Curriculum Play-based

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

    Play-based programs are the most common type of preschool and Kindergarten, and are founded on the belief young children learn best through play. Largely open-ended and minimally structured, play-based programs aim to develop social skills and a love of attending school. “Pre-academic” skills are taught, but in a more indirect way than at, say, an Academic program: through children playing in different “stations” set up around the classroom, which children choose on their own volition. Stations often contain an indirect lesson or developmental goal. Play-based classrooms are highly social and active.

    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 Magnificent Minds says: Our program is academic in nature; we spark curiosity through play, teacher-directed instruction and opportunities for hands-on investigation. Our students develop learner readiness skills, which position them to thrive in a variety of future learning environment. With a multi-disciplinary approach, we pursue communication, social skills, cognitive development, scientific discovery, gross and fine motor skills. imagination building and artistic inquiry.

    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 Magnificent Minds says about flexible pacing: We offer split level classes as a way to maximize the effectiveness of ability-groupings.

    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 Magnificent Minds says: Academic excellence is a major driving force of our program, however, developing a love of learning, a deeply rooted sense of curiosity and the confidence and willingness to investigate play an equal part.

    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 Magnificent Minds says: Our holistic frameworks caters all areas of develop and appreciate the importance of each domain.

    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 Magnificent Minds says: We are positioned to support a variety of learner profiles, including those with complex profiles or learning histories. We are positioned to support children with additional needs in a variety of ways, as stipulated by our comprehensive individualized education plans.

    • 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: We use a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating principles of emotion regulation, and anxiety/stress management. We provide ample behavioural supports within the classroom and offer a standard 1:4 student to teacher ratio, or the option of a 1:2 student to teacher ratio or a 1:1 student to teacher ratio as student need dictates. We offer 1:1 services to augment our school program.

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    Magnificent Minds does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.

    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.

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackPreschool to 6
    Parent-teacher meetingsPreschool to 6

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What Magnificent Minds says:

    This information is not currently available.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Community Service
      Drama Club

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    Day Day (Half day)
    Day (Half day)$8,400

    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment Varies
    Average enrollment per gradeVaries
    Average class size4 to 8
    Gender (grades)Preschool to Gr. 8 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.



    Admissions Assessments:

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

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Magnificent Minds says:

    It's important that our school is the right fit for each student placed with us. We require an informal interview, or meet and greet, with each prospective student prior to offering a placement. We work collaboratively with parents and other stake holders (previous schools, support team, caregivers, etc.) to assess learner history, next steps for goal development and long term outcome. 


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Magnificent Minds is looking for: Students who benefit from hands-on, systematic teaching in a low ratio environment where a balanced educational curriculum is presented.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypePSK12345678
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    03 - 5 (90%)3 - 5 (90%)3 - 5 (90%)3 - 5 (90%)3 - 5 (90%)3 - 5 (90%)

    In the News


    June 16, 2015 - July Marks 5th Year of Social Skills Summer Camp at Magnificent Minds

    From caterpillar to social butterfly; building friendships that last! ...

    Social Feeds

    Other Highlights:

    Next Steps

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