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Newton’s Grove School

6850 Goreway Drive, Mississauga, Ontario, L4V 1V7

Grades (Gender):
K to Gr. 12 (Coed)
$16,600 to 18,600/year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
12 to 18
Day: 300 (Gr. K - 12)

School Address
6850 Goreway Drive, Mississauga, Ontario, L4V 1V7



About this school:


We’ve got a great, new place to grow! Our new home is nestled adjacent to over 100 acres of Paul Coffey Park on the border of Mississauga and Etobicoke. For 40 years, we have established a reputation based on first-rate teaching, outstanding university placement, and excellence in the arts, academics and athletics. Formerly Mississauga Private School, we have delivered an excellent education to every student in our care. Now as Newton's Grove School, we continue to embrace the best in traditional and cutting-edge education. For students to thrive, they must be fully engaged, and the team at Newton’s Grove understand this. Our youngest students are grounded in the fundamentals and fully prepared for the demands of our secondary program. Our high school students receive a first class education, providing them with the knowledge, analytical ability and skills necessary to thrive in their post-secondary studies. We see our new facilities as an opportunity to further our commitment to nurturing the whole child, with a state-of-the-art athletic centre, playing fields, unmatched greenspace, and a spectacular performance arts venue to house our signature music program. If this sounds like a great place for your kids to grow, just let us know… because our kids deserve the best!

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Our Take: Newton’s Grove School

our takeNewton’s Grove began its life in 1977 as the first private school in Mississauga, known then as Mississauga Private School. It soon moved to Etobicoke, though returned to Mississauga in 2015, moving into its permanent location in 2017. The moves are symptomatic of the school’s growth, based in a growing reputation for its academics coupled with a robust athletic program. Values, too, are a draw, with a dedication to promoting respect and responsibility throughout the curricular areas. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a challenging, vibrant, socially oriented environment.

School busing:

Newton’s Grove School offers bus transferring. Service options offered are door-to-door pickup . The regions it offers busing from are Mississauga, Etobicoke, Brampton.

Principal's Message


Gabrielle Bush, Director

“Building a culture of excellence is the role of the school’s Director, Gabrielle Bush. For students to thrive, they must be fully engaged, and the team at Newton’s Grove understand this. For over 35 years, Newton’s Grove has established a reputation based on first-rate teaching, outstanding university placement, and excellence in academics, the arts and athletics. Our new campus will build on all of this, providing our students an ideal environment in which to learn, to participate, and to grow.”


Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

What Newton’s Grove School says: Newton's Grove School educates students from Pre-K to Grade 12 with a well-rounded approach to education that helps students develop a strong academic foundation along with a love of learning. The high academic standards of our Intermediate and Senior curricula continue to develop strong communication and problem solving skills, together with higher-level critical thinking and analysis. This in turn, helps to ensure the post-secondary success of our students.

  • Approach:

  • 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 Newton’s Grove School says: This information is not currently available.

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

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    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 Newton’s Grove School says: This information is not currently available.

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

    • What Newton’s Grove 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 Newton’s Grove School says: This information is not currently available.

    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: The science department offers collaborative experiences for students to learn in both traditional and high-tech environments. Students will thrive in a challenging program which provides hands-on learning and opportunities to go beyond the Ontario curriculum in courses such as AP Biology and AP Chemistry.

    • 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 Newton’s Grove School says: This information is not currently available.

    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 Newton’s Grove School says: The themes/strands taught in our Social Studies Program are in accordance with the Ministry of Education Ontario Curriculum guidelines.

    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 Newton’s Grove School says: This information is not currently available.

    Foreign Languages Communicative

      The communicative method of language acquisition emphasizes the use of the target language in authentic contexts. The approach commonly features interactive group work, games, authentic texts, and opportunities to learn about the cultural background of the language. Drills and quizzes may still be used, but less frequently than with the audio-lingual method.
      Learn about the different foreign languages approaches  

    • What Newton’s Grove School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Languages Offered: • French • ESL

    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 Newton’s Grove School says: Students reach new heights as they are both challenged and exposed to the power and joy of the arts while having opportunities to foster the qualities of a superior arts program: self-discipline, leadership, and a life-long love for the arts.

    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 Newton’s Grove School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Newton’s Grove School says: With the transition into state-of-the-art athletic facilities, the Athletic Department's vision for the future is to continue to offer elite levels of coaching, while ensuring sports remain part of the fabric of our school for students of all ages and abilities.

    Advanced Placement Courses
    • AP Music Theory
    • AP Calculus AB
    • AP Chemistry

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

    What Newton’s Grove 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 Newton’s Grove 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 Newton’s Grove School says: 'Starting in Junior and Senior Kindergarten, our programs are full-day with an emphasis on the ability to communicate both verbally and in the written form. Spelling, grammar and phonics are taught to develop reading and writing skills at an early age. Mathematics is taught daily, with an emphasis on problem solving. French, Computers, Physical Education and Music programs also begin in Junior Kindergarten. This well-rounded approach gives Newton’s Grove students a strong academic foundation, while fostering a love of learning.'

    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 Newton’s Grove School says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    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 Newton’s Grove School says: This information is not currently available.

    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 Newton’s Grove School says: This information is not currently available.

    Special Needs Support No support

    No support

    Newton’s Grove 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
    • 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: 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 Newton’s Grove 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.

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered gradesK to 12
    Prose (narrative)-based feedbackK to 12
    Academic achievement reportingK to 12
    Habits and behaviour reportingK to 12
    Parent-teacher meetingsK to 12

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What Newton’s Grove School says:

    This information is not currently available.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Cross-country skiing
      Field Hockey
      Ice Hockey
      Ice Skating
      Martial Arts
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Chess Club
      Community Service
      Computer Club
      Debate Club
      Drama Club
      Environmental Club
      Jazz Ensemble
      Math Club
      Musical theatre/Opera
      Poetry/Literature club
      Robotics club
      Science Club
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid




    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    Early paymentall students5%
    2nd child (sibling)all students5%
    3rd child (sibling)all students5%
    4th child (sibling)all students5%

    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 300
    Average enrollment per grade19
    Average class size12 to 18
    Gender (grades)K to Gr. 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution:

    Day Enrollment



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    InterviewJK - 12
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)2 - 12
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Newton’s Grove School says: This information is not currently available.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Newton’s Grove School is looking for: This information is not currently available.

    Student Entry Points

    Student TypePSJKSK123456789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class size40
    *Canadian "Big 6" placementsN/A
    **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)

    Stories & Testimonials


    We know our philosophy is working – because we can hear it in the way our students talk about their school.

    “Everything we do somehow benefits us. There are so many different components and when you put it all together, [Newton’s Grove School] makes the ideal school.”

    - Amrita Sidhu (Alumni)


    We grow students through a culture of reason, respect and responsibility.

    “Without [Newton’s Grove School] shaping my personality, I don’t think I would have gotten the success I do have. I don’t think I would have gotten to where I am today.”

    - Kelvin Ramlochan (Alumni) 


    Enriched students. Engaged parents.

    “[Newton’s Grove School] has met the needs of my sons where other schools have failed. The teachers and administration are always available no matter how big or small the concern. My sons do not want to be anywhere else.”

    -  Paola Franceschetti (NGS Parent)


    Parents have high expectations for the quality of education their children receive.

    “[Newton’s Grove School] truly understands that every child is an individual with his or her own learning style and learning needs. Every staff member at [Newton’s Grove School] strives to give our children a positive and enriched education.”

    - Bruce & Patrice Lindsay (NGS Parents)


    A look into Kindergarten!

    Our Kindergarten students will have access to many amazing facilities in our new school, but I am most excited about the opportunity to incorporate outdoor learning experiences into our program. Children love to play and explore in nature, and what better place to do that than Wildwood Park! Access to green space is what so many city children lack, and our new location offers countless possibilities for incorporating the outdoors into the Kindergarten curriculum. Whether it’s reading under a big tree, collecting and counting leaves, or simply playing outside, our kindergartners will have all the benefits of a close relationship with the natural world. 

    I’m definitely looking forward to moving into a large bright classroom designed for our smallest school members. Classroom sinks and extra storage space will be very useful additions to our new rooms, as will be on-site washrooms. Having a washroom inside the classroom is safer for the children and allows for fewer disruptions to the daily routine. I envision children exploring, observing, questioning, and learning in our new space, and I see them as benefiting directly from our new environment.


    Mrs. Marnell


    Looking into the Secondary School!

    The heart of Newton’s Grove has always resided in the idea of a community, one comprised of caring teachers, supportive student families, and visionary administrators. Our rich history reflects a shared commitment to the common goal of student success, and I anticipate a future in which the bonds supporting that goal both grow and strengthen. We have always been a student-focused school. What that means is that each student is valued, nurtured and inspired to dream. As a principal, my role is as a facilitator within our administrative team, supporting our teachers and acting as a liaison with our parents and the Ministry of Education. My direct responsibilities include the expansion of our academic curricula while raising our already high standards, increasing the range of courses offered, integrating our new programs, and furthering our involvement in the AP program.

    Our new facilities alongside Wildwood Park offer unprecedented opportunities for growth. With state-of-the-art science and computer labs, I expect to see even greater emphasis on the sciences and technology. Hard-wired classrooms will give us the capacity to adapt and evolve throughout the twenty-first century, keeping us on the cutting edge as the future becomes the present. I envision an increase in the scope of our arts and humanities programs, building on the strong base we have already established in music, drama, and visual art. I expect our resource centre and library will become a much-used hub for students engaged in research and study. Our new facilities and partnership with SMASH will allow us to build new relationships and expand the reach of our community. My role in that future is ensuring that our commitment to each student’s success is what drives all our innovation and growth.


    Mr. Edwards


    Looking Ahead into the Elementary School!

    Self-esteem and individuality are cornerstones of Newton’s Grove. Having been with the school since 1983, first as a teacher and now as a principal, I have seen many changes over the years, but the school’s affirmation of these qualities has not wavered. Looking forward to our new home, I am really excited that we will be able to take all aspects of our program to a higher level. Our new facility will enable us to tap into technology more effectively, to build upon our already sound academic program, and enhance it even further. Our beautiful new building, and the green space surrounding it, will ensure a healthy environment in which our students can thrive in the arts and athletics. A Resource Centre and library in which to read, research and study will provide a wonderful opportunity for our students to pursue their love of learning. 

    I know our dedicated and caring teachers will continue to work hard to provide our students with outstanding programming. Building on the structure and routines that have been so successful for us in the past, I am confident that our new facility will enable students to achieve even more. Our diverse, well rounded program will continue to challenge students to strive for their personal best in academics, athletics, the arts and technology. Equally important, our spirit of community encourages our students to be caring and committed citizens.


    Mrs. Dix


    Looking Ahead in Student Services

    "Education is boundless in its potential to impact one's life beyond the walls of any institution. I believe that educators have the challenging and unique opportunity to educate students in preparation for their future academic pursuits, while nurturing, encouraging and challenging the whole individual. 

    As Newton's Grove looks to the future, I will continue to innovate, connect, create and design education to meet the needs of every student. My goal is to ensure that each of them has the opportunity to ignite and explore their passion for education."

    Ms Hart 


    Looking Ahead in Music

    "Our students will reach for new heights as we continue to challenge them, by exposing them to the power and joy of music. It is the music itself that entices, that inspires, that draws young people into a celebration of life.

    The success of our AP Music theory program has been incredible, and students who have gone through the program have been at the top of their classes in university. Our new music facilities will enhance and allow for even better AP and post-secondary preparation in music. As well, the new music room's facilities will allow enhanced preparation for our high school music trip to Cuba next year. This has become a staple of our music experience, and allows for an incredible interchange of musical ideas, culture and bonding.

    Music is truly a universal language, and in a school as wonderfully diverse as ours, it is a language that unites us. For many years, I have seen the incredible opportunities for student leadership across all levels. I absolutely believe that this has been key to our music program's success. As we grow and bring more students into the program, one of my goals is to bring more music educators and instrumental specialists into the Newton's Grove Community, enhancing both our instrumental and vocal programs. This will allow something that is very important to me: to have a beginner instrumental program for students enrolling at Newton's Grove School in the intermediate and the high school grades. I wish to make our program accessible to everyone, not just to those students who have been with us since they were Juniors. My vision has always been to imbue a life-long love of music throughout the Newton’s Grove community."

    Mr. Alonso


    Looking Ahead in the Dramatic Arta

    "So much of what we do at Newton’s Grove is aimed at enabling students to grow and find their voices, and the dramatic arts can play an important role in that process."

    Ms Hewitt 


    Looking Ahead in Science

    "Our emphasis, as always, will be to provide students with the skills and tools they need to flourish in the post-secondary program of their choice. Looking ahead, science at Newton’s Grove School promises to bridge the gap between traditional and modern methodology through innovative and exciting programming. The future will demand more doctors, health professionals, engineers, technicians, researchers and scientists, and Newton’s Grove will be instrumental in providing them." 

    Ms Mehra


    Looking Ahead into Financial Management

    "Investing in your child’s education is an act of faith. There are no immediate financial returns and the cost of several years’ worth of tuition often requires sacrifices on the part of the family. However, I believe this investment is one of the most selfless acts parents can do, and it a statement of hope for their children. The benefits of an education at Newton’s Grove are both intrinsic and long-term, and I know our students are receiving the means for future success on many levels."

    Ms Mathura


    Looking Ahead into Technology at Newton's Grove School

    "I have always thought that ours is a school that transcends mere brick and mortar, precisely for the reason that we are a school that cares, a community in the truest sense. The floorplans and drawings I have seen of our new, state-of-the-art facility, nevertheless, have me excited for the future, and especially for the possibility of expanding our programs in technology and technological design."

    Dr. Hough



    A Musical Update

    Our Impressive Alumni

    Jordan Zero is now in his third year at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. This year he has been moved up to Second Trumpet in the Wind Symphony, after an extensive audition process. Congratulations, Jordan; this is certainly a testament to your talent! The band's first concert will be streamed live on October 14th - more news to follow on the time of the concert.  Jordan also will take part in recording a CD with the band for public release! We are so proud of the successes Jordan has had studying music in Montreal, and look forward to more updates.

    Caleb Michalski has begun his studies at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto in Performance. Caleb took AP Music Theory at the school last year, and after completing a grueling exam, achieved a Level 5 (extremely well qualified). You can't get a higher grade than that! Due to his abilities, he has already been exempted from some of his classes at U of T, and after his professors heard him play some of his compositions, he has been recommended to the Composition Department. This is something that is usually strictly reserved for second year students! Caleb is playing euphonium in the Wind Symphony and also has been accepted again this year into the Hannaford Youth Band. Congratulations!

    Our Amazing Kids

    Allison Lusty is an amazing Grade 6 music student. She is part of the Etobicoke Youth Choir, and was recently promoted to the Senior Choir, although she is significantly younger than the other choir members.  This is an amazing choir that has performed in England, Greece and Carnegie Hall in mass choir productions. We look forward to hearing about upcoming concerts. We are very proud of you, Allison!

    Rea Dhillon is an amazing Grade 6 music student. She has been admitted into the Canadian Children's Opera Company. This group was founded specifically to provide a stable source of child singers for productions of the Canadian Opera Company. The CCOC remains the only permanent children's opera company in Canada that commissions and produces operas for children on a regular basis. The company regularly collaborates and performs with other leading arts organizations, such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Hannaford Street Silver Band, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Soundstreams Canada, and the Luminato Festival. Rea will be performing in Alice in Wonderland from May 4th to May10th, as well as travelling to Switzerland to perform with the group! Rea, we are so proud of you, and wish you so much success with this adventure!

    Julian Santos (Grade 9) , Teah Florio (Grade 8) , Rayhan Srivastav (Grade 10), and Anisa Moisson (Grade 9) have all been accepted into the Etobicoke Youth Band . Founded in 1982, the EYB is a huge band with over 100 members from different schools all over the GTA. Their concert tours have included Ottawa, Boston , Chicago, California, and Carnegie Hall. Congratulations to all of you! You have made us very proud!

    Grade 8 student Emily Yeung and grade 10 student, Grace Hwang were both accepted into the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra (Symphonic Winds) . TYWO is a multi level wind orchestra , and, is one of the finest in  Ontario. Having members from all over the GTA, they are renown for the high calibre of performance and artistry. They recently travelled to Shanghai for a performance tour.

    Mackenzie Knowlton (Grade 10) was accepted into the The Hannaford Youth Band  (Community Band) , operated under the auspices of the Hannaford Silver Street Band ,  a world renowned, award winning, professional brass band that has been active in the Toronto community since 1983. The Hannaford Youth Program is a fantastic opportunity for brass and percussion players. As part of this band, Mackenzie will be participating in rehearsals, concerts, clinics, competitions, and  recordings. We are so proud to announce that Mackenzie has been placed in the solo co


    Finding Your Voice

    His name was Amandeep. He was starting grade seven and he had just filled out his three choices of musical instrument, in order of preference. His first choice was trumpet. I knew a little about him from his Junior division teachers: he rarely spoke and tried very hard to blend into the background. I remember him as he sat in his chair, trumpet case on his lap, looking quite anxious. I walked over and showed him the mouthpiece, demonstrating how to make a sound through it. He placed it against his lips and made that distinct buzzing noise that a trumpet mouth piece makes. Most kids find it hilarious. Not Amandeep. He was fascinated. He continued to buzz away, oblivious to the squawks, squeaks and laughter of his classmates. He then put the mouthpiece onto the trumpet, blew his first note, and magic happened. Amandeep was hooked.

    That first year with Amandeep progressed so quickly, as a few notes became short pieces which grew into a repertoire. I watched him realize not only that he was very good, but that the more he played, the better he became. By the end of the school year, he soloed with his band. For a boy who wanted to be invisible, this was transformational.

    In a short time, Amandeep quietly began to mentor those around him. Before long, he was recognized as the go-to person for help and advice on how to play. Amandeep began to take responsibility and ownership for his talent. He saw the big picture of playing in a band. In the same manner as sports, a band is a collective team effort that requires focus, determination and responsibility from all. And like a sports team, music requires leadership. We have a co-op music program at our school where older student musicians act as T.A.s with me, working with younger bands and choirs. Amandeep embraced this opportunity, and I was amazed at the presence he began to have. He began to teach full lessons to the class, working with younger trumpet players as a group and individually. He would often come into the music room at lunch times to practice, and quickly he had an army of trumpet players joining him.  I can confidently say that many of our trumpet players today are playing because of Amandeep.

    This sense of responsibility and new found confidence spilled over into every aspect of Amandeep’s life. He had sometimes struggled academically in other subjects. But, his music experience gave him permission to try, to realize he was better than he thought, and it taught him the value of hard work. Amandeep's marks climbed in all subjects and he became a prefect, a model for the rest of the school. Looking at him now, it is hard to see that shy little boy who tried to slip unnoticed into my class. He is still quiet, but he exudes a calm confidence and has garnered unbelievable respect from his peers and teachers.  Amandeep’s example shows the power of music to transform and enrich a young life. Amandeep found his voice. He found something that empowered him, allowed him to shine, and made him feel like an important part of something bigger than himself.

    Amandeep is in my grade twelve music class now, and he is just a few weeks away from graduation. I know that I will miss him, but so will our entire music program. He is heading off to university next fall, having been accepted into a prestigious business school. Although he will try to maintain his current mastery of the trumpet, it is likely that his studies and all the diversions of post-secondary life get in the way. I know Amandeep dreams of someday starting his own business, and I doubt that will afford him either the time or opportunity to practice the trumpet. These realizations often come with the bitter-sweet moment of having to say good-bye. Like for so many previous students, the end of high school seems to presage a diminishing of the importance of music in Amandeep’s life. In the long run, will the trumpet simply fade into a warm high school memory? Will he have spent countless hours of repetition to develop a skill set that has little relevance to his future? On the contrary, what I know and, more importantly, what Amandeep knows is that music has and will continue to shape his future. Wherever his life takes him, he will face that future with the skills and confidence that he has earned through his dedication to music over the past six years. Music is a part of him: it is a legacy that will enrich all that he does and all that he will become.

    Ali walked into my Summer Band Camp the year before she began Grade 4. She was carrying an alto saxophone case. Actually, I should say she was dragging the case, as it was almost bigger than her! Here was a very feisty little girl with an incredibly competitive spark, a willingness to take on the world and show that she could be the best. I remember she seemed a little nervous, but there was a look of sheer determination on her face. One of my camp volunteers was able to take Ali and show her the ropes on how to play the sax while I worked with other students. She walked in the next day with a big grin and played five notes!

    Already an accomplished athlete, I was not sure how much Ali would want to give to music. I was to be very pleasantly surprised. Like Amandeep, she rose quickly through the ranks of school and jazz bands. An oddity at times, since she was so tiny amongst a sea of older kids, it was clear that she was there for business. What was so delightful to discover, however, was where she put all of her energy. So many driven individuals, even as children, seem to need the spotlight: they need to be recognised as the best. (It is no coincidence that the music industry has given us the word “diva”.) Ali developed an unstoppable need to round up the troops, educate them, and build team spirit. Before long she was assistant sectional leader and eventually sectional leader. Her involvement in music gave her an opportunity, not only to develop an incredible talent in music (she taught herself to play the clarinet and flute) but to develop outstanding leadership skills.

    I watched as Ali took her saxophone section and the whole band to new levels. She was able to use her powerful energy to guide and inspire. Ali made music fun for the others, yet pushed them to go above and beyond, and to play with heart. She also was able to benefit from mentoring and participating in Music Co-op.  Like Amandeep, Ali found her voice, and it was unselfish, encouraging and enthusiastic. I believe Ali's leadership skills and her drive were always there. Music gave her a platform to use that voice, to develop her passion and skills, to discover herself.

    Ali is also graduating this year, and she is heading into a kinesiology program and varsity soccer. She will try to fit music into her incredibly busy schedule. And, I know that whatever she does, she will lift the performances of those around her. Music has helped channel the energy of this remarkable young woman, and shaped her into the kind of leader we all seek to follow.

    Caleb is the third member of this year’s graduating class whose story I wish to share. He came into his first music class very quietly, and like Amandeep, tried to blend into the background.  He had taken about a year of piano classes when he was younger and hated them. He quit music. Clearly, this was not going to be an easy sell. Caleb’s academic work was exceptional, however he found it difficult to string a few sentences together. Expressing himself was extremely difficult as his mind seemed to surge with so much thought and emotion. I could sense an underlying frustration and a marked impatience about him, and these are not traits that lead to great success in music.

    Caleb first picked up a trumpet, and as he tried to make the first few sounds with the mouthpiece, I could see his heart sink. He could not make a sound. He tried again and again and still nothing. His defences went up immediately, and he began to joke around with his friends. A second failed attempt with music had clearly happened, and Caleb was already writing off the whole experience. I walked over and quickly handed him a mouthpiece for the euphonium (which resembles a baby tuba). With a sarcastic look, he took the mouthpiece and buzzed. A sound came out. It was clear, it was pure. He froze, then did it again and again. He quickly inserted the mouthpiece into the euphonium and blew, and lo and behold a solid single note came out. Caleb was fascinated. Over the next few days he came into the music room and played more and more. I would walk into the class, and hear that he was already figuring out pieces of music.

    Once Caleb's ear for music was discovered, he explored all the possibilities that his new instrument had. I would sometimes be leaving school after work, and see Caleb walking home playing his euphonium. He had found a passion and, to my joy, it led to him rediscovering the piano. The result was a boy whose talent in music was astonishing. With limited piano training he began to play and play. His playing turned into improvisations and then into full scale compositions written for piano. His euphonium playing improved exponentially. By Grade 8, he soloed with the school's high school Senior Band. Caleb had a gift that went beyond words. His performances and his compositions were astounding and moving. Caleb never really grew to speak very well, but his voice and his thoughts and his emotions became music.

    Not every child or teenager in my music program rises to exceptional levels of playing. But, what music gives all of them is a voice, one that is distinctly their own. They learn to express themselves, to band together collectively, to convey emotion, to understand responsibility, and to demonstrate leadership. We all know the statistics of students who play music and how they do in schools. They score on average 19% higher in English and 17% higher in mathematics than those who do not take music. I am certain these figures are correct. My music students unequivocally make up the majority of top academic students at our school. They are leaders in council after council, and excellent role models.

    The philosophy in my music program is to teach kids to love music, feel good about themselves, and to NEVER underestimate their potential. I have found that one of the best ways for students to learn, is to teach. One of the best ways for kids to mature is to give them responsibility and put them in a position of leadership. Year after year, I have seen students like Amandeep, Ali and Caleb give back to the very program that began their musical education and love for music, and we have all been made richer for that.

    By the way, where is Caleb, the boy who thought music was a joke, heading next year? After having been a two time Provincial Honour Band member, a Canadian National Youth Band member, a member of the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, and this year a member of the prestigious Hannaford Youth Band, Caleb has been accepted to the University of Toronto to study Music Performance. I feel so proud of Caleb, and also of Amandeep, Ali and all of this year’s graduates. And, does it ever make it hard to say good-bye.


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    “[Newton’s Grove School] truly understands that every child is an individual with his or her own learning style and learning needs. Every staff member at [Newton’s Grove School] strives to give our children a positive and enriched education."


    Our Cultural Exchange to Havana, Cuba

    We just returned from an amazing cultural exchange in Havana, Cuba with 28 of Newton's Grove finest student musicians.

    I cannot begin to say how proud and happy I am with each and every student who came with us. We had unbelievable experiences; we saw breath taking scenery; our kids played incredible music, and we all connected with so many wonderful people. We played a total of 8 concerts: in incredible music schools, at our hotel, outside on the streets of Havana. We jammed with some of the finest of Cuba's musicians, and saw amazing shows. Some of our performances were under very challenging circumstances, with music and stands blowing away, heat, sun in our eyes, car horns blowing and broken pianos. But time after time, our kids rose above and beyond the challenges, and presented themselves as seasoned, focused, and gifted musicians.

    Our trip wasn't all music-related: we got a chance to soak in the Cuban landscape when we visited a breathtaking rain forest. We climbed to a waterfall, swam under it and through a cave. We even took a boat through an underground river!

    We visited an orphanage. Without a doubt, this was one of the most moving and touching experiences of my entire life. Our students connected, reached out and shared themselves with kids from the orphanage, aged 7 - 15. They performed for them, and I saw the power of music go beyond the language barrier and unite the cultures. I have to say that this was one of the most profound moments I have ever experienced. Our students were just being themselves; no prompting, no instructions. They just reached out and connected. They are beautiful human beings, with huge hearts, big talent and wonderful spirits.

    Thank you to the wonderful assistance and support of the teachers and administrators who came, Mrs Chachel, Mr. Roberts, Ms. Hart, Mr Little and Mrs. Bush.

    Mr. Alonso


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