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Quetico College School

1130 Highway 633, Box 460, Atikokan, Ontario, P0T 1C0

Grades (Gender):
Gr. 9 to Gr. 12 (Coed)
$16,000 to 28,000/year
Main Language:
English & French
Avg. Class Size:
6 to 8
Day: 10 (Gr. 9 - 12), Boarding: 30 (Gr. 9 - 12)

School Address
1130 Highway 633, Box 460, Atikokan, Ontario, P0T 1C0

About this school:


Secondary School Project-Based Learning in a magnificent, captivating environment in Northwestern Ontario focusing on deeper learning curricula. Certification programmes for leadership, responsibility and skill development. Extensive athletics include outdoor education, action sports, swimming, snowboarding, canoe tripping, kayaking, field sports. All students develop "Passion, Dedication and Purpose for Life". — Visit school website



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Our Take: Quetico College School

our takeMichael Heaton founded Quetico College School in 2013 with the intention of providing something unique within the world of private education and, by any measure, he’s done precisely that. The concept is a bold one, namely to create an environment in which students can focus intently on their studies, build strong interpersonal skills, and engage authentically with the natural environment as relevant to the curriculum as well as recreation. The location was first developed in 1957 and served for many years as a training facility for mining and community care operations in the area. The site has been augmented and updated consistently since and, as a result, doesn’t reflect its age, including up to date living, fitness, and administration facilities. The ideal student is one looking for a unique high school experience, and who will thrive in a very active, close-knit, rural educational community.

Principal's Message


Michael Heaton, Head of School

When you are passionate about something that you consider vital, every day is so important for advancing your quest. For students in High School, this is particularly true. Each and every day becomes a part of the network that allows for the achievement of a goal. It could be as simple as solving a puzzling quadratic equation, or as complex as solving the future energy crisis. But every day provides the opportunity to move closer to solving that problem on a very personal level. Take a day off, and the opportunity starts to slip away.

With the number of private schools to select from, all of them geared to offering the best possible opportunities for such learning, how could a place miles away from anywhere provide an advantage in maintaining focus on something vital?

Days off don't happen here, so giving opportunities the chance to slip away just cannot happen. The distractions so common for other locations don't exist here. The ability to focus on what's important becomes part of the lifestyle. And it doesn't hurt that living here is so ideal. Partly that was by design: ensuring that the facilities from the former Quetico Centre were brought back to life and put to strategic use as a place of learning by teachers passionate about guiding young people. But partly is was a gift: the place is just so darn beautiful that you can't help but be excited about the place.

Quetico College School represents the fulfillment of dreams for many. For myself, it represents the chance to draw on experiences that include a teaching career at private schools in Canada and abroad, augmented with action sports like whitewater kayaking and BMXing, supported by many years in the film production and sports management business and topped with a love of the outdoors and the Quetico region. Other staff members are drawn to Quetico for a variety of reasons, but all are teachers dedicated to their profession and the positive role that private boarding schools have had on so many lives and all revered by the wilderness and the unique position that this school has to affect the lives of our future. Quetico College School is ready to fulfill the dreams of many more: hopefully yours.

I do hope that you'll consider Quetico College School. It's a bit of a drive, but it sure is worth it and we'd appreciate the opportunity to show you around and share our excitement.


Curriculum Progressive

Primary Curriculum: Progressive

What Quetico College School says: Project-based learning is central to all we do, giving students the opportunity to combine multiple subjects into an encompassing Humanities or Science based exploration. Each culminating activity not only requires thorough knowledge of the subjects but skills to transform the learning into projects that are shared with a wider audience. Our association with England's University Technical Colleges (www.utcolleges.org) and California's High Tech High (www.hightechhigh.org) assures the latest improvements by educators for the best student learning.

  • Approach:
    Focus Special needs
    Academic Troubled Teens

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Traditional Math

      Traditional Math typically teaches a method or algorithm FIRST, and THEN teaches the applications for the method. Traditional algorithms are emphasized and practiced regularly: repetition and drills are frequently used to ensure foundational mastery in the underlying mathematical procedures. The traditional approach to math views math education as akin to building a logical edifice: each brick depends on the support of the previously laid ones, which represent mastery over a particular procedure or method. Traditional Math begins by giving students a tool, and then challenges students to practice using that tool an applied way, with progressively challenging problems. In this sense Traditional Math aims to establish procedural understanding before conceptual and applied understanding.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What Quetico College School says: Knowledge of Mathematics is extended using real-life projects to incorporate Mathematics knowledge.

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

    • Calculator policy: 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: Project-based learning is the backbone of all science curricula

    • 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 Quetico College School says: This information is not currently available.

    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 Quetico College 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 Quetico College School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Studying a foreign language is required until:   12
    • 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 Quetico College School says: This information is not currently available.

    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 Quetico College School says: The use of computers is integrated into all subject areas.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Quetico College School says: The physical education is composed of Ministry curriculum guidelines in addition to: -leadership skills certification workshops (First Aid, Lifesaving, National Coaching Certification Programme, Duke of Edinburgh's Award and CanFit Pro Personal Trainer) -outdoor education and outdoor leadership -mandatory sports programmes include all students after classes

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

    What Quetico College 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 Quetico College School says: This information is not currently available.

    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 Quetico College School says about flexible pacing: In addition to the opportunities presented during regular class time, evening study times provide additional extended moments for staff and students to share research and study.

    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 Quetico College 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 Quetico College School says: Young people need mentors with them at every step of the way as they establish themselves and their lives. Success is a long road, and the only way to achieve the finish line on this road is to develop the character, the fortitude, the skills and the mind-set to become a good person. They need mentors who will listen, ask questions, monitor and challenge every day to make sure they stay firmly on the right path. Quetico's boarding environment ensures that we are able to fulfill this role every day.

    Special Needs Support No support

    No support

    Quetico College School offers no/limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Extra support
    • What Quetico College School says: Our staff have the training to ensure the support all parents expect.

    • 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 Quetico College School says: This information is not currently available.

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

    Homework Policy

    In grade 12, Quetico College School students perform an average of 2 hours of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    Quetico College School 60 mins60 mins90 mins120 mins
    Site Average69 mins80 mins95 mins108 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Academic achievement reporting9 to 12
    Habits and behaviour reporting9 to 12
    Parent-teacher meetings9 to 12

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What Quetico College School says:
    • BMX skills development and training.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Cross-country skiing
      Downhill skiing
      Field Hockey
      Ice Hockey
      Mountain biking
      Racquet Ball
      Track & Field
      Ice Skating
    • Clubs Offered
      Audiovisual Club
      Community Service
      Drama Club
      Environmental Club
      Habitat for Humanity
      Math Club
      Musical theatre/Opera
      Outdoor Club
      Outdoor Education
      School newspaper
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    Day Boarding
    Boarding $28,000
    What Quetico College School says: Our tuition fee covers all aspects of school life. Only class dress, transportation and items of a personal nature require an additional charge. We endeavour to practice a "no extra billing" policy.


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

    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 40
    Average enrollment per grade10
    Average class size6 to 8
    Gender (grades)Gr. 9 to Gr. 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offered Gr. 9 - 12
    % in boarding (total enrollment)75%

    If you want to learn more about boarding schools, check out our comprehensive guide.

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    Interview9 - 12
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)9 - 12
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    Boarding students:

    What Quetico College School says:

    Please complete our Student Application on our website: http://www.queticocollegeschool.ca/#!student-application/c1ugx Thank you


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Quetico College School is looking for: Our classroom is the outdoors. It will become the focal point of daily life, academic research and thought. Youth wishing to learn more about their relationship with nature will thrive in our environment.

    Day Boarding

    Student Entry Points

    Student Type9101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    1 - 5 (100%)5 - 15 (100%)1 - 5 (100%)1 - 5 (100%)
    Boarding Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    1 - 5 (100%)5 - 15 (100%)1 - 5 (100%)1 - 5 (100%)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class sizeN/A
    *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)

    In the News


    September 5, 2015 - New news post

    BMX is an important part of School Life: summer programmes attract riders to learn with PROs on our challenging course. ...


    Be amazed by the beauty of our campus. Sun rising over a frozen, misty Eva Lake, quiet save for a raven calling. Students love time here. ...

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