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The Oakville Academy for the Arts

1011 Upper Middle Rd E, Oakville, Ontario, L6H 4L2

Approach :
Grades (Gender):
Preschool to SK (Coed)
$4,899 to $14,999 /year
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
Day: Varies (Gr. PS - SK)

School Address
1011 Upper Middle Rd E, Oakville, Ontario, L6H 4L2

About this school:


Voted Oakville's Best Preschool and having received the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Education, the Oakville Academy School for the Arts nurtures independent and creative thinkers, enthusiastic life-long learners, active explorers and compassionate and respectful human beings. The school offers an arts-enriched learning environment for children 2.5 - 5 years of age with a variety of enrolment options including half day and full day programming with extended care options available.

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Our Take: The Oakville Academy for the Arts

our takeFinland, famously, has one of the strongest educational systems in the world, and there are perhaps many reasons for that. One of them, however, is the integration of the arts. The belief is that children are never too young to begin a relationship with music, dance, and the fine arts, and that all are components of how we engage with the world around us and communicate our ideas to others. In North America, we tend to compartmentalize and, worse, to present the arts too often within a context of performance. The Oakville Academy, by contrast, is a little bit of Finland: students are encouraged to experience the whole range of the arts, and to do so across the curriculum, rather than focus in a particular area. It’s less about expertise than it is exposure and an engagement with hands-on work, using it as a point of engagement with the course content and interaction with others. They students do learn about art, of course, including various techniques and media, though the interface between that and the core curriculum is porous and varied. Instruction is student-centred, and the community of the school is close-knit and family-oriented. The ideal student is one who will thrive within a very active, diverse, and social learning environment.


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 school says: Young learners are encouraged, along with their teachers, to decide upon and undertake projects of study that allow for on-going investigation, in-depth study and the ability to develop and internalize skills and concepts from the entire range of curriculum components such as math, science, visual arts, social studies, music, dance/movement and technology. These subject areas, within a project-based emergent curriculum, are delivered to students through group dialogue, well chosen program and learning materials, literacy and math charts, and outdoor exploration connected to the on-going investigation of ideas put forth by children and, of course, the visual arts.

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 school says about flexible pacing: As every student is unique in their learning and development at the Preschool and Kindergarten age, our program is individualized to accommodate the needs (developmental, academically, socially) of each student. We believe every student should be an active and engaged learner who explores the world with body, mind and senses.

Academic Culture Supportive

  • Rigorous
  • Supportive

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

What school says: The Oakville Academy School for the Arts is dedicated to a philosophy that sees children as competent, capable, and curious human beings that have the right to co-construct their educational experience. We are committed to creating an atmosphere wherein children feel like valued members of a vibrant learning community and encourage all children to find and voice their unique gifts in a supportive and respectful environment.

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 school says: Our goal is to nurture independent and creative thinkers, enthusiastic life-long learners, active explorers and compassionate and respectful human beings.

Special Needs Support No support

No support

school offers no/limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.

  • Academic Support:
    Support Type = offered
    Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
    Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
  • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
    Support Type = offered
    Extra support
  • 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 No Support

School 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.

Homework Policy

In grade SK, The Oakville Academy for the Arts students perform an average of No homework of homework per night.

Nightly Homework
school0 mins0 mins0 mins
Site Average2 mins5 mins7 mins

Report Card Policy

How assessments are delivered across the grades:

Prose (narrative)-based feedbackPreschool to SK
Academic achievement reportingPreschool to SK
Habits and behaviour reportingPreschool to SK
Parent-teacher meetingsPreschool to SK

Class Sizes Not available

This information is not currently available.


What school says:

This information is not currently available.

  • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
    Ice Hockey
    Track & Field
  • Clubs offered: None

Tuition & Financial Aid


This information is not currently available.

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 sizeVaries
Gender (grades)Preschool to SK (Coed)
Boarding offeredNo

Student distribution: This information is not currently available.



Admissions Assessments:

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

Application Deadlines:

Day students:

What The Oakville Academy for the Arts says:
  1. Contact the school to arrange a program tour and to chat with a member of The Oakville School for the Arts teaching team.
  2. Place a $500.00 non-refundable deposit with The Oakville School for the Arts front desk administrator to secure your child’s position and schedule within the program of your choice.
  3. Complete an information and registration package and submit the package to The Oakville School for the Arts front desk administrator.


Acceptance Rate:


Type of student The Oakville Academy for the Arts is looking for: This information is not currently available.

Student Entry Points

Student TypePSJKSK
Day Acceptance
(Acceptance rate)
1 - 14 (100%)1 - 20 (100%)1 - 20 (100%)

Stories & Testimonials


The Oakville Academy School for the Arts Experience

The words that immediately jump to mind when thinking about our daughter’s experience at OAAK are supportive and responsive, and this school demonstrates those qualities each and every day, in each and every possible way.

Our family joined OAAK this fall after relocating from the US.  Even back home, we heard glowing reviews about the program, and even before our move–via email!– we found the staff to be remarkably supportive and caring.  Responses to my series of inquiries were always prompt and informative, and, beyond that, they also always included a sympathetic comment regarding the challenges of moving or settling in.

OAAK’s supportive nature extends well beyond words, though.  The school was remarkably sensitive to the needs and feelings of my three-year-old, who was transitioning not only to a new school, but also to a new country; upon entering the school for the first time, we were offered a guided tour of the facility, and, when we entered the classroom, Ms. Berri crouched down and spoke with my daughter at her level.  She was at home at once.  The next day, Ms. Berri and Ms. Jenn’s email recapping her first day on her own–enhanced with pictures of my smiling child–demonstrated their ability to quickly discern what makes her “tick” and–full disclosure–completely eased my confident-that-we’d-made-the-right-choice-yet-somehow-still-slightly-worried mind.

In addition, we found the school supportive in the flexibility it so consistently displays.  We have encountered this quality frequently, in instances ranging from a long-term and unexpected change in schedule to sporadic early or alternate-driver pick-up requests.  It’s reassuring to know that in this often hassled and harried day and age, the response you’re most likely to hear out of the smiling mouth of anyone on staff is, “Sure!  We can do that!”

The support that the school so consistently demonstrates flows naturally into a classroom environment that is authentically and organically responsive.  The teachers respond genuinely to the interests of the children and permit their innate curiosity to guide the curriculum.  Student-driven is not, by any means, synonymous with “fluffy” or lacking rigor at OAAK, though.  Children examine, explore, question, assess, and create at a remarkably high level, while the traditional hallmarks of pre-school education–letter and number identification, etc.–are expertly and artfully woven in by the teachers.  In addition, Dance and Music classes challenge the children physically and mentally and complement the curriculum masterfully.

In the past six months, our family has experienced quite a few significant and radical changes.  One of the few consistencies has been our absolute confidence in the fact that we made the right choice in sending our daughter to OAAK, and the program (and everyone who is a part of it!) is something for which we are thankful every day.


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The Oakville Academy for the Arts