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The Toronto Heschel School
The Toronto Heschel School
819 Sheppard Avenue West, Toronto, Ontario, M3H 2T3
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Contact name:
Lisa Richler

Phone number:
(416) 635-1876×
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The Toronto Heschel School
 

The Toronto Heschel School

819 Sheppard Avenue West, Toronto, Ontario, M3H 2T3

Curriculum:
Progressive
Grades (Gender):
JK to 8 (Coed)
Tuition:
$14,995 to $18,395 /year
Main Language:
English
Avg. Class Size:
20
Enrolment:
Day: 295 (Gr. JK - 8)

Get more information

Contact Name:
Lisa Richler

Phone Number:


School Address
819 Sheppard Avenue West, Toronto, Ontario, M3H 2T3

About this school:

highlights

Heschel provides an academically innovative, integrated Jewish education in a warm, nurturing environment. Inspired by Rabbi A.J. Heschel (a friend of Martin Luther King Jr.), who actively defended social justice, students develop habits of mind, body, heart and soul that enable them to make a difference. The school's inclusive community is made up of families and faculty from diverse backgrounds. Graduates embody the confidence, skills and compassion to be thought leaders and engaged members of their communities.


The Our Kids review of The Toronto Heschel School

our takeThe Toronto Heschel School was founded in 1996 in part as an expression of the work and values of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a leader who championed empathy, justice, and wonder. Among many other things in his life, Heschel participated in the civil rights movement and marched alongside Martin Luther King in Selma, Alabama. He later commented that, “When I marched in Selma, my feet were praying.” It’s that spirit that the Toronto Heschel school continues to embrace today. The community of the school is diverse, with families drawn to the provision of a strong, challenging academic program within the context of social justice and the values of caring and respect for others. When students arrive they enter a community that expresses those values in all aspects of the life of the school, and are inspired to actively participate within them.



Academics


Curriculum Progressive

Primary Curriculum: Progressive


What school says: Heschel's award-winning, Integrated Curriculum helps each student develop their potential to think deeply, creatively and flexibly. The Curriculum is organized by thematic units, rooted in a Jewish theme, enabling students to make meaningful connections across the disciplines. Heschel's teaching methodology is based on the "Teaching for Understanding" model that originated at Harvard's Graduate School of Education. Heschel teachers use many tools to achieve understanding, including the arts, multiple intelligences and multi-sensory learning. Children are taught in small skill groups, which provide each student with a high level of personal attention. Heschel's immersive Ivrit b'Ivrit program produces graduates with a very high level of Hebrew competency. Our kindergarten classes are completely bilingual, with two teachers in the room at all times, one of whom speaks only Hebrew with the students. By elementary school, students converse fluently in Hebrew. By junior high, students write essays, poetry, scripts and screenplays in Hebrew. Heschel is a leader in environmental education and is the first Jewish Day School to achieve Platinum Eco School Status.

  • Approach:
    Focus Religious-based
    Arts Jewish

    If you want to learn more about faith-based education, check out our comprehensive guide.
    If you want to learn more about Jewish day schools, check out our comprehensive guide.


  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics
    • What 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
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.

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

    • What school says: This information is not currently available.


    Writing
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.


    Science
    • Teaching approach: This information is not currently available.

    • Topics covered in curriculum:

      Subject = offered
      Biology
      Chemistry
      Ecology
      Geology
      Meteorology
      Physics
      Physiology
      Zoology
    • Treatment of evolution:

      Evolution as consensus theory
      Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
      Evolution is not taught

    Literature
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.


    Social Studies
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.


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


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

    • Languages Offered: This information is not currently available.


    Fine Arts
    • Program offers:

      Subject = offered
      Acting
      Dance
      Drama/Theatre
      Graphic Design
      Music
      Visual Arts
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.


    Computers and Technology
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Robotics
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.


    Religious Education
    • Approach to teaching religious and secular curricula

      Completely segregated
      Mostly segregated
      Completely integrated
      Mostly integrated
      Not applicable
    • Approach to teaching religion

      Scripture as literal
      Scripture as interpretive
    • What school says: This information is not currently available.


    Sex and Health Education Doesn’t follow Ontario curriculum
    Topics covered in sex and health education:
    Topics We begin covering this topic at: Begins in Ontario
    Body parts Gr. 1 Gr. 1
    Nutrition JK Gr. 1
    Human development Gr. 1 Gr. 1
    Puberty Gr. 6 Gr. 4
    Sexual health and hygiene Gr. 6 Gr. 4
    Reproduction Gr. 6 Gr. 5
    Pregnancy Gr. 6 Gr. 7
    Sexually transmitted infections Gr. 7 Gr. 7
    Sex and decision-making Gr. 7 Gr. 7
    Contraception Gr. 7 Gr. 8
    Consent Gr. 7 Gr. 9
    Sexual orientation Gr. 7 Gr. 8
    Gender identity Gr. 2 Gr. 8
    Misconceptions relating to sexuality Gr. 7 Gr. 10
    Relationships and intimacy Gr. 7 Gr. 8
    Bias and stereotyping about sex Gr. 2 Gr. 12
    Sexual harassment Gr. 7 Gr. 9
    Body image issues Gr. 6 Gr. 7
    Mental illness Gr. 7 Gr. 11
    Social justice and diversity JK

    What school says: As in all areas of our program, we use the Ontario Curriculum as a guideline. Through our integrated, holistic approach, topics such as relationships, emotional well-being, physical health, nutrition, gender identity, and body image are addressed throughout the grades in various disciplines of the curriculum. Our school places a strong emphasis on social justice and diversity and celebrates the uniqueness and dignity of each human being.

    Approach:
    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.

    Traditional

    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.

    Progressive

    This might mean more emphasis is placed on the importance of such things as social equality, diversity, and choice in sex education.

    31 % of Our Kids' schools use a progressive approach for sex and health education


    What school says: Our school is rooted in values of equality, diversity, respect, and inclusion. Our pluralistic community is comprised of Jewish families with a range of backgrounds, traditions, and family structures. Our approach to learning combines a respect for tradition with an appreciation for diverse and progressive perspectives.



    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: Our Kindergarten program is a bilingual (English-Hebrew), immersive program where students learn through hands-on activities, discussion and play. Lessons are multi-sensory. Our curriculum is organized according to generative topics that integrate learning across all disciplines. Building social and emotional skills is also at the forefront of the program.


    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 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 school says: Heschel\\\'s teaching methodology is based on the “Teaching for Understanding” model that originated at Harvard\\\'s Graduate School of Education. Heschel teachers use many tools to achieve understanding, including the arts, multiple intelligences and multi-sensory learning. Children are taught in small skill groups, which provide each student with a high level of personal attention.


    Developmental Priorities Balanced

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

    What school says: This information is not currently available.


    Special Needs Support Moderate

    Moderate

    school provides special accomodations for certain learning disabilities (moderate to severe). They do not provide specialized support for developmental disabilities, behavioural/emotional disorders, or physical disabilities.

    • 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
      Accommodations
      Modifications
      Extra support
    • What school says: small ratios, with capacity for accommodations for students with learning challenges and different learning styles. Generally do not provide one-on-one support outside of the classroom. open to conversations with families about working together to meet the needs of children with exceptionalities \n\nhigh level of Hebrew fluency important; significant language difficulties may not be set up for success

    • Support for moderate-to-severe special needs:
      Special needs
      Learning disabilities
      ADHD (moderate to severe)
      Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
      Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
      Dyscalculia
      Dysgraphia
      Language Processing Disorder
      Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
      Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
      Developmental
      Autism
      Asperger's Syndrome
      Down syndrome
      Intellectual disability
      Behavioral and Emotional
      Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
      Clinical Depression
      Suicidal thoughts
      Drug and alcohol abuse
      Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
      Physical
      Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
      Blindness
      Deafness
      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
      Psychotherapy
      Speech-language therapy
    • What school says: small ratios, with capacity for accommodations for students with learning challenges and different learning styles. Generally do not provide one-on-one support outside of the classroom. open to conversations with families about working together to meet the needs of children with exceptionalities \n\nhigh level of Hebrew fluency important; significant language difficulties may not be set up for success


    Gifted Learner Support No 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.

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.

    Recess Policy

     GradesJKSK12345678
    Non-lunch recessFrequency 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day 2/day
    Location Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside Outside
    Amount 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30
    Lunch recessAmount 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60

    What school says: This information is not currently available.

    Non-lunch recesses: All of this school’s non-lunch recesses take place between classes or academic periods. Recess segmentation: This school segments recesses by grade

    What school says: Recess times are designed according to the development needs of each grade. Therefore, our Junior and Senior Kindergarten students have different recess times than students in grades 1-8.



    Extracurriculars

    principal
    What school says:

    This information is not currently available.


    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Baseball
      Basketball
      Ice Hockey
      Lacrosse
      Rowing
      Soccer
      Softball
      Swimming
      Tennis
      Track & Field
      Volleyball
    • Clubs offered: None


    Tuition & Financial Aid

    Tuition

    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.


    Enrollment

    Total enrollment 295
    Average enrollment per grade27
    Average class size20
    Grades (gender)JK to 8 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.


    Admission

    Application

    Admissions Assessments:

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

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:
    N/A


    What The Toronto Heschel School says: This information is not currently available.


    Acceptance

    Acceptance Rate:

    N/A

    Type of student The Toronto Heschel School is looking for: This information is not currently available.



    Student Entry Points

    Student TypeJKSK12345678
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    0000000000


    Other Highlights:



    Get more info

    Contact Name
    Lisa Richler

    Phone Number:
    click to view number


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