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Wildwood Academy

2250 Sheridan Garden Drive, Oakville, Ontario, L6J 7T1

Grades (Gender):
Gr. 2 to Gr. 8 (Coed)
Main Language:
Avg. Class Size:
4 to 10
Day: 60 (Gr. 2 - 8)

School Address
2250 Sheridan Garden Drive, Oakville, Ontario, L6J 7T1



About this school:


Wildwood Academy is a unique private school for children who require academic upgrading or simply benefit from a different type of instruction. We offer small class sizes, provide Direct Instruction programs and specialize in teaching students with ADHD and/or learning disabilities. Math and language arts programs match our students' academic levels. Learning is a positive experience and students achieve significant academic gains and increased self-confidence. — Visit school website



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Our Take: Wildwood Academy

our takeWildwood was founded in 2002 in order to serve primary and middle-grade learners who require more support than they would find within a traditional classroom. The environment—both physically and pedagogically—was designed to address the needs of students with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, dyslexia, and autism Spectrum Disorder. In some senses, that describes quite a range of students and abilities, including those who may function both above and below their peers. While the classroom setting and extra-curricular activities provide opportunities for social development, the pace of instruction is individualized. The intention is to prepare students for high school, developing a personalized suite of strategies and skills necessary for them to make the most of academic life once they leave Wildwood after grade 8.

School busing:

Wildwood Academy offers bus transferring.
Additional notes: No busing available.

Principal's Message


Kelley Caston, Head of School

At Wildwood Academy, a dedicated group of highly trained and certified teachers believe that every child can learn.

Our warm and nurturing environment, blended with specialized programming, ensures that all types of learners have the opportunity to succeed.


Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional

What Wildwood Academy says: Wildwood Academy is an academic school. We provide very substantive support for students with special needs and learning challenges.

  • Approach:
    Focus Special needs
    Academic Special needs

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Equal Balance

      These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What Wildwood Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: Distar Math Programs, Connecting Math Concepts, Saxon Math, Jump Math *Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and programs are chosen based upon student need.

    • Calculator policy: Calculators can be a valuable life skill should students require them.

    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 Wildwood Academy says: Using our Direct Instruction programs, students are taught sound-symbol correspondence, as well as important blends that are necessary to effective decoding. Mastered words are integrated into stories, where students are required to answer related comprehension questions. Tests are administered regularly to ensure mastery.

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

    • What Wildwood Academy 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 Wildwood Academy says: Emphasis is placed on giving students ample opportunities to write, while providing explicit instruction in grammar, parts of speech, and various learning strategies. Tests are administered regularly to ensure mastery.

    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: Programs balance expository and inquiry-based learning. Many hands-on opportunities are provided.

    • 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 Wildwood Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Social Studies Core Knowledge

      Usually focused on teaching history and geography at an early age, the core knowledge approach uses story, drama, reading, and discussion to teach about significant people, places, and events. Breadth of content and knowledge is emphasized. The curriculum is often organized according to the underlying logic of the content: history might be taught sequentially, for example (as students move through the grades).
      Learn about the different social studies approaches  

    • What Wildwood Academy 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 Wildwood Academy says: This information is not currently available.

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

    • Languages Offered: This information is not currently available.

    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 Wildwood Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    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 Wildwood Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What Wildwood Academy says: While there is an emphasis on skill, students are taught activities with the goal of understanding in mind. We do not educate our students in an effort to develop superior athletes; we want our students to love being active so that they are healthy as they move through the life cycle.

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

    What Wildwood Academy 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 Wildwood Academy 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 Wildwood Academy says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    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 Wildwood Academy says: Core academic skills are the focus, in a supportive and caring environment.

    Developmental Priorities Balanced

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

    What Wildwood Academy says: This information is not currently available.

    Special Needs Support Special needs school

    Special needs school

    Full-time programming is offered for all students which is exclusively focused on one or more special needs.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD
      Support Type = offered
      Extra support
    • 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 Dedicated class; 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 Wildwood Academy 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 8, Wildwood Academy students perform an average of 1 hour of homework per night.

    Nightly Homework
    Wildwood Academy 30 mins30 mins30 mins45 mins45 mins60 mins60 mins
    Site Average18 mins24 mins29 mins34 mins40 mins53 mins57 mins

    Report Card Policy

    How assessments are delivered across the grades:

    Lettered or numbered grades2 to 8
    Prose (narrative)-based feedback2 to 8
    Parent-teacher meetings2 to 8

    Class Sizes Not available

    This information is not currently available.


    What Wildwood Academy says:

    This information is not currently available.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Chess Club
      Community Service
      Computer Club
      Dance Club
      Drama Club
      Outdoor Club
      Outdoor Education
      Science Club
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    What Wildwood Academy says: Base tuition may increase based upon an individual student's needs.


    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    Full payment all students$500
    2nd child (sibling)all students10%

    Need-based financial aid

    This information is not currently available.

    Merit based Scholarships

    This information is not currently available.


    Total enrollment 60
    Average enrollment per grade9
    Average class size4 to 10
    Gender (grades)Gr. 2 to Gr. 8 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    Interview2 - 8
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    What Wildwood Academy says: This information is not currently available.


    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Wildwood Academy is looking for: This information is not currently available.

    Student Entry Points

    Student Type2345678
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    Stories & Testimonials


    First Impression

    There is one rule at Wildwood Academy - Every Child Can Learn!

    The first impression before entering the building is, “This is a school?” And then once through the front doors, it changes to, “This is a school!  Awesome!” 

    The truth is, most educational systems accommodate for round pegs to fit into round holes.  Valiant attempts are made to work with other shapes, but all with the goal of eventually fitting into the round holes.  If you do not fit, parents and children are made to believe something is wrong.

    At Wildwood, we celebrate and cherish the variety of shapes in our world.  It is through accepting and nurturing these individual strengths that students can figure out how they best “fit”.

    At Wildwood Academy, we approach the learning of each of our students not as an exception, but as the rule. The rule that - every child can learn. 

    The Wildwood community is different because it wants to be. It thrives on these differences. It is through these differences that the students come to recognize themselves in those around them. It instills a desire to grow and an understanding that their growth depends on the growth of others, creating an empathetic learning environment where students are excited for school.  If children are excited - really excited? Then… the sky is the limit. ...

    Work Place Initiative with Tim Hortons

    In 2012, Lauren Edwards, manager of the Tim Hortons at 2960 South Sheridan Way teamed up with Wildwood Academy in an effort to give students a new experience. The pilot project was so successful that Wildwood Academy now has four student employees enjoying their work placement experience at this location four afternoons a week. Thanks to the efforts of Lauren and Tim Hortons, these students have been given the chance to experience life in the workplace.

    This opportunity was a first for the school, and one that has worked exceptionally well for the students and for the employer.  “The students get such great pleasure out of coming to work. They’re so reliable, never come in late or call in sick, and they work just as hard as everybody else,” said Edwards. “They bring such a positive morale to everybody here, from the other staff to the guests.”

    Students in the senior classes at Wildwood Academy are given the opportunity to participate in this highly valuable initiative.  Social skill building, responsibility, money management, safety and cooperation are just a few of the skill sets that these young adults utilize while on the job at Tim Hortons.


    The Wildwood Workshop

    The workshop, where our young apprentices hone their carpentry skills, is nothing short of spectacular.

    What was once a “catch all” room used to house the garbage bins and items to be mended has been transformed into a fully functional work space, complete with work benches, a full array of tools, eye wash station and first aid kit. 
    Most of the items were donated by family and friends of the Wildwood Community, as well as local businesses such as Rona and Home Depot.

    The workshop was designed and constructed by the students, with the help of their teacher. The students patched, primed and painted the space from top to bottom.  They utilized their math skills to measure the space, budget for the materials and purchase the required supplies.

    Since the grand opening ceremony in June 2013, the workshop team has constructed six picnic tables and 14 Muskoka chairs.  The chairs were beautifully crafted and quickly sold by the students.  They have also built a storage shed for our play yard, and they frequently aid in the completion of minor building repairs.


    Wildwood Students Enjoying First Overnight Trip of the Year

    Our goal is to develop well-balanced students who embrace learning and demonstrate strong character. Wildwood Academy encourages children to become the best they can be by promoting academic, social, emotional, and physical growth. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for the students in grades five and up to participate in an annual two night team building trip at the YMCA Cedar Glen every October.

    The students are exposed to multi-level challenge courses which is an excellent environment for groups to work together, build trust and develop communication skills in a safe setting that promotes personal growth. Along with the YMCA Staff, Wildwood Academy teachers and students are actively engaged in an outdoor education program which encourages positive values and character education.  Orienteering, fire and shelter building, high and low ropes, archery, and nature hikes are just a few of the activities which the students participate in during their time at Cedar Glen.

    The staff and students return from this experience with new and stronger friendships, newly acquired skills, and a solid bond that sets the stage for a positive school year.


    Reading Buddies

    The Reading Buddies Program is in full swing at Wildwood!

    Every year, the students in the senior grades are “buddied- up” with students in the younger classes to create lasting friendships through literacy.  With the opportunity for cross-age partnerships, the students improve their reading and fluency skills, as well as reaping some very rewarding leadership and social skills. 

    Once a week, the students cozy up on the couches and read to each other.  They may share favourite stories, poems, comics, and word games – anything goes – as long as there are words!

    This experience goes beyond reading.  After one Reading Buddy session, a Big Buddy asked his teacher, “What do I do if my Little Buddy isn’t focussed?  What should I do?”  What an amazing opportunity to offer guidance and suggestions on how to become a leader as well as to understand how important teachers are. The Big Buddies gain skills and strategies for helping their Little Buddies stay on task, resulting in increased leadership qualities and improved self-esteem. The Little Buddies begin to look to their Big Buddies as role models and as a source of encouragement. Though they might be shy at first, the Little Buddies are soon bursting with confidence and excited for the next Reading Buddy day.


    Special Events


    Effective Teaching Practices

    At Wildwood, we believe that all children can learn when they are taught effectively. As a means of upholding this belief, all of our teachers are trained in effective teaching practices and positive behaviour management techniques. As well, all staff members receive on-going professional development, monitoring and coaching to ensure that they regularly upgrade their skills. Following the placement of students in appropriate skill-based groups, teachers adeptly lead children through the learning process. Instructors first model skills, and then students are guided through repeated practice. Once learned and mastered, skills and knowledge are built upon systematically. Ongoing cumulative review allows students to complete and understand increasingly complex tasks. Active teaching and learning methods enable students to remain engaged in their lessons. As a result of these practices, students achieve success and feel good about themselves.


    Successful Programs

    Methods & Materials

    The academic goals of Wildwood Academy are achieved using teaching methods and materials that are proven to be successful with elementary students of all ages and abilities. Direct Instruction programs are a large component of our core curriculum. These well-designed programs are part of a large, ongoing research and development project conducted by Dr. Siegfried Engelmann and his associates at the University of Oregon. Extensive studies have shown that Direct Instruction programs are highly effective at teaching language and math skills, and developing self-esteem. Successful results are achieved within each program through the presentation of material that systematically builds new skills and knowledge. All selected programs focus on skill development through modeling, repetition, mastery, ongoing review and application. Children are able to begin working at their own level and achieve excellent results quickly.


    Wildwood Philosophy

    Wildwood Academy is devoted to accelerating the academic achievement of all students. Programs are individualized to allow each child to work to his or her potential. Structured lessons emphasize the basic skills of speaking, reading, writing, spelling, mathematics, reasoning and comprehension. Academic pursuits are balanced with instruction in social studies, health & fitness, computer studies, music & drama, science and art. Practical self-management skills and effective study habits are taught to ensure success in all subject areas. The importance of positive social interactions and ethical integrity are also taught within the classroom setting and during extra-curricular activities. Clubs are carried out during school hours to ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extra-curricular activities throughout the year. It is our goal to help our students thrive academically and become well-respected citizens. In order to allow students to quickly and effectively upgrade their academic skills, Wildwood Academy has adopted specialized programs and learning schedules. The methods and materials used in our core subjects have been chosen for their measurable superiority as demonstrated in extensive research and field study. As well, we optimize student learning opportunities by extending daily in-school hours and decreasing between-task transition time. Field trips are also scheduled in a manner that is the least disruptive to classroom programs. We also ensure that our students are receiving ongoing intensive instruction by grouping according to skill level and teaching in small groups. In core subjects, students are taught in groups comprised of no more than eight students. This allows teachers to maintain a high level of student mastery while keeping an accurate record of each child's progress. Scheduling our students to work closely with similarly skilled peers and well-trained staff enables all of our children to maximize their academic achievement. At Wildwood Academy, we strive to make education a positive experience and provide each student with the tools needed to engage in a lifetime of learning. ...

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