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WillowWood School
WillowWood School
55 Scarsdale Road, Toronto, Ontario, M3B 2R3
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Contact name:
Fred Howe, Principal

Phone number:
(416) 444-7644×
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WillowWood School
 

WillowWood School

55 Scarsdale Road, Toronto, Ontario, M3B 2R3

Curriculum:
Traditional
Grades (Gender):
1 to 12 (Coed)
Tuition:
$18,900 to $20,000 /year
Main Language:
English
Avg. Class Size:
10 to 16
Enrolment:
Day: 250 (Gr. 1 - 12)

Get more information

Contact Name:
Fred Howe, Principal

Phone Number:


School Address
55 Scarsdale Road, Toronto, Ontario, M3B 2R3

Highlights:
highlights
About this school:
highlights

AN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL FOR DIVERSE LEARNERS

WillowWood was founded in 1980 based on the core value that all students have a right to learn with dignity; that a warm and nurturing school can serve as a foundation for remarkable lives and that it is the whole person who matters. 

We have a long tradition of delivering targeted, personal education that considers each student's needs, inclinations and strengths. This individualized approach ensures that students are able to discover and embrace their strengths, address their weaknesses, and maintain their dignity. Classes are small, the atmosphere is warm, and the pedagogical approach is holistic.

Our effective teaching strategies, enthusiastic staff members, innovative programs and friendly environment bring out the best in students, build self-confidence and inspire a love of learning.

If your family is seeking a new style of school, with a strong history of inspiring students, come by for a visit.

We'd love to meet you.

 


The Our Kids review of WillowWood School

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.



Upcoming Events Next event: December 08, 2016

upcoming events
  • December 08, 2016Daytime Open House
    WillowWood School, 55 Scarsdale Road, Toronto, Ontario
    Join us Thursday, December 08 from 10:00 am - 11:30 am

    Join us for our monthly daytime Open House! Meet with Principal Fred Howe and Vice Principal Jill Block for an intimate Q&A and tour of the school. RSVP to heather@willowwoodschool.ca, or call 416 444 7644. We look forward to meeting you.



Principal's Message

principal

Joy Kurtz, Director

When visitors walk into the building for the first time they often remark on the special feeling the school has.

That feeling (which I call magical) is a combination of the history and philosophy of the school, the energy of the staff, and the spirit of the students.

When I founded this school it was based on the belief that learning can and should be fun and that school should be a positive and rewarding experience.

We know that one size does not fit all and that students flourish when their school embraces their strengths, addresses their needs and respects their dignity. My staff and I have been successfully delivering student-centred, individualized education in a warm and caring environment for over 30 years.

That's the magic we make at WillowWood.
If your family is seeking a new style of school with a strong history of inspiring students, come by for a visit. I'd love to meet you.

- Joy Kurtz, Director


Academics


Curriculum Traditional

Primary Curriculum: Traditional


What WillowWood School says: WillowWood was founded on the idea that all students deserve to learn with dignity. We individualize our teaching to meet the needs and talents of each student, so they can find and achieve their potential. WillowWood is a family-style school. Students and teachers enjoy friendly, genuine interactions in and out of classes. Students at WillowWood find a remarkable lack of clique-competition and bullying, as students internalize the family feeling. Conflict is dealt with quickly and fairly, with understanding and through communication whenever possible. Students are given agency and encouraged to set personal goals, to develop self-advocacy and communication skills - all while knowing that help is available for the asking and that assistance provided will respect their dignity. All of this makes WillowWood a great school for a wide variety of students.

  • Approach:
    Focus Special needs
    Academic Special needs


  • 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 WillowWood 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 WillowWood School says: This information is not currently available.

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

    • What WillowWood School says: This information is not currently available.


    Writing
    • What WillowWood 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: 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 Traditional

      In traditional literature programs students focus on decoding the mechanics of texts: plot, characterization, and themes. These texts tend to include a balance of contemporary and “classic” literature. When studying a past work, students investigate its historical context -- but only insofar as this adds understanding to the work itself. Past works are therefore studied “on their own terms”, and not merely as historical artifacts to be deconstructed: traditional literature programs are firmly rooted in the humanities, and carry the belief that great literature can reveal fundamental and universal truths about the human condition. These programs emphasize class discussions and critical essay writing, and aim to develop in students critical thinking, communication skills, and a cultivated taste and ethos.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  


    • What WillowWood School says: We encourage practice and critical thinking about literature and communication of all forms. We use a mixture of traditional materials and popular and modern works.


    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 WillowWood 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 WillowWood 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 WillowWood School says: This information is not currently available.

    • Studying a foreign language is required until:   9
    • Languages Offered: • French • Spanish • 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
      Acting
      Dance
      Drama/Theatre
      Graphic Design
      Music
      Visual Arts
    • Visual studio philosophy:

      Expressive
      Disciplined
    • What WillowWood School 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 WillowWood School says: We encourage teachers to use tech as needed, and to model healthy use of technology (balanced). We use assistive technology everywhere it can be used, and encourage students to find and use any that work for them.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Robotics
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What WillowWood School says: We encourage healthy active living, along with team-work, communication and individual goal-setting and personal development.

    • WillowWood School's approach to sex-ed: We teach thoughtful, respectful, real information, along with moral guidance.


    Religious Education
    • Religious Curriculum (percentage)

      We have no compulsory religion courses
      Up to 25% of our courses are religious courses
      More than 25% of our courses are religion courses
    • Approach to teaching religious and secular curricula

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

      Descriptive
      Interpretive
    • What WillowWood School says: This information is not currently available.



    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 WillowWood School 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 WillowWood School says: WillowWood has a long tradition of delivering targeted, personal education that considers each student's needs, inclinations and strengths. This individualized approach ensures that students are able to discover and embrace their strengths, address their weaknesses, and maintain their dignity. Classes are small, the atmosphere is warm, and the pedagogical approach is holistic. Our effective teaching strategies, enthusiastic staff members, innovative programs and friendly environment bring out the best in students, build self-confidence and inspire a love of learning.


    Developmental Priorities Emotional, Balanced

    Primary Developmental Priority: Emotional
    Emotionally intelligent and confident individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others.

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

    What WillowWood School says: WillowWood has a long tradition of delivering targeted, personal education that considers each student's needs, inclinations and strengths. This individualized approach ensures that students are able to discover and embrace their strengths, address their weaknesses, and maintain their dignity. Classes are small, the atmosphere is warm, and the pedagogical approach is holistic. Our effective teaching strategies, enthusiastic staff members, innovative programs and friendly environment bring out the best in students, build self-confidence and inspire a love of learning.


    Special Needs Support Very High

    Very High

    WillowWood School is a full-time special needs school. All students at WillowWood School are receiving some form of specialized support. The school therefore offeres a very high degree of special needs support.

    • 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 WillowWood School says: WillowWood is ideal for students with learning disabilities, due to our individualized programming and trained staff. We excel in this area.

    • 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
    • Additional Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Social skills programs
      Occupational therapy
      Psychotherapy
      Speech-language therapy
    • Summary: We accommodate students in collaboration with them, their parents, teachers and our school therapist.

    • What WillowWood School says: WillowWood is ideal for students with learning disabilities, due to our individualized programming and trained staff. We excel in this area.


    Gifted Learner Support Moderate

    Moderate

    WillowWood School offers gifted learner support in the form of inclusive practices -- special, custom arrangements made for advanced learners (who otherwise remain in the regular classroom).

    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 WillowWood School says: Our individualization extends, naturally, to gifted students.

    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 grades1 to 12
    Prose (narrative)-based feedback1 to 12
    Academic achievement reporting1 to 12
    Habits and behaviour reporting1 to 12
    Parent-teacher meetings1 to 12


    Extracurriculars

    principal
    What WillowWood School says:
    • Annual Musical: every Spring, we put on a full-school musical production. Students act, manage tech, crew the stage, etc.
    • Music Club: Students are encouraged and guided in creating and performing with bands/acts of all genres.
    • Robotics Club: a new Middle School initiative!
    • Camping: annual camping trip for High School students.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Badminton
      Baseball
      Basketball
      Field Hockey
      Football
      Golf
      Ice Hockey
      Lacrosse
      Rowing
      Rugby
      Running
      Soccer
      Softball
      Swimming
      Tennis
      Track & Field
      Volleyball
      Canoeing/Kayaking
      Cycling
      Downhill skiing
      Ice Skating
      Skateboarding
      Snowboarding
      Weightlifting
    • Clubs Offered
      Art Club
      Audiovisual Club
      Band
      Chess Club
      Choir
      Community Service
      Computer Club
      Drama Club
      Environmental Club
      Musical theatre/Opera
      Outdoor Club
      Outdoor Education
      Photography
      Robotics club
      Student Council
      Yearbook
      Yoga

    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 250
    Average enrollment per grade21
    Gender (grades)1 to 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offeredNo

    Student distribution: This information is not currently available.


    Admission

    Application

    Admissions Assessments:

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

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:
    N/A


    What WillowWood School says: This information is not currently available.


    Acceptance

    Acceptance Rate:

    100%

    Type of student WillowWood School is looking for: This information is not currently available.



    Student Entry Points

    Student Type123456789101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    000000000000

    University Placement

    highlights
    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Internships
    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)


    What WillowWood School says:

  • We prepare students for their own goals - university, college, apprenticeship, workplace. We view all as valuable directions, and don't discriminate against any of them.

  • Notable Alumni

    highlights

    Alumni Highlights

    • We're proud of all of our alumni.

    Stories & Testimonials

    News

    Testimonials

    "From the day we first came to see the school and meet the staff, we knew it was the right place for Brendan. Your view was that students should be challenged to their level of ability by a teach-ing staff that was both understanding and sensi-tive to students' special social and academic needs. It was exactly what we were looking for!"

    Michelle and Paul W, Parents


    "This is the first year that Andrew is excited about school."

    Rick and Elizabeth S, Parents


    I think WillowWood is the best thing that ever happened to me. This school has given me everything – confidence, happiness, great friends and memories I will keep with me forever … Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn, play, and grow up here. You truly saved my life!

    Cameron A, Alumni


    "John … has gained confidence in himself and smiles a lot more! He is finally seeing results with his hard work and gets excited when a new project is assigned. We never have to ask him to do homework, he dives in as soon as we get home!"

    Laura and Ed H, Parents


    "Study skills! A lot of the teachers helped me figure out some really great study skills to learn the information I needed to know for the future. Not just for in high school, but for university as well. They really prepped me for what I could expect when I got to university."

    Rebecca G, Alumni


    "The student to teacher ratio is way better than what you'd get at a public school. The teachers are always there for you to ask them questions, and to provide insight into any of the things you're studying at the time.""It wasn't extremely challenging to the point where I wanted to give up or anything; it was very encouraging, always."

    Kennedy P, Alumni


    "WillowWood had kind of a feeling of a second family. I felt like I got to know everybody, including the staff and the teachers, in a way that wouldn't have been possible at a bigger and more formal school. There was an informal feeling here. A positive one."

    Jessica QF, Alumni

    "… in Simon's early years at WillowWood, we questioned whether he would make it to college because of his severe Learning Disability. Simon's teachers thought otherwise; they assured us that Simon would continue to university – and they were right. To date, he has received several law school acceptances, including Osgoode Hall Law School."

    M and J M, Parents

    "There are no words to describe the impact that WillowWood School has had on the life of our family and to Amanda. Her life has been transformed thanks to the amazing staff and teachers who went above and beyond every day. She has been accepted into all of the Colleges and Universities that she applied to, which was something we did not know to be possible when she joined the school."

    Bettie L, Parent

    ...



    Associations

    Associations
    • The Ontario Federation of Independent Schools (OFIS) Associations


    Social Feeds




    Other Hightlights:



    Get more info

    Contact Name
    Fred Howe, Principal

    Phone Number:
    click to view number


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