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Alternative high schools

Find a list of the top alternative high schools in Canada

Private schools are "alternative" when they diverge from traditional or mainstream practices in the interest of progressive education. Schools with particular educational philosophies, like, Montessori schoolsschools for special needs, specialty schools, and Waldorf schools would all qualify as alternative.

In many cases, especially in the United States, alternative schools offer more accommodation to students. Many alternative schools, including micro schools and forest schools, have very specific focuses. Whereas other types of schools might offer theatre programs, for example, a specialty arts school would emphasize that aspect of your child’s education.

Alternative high schools could be a wonderful opportunity for your son or daughter, as his or her high school years are an important time for self-exploration and finding his or her passions. A school that caters to your child's needs and interests would thus be ideal.

Moreover, some alternative schools are known for helping teenagers who have fallen behind in their academics. Indeed, they commonly have small class sizes and a plethora of available extra-help sessions between the students and teachers. More broadly, private alternative high schools will offer innovative means to serve your child. They don't pigeonhole themselves into a customary approach.

Choosing the Right Alternative High School

You may be wondering how to choose a private alternative school for your kid. While there are not any universal rules, here are some handy tips that you may wish to follow.

  • Visit more than one school and do so early. Because you are looking for an alternative school, each one you visit will probably be very different than the last one.
  • If your child is adequately mature, he or she should have a say in the decision, for a student who has the chance to choose a school may be more motivated than one who does not. What type of education does your kid think he or she would do best in?
  • Recognize your child’s strengths and weaknesses and find out whether the school and its alternative approach is appropriate for them.
  • Make a list of things that you look for in a school and ask plenty of questions. Do you care about how far it is from your home? What do you look for in terms of class sizes? Is it close to public transit? Does it offer music classes? What is its educational philosophy? Are there things about the school that you would like to change?
  • You can read more from OurKids.net about what to expect during and how to prepare for the private school application process.
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List of alternative high schools

 
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  School Name Type Cost

Upper Canada College (est. 1829)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • SK to 12 Boys
  • Day school (1082 students)
  • Boarding school (88 students)
Located in the heart of Toronto, Upper Canada College is the oldest independent boys' school in Ontario. Our IB graduates are highly regarded by top universities and post-secondary institutions worldwide. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
$33,300 to $61,860

Our Kids
Review

User
reviews (2)
• Our Kids Review
• User reviews (2)
Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Boys 33300

TMS (est. 1961)  

  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • Day school (775 students)
TMS is a leading, accredited independent school that offers a unique design of Montessori and International Baccalaureate programmes. Our students thrive in academics while building a foundation of Significance. [View profile]
  • Montessori
  • International Baccalaureate
$18,300 to $31,350

User
reviews (1)

• User reviews (1)
Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 18300

The York School (est. 1965)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • Day school (730 students)
The York School is a JK to Grade 12 co-ed, independent, International Baccalaureate school in midtown Toronto. The school is accredited by CAIS, IBO, and CIS. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
$28,000 to $32,000

User
reviews (1)

• User reviews (1)
Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 28000

Elmwood School (est. 1915)  

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • Day school (370 students)
Elmwood School is Ottawa's pre-eminent school for girls from JK to Grade 12. Our high academic standards, small class sizes and safe, supportive environment ensure that each girl is inspired to reach her full potential. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
$13,960 to $26,960


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls 13960

St. Jude's Academy (est. 2006)  

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • Day school (500 students)
St. Jude's Academy is an IB World School that offers programs from junior kindergarten to grade 12 in Mississauga. Its average class size is 16 to 18 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
$9,265 to $13,695

User
reviews (7)

• User reviews (7)
Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 9265

St. John's-Kilmarnock School (est. 1972)  

  • Waterloo Region (Breslau), Ontario
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • Boarding school (50 students)
  • Day school (350 students)
St. John's-Kilmarnock School, in Waterloo, offers enriched educational programming for students from JK – Grade 12 through its accredited International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. Its average class size is 17. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
$17,415 to $64,750

Our Kids
Review

• Our Kids Review
Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed 17415

The Element High School (est. 2003)  

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 Coed
  • Day school (100 students)
The Element nurtures focused, engaged and internally motivated students who strive to do their best. The Element High School provides conditions that will put youth ‘in their element,’ in school and beyond. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • Montessori
$17,208 to $18,840


MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 17208

Lynn-Rose Schools (est. 1997)  

  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • Day school (600 students)
Lynn-Rose Heights Private School offers challenging academic programming from three years old to grade twelve in Mississauga. Lynn-Rose Heights school is an official International Baccalaureate World School. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
$15,470 to $20,600

User
reviews (4)

• User reviews (4)
Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 15470

Branksome Hall (est. 1903)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • Day school (836 students)
  • Boarding school (64 students)
Branksome Hall is Toronto’s only all-girls, all-years International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
$33,630 to $66,805


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls 33630

Meadowridge School (est. 1985)  

  • Maple Ridge, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • Day school (660 students)
Meadowridge is an IB Continuum World School that supports the development of the whole child in a safe, supportive and challenging environment. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
$22,500 to $32,500


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 22500

Century Private School (est. 1994)  

  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • Day school
Century Montessori Schools in Richmond Hill runs from preschool to grade twelve, with class sizes as low as 12 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
  • Montessori
$16,550 to $26,800


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 16550

Académie de la Capitale (est. 1998)  

  • Ottawa, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • Day school (65 students)
Acadecap International School a.k.a. Académie de la Capitale, an IB school, offers bilingual and/or English programmes from Pre-K to Grade 12. Students thrive in a culture of academic excellence and real-life learning. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
$13,340 to $19,510


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 13340

Toronto Waldorf School (est. 1968)  

  • Thornhill, Ontario
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • Day school (360 students)
Toronto Waldorf School offers a curriculum that integrates academics,arts & movement, and addresses the intellectual, physical, emotional & social aspects of child development. Preschool to gr. 12. [View profile]
  • Waldorf
$18,000 to $21,000


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 18000

Vancouver Waldorf School (est. 1971)  

  • North Vancouver, British Columbia
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • Homestay school (30 students)
  • Day school (300 students)
Vancouver Waldorf School offers programs from pre-school through to grade 12 in North Vancouver, BC. Its average class size is 12 to 25 students. [View profile]
  • Waldorf
$8,500 to $14,170


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Day Coed 8500

Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie (est. 1905)  

  • Montreal, Quebec
  • 7 to 11 Girls
  • Boarding school (60 students)
  • Day school (1150 students)
École secondaire francophone privée pour jeunes filles située à Outremont, Qc. Les frais de scolarité sont de 4 500 $ par année. Elle offre les profils Éducation internationale, Danse-études et Musique-études. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
$4,950 to $15,400


MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls 4950

Rothesay Netherwood School (est. 1877)  

  • Rothesay, New Brunswick
  • 6 to 12 Coed
  • Boarding school (145 students)
  • Day school (145 students)
Rothesay Netherwood School offers programs for grades 6 to 12 in Rothesay, New Brunswick. Its average class size is 16 students and is an outstanding engaged and supportive community. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
$22,770 to $62,630


MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed 22770

Halton Waldorf School (est. 1984)  

  • Burlington, Ontario
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • Day school (180 students)
Halton Waldorf School in Burlington, Ontario offers a licensed preschool, kindergarten and grades 1 to 12. It’s average class size is 15 to 21 students. [View profile]
  • Waldorf
$8,800 to $14,620


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed 8800

Glenlyon Norfolk School (est. 1913)  

  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • Day school (690 students)
  • Homestay school (50 students)
Glenlyon Norfolk School, an independent school in Victoria, BC, provides International Baccalaureate programs from JK to Grade 12. GNS offers 5- and 7-day Family Boarding for students who are not residents of Victoria. [View profile]
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
$17,135 to $49,635


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Homestay Coed 17135

Country Garden Montessori Academy (est. 1995)  

  • Newmarket, Ontario
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • Homestay school (5 students)
  • Day school (100 students)
Situated on seven acres of rolling parkland and gardens, Country Garden Montessori Academy in Newmarket is a co-ed private day school for students in grades PS-12. The school provides a family atmosphere and is committed the intellectual growth and emotional well-being of students. [View profile]
  • Montessori
$7,200 to $25,900


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Day Coed 7200

Trillium School (est. 1991)  

  • Markham, Ontario
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • Boarding school (30 students)
  • Day school (300 students)
Trillium School is a montessori school that offers programs from pre-school to grade eight in Markham. [View profile]
  • Montessori
$10,500 to $36,000


Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed 10500

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