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. Read more


List of alternative high schools

 
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Toronto, Ontario — Branksome Hall is Toronto’s only all-girls, all-years International Baccalaureate (IB) World School developing the leaders of tomorrow through the nurturing of curiosity and critical thinking at every age. View School Profile.


  • 13-acre downtown campus
  • Athletics and Wellness Centre
  • IB programs: JK to Grade 12
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Boarding starting in Grade 7
Grades:
JK to 12 (Girls)
Type:
Liberal Arts, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$37,130 to $75,020
Living:
Boarding/Day
Enrollment:
960
Avg. Class:
16 to 22
Branksome Hall 37130 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
 
 

Mississauga, Ontario — Lynn-Rose's philosophy is to create an environment that is challenging and rewarding; focusing on social, intellectual and emotional aspects of the students development through the International Baccalaureate program. View School Profile.


  • French/English
  • Drama/Virtual Theatre Production/ Virtual Instrumental Music
  • Field Trips & Clubs
  • Events: Book Fairs, Winter/Spring Concerts, Music & Art Gallery, French Cafe
  • Transportation Available upon request
Grades:
PS to 12 (Coed)
Type:
Progressive, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$17,700 to $22,000
Living:
Day
Enrollment:
600
Avg. Class:
16 to 18
Lynn-Rose Schools 17700 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
 
 

Toronto, Ontario — The York School is a JK to Grade 12 International Baccalaureate school in midtown Toronto. Our mission is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are engaged citizens of the world. View School Profile.


  • International Baccalaureate World School (JK - Grade 12)
  • 100% university placement rate
  • Co-educational learning environment
  • Progressive, contemporary approach
  • International community
Grades:
JK to 12 (Coed)
Type:
Progressive, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$35,000
Living:
Day
Enrollment:
740
Avg. Class:
15 to 18
The York School 35000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
 
 

Toronto, Ontario — Located in the heart of Toronto, UCC provides transformational learning experiences with exceptional day and boarding programs. Our highly sought-after graduates are awarded International Baccalaureate and OSSD diplomas. View School Profile.


  • High-achieving, all-round students
  • Challenging but rewarding IB program
  • First rate academics, athletics and arts
  • 19 different sports and 80+ clubs
  • Boutique urban boarding program
Grades:
SK to 12 (Boys)
Type:
Liberal Arts, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$36,750 to $71,875
Living:
Boarding/Day
Enrollment:
1200
Avg. Class:
20 to 25
Upper Canada College 36750 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Boys
 
 

Waterloo Region (Breslau), Ontario — SJK offers an enriched environment of exploration and experiential learning. Through its IB curriculum, SJK provides exciting experiences and guides students to discover their talents and passions. Go beyond at SJK. View School Profile.


  • Accredited IB World Continuum School
  • Experienced, passionate, professional teachers
  • Project-based, design-thinking experiential learning
  • Extensive co-curricular programmes in athletics, arts, leadership and community service
  • Outdoor experiential learning
Grades:
JK to 12 (Coed)
Type:
Progressive, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$19,720 to $73,700
Living:
Boarding/Day
Enrollment:
470
Avg. Class:
10 to 17
St. John's-Kilmarnock School 19720 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed
  • Rothesay, New Brunswick
    Rothesay Rd/College Hill Rd
  • 6 to 12 Coed
  • $24,520 to $69,100

Our unique, daily Advisor Program ensures every student is surrounded by a strong network of highly qualified, dedicated faculty and staff whose mission is to provide academic, emotional, and social guidance and support.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
Rothesay Netherwood School 24520 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Coed

TMS  

  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
    Bayview/Hwy 407
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $19,100 to $32,700

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 for life.

  • Day
  • Montessori
  • International Baccalaureate
TMS 19100 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Bank Street/Marché Way
  • 7 to 12 Coed
  • $18,810 to $21,905

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.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Montessori
The Element High School 18810 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $9,345 to $73,145

GNS is an independent JK-12 International Baccalaureate boarding and day school in Victoria, BC, that challenges and supports each of our students to do their best through truth and courage in learning and in life.

  • Boarding/Day/Homestay
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Glenlyon Norfolk School 9345 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Homestay Coed
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Erin Mills Parkway/Argentia Rd
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $10,095 to $14,395

We are different! As a leading IB World School and university preparatory school with a focus on student life, SJA students are inspired to confidently make their mark in the world.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
St. Jude's Academy 10095 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • K to 12 Coed
  • $24,540 to $28,670

Stratford Hall takes learning beyond IB with its IDEA Lab, OEE and partner schools, where students strive to develop harmony between the urban and natural world through activities like camping, music, and orienteering.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
Stratford Hall 24540 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Buena Vista Road/Springfield Road
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • $16,160 to $30,900

Elmwood School is Ottawa's pre-eminent school for girls from PreK to Gr. 12. Our high academic standards, small class sizes and safe, supportive environment ensure that each girl is inspired to reach her full potential.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Elmwood School 16160 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
    Yonge Street/Silverwood Ave.
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $17,700 to $27,500

Century Private School in Richmond Hill runs from preschool to grade twelve, with small class ratio to ensure best learning for our students.

  • Day
  • Montessori
  • International Baccalaureate
Century Private School 17700 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Highway 417/Greenbank
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $18,500 to $22,700

Acadecap International School (Académie de la Capitale), an IB World School, offers bilingual and/or English programmes from JK to Grade 12. Students thrive in a growth mindset environment and a culture of excellence.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Académie de la Capitale 18500 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Markham, Ontario
    14th Ave/Kennedy
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $11,500 to $37,500

Trillium School is a private school that offers programs from pre-school to grade twelve in Markham with Montessori-based kindergarten.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Traditional
  • Montessori
Trillium School 11500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Day Coed
  • Newmarket, Ontario
    Bayview Ave/Newpark Blvd
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $8,100 to $25,900

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.

  • Homestay/Day
  • Montessori
Country Garden Montessori Academy 8100 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Day Coed
  • Thornhill, Ontario
    Weston Road/Rutherford Road
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $18,598 to $24,998

King Heights Academy provides a unique educational experience for toddlers to grade 12 which includes the IB Program. Preschool, Pre- Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Elementary, Intermediate & Secondary Programs offered.

  • Day
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
King Heights Academy 18598 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Maple Ridge, British Columbia
    240th Street/Dewdney Trunk Road
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $25,925 to $35,925

Meadowridge is an IB Continuum World School that supports the development of the whole child in a safe, supportive and challenging environment.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Meadowridge School 25925 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Burlington, Ontario
    Appleby Line/Upper Middle Road
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $10,500 to $17,600

Halton Waldorf School offers an education that fosters confidence, independence and intelligence. Located on five forested acres, the school has been uniquely designed to support the goals of Waldorf education. Est 1984

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Halton Waldorf School 10500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Thornhill, Ontario
    Bathurst St/Rutherford Rd
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $18,000 to $21,000

Toronto Waldorf School offers a curriculum that integrates academics, arts and movement while addressing the intellectual, physical, emotional and social aspects of child development from preschool to gr. 12.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Toronto Waldorf School 18000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed

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.

Child-specific advice on school choice
For child-specific insights on choosing a school, read our guide. We explore how school choices crucially depend on kids' unique traits, such as their mental and academic focussocial tendenciesactivity level, academic interests (such as art and STEM), and other attributes (such as giftednessspecial needslearning disabilities, and social issues).

To customize over 350 school profiles with insights unique to your child's traits, create a child profile through your user account.

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