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 alternatives. Read more


List of alternative high schools

 
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Upper Canada College


Toronto, Ontario
St Clair Ave W/Avenue Rd
 
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"Located in the heart of Toronto, UCC provides transformational learning experiences in a supportive, caring environment. Our highly sought-after graduates are awarded OSSD and International Baccalaureate diplomas.

  1. High-achieving, all-round students
  2. Challenging but rewarding IB program
  3. First rate academics, athletics and arts
  4. 19 different sports and 80+ clubs

—From the school

  • Gr. SK to 12 (Boys)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $38,600 to $75,200
 
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Upper Canada College 38600 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Boys

Branksome Hall


Toronto, Ontario
Bloor Street East/Mount Pleasant Road
 
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"Branksome Hall is Toronto’s only leading International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for girls in JK-Grade 12, developing the leaders of tomorrow through the nurturing of curiosity and critical thinking at every age.

  1. 13-acre downtown campus
  2. Athletics and Wellness Centre
  3. IB programs: JK to Grade 12
  4. Leadership opportunities

—From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Girls)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $40,940 to $82,290
 
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Branksome Hall 40940 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls

The York School


Toronto, Ontario
Yonge St./St. Clair Ave.
 
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"The York School is a JK-Grade 12 gender inclusive IB World School in midtown Toronto. Our mission is to nurture curious learners to become globally minded leaders with integrity and purpose.

  1. International Baccalaureate World School (JK - Grade 12)
  2. 100% university placement rate
  3. Gender inclusive learning environment
  4. Focus on social-emotional and experiential learning

—From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $40,350
 
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The York School 40350 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed

St. John's-Kilmarnock School


Waterloo Region (Breslau), Ontario
 
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"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.

  1. Accredited IB World Continuum School
  2. Experienced, passionate, professional teachers
  3. Project-based, design-thinking experiential learning
  4. Extensive co-curricular programs in athletics, arts, leadership and community service

—From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $21,290 to $78,800
 
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St. John's-Kilmarnock School 21290 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Coed
Ottawa, Ontario
Buena Vista Road/Springfield Road
 
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"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." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Girls)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $17,500 to $34,276
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Elmwood School 17500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
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"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 IB and AP programme offerings." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $17,000 to $22,000
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Lynn-Rose School 17000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
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"GNS is an independent JK-12 International Baccalaureate boarding and day school in Victoria, BC, that empowers and supports each of our students to do their best through truth and courage in learning and in life." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $10,975 to $82,575
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Glenlyon Norfolk School 10975 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Homestay Coed
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Bayview/Hwy 407
 
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"Lauremont School 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 for life." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $21,690 to $38,255
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Lauremont School 21690 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Mississauga, Ontario
Erin Mills Parkway/Argentia Rd
 
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"There’s a different energy at SJA. As a leading IB World School and university prep school, SJA creates an atmosphere of acceptance that allows us to challenge students to take ownership of their own success." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $12,440 to $18,640
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St. Jude's Academy 12440 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Ottawa, Ontario
Highway 417/Greenbank
 
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"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." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $20,983 to $26,978
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Académie de la Capitale 20983 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Yonge Street/Silverwood Ave.
 
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"Century Private School is located in Richmond Hill, and our campus occupies 12 acres of land. Our programs runs from preschool to grade twelve, with small class ratio to ensure best learning for our students." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Montessori
  • $18,500 to $28,500
  • Day school
  • 250 students
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Century Private School 18500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Burlington, Ontario
Appleby Line/Upper Middle Road
 
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"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" —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $14,360 to $19,360
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Halton Waldorf School 14360 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Maple Ridge, British Columbia
240th Street/Dewdney Trunk Road
 
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"Our practices in teaching and learning are exemplified by our outstanding academic results and are achieved through the active engagement of the head, heart, and hands." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $28,400 to $38,400
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Meadowridge School 28400 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Vancouver, British Columbia
 
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"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." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $28,220 to $32,970
  • Day school
  • 545 students
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Stratford Hall 28220 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Ottawa, Ontario
Bank Street/Marché Way
 
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"Our programs find the interaction of youth’s developmental characteristics, the Ontario curriculum, and the requirements of the adult world to create the focussed engagement that naturally leads to personal excellence." —From the school

  • Gr. 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; Montessori
  • $20,748 to $24,156
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The Element High School 20748 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Thornhill, Ontario
Bathurst St/Rutherford Rd
 
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"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." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Waldorf curriculum
  • $18,000 to $24,000
  • Day school
  • 360 students
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Toronto Waldorf School 18000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Markham, Ontario
14th Ave/Kennedy
 
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"Trillium School is a private school that offers programs from pre-school to grade twelve in Markham with Montessori-based kindergarten." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Montessori
  • $9,200 to $41,500
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Trillium School 9200 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Boarding Coed
Rothesay, New Brunswick
Rothesay Rd/College Hill Rd
 
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"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." —From the school

  • Gr. 6 to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $26,390 to $76,140
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Rothesay Netherwood School 26390 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding 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 teen, as their high school years are an important time for self-exploration and finding their 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.

Read our guide on questions to ask high schools you're considering.
 

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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