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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. Read more


List of alternative high schools

 
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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:
$33,750
Living:
Day
Enrollment:
740
Avg. Class:
15 to 20
The York School 33750 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
 
 

Waterloo Region (Breslau), Ontario — St. John's-Kilmarnock School offers enriched educational programming for students from Junior Kindergarten – Grade 12 through its accredited International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. Discover the possibilities. View School Profile.


  • Accredited IB World Continuum School
  • Beautiful 36-acre natural campus
  • Extensive co-curricular opportunities
  • Tech-free dining builds community in Founders' Hall
  • Outdoor experiential learning from Junior Kindergarten onwards
Grades:
JK to 12 (Coed)
Type:
Progressive, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$18,980 to $71,620
Living:
Boarding/Day
Enrollment:
425
Avg. Class:
10 to 18
St. John's-Kilmarnock School 18980 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed
 
 

Toronto, Ontario — 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 School Profile.


  • High-achieving, all-round boys
  • Challenging but rewarding IB program
  • First rate academics, athletics and arts
  • 19 different sports and 65+ clubs
  • Boutique urban boarding program
Grades:
SK to 12 (Boys)
Type:
Liberal Arts, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$35,000 to $68,450
Living:
Boarding/Day
Enrollment:
1200
Avg. Class:
20 to 25
Upper Canada College 35000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Boys
 
 

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:
$35,700 to $72,500
Living:
Boarding/Day
Enrollment:
964
Avg. Class:
12 to 22
Branksome Hall 35700 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
 
 

Ottawa, Ontario — 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. View School Profile.


  • Recognized for academic excellence
  • Welcoming, inclusive and diverse community
  • International Baccalaureate World School (PYP, MYP, DP)
  • Round Square and Apple Distinguished school
  • Merit- and need-based scholarships available
Grades:
PS to 12 (Girls)
Type:
Progressive, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$15,540 to $29,700
Living:
Day
Enrollment:
370
Avg. Class:
15 to 17
Elmwood School 15540 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Erin Mills Parkway/Argentia Rd
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $9,565 to $13,995

St. Jude's Academy is an IB World School that offers programs from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 in Mississauga. A university preparatory school with a focus on student life, average class size is 16 to 18 students.

  • Day
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
St. Jude's Academy 9565 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Maple Ridge, British Columbia
    240th Street/Dewdney Trunk Road
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $24,500 to $34,500

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 24500 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $16,450 to $21,940

Lynn-Rose Schools offer challenging academic programming from three years old to grade twelve in Mississauga. Lynn-Rose is an official International Baccalaureate World School.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Lynn-Rose Schools 16450 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed

TMS  

  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
    Bayview/Hwy 407
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $18,185 to $32,600

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.

  • Day
  • Montessori
  • International Baccalaureate
TMS 18185 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Highway 417/Greenbank
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $17,283 to $21,527

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 17283 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Bank Street/Marché Way
  • 7 to 12 Coed
  • $18,256 to $21,222

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 18256 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
    Yonge Street/Silverwood Ave.
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $16,550 to $27,000

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 16550 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Thornhill, Ontario
    Bathurst St/Rutherford Rd
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $12,470 to $23,400

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.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Toronto Waldorf School 12470 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Rothesay, New Brunswick
    Rothesay Rd/College Hill Rd
  • 6 to 12 Coed
  • $23,920 to $65,810

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.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
Rothesay Netherwood School 23920 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $19,475 to $69,995

GNS is an independent JK-12 International Baccalaureate 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.

  • Homestay/Boarding/Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Glenlyon Norfolk School 19475 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Boarding Day Coed
  • Markham, Ontario
    14th Ave/Kennedy
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $8,200 to $41,500

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 8200 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Day Coed
  • Burlington, Ontario
    Appleby Line/Upper Middle Road
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $10,000 to $16,700

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 10000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Woodbridge, Ontario
    Weston Road/Rutherford Road
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $15,598 to $15,998

With 2 Campuses located in Vaughan, King Heights Academy provides a unique educational experience for toddlers to grade 12 which includes the IB Program. Our new Thornhill Campus offers a Sports Program from grades 1-12

  • Day
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
King Heights Academy 15598 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Newmarket, Ontario
    Bayview Ave/Newpark Blvd
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $7,800 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 7800 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay 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.

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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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