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Catholic or private school?

Catholic vs. private schools

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Many parents feel that Catholic schools, like other Christian schools,  offer some advantages over public schools. But if you want the best education for your child is Catholic school or private school better? And what are the advantages of each, in a final analysis?


Catholic schools are an appealing alternative to public schools, especially as many of these have been built new in the last ten years, with excellent facilities featuring the latest technology and very up-to-date features. And (for example) in the province of Ontario, the government funds Catholics schools and thus free, as opposed to the high tuition required by private schools.

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Private schools have more variety of exciting options for students than ever before. Private schools give children a solid educational foundation with greater involvement in academics and extracurricular activities. In addition, parents are encouraged to participate within the school community and also help with learning at home.

To compare specific schools one-to-one, visit our compare hub. You can also check out our list of private Catholic schools in Toronto, Mississauga, Ottawa, Ontario, Montreal, and Quebec. And if you want to learn about the difference between Catholic and other Christian schools, read our guide.

Advantages of Catholic Schools

Catholic schools participate in the mission of the Church, integrating religious education as a core subject in their curriculum. In many Canadian provinces, Catholic schools are funded by the province and may offer free education.

Catholic schools, whether private or public, profess different educational affiliations while encouraging students' growth in the life of the Church as well as study of doctrine and theology.

Are you required to be Catholic to attend Catholic school?

It is rare that (public or private) Catholic schools require students or their parents to profess the Roman Catholic faith these days. It is usually enough that schools are allowed to teach Roman Catholic doctrine to children.

Which schools have the better resources and academics, Catholic or private?

Arguably, some Catholic schools do not have the resources that private schools have. Also, many of these schools have larger class sizes. In general, private schools focus on smaller class sizes offering a distinct academic advantage. Many private schools focus on academics in a way that is not possible in publicly funded schools. Private schools are able to turn away applicants. This makes them harder to get into, of course, and also results in an improved classroom environment.

Yeah, but private schools just cost more than Catholic Schools

While this is true, investing in a good education reaps lifelong rewards for children.

Most private schools have smaller class sizes and teachers have more time with students. In many cases, private schools offer IB, AP, gifted, or international exchange programs (although there are also Catholic schools offering these courses and programs). Surveys show that private school students have better advancement in their career. The high standard of discipline in private schools is understood.

All private schools also have the following added advantages:

The community concept in private schools also discourages unacceptable behaviors among the students. The admission process in private schools is strict. This ensures that the standard of students admitted to such schools is high. Today, private schools are a way of life for students who get the opportunity to have new academic and life experiences. Many of the best private schools pride themselves on the diversity and excellent caliber of their students.

There are many private Catholic schools offering all the advantages of both private and Catholic schools. We list them on this page.

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List of private Catholic schools

 
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Type
Grades
 
  • Montreal, Quebec
    Atwater/Docteur-Penfield
  • 7 to 12 Girls
  • $17,355 to $58,374

Since 1861, The Sacred Heart School of Montreal, the city’s only all girls English Catholic high school, has been graduating exceptional leaders. We offer grades 7 to 12, day school and boarding.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Traditional
The Sacred Heart School of Montreal 17355 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Day Girls
  • King City, Ontario
    Keele St./King Rd.
  • 4 to 12 Coed
  • $19,100 to $19,800

Villanova College is York Region's only independent Catholic school offering Grades 4 to 12 in King City, Ontario. Average class size is 18 students. Specialty programs include STEM and AP.

  • Day
  • Traditional
Villanova College 19100 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    York Mills Road/Don Mills Road
  • JK to 8 Boys
  • $18,100 to $34,500

We value partnership with parents, creating a genuinely warm and friendly community. We raise the academic bar on academic excellence, and expectations of character, helping the boys become the best that they can be.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
Northmount School 18100 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Boys
  • Toronto, Ontario
    York Mills/Leslie
  • NS to 12 Girls/Coed
  • $14,100 to $25,250

Hawthorn School is located in Toronto. We offer a co-ed toddler-SK program and an all girls program for grade 1- grade 12. Our unique mentoring program is tailored to help students reach their full potential.

  • Day/Homestay
  • Liberal Arts
Hawthorn School 14100 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Homestay Day Girls Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Bathurst St./St. Clair West
  • 7 to 12 Boys
  • $20,900

St. Michael's College School offers students in Grades 7-12 an enriched, Catholic, liberal arts education complemented by a diverse co-curricular programme.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
St. Michael's College School 20900 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys
  • Strathroy, Ontario
    Calvert Dr./Melbourne Rd.
  • JK to 8 Coed
  • $4,500 to $5,000

We provide a rich, Catholic educational experience, naturally and authentically presented. We follow a classically inspired curriculum for students to achieve their intellectual and spiritual potential.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
Our Lady of the Pillar Academy 4500 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Wilcox, Saskatchewan
    Railway Ave/Rouleau St
  • 9 to 12 Coed
  • $11,100 to $54,000

Notre Dame is a private, independent co-educational high school with an exceptional educational & boarding experience with a balance of strong academic, athletic and spiritual growth in a safe & caring prairie community.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Traditional
Athol Murray College of Notre Dame 11100 HighSchools Day Boarding Coed
  • Harrow, Ontario
    Concessions Rd 6 S/Hwy 18
  • 1 to 8 Boys
  • $8,500 to $29,000

St. Peter's ACHS College School in Amherstburg, Ont. is a day/residency school for boys grades 1-8 who love Sports and the Outdoors. Tuition starts at $8,900. and is a member of OFIS. We put "FUN" back into learning.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Traditional
  • Montessori
St. Peter's ACHS College School 8500 Elementary MiddleSchools Day Boarding Boys
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Donald St/Frances St
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $9,200 to $10,700

Providence Academy is the only Private French Catholic School offering a trilingual program of study in Ontario with classes from nursery to grade eight. Tuition: $8,800-10,300. Extracurricular activities: $600-$650.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
Academie Providence 9200 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Avenue Road/St. Clair Ave.
  • 5 to 12 Coed
  • $15,225 to $15,650

De La Salle College is a Catholic, co-educational, university preparatory school in Toronto from grade 5 to 12, with average class sizes of 23 students and tuition at $13,325.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
De La Salle College 15225 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • JK to 8 Coed
  • $9,500

Guiding Light Academy is a Catholic private elementary school in Streetsville, Mississauga. We offer an enriched curriculum for JK, SK and Grades 1 to 8. We are located just minutes away from the Streetsville Go Station.

  • Day
  • Traditional
  • Montessori
Guiding Light Academy 9500 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Hurontario/Queensway
  • NS to 1 Coed
  • $7,070 to $11,960

Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic School in Mississauga offers Casa Montessori programs for children a ged 2.5 to 6. Before- and after-school care and summer camps also available.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic School 7070 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Mississauga Rd/QEW
  • 5 to 12 Girls
  • $18,750

Holy Name of Mary College School in Mississauga, is an independent Catholic school for girls in grades 5-12 offering an enriched university preparatory programme. The average class size is 12 students.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Holy Name of Mary College School 18750 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Etobicoke, Ontario
  • JK to 2 Coed
  • $12,900

Quo Vadis, through a Polish-English bilingual program, aims to assist in the formation of well-rounded, responsible individuals, promote academic excellence and encourage self-esteem within a Catholic environment.

  • Day
  • Traditional
Quo Vadis Elementary School 12900 Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Calgary, Alberta
    Crowchild Trail/Flanders Ave. SW
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $7,900 to $21,000

A Catholic school that goes beyond academics to help our students realize and use their talents to their fullest potential, in order to become all that God has created them to be. Open to families of all faiths.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
  • Montessori
Clear Water Academy 7900 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
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