AN OUR KIDS REPORT:Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E. vs. Calgary Waldorf School

one-to-one comparison:

View Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E.'s full report
VS.
View Calgary Waldorf School's full report

  • SCHOOL LOCATION

    Distance From

    Map

    Address

    Address

    12 Bond Crescent, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4E 3K2, Canada

    515 Cougar Ridge Dr. SW, Calgary, Alberta, T3H 5G9, Canada

  • SCHOOL OVERVIEW

    Basics

    Basics

    Founded

    1993

    1985

    Enrolment

    280

    240

    Grades

    1 to 8

    JK to 9

    Gender

    Coed

    Coed

    Living arrangements

    Day

    Day

    Language of instruction

    English

    English

    Faith Based

    School focus

    Academic

    Academic

    Developmental Priorities

    Intellectual
    The goal is to cultivate "academically strong, creative and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions."
    Balanced
    Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation.

    Academics

    Academics

    Curriculum

    Traditional

    Waldorf

    Curriculum pace

    Accelerated
    The main curriculum accelerates beyond the pace of the provincial one; ALL students do the work of OLDER public-school peers in tangible and measurable ways. This accelerated pace is maintained by the teachers and school, (through textbook selection, topic selection, grading, assignment standards and expectations, etc).
    Standard-enriched
    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    Academic culture

    Rigorous
    A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.

    Avg. Class Size

    Varies

    Varies

    Special needs support

    Gifted learner support

    Dedicated gifted school

    Preschool/K curriculum

    Academic
    Academic-based preschools and Kindergartens are the most structured of the different types, and have a strong emphasis on math and reading readiness skills. These programs aim to expose children to what early-elementary school is like. While time is still allotted to free play, much of the day is built around explicit lessons guided by the teacher. Classrooms often resemble play-based ones (with different stations set up around the room), but at an Academic program the teacher leads students through the stations directly, and ties these activities to a whole-class lesson or theme.
    Waldorf
    Highly group-oriented and with a strong emphasis on creative and imaginative play, Waldorf preschool and Kindergarten programs have very little to no emphasis on academics. A Waldorf environment will often feel more like a home than a traditional classroom -- the goal being to instill comfort and and a sense of predictability in students’ day. This emphasis on comfort and predictability also manifests through a heavy use of repetition: for example, teachers might read the same story multiple days in a row. Waldorf schools ask parents to refrain from offering children TV or computers at home, and aim to develop in children a connection to the natural world. If you want to learn more about Waldorf education, check out our comprehensive guide.

    Tuition

    Tuition

    Day Tuition

    $18,500

    $6,170 to $12,130

    Boarding Tuition

    Financial aid (FA)

    No

    Yes

    Students on FA

    0%

    0%

    Eligible grades for FA

    None

    Preschool to 9

    Median FA package size

    $0

    $0

    Enrollment

    Enrollment

    Avg. enrollment per grade

    35

    20

    Percent in boarding

    0%

    0%

    Admissions

    Admissions

    Admissions rate

    75%

    0%

    Day entry years

    SK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

    Boarding entry years

    Day admissions deadline

    Rolling

    Not available

    Boarding admissions deadline

    Not available

    Not available

    Interview required?

    Yes: grades 1 - 8

    No

    SSAT required

    No

    No

  • OUR PERSPECTIVE

    The Our Kids Review

    The Our Kids Review

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    information not available

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    information not available

    Our Take

    Our Take

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    The PACE program was developed with gifted students in mind, based in an understanding of what they share—overall ability—as well as what they don't, such as specific talents, interests, and curiosities. The term of art is differentiated programming, though it's a term that can easily lend itself to misunderstanding. It doesn't mean that different students proceed through the curricula at different rates or are each given separate tasks based on their individual abilities. Rather, within a differentiated program all students proceed at the same pace through the material, while instructors provide multiple entry points that address the needs of individual students within the class. The ideal student is one who has been identified as gifted, and who requires challenge in order to succeed in academic work.

    View full report

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    The program is established and proven, having been founded in 1985. Facilities are frankly excellent, having been purpose built for the CWS program in 2002, and created through consultation and cooperation with the entire school community. Spaces are ample, well appointed, and naturally lit. The aesthetic throughout is energizing. A wealth of outdoor space is a plus, to with more than four acres combining multi-use fields, play spaces, and sports fields. The proximity to the Canada Olympic Park isn’t perhaps meaningful in any substantive way, but is nice all the same. In the creation of the facility, to the day-to-day experience of the school, the school prides itself on the community that it both serves and represents, and well it should. There’s a village feel throughout, which only amplifies the academic work being done. Parents feel as much a part of the school as the students, which supports the work of the school in lots of overt and subtle ways. Staff are dedicated and experienced, and the daily routines—from drop off to aftercare—are friendly and sympathetic to the needs of parents and everything that can pop up in the course of a day.

    View full report
  • INSIDER PERSPECTIVES

    Written Reviews

    Written Reviews

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    "he administration and teaching staff truly want all students to succeed to their highest potential."
    Melanie Maresch - Parent   (Mar 09, 2023)
    Both of our kids love the culture and environment at PACE. They have many close friendships that hav... View full review

    "It offers a challenging, yet well-balanced curriculum in every grade."
    Yuliya M - Parent   (Mar 13, 2023)
    Our daughter's experience at the Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E. has been rewarding. She has ... View full review

    "The quality of teaching at PACE has always surpassed our expectations."
    Raminder Juneja - Parent   (Mar 22, 2023)
    Both of our children have had wonderful experiences at PACE. The collaborative, supportive learning ... View full review

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    information not available

  • School’s perspective

    Who are you, as a school?

    Who are you, as a school?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    "P.A.C.E. provides a differentiated curriculum built on greater depth and breadth of instruction. Our primary goal is to identify and enhance the abilities of our students, while simultaneously addressing their social and emotional needs. P.A.C.E. is based on the premise that gifted children require high-powered learning experiences to challenge their minds and ensure intellectual growth and achievement. A fully balanced program, including Arts and Athletics, complements this specialized academic program."

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    "Central to Waldorf education is a deep respect for childhood. Time in nature is built into every student’s daily rhythm. The Waldorf learning experience is hands-on, with unwired and low-tech classrooms. The arts — music, story, drawing, painting, and drama — are woven through all academics. World languages, practical arts, and movement enrich the experience."

    • Beginning in grade one children learn two world languages, French and German.
    • Handwork and Woodwork are part of the curriculum
    • Middle School students take part in a series of elective classes including wrestling, robotics, etc.
    • Independent School athletics program begins in grade seven with after school sports.

    Array

    What do you do differently and uniquely well?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    "This whole-child approach to education is rooted in the Waldorf concepts of "feeling, thinking, willing," and "heart, head, hands." These concepts are based on Dr. Rudolf Steiner's philosophies, and adapted for a changing world. We strive to honour, nurture, and protect the childhood of our students; to guide them into healthy adolescence; and to help them mature in ways that go beyond the simply material aspects of our nature and our world."

    Array

    What tradeoffs has your school made to serve families in this way?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    Information not available

    Array

    What key junctures in your school's history have most shaped its present?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    Information not available

    Array

    What type of student is a good fit for your school?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    Information not available

    Array

    Under what conditions would you advise a family against choosing your school?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    Information not available

    Array

    To your knowledge, why do families choose your school over others?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    "Our philosophy prioritizes the integration of arts, imagination, and movement into all academic disciplines. Our curriculum fosters intellectual flexibility and creative thinking, with an eye to ethics and morality. Knowledge is important, but understanding what to do with that knowledge is critical. We believe that becoming a successful human is a function of weaving together a rich tapestry of capacities and abilities."

    Array

    How would you characterize your school's image amongst the public?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    Information not available

    Array

    What aspect of your school is underappreciated?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    "The use of electronic media, particularly television, by young children is discouraged in Waldorf schools. So too is the over-emphasis of commercialism and busy extra-curricular schedules. The importance of a balanced and strong family life is emphasized, encouraged and supported at our school."

    Array

    What might families find surprising about your school?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    "Waldorf class teachers build strong relationships with their students. Our methodology is rooted in rhythm and routine, and supported by having a Class Teacher. The teacher stays with their class for several consecutive years, acting as mentor, role model, and guardian. A Class Teacher is better able to assess each individual's development needs, and fosters shared experience and a strong bond between the teacher and the students and their families."

    Array

    What improvements or changes has your school made recently?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    Information not available

    Array

    How will your school change in the next 5 years?

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Information not available

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    Information not available

  • SCHOOL LEADERSHIP

    Message from school leadership

    Message from school leadership

    My journey at P.A.C.E. began in 1999 and in 2019 I was delighted to assume the role of Director/Principal. The most rewarding part of my job is interacting with the students. They are fun loving, witty and demonstrate an intellectual curiosity that is any educator's dream. The energy level in the building is very high, the questioning by the students is incessant, and there are a lot of laughs. The skills for succeeding at P.A.C.E., whether in the role of teacher or student, are the same: a love of learning, high motivation, an excellent work ethic and a sense of humour. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by excellent teachers and a strong administrative staff: Liana, the Assistant to the Director; our Vice Principals, Caroline Corbit and Joanne Abela; and our Administrative Assistant, Irina. Every September we look forward to yet another passionate and exciting year for all.

    information not available

  • ACADEMICS

    • OVERALL CURRICULUM


      Primary Curriculum

      Primary Curriculum

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      Traditional


      Secondary Curriculum

      Secondary Curriculum

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      Information not available

      CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

      Information not available


      Our Take: primary curriculum type

      Our Take: primary curriculum type

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      Traditional curricula tend to be very content-based and rooted in the core disciplines. It is a structured approach that involves the teacher delivering a unified curriculum through direct instruction. Students usually learn by observing and listening to their teacher, studying facts and concepts in textbooks, and completing both tests and written assignments - which challenge students to not only demonstrate their mastery of content but their ability to analyze and deconstruct it critically. Class discussions are also used to create critical dialogue around the content of the curriculum.

      CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

      Waldorf schools are available from preschool to Grade 12, though they are most popular at the younger ages. Waldorf schools are unmistakably "progressive". Rudolf Steiner, their intellectual forefather, believed the educator's first task should be to help students develop an aesthetic appreciation for life and learning. Sometimes incorrectly conflated with Montessori schools, Waldorf schools focus on developing the "whole child" - emphasizing collaborative, hands-on learning, along with the arts and music, which are integrated into other areas of study.


      Our Take: secondary curriculum type

      Our Take: secondary curriculum type

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      Not applicable

      CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

      Not applicable


      What the school says about their curriculum

      What the school says about their curriculum

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      P.A.C.E. is a magnet school for students who have been identified as intellectually gifted by means of a psycho-educational assessment. The curriculum is differentiated through various methodologies and strategies i.e. compacting, identifying learning styles, creative problem solving, acceleration, inquiry-based learning, addressing the critical thinking skills, sophisticated field studies, greater depth and breadth of instruction, etc. in order to meet the special needs and characteristics of gifted kids. Our courses reflect high powered learning experiences for our gifted learners, including pre-AP courses offered in grade 8. To address the needs of the whole child, wonderful Fine Arts, Athletic, and Co-Instructional Programs complement our strong academic program. There is something truly special about being surrounded by people passionate about everything they do.

      CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

      Information not available

    • PRESCHOOL/K CURRICULUM


      Our Take

      Our Take

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      Academic-based preschools and Kindergartens are the most structured of the different types, and have a strong emphasis on math and reading readiness skills. These programs aim to expose children to what early-elementary school is like. While time is still allotted to free play, much of the day is built around explicit lessons guided by the teacher. Classrooms often resemble play-based ones (with different stations set up around the room), but at an Academic program the teacher leads students through the stations directly, and ties these activities to a whole-class lesson or theme.

      CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

      Highly group-oriented and with a strong emphasis on creative and imaginative play, Waldorf preschool and Kindergarten programs have very little to no emphasis on academics. A Waldorf environment will often feel more like a home than a traditional classroom -- the goal being to instill comfort and and a sense of predictability in students’ day. This emphasis on comfort and predictability also manifests through a heavy use of repetition: for example, teachers might read the same story multiple days in a row. Waldorf schools ask parents to refrain from offering children TV or computers at home, and aim to develop in children a connection to the natural world. If you want to learn more about Waldorf education, check out our comprehensive guide.


      What the school says

      What the school says

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      Information not available

      CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

      Information not available

    • CURRICULUM PACE


      Pace

      CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

      Standard-enriched


      Our Take

      Our Take

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      The main curriculum accelerates beyond the pace of the provincial one; ALL students do the work of OLDER public-school peers in tangible and measurable ways. This accelerated pace is maintained by the teachers and school, (through textbook selection, topic selection, grading, assignment standards and expectations, etc).

      CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

      Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.


      What the school says

      What the school says

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      Information not available

      CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

      Information not available

    • ACADEMIC CULTURE


      Culture

      CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

      Not applicable


      Our Take

      Our Take

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.

      CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

      Not applicable


      What the school says

      CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

      Information not available


      Approach to student honours

      Approach to student honours

      ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

      "We honour and distinguish our brightest students, using them as examples for other students to follow."

      CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

      Information not available

  • EXTRACURRICULARS

    Competitive

    Comp.

    Recreational

    Rec.

    Competitive

    Comp.

    Recreational

    Rec.

    Badminton

    Baseball

    Basketball

    Canoeing/Kayaking

    Cricket

    Cross-country skiing

    Cycling

    Downhill skiing

    Equestrian

    Fencing

    Field Hockey

    Figure Skating

    Football

    Golf

    Gymnastics

    Ice Hockey

    Ice Skating

    Lacrosse

    Martial Arts

    Mountain biking

    Racquet Ball

    Rowing

    Rugby

    Running

    Sailing

    Skateboarding

    Snowboarding

    Soccer

    Softball

    Squash

    Swimming

    Tennis

    Track & Field

    Volleyball

    Weightlifting

    Wrestling

    Archery

    Curling

    Ultimate


    Clubs Offered

    Clubs offered

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    Ballet and Classical Ballet
    Yoga
    Yearbook
    Student Council
    Scouting
    Science Club
    School newspaper
    Round Square
    Robotics club
    Radio club
    Poetry/Literature club
    Photography
    Paintball
    Outdoor Education
    Outdoor Club
    Online Magazine
    Musical theatre/Opera
    Math Club
    Jazz Ensemble
    Habitat for Humanity
    Foreign Language Club
    Environmental Club
    Drama Club
    Debate Club
    Dance Club
    Computer Club
    Community Service
    Choir
    Chess Club
    Band
    Audiovisual Club
    Astronomy Club
    Art Club
    Animation

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    Ballet and Classical Ballet
    Yoga
    Yearbook
    Student Council
    Scouting
    Science Club
    School newspaper
    Round Square
    Robotics club
    Radio club
    Poetry/Literature club
    Photography
    Paintball
    Outdoor Education
    Outdoor Club
    Online Magazine
    Musical theatre/Opera
    Math Club
    Jazz Ensemble
    Habitat for Humanity
    Foreign Language Club
    Environmental Club
    Drama Club
    Debate Club
    Dance Club
    Computer Club
    Community Service
    Choir
    Chess Club
    Band
    Audiovisual Club
    Astronomy Club
    Art Club
    Animation


    What the school says

    What the school says

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    • Our students participate in many extracurricular competitions, most notably in drama and improv, robotics, reach for the top, model UN, chess and athletics.

    CALGARY WALDORF SCHOOL

    • Our School is a member of the I.S.A.A. (Independent Schools’ Athletic Association), a league of independent schools in Calgary that coordinates the sporting season for its students.
  • Financial Aid

    Grades eligible

    Grades eligible

    Preschool - 9

    Students on aid

    Students on aid

    0%

    0%

    Avg. aid package (annual)

    Avg. aid package (annual)

    $0

    $0

  • ADMISSIONS

    Admissions

    Admissions rate

    75%

    0%

    Day entry years

    SK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

    Boarding entry years

    Day admissions deadline

    Rolling

    Not available

    Boarding admissions deadline

    Not available

    Not available

    Interview required?

    Yes: grades 1 - 8

    No

    SSAT required

    No

    No

    SSAT(out of province) required

    No

    No

    Entrance exams required

    No

    No

    Entrance essay required

    No

    No

    Application fee required

    No

    No

    Type of student school is looking for

    Type of student school is looking for

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    The first critierion for P.A.C.E. is that the student is identified as intellectual gifted. We are looking for bright individuals who are passionate about learning and are productive citizens within the school.

    What the school says

    What the school says

    ACADEMY FOR GIFTED CHILDREN - P.A.C.E.

    All students are required to have a psycho-educational assessment (WISC V).  If the student scores in the 95th percentile or higher in verbal reasoning and visual perception, on paper, that child would qualify for P.A.C.E.  The next step would be to have a meeting with the family and for the student to visit for the day. Feedback regarding the child's visit is provided. 

  • NOTABLE ALUMNI

    Alumni

    information not available
    information not available

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