One-to-one comparison


  • QUICK SUMMARY

     

    River Valley School

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    The YMCA Academy

    THE YMCA ACADEMY

    Basics

    Basics


     

    Founded

     

    2003

     

    2003


     

    Enrolment

     

    250

     

    80


     

    Grades

     

    Preschool to 6

     

    7 to 12


     

    Gender

     

    Coed

     

    Coed


     

    Living arrangements

     

    Day

     

    Day


     

    Language of instruction

     

    English

     

    English


     

    Faith Based

     

     


     

    School focus

     

    Academic

     

    Academic


     

    Developmental Priorities

     
    Balanced
    "Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation."
    Emotional
    The goal is to cultivate "emotionally intelligent and con?dent individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others."
     
    Balanced
    "Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation."
    Emotional
    The goal is to cultivate "emotionally intelligent and con?dent individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others."

    Academics

    Academics


     

    Curriculum

     

    Progressive

     

    Progressive


     

    Curriculum pace

     
    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.
     
    Student-paced
    The main curriculum pace is non-standardized and is HIGHLY responsive to the pacing of individual students, (via differentiated instruction, differentiated assessment, etc). In theory, some students outpace the default/normalized curriculum, while others spend periods "behind schedule" if they need the extra time.

     

    Academic culture

     
    Supportive
    A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.
     
    Supportive
    A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

     

    Avg. Class Size

     

    12 to 18

     

    8 to 12


     

    Special needs support

     

    Learning, Developmental

     

    Learning, Developmental, Behavioral


     

    Gifted learner support

     

    Dedicated class; in-class adaptations

     


     

    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.
     

    Tuition

    Tuition


     

    Day Tuition

     

    $8,470 to $15,040

     

    $24,500


     

    Boarding Tuition

     

     


     

    Financial aid (FA)

     

    No

     

    Yes


     

    Students on FA

     

    0%

     

    30%


     

    Eligible grades for FA

     

    None

     

    9 to 12


     

    Median FA package size

     

    $0

     

    $10,000

    Enrollment

    Enrollment


     

    Avg. enrollment per grade

     

    25

     

    13


     

    Percent in boarding

     

    0%

     

    0%

    Admissions

    Admissions


     

    Admissions rate

     

    90%

     

    0%


     

    Day entry years

     

    Preschool, JK, SK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

     

    7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


     

    Boarding entry years

     

     


     

    Day admissions deadline

     

    Rolling

     

    Rolling


     

    Boarding admissions deadline

     

    Not available

     

    Not available


     

    Interview required?

     

    Yes: grades Preschool - 6

     

    Yes: grades 9 - 12


     

    SSAT required

     

    No

     

    No

  • SCHOOL REVIEWS

     

    River Valley School

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    The YMCA Academy

    THE YMCA ACADEMY

    The Our Kids Review

    The Our Kids Review

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    information not available

    THE YMCA ACADEMY

    information not available

    User reviews

    User reviews

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    information not available

    THE YMCA ACADEMY

    information not available

    Our Take

    Our Take

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    When discussing schools we often talk about curriculum, or resources, or instructional approaches, and while all of those things are important, so is the presence of a supportive, safe, familiar, and consistent learning environment. And, rightly, that’s where the program at River Valley School begins. The school describes itself as a community, and the description is apt. A safe environment, of course, is one in which a child feels a sense of belonging, and within which she is valued, able to play a role and have a voice. Instruction at River Valley is student-centred, informed by an overt intention to build upon students’ individual strengths and interests. There is a comfortable enrollment level, one that allows for a nice breath of programming while also maintaining that sense of place and belonging, something which is further augmented by the division of the program between two campuses. Families look to River Valley to create a strong beginning to their children’s education as well as their social lives, and indeed that’s exactly what they find.   

    THE YMCA ACADEMY

    The very heart of private education is providing options for parents looking to support their learner, and YMCA Academy sits at the very heart of that concept. It was founded and developed to support learners with needs that may not be adequately met within other settings. Likewise, it comprises an academic environment in which those students aren’t constantly reminded of their exceptionality. Here, they participate in a community that is supportive, sympathetic, and socially oriented around their personal needs. That, in itself—irrespective of the programs or the curriculum—can be transformational. This isn’t a school for others, making a concession for them. Rather, it is a school for them. That’s huge.

  • SCHOOL DESCRIPTION

     

    River Valley School

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    The YMCA Academy

    THE YMCA ACADEMY

    Highlights

    Highlights

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    • At River Valley School, we are inclusive by design.
    • We offer a warm, nurturing environment where our students feel genuinely cared about and supported.
    • At River Valley School, our job is to harness the innate curiosity in children.
    • Creative problem solving is our raison d’etre.
    • At River Valley School, we have high and appropriate expectations for every student.
    • Our alumni are represented in top schools, businesses and institutions globally.

    THE YMCA ACADEMY

    • Helping your teen succeed in life
    • Building skills for academic success
    • Individualized Education Plans
    • Special Education support
    • Social & Emotional support
    • Experiential Learning
    • Small, supportive classes
    • Laptops for every student
    • Co-operative Education
    • A broad range of extracurricular opportunities, including clubs, events, and a cross-Canada exchange

    Description

    Description

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    River Valley is an independent school providing exceptional education and character development for children in Pre-JK (Age 3) to Grade 6. Our students are immersed in hands-on, inquiry and project-based learning experiences that challenge them to question, explore and create. Student achievement is supported by small class sizes, varied learning opportunities, collaboration and differentiation in our instruction. How we teach each student is determined by who they are, how they learn, and what engages them.

    THE YMCA ACADEMY

    The YMCA Academy is an alternative middle school and high school serving youth with learning disabilities and learning style differences. The school's small class sizes, individual education plans, life skills counselling, and experiential learning opportunities support students in their pursuit of college preparation and workplace level courses in a state-of-the-art facility located in the Central YMCA in downtown Toronto.

  • PRINCIPAL'S MESSAGE

     

    River Valley School

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    The YMCA Academy

    THE YMCA ACADEMY

    Message

    River Valley School is an innovative and inclusive independent school that harnesses the innate curiosity in children to ensure that every student, regardless of age or ability, will flourish academically and socially. Everything we do is grounded in our mission to embrace the unique talents of our students, while curating opportunities for learning and discovery. Our teachers and staff support different learning styles to ensure that every student is capable of achieving their personal best. With close to 15 years of history, River Valley School has created an environment where children feel loved and safe enough to explore to the full breadth of their individual ability. At the same time, RVS students feel encouraged to take on the rigours required to develop the foundational skills, resilience, and confidence to thrive in the 21st Century.

    As a community, we learn and grow together respecting the values, opinions and beliefs of all. Students, teachers, and administrators work together to create a school where learners feel confident and free to appreciate each other, make good ethical decisions, and take age- and stage appropriate risks, leading to enhanced understanding and broadened inquiry.

    RVS students know they are safe to try new things, make mistakes, discover new approaches, and explore innovative ways of seeing, contributing to and changing the world.

    I am honoured to be the Head of School at River Valley School, and invite you to visit our campus to learn about our outstanding programs and meet our talented students, teachers and staff. I look forward to meeting you when you visit, and sharing more about what makes our school truly exceptional.


    Carolyn Breland
    Head of School

    I have spent a quarter of a century working in independent schools in Ontario, having focused my career on curriculum development and research on learning and the adolescent brain. The following judgment, then, must carry some weight: The Academy is a uniquely impressive school, one that profoundly improves the quality of life of its students, and promises to multiply such improvement as they move on successfully to post-secondary studies or meaningful work placements. Of course, these are large claims, but they are supported by the achievements of our graduates. We have taken approved Ontario Ministry of Education courses and incorporated them into unique programs to meet the needs of our student population. Our goal is to give our students the skills to graduate from The Academy with their Ontario Secondary School Diploma in hand, ready to face the challenges of university, college or vocational endeavors.

     

    Our personal, differentiated approach, specialized programs and individualized use of assistive technology are ideally suited to those students with mild learning disabilities or learning style differences.  Our students typically have communication exceptionalities such as: learning disabilities, autism, giftedness and/or medical conditions that affect learning such as ADD and ADHD which have impacted their achievements in school settings. At the Academy we support our students from their first day of school with an Individual Education Plan outlining supports and accommodations specific to their needs.

     

    The  Academy team is made up of experienced teaching professionals with accreditation in their professional fields. They bring varied backgrounds and expertise in special education, IT, counseling, mentorship, curriculum development, guidance and career counseling, cooperative education, and many others.

     

    Given its history in education, and its wide-ranging social programs for youth, the YMCA connection enhances The Academy in many ways. We recognize that our students can benefit from the “wrap-around” services our connection to the YMCA of Greater Toronto makes possible. For example, each of our students has year-round access to all Health, Fitness and Recreation centres with the Central Y being the facility for all school-related fitness education. Co-operative education opportunities are readily at hand as well. Our students experience school-wide overnight leadership and outdoor education sessions at camp Wanakita and/or Camp Cedar Glen, and access to Canada Youth Exchanges through the YMCA Student Youth Exchanges program, amongst a large variety of supports.

     

    Finally, The Academy has been, and will continue to be, a school in which all students know that they are part of a supportive, safe and challenging community, dedicated to enrich their present and their future. We pride ourselves in our students’ success!

  • ACADEMICS

    • OVERALL CURRICULUM

       

      River Valley School

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      The YMCA Academy

      THE YMCA ACADEMY


      Primary Curriculum

      Primary Curriculum

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      Progressive

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      Progressive


      Secondary Curriculum

      Secondary Curriculum

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      Information not available

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      Information not available


      Our Take: primary curriculum type

      Our Take: primary curriculum type

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      Progressive (sometimes called "in- quiry-based") curricula attempt to place children's interests and ideas at the heart of the learning experience. Instead of lessons being driven by predetermined pathways, progressive curricula are often "emergent", with learning activities shaped by students' questions about the world. Instead of starting with academic concepts and then tying it to everyday experience, progressive methods begin with everyday experience and work back to an academic lesson. Teachers provide materials, experiences, tools and resources to help students investigate a topic or issue. Students are encouraged to explore, reflect on their findings, and discuss answers or solutions.

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      Progressive (sometimes called "in- quiry-based") curricula attempt to place children's interests and ideas at the heart of the learning experience. Instead of lessons being driven by predetermined pathways, progressive curricula are often "emergent", with learning activities shaped by students' questions about the world. Instead of starting with academic concepts and then tying it to everyday experience, progressive methods begin with everyday experience and work back to an academic lesson. Teachers provide materials, experiences, tools and resources to help students investigate a topic or issue. Students are encouraged to explore, reflect on their findings, and discuss answers or solutions.


      Our Take: secondary curriculum type

      Our Take: secondary curriculum type

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      Not applicable

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      Not applicable


      What the school says about their curriculum

      What the school says about their curriculum

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      Understanding that no child learns the same way as another, River Valley School ensures that each child receives what they need to flourish. Through an inquiry-based program, we provide hands on, engaging activities that incorporate nature, fine arts, technology, physical education and passion projects. We believe it is imperative for kids to explore, create, play, and make, in order to learn about the world around them. Acknowledging that some students have learning challenges, we also provide additional support through Resource, Speech Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy as well Arrowsmith Cognitive programming to those who require it.

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      The YMCA Academy offers a full range of compulsory and elective high school courses, imbued with the school's focus on providing accommodations and assistive technologies and offering experiential learning opportunities and wrap-around support.

    • COURSE PEDAGOGIES

      • Mathematics

         

        River Valley School

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        The YMCA Academy

        THE YMCA ACADEMY


        Approach

        Approach

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Discovery Math

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Equal Balance


        Our take: math approach type

        Our take: math approach type

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Discovery Math turns traditional math on its head: it frequently begins by introducing a novel problem to students, and works its way back to “discovering” a method of solving the problem. The goal is to ground mathematical procedures and algorithms firmly in their applications, and to challenge students to think critically about how they might go about solving the problem right from the beginning. Generally associated with the “Chicago Math” movement and related Everyday Math textbooks (Grades 1 to 6), Discovery math spends less classroom time mastering established algorithms and more time getting students invested in and thinking critically about novel mathematical problems and concepts. In this sense Discovery Math aims to establish conceptual and applied understand before procedural understanding.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.


        What the school says about their math program

        What the school says about their math program

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        At River Valley School students are provided with a robust mathematics program that allows them to investigate and make meaning of mathematical concepts in an active learning environment. Students learn to construct understanding through reflective thought, develop and apply mathematical language and communication, and connect mathematics to the real world. Resources used but not limited to for our math programming are: Maximizing Math (Edmonton Public, Number Talks (Sherry Parrish) in Grades 1-6.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Information not available


        Textbooks and supplementary materials

        Textbooks and supplementary materials

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Information not available

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Information not available


        Calculator policy

        Calculator policy

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Information not available

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Information not available

      • Early Reading

         

        River Valley School

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        The YMCA Academy

        THE YMCA ACADEMY


        Approach

        Approach

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Balanced Literacy

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Not applicable


        Our take: early reading approach type

        Our take: early reading approach type

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Balanced reading programs are typically Whole Language programs with supplementary phonics training. This training might be incidental, or it might take the form of mini-lessons.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Not applicable


        What the school says about their early reading program

        What the school says about their early reading program

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        In the Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Grade One classrooms you will see children learning to read and write using the Animated-Literacy™ program created by Jim Stone. Stone’s program was created using “current reading research, making direct use of language research and brain research including studies in memory, motivation, and the role of emotion in guiding attention and learning.” (www.animatedliteracy.com). Students are highly motivated to learn to read through songs, stories, actions and meeting the stuffed animal characters that correspond to the Alphabet letters and sounds. A daily home reading program begins in Kindergarten when students are showing reading readiness.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Information not available


        DIBELS testing

        Approach

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        DIBELS Testing: This school periodically uses DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.

      • Writing

         

        River Valley School

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        The YMCA Academy

        THE YMCA ACADEMY


        Approach

        Approach

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Equal balance

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Not applicable


        Our take: writing approach type

        Our take: writing approach type

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Not applicable


        What the school says about their writing program

        What the school says about their writing program

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        From an early age students are engaged in the writing process at RVS. Students are given a variety of opportunities to explore, shape and clarify their thoughts, and to communicate them to others. In the early years students use symbols and letters to help convey meaning (Animated Literary - Jim Stone). As students move through the grades they learn to use effective writing strategies, discover and refine ideas and compose and revise with increasing confidence and skill within narrative writing and expository writing experiences. Animated Literacy (Jim Stone), Empowering Writers (Barbara Mariconda) and Moving Up (Scholastic), are among a few of the primary resources used in the writing program at RVS.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Information not available

      • Science

         

        River Valley School

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        The YMCA Academy

        THE YMCA ACADEMY


        Approach

        Approach

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Inquiry

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Equal Balance


        Our take: science approach type

        Our take: science approach type

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Science programs that balance expository and inquiry learning equally will likely have an equal blend of tests and experiments; direct, textbook-based instruction and student-centred projects.


        What the school says about their science program

        What the school says about their science program

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Students explore and nurture their sense of wonder within Science programming at River Valley School. Children are given time and space to explore and iterate with freedom while processes, such as design thinking, exploration, inquiry, and the scientific method structure the child’s investigation of their surroundings. They create, test, and develop skill and confidence while building a foundation of experience and understanding.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Information not available


        Topics covered in science curriculum

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Evolution as consensus theory
        Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
        Evolution is not taught

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Evolution as consensus theory
        Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
        Evolution is not taught


        Treatment of evolution (value)

        Treatment of evolution (value)

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Not applicable

      • Literature

         

        River Valley School

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        The YMCA Academy

        THE YMCA ACADEMY


        Approach

        Approach

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Equal Balance

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Social Justice


        Our take: literature approach type

        Our take: literature approach type

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        In social justice- inspired programs, literature is not viewed as something to be merely decoded and “appreciated”: rather, it is viewed as a catalyst to social action. Choice of texts tends to favour contemporary works. If a classical text is used, it’s often in the context of social deconstruction: students are asked to critically examine possible prejudices and historical narratives inherent in the work. Like in traditional literature programs, students are often asked to engage in class discussion and critical essay writing, but more time might also be devoted to cooperative group projects and personal reflections. The goal is to teach students to think critically about what they read, while becoming intellectually and physically engaged in the social issues pertaining to their wider community.


        What the school says about their literature program

        What the school says about their literature program

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        At River Valley School, students are exposed to literature at an early age. We believe in the importance of students listening to stories, reading to others, participating in shared reading and reading independently on a daily basis. Formal reading assessments are done at the beginning and end of each year. Students read regularly with their classroom teachers who monitor progress in reading fluency and comprehension. River Valley School has a Home Reading program for Division 1 students, with an expectation for nightly reading of fluent material. In Division 2, students are exposed to more complex texts (fiction/non-fiction) and novels with content suitable to entertain the reader or with content that can be integrated into other subject areas to reinforce fluency and comprehension at a deeper level.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Information not available


        Domains covered by the literature program

        Topics covered in literature curriculum

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Ancient lit
        English lit
        World (non-Western) lit
        European (continental) lit
        American lit
        Canadian lit

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Ancient lit
        English lit
        World (non-Western) lit
        European (continental) lit
        American lit
        Canadian lit

      • Social Studies

         

        River Valley School

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        The YMCA Academy

        THE YMCA ACADEMY


        Approach

        Approach

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Expanding Communities

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Not applicable


        Our take: social studies approach type

        Our take: social studies approach type

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        The Expanding Communities approach organizes the curriculum around students’ present, everyday experience. In the younger grades, students might learn about themselves, for example. As they move through the grades, the focus gradually broadens in scope: to the family, neighbourhood, city, province, country, and globe. The curriculum tends to have less focus on history than Core Knowledge programs.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Not applicable


        What the school says about their social studies program

        What the school says about their social studies program

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Social studies programming at River Valley School provides opportunities for students to develop attitudes, skills and knowledge to be informed, engaged, active, and responsible citizens. Students have access to a variety of resource materials, have the opportunity to debate and discuss ideas and information, and are encouraged to develop and work through projects to learn more about an area of interest. Classroom experiences are enriched when working with specialist teachers as social studies concepts are examined from different perspectives and contexts, deepening the child’s experiences with and understanding of the subject matter. Travelling to other places around our city, province and country provide rich learning experiences in this curricular area. For example, our Grade Five and Six students travel to Ottawa every other year to connect with Canadian history and government.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Information not available

      • Foreign Languages

         

        River Valley School

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        The YMCA Academy

        THE YMCA ACADEMY


        Approach

        Approach

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Equal Balance

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Not applicable


        Our take: foreign language approach type

        Our take: foreign language approach type

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        These programs feature an equal blend of the audio-lingual and communicative styles of language instruction.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Not applicable


        What the school says about their foreign language programs

        What the school says about their foreign language programs

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        All RVS students participate in biweekly lessons in French. Our French teachers use the AIM program founded by Wendy Maxwell. AIM uses storytelling, gestures, collaboration and repetition to teach proficiency in oral and written French. In addition to scheduled Progress Meetings, student progress is shared with parents via video recordings, student work samples, and year end performances. Project work is also embedded in classes to ensure an engaging learning experience.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Information not available


        Language instruction offered in:

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Hebrew
        ESL
        Spanish
        Russian
        Latin
        Japanese
        Italian
        Greek
        German
        French
        Chinese-Mandarin
        Chinese-Cantonese

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Hebrew
        ESL
        Spanish
        Russian
        Latin
        Japanese
        Italian
        Greek
        German
        French
        Chinese-Mandarin
        Chinese-Cantonese


        Learning a foreign language is required until

        Treatment of evolution (value)

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Information not available

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Information not available

      • Fine Arts

         

        River Valley School

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        The YMCA Academy

        THE YMCA ACADEMY


        Approach

        Approach

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Equal Balance


        Our take: fine arts approach type

        Our take: fine arts approach type

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        These programs have an equal emphasis on receptive and creative learning.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.


        What the school says about their fine arts program

        What the school says about their fine arts program

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        All RVS students are exposed to the arts within the classroom, as well as through expert specialists in Music, Drama and Art. Specialist instruction begins in Pre-Junior Kindergarten (Age 3) through to Grade Six. We believe fine arts in education bolsters independence, celebrates originality and demands personal discipline to hone skills. Cross-curricular connections are inevitable when the children are invited (and excited to!) engage, make and do. Curiosity is nurtured through the senses where hands-on learning is intensified in an environment of possibility and creativity.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Information not available


        Courses offered in:

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Acting
        Dance
        Drama/Theatre
        Graphic Design
        Music
        Visual Arts

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Acting
        Dance
        Drama/Theatre
        Graphic Design
        Music
        Visual Arts

      • Computers and Technolgy

         

        River Valley School

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        The YMCA Academy

        THE YMCA ACADEMY


        Approach

        Approach

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Medium integration

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Heavy integration


        Our take: computers and technology approach type

        Our take: computers and technology approach type

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy through the curriculum. However, this is not a dominant focus.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        A major effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy throughout the curriculum and in everything students do. Digital literacy is understood to be a fundamental skill in the 21st century: it therefore follows, the idea goes, that teachers should find ways to connect every lesson back to technology. Effort is made to ensure the use of technology is meaningful and advances students’ skills beyond what they would otherwise be from using computers outside the classroom.


        What the school says about their computers and technology program

        What the school says about their computers and technology program

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        A variety of digital tools are used to deepen, support, and extend learning opportunities for students at River Valley School. Students create with technology using such platforms as Smartboard technology, iPads, and laptops within a multitude of digital literacies from coding, micro-bits, app and website development, to green screens, movie-making, and augmented reality systems. This access offers students the ability to refine their skills, practice processes and create solutions to unique problems as they find, identify, evaluate, and use information across any curricular area. All students in Grades 4-6 have a 1:1 device provided by the school for their academic use.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        We use assistive technologies in our classes to support students who learn differently. These include speech to text, text to speech, mind mapping, word prediction software, and so on.


        Courses offered in:

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Web design
        Robotics
        Computer science

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Web design
        Robotics
        Computer science

      • Physical Education

         

        River Valley School

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        The YMCA Academy

        THE YMCA ACADEMY


        What the school says about their physical education program

        What the school says about their computers and technology program

        RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

        Physical education provides the opportunity to teach students about movement, strategies, teamwork, problem solving and health related fitness. The primary objectives are to foster in children a love of physical activity and play and to instill the need for physical fitness in each child. The program encourages positive interactions, good sporting behaviour in all activities, along with promoting the development of cooperation, teamwork, and leadership skills. At River Valley School our students take part in Physical Education in our two gymnasiums, outdoors in our playing fields, as well as many off site locations such as swimming lessons and skiing lessons. Outside of structured physical education classes, students participate in outdoor education pursuits and can participate in our competitive athletic team, The Rapids, in volleyball, basketball and soccer.

        THE YMCA ACADEMY

        Information not available

    • PRESCHOOL/K CURRICULUM

       

      River Valley School

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      The YMCA Academy

      THE YMCA ACADEMY


      Approach

      Approach

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      Academic

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      Not applicable


      Our Take

      Our Take

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      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.

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      Not applicable


      What the school says

      What the school says

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      River Valley School is a leader in Early Childhood Education and offers programming for 3, 4 and 5 year-olds. Our inquiry-based program focusses on practical and sensorial skills in addition to the core curricular areas, fine arts, physical education, outdoor education, and character development. While our programming is best described as Academic, our full-day 5 day/week programming encourages play-based exploration, in addition to lessons guided by the teacher.

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      Information not available

    • CURRICULUM PACE

       

      River Valley School

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      The YMCA Academy

      THE YMCA ACADEMY


      Pace

      Pace

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      Standard-enriched

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      Student-paced


      Our Take

      Our Take

      RIVER VALLEY 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.

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      The main curriculum pace is non-standardized and is HIGHLY responsive to the pacing of individual students, (via differentiated instruction, differentiated assessment, etc). In theory, some students outpace the default/normalized curriculum, while others spend periods "behind schedule" if they need the extra time.


      What the school says

      What the school says

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      The adaptive model of educational delivery offered at our school supports different learning styles to ensure that every student is capable of achieving their personal best.

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      Information not available

    • ACADEMIC CULTURE

       

      River Valley School

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      The YMCA Academy

      THE YMCA ACADEMY


      Culture

      Culture

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      Supportive

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      Supportive


      Our Take

      Our Take

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.


      What the school says

      What the school says

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      At River Valley School, we have high and appropriate expectations for every student. Year after year, our kids rank in the top tier of provincial testing, academic competitions, arts and athletics. We offer a warm, nurturing environment where our students feel genuinely cared about and supported. This builds confidence and establishes a strong foundation for kids to explore who they are – their passions, gifts, hopes and dreams.

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      Information not available


      Approach to student honours

      Approach to student honours

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      "We intentionally avoid all forms of public distinction between students in terms of academic performance."

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      "We intentionally avoid all forms of public distinction between students in terms of academic performance."

    • DEVELOPMENTAL PRIORITIES

       

      River Valley School

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      The YMCA Academy

      THE YMCA ACADEMY


      Primary

      Primary

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      Balanced
      "Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation."

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      Balanced
      "Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation."


      Secondary

      Secondary

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      Emotional
      The goal is to cultivate "emotionally intelligent and con?dent individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others."

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      Emotional
      The goal is to cultivate "emotionally intelligent and con?dent individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others."


      What the school says

      What the school says

      RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

      We develop leadership skills, confidence in self, compassion for others and provide opportunities for our students to make a difference. We value the social and emotional development of each child as much as their academic development.

      THE YMCA ACADEMY

      Information not available

  • SPECIAL NEEDS SUPPORT


    FORMAL SUPPORT FOR DISORDERS, DISABILITIES, AND EXCEPTIONALITIES

    A - Forms of Support
    Accommodation:
    Modification:
    Remediation:
    B - Environments
    Indirect Support:
    Resource Assistance:
    Withdrawal Assistance:
    Partial Integration:
    Full-Time Class:

    River Valley School

    The YMCA Academy

    Forms of Support Environments Forms of Support Environments
    ADHD (moderate to severe)
    This is a neurodevelopmental disorder. Children with ADHD may be hyperactive and unable control their impulses. Or they may have trouble paying attention. These behaviors can interfere with school and home life.
    Learning disabilities
    Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
    This is a learning disability that can limit a child's ability to read and learn. It can have a variety of traits. A few of the main ones are impaired phonological awareness and decoding, problems with orthographic coding, and auditory short-term memory impairment.
    Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
    This is a sound differentiation disorder involving problems with reading, comprehension, and language.
    Dyscalculia
    This is a kind of specific learning disability in math. Kids with this math disorder have problems with calculation. They may also have problems with math-related concepts such as time and money.
    Dysgraphia
    This is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.
    Language Processing Disorder
    This is characterized by having extreme difficulty understanding what is heard and expressing what one wants to say. These disorders affect the area of the brain that controls language processing.
    Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
    These involve difficulties interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. They're usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial, and social skills.
    Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
    A characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD. It can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.
    Developmental
    Autism
    Refers to a range of conditions that involve challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech and nonverbal communication. They also involve unique strengths and differences. For instance, there are persons with both low- and high-functioning autism (some claim the latter is identical to Asperger's syndrome).
    Asperger's Syndrome
    On the autism spectrum, Asperger's is considered quite mild in terms of symptoms. While traits can vary widely, many kids with Asperger's struggle with social skills. They also sometimes fixate on certain subjects and engage in repetitive behaviour.
    Down syndrome
    his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
    Intellectual disability
    This is a condition characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning (e.g., reasoning, learning, and problem solving). Intellectual disabilities are also known as general learning disabilities (and used to be referred to as a kind of mental retardation).
    Williams syndrome
    This is a rare genetic disorder present at birth. It is characterized by intellectual disabilities or learning problems, unique facial features, and cardiovascular problems.
    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These may include growth deficits, facial anomalies, and damage to the central nervous system, which can lead to cognitive, behavioural, and other problems.
    Behavioral and Emotional
    Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
    roubled teens tend to have problems that are intense, persistent, and can lead to quite unpredictable behaviour. This can lead to behavioural and emotional issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behaviour, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
    Clinical Depression
    This is a mental health disorder also called "major depression." It involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in daily activities, such as school, work, or one's social life.
    Clinical anxiety
    This is a mood disorder involving intense, relentless feelings of distress and fear. They can also have excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations, and repeated episodes of intense anxiety or terror.
    Suicidal thoughts
    This involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.
    Drug and alcohol abuse
    This involves the excessive use of drug and/or alcohol, which interferes with daily functioning.
    Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
    This is a disruptive behavioural disorder which normally involves angry outbursts, often directed at people of authority. This behaviour must last continuously for six months or more and significantly interfere with daily functioning.
    Physical
    Multiple sclerosis
    This is a condition of the central nervous system. It affects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of motor control, memory loss, depression, and cognitive difficulties.
    Cerebral palsy
    his refers to a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. CP is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.
    Muscular dystrophy
    Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
    Spina Bifida
    This is a condition present at birth due to the incomplete formation of the spine and spinal cord. It can lead to a number of physical challenges, including paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder incontinence, hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), and deformities of the spine.
    Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
    This is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Also known as "sensory integration disorder," it affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech.
    Blindness
    Visual impairment is a decreased ability or inability to see that can't be fixed in usual ways, such as with glasses. Some people are completely blind, while others have what's called "legal blindness."
    Deafness
    Hearing impairment, also known as "hearing loss," is a partial or total inability to hear. The degree of hearing impairment varies between people. It can range from complete hearing loss (or deafness) to partial hearing loss (meaning the ears can pick up some sounds).
    Cystic Fibrosis
    Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
    Multiple physical
    Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.
     

    River Valley School

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    The YMCA Academy

    THE YMCA ACADEMY


    Additional support

    Additional support

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    Social skills programs
    Occupational therapy
    Psychotherapy
    Speech-language therapy

    THE YMCA ACADEMY

    Social skills programs
    Occupational therapy
    Psychotherapy
    Speech-language therapy

    INFORMAL SUPPORT FOR MILD DIFFICULTIES

    INFORMAL SUPPORT FOR MILD DIFFICULTIES


     

    Learning Strategy

     

     


     

    Extra Support

     

     


     

    Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD

     

    Accommodations

    Modifications

    Extra support

     

    Accommodations

    Extra support


    Additional support

    Additional support

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    Social skills programs
    Occupational therapy
    Psychotherapy
    Speech-language therapy

    THE YMCA ACADEMY

    Social skills programs
    Occupational therapy
    Psychotherapy
    Speech-language therapy


    What the school says about their special needs support

    What the school says about their special needs support

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    Information not available


    What happens if child develops disorder while enrolled/Should families seek enrollment if child has disability

    What happens if child develops disorder while enrolled/Should families seek enrollment if child has disability

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    River Valley School welcomes students with a variety of learning profiles. Data is gathered twice annually to determine any gaps in learning. River Valley School communicates with families regularly about their child's learning development and ensures that any areas to be addressed are done so quickly and with school support.

    THE YMCA ACADEMY

    We offer a full suite of accommodations for learning style differences, as well as a dedicated counselor providing social/emotional support to individuals and the learning community. We welcome students with a wide variety of learning style differences.

  • EXTRACURRICULARS


    River Valley School

    The YMCA Academy

    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

     

    River Valley School

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    The YMCA Academy

    THE YMCA ACADEMY


    Clubs Offered

    Topics covered in science curriculum

    RIVER VALLEY 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

    THE YMCA ACADEMY

    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

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    • Babysitting Certification in Grade 5 or 6
    • Outreach
  • ADMISSION

    Admissions

    Admissions

     

     

    Admissions rate

     

    90%

     

    0%


     

    Day entry years

     

    Preschool, JK, SK, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

     

    7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


     

    Boarding entry years

     

     


     

    Day admissions deadline

     

    Rolling

     

    Rolling


     

    Boarding admissions deadline

     

    Not available

     

    Not available


     

    Interview required?

     

    Yes: grades Preschool - 6

     

    Yes: grades 9 - 12


     

    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

     

    Yes

    Type of student school is looking for

    Type of student school is looking for

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    Admission into River Valley School is based on several factors, the most important of which is knowing that you have found the right place for your child. At River Valley School academic testing is not required as part of the admissions process. As an inclusive school, we believe young children are capable and that they learn in many different ways. It’s our job to find out how they learn, what they enjoy and what steps need to be taken to fully master a level of learning before embarking on the next.

    THE YMCA ACADEMY

    The YMCA Academy is a Ministry of Education–inspected, alternative high school in downtown Toronto. Our personal differentiated approach, specialized programs, and individualized use of assistive technology are ideally suited to students with mild learning disabilities or learning style differences. The YMCA Academy’s middle school is an alternative grade 7 & 8 program in downtown Toronto. Developed with a focus on building reading, writing and math skills, our personal differentiated approach, specialized programs, and individualized use of assistive technology are ideally suited to students with mild learning disabilities or learning style differences.

    What the school says

    What the school says

    RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL

    Families are first encouraged to book-a-tour with our Director of Enrolment, walk through our facilities, discuss our program and fees, ask questions, but most importantly help us learn more about your child and their needs. Interested Parents/Guardians are then asked to fill out our online application form and submit all required application documentation. We do not test for entrance.

    In addition to the online application form, the following is required prior to an admission decision:

    • $150 non-refundable application fee will be payable online, or drop off a cheque/cash to the admissions office.
    • A copy of the student’s birth certificate, citizenship, or permanent residence card (if applicable)
    • A copy of the final report card of last school year and most recent report card (when available)
    • A copy of the student’s psycho-educational evaluations and/or assessments related to the students emotional, behavioral, medical or learning needs (if applicable)

    *In some cases, students may be asked to join us for an informal observation or classroom trial to determine a good fit.

    *Children entering our Early Learning programs must be toilet-trained

    THE YMCA ACADEMY

    For students entering our program at grade 9, we do an assessment of English and Mathematics to determine grade level and appropriate placement in our program




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