One-to-one comparison


  • QUICK SUMMARY

     

    Waterloo Independent Secondary School

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    The Abelard School

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    Basics

    Basics


     

    Founded

     

    2012

     

    1997


     

    Enrolment

     

    200

     

    50


     

    Grades

     

    7 to 12

     

    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."
    Social
    The goal is to cultivate "socially aware and active citizens, motivated to change the world (or their community) for the better."
     
    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

     

    Progressive

     

    Liberal Arts


     

    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.
     
    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).

     

    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”.
     
    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

     

    12 to 16

     

    12


     

    Special needs support

     

     

    Learning, Behavioral


     

    Gifted learner support

     

    In-class adaptations

     

    Dedicated gifted school


     

    Preschool/K curriculum

     
     

    Tuition

    Tuition


     

    Day Tuition

     

     

    $20,000 to $22,000


     

    Boarding Tuition

     

    $22,550

     


     

    Financial aid (FA)

     

    Yes

     

    Yes


     

    Students on FA

     

    20%

     

    20%


     

    Eligible grades for FA

     

    7 to 12

     

    9 to 12


     

    Median FA package size

     

    $0

     

    $10,000

    Enrollment

    Enrollment


     

    Avg. enrollment per grade

     

    33

     

    8


     

    Percent in boarding

     

    0%

     

    0%

    Admissions

    Admissions


     

    Admissions rate

     

    0%

     

    50%


     

    Day entry years

     

    7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

     

    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 7 - 12

     

    Yes: grades 7 - 12


     

    SSAT required

     

    No

     

    No

  • SCHOOL REVIEWS

     

    Waterloo Independent Secondary School

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    The Abelard School

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    The Our Kids Review

    The Our Kids Review

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    information not available

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    information not available

    User reviews

    User reviews

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    information not available

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    information not available

    Our Take

    Our Take

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    Waterloo, perhaps it goes without saying, has truly come into its own, with a proliferation of companies in the tech sector and a wealth of infrastructure servicing it. Waterloo Independent is a sign of that boom, having been established concurrent with it, and happily benefiting from all the resources the city offers, particularly—this also goes without saying—the University of Waterloo, which literally sits next door. Many schools intend to offer students an experience in line with that they’ll have when they move on to post-secondary studies, though WISS is particularly well situated in that regard. The academic program is rigorous, with the international student population adding depth and breadth to the overall student experience.  Course offerings include AP options, and the focus is very much on addressing the needs of university-bound students, granting them all the skills, knowledge, attributes and postures necessary for success in post-secondary life.

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    Historically, a liberal arts curriculum comprised a course of study required by citizens in order to take an active part in civic life. It included not just what a person would need to know, but how they would need to be, including an understanding that the cultivation of intellect is a worthy goal unto itself. The Abelard School was created to reflect those kinds of goals. In 1997, a group of seasoned teachers founded the school in order to deliver the basics of a secondary education—the knowledge and the skills required to move on to university life—as well as to impart a love of learning and to encourage creative engagement across the academic spectrum. Those ideals, and indeed those teachers, remain today. The school is small—there is a total enrolment of just 50—and whatever it may lack in terms of a breadth of programming it gains in depth and individual attention.

  • SCHOOL DESCRIPTION

     

    Waterloo Independent Secondary School

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    The Abelard School

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    Highlights

    Highlights

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    • University preparation focus
    • Performance-based programs
    • Individual study path planning
    • Personalized guidance
    • Co-curricular programs
    • Laptop school and modern facility

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    information not available

    Description

    Description

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    Waterloo Independent SS sits beside the world-renowned University of Waterloo which many of our graduates attend. Our goal is to ensure that students are well-prepared for post-secondary studies. Academics are emphasized and high standards are set. Courses are designed to arouse curiosity in students using projects as a window into the real world. - University preparation focus - Performance-based programs - Individual study path planning - Personalized guidance - Co-curricular programs - Laptop school and modern facility

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    The Abelard School offers an enriched, intellectually engaging education for students in grades 7 through 12. Our balanced curriculum encourages excellence, from the maths and sciences to the social sciences and humanities. Socratic instruction and our integrated curriculum foster critical thinking and problem solving skills in a friendly, inclusive school environment where students encourage one another to learn and our highly qualified teachers prepare them to achieve remarkable success in university.

  • PRINCIPAL'S MESSAGE

     

    Waterloo Independent Secondary School

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    The Abelard School

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    Message

    At Waterloo Independent Secondary School, we understand the challenges that students face, in particular students who are new to Canada. Parents choose to send their children to Waterloo Independent Secondary School with the expectation that they will be admitted to a Canadian university of their choice and that they will graduate successfully. Parents entrust their children to us and place all their hopes in us for their children’s future. Our obligation is to earn the trust of both students and their parents. Our mission is to support students in making decisions that will help them reach their goals.

    We have great expectations for all of our students. We want them to show enthusiasm for learning English well. We work hard to foster a spirit of independence in them because we know how important it is for their success in university and college. We want them to develop in character so that they are well prepared when they leave school and go into the workplace. WISS encourages students to be diligent in their school work, to persevere through difficult times, and to do their best.

    With the guidance of teachers and school administration, our students will reach their port of dreams. It is with great pride that we watch our graduates go off to university. Our confidence in their success comes knowing that they have had excellent teachers and strong guidance along the way.

    The Abelard School is a place where ideas and people matter, where debate is encouraged, and where creativity and innovation come to life. It is a place where learning progresses logically through an integrated curriculum, and students talk about Plato, Woolf, and quantum theory in the hallways as well as in the classroom. Abelard is a school for the student who wants to be inspired but also challenged to work and think beyond the norm. It is a school for scholars.

    The Abelard School has been preparing students to enter university since 1997. The focus of our  programme (grades 7-12) is to ensure that our students graduate as astute critical thinkers, ready to enter and succeed in the university program of their choice. Our senior courses are designed as preparation for the Advanced Placement examinations, on which our students have consistently achieved top scores.
     
    Along with encouraging high academic achievement, Abelard strives to ensure that our students do not limit their future choices by specializing in one particular discipline; our individualized course selection process ensures that students profit from the breadth of courses in our liberal arts curriculum throughout all four years of high school. As a small school, we are able to integrate our courses with one another to allow for greater interdisciplinary learning, and provide our students with increased student-teacher interaction to better help them realize their goals. With our prime location in downtown Toronto, we take full advantage of the many learning opportunities that can be had outside of the classroom in art galleries, museums, the theatre, the opera, and the like.

    We invite you to learn more about the Abelard School through our website and in person. We look forward to meeting you!

  • ACADEMICS

    • OVERALL CURRICULUM

       

      Waterloo Independent Secondary School

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

      The Abelard School

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL


      Primary Curriculum

      Primary Curriculum

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

      Progressive

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL

      Liberal Arts


      Secondary Curriculum

      Secondary Curriculum

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

      Information not available

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL

      Information not available


      Our Take: primary curriculum type

      Our Take: primary curriculum type

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY 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 ABELARD SCHOOL

      Liberal Arts curricula share with traditional programs their emphasis on core knowledge-acquisition, but tend to borrow more best practices from the progressive approach. A Liberal Arts program might still feature group work and projects, for example, contrary to the more singular emphasis on tests and essays at a Traditional program.


      Our Take: secondary curriculum type

      Our Take: secondary curriculum type

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

      Not applicable

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL

      Not applicable


      What the school says about their curriculum

      What the school says about their curriculum

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

      Waterloo Independent Secondary School challenges students to stretch their minds and go beyond academics to become responsible, independent, and community-oriented. WISS graduates are well-prepared, open-minded, and eager to learn. Our graduates have become community leaders, successful in businesses, and contribute fully in a variety of enterprises. Students are the centre of our attention and our dedicated teachers work continuously to seek out fresh and exciting opportunities for them. Teachers spend time in activities such as extra academic support after school, evaluating the quality or reliability of information, and looking for alternative solutions to a problem. We, at WISS, enhance the Ontario Secondary School Curriculum.

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL

      The Abelard school is an ideal academic environment for students who are motivated, and who are looking to be challenged and inspired. Not all of our students have been identified as gifted, but all of them are bright and eager to learn.

    • COURSE PEDAGOGIES

      • Mathematics

         

        Waterloo Independent Secondary School

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        The Abelard School

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL


        Approach

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Traditional Math


        Our take: math approach type

        Our take: math approach type

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

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

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Traditional Math typically teaches a method or algorithm FIRST, and THEN teaches the applications for the method. Traditional algorithms are emphasized and practiced regularly: repetition and drills are frequently used to ensure foundational mastery in the underlying mathematical procedures. The traditional approach to math views math education as akin to building a logical edifice: each brick depends on the support of the previously laid ones, which represent mastery over a particular procedure or method. Traditional Math begins by giving students a tool, and then challenges students to practice using that tool an applied way, with progressively challenging problems. In this sense Traditional Math aims to establish procedural understanding before conceptual and applied understanding.


        What the school says about their math program

        What the school says about their math program

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        Information not available

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        The math program at the Abelard School has been designed to show continuity between all of the branches of math as well as how it integrates with other disciplines. It is our own construction and melds aspects of algebra, geometry, and logic. A solid and sophisticated understanding of mathematics is key to the construction of an agile mind. Our ultimate goal is to have all of our students working at a functional University level math, regardless of the discipline they choose to pursue after high school. Our students regularly compete in national and international mathematics competitions, and have won many awards over the years.


        Textbooks and supplementary materials

        Textbooks and supplementary materials

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        Information not available

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Information not available


        Calculator policy

        Calculator policy

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        Information not available

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Information not available

      • Science

         

        Waterloo Independent Secondary School

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        The Abelard School

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL


        Approach

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Equal Balance


        Our take: science approach type

        Our take: science approach type

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        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.

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        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

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        Information not available

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        The science program at the Abelard School strongly emphasises the connections between science and the other disciplines in our curriculum. Our unique Foundation Sciences course is mandatory for all of our grade 9 students. Our students then move directly into the specialized grade 11 courses in biology, physics and chemistry in their second year of high school. This is extremely helpful for students who intend to study science at university, as it allows them room in their four years of high school to take every grade 11 and 12 science course offered. Our school laboratory is well-equipped to offer our students the possibility to perform experiments and dissections at every grade level. Trips to the labs at the nearby University of Toronto complement the science programme.


        Topics covered in science curriculum

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

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

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

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


        Treatment of evolution (value)

        Treatment of evolution (value)

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        Physiology

      • Literature

         

        Waterloo Independent Secondary School

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        The Abelard School

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL


        Approach

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Traditional


        Our take: literature approach type

        Our take: literature approach type

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

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

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        In traditional literature programs students focus on decoding the mechanics of texts: plot, characterization, and themes. These texts tend to include a balance of contemporary and “classic” literature. When studying a past work, students investigate its historical context -- but only insofar as this adds understanding to the work itself. Past works are therefore studied “on their own terms”, and not merely as historical artifacts to be deconstructed: traditional literature programs are firmly rooted in the humanities, and carry the belief that great literature can reveal fundamental and universal truths about the human condition. These programs emphasize class discussions and critical essay writing, and aim to develop in students critical thinking, communication skills, and a cultivated taste and ethos.


        What the school says about their literature program

        What the school says about their literature program

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        Information not available

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        The English program at Abelard pairs intensive study of the Western literary canon with the practice of expository, analytical, narrative and creative writing. By the time they have reached Grade 12, our students are writing university-level essays, and have developed both the analytical and technical skills they will require to succeed in any post-secondary discipline. Works studied in Grade 12 include: King Lear, The Tempest, Moby Dick, To the Lighthouse, The Waste Land, Waiting for Godot, Lolita, Blood Meridian, Ulysses. In addition to literary analysis, our students engage in their own creative work, composing short stories, plays and even novels. Each year they write and produce a school literary journal reflecting the best student writing of the year. A student-organized school newspaper appears monthly.


        Domains covered by the literature program

        Topics covered in literature curriculum

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

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

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

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

      • Humanities and Social Sciences

         

        Waterloo Independent Secondary School

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        The Abelard School

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL


        Approach

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Perennialism


        Our take: humanities and social sciences approach type

        Our take: humanities and social sciences approach type

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Perennialism in the humanities and social sciences emphasizes the idea of education being a kind of “conversation” between generations, and so frequently turns to “Great Works” and “Big Ideas” for teaching-content. Perennialist programs approach past works on their own terms; as if they might actually help students understand “today” better. Past works are not viewed as mere historical artifacts, but as gateways to a deeper understanding of the human condition. History (and, by extension, the humanities in general) therefore plays a large role in perennialist curriculums, though social sciences like economics, psychology, and sociology can still be taught. There is a strong Liberal Arts bent to perennialist programs. The key goals are to develop critical thinking, a strong foundation of core knowledge (or “cultural literacy”), and persuasion skills through informed debate and extensive practice in essay writing.


        What the school says about their humanities and social sciences

        What the school says about their humanities and social sciences

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        Information not available

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        The Social Science and Humanities program at Abelard encompasses the following courses: Philosophy, World History, American History, World Religions, Canadian History, Canadian Geography, Canadian and World Politics, Psychology and Economics. The goal is one that is shared by all the disciplines at Abelard: an integrated approach that provides students with a comprehensive overview of world culture and history. This means that information and ideas will overlap from one course to another. For example, our course in Philosophy provides, among other units, a chronological perspective on the development of ethics. This understanding of ethics contributes to discussions about the Enlightenment that emerge in World History. Our Politics course looks at contemporary conflicts around the world and provides students with a basis upon which to make informed assessments of international relations in the 21st century. This contemporary focus on world events and issues is the culmination of our Humanities program.

      • Foreign Languages

         

        Waterloo Independent Secondary School

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        The Abelard School

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL


        Approach

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Equal Balance


        Our take: foreign language approach type

        Our take: foreign language approach type

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

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

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

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


        What the school says about their foreign language programs

        What the school says about their foreign language programs

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        Information not available

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        The study of foreign languages gives students a deeper understanding of other cultures and assists them in becoming global citizens. Abelard's French and Modern Languages program aims to graduate students with a fluent or near-fluent mastery of one or more modern languages. Depending on student interest, these languages may include Spanish, Russian, Mandarin and Italian. French is always offered, and is a mandatory component of our curriculum in Grades 9 and 10. The program guides students towards the ability to read, write, and converse with ease. Starting in Grade 10, the reading of literature and articles drawn from current publications is introduced. By Grade 12 students can freely communicate with native speakers and discuss essentially any topic, from current affairs to complex philosophical issues. Latin and Greek language and literature are fundamental to Western civilization. At Abelard, all students are required to study Latin for at least one year.


        Language instruction offered in:

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

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

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        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)

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        Information not available

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Information not available

      • Fine Arts

         

        Waterloo Independent Secondary School

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        The Abelard School

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL


        Approach

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Equal Balance


        Our take: fine arts approach type

        Our take: fine arts approach type

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

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

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

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


        What the school says about their fine arts program

        What the school says about their fine arts program

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        Information not available

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        The Arts form the foundation of civilized society, and the Arts program at Abelard is integrated into every aspect of our curriculum, as well as being represented by dedicated Visual Arts, Graphic Design, Drama and Music courses. Students study the history and techniques of each discipline, and produce their own creative work. A full-length school play is performed each year at one of the University of Toronto Theatres, the school hosts a revolving exhibition of student paintings, and the Graphic Design Class designs and produces the school Literary Journal and Yearbook.


        Courses offered in:

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        Acting
        Dance
        Drama/Theatre
        Graphic Design
        Music
        Visual Arts

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Acting
        Dance
        Drama/Theatre
        Graphic Design
        Music
        Visual Arts

      • Computers and Technolgy

         

        Waterloo Independent Secondary School

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        The Abelard School

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL


        Approach

        Approach

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        Heavy integration

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Light integration


        Our take: computers and technology approach type

        Our take: computers and technology approach type

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        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.

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Computers are used in the classroom from time to time, but integrating technology into everything students do is not a dominant focus. Digital literacy is understood to be a legitimate skill in the 21st century, but not one that should distract from teaching the subject at hand, or more fundamental skills and literacies. The idea is today’s students, being “digital natives”, are likely exposed to computers and new media enough outside the classroom: the role of the school, rather, should be to develop competencies that may otherwise get missed.


        What the school says about their computers and technology program

        What the school says about their computers and technology program

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        Information not available

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Abelard students who are interested in developing their computer literacy and programming skills are given the option of dedicated computer science courses. Computer science students also learn to create games and the basics of web design.


        Courses offered in:

        Topics covered in science curriculum

        WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

        Web design
        Robotics
        Computer science

        THE ABELARD SCHOOL

        Web design
        Robotics
        Computer science

    • CURRICULUM PACE

       

      Waterloo Independent Secondary School

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

      The Abelard School

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL


      Pace

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL

      Accelerated


      Our Take

      Our Take

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY 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 ABELARD SCHOOL

      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).


      What the school says

      What the school says

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

      Information not available

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL

      Some students take classes at a number of grade levels, some work on individual projects reflecting their interests. Mentorships at U of T augment our curriculum.

    • ACADEMIC CULTURE

       

      Waterloo Independent Secondary School

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

      The Abelard School

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL


      Our Take

      Our Take

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

      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”.

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL

      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”.


      What the school says

      What the school says

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

      Information not available

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL

      At Abelard our students discover their strengths and learn how to apply them. They acquire knowledge, master skills and meet academic challenges. Homework is structured around a variety of assignments and projects, to allow them the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding and their critical thought, and to help them to develop a systematic approach to their studies.Our students are also challenged to expand the boundaries of their own creativity, to set high standards for themselves and to think of education as a lifelong journey and the key to leading a rewarding and enriched life.


      Approach to student honours

      Approach to student honours

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

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

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL

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

    • DEVELOPMENTAL PRIORITIES

       

      Waterloo Independent Secondary School

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

      The Abelard School

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL


      Primary

      Primary

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

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

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL

      Intellectual
      The goal is to cultivate "academically strong, creative and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions."


      Secondary

      Secondary

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

      Social
      The goal is to cultivate "socially aware and active citizens, motivated to change the world (or their community) for the better."

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL

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


      What the school says

      What the school says

      WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

      Information not available

      THE ABELARD SCHOOL

      Only students who demonstrate intellectual strength and a high degree of motivation are accepted into our programme. Our goal is to present bright and motivated students the opportunity to explore the history of human accomplishment, to inspire them to grow intellectually and to expand their cultural and social awareness while developing their critical thinking skills and preparing them to shape the world of the future.

  • 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:

    Waterloo Independent Secondary School

    The Abelard School

    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.
     

    Waterloo Independent Secondary School

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    The Abelard School

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL


    Additional support

    Additional support

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    Social skills programs
    Occupational therapy
    Psychotherapy
    Speech-language therapy

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    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


    Additional support

    Additional support

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    Social skills programs
    Occupational therapy
    Psychotherapy
    Speech-language therapy

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    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

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    Information not available

    THE ABELARD 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

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    Information not available

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    Our school is not designed to provide formal remediation for students with learning disabilities, but we are able to accommodate some types of disabilities, depending on the particular constellation.

  • EXTRACURRICULARS


    Waterloo Independent Secondary School

    The Abelard School

    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

     

    Waterloo Independent Secondary School

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    The Abelard School

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL


    Clubs Offered

    Topics covered in science curriculum

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY 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 ABELARD 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

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    • The Abelard School participates in the Model United Nations in New York city.
    • Our senior French students travel to France to visit the cultural icons they have studied in class.
  • ADMISSION

    Admissions

    Admissions

     

     

    Admissions rate

     

    0%

     

    50%


     

    Day entry years

     

    7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

     

    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 7 - 12

     

    Yes: grades 7 - 12


     

    SSAT required

     

    No

     

    No


     

    SSAT(out of province) required

     

    No

     

    No


     

    Entrance exams required

     

    Yes: grades 9 - 12

     

    Yes: grades 7 - 12


     

    Entrance essay required

     

    Yes: grades 9 - 12

     

    Yes: grades 7 - 12


     

    Application fee required

     

    No

     

    No

    Type of student school is looking for

    Type of student school is looking for

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    At WISS, we welcome students who have goals for the post-secondary education and are resilient with their study. We believe students who have goals and never give up, after a lot of help from our teachers and staff, they all have potential to achieve!

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    Students who are successful at Abelard are motivated, curious, bright and eager to learn. They are comfortable in an intellectual atmosphere and look upon learning as a lifelong venture. They are caring and compassionate and wish to apply what they learn to help others and to advance society.

    What the school says

    What the school says

    WATERLOO INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL

    Application/Registration:
    1. Please fill the application form online: www.waterlooss.ca/apply.
    2. Please send your child’s current school academic information (i.e. credit
    summary or report cards).
    3.Make Payment (Check/Draft/EMT)

    OSR Transfer :
    If you are from an Ontario School, WISS will send you the Ontario Student
    Record (OSR) Transfer Form to sign and will request the transfer of your OSR.

    If you have any questions, please contact our office at [email protected]

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    Applications will be evaluated according to four criteria: interview, test score, report card, and entrance essay (written at the school). Applicants are additionally invited to submit a piece of work of which they are proud and that demonstrates their potential; if they choose to include this, it will be taken into consideration along with the rest of their application.

    All applicants must submit the following:

    • Standardized test scores  -- applicants may write the Abelard test, or they may submit SSAT
      test results written at a standardized test location within the same year
    • A copy of their most recent school report card
    • An entrance essay (must be written at the Abelard School)
    • OPTIONAL: A piece of work that reflects the applicant's interests or talents
      (examples may include artwork, music recordings, creative writing, and so on)

  • NOTABLE ALUMNI

    THE ABELARD SCHOOL

    Alumnus (year)
    Accomplishment

    Vitalik Buterin (2013)
    Vitalik Buterin is a programmer, writer, founder of Ethereum and co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine. In 2014, he won the World Technology Award for the co-creation and invention of Ethereum.
    Kate Wallace (2012)
    Named by Campus Life as one of 22 MOST INSPIRING COLLEGE WOMEN UNDER 22 for developing a software app to combat human trafficking and child exploitation in India.
    Gabe De Roche (2000)
    Gabe De Roche is the Senior Communications Advisor to the Ontario Minister of Health and Longterm Care.
    Christopher Olah (2012)
    Christopher Olah is employed at Google Brain as a research scientist focusing on: Distributed Systems and Parallel Computing; Machine Intelligence; and Natural Language Processing. See the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/06/technology/google-artificial-intelligence.html



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