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Our Kids Private School Reviews

Objective, detailed reviews of more than 350 private and independent schools.


Pickering College
Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School
Holy Name of Mary College School
Lynn-Rose Heights School
Sunnybrook School
Upper Canada College
Brentwood College School
Havergal College
Robert Land Academy
Hudson College
St. John's-Kilmarnock School
Trinity College School
Appleby College


On this page you’ll find:

The Our Kids Review:
Our signature series of book-length private school reviews. Each offers a unique, objective perspective on the programs, facilities, traditions, and administration of a particular school, informed by interviews with administrators, faculty, students, and parents.

Capsule reviews:
Reviews of more than 350 private and independent schools written by staff writers of Our Kids. Each review provides an objective, thumbnail sketch of a school’s strengths, student population, and position within the spectrum of academic programs available in Canada.

User reviews:
Submitted by alumni, students, and parents. Submit a review.

**Use the headers below to sort schools by name, location and whether they have The Our Kids Review or User Reviews.
You can also search for specific terms with the search bar**


Name
Location
Our Kids review
User review

School Name

  • Appleby College
    Oakville, Ontario
    Our Kids review

    The Our Kids Review


    From the review: While boarding isn't as much of a focus as it once was—the day students now outnumber the boarders, as they have since 1980—Appleby's stance is nevertheless predicated on the benefits associated with a boarding school environment: independence, self-discipline, and responsibility. The school prides itself on a reputation for academic excellence and innovation, and the program is designed to prepare students for the world that they will move into after graduation, one where the primary skill necessary for success is an ability to engage productively with others. Diversity is viewed as a core strength, and the school has instituted a range of programs intended create and maintain a diverse academic, cultural, and economic student population. The ideal student is one who is forthright, active, confident, and self-directed, and predisposed to making the most of the wide range of opportunities that the school provides.

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    Our Take: Appleby College

    our takeWhile boarding isn't as much of a focus as it once was—the day students now outnumber the boarders, as they have done for some time—Appleby's stance is nevertheless predicated on the benefits that boarding can afford: independence, self-discipline, and responsibility. The school prides itself on a reputation for academic innovation, one that it has rightly earned. The program is designed to prepare students for the world that they will move into after graduation, and indeed it is a leader in that regard. Diversity is seen as a core strength, and the school has instituted a range of programs intended maintain a diverse academic, cultural, and economic student population. The ideal student is one who is forthright, active, confident, and self-directed.

Oakville 1 0
  • Brentwood College School
    Mill Bay, British Columbia
    Our Kids review

    The Our Kids Review


    From the review: Brentwood was the first all-boys' boarding school in Canada to begin admitting girls, something that remains emblematic of the school's tradition of looking forward, actively anticipating a changing social context and the evolving needs of students. In the 1990s, Brentwood became one of the first schools in the country to make a substantial commitment to sustainable energy, building a performing arts centre with a geothermal loop for heating and cooling. The new dining hall and service centre, completed in 2010, continues that commitment while also providing an example to the student population. A current 10-year strategic development plan, launched in 2013, is as robust as it is comprehensive, providing a unified vision for the school as it embarks on its second century. Arts and athletics are emphasized, and the instructional day is organized in order to ensure that all students take active part in all aspects of curricular life. Brentwood is distinguished by a world-class rowing program that has produced a long list of Olympians, though academics remain the central focus. The program of pastoral care is integrated throughout the school, and begins within the student houses, in which both day and boarding students actively participate. The ideal student is one with sights firmly set on university and inclined to leadership roles in student life and beyond.

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    Our Take: Brentwood College School

    our takeBrentwood was the first all-boys' boarding school in Canada to begin admitting girls, something that remains emblematic of the school's forward-looking approach. In the 1990s, it became one of the first schools in the country to make a substantial commitment to sustainable energy, building a performing arts centre that includes a geothermal loop for heating and cooling. The new dining hall and service centre, completed in 2010, continues that commitment, also providing an example to the student population. Arts and athletics are emphasized—the school is distinguished by a rowing program that has produced a long list of olympians—though academics remain the central focus of the Brentwood program. The ideal student is one with sights firmly set on university and is inclined to leadership roles in student life and beyond.

Mill Bay 1 0
  • Havergal College
    Toronto, Ontario
    Our Kids review
    User review (1)

    The Our Kids Review


    From the review: Founded in 1894, Havergal is one of the oldest girls' schools in Canada, and it shares a tradition with those of its vintage. The school was formed with a strong tie to a religious community—though, even then, it was looking beyond tradition, charting new territory for girls to occupy. As such, the school was disruptive, educating girls to take new, more robust roles within society. Famously, the first principal, Ellen Mary Knox, asked her students, "What are you going to do?" She meant it very much in the way we'd think of that question today: you've got an opportunity to do something, to play a role—what is it going to be? Knox was emblematic of the kinds of women who were leading schools at the time. In turn, they played a larger role in the development of education in Canada than their male counterparts did. All of this is important in that it really does underscore the goals of the school today: to challenge girls, and to be socially disruptive in the best sense of that term. It's easy for us to look back and see that girls' schools were necessary all those years ago. What Havergal continues to demonstrate—as do other schools that operate with the same goals and intentions - is that they remain necessary today. Helen-Kay Davy, the current principal, has written of the ongoing need to educate girls to find new opportunities in the world beyond the school, and to approach them appropriately: "—"There are not enough females in high profile positions in politics, business and beyond, and those on top face additional challenges."

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    "The school has harnessed many of our daughter's positive traits and stimulated her growth and development, not just academically, but socially, emotionally, and physically."
    robert gabor - Parent   (Sep 12, 2018)

    Our daughter has had a wonderful time in her three years at Havergal, and is very excited about comp...


    Our Take: Havergal College

    our takeFounded in 1894, Havergal is one of the oldest girls' schools in Canada, and it shares a tradition with those of its vintage. The school was formed with a strong tie to a religious community though, even then, was looking beyond tradition, charting new territory, as it were, for girls to occupy. As such, the school was disruptive, educating girls to take new, more robust roles within society. Famously the first principal, Ellen Mary Knox, asked her students "What are you going to do?" She meant it very much in the way we'd think of that question today: you've got an opportunity to do something, to play a role, what is it going to be? Knox was emblematic of the kinds of women who were leading schools at the time. In turn, they played a larger role in the development of education in Canada than their male counterparts did. All of this is important in that it really does underwrite the goals of the school today: to challenge girls, and to be socially disruptive in the best sense of that term. It's easy for us to look back and see that girls' schools were necessary all those years ago. What Havergal continues to demonstrate—as other schools that operate with the same goals and intentions—is that they remain necessary today.

Toronto 1 10
  • Holy Name of Mary College School
    Mississauga, Ontario
    Our Kids review

    The Our Kids Review


    From the review: Holy Name of Mary College School (HNMCS) began in 1964 as Holy Name of Mary School, and it has grown and changed in the decades since. For a time, the school was publicly funded, and while it operated continually through the years, it reopened in 2008 with a new name—the current one—and as a fully independent school for girls. Today, as in 1964, Holy Name is supported by the Felician Sisters, as well as by the Basilian Fathers of St. Michael’s College School, who co-founded the independent school. The vision of the school has also remained through the years, though it was rededicated in 2009. Families who turn to HNMCS are looking for strong academics and values, and indeed they find both. The values that the school promotes are those of the Catholic tradition, with an emphasis on empathy, justice, and excellence. The ideal student is one who shares those core values, will thrive within a challenging academic atmosphere, and is preparing for post-secondary education.

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    Our Take: Holy Name of Mary College School

    our takeHNMCS began in 1964 as Holy Name of Mary School, and it has grown and changed in the decades since. For a time the school was publicly funded, and while it operated continually through the years, it was re-established in 2008 with a new name—the current one—and as a fully independent school for girls. Today, as in 1964, HNMCS is supported by the Felician Sisters, and is also supported by the Basilian Fathers of St. Michael’s College School, who co-founded the independent school. The vision of the school has also remained through the years, though was rededicated in 2009. Families who turn to HNMCS are looking for strong academics and values, and indeed they find both. The values that the school promotes those of the Catholic tradition, with an emphasis on empathy, justice, and excellence. The ideal student is one who shares those core values, will thrive within a challenging academic atmosphere, and is preparing for post-secondary education.

Mississauga 1 0
  • Hudson College
    Toronto, Ontario
    Our Kids review
    User reviews (4)

    The Our Kids Review


    From the review: There are many reasons parents choose to enroll their children at a private school, from family tradition to elite sports. Parents who choose Hudson College, however, are less interested in the extremes at the edges of the private education market, and more interested in the foundational elements of a strong academic program and a positive learning experience: consistent social support, a sense of community, the flexibility to address student interests, and a consistent approach to curricular development. Jeff Bavington founded the school "to be a place where students with all different interests can come and feel part of a larger community, feel at home, and where students themselves can help create" the school environment. And it is.

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    Mastering the basics
    Nicolette Linton - Parent   (Jan 23, 2018)

    My daughter is in her fifth year at Hudson College (she joined in Grade One from a French Immersion ...

    "They both love going to school."
    James Hyslop - Parent   (Jan 23, 2018)

    It starts every morning when I drop my children (grades 7 &2) off at school in the morning. They ru...

    "nothing but supportive since my first day here"
    Daniel DeBarros - Student   (May 03, 2018)

    My experience at Hudson College has been nothing but wonderful. Coming from a rather large school wi...


    Our Take: Hudson College

    our takeThere are many reasons parents choose to enroll their children at a private school, from family tradition to elite sports. Parents who choose Hudson College, however, are less interested in the extremes at the edges of the private education market, and more interested in the foundational elements of a strong academic program and a positive learning experience: consistent social support, a sense of community, the agility to address student interests, and a consistent approach to curricular development. Jeff Bavington founded the school "to be a place where students with all different interests can come and feel part of a larger community, feel at home, and where students themselves can help create" the school environment. And it is.

Toronto 1 10
  • Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School
    North Vancouver, British Columbia
    Our Kids review

    The Our Kids Review


    From the review: KGMS is unique, something that the students and families who attend are grateful for. Instruction is empathic, as is the entire environment of the school. The students who enrol enter a community of peers, one comprising students and staff who get them, who share their struggles, and who can relate to their perspectives on the world. “I have friends who like me for who I am,” said Theresa MacIntyre when she was a student in 2014. Her voice breaking, she added: “I feel like I’m wanted here.”

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    Our Take: Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School

    our takeWhen Anne Rushforth’s son, Kenneth Gordon, was in grade 5, she overheard his teacher introducing him to another parent as "one of her slow students.” Rushforth bristled, knowing that “he just needed a school to teach him in the way that he learned.” She said, “I decided that there needs to be a school for these children, where they’re understood.” So, in 1973, she built it, naming it after her son, and parents have been thankful to her ever since. She had been a tutor, and noted that, in that setting, often struggling students bloomed. Rushforth then applied the tutorial model to the entire breadth of the curriculum. It included multi-sensory instruction, later the Orton-Gillingham approach, and as digital tools became available, it used those, too. Students would arrive with a poor self concept, having struggled in other settings, and proceed to grow into a new sense of themselves and their capabilities. That’s what the school continues to offer today.

North Vancouver 1 0
  • Lynn-Rose Heights School
    Mississauga, Ontario
    Our Kids review
    User reviews (4)

    The Our Kids Review


    From the review: Founded in 1997, the mission of Lynn-Rose is to provide individually oriented, student-led instruction, challenging all to reach their potential within the core academic fields and beyond. The blend of the Ontario and International Baccalaureate (IB) curricula is a draw for the families that enrol here, as are the quality of instruction and the very porous interface between families and faculty. The math and literacy programs have students working a grade ahead of their peers in the public system, with further acceleration offered to students able to function at that level. The attention to values, including those underscored within the IB programs, is also a draw. There is a lot going on, though a close attention to the specific skills, abilities, and needs of each student—as well as a broad range of resources to address them—is a distinguishing factor of the Lynn-Rose offering. 

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    "The academic program focuses on developing inquiring, knowledgeable and well-rounded individuals."
    Sabine Kussmann - Parent   (Feb 21, 2018)

    My sons love the school and have had a wonderful experience. They like the warm and and positive sch...

    Atmosphere, experience, communication
    Mrs. S. - Parent   (Mar 06, 2018)

    Our child loves Lynn-Rose Heights and has had a great experience attending this school. Our child lo...

    relationships that stay, year over year
    Laura Trujillo - Parent   (Mar 08, 2018)

    I have two children enrolled at LRH, my youngest daughter is currently in grade 4 and my older daugh...


    Our Take: Lynn-Rose Heights School

    our take

    Founded in 1997, the mission of Lynn-Rose Heights is to provide individually oriented, student-lead instruction, challenging all to reach their potentials within the core academic fields and beyond. The blend of the Ontario and IB curricula is a draw for the families that enrol here, as is the quality of instruction and a very porous interface between families and faculty. The math and literacy programs have students working a grade ahead of their peers in the public system, with further acceleration offered to students able to function at that level. The attention to values, as those underscored within the IB programmes, is also a draw. There is a lot going on, though a close attention to specific skills, abilities, and needs of each student—as well as a broad range of resources to address them—is a distinguishing factor of the Lynn-Rose offering. 

Mississauga 1 9
  • Pickering College
    Newmarket, Ontario
    Our Kids review
    User review (1)

    The Our Kids Review


    From the review: Pickering College was founded as the West Lake Seminary by Quakers in 1842 and, as you might expect, has had a long and interesting history since. Canada became a dominion, the school amalgamated, some buildings burned down, others were built up. It began as a co-ed school, something unique at the time, and as such provided an expression of the Quaker ideal that both sexes should be educated equally. It was also the first school in North America to offer a course in typewriting, symbolic of the school's desire to encorporate new ideas and technologies, and to educate students with an eye to the world they would enter upon graduation. Times of course have changed, though certainly many of the values that the school upholds today reflect those with which it was founded, including a desire to embrace new ideas and to support a diversity of interest. The ideal student is one who will thrive in a supportive yet challenging academic environment.

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    "...encouraged by their teachers to develop their learning skills."
    Amy Wang - Parent   (Dec 13, 2018)

    My sons are always happy in the school. They have got the teachers’ help on their academics and ma...


    Our Take: Pickering College

    our takePickering College was founded as the West Lake Seminary by Quakers in 1842 and, as you might expect, has had a long and interesting history since. Canada became a dominion, the school amalgamated, some buildings burned down, others were built up. It began as a co-ed school, something unique at the time, and as such provided an expression of the Quaker ideal that both sexes should be educated equally. It was also the first school in North America to offer a course in typewriting, symbolic of the school's desire to encorporate new ideas and technologies, and to educate students with an eye to the world they would enter upon graduation. Times of course have changed, though certainly many of the values that the school upholds today reflect those with which it was founded, including a desire to embrace new ideas and to support a diversity of interest. The ideal student is one who will thrive in a supportive yet challenging academic environment.

Newmarket 1 10
  • Robert Land Academy
    Wellandport, Ontario
    Our Kids review

    The Our Kids Review


    From the review: Some students thrive in environments where they have lots of latitude to be independent and self-motivating. Others thrive in the opposite: an environment that is structured and ordered, with very clear limits and recognizable boundaries. Robert Land, truly, is for them. The daily routine is regimented, and discipline is enforced. And the results are consistently astonishing. This is a school that prides itself on its ability to turn lives around, and that pride is well placed. Robert Land isn't for every student, but, of course, no school is. For students who require structure in order to succeed, Robert Land Academy can make a remarkable difference in a very short period of time.

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    Our Take: Robert Land Academy

    our takeSome students thrive in environments where they have lots of latitude to be independent and self-motivating. Others thrive in the opposite: an environment that is it structured and ordered, with very clear limits and recognizable boundaries. Robert Land, truly, is for them. The daily routine is regimented, and discipline is enforced. The results, often, are astonishing. This is a school that prides itself on its ability to turn lives around, and that pride is well placed. Robert Land isn't for every student, but, of course, no school is. For students who require structure in order to succeed, the school can make a remarkable difference in a very short period of time.

Wellandport 1 0
  • St. John's-Kilmarnock School
    Waterloo Region (Breslau), Ontario
    Our Kids review

    The Our Kids Review


    From the review: SJK presents as a very traditional school, an impression granted by the name, the uniforms, the size of the campus. In fact, the school is both younger and more progressive than it might initially seem. Founded in 1972, it has taken all of the more modern educational concepts to heart: small class sizes, student-directed instruction, before- and after-school care from JK to grade 6, and an extensive busing program. The dining hall menu is built around locally sourced, non-GMO food. Academically, the program is intended to challenge learners who need to be challenged, and is comprised of IB programme from JK through grade 12. The intention is to address the whole child, providing strong academic and social support. The school has grown over the years, and is also in the midst of a 5-year development plan, to complete in 2020. While the physical plan is still quite new, the current development is around community and instruction (rather than buildings and infrastructure) including an ongoing dedication to experiential learning, values-based instruction, and community connections. The ideal student is one operating at the top of his or her peer group, and who can benefit from a vibrant, diverse educational and social environment.

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    Our Take: St. John's-Kilmarnock School

    our takeSJK presents as a very traditional school, an impression granted by the name, the uniforms, the size of the campus. In fact, the school is both younger and more progressive than it might initially seem. Founded in 1972, it has taken all of the more modern educational concepts to heart: small class sizes, student-directed instruction, before- and after-school care from JK to Grade 6, an extensive busing program. The cafeteria menu is even built around locally sourced, non-GMO food. Academically, the program is intended to challenge learners who need to be challenged, and includes IB programs from JK through Grade 12. The intention is to address the whole child, providing strong academic and social support. The school has grown over the years, and is also in the midst of a 5-year development plan, to complete in 2020. While the physical plan is still quite new—it was completed in 1990—the current development is around community and instruction (rather than buildings and infrastructure) including an ongoing dedication to experiential learning, values-based instruction, and 20th century literacies. The ideal student is one operating at the top of his or her peer group, and who can benefit from a vibrant, diverse educational and social environment. 

Waterloo Region (Breslau) 1 0
  • Sunnybrook School
    Toronto, Ontario
    Our Kids review
    User review (1)

    The Our Kids Review


    From the review: Sunnybrook School (SBS) is a small coed school for students from JK to Grade 6, located on a leafy residential street in midtown Toronto. It was the first primary school in Canada to adopt the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) and continues to take a global approach to education. Since its founding in 1952 as one of North Toronto’s first preschools, SBS has been an innovator in education for young children. The current curriculum strives to keep pace with the latest advances in pedagogy, such as Singapore math and one-to-one iPads, while still maintaining a focus on the fundamentals, such as cursive writing. There’s a lively arts and music program (including an elaborate, school-wide musical production), traditional and unique offerings in physical education, daily French from JK and extensive community service opportunities. To compensate for its limited size and modest facilities, SBS ensures its students benefit from the many resources the city has to offer, from nearby athletic facilities to downtown galleries and museums. With a family-like atmosphere where everyone knows everyone and parents are always welcome, SBS offers a warm, academically enriched environment focused on preparing young students for success at middle school and beyond.

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    "Right away we could see our daughter amongst the students of Sunnybrook School"
    Reza Asadikia - Parent   (Feb 21, 2018)

    The size of this school is in a way that is not intimidating for younger students, but at the same t...


    Our Take: Sunnybrook School

    our takeSunnybrook School was founded in 1952, becoming one of the very first preschools in Canada. It was exotic for the time, both for being a nursery school, as well as being founded by an Austrian educator, Irmingard Hoff. From opening day the school was at the leading edge of education at the time, and it has worked to remain there ever since. Sunnybrook was the first school in the country to adopt the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. It's since dedicated itself to development of 21st century literacies, an international curriculum, and the adoption of Singapore Math. Which sounds like a lot, and it is. The ideal student is one who is operating at the top of her peer group, and who is able to make the most of the range of programming on offer.

Toronto 1 9
  • Trinity College School
    Port Hope, Ontario
    Our Kids review
    User reviews (3)

    The Our Kids Review


    From the review: Trinity College School is one of the oldest boarding schools in Canada and, having been founded two years prior to confederation, is indeed older than the country itself. While it looks entirely different than it did when it was founded—there are no original buildings, nor does it sit at the same site as it did in 1865—the core values remain: quality academics with an eye to educating students into positions of social, professional, and political leadership. Academic achievement is highly valued—this is a school, as many will tell you, where it is cool to be smart—though tolerance, personal expression, and consideration of others are equally important. Service is central to the ethos of the school, as underscored by a robust program of service learning dedicated to developing opportunities within the local community and beyond.

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    "Beate Mundo Corde: Blessed are the pure in heart... truer words could not be said about the people of Trinity College School."
    Benjamin Glassco - Alumnus   (Jan 25, 2018)

    "Beate Mundo Corde": Blessed are the pure in heart. Adorned on the school's crest and displayed on t...

    "I felt like the luckiest person in the world"
    Jocelyn Murphy - Alumnus   (Jan 26, 2018)

    My time at Trinity was so special. I spent four years there in both day and boarding programs, and I...

    " ... everyone is truly welcoming"
    Mariam Omilabu - Student   (Jan 23, 2018)

    Being at Trinity College school is like moving away from home, feeling terrified and lost, then grad...


    Our Take: Trinity College School

    our takeTrinity is one of the oldest boarding schools in Canada and, having been founded two years prior to confederation, is indeed older than the country itself. While it looks entirely different than it did when it was founded—there are no original buildings, nor does it sit at the same site as it did in 1865—the core values remain: quality academics with an eye to educating students into positions of social, professional, and political leadership. Academic achievement is highly valued—this is a school, as many will tell you, where it is cool to be smart—though tolerance, personal expression, and consideration of others are equally important. Service is central to the ethos of the school, as underscored by a robust program of service learning managed by a director dedicated to developing opportunities within the local community and beyond. The ideal student is one who responds well to challenge.

Port Hope 1 10
  • Upper Canada College
    Toronto, Ontario
    Our Kids review
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    The Our Kids Review


    From the review: Upper Canada College (UCC) is one of the oldest and most storied schools in Canada. Its alumni include a who's who of Canadian political, business, and cultural life. Its history is, in many ways, the history of independent schooling itself; to attend is to become a part of a Canadian cultural tradition, one that retains a prominent place in Canadian education. The school leads in the provision of financial assistance, with a robust program of scholarships and bursaries intended to attract the brightest students in Canada and from around the world.

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    "We have a saying at the College called 'Never Walk Alone'. This motto is a great summary of the type of culture we have at the school and I can relate to the saying more and more each year."
    Will Huang - Student   (Jan 23, 2018)

    My time so far at Upper Canada has been absolutely amazing. I truly love every time I come to school...

    "The school spirit and school community is like no other."
    Julia Pantalone - Parent   (Feb 23, 2018)

    My boys have had an amazing experience at Upper Canada College since Day 1. They engage the boys rig...


    Our Take: Upper Canada College

    our takeUCC is one of the oldest and most storied schools in Canada. Its alumni include a who's who of Canadian political, business, and cultural life. Its history is, in many ways, the history of independent schooling itself; to attend is to become a part of a Canadian cultural tradition, one that retains a prominent place in Canadian education. The school leads in the provision of financial assistance, with a robust program of scholarships and bursaries intended to attract the brightest students in Canada and from around the world.

Toronto 1 9
  • A+ World Academy
    Kristiansand, Other
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    Great experience, great memories
    Louise Aasboe - Alumnus   (Jan 24, 2018)

    My year at A+ was incredible and Im blessed to have that in my memories. I Cant believe I woke up to...


    Our Take: A+ World Academy

    our takeA+ was founded in 2015 by Terry Davies, the founder of four schools, including West Island College and Class Afloat. So, while A+ is still young, it reflects decades of experience in education and life at sea. Davies founded Class Afloat in 1984, the year that the United Nations declared as “International Youth Year” and invited schools worldwide to interpret that theme. Class Afloat was Davies response. “While other schools engaged in painting murals and hosting international food fairs,” he says, “I chartered a tall ship and committed to bringing the classroom to the world.” When asked what students need most out of their educations, Davies tellingly responds “accountability.” With A+, it’s easy to be wowed by the destinations—yes, it looks like a dream come true, and in many ways it is—though life at sea is a crucible for gaining a sense of accountability to oneself and others, and in many ways that’s the nut of the program. The tall ship platform is used to teach a host of personal development skills, hands-on lessons in history, economics, political science, environmental stewardship and, ultimately, to grant students a heightened sense of their place in the global community. They return having packed a lot of learning and a lot of growth into a relatively short period of time. Invariably, though, what students think of first is that sense of accountability, having worked as part of a team of people who were all responsible for the wellbeing of the group. The experience is intense and uniquely rewarding. The ideal student is one who shares a sense of adventure and who also thrives in an exceptionally close-knit academic and social setting.

Kristiansand 0 10
  • ABC Montessori
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: ABC Montessori

    our takeThere’s a lot to learn in the early years, one of them being a confidence to learn and to engage effectively with others. ABC, in keeping with the core tenets of the Montessori approach, was founded in 1995 to create a caring, supportive, family-centred environment, and that remains foremost in the school’s approach. An impressive roster of extracurricular activities is a draw, as is the attention to values. ABC’s reputation has been rightly gained through an individual attention to the needs of each student, and providing a solid foundation for their ongoing academic life.

Mississauga 0 0
  • The Abelard School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: The Abelard School

    our takeHistorically, 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.

Toronto 0 0
  • Académie de la Capitale
    Ottawa, Ontario

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    Our Take: Académie de la Capitale

    our takeIt’s a big world out there and for the students who enroll here, AcadeCap is a window onto all of it. The attention to global education is underscored by the adoption of the IB PYP and MYP programs, and things continue from there. Collaborative learning, among peers as well as intergenerational, is an important aspect of the delivery of the curriculum, as is the provision of authentic learning experiences. There is of course a vast array of resources available within the capital region, and AcadeCap rightly makes the most of them. Class sizes are small, and instructional support is personal and individualized. The school casts a very wide net, and models an approach to learning based in curiosity, empathy, and active engagement. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a diverse, challenging, vibrant and social learning environment.

Ottawa 0 0
  • Académie Marie-Claire
    Kirkland, Quebec

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    Our Take: Académie Marie-Claire

    our takeAMC sets its sights very high, and well it should. The academic program is strong, and overtly grounded in an empathetic world view, with an emphasis on providing reasoned leadership. Those three things are perhaps the principal draws for the families that enroll. AMC was founded by Marie-Claire Martin, the child of diplomats, and that international experience has been central to school’s development. After an initial period of growth, the school today hits what many feel is the sweet spot: large enough to be able to offer a full range of extracurriculars, while small enough to maintain a strong sense of place and community. The breadth of the language program, and the provision of an authentically bilingual environment, is also a draw.

Kirkland 0 0
  • Académie St-Laurent Academy
    Ottawa, Ontario
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    "he has done a 180, and we owe it to the school"
    Eric Purdy - Parent   (Feb 10, 2018)

    My son loves his experience so much that he is first in the car every morning. He has done a 180 in ...


    Our Take: Académie St-Laurent Academy

    our takeSt-Laurent is still fairly young, having been founded in 2005, though it certainly hit the ground running. Today it rightly has a strong reputation for the strength of its academic programs and the vibrancy of the school community. The program stretches from the early years through high school, and that’s a draw for families who would like to have a consistent school experience. There are two locations, one dedicated to augmenting the early years program. Neither location is smack dab in the centre of town, with a residential neighbourhood offering a welcome buffer and heightening the sense of place. There are of course very many resources on offer in the capital region, and instruction, rightly, reaches out to make good use of them. Also a draw is an active approach to emotional and social development, as is the attention to physical education and interpersonal and environmental empathy. The school was formed through a partnership with parents, and a very porous interface between faculty and families remains a strength of the school today.

Ottawa 0 10
  • Académie Vaudrin Academy
    Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec

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    Our Take: Académie Vaudrin Academy

    our takeVaudrin has devoted itself to helping children reach their full potential, and within that casts a very wide net. A trilingual school, certificates of eligibility are not required for enrollment. The school bases instruction in creativity and interpersonal collaboration, and supports learners through a broad range of means, including those for struggling learners, including the rightly celebrated Arrowsmith approach. This is a school that doesn’t shy from reaching out, trying new things, and adapting to meet individual’s needs, and though still relatively young, Vaudrin has certainly charted its success in that regard. When Vaudrin says that they will help all learners reach their potential, they certainly take it to heart.

Vaudreuil-Dorion 0 0
  • Académie Westboro Academy
    Ottawa, Ontario

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    Our Take: Académie Westboro Academy

    our takeWestboro was established in 1993 by a group of parents who wanted a quality bilingual elementary education for their children. It began with a single Grade 1 class comprised of just 7 students. Needless to say, the school has grown, though—as at the beginning—growth has been an expression of need within the community. Further, the sense of community within the school is rightly encouraged and prized. The focus remains centred on providing an authentic, effective bilingual program within a setting that addresses academic and social development. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a challenging, active educational environment. As such, at Westboro those who enroll will join a student body of true peers, one in which social currency is gained through achievement in all levels of student life. For many, that experience alone can be transformational.

Ottawa 0 0
  • Academie Providence
    Ottawa, Ontario

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    Our Take: Academie Providence

    our takeAll private and independent schools are unique — designed to a specific purpose and for a specific class of learner — and Academy Providence is a particularly good example of that. It was founded in 2002 as an expression of the work of the Antonine Sisters in Canada and the values of the Catholic church. The curriculum adopts a multicultural gaze, even in the earliest years, in part through a substantial attention to languages. Likewise, it adopts the hands-on, group inquiry approach of the Montessori method. That’s a lot, perhaps, but it works. Families that enroll here are drawn by the strength of the academic program as well as the values that inform the delivery of the curriculum. The school is an expression of a Catholic order, though one of the tenets of the Antonine Sisters is to provide education to all people, something that is reflected in the diversity of the student body.

Ottawa 0 0
  • Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E.
    Richmond Hill, Ontario

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    Our Take: Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E.

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

Richmond Hill 0 0
  • Alexander von Humboldt German International School
    Baie-D'Urfé, Montreal, Quebec

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    Our Take: Alexander von Humboldt German International School

    our takeThe program at Alexander von Humboldt is unique in Canada, principally because it admits students for whom either English, French, or German is the language spoken at home. Students need to use those languages not just to interact with the coursework, but also to make themselves understood to their peers, something which creates a particularly rich academic environment. Students arrive speaking different languages, with different life experiences, yet all share the experience of difference, and are faced each day with the social and linguistic challenges of making themselves understood to others. While they learn languages, they also have a more authentic experience of language than students have in the more typical immersion programs found in Canada. Likewise, the atmosphere is particularly conducive to the development social competencies, including empathy and cooperation, as well as an authentic global perspective through which the core curriculum is taught. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a challenging, diverse academic and social environment.

Baie-D'Urfé, Montreal 0 0
  • Alive Montessori & Private School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Alive Montessori & Private School

    our takeJulia Simon founded Alive Montessori in 2001, and she remains very much the head and hands of the school today. She established the school as a means of delivering the Montessori principles, prime among them being the provision of a family-like atmosphere in which to learn. Families who enroll here are drawn to the small size of the school, allowing students to gain a heightened sense of their place within the life of the school. Instruction is personal, with pacing cues taken from the individual students, and a close attention to the talents, perspectives, and interests that they bring with them to the school each day. Students are encouraged to have a voice, and to use it in their daily lives. Numeracy and literacy are important, though passion is, too, something that Simon has rightly built the Alive program around.  

Toronto 0 0
  • Alpine Academy
    Erda, Utah

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    Our Take: Alpine Academy

    our takeAlpine was founded in 2001, though is an expression of the work that Utah Youth Village has been doing since 1969. The setting, the sense of place, and the sense of purpose are all great strengths of the program. The school presents an opportunity for girls to start over, to reimagine who they are and what they might become. It follows the Teaching-Family Model, what the APA describes as “one of the few evidence-based residential treatment programs for troubled children” and recognizing its successes in application. In contrast to programs that see behavioural issues as analogous to illness or mental deficit, the T-F model understands those issues as stemming rather from a lack, for various reasons, of positive interpersonal relationships. What Alpine provides, from the moment that girls arrive, is precisely that: a place within an empathetic, supportive, safe community. For some, that alone is transformative. The typical student is one who displays symptoms associated with depression, mood disorders, trauma, attention deficits, and lowered self-esteem. They also all have skills, talents, and academic abilities, because of those symptoms, that have gone unrecognized and unexpressed. Alpine intends to change that, working with students in a close-knit, family styled environment. Their success is evidence in the feel of life on campus—this doesn’t feel like a treatment centre—and the successes of their graduates. The goal of all private schools is to provide a support to a specific segment of the student population, allowing them to reach their potentials in school and in life. Alpine has demonstrated an ability to meet that goal in every way.

Erda 0 0
  • Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning
    Belleville, Ontario

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    Our Take: Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning

    our takeEvery private school exists to meet the needs of a specific set of learners, which is something that on the whole differentiates private education from the public system. And in that sense, you can’t find a better example than Applewood. It isn’t the right school for all students, but for a specific set of students—principally ones that require therapeutic support and individual learning programs—it is unequalled. When students arrive at Applewood they find themselves in an environment in which they are at the centre of the program, not somewhere ancillary to that. They also find a staff that is expert in their needs, and can envision their path to success. It’s a great school, and a great story. The ideal student is the one who is struggling elsewhere, and who can benefit from a dedicated, empathetic, specialized environment.

Belleville 0 0
  • Arrowsmith School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Arrowsmith School

    our takeThe Arrowsmith School was founded in 1980 by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young to provide support for struggling learners. The school has been an object of interest ever since, due to the concept that Arrowsmith-Young built her program around. "If we look at a lot of special education programs, the majority assume the learner is fixed," she said. "What my program is saying is that we can change the learner so they can learn." While there are many things that set the school apart, that sense of what is possible is prime among them. The Arrowsmith School works closely with students to develop their strengths, address weaknesses, and build academic, social, and vocational competence. That the method works may be evidence of neuroplasticity, and science may yet underscore that. In the meantime, daring to dream as well as creating a supportive, caring, understanding environment can itself provide what many students need in order to succeed, and that's what the Arrowsmith school principally addresses. 

Toronto 0 0
  • ArtsCalibre Academy
    Victoria, British Columbia

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    Our Take: ArtsCalibre Academy

    our takeToo often when a public school board seeks to trim costs they look to arts programming. We like the three Rs, to be sure, and they’re important. But the division between those and the arts isn’t perhaps as clear as some might think. When the people, all those thousands of years ago, wanted to express themselves to others on the walls of the caves at Lascaux, they painted pictures and (presumably) told stories about them. They were communicating about hunting, or so it seems, and they did it through art. We do that too, of course. The arts—music, fine art, dance—are central to the way we express our thoughts, ideas, and our identities. As such, they are central to the way we understand the thoughts, ideas and identities of others. Which is the thinking that ArtsCalibre brings to the delivery of the curriculum. Rather than reducing and isolating the arts, they’ve decided to bring them forward. It’s not for everyone, perhaps, though for many students it’s an important means of engaging with the curricular content. The success that ArtsCalibre has had in the years since it was founded is certainly testament to that. The preschool and elementary programs are divided between two locations, giving each a sense of identity and, through proximity to the Cedar Hill Recreation facilities, an impressive range of resources, especially for a school of this size. Small classes, personal attention, a rich interface between faculty and families, and on it goes. In all, there’s a lot to love.

Victoria 0 0
  • Ashbury College
    Ottawa, Ontario

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    Our Take: Ashbury College

    our take

    Ashbury celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2016, making it one of the oldest schools in the nation. Of that class, it’s also one of the larger schools, with an annual enrollment in the 800 range. There are benefits to size, and Ashbury displays them, with a wealth of extra-curricular activities and co-curricular programs. The school was founded by a graduate of Oxford, Canon George Penrose Woollcombe, who cast the school within the academic tradition that Oxford was, and is, an example of. That said, times change, and certainly Ashbury did as well. The school was an early adopter of global education, most obviously with the addition of the IB program in 1976. Girls were enrolled in 1982, and while the boys still marginally outnumber the girls, the school continues to move toward gender parity. The list of alumni is impressive, including a prime minister, John Turner, and a Nobel laureate, Douglass North. The ideal student is one looking for a challenge, and who can function well in very active curricular and extracurricular environments.

Ottawa 0 0
  • Astolot Educational Centre
    Ottawa, Ontario

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    Our Take: Astolot Educational Centre

    our take

    Not all children learn in the same way, and that’s been a guiding principle behind the Astolot Educational Centre since Jennifer Cowan founded it in 1998. Classes are small, and instruction is student-oriented, beginning with the talents, interests, and perspectives that the children bring with them into the classroom and starting from there. Learning is cooperative, with faculty and students working together to tailor delivery to best meet their individual learning styles. It’s not the typical approach, which is precisely why families turn to Astolot. In addition to reaching student potentials, the program encourages learner responsibility while growing the students’ awareness of how they learn best. While there are a range of student supports, the ideal student is one who is capable of thriving in a challenging atmosphere, and who operates at the top of his or her peer group.

Ottawa 0 0
  • Athol Murray College of Notre Dame
    Wilcox, Saskatchewan

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    Our Take: Athol Murray College of Notre Dame

    our take

    The school began its life in 1920 as a convent school, though came into its own—and gained the present name—after Father Athol Murray arrived in 1927. Murray is one those great Canadians that we all should know more about. Charity was a guiding principle, and he believed that quality education was to be offered to all, if they wanted it, whether they could pay for it or not. Indeed, many students he admitted couldn’t, and he took them anyway. It was on that basis that he was invested into the Order of Canada.
     
    Still, Murray is more remembered today due to his influence in regional and professional hockey. He once said, “I love God, Canada and hockey—not always in that order.” He built the Notre Dame Hounds into a force, and in time the program attracted students for that reason, many of who went on to professional careers. Olympic medalist Delaney Collins is an alum, as is Wendell Clark and of course many others. That said, there is far more to the school than hockey. The program is based in the Catholic tradition, and attention to values is a particular attraction, both for students who share that tradition as well as those who don’t. Character is important, too, and while we tend to look first at the hockey program, the list of notable alumni would be impressive even without the NHL players. The ideal student is one looking for a strong foundation for their careers at university and beyond.

Wilcox 0 0
  • Aurora Montessori School
    Aurora, Ontario

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    Our Take: Aurora Montessori School

    our takeAMS is a Montessori school, though in many ways it exceeds the expectations that parents might have of what a Montessori education offers. The programs are hands-on, community based, though the academic environment is large, both in terms of physical space and student population. As such the extra-curricular programs are robust, including sports as well as a fully development music program that includes group and individual instruction. Those things, in themselves, are a draw for many families. The grounds are extensive, with a porous interface between interior and outdoor learning spaces. The amphitheater is impressive, and likewise is a symbol of the school’s dedication to outdoor and environmental education. In all of that, the school’s name can risk being misleading. AMS isn’t your average Montessori school. It offers broad curricular and extracurricular programs, strong academics, and an overt attention to emotional and social development through the elementary grades. 

Aurora 0 0
  • Aurora Preparatory Academy
    Aurora, Ontario
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    "The academics are so relevant and well-applied. The kids know why they are learning something and are using this knowledge to relate to and understand real-life situations."
    Meave Mastracci - Parent   (Dec 10, 2018)

    Making the decision to switch my eldest to APA was literally one of the best decisions we have ever ...

    "...this school took me in with a smile and great attitude."
    François LeFantôme - Student   (Nov 06, 2018)

    I absolutely love Aurora Prep! It is a bit small but it comes with plenty of charm and smiles. It ha...

    "They had high expectations with him and really encouraged him to rise to the level he was capable of."
    Patty Keele - Parent   (Nov 19, 2018)

    Both my children have had a fantastic experience at APA. The teachers and administration are very re...


    Our Take: Aurora Preparatory Academy

    our takeWe all want to go where everyone knows our name, and while there is a strong academic program at APA, that sense of place is one of the primary draws for the families that enroll here. Students are known throughout the school, and their successes are routinely recognized, shared, and celebrated. For many students, that in itself can provide a transformative learning experience. The community of the school actively includes the parents and siblings of the students who attend, something that brings a welcome warmth and familiarity to the lived experience of the school. The size of the school also allows for faculty to approach each student individually, providing appropriate challenge and support to ensure that all reach their academic and social potentials. The ideal student is one who will thrive in a close-knit, personal, challenging academic setting.

Aurora 0 10
  • Avalon Children's Montessori School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Avalon Children's Montessori School

    our takeAvalon began in 2000 with a single toddler room and one casa classroom and has happily grown ever since. The program today extends through Grade 8, offering a consistency for children through the primary and elementary grades. Likewise, the breadth allows for a greater interaction between generations than elsewhere, something that is rightly a cornerstone of the Montessori approach. The best Montessori schools are those that retain a fidelity to the core of the method while also meeting the needs of the community it serves, expressing their diversity and their values. Certainly, that’s a great strength of Avalon, and one of the reasons that families consistently turn to it. In the nearly two decades of the school’s life it has earned an impressive reputation for good work, professional development, and a strong delivery of the core curriculum. No doubt, it continues to provide all of that and then some.

Toronto 0 0
  • Avante School
    Vancouver, British Columbia

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    Our Take: Avante School

    our takeThe Avante school was founded in 2009 in the understanding that some students aren’t well served within a traditional or typical academic environment. The school is small, which is a foundation for the program’s strengths. Instruction is student led, responsive to their specific needs and pacing as they move through the curriculum. It’s also cross-curricular in ways that most schools simply don’t have the opportunity to be, again this being a function of size. Field trips, guest speakers, group work—all find a place within the delivery of the curriculum. It’s not for everyone, but for the students that enroll, the experience of working closely in a responsive, peer-based environment can be transformative.

Vancouver 0 0
  • AVRO Academy
    North York, Ontario

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    Our Take: AVRO Academy

    our takeAVRO was founded in 2010 by David Berger and Jason Ellenbogen, both of whom remain at the head of the school, continuing to guide it with a keen fidelity to their initial vision. They aren’t your typical educators which, again, is part of the draw. Berger is a long-time educator, and is also very integrated within the life the community that provides a context for the school, including a co-director of Spiritfest, an annual community arts festival. Ellenbogen, too, brings a unique set of skills and experience, including that of being a psychologist with clinical experience with teens and their families. They tailored the delivery of the curriculum based in a sense of best practices that they’d been growing in their professional lives. The faculty continues in kind. Chriasee Sen-Varma, an instructor and academic coordinator, is a physicist. Mindy Alexander, head of social studies, has taught art in prisons. And it continues from there. The feel is small, personal, and the approach builds from the talents and curiosity that the students bring with them into the classroom. The school was created out of a sense of doing things well, but differently, and with an added bit of spark. As such the school has attracted students and instructors of a like mind. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a diverse, close-knit, challenging while supportive learning environment.

North York 0 0
  • École la Nouvelle Vague
    Montreal, Quebec

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    Our Take: École la Nouvelle Vague

    our takeÉcole la Nouvelle Vague is new to Montreal’s educational landscape, and intentionally provides a unique learning profile. Offering a preschool-Grade 6 program, the school offers a strong, bilingual entrée to a child’s formal education. The location, for many families, is optimal. The approach, for many learners, is as well: experiential, inquiry based, and group oriented. The curriculum has been engineered to provide a range of age-appropriate, authentic learning opportunities. The work with local artists and artisans, invited in to provide workshops, is a plus. The school, however, extends that instructional model into areas that are less typical for this age group, including entrepreneurship and technology. Mentorship is a focus, including a partnership with the École de Technologies Superieur. Parents are very welcome to take part in the life of the school through a range of roles. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a very diverse, appropriately challenging learning environment.

Montreal 0 0
  • Banbury Crossroads School
    Calgary, Alberta

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    Our Take: Banbury Crossroads School

    our takeDiane Swiatek founded Banbury Crossroads in 1980, and she remains the head of the school today. She has said that “parenting and mentoring children is a matter of choosing philosophy and principles, and acting so as to live out those principles.” Indeed, since its inception, Banbury has been an expression of that ideal. The academics are demonstrably strong, though the attention to values, including responsibility and character development, is a particular draw for the families that enroll here. So too is an academic approach founded in the curiosity and the interests that students bring with them to the classroom. We learn best when we learn for ourselves, rather than for external reward, and the Banbury environment has been created with that in mind. 

Calgary 0 0
  • Bannockburn
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Bannockburn

    our takeBannockburn is founded in Montessori, and hews close to the spirit of the method and its fundamental principles. There is an abiding attention to creating a supportive, student-centric environment, one that can stimulate and build on children’s curiosity. That said, there are a few welcome adaptations as well, such as lower teacher/student ratio that one might expect to see within a Montessori classroom. The school is very much an expression of the surrounding community—it was begun in 1993 by local parents and educators, and retains very close ties to the surrounding community today. The life of the school is informed by an active and robust parents’ association, with meetings held on the first Monday of each month. Given the location of the school, the fact that it sits on a five-acre property is an added plus, one that both adds to the atmosphere of the school, and allows for the programming, as appropriate, to spread beyond the interior instructional spaces. So, yes, the school has a strong Montessori program, though there is also a clear Bannockburn identity, one that nicely reflects the community that it serves.   

Toronto 0 0
  • Bayview Glen
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Bayview Glen

    our takeIt's a big world out there, with lots of big ideas in it, and Bayview Glen prides itself on offering students an introduction to all its breadth and complexity. The school is part of the Round Square network of schools, which reflects that ambition; the program includes cross-curricular links to concepts of community, self-reliance, and entrepreneurialism. For some students, it can be a lot, perhaps especially for those within the younger grades—the school admits students from preschool through to grade 12. A broad range of curricular and extracurricular activities back up the school's promise to deliver the world: Mandarin classes, a model United Nations program, as well as a range of arts and athletics. While learner support is provided, the ideal student is one who is able to thrive in an intellectually diverse, academically challenging environment.

Toronto 0 0
  • Beacon of Light
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Beacon of Light

    our take

    Some kids thrive in larger settings, though not all do; for those that benefit from a closer, more hands-on approach to learning, Beacon of Light offers a welcome alternative. The tutorial model has been shown to be effective with emerging learners, and many schools have demonstrated its efficacy. While Beacon of Light offers tutorial support in addition to its full program, the classroom model is also based in the same approach, one that begins with the needs of the individual students and a detailed, personal understanding of how each learns. The families that enroll here are drawn by that attention as well as the benefits of a smaller, more focused approach to learning. After care is a draw as well, allowing students to stay within the same setting throughout their day.

Toronto 0 0
  • Bearspaw Christian School
    Calgary, Alberta

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    Our Take: Bearspaw Christian School

    our takeBCS prides itself in being a leader of Christian education, and certainly it distinguishes itself in various ways. With a student body in excess of 700 students, it’s easily one of the larger schools of its kind in the country. As such, it reflects the benefits of its size, including a broad range and variety of programming. BCS also distinguishes itself in the way Christian values are woven through the curriculum. Rather than simply delivering the core curriculum through a Christian lens, BCS seeks to promote the lived experience of a life based in faith. Service programs are an expression of that, as is the emphasis on discipleship in all aspects of student life. The facilities are sparkling, and despite the size, the feel remains very personal and community oriented. The ideal student is one who shares the approach of the school, and who will thrive within a dedicated educational and social environment.

Calgary 0 0
  • Beyond Montessori School
    St. Catharines, Ontario

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    Our Take: Beyond Montessori School

    our takeThere is of course a great range within the world of Montessori education, from schools with a high fidelity to the approach as Maria Montessori expressed it, to those who use it as a starting point for their own unique program. As the name suggests, Beyond Montessori in some senses is within the latter end of that spectrum, seeking to create a program that is responsive to the needs of the community it serves as well as the passions of the faculty. There is a very faithful adoption of the core of the Montessori method, though the school has developed its own personality as well. Families are drawn to BMS for its empathetic approach to instruction, one that seeks to build interpersonal awareness and a sense of environmental stewardship.

St. Catharines 0 0
  • Bishop Hamilton Montessori School
    Ottawa, Ontario
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    "a chance to grow at her own speed"
    Marie Bordeleau - Parent   (Jan 24, 2018)

    Our daughter loves BHMS. She is challenged and engaged by the lessons and the activities, and inter...

    "able to follow my own interests and passions"
    Silvie Cheng - Alumnus   (Jan 24, 2018)

    What stands out most from my time at BHMS was how freely I was able to follow my own interests and p...

    A unique learning experience
    Shannon Clarke - Alumnus   (Jan 24, 2018)

    My favourite part was the unique learning experience I was immersed in. The small class sizes allowe...


    Our Take: Bishop Hamilton Montessori School

    our takeEvery school is unique, and BHMS is a particularly good example of that. It’s a Montessori program, and a faith-based school, though in both of those areas it charts its own unique approach. The school rightly prizes the relationship it has with the families that enroll, bringing them into the life of the school. Parents are drawn by the values that inform the delivery of the curriculum, as well as a focus on empathy and an appreciation of diversity within the school and beyond. While a smaller school, BHMS nevertheless offers a good breadth of extracurricular activities, which is also a principal draw.  

Ottawa 0 10
  • The Bishop Strachan School
    Toronto, Ontario
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    "I am still in touch, twenty years later, with some of my teachers...This speaks to the dedication of the teaching staff I believe"
    Allison Smith - Alumnus   (Sep 19, 2018)

    I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at The Bishop Strachan School. BSS has a strong academic prog...


    Our Take: The Bishop Strachan School

    our take

    The Bishop Strachan School has a long tradition, and an essential part of it has been a desire to think expansively. “We really have a responsibility to get them to think about things in different ways,” says Judith Carlisle, head of school. That means getting beyond school walls, and interacting in substantial ways with the people, the ideas, and the cultures beyond. A parent told us that “our experience with the school, has been that they are teaching the girls that they are part of a larger community, and there’s a lot of opportunity to do good.”

    The school’s approach, largely, is based in an understanding that it’s a complicated world, one which requires a set of complex foundational skills: being able to think for yourself, working cooperatively, and engaging empathetically with others. That includes coding, yes, but it also includes, per Angela Terpstra, principal of the senior school, an ability to write well, speak well, and appreciate the elegance in a well-crafted argument.

    And that’s the kind of learning environment that students enter when they arrive at BSS, namely one that is varied, diverse; one that is comprised of a community of true peers, those who share a sense of curiosity and, while not being bookish, are inclined to academics and respond well to a challenge while appreciating support. Once here, they find those interests and curiosities shared and rewarded. "There's very little pressure to conform at a girls' school,” says an alumnus. “Being unique and having deep interests is what's considered cool.”

    The academics are not only strong, they have long provided an example that other schools have sought to emulate. That said, there’s a belief in being able to relax too—that it’s a journey, not a race, and that it’s as valuable to look around as it is to look forward. In terms of skills, outlook, and confidence, girls leave the school ready to take on the world. And they do.

Toronto 0 10
  • Bishop's College School
    Sherbrooke, Quebec

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    Our Take: Bishop's College School

    our takeBishop's was founded in 1836, becoming co-ed in 1972 through an amalgamation with King's Hall Compton. That long history is apparent in the traditions that remain at the school, including Chapel every morning (now non-denominational) the social organization of the school into houses, and a thriving cadet corps. More prosaically, the names of the 128 alumni who gave their lives in the WWI, WWII, and the Korean War are read out each Remembrance Day during a school-wide assembly. Throughout its life, Bishop's remained a redoubt, grounded in a set of clear values and traditions, while the tides of North American history rose and fell all around it, something that continues today. We live in noisy world, and the ideal student is one who can benefit from a bit of conceptual and geographic distance from it. It's not about isolation, but about having the freedom and the opportunity to direct attention rather than being lead by distraction. The school has been a member of Round Square since 1986, something which provides a foundation for the diversity of the student population, one that includes students from a dozen countries despite an annual enrollment of just 220 students.

Sherbrooke 0 0
  • Blooming Lives Montessori
    Markham, Ontario

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    Our Take: Blooming Lives Montessori

    our takeWhile there is a spectrum of approach across Montessori schools, the program offered by Blooming Lives retains a high fidelity to the method as described by Maria Montessori and demonstrated within the school that she founded in 1907. Mixed age classrooms are a hallmark, as are the manipulatives and a child-centred approach and pacing. The Blooming Lives program adds, very sympathetically, yoga and mindfulness practice, as well as languages and a broader approach to cultural studies. The school environment is well designed, and created with the Blooming Lives program specifically in mind. In all, it’s a very nice mix, one that is true to the core of the method while also responsive to the needs of the community it serves.  

Markham 0 0
  • Blyth Academy Burlington
    Burlington, Ontario

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    Our Take: Blyth Academy Burlington

    our takeWhereas some schools are just that, schools, Blyth represents a range of programs at a range of locations. It was founded by Sam Blyth in 1977, and quickly established itself as a leader in global education with the creation of a Canadian high school in France, as well as an accredited program at Oxford University. Those global education programs provided a unique addition to the Canadian educational landscape.

    With the creation of the first brick-and-mortar school here at home in 2002, Blyth applied the same concept to domestic education. In the intervening decades, the program has grown exponentially, now including 11 campuses which, together, represent the largest single private school student population in Canada. Still, the program continued to grow, today including a campus in Washington DC. A majority host summer programs, night and weekend classes, intended to provide challenge or support for students of the school, or those interested only in specific courses. And on it goes … there are further international programs, year-long study abroad program under the Blyth Global High School banner, as well as online/distance course offerings. There are even March break courses, both here and abroad.

    Again, it's a lot, with a range of programs to support a wide range of students and academic goals. Again, for anyone who thinks of school in a traditional way—a building with classes—Blyth can be a lot to get your head around. Given the historical strength of the programs, however, it's very much worth the effort.

Burlington 0 0
  • Blyth Academy Downsview Park
    North York, Ontario

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    Our Take: Blyth Academy Downsview Park

    our takeWhereas some schools are just that, schools, Blyth represents a range of programs at a range of locations. It was founded by Sam Blyth in 1977, and quickly established itself as a leader in global education with the creation of a Canadian high school in France, as well as an accredited program at Oxford University. Those global education programs provided a unique addition to the Canadian educational landscape.

    With the creation of the first brick-and-mortar school here at home in 2002, Blyth applied the same concept to domestic education. In the intervening decades, the program has grown exponentially, now including 11 campuses which, together, represent the largest single private school student population in Canada. Still, the program continued to grow, today including a campus in Washington DC. A majority host summer programs, night and weekend classes, intended to provide challenge or support for students of the school, or those interested only in specific courses. And on it goes … there are further international programs, year-long study abroad program under the Blyth Global High School banner, as well as online/distance course offerings. There are even March break courses, both here and abroad.

    Again, it's a lot, with a range of programs to support a wide range of students and academic goals. Again, for anyone who thinks of school in a traditional way—a building with classes—Blyth can be a lot to get your head around. Given the historical strength of the programs, however, it's very much worth the effort.

North York 0 0
  • Blyth Academy Lawrence Park
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Blyth Academy Lawrence Park

    our takeWhereas some schools are just that, schools, Blyth represents a range of programs at a range of locations. It was founded by Sam Blyth in 1977, and quickly established itself as a leader in global education with the creation of a Canadian high school in France, as well as an accredited program at Oxford University. Those global education programs provided a unique addition to the Canadian educational landscape.

    With the creation of the first brick-and-mortar school here at home in 2002, Blyth applied the same concept to domestic education. In the intervening decades, the program has grown exponentially, now including 11 campuses which, together, represent the largest single private school student population in Canada. Still, the program continued to grow, today including a campus in Washington DC. A majority host summer programs, night and weekend classes, intended to provide challenge or support for students of the school, or those interested only in specific courses. And on it goes … there are further international programs, year-long study abroad program under the Blyth Global High School banner, as well as online/distance course offerings. There are even March break courses, both here and abroad.

    Again, it's a lot, with a range of programs to support a wide range of students and academic goals. Again, for anyone who thinks of school in a traditional way—a building with classes—Blyth can be a lot to get your head around. Given the historical strength of the programs, however, it's very much worth the effort.

Toronto 0 0
  • Blyth Academy London
    London, Ontario

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    Our Take: Blyth Academy London

    our takeWhereas some schools are just that, schools, Blyth represents a range of programs at a range of locations. It was founded by Sam Blyth in 1977, and quickly established itself as a leader in global education with the creation of a Canadian high school in France, as well as an accredited program at Oxford University. Those global education programs provided a unique addition to the Canadian educational landscape.

    With the creation of the first brick-and-mortar school here at home in 2002, Blyth applied the same concept to domestic education. In the intervening decades, the program has grown exponentially, now including 11 campuses which, together, represent the largest single private school student population in Canada. Still, the program continued to grow, today including a campus in Washington DC. A majority host summer programs, night and weekend classes, intended to provide challenge or support for students of the school, or those interested only in specific courses. And on it goes … there are further international programs, year-long study abroad program under the Blyth Global High School banner, as well as online/distance course offerings. There are even March break courses, both here and abroad.

    Again, it's a lot, with a range of programs to support a wide range of students and academic goals. Again, for anyone who thinks of school in a traditional way—a building with classes—Blyth can be a lot to get your head around. Given the historical strength of the programs, however, it's very much worth the effort.

London 0 0
  • Blyth Academy Mississauga
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: Blyth Academy Mississauga

    our takeWhereas some schools are just that, schools, Blyth represents a range of programs at a range of locations. It was founded by Sam Blyth in 1977, and quickly established itself as a leader in global education with the creation of a Canadian high school in France, as well as an accredited program at Oxford University. Those global education programs provided a unique addition to the Canadian educational landscape.

    With the creation of the first brick-and-mortar school here at home in 2002, Blyth applied the same concept to domestic education. In the intervening decades, the program has grown exponentially, now including 11 campuses which, together, represent the largest single private school student population in Canada. Still, the program continued to grow, today including a campus in Washington DC. A majority host summer programs, night and weekend classes, intended to provide challenge or support for students of the school, or those interested only in specific courses. And on it goes … there are further international programs, year-long study abroad program under the Blyth Global High School banner, as well as online/distance course offerings. There are even March break courses, both here and abroad.

    Again, it's a lot, with a range of programs to support a wide range of students and academic goals. Again, for anyone who thinks of school in a traditional way—a building with classes—Blyth can be a lot to get your head around. Given the historical strength of the programs, however, it's very much worth the effort.

Mississauga 0 0
  • Blyth Academy Online School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Blyth Academy Online School

    our takeWhereas some schools are just that, schools, Blyth represents a range of programs at a range of locations. It was founded by Sam Blyth in 1977, and quickly established itself as a leader in global education with the creation of a Canadian high school in France, as well as an accredited program at Oxford University. Those global education programs provided a unique addition to the Canadian educational landscape.

    With the creation of the first brick-and-mortar school here at home in 2002, Blyth applied the same concept to domestic education. In the intervening decades, the program has grown exponentially, now including 11 campuses which, together, represent the largest single private school student population in Canada. Still, the program continued to grow, today including a campus in Washington DC. A majority host summer programs, night and weekend classes, intended to provide challenge or support for students of the school, or those interested only in specific courses. And on it goes … there are further international programs, year-long study abroad program under the Blyth Global High School banner, as well as online/distance course offerings. There are even March break courses, both here and abroad.

    Again, it's a lot, with a range of programs to support a wide range of students and academic goals. Again, for anyone who thinks of school in a traditional way—a building with classes—Blyth can be a lot to get your head around. Given the historical strength of the programs, however, it's very much worth the effort.

Toronto 0 0
  • Blyth Academy Ottawa
    Ottawa, Ontario

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    Our Take: Blyth Academy Ottawa

    our takeWhereas some schools are just that, schools, Blyth represents a range of programs at a range of locations. It was founded by Sam Blyth in 1977, and quickly established itself as a leader in global education with the creation of a Canadian high school in France, as well as an accredited program at Oxford University. Those global education programs provided a unique addition to the Canadian educational landscape.

    With the creation of the first brick-and-mortar school here at home in 2002, Blyth applied the same concept to domestic education. In the intervening decades, the program has grown exponentially, now including 11 campuses which, together, represent the largest single private school student population in Canada. Still, the program continued to grow, today including a campus in Washington DC. A majority host summer programs, night and weekend classes, intended to provide challenge or support for students of the school, or those interested only in specific courses. And on it goes … there are further international programs, year-long study abroad program under the Blyth Global High School banner, as well as online/distance course offerings. There are even March break courses, both here and abroad.

    Again, it's a lot, with a range of programs to support a wide range of students and academic goals. Again, for anyone who thinks of school in a traditional way—a building with classes—Blyth can be a lot to get your head around. Given the historical strength of the programs, however, it's very much worth the effort.

Ottawa 0 0
  • Blyth Academy Thornhill
    Thornhill, Ontario

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    Our Take: Blyth Academy Thornhill

    our takeWhereas some schools are just that, schools, Blyth represents a range of programs at a range of locations. It was founded by Sam Blyth in 1977, and quickly established itself as a leader in global education with the creation of a Canadian high school in France, as well as an accredited program at Oxford University. Those global education programs provided a unique addition to the Canadian educational landscape.

    With the creation of the first brick-and-mortar school here at home in 2002, Blyth applied the same concept to domestic education. In the intervening decades, the program has grown exponentially, now including 11 campuses which, together, represent the largest single private school student population in Canada. Still, the program continued to grow, today including a campus in Washington DC. A majority host summer programs, night and weekend classes, intended to provide challenge or support for students of the school, or those interested only in specific courses. And on it goes … there are further international programs, year-long study abroad program under the Blyth Global High School banner, as well as online/distance course offerings. There are even March break courses, both here and abroad.

    Again, it's a lot, with a range of programs to support a wide range of students and academic goals. Again, for anyone who thinks of school in a traditional way—a building with classes—Blyth can be a lot to get your head around. Given the historical strength of the programs, however, it's very much worth the effort.

Thornhill 0 0
  • Blyth Academy Waterloo
    Kitchener, Ontario

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    Our Take: Blyth Academy Waterloo

    our takeWhereas some schools are just that, schools, Blyth represents a range of programs at a range of locations. It was founded by Sam Blyth in 1977, and quickly established itself as a leader in global education with the creation of a Canadian high school in France, as well as an accredited program at Oxford University. Those global education programs provided a unique addition to the Canadian educational landscape.

    With the creation of the first brick-and-mortar school here at home in 2002, Blyth applied the same concept to domestic education. In the intervening decades, the program has grown exponentially, now including 11 campuses which, together, represent the largest single private school student population in Canada. Still, the program continued to grow, today including a campus in Washington DC. A majority host summer programs, night and weekend classes, intended to provide challenge or support for students of the school, or those interested only in specific courses. And on it goes … there are further international programs, year-long study abroad program under the Blyth Global High School banner, as well as online/distance course offerings. There are even March break courses, both here and abroad.

    Again, it's a lot, with a range of programs to support a wide range of students and academic goals. Again, for anyone who thinks of school in a traditional way—a building with classes—Blyth can be a lot to get your head around. Given the historical strength of the programs, however, it's very much worth the effort.

Kitchener 0 0
  • Blyth Academy Whitby
    Whitby, Ontario

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    Our Take: Blyth Academy Whitby

    our takeWhereas some schools are just that, schools, Blyth represents a range of programs at a range of locations. It was founded by Sam Blyth in 1977, and quickly established itself as a leader in global education with the creation of a Canadian high school in France, as well as an accredited program at Oxford University. Those global education programs provided a unique addition to the Canadian educational landscape.

    With the creation of the first brick-and-mortar school here at home in 2002, Blyth applied the same concept to domestic education. In the intervening decades, the program has grown exponentially, now including 11 campuses which, together, represent the largest single private school student population in Canada. Still, the program continued to grow, today including a campus in Washington DC. A majority host summer programs, night and weekend classes, intended to provide challenge or support for students of the school, or those interested only in specific courses. And on it goes … there are further international programs, year-long study abroad program under the Blyth Global High School banner, as well as online/distance course offerings. There are even March break courses, both here and abroad.

    Again, it's a lot, with a range of programs to support a wide range of students and academic goals. Again, for anyone who thinks of school in a traditional way—a building with classes—Blyth can be a lot to get your head around. Given the historical strength of the programs, however, it's very much worth the effort.

Whitby 0 0
  • Blyth Academy Yorkville
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Blyth Academy Yorkville

    our takeWhereas some schools are just that, schools, Blyth represents a range of programs at a range of locations. It was founded by Sam Blyth in 1977, and quickly established itself as a leader in global education with the creation of a Canadian high school in France, as well as an accredited program at Oxford University. Those global education programs provided a unique addition to the Canadian educational landscape.

    With the creation of the first brick-and-mortar school here at home in 2002, Blyth applied the same concept to domestic education. In the intervening decades, the program has grown exponentially, now including 11 campuses which, together, represent the largest single private school student population in Canada. Still, the program continued to grow, today including a campus in Washington DC. A majority host summer programs, night and weekend classes, intended to provide challenge or support for students of the school, or those interested only in specific courses. And on it goes … there are further international programs, year-long study abroad program under the Blyth Global High School banner, as well as online/distance course offerings. There are even March break courses, both here and abroad.

    Again, it's a lot, with a range of programs to support a wide range of students and academic goals. Again, for anyone who thinks of school in a traditional way—a building with classes—Blyth can be a lot to get your head around. Given the historical strength of the programs, however, it's very much worth the effort.

Toronto 0 0
  • Bodwell High School
    North Vancouver, British Columbia

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    Our Take: Bodwell High School

    our takeBodwell began in 1991 with just six students, and has grown exponentially since then. It’s now one of the largest international boarding schools in the country. Throughout, the school has been developed to support learners arriving in Canada from overseas, including counsellors who can provide guidance on travel and visa requirements, and international credit equivalencies. The atmosphere in many ways in an expression of the surrounding city. Like Vancouver, the school is diverse, positioned to grant a global perspective. Graduates are encouraged to grow a sense of who they are in that wider world, both of the pacific rim and beyond. The ideal student is one preparing for university and, afterward, a professional engagement within an international context.

North Vancouver 0 0
  • Bond Academy
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Bond Academy

    our takeBegun in 1978, Bond has grown to include a wealth of programs, including those beyond the prospectus of the academy. Because of the association with them, the Academy is proximate to a full range of physical resources and a rich athletics program. Boarding supports international students, including a language centre offering ESL classes and tutorial in addition to core curriculum, as well as provisions for foreign credit equivalency. With AP courses and independent study options, the ideal student is one who is preparing for university enrollment.

Toronto 0 0
  • Braemar House School
    Brantford, Ontario
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    "...the academic level was much lower at his old school and at Braemar the educators are all on board and eager to help out our son achieve his best!"
    Anna Nemeth - Parent   (Nov 07, 2018)

    Our son enrolled in Braemar House School in Sep 2018. We had considered Braemar for many years, but...

    "BHS was the best investment we could have made for our children."
    Rebecca Rooney - Parent   (Nov 06, 2018)

    We have been lucky enough to have two children at BHS. Each value different aspects of the school. ...


    Our Take: Braemar House School

    our takeBraemar House was founded in 1996 by a group of parents looking for a school for their children centred around their shared values and beliefs. That’s great of course, as are the specific values that they had in mind: citizenship, stewardship, and community. When we think of education, we think of academics, though those initial families were aware that academics, while important, are only one part of the bigger picture. The school has grown and formalized since then, as with the creation of the Citizenship Program in 2005, as well as the creation of the Virtues Project, which contribute to the other character building initiatives within the delivery of the core curriculum. There is of course an abiding attention to delivering a strong academic program—there has been a significant attention to developing 21st century literacies—though it’s the attention to values that remains, rightly, an important draw. The ideal student is one operating at the top of his or her peer group, able to thrive in a vibrant educational atmosphere. 

Brantford 0 10
  • Brampton Christian School
    Caledon, Ontario

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    Our Take: Brampton Christian School

    our takeBCS was founded in 1977 by the Kennedy Road Tabernacle and was initially known as KRT Christian School. It’s grown since, and the name was changed to reflect the school’s non-denominational perspective, though the school is now, just as it has always been, a part of the KRT ministry. Bob Boshart became principal in 1982 and over the next 26 years he consistently lead the development of the programs, accreditation, and the expansion into the upper grades. That said, the development has been very much guided by the school community, and the involvement of the families who have enrolled past and present is a great source of strength for the school. A fairly recent and substantial capital campaign has brought the school to where it is today, with a renewed infrastructure and a full complement of up-to-date instructional resources. Families are drawn to the reputation that the school has gained over its life, as well as a program based in the values of the Christian faith.

Caledon 0 0
  • Branksome Hall
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Branksome Hall

    our takeClans and tartans, prefects and polo shirts—the initial gestalt is very traditional. Some of the buildings on campus are heritage buildings, which adds to the luster, though they pre-date the founding of the school. Still, the spirit of the school is strikingly modern. The IB program starts early, as does the view to globalism. Branksome has a sister campus in South Korea, offering a hint of the dedication to an international gaze. Lists of notable alumni don't always reflect the work of the school—princes, for example, appear on those lists no matter what they achieve at school or afterward—though Branksome might prove the exception, in part because of the consistency of the achievement it demonstrates. Arts, letters, philanthropy, and leadership are all well represented in the list of notable alumni, just as they are within the school itself. Branksome Hall sets its sights very high, to be sure, and the ideal student is one who shares the core vision and is able to function in a very diverse, challenging, expansive environment.

Toronto 0 0
  • Briercrest Christian Academy
    Caronport, Saskatchewan
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    " ... many opportunities for students"
    Kyron Hoimyr - Alumnus   (Jan 23, 2018)

    I loved my time at Caronport High School. I came into the school at the start of grade nine and I re...

    An atmosphere of caring
    LOREE BUCK - Parent   (Jan 30, 2018)

    The atmosphere at CHS is one of caring for the whole person of the student. The teachers are not jus...

    " ... Mr. Bell and his history classes really brought history to life"
    Chiante Guretzki - Alumnus   (Jan 23, 2018)

    My experience at CHS was absolutely wonderful. Everything from the quality of the education to the p...


    Our Take: Briercrest Christian Academy

    our takeCaronport was established in 1946, and at a property that was dedicated as the new location of the Briercrest Bible Institute on Canada Day of that year. The school remains in partnership with Briercrest College and Briercrest Seminary, with all contributing to the same foundational goals of offering leadership in Christian education. Throughout the school’s history, the program has remained innovative and forward looking, something which it retains today. The student population is small and close-knit, and the school reaps the benefits of its size, namely a very focused learning environment, a clear sense of belonging and engagement, and a high level of individual attention. The boarding program supports international learners through guidance and ESL. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a challenging yet supportive academic environment.

Caronport 0 11
  • Brighton Launch
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Brighton Launch

    our takeBrightonLaunch is, for the families that enroll, a life-changer. The students enter an environment that is as empathetic as it is supportive, one in which they experience a community of peers, some of them for the first time. That alone can be transformative. The intention, as they say so beautifully, is to create “lives of success”—that they use that terminology is a great entrée to the focus of the program. Students are engaged through their strengths and talents, rather than any supposed or perceived deficits. They call the school a “launch pad” which is great, too—the program looks ahead to next steps, including entrée into social and work settings beyond the walls of the school. Instruction is informed by a wealth of expertise and experience. In all that and more, there’s certainly a lot to love.

Toronto 0 0
  • Brighton School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Brighton School

    our takeThe Brighton program begins from the understanding that not all students are able to adapt themselves to the curriculum; rather, in order to reach their potentials, they require an academic environment that adapts itself to them. That can take many forms, and Brighton offers the full range, from small, student-centred groups, to a balanced daily schedule, to a staff with the tools and supports—and the time—to really work individually with each of the students. There are lots of challenges out there, and Brighton has a history of helping their students meet all of them, no matter what form they might take. The service programs, spirit days, and extracurricular programs all extend and enhance the strength of the core program.

Toronto 0 0
  • British Columbia Christian Academy
    Port Coquitlam, British Columbia

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    Our Take: British Columbia Christian Academy

    our takeFounded in 1992, the BCCA story is much like that of the little engine that could: dogged persistence toward the goal. Despite a number of moves and growing pains, the school has reached its 25th anniversary stronger than ever, and also remaining very true to the goals of the founders. The school began its life as an expression of the community, with parents coming together around the idea of providing an interdenominational Christian education for their children. It has grown over the years, though that ideal remains, namely to serve families and to include them, unequivocally, within the life of the school. This recent anniversary has provided a moment to pause and consider the successes that the school has had, as well as to reflect a bit on what’s ahead. Certainly, it’s a continuing story. BCCA offers an opportunity for students to engage within a shared culture of belief, and to live and learn though a Christian lens. Values are important, and that piece, in consort with a proven academic program, is what draws families to the school.

Port Coquitlam 0 0
  • Brockton School
    North Vancouver, British Columbia

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    Our Take: Brockton School

    our takeFamilies rightly turn to Brockton for strong academics, and it certainly has that, undergirded by the IB program. But families turn to private school for other reasons as well, prime among them an environment in which students enter a community of peers of a like mind, and who are academically inclined, and Brocton offers that as well. Even more importantly though is an aspect of the school that perhaps parents don’t think to first, though they should, and that’s the opportunity to have authentic experience with a range of endeavor that they wouldn’t otherwise. The community of the Brockton School is close-knit, while the course and extracurricular program is broad. No, it’s not always easy to try new things, and the school is cognizant of the barriers to participation, anticipates them, and seeks to provide a sympathetic introduction. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a vibrant, active, supportive yet challenging academic environment.

North Vancouver 0 0
  • Bronte College
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: Bronte College

    our takeAny way you look at it, there’s a lot going on at Bronte College. The student population is predominantly boarding, which in turn provides a foundation for the life of the school. Students arrive each year from more than 30 countries from around the world, and the instruction adopts an international gaze as well. AP, IB—the academic programs are focused intently on the progression to university, and to ensure success in post-secondary life. The ideal student is one who will thrive within a very diverse, challenging, globally minded academic environment.

Mississauga 0 0
  • Brookes School Canada
    Victoria, British Columbia

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    Our Take: Brookes School Canada

    our takeLearning is collaborative, project based, and rigorous. The campus reaches out the world, including virtual classrooms that link up with those at sister schools in Cambridge UK, Seoul Korea, and Silicon Valley California. The school’s vision is as broad as its reach, intending to produce leaders who will not only engage with the world, but seek a role in shaping it. Instruction is supportive and attentive, challenging and expansive. 

Victoria 0 0
  • Buffalo Seminary
    Buffalo, New York

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    Our Take: Buffalo Seminary

    our takeSEM was founded in 1851 as The Buffalo Female Academy, and it’s had an impressive history ever since. Times have changed of course, and so has the school, yet the initial intent for the school remains pretty much what it was at the beginning: to provide an exceptional education for young women, preparing them for productive roles in academics, society, and life. Some of the traditions of the school reflect those of the Christian church—the school gathers each day in chapel, where they sing “Jerusalem,” the school’s anthem—though the daily life of the school is secular, reflective and supportive of the diversity within the student body. At the center of a historic city neighborhood, the location and the buildings of the campus are a strength, and the programming of the school rightly capitalizes on it. Students are able to experience city life, and the school makes good use of the resources that an urban setting provides. The long-held traditions of the school offer a unique and very welcome sense of place, as does the dedication to creative engagement between students, both in and out of the classroom. The ideal student is one preparing for post-secondary education, and who will thrive in a very active academic environment. 

Buffalo 0 0
  • Burlington Christian Academy
    Burlington, Ontario
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    A unique style of learning
    Tosha Freitag - Parent   (Jan 24, 2018)

    All 3 of my children thrive in the small class room size where they feel like a student and not anot...

    caring staff, good communication
    Doriel Moulton - Parent   (Mar 12, 2018)

    My children absolutely LOVE attending BCA. They feel truly loved and cared for by their teachers, an...

    " ... loves the hands-on learning"
    Tammy Beattie - Parent   (Feb 13, 2018)

    My son's self esteem has soared since joining BCA. He is finding success, and loves the hands-on le...


    Our Take: Burlington Christian Academy

    our takeFounded in 1975, parents, understandably, have turned to BCA first because it is one of the few private school options in the Burlington area where the elementary curriculum is taught through a Christian lens. And, to be sure, that’s one of the schools prime offerings. That said, the program has other strengths as well, including very broad arts and athletic programs that are unique to schools of this size. The variety and attention is a plus, though so is access—in a school of 140 students, and with this level of programming, all students are able to experience and participate in organized sports, leadership training, music, and theatre. The school has also dedicated itself to higher order athletics, with a level of coaching and training that, again, is atypical within schools of this size. So, while the values piece is certainly a draw, the school has a lot to offer in addition, including a proven academics, a rich extra-curricular programming, housed within a close, community atmosphere.

Burlington 0 10
  • Calgary Academy & Calgary Collegiate
    Calgary, Alberta

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    Our Take: Calgary Academy & Calgary Collegiate

    our take

    Every school is unique, supporting a unique set of learners, and Calgary Academy is an excellent example of the concept. The school addresses itself to students with learning difficulties and differences and who aren’t reaching their potential in a traditional learning environment. The Academy addresses learners who are struggling and need targeted academic support; the Collegiate addresses learners who are achieving at the top of their peer group, and who need a challenge and direction in order to reach their potentials. The program is designed in the awareness that students often arrive having had negative experiences elsewhere. As such, a core goal of the program is to build self-esteem and confidence in their skills and abilities. The values that inform the delivery of the curriculum are also, rightly, a draw for the families that enrol.

Calgary 0 0
  • Calgary French & International School
    Calgary, Alberta
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    "We have been blown away by the care and attention demonstrated by the teaching staff at CFIS."
    Jimmy Porter - Parent   (Sep 11, 2018)

    Our daughter absolutely loves CFIS. She feels a strong community connection with supportive teacher...


    Our Take: Calgary French & International School

    our take

    The Calgary French & International School (CFIS) is one of the leading independent schools in Canada. Students enjoy enriched academic courses, take part in incredible co-curricular programming, and graduate fluent in three languages. Each student’s unique potential is nurtured within our warm, welcoming community, and we work together to create a dynamic learning environment with each student’s individual learning needs in mind. Strong academics and robust language programming are the foundation of CFIS, and to that end, a wide range of options is offered to encourage students to explore interests in subject areas they may not have previously experienced. Within CFIS’s French immersion learning environment, the curriculum is taught in French, with the exception of English language arts and Spanish as a third language. CFIS students graduate fully bilingual in French and English and with functional fluency in Spanish. Tomorrow’s world will require today’s young people to be innovative and creative global citizens. As multilingual learners in a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Associated School, Round Square School and IB programming at the Senior High level, CFIS students will be confident in their ability to communicate in a variety of languages, which will help them to make a difference in their world. Each one is encouraged to lead advocacy and humanitarian work related to their studies, in their local community and even globally. Through international connections, including travel studies in higher grades, students are taught to effectively and confidently navigate among different cultures, which affords our graduates an exciting range of future options. CFIS graduates are well-prepared for university, finishing Grade 12 with the courses required to pursue post-secondary studies in the fields of their choice. CFIS alumni have moved on to study at French and English universities throughout Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom in a wide-range of disciplines.

Calgary 0 9
  • Cambridge International Academy
    Ajax, Ontario

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    Our Take: Cambridge International Academy

    our takeCambridge International Academy is positioned to address a diversity of learners, including those who arrive domestically and those arriving from overseas. Families are drawn to the small class sizes and the individual instruction they allow, as well as the international gaze afforded through working and learning with students from a range of cultural backgrounds and experiences. English language learning and homestay programs support international students. While the academic program is strong, families are also drawn to the focus on interpersonal, emotional, and social development. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a close-knit, challenging environment, and who is preparing for success at university.

Ajax 0 0
  • Cedar Ridge High School
    Kanata, Ontario

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    Our Take: Cedar Ridge High School

    our takeCedar Ridge High School is a relatively new school, but was created to extend and build upon the success of the primary and elementary program at Kanata Mountain School over the past four decades. The program has been designed to support learners seeking university acceptance, and to be successful once they arrive there. The environment is small and close-knit, though very much a part of the larger community that includes Kanata Montessori. On enrollment students enter an environment of true peers, namely those who which to excel academically, and who thrive within a creative, cooperative, and challenging learning environment. A hallmark of the Cedar Ridge program is the intention to develop students’ facility with the core material, as well as confidence in an ability to communicate it and work effectively with others, encouraging them to take leadership roles within the school and beyond.

Kanata 0 0
  • Centennial Academy
    Montreal, Quebec

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    Our Take: Centennial Academy

    our takeWhile there is no formal link, Centennial is very much in the tradition of the Gow School in New York State. Founded in the 1920s, Gow pioneered a concept that, thankfully, is more common today than it was all those years ago: that not all learners are created equally, and that intelligence and an ability to succeed in school are two very different things. That understanding alone accounts for much of the value that Centennial can offer. The typical student arrives after struggling within a traditional academic setting. Most often, that struggle is a result of linguistic disruption—dyslexia, dysgraphia—or executive functioning issues, as common in children with ADHD or autism spectrum disorders. For them, the approach taken at the school can feel like a breath of fresh air. Instruction is empathetic, using strategies appropriate to the students' unique needs. An environment in which students find themselves as part of a majority, rather than an academic or social minority, can also create unique opportunities for the development of a positive self concept than might previously been available to them.

Montreal 0 0
  • Central Montessori School – Maplehurst Campus
    North York, Ontario

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    Our Take: Central Montessori School – Maplehurst Campus

    our takeSince it was founded in 1995, CMS has grown to include five locations in the GTA. The program is founded on the core ideals that Maria Montessori promoted in her work, those of respect, community, purposeful engagement, and self-directed learning. That said, Montessori didn't create her program as a museum piece, but rather as a starting point, and that's a spirit that CMS upholds as well. Dr. Montessori, as has been said, "adjusted and adapted her educational system to better serve children's needs, and well-functioning Montessori classrooms typically share many features reflecting those adjustments." One of which was, of course, a willingness to adjust and adapt. As such, the CMS program includes, as at the Maplehurst location, a computer lab, a library, and a music room. In all, the focus is very clearly on the child, and supporting child development, which is just as it should be.

North York 0 0
  • Central Montessori Schools - York Mills
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Central Montessori Schools - York Mills

    our takeSince it was founded in 1995, CMS has grown to include five locations in the GTA. The program is founded on the core ideals that Maria Montessori promoted in her work, those of respect, community, purposeful engagement, and self-directed learning. That said, Montessori didn't create her program as a museum piece, but rather as a starting point, and that's a spirit that CMS upholds as well. Dr. Montessori, as has been said, "adjusted and adapted her educational system to better serve children's needs, and well-functioning Montessori classrooms typically share many features reflecting those adjustments." One of which was, of course, a willingness to adjust and adapt. As such, the CMS program includes, as at the Maplehurst location, a computer lab, a library, and a music room. In all, the focus is very clearly on the child, and supporting child development, which is just as it should be.

Toronto 0 0
  • Century Private School
    Richmond Hill, Ontario

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    Our Take: Century Private School

    our takeCentury began its life in 1994 when Sybil Taylor founded the Montessori school. The program has grown considerably since then, and in a variety of ways, most notably with the development of the high school program. The school is housed within a heritage building that provides a welcome sense of place and purpose. While the middle and high school programs perhaps venture away from the core of the Montessori method, they nevertheless retain a sense of community, hands-on learning, and peer support. The ideal student is one that can thrive within a challenging academic environment, and who is preparing for success at university.  

Richmond Hill 0 0
  • CGS (Children's Garden School)
    Toronto, Ontario
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    Love the little things
    Wendy Arnold List - Parent   (Jan 24, 2018)

    We had 3 children go through CGS and each loved being able to do things that young children aren't n...

    Nuturing and encouraging
    Irene Chai - Parent   (Jan 25, 2018)

    My kids enjoy the nurturing and encouraging school atmosphere created by the teachers and staffs at ...

    "the kids feel supported, happy, and special"
    Nina Chandarana - Parent   (Jan 24, 2018)

    My kids love CGS. They appreciate the family like feel of the school and how nurtured they are. Ev...


    Our Take: CGS (Children's Garden School)

    our takeCGS was founded in 1986 by Marie Bates, who remains as the principal at the school today. As that suggests, the school has remained very true to the founders’ initial intentions, namely to create a place that provides a strong academic foundation in a caring, open, and supportive environment. While reading, writing, and numeracy are key—just as they should be—so is the development of creativity and social engagement. Bates believes that children learn as much in music class as they do in math class, and she’s right of course. As such, the program promotes links across the curriculum, allowing children to see those connections while also broadening their horizons of interest. The strength of the program is reflected by the reputation that CGS has earned over the thirty-plus years of its life.

Toronto 0 10
  • Chamberlain International School
    Middleboro, Massachusetts

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    Our Take: Chamberlain International School

    our takeChamberlain offers a lot, to be sure, though it’s perhaps easy to understate the value of an understanding, inclusive environment. Educator Mary MacCracken wrote that “children can’t begin to learn until they feel safe, and they can’t feel safe until they are honestly and completely accepted.” For many if not all of the students that enroll at Chamberlain, that’s huge. The school supports, diagnostically and academically, learners with a wide range of academic and emotional challenges. What they all share, however, is a lived experience of exceptionality—the world can be a hard place, and these children, whether they articulate it or not, know that better than most. At Chamberlain they find a place which addresses their capabilities, is cognizant of their potentials, and where instruction is based in a very close understanding of their specific needs. Many will go on to post-secondary education, though the principle aim is to allow students to grow into a better understanding of themselves, their place in the world, and to build on their personal strengths.

Middleboro 0 0
  • Children's Garden Nursery School
    Toronto, Ontario
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    "The small class sizes are the perfect transition into a formal classroom environment, ensuring that each child feels safe as they take their first steps towards independence."
    Dixie Ho - Parent   (Dec 03, 2018)

    Our older child started in the preschool class at Children's Garden Nursery School and completed the...

    "The principal and all the teachers are passionate about creating the optimal environment for young children to adapt to school life, learn and grow."
    Omar Hamam - Parent   (Oct 16, 2018)

    I have 3 children, one attended from preschool to SK and the others are currently in JK and started ...

    "Children's Garden Nursery School provides a theme-based curriculum that is relatively structured which was one of the main selling points for us. There is a calendar sent out each month that shows exactly..."
    Benjamin Pham - Parent   (Nov 19, 2018)

    Our daughter's experience at Children's Garden Nursery School has been fantastic. She is in her 2nd ...


    Our Take: Children's Garden Nursery School

    our takeSince Children’s Garden was established in 1986, there has been a nice consistency of approach and leadership through the directorship of Pauline Foulkes. When she began there were just two students, though enrolment grew quickly to the 100 student mark, where the enrolment remains today. Throughout, Foulkes has maintained a very hands-on, involved role within all aspects of care and instruction. Location and size are important, though the quality of the programming, of course, is too, and there are few instances of nursery schools with as long a record of providing such unwavering service. The school is housed, now as from the start, in the Church of St. Augustine of Canterbury, though the program isn’t affiliated with the church and is non-denominational.

Toronto 0 9
  • Chisholm Academy
    Oakville, Ontario

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    Our Take: Chisholm Academy

    our takeChisholm was created to address the needs of the kinds of learners who are prone to falling through the cracks of a traditional education. Special needs is the term we might use, though the definition used at Chisholm admits a broader understanding than we typically grant, including students from across the entire academic spectrum. What they share is a need for a more structured academic experience. The school is headed by Dr. Howard Bernstein and Dr. Shirley Bryntwick, both clinical psychologists. The ideal student is one who requires more than they are able to get from a traditional academic setting, and who benefits from a very structured, personal, planned approach to their education. A robust interface between parents and the school is encouraged, and close communication is ongoing throughout the academic year.

Oakville 0 0
  • City Academy
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: City Academy

    our takeAll schools are unique, though that’s particularly true of City Academy. It was founded in 1999 by Sheila Dever, and her pedigree for teaching is simply unequalled. She brought a long experience in the public school sector and within the education faculty at York University. She created the program at City Academy to be intensive and challenging, and it is. Small classes and the four semester format focus student attention in unique ways, while allowing instructors to take cues from the students, adapting to their individual strengths and needs. There really is nothing like it. The ideal student is one intending to proceed to post-secondary education, and is looking to build the personal and academic skills that will be required for success in that context.

Toronto 0 0
  • Clanmore Montessori School
    Oakville, Ontario
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    "She loves going to school"
    Karen Kafel - Parent   (Feb 13, 2018)

    She loves going to school. She loves the activities, the kids and the teachers. She begs me every mo...

    "the little school, with the big heart"
    Emily Johnson - Alumnus   (Apr 10, 2018)

    When I was a student at Clanmore one of the many phrases that we had was "the little school with the...


    Our Take: Clanmore Montessori School

    our take“Let’s talk this out under the magnolia tree,” is the Clanmore version of, “we need to have a talk.” How great is that? Certainly, from the magnolia tree on up, there’s a lot to love here. The Clanmore building, as well as the context it sits within, is gorgeous. The home was built in 1904, and the school bought it in 1998 from descendants of the original owner. Which, frankly, just feels right for some reason. Atmosphere, is an important aspect of Montessori education, and all of the additions and adjustments to the structure have been undertaken with that in mind. It sits on the edge of the Joshua’s Creek Conservation area, and the school rightly makes use of that location within its programming. The curriculum hews to a close reading of Maria Montessori’s intentions, the attention to student-guided instruction prime among them.

Oakville 0 9
  • Claren Academy
    Vancouver, British Columbia

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    Our Take: Claren Academy

    our takeTechnology is increasingly providing a way into the core curriculum, certainly in ways that it couldn’t 50 or even 20 years ago. Claren was founded in with that in mind, principally using technology as the spark that will create and inspire children to engage with the curriculum and with their peers. There is an awareness of the skills that children will need in their adult lives, though they include working together, organizing their interest around projects, and employing a range of tools to communicate their ideas, and to develop them. The ideal student is one able to thrive in an active, diverse learning environment, and whose interests tend toward a hands-on engagement with technology.

Vancouver 0 0
  • Class Afloat - West Island College International
    Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

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    Our Take: Class Afloat - West Island College International

    our take

    In the world of unique educational options, Class Afloat takes the prize. It’s exactly what it looks like: students board a tall ship and sail off to see the world. While they do that, they take classes, earning credits toward completion of their high school diploma. Unreal. But, there it is.

    The program was begun in 1984, inspired by that year being designated by the United Nations as International Youth Year. The founder of Montreal’s West Island College, Terry Davies, chose to mark the year and its main themes—development, participation, peace—through an extended sailing trip with students that were already enrolled at WIC. Because of the success of that trip, the Class Afloat program has continued to operate ever since. To date the program has gained 1500 alumni, and has sailed more than 700 000 nautical miles, roughly equivalent to travelling to the moon and back, or four circumnavigations of the globe.

    The ship provides, as you might imagine, a focal point, though it does so in ways that you may not initially think. Living and working aboard a tall ship can be challenging—students need to live in close quarters, and work with their peers in order to achieve certain goals. For some, that experience itself can provide some of the best, and most lasting lessons. It’s not for the faint of heart, and is only for students who choose this option themselves and are keen to make the most of it.

Lunenburg 0 0
  • College Prep International
    Montreal, Quebec

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    Our Take: College Prep International

    our takeWith more than 25 languages spoken within a student body of just 120, the school certainly comes by its name honestly. The primary language of instruction is English, though many students arrive for whom English is a second language; a majority are international students, though certainly that's not a requirement. The ideal student is one destined for post-secondary education, who will thrive in a linguistically and culturally diverse environment, and who can perceive the unique opportunities and perspective that such an environment can provide.

Montreal 0 0
  • Columbia International College
    Hamilton, Ontario

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    Our Take: Columbia International College

    our takeWhile some schools pride themselves on being small, Columbia finds its strength in being large—with a student population in excess of 1800, it is easily the largest boarding school in Canada. What Columbia might lack in intimacy it gains in the ability to provide a wealth of supports and programs that smaller schools simply can't. The school maintains extensive liaison offices, a dedicated guidance staff, and even its own medical clinic. The faculty, through size and experience, is remarkably adept at providing a quality, well-rounded education with an eye to success in postsecondary education. The school provides ESL to students who need it, and liaises directly with universities in Canada and beyond in order to facilitate the transition to postsecondary education. In all, the school excels at doing what it was created to do: to support the university-bound international learner who is living away from home within a culture, and at times a language, that is unfamiliar.

Hamilton 0 0
  • Cornerstone Montessori Prep School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Cornerstone Montessori Prep School

    our takeThe total student population is perhaps on the larger side for Montessori schools in the area, though residing on two campuses. As such Cornerstone reflects the benefits of size, namely in a broader access to resources, while maintaining a very close-knit feel within the classroom. Families are drawn to the Christian values which provide a foundation for the program, and augment the interpersonal aspects of the Montessori method. The teaching methods and the educational philosophy follow those developed by Maria Montessori, and then grow out from there, giving the school its unique character. The program stretches from preschool through Grade 12, allowing students to learn and grow in a consistent environment. The goal is to graduate students who have a good sense of themselves, their place in the world and what they can bring to it, and prepared to provide empathetic leadership within their community. The school has grown into a reputation for providing exactly that, with consistent, caring faculty in a family-oriented setting. The program is challenging, and includes a rich language program, intended to support students in reach their full academic and social potentials.

Toronto 0 0
  • The Country Day School
    King, Ontario
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    Building experience and leadership
    Liz Diaz - Parent   (Feb 03, 2018)

    Balanced education which means his receives great education and many options to participate in other...


    Our Take: The Country Day School

    our take

    The Country Day School (CDS) began, literally, over a dinner one evening in 1971. The region was in the process of amalgamating schools, which meant that students who had been attending local schools would be bussed to larger, more suburban ones. That didn’t sit well, in part because of the bussing involved, but also because of the sense of community that students had and, presumably, would lose by going to schools further afield. Seven families decided to do something about it, to take things into their own hands, and to build a school that would continue what had been developed in the rural, country schools that their children had been attending. (The name refers to that, as well as to the country day school movement that had been developing in the US since the late 19th century, with a period of renewed growth in the 1960s and 70s.) They didn’t have any experience building a school, but they turned to those who did, including Dick Howard, then head of Upper Canada College. “You’ve got to get a feel for the community,” was Howard’s advice, “who’s in it and how they perceive education.” And, for the next two years, that’s exactly what they did, speaking with families, and building a conceptual outline for what the school could be.
     
    When CDS opened its doors in 1972, it was, in every way, an expression of the community that created it. The school has grown since then—enrollment has grown from 49 in that first year to over 700 today—and the community it sits within has grown and changed, too. Nevertheless, the school remains very much an expression of the families that turn to it. The size of the school allows for a very rich, robust extra-curricular program, and students are gently required to experience all aspects of it. The physical plant of the school has been significantly augmented through a recent and very sizable capital campaign. The core program continues to be underwritten by the values that the founding families intended to express, namely a sense of belonging, empathy, inclusion, and respect. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a vibrant, diverse, student-centred environment.

King 0 11
  • Country Garden Montessori Academy
    Newmarket, Ontario

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    Our Take: Country Garden Montessori Academy

    our takeWhen Maria Montessori began designing the method that would eventually bear her name, she was charting some very new and controversial territory. In contrast to rote learning, or treating children like miniature adults, she felt that children were people too, with their own lives to live. Today those ideas aren’t at all controversial, and indeed much of the things that Montessori was doing then have found their way into all early childhood learning environments, as well as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. They include the right to play, to follow their curiosity, to grow and develop in a healthy way with kind, caring support. Not all environments deliver those things equally, with some doing it much better than others, and CGMA is certainly one of them. The school site itself is a great strength of the school, with green space offering a buffer from the world around, and allowing for a very clear understanding of place. When children arrive, they find themselves in a familiar, caring, vibrant, and entirely sympathetic environment. That’s important, as Maria Montessori knew, then, and which we know even better today. The programs are progressive, with lots of intergenerational interaction, something furthered by the scope of the school from preschool through Grade 12. There is a great fidelity to the hallmarks of the Montessori method, which is a draw for many families, the most important being a sense of respect, and for accepting children for the people that they are, and allowing them to grow and develop comfortably into a sense of themselves and the place they hold in the world.

Newmarket 0 0
  • Crescent School
    Toronto, Ontario
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    "Life at Crescent is very healthy, fulfilling and meaningful."
    Claire Chen - Parent   (Jun 21, 2018)

    The character education is very unique and useful. There are four pillars— Respect, Responsibility...


    Our Take: Crescent School

    our takeOne of the chief benefits of a gender specific school is the provision of opportunities for students to resist the stereotypes that they would encounter in co-ed schools. Crescent, of course, addresses the specific needs of boys around learning and development, though that experiential piece is equally important: to maintain an environment in which boy’s attention and curiosity can be actively engaged, and where they can participate in all curricular areas outside of any need to impress others or gain status across gender lines. Crescent begins, as they say, from the understanding that "when you remove girls from the classroom, some remarkable things can happen." And they’re right to. They also have a long tradition of doing just that. The ideal student is one who is academically curious, has broad potential, and could benefit from increased opportunity to express both their curiosity and their potential.

Toronto 0 9
  • Crestwood Preparatory College
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Crestwood Preparatory College

    our takeThere is a rich program of extra-curriculars, though the focus is on academics, including the development of sound study and test-taking skills. The Maximizing Academic Performance Program (MAPP) begins in the lower school, and augments a traditional approach to education, one that is didactic and where assessment is objective. The ideal students are those who have their sights set clearly on success within a university career, are motivated toward that goal, and are seeking to augment or improve their academic prospects.

Toronto 0 0
  • Crestwood School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Crestwood School

    our takeThe school was founded in 1980 with an eye to providing a strong, focused academic program for the lower grades. In the intervening decades it has very much kept with the times, including an early adoption of e-learning tools and texts, at times in partnership with national publishers. Student success is gauged through mastery of the course material, and the ideal student is one who is able to thrive within a supportive yet academically challenging environment. In 2001 the program was extended into the upper grades with the creation of the Crestwood Preparatory College.

Toronto 0 0
  • The Dalton School
    Toronto, Ontario
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    Kind, caring, dedicated instruction
    Julie Majic - Parent   (Mar 29, 2018)

    I have 3 children at the Dalton School and this is our 4th year here, so we have experienced prescho...


    Our Take: The Dalton School

    our takeThe Dalton School is a dual-language school, so it doesn't use the language immersion model that most Canadians are familiar with. First off, no prior Mandarin or English proficiency is required to enroll. Further, both languages are given equal weight, unlike in many public school immersion programs where students all share a first language and are all learning the same second language—at The Dalton School, 50% of the day’s instruction is in Mandarin, and 50% in English. The curriculum is balanced in order to allow students to achieve academic proficiency in both languages. So, it’s different, and as such, visiting the school can be, and often is, a striking experience. Most Canadians, truly, have never experienced an academic environment quite like it, with very young children functioning easily, casually in two languages. Both languages naturally open up a range of learning areas—both social and academic—not the least being an exposure to a wider range of culture influence, providing the groundwork for an expanding and empathetic world view. All academics follow an enriched presentation of the Ontario curriculum. Dalton has a very close, community feel, and parents are welcome to be involved in the life of the school. A new home for the school is set to open in 2018, allowing space to further grow the program and the enrollment.

Toronto 0 9
  • De La Salle College
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: De La Salle College

    our takeDe La Salle College is a Lasallian school, part of an association of schools in more than 80 countries worldwide. The schools are affiliated with a Roman Catholic teaching order founded by Saint Jean-Baptist de La Salle in France in 1679. Canonized in 1900, La Salle was later proclaimed by the Vatican as the patron saint of teachers. So, in all, the College has quite a pedigree. It is committed to a Catholic Education, and religious observance is a daily component of student life. The academic program is rigorous, and augmented by an equally rigorous dedication to the development of ethical leadership, self-confidence, and social responsibility. The ideal student is one intending to advance to university.

Toronto 0 0
  • Dearcroft Montessori School
    Oakville, Ontario

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    Our Take: Dearcroft Montessori School

    our takeNow in its 50th year, Dearcroft is one of the older Montessori schools in the country, founded in 1968 by Peter and Barbara Phippen. It also has very consistent history, now being directed by Gordon Phippen, son of the founders. All of that, while not essential to the delivery of a quality Montessori program, nevertheless underscores what parents and students value in the approach, namely a clear sense of community, family, cross-generational interaction, and a sense of tradition. The program hews very closely to Maria Montessori’s model, and also brings the community—both local and beyond—into the classroom. The student body is on the larger end for a dedicated Montessori school, and the benefits of size are apparent in the range of programs offered.

Oakville 0 0
  • Delano Academy
    Vaughan, Ontario
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    "My kids love the one on one attention."
    Sabrina Bartolini - Parent   (Aug 22, 2018)

    My kids love the one on one attention. They feel that their needs are met and understand the materia...

    "Students truly have a very rich academic life. They are always encouraged to think and inquire..."
    ANA LIGIA MALAVAZI - Parent   (Aug 22, 2018)

    Our son has become much happier and full of life after he started at Delano. It was the best decisio...


    Our Take: Delano Academy

    our takeDelano was founded in 2014 with the mandate of providing a very forward looking approach to the early and elementary years. The focus is on collaboration, 21st century literacies, and allowing students to grow into an international, empathetic understanding of the world and their place within it. The core competencies are delivered, as is a sense of how they relate to who we are and what we’re able to achieve. The fact that the school also has an active cadet corps underscores the uniqueness of the offering. The ideal student is one operating toward the top of his or her peer group, and able to thrive in vibrant, active, socially engaging learning environment.

Vaughan 0 10
  • Delta West Academy
    Calgary, Alberta

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    Our Take: Delta West Academy

    our take

    Delta West was established in 1993 in order to provide families with something different, something new, within Calgary’s educational landscape. First located downtown, the school moved to its current location in 1998 in order to build programming and to accommodate a growing student body. Typically, when schools talk about bringing something new to the table, they often are thinking of all the things that fall under the umbrella of 21st century literacies: facility with technology, collaborative learning, student-driven inquiry, a focus on rhetoric and logic over rote learning. Delta West addresses all those things, though the focus, too, has been to consider the physical aspects of learning—the value of active learning, both within athletic and classroom settings. The classroom furniture is an indication of how the school approaches the learner in that regard; students can choose, for example, movement chairs, standing desks, or more traditional furniture. For many students, that’s a big deal. Movement, even very subtle movement, can help stimulate engagement and keep students on task. Again, that’s just one aspect of the school, but it’s an instructive one; Delta West has a history of working with students to increase engagement with the curriculum and with peers, and therein lies the school’s success. The ideal student is one looking for something different, and who will thrive in a very interactive, diverse, and stimulating environment.  

Calgary 0 0
  • Don Valley Academy
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Don Valley Academy

    our takeDon Valley is one of those little gems within the city that doesn’t get nearly the attention that it deserves. It’s a small school, and the size is one of its strengths. Students choose Don Valley because they are looking for something different, something more personal, where they can exercise their talents and abilities in the ways they choose to exercise them. It requires a certain amount of responsibility, of course, though the program rewards those that arrive with it. This isn’t the school for a student looking for a full complement of intramurals, for example, but instead is looking for a respectful, quiet, challenging academic environment peopled by students and faculty that are true peers. The ideal student is one looking for a challenge, is operating at the top of his or her peer group, and is able to make the most of a flexible learning environment.

Toronto 0 0
  • The Dragon Academy
    Toronto, Ontario
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    "changed my kids' lives"
    Shanti Barclay - Parent   (Mar 29, 2018)

    My child was not happy at our local public school. He loves Dragon. Everything scholastic chang...

    "my boys have found a home where they are understood"
    Kate Hilton - Parent   (Apr 02, 2018)

    The Dragon has been a godsend for our family. Both of my boys have found a home where they are unde...

    strong teaching, engaging programs
    Gideon Scanlon - Alumnus   (Apr 04, 2018)

    At 15, my mother announced I would no longer be attending my strict all-boys school. I was to become...


    Our Take: The Dragon Academy

    our takeThe Dragon Academy was founded in 2000 to appeal to a very specific kind of learner, one who is intellectually omnivorous, creative, and academically gifted. The school began with just 12 students in its first year, and it remains very close-knit and intimate. Instruction is discussion-based, hands-on, and it makes the most of the wealth of learning resources that are nearby, including the A.G.O., the Gardiner Museum of Ceramics, and the ROM. It has a lot to offer, though, again, for a very specific kind of learner. The right student will find the Dragon Academy to be a home, arriving within a community that contrasts with their prior school experience in some very significant ways. The focus is on engagement and curiosity. While the program is progressive, at least from a modern perspective, it's also in some ways exceedingly traditional, with a focus on the classics and Socratic investigation. The Dragon Academy is truly a school like none other. It's not every student's cup of tea, though of course no school ever is. For the students who attend, the program can be transformational and supportive in all the right ways.

Toronto 0 11
  • The Dunblaine School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: The Dunblaine School

    our takeDunblaine was founded in 1969 by concerned parents of children with needs that weren’t being met within the public school system. They wanted a safe environment, run by staff that understood, clearly, the needs of the students; one that offered an opportunity for them to grow academic skills, life skills, confidence, respect, and self-advocacy. And, for almost 50 years, that’s exactly what they’ve been doing. The current location is also the one that best represents what Dunblaine is all about: it’s a house in a quiet residential neighbourhood. The faculty maintain close communication with parents on all aspects of the students’ experience within the school. The staff represents the full range of all the right expertise, instructional and therapeutic. Frankly, this is what it’s all about. It’s a great school as well as a great example of what education should be about. If you have a chance to speak with a parent of a student of the school, by all means, do it. If you don’t, ask the staff to put you in touch. It will be the best introduction to the school, and its successes, you could hope to have.

Toronto 0 0
  • Durham Elementary, Durham Academy and G.B.M.S.
    Oshawa, Ontario

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    Our Take: Durham Elementary, Durham Academy and G.B.M.S.

    our take

    Durham was founded in 1984 in order to address learners who are at the top of their peer group and require an enriched program in order to reach their potentials. Families are drawn by the small class sizes—they average between 8 and 12 students—as well as the full grade continuum, from preschool through Grade 12. The nursery and primary levels are taught through a Montessori approach, and while it’s not carried through the upper grades, the values are nevertheless shared throughout the school. Students arrive to an academically inflected environment, and a peer group that shares a predilection to achievement. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a close-knit, challenging yet supportive instructional environment.

Oshawa 0 0
  • Edge School
    Calgary, Alberta

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    Our Take: Edge School

    our takeEdge School was founded in 1999 with just 7 students in its inaugural year. Within a decade it grew to over 300, where it remains today. In 2009 the school moved to its current location, a 170,000 sq ft school and athletics centre purpose built to house the Edge program. You don’t have to demonstrate your athleticism to apply, though athletics and physical activity is the school’s reason for being. The vision for the school is to be a leader in student-athlete development, and athletics are present, in some way, in every aspect of the life of the school. The Spanish teacher, for example, is a certified personal trainer; the social studies teacher is a national ringette champion. No, it’s not necessary to be athletic to be a good language teacher, but the school has been crafted as a place where students will work and learn with others who share their passion and their interests, and that alone can be transformative. They’ll find themselves among peers in the truest sense of the word, and live a daily schedule that is built to support their training. It’s not for everyone, but of course no school ever is. For the right student, Edge School is unequalled.

Calgary 0 0
  • The Element High School
    Ottawa, Ontario

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    Our Take: The Element High School

    our takeThe Element is that rare bird of secondary education: a Montessori high school. The Element grew out of a primary program at OMS Montessori, building into the intermediate grades and, ultimately, through the high school grades. In 2012, The Element became distinct unto its own, offering a consistent program from grades 7 to 12. Then, in 2015, it moved into its own space, becoming physically distinct as well. Nevertheless, the foundational principle remains across all grades, providing learning that is self-referential and student directed. The ideal student is one who thrives within a very hands-on environment, who is guided by their curiosity, and is able to make the most a greater range of academic independence.

Ottawa 0 0
  • Ellington Montessori School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Ellington Montessori School

    our take

    Since it was founded in 1990, Ellington has grown its reputation on providing a solid, comprehensive academic experience. The school has developed its program, on one hand, with the needs of parents foremost in mind—before and after care, meals, and beginning in early childhood. Likewise, they’ve developed summer programs which allow for children to stay within a familiar setting throughout the year. From the child’s perspective, the community is very close-knit and personal, true to the foundational concepts of the Montessori method. It’s very much a home away from home, delivering students confident and prepared to succeed at secondary school.

Toronto 0 0
  • Elmwood School
    Ottawa, Ontario

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    Our Take: Elmwood School

    our takeElmwood was founded in 1915 by Theodora Philpot and, in addition to having a great name, was well ahead of her time in the world of education. Like Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner, and others at the time, she felt that traditional education wasn’t meeting the needs of students, both academically and personally. She wanted to offer an alternative, one that was student-centric, and that would stimulate a love of learning rather than the rote memorization of facts. She felt that there should be a bit of poetry in the course of daily life, and a bit of joy, too. She began that first year with just four students, all of whom were boys. Despite the obvious differences—it’s now home to nearly 400 students, all of whom are girls—the spirit of the school nevertheless is reflective of Philpot’s vision. The school is one very much centred on possibility, creating opportunities for students to explore their world and to find their place within it. The ideal student is a girl looking for a vibrant, challenging, community-oriented academic environment. 

Ottawa 0 0
  • Emmanuel Christian School
    Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec

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    Our Take: Emmanuel Christian School

    our take

    Emmanuel began more than 40 years ago with just 38 students in its founding year. It’s grown considerably, building out the program to include the early years, increased enrolment, and a move to its current location. In addition to the provision of an authentically bilingual learning environment, families are drawn by the attention to values, something that underwrites instruction in all areas of the curriculum. The school is very much a community of peers, a group that is formed around shared interests, values, and goals. The ideal student is one who will thrive within a vibrant, globally oriented setting, and who is looking forward to post-secondary education.

Dollard des Ormeaux 0 0
  • Fairview Glen Montessori
    Burlington, Ontario

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    Our Take: Fairview Glen Montessori

    our takeFamilies look to Fairview Glen because it is trusted and established, and presents a robust academic program that hews closely to Maria Montessori’s intentions, including multi-aged classrooms and a bright, comforting classroom atmosphere. Fairview is perhaps a bit larger than the average Montessori in Halton, something that allows for a nice breadth and depth of programming. That includes before- and after-school options, which allow for consistency from the preschool years into the elementary grades. A full range of arts programming, including distinct music and visual arts instruction, as well as a proven preschool immersion program, is also a draw.

Burlington 0 0
  • Fern Hill School - Burlington
    Burlington, Ontario

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    Our Take: Fern Hill School - Burlington

    our takeEach year Fern Hill mounts a theatrical presentation that includes all the students from grade 4 up. No, it's not a theatre school, but the strength of the production, and the enthusiasm with which it's mounted, is as good an introduction to the school as any. Academics are important, just as they should be at any school, but culture is important too, including a desire to capitalize on the individual strengths of the staff. Cross-curricular links are a focus of the field studies program, which also takes advantage of the location of the campus within the Ontario Greenbelt. Field studies are used as an entre to the development of confidence, skill development, and team building. The ideal student is one who can benefit from a bit more support, a bit more encouragement than they might find elsewhere in order to reach their full potential.

Burlington 0 0
  • Fern Hill School - Oakville
    Oakville, Ontario

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    Our Take: Fern Hill School - Oakville

    our takeAt Fern Hill, academics are important, just as they should be at any school, but culture is important too, including a desire to capitalize on the individual strengths of the staff. Cross-curricular links are a focus, as is a desire to allow students to experience things that may, for the moment at any rate, seem to reside outside their immediate areas of interest. The program is focused on the development of confidence, skill, and social engagement.

Oakville 0 0
  • Fern Hill School - Ottawa
    Ottawa, Ontario

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    Our Take: Fern Hill School - Ottawa

    our takeFamilies typically cite academics as an important driver when considering a school, and certainly they should be. That said, in the best school settings, a strong academic program is simply the baseline for what the program offers, and Fern Hill is a great example of that. Yes, numeracy and literacy are the core components, though confidence and self-esteem are too. Students are encouraged to grow in all literacies, including those of the arts and music and social interaction. The French language program has been augmented in recent years, driven principally by the needs of students and desire of parents. Administration has worked to create an environment of discovery across all curricular areas, and they’ve succeeded in that. Yes, academics are strong, though, rightly, that’s just the beginning of what Fern Hill is able to offer. It's perhaps the things over and above that which truly give strength to the overall program and distinguish the school.  

Ottawa 0 0
  • Fieldstone School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Fieldstone School

    our takeThe aim of Fieldstone is to provide an inclusive, supportive, 360-degree student experience, and both curricular and extra-curricular programs have been created with that goal in mind. Class sizes are kept small, and the relationships between instructors, administrators, and students is close. The feel is nurturing, yet the academic gaze is wide. The intention is to educate students to positions of informed leadership, both locally and globally. A rich language program is a hint of that, including a one-on-one reciprocal English-Chinese mentorship, pairing native speakers of both languages. The ideal student is one with sights firmly set on university.

Toronto 0 0
  • Foothills Academy
    Calgary, Alberta

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    Our Take: Foothills Academy

    our take“Everybody is like me here.” That’s what one student said when asked why he liked going to Foothills. Indeed, while the academics are exceptional, as is the staff, it’s that relatability that is a draw for families, and which sits at the very core of the school’s success. We all do better in environments that we can relate to, and which in turn can relate to us. For the students that attend, Foothills is precisely that environment. If you have a chance, by all means, speak to a parent of a student, and remember to bring some tissues. The school rightly prides itself in making a difference in the lives of the children that attend, and they have, and they do, often in very moving ways. The students arrive having struggled in other settings, often lagging behind their peers in significant ways. That changes, often from the first day. It’s telling that at least one of the teachers—there may be more—is a graduate of the school. Not only has she achieved things that, perhaps, she at one point she may not have expected of herself, she also translates that experience to the students that she teaches today. In her, and in the school as a whole, students are encouraged to see the possibility within themselves. And, oftentimes, that makes all the difference.

Calgary 0 0
  • Forest Hill Montessori School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Forest Hill Montessori School

    our takeOne of the Montessori ideals is to provide a stimulating learning environment; the school environment, on the whole, should be comforting, familiar, friendly, and supportive, and Forest Hill Montessori, frankly, provides a study in all of those things. The continuity of the school is also impressive. Isabelle Kunicki-Carter and Sandra Bosnar-Dale founded the school in 1996, and they've provided consistent leadership ever since. In that and every other way, it's one of the strongest Montessori programs in the city. 

Toronto 0 0
  • Fulford Academy
    Brockville, Ontario

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    Our Take: Fulford Academy

    our takeInternational education can mean different things in different contexts. Some educate students to adopt a global view. Others, as with Fulford Academy, it’s the student population that brings the international flavor, arriving from around the world, often with the intention of staying in Canada to complete their high school and post-secondary careers. The school communicates with families in 11 languages, something which is very key, and very welcome, for many of them. Cultural literacy is a focus, as is proficiency in English. For some, Fulford is a stepping stone other schools, though students are of course welcome to stay through the completion of their high school degrees, as indeed many do. The ideal student is a one intending to pursue post-secondary education in Canada, and who is also looking for a smaller, more personalized setting in which to get up to speed with the various fluencies they will need in order to achieve success.

Brockville 0 0
  • German International School Toronto
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: German International School Toronto

    our take

    GIST bases instruction on the curriculum developed in Thüringen, a state at the geographic and cultural heart of Germany. It’s also inspected regularly by officials from that region who come in order to ensure that the school meets the standards set out within the curriculum, something it does for all of the 140 German schools around the globe. They were formed to offer education to German expats, though their popularity grew in response to local demand. The schools offered a quality, a unique pedagogical approach, and a sense of globalism that was hard to find in other institutions. The school provides dual-immersion, admitting students for whom either of the instructional languages are mother tongues. The ideal student is one who is intellectually curious, keen to learn languages, and who is excited by the prospect of learning and living within a rich, diverse, and uniquely authentic cultural environment.

Toronto 0 0
  • The Giles School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: The Giles School

    our takeThe Giles School provides an enriched language immersion program from preschool through the middle grades. The French program starts in preschool, and a Mandarin program begins in grade 1 with a period a day spent in an immersive Mandarin environment. It's perhaps safe to say, in terms of language learning—both in terms of when immersion is introduced, as well as providing multilingual immersion—the program is the only one of its kind in Canada. Classes are small, and academics are rigorous, covering the entire core curriculum and then some. The ideal student is one who can benefit from enrichment and who will thrive within a play-based, curiosity-driven environment.

Toronto 0 0
  • Glenburnie School
    Oakville, Ontario

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    Our Take: Glenburnie School

    our takeIf you didn't know otherwise, you'd perhaps be given to thinking that Glenburnie is a prep school, operating at the high school level with an eye to preparing students for success at university. There is a dedication to 21st century skills, fostering leadership and independence, and developing communication and analytical skills. There is overt attention to preparing students for the challenges that they will face in a changing world. All of which can jar a bit given that those goals are applied to an early-education, junior, and intermediate program, one that enrolls students from pre-kindergarten to grade 8. Still, there is a method here, one that Linda Sweet established when she founded the school in 1985. She felt that education was lagging behind, addressing the needs of the industrial age rather than the nascent digital one. In creating Glenburnie, Sweet became one of the first school administrators in the region to actively adjust instruction away from a model that was designed, implicitly, to serve a predominantly vocational workplace. Despite the kinds of pedagogical language used to describe the school, Glenburnie creates space for kids to be kids, applying the core academic concepts in an age-appropriate way. The ideal student is one that is functioning above their peers, and who is able to make the most of an enriched, creative, and at times intense educational environment.

Oakville 0 0
  • Glenmore Christian Academy
    Calgary, Alberta

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    Our Take: Glenmore Christian Academy

    our takeThe initial draw for families considering Glenmore is the values piece: a full curriculum taught through the Christian lens. Certainly, that’s something which distinguishes the school within the region, and often is the first point of contact. What families find in the school, however, is both that and whole lot more. Given the size of the school, Glenmore is also able to offer a very rich, diverse range of programming, something that understandably is also very attractive. There is a full program of intramurals, and the breadth of the music program—including options for individual lessons—is something that also distinguishes the school. A mission program at the grade 9 level offers an international experience earlier than in a majority of programs, and can provide a very nice punctuation to a student's experience at Glenmore. The ideal student is one who will thrive within a vibrant, challenging, community-centered learning environment.

Calgary 0 0
  • Glenn Arbour Academy
    Burlington, Ontario

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    Our Take: Glenn Arbour Academy

    our takeGlenn Arbour positions its approach to instruction within a sense of possibility, building from a student’s sense of what they’re capable of and then extending it. Students feel that they are at baseline and building from there, rather than feeling that they are below baseline and reaching up to achieve it. Perhaps it’s a fine point, but the lived experience, for many students, can be transformational. The goal is academic excellence and personal confidence, and Glenn Arbour has built its reputation on delivering students into their high school careers with both of those. Families are also drawn to an impressive roster of extracurricular activities, one that is somewhat remarkable for a school of this size. As such, students not only have access to the activities of their choice, they are also challenged to try others that they may not consider in other environments.

Burlington 0 0
  • The Gow School
    South Wales, New York

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    Our Take: The Gow School

    our takeThe Gow School was founded in the 1920s, though from the outset has based instruction in a very modern understanding, namely that not all learners are created equally, and that intelligence and an ability to succeed in school are two very different things. It's an idea that remains as fresh today (perhaps a little bit disheartningly) as it was when Peter Gow Jr. founded the school all those years ago. He believed that small class sizes and an open mind, when it comes to instruction, can make all the difference, especially for those who are at risk of falling through the cracks of a traditional approach to academics. The students at the top of his mind were those with some form of linguistic disruption—students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia or issues with central auditory processing. Gow believed that success for these students was a function of teaching, and for decades the school has been proving his point. All students—typically they are kids who have been struggling in a traditional setting—are aiming for college and university, and the school has a history of delivering them there. The program has changed over the years, though the spirit of investigation, of finding better ways to support learners, remains.

South Wales 0 0
  • Gradale Academy
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Gradale Academy

    our takeWhen public boards seek to trim funding, they typically first look at the arts and outdoor education. Yes, the three Rs are important, but so is the way we interact with them, with others, and understand our place in the natural world, including stewardship. Gradale, very happily, begins at that point, having developed a program that delivers the core and then some. The Brick Works property is one of two that the school operates, and supports the core of Gradale program. It’s in the heart of the city, though abuts an impressive bit of green space, allowing the school maintain a very active and porous interface with nature—they don’t travel to it, but rather live, learn, and play within it every day. The benefits are profound, and increasingly demonstrated and apparent. The student body is small, vibrant, and parental involvement is nicely apparent and welcome in a wide range of school life.  

Toronto 0 0
  • Great Lakes Christian High School
    Beamsville, Ontario

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    Our Take: Great Lakes Christian High School

    our takeFamilies look to Great Lakes based on its reputation for offering a strong academic program combined with the opportunity to grow spiritually within a community of shared interest. Due to the boarding program, the student population is diverse, bringing an international perspective to coursework and social life. The values piece is, of course, important, though equally so is the place that it occupies both within instruction and within the life of the school. The curriculum is delivered through a Christian lens, with a specific attention to empathetic service, both locally and internationally. The ideal student is one who will thrive within a close-knit community of shared values and interest, and where social currency is gained through academic and personal achievement. For the right student, the experience of Great Lakes can be as transformative as it is empowering.

Beamsville 0 0
  • Greenwood College School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Greenwood College School

    our takeHaving been founded in 2002, Greenwood is a relatively young school, though has grown in response to the needs of the families that enroll here, and the place that it has within the academic mosaic of the city. It still thinks of itself as a small school, and the lived experience is personal and close-knit. That said, at 475 students, it’s certainly not tiny, and the curricular and extracurricular programs benefit from the size. The current facility, opened in 2016, is an apt expression of the goals of the school, as well as the families that support it. It includes flexible learning spaces and up to date athletic and arts spaces. Greenwood, in some sense, still flies a bit below the radar in the public consciousness, though given the success and growth it’s experienced, that won’t last long. The ideal student is one able to thrive within an active, academically oriented learning environment.

Toronto 0 0
  • Guiding Light Academy
    Mississauga, Ontario
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    "Focus of the school is not simply in academics but also helping develop the children into good people."
    Felix Wong - Parent   (May 08, 2018)

    My children love their experience at Guiding Light. The school provides a warm, welcoming, and safe...


    Our Take: Guiding Light Academy

    our takeOne of the reasons that private school is attractive is because there is no assumption that one size fits all, and Guiding Light is a great example of that. It presents both traditional and Montessori instruction in consort with the values and lessons of the Catholic church. It’s not for everyone, though for some, it provides a strikingly tailored fit. The ideal family is one that is active within the Catholic faith and looking for a school that will support that spiritual life. Families who enroll are drawn by the strength of the academic program, as well as by the breadth of extra-curricular offerings, all offered within a very close-knit school community. There is no other school like it, and for the families that enrol, that's perhaps Guiding Light's greatest strength. 

Mississauga 0 9
  • Halton Waldorf School
    Burlington, Ontario

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    Our Take: Halton Waldorf School

    our take

    Any school is more than the buildings or the setting, though perhaps especially with Waldorf programs, setting is an important piece. Halton’s program is established and proven, having been founded in 1984, and the facilities are notable as well, providing, in many ways, the ideal environment for the Waldorf approach. The buildings aren’t small, though they really confer a nice sense of place, some that is beautifully extended by the school’s proximity to green space. Waldorf intends to set students apart a bit from the bustle of daily live, and all the distractions that might be found there, and refocus students’ attention, and awaken a perception and appreciation of children’s talents and their place in the world. You’d be hard pressed to find a learning environment that better expresses and supports those goals. It’s idyllic, and matches the strength of the academic program and the experience of the staff.

Burlington 0 0
  • Hamilton District Christian High
    Ancaster, Ontario

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    Our Take: Hamilton District Christian High

    our takeHDCH was founded in 1956, and has been doing great and impressively consistent work ever since. It has a good size, with 470 annually, and a good breadth of curricular and extracurricular offerings to match. Instruction is project-based, allowing students to work together around authentic tasks which build and support a facility with the core curriculum. Families are also drawn by the values which undergird the academic program. The school rightly reaches out to resources and organizations within the local community, using those interactions to build an empathetic world view, and a genuine appreciation of diversity. Certainly, there’s a lot to love.

Ancaster 0 0
  • Hampshire Country School
    Rindge, New Hampshire

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    Our Take: Hampshire Country School

    our takeHampshire Country School began in the 1930s, in a sense at least, when a family brought their son to Henry and Adelaide Patey, begging for help. Henry was a prominent psychologist, and Adelaide was a teacher of languages and music. The boy was given to mood swings and outbursts and, at least given the perspectives available at the time, was seen as a candidate for institutionalization. That’s not the approach we’d take today, thankfully, and that’s not the approach the Pateys offered then. They took him in as a boarder and, between them, proceeded to give the boy, very literally, a new lease on life. There are lots of details about the story that we’ll never know, but nevertheless we know the boy went on to live a full and seemingly very rewarding life; he enrolled at boarding school to complete his high school degree, served in WWII, studied at university, became an engineer and had a family.

    

Understandably, the success the Pateys had, even early on, attracted the attention of parents with similar children—those who have clear intellectual gifts coupled with significant social and interpersonal difficulties. They arrived and, in 1947, the school was founded. The following year it was moved to the house that occupies Hampshire Country School today.

    

One of the reasons for the success of the school was that, perhaps without having a word for it, the school was based in a very student-centred approach. The students required a personal approach, and that’s what they found at the school. Temple Grandin’s experience at the school is telling. When she was expelled from school—she recalls her time in grade school as the worst period of her life—her mother enrolled her at Hampshire (it was co-ed at that time) and she began to excel in ways that some might not have thought possible. She was mentored by William Carlock, a science teacher who had worked for NASA, who helped grow her interest in science and build her sense of worth and self-confidence at the same time. Grandin, of course, went on to an inspiring career in science, and is professor of animal science at Colorado State University.

    Both Grandin and Carlock are emblematic of the work of the school, both then and now. Even today, electronics are used sparingly, and instruction is based on a very close personal interaction between peers and instructors. All students sit in the front row, so to speak, in classes that are very small, typically between 3 and 6 students. Students are addressed directly in a mentoring relationship. Interruptions are accepted as simply part of the day and if classes need to pause, they do.

    

Likewise, the school itself, on the more macro level, has also been responsive to whatever needs are demanded of it. The rural location, as well as a very home-like atmosphere, are intentional, and seen as key aspects to the ongoing success of the school. The student population has, at points in the school’s history, been as large as 100. Today the student population is typically less than 30 in any given year and, while girls have been admitted at times in the past, Hampshire is now run as a boys school.

    

The school has a great story. And, admittedly, it can be a bit hard to get your head around, given that the school is so different in so many ways from what we’ve come to expect of boarding schools. It’s not like any other school. Likewise, the students that it serves aren’t like any others students. And that's what makes it so impressive. Hampshire began from the impulse to provide care, and that impulse remains undiminished. For the families that enroll their boys here, that's exactly what they need.

Rindge 0 0
  • Hatch House Montessori School
    Whitby, Ontario

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    Our Take: Hatch House Montessori School

    our takeThe most striking thing about Hatch House, at least initially, is that, yup, it’s a castle. It was built in 1874 by industrialist Nelson Gilbert Reynolds after he sold his previous home, Trafalgar Castle (which, in time, also became home to a prominent private school, Trafalgar Castle School). The name, Hatch House, comes from a later owner, industrialist Frederick Hatch who lived there from 1904 to 1969.

    The best use for the building, by far, is the one it has now: housing Hatch House Montessori. The building adds a nice spark to the identity of the school, and the interior spaces are charming and include many updates to suit the needs of the academic program—the most recent being “The Hatch,” a discovery room opened just this year. A strong academic program is augmented by an impressive language program that includes French and Spanish instruction. Principal Zsuzsanna Vigh says that “education is a journey, not a race.” She’s right, of course, and that perspective informs all areas of student life.

Whitby 0 0
  • Hawthorn School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Hawthorn School

    our takeAs the only all-girls' Catholic independent school in Toronto, Hawthorn provides a unique and very specific program, one that focusses on the needs of girls while providing instruction through a Catholic lens. It was founded relatively recently—it celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014—through the instigation of a group of parents who wanted the kind of academic specificity that the school continues to promote today. And, truly, there's no other school like it: girls are challenged to pursue passions in the full range of academic pursuit, STEM primary among them. Character, too, is a primary focus, including an expression of self. The ideal student is one who thrives within a supportive yet academically challenging environment.

Toronto 0 0
  • Heritage Academy of Learning Excellence
    Ottawa, Ontario
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    " ... were able to customize a plan to teach to his strengths."
    Kim Bridgeman - Parent   (May 02, 2018)

    Our son had many difficulties in the regular school system due to a number of learning disabilities ...

    "...thoroughly impressed with the teaching staffs' dedication and care."
    Susan Ward - Parent   (Jul 18, 2018)

    My daughter transferred mid-year. She likes the small classroom setting and the teaching staff. She ...

    "...emerged from the school with a giant smile and said, "THIS school is where I belong"."
    Lisa Gomes - Parent   (May 02, 2018)

    My child appreciates the individual attention afforded by small class sizes as well as the flexibili...


    Our Take: Heritage Academy of Learning Excellence

    our takeSchools are founded for a range of reasons, though a few are founded out of a very acute need, and that’s the case with Heritage. Louise Brazeau-Ward’s son had dyslexia, and she had watched him struggle in traditional academic settings, something which inspired her to make a difference in his life and the lives of others like him. Today she’s a world renowned expert in dyslexia, and a proponent of the Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory approach to instruction which she then adapted. All of that forms the foundation of Heritage Academy, the school that Brazeau-Ward created in 1989. Today the school is run by her daughter, and the program, though having grown over the years, remains consistent. The school provides support for students with dyslexia as well as other challenges. The environment itself—one that is created to address the needs of the students—can itself be transformative. For many students, that’s what Heritage principally offers.

Ottawa 0 10
  • High Park Day School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: High Park Day School

    our takeAmanda Dervaitis, one of the founders of High Park Day School, is a champion of the micro school, and she created the school in light of the benefits a small school can offer. The program is, in a sense, the reinvention of the one-room schoolhouse with mixed age classrooms and very close student-teacher relationships. Likewise, the programming is very responsive to the needs of the students, and adaptable to a wider range of resources, including those within the neighbouring community—while the student body may be small, the classroom extends well beyond the walls of the school, including regular interaction with local businesses and services. It’s perhaps not a typical model, though for many families, it’s rightly a very attractive one. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a flexible, vibrant learning environment.

Toronto 0 0
  • Hillfield Strathallan College
    Hamilton, Ontario
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    "...I never doubted my chances of reaching my full potential."
    Elyse Creamer - Alumnus   (May 22, 2018)

    Throughout my time at HSC, I had the opportunity to make so many special memories that picking one i...


    Our Take: Hillfield Strathallan College

    our takeThe school began its life in 1901 as the Highfield School for Boys, though it has grown, amalgamated, moved, and changed its name a few times since then. All of that is reflected in the physical plan of the school, one that bears no outward signs of the school's age. Certainly, the development path from 1901 has been anything but linear, including associations and amalgamations between Highfield, Hillcrest, and Strathallan schools and colleges, their names combining to form the one under which it is known today. Montessori is offered at the preschool and kindergarten programs, though the method isn't reflected beyond that, something that is perhaps emblematic of the programming overall. The feel is that of a mosaic of academic traditions rather than an expression of a single, consistent tradition. A robust philanthropy program has resulted in a strong infrastructure. A strategic plan initiative begun in 2013 will culminate in 2020. While the program remains strong, the plan provides a timely opportunity to bring clarity and direction to the continued development of the school and the programs offered there.

Hamilton 0 10
  • Hitherfield School
    Milton-Campbellville, Ontario

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    Our Take: Hitherfield School

    our takeAnn Scott founded Hitherfield in 1991 after a career within the Halton school board, and she remains at the head of the school today, giving a nice continuity to the development of the programs. The intention throughout has been to offer something that wasn’t offered in the public board, principally a more individualized, caring approach to learning. The school is small, and the size is one of its strengths. While it’s not a country school in name, the feel is comparable to schools that situate themselves within that movement—namely a learning environment that very much reflects the community that supports it. Parents are important to the life of the school, and are encouraged to take a role that will express their skills and interests. The ideal student is one looking for something more personal approach, one more attentive to the abilities, experience, and passion that students bring into the classroom.

Milton-Campbellville 0 0
  • Holy Trinity School
    Richmond Hill, Ontario

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    Our Take: Holy Trinity School

    our takeSince it was founded in 1981, Holy Trinity School has sought to promote the values—respect for self and others, strength of character, encouragement, and insight—that are expressed by the Anglican tradition. Families are drawn to the student-centred instruction, the community feel, the dedication to academic development and innovation, as well as the school’s proximity to green space. The program is designed to reward curiosity, and to develop well-rounded learners who are adept and engaged in a broad range of literacies. The ideal student is one who will thrive within an academically challenging environment, as well as one that is intellectually, culturally, and philosophically diverse.

Richmond Hill 0 0
  • Home Sweet Home Montessori Academy
    Caledon, Ontario

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    Our Take: Home Sweet Home Montessori Academy

    our takeDifferent students require different things in order to reach their potential, and the founder of Home Sweet Home, Ashley Volpe, is herself an example of that. It was her experience as a student—both good and bad—which brought her to Montessori, and which encouraged her to found the school. It’s telling that she doesn’t cite only the academic benefits that the method provided her, but also the personal ones: confidence, independence, self-worth. The name is telling, too—this is a school meant to build those things from a place of care, respect, and support. The school has grown at quite a brisk pace since it was founded in 2010, and that’s because families, understandably, were attracted to the care and support that the environment was quite obviously providing.

Caledon 0 0
  • Howlett Academy
    Toronto, Ontario
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    " ... teachers who are passionate, dedicated, energetic ..."
    Catherine Maule - Parent   (Feb 03, 2018)

    We chose Howlett for 4 reasons. (1) My daughter (then 7) loved the feel of the classroom: students w...


    Our Take: Howlett Academy

    our takeJan Howlett was a force in the world of education, and her desire to establish a school was due to frustrations with the public system. She pulled her two sons out of it when they were in grades 4 and 6, choosing to educate them at home. Seeing her dedication and skill, parents were soon calling to ask if she would accept their children as well. She did, and Howlett Academy was born. The school isn’t for the faint of heart. Howlett used terms like “mastery” long after they had gone out of fashion in the public system. The strengths of the Howlett program are a clear, well-organized curriculum, attentive supervision, and a clear set of academic goals and expectations. Students are encouraged to reach for excellence, and the school maintains an impressive track record of achievement.

Toronto 0 9
  • Humberside Montessori School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Humberside Montessori School

    our takeHumberside was founded in 1987 by Felix Bednarski Molly Galle, and they remain as directors of the school today. As such, there has been a long and consistent attention to the initial intentions for the school, one of those being a fidelity to the core of the Montessori program as described by Maria Montessori through her work. That fidelity to the core of the approach is a particular draw for the families that enroll here, as is the demonstrated attention to maintaining AMI standards in classroom resources and faculty development. Parental involvement in the life of the school is welcome and encouraged, allowing a sense of community that extends nicely beyond the walls of the school proper.

Toronto 0 0
  • J. Addison School
    Markham, Ontario

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    Our Take: J. Addison School

    our takeJ. Addison School was founded in 2002 to serve both local and international students. The facilities are modern and extensive, including boarding and support programs designed with the needs of international students specifically in mind. The school is lead by alumni of York University, and the partnership between the institutions has grown over the years, including unique scholarships and internships. That relationship will presumably continue to grow with the completion of the York University-Markham Centre Campus. Lee Vendetti, principal at J. Addison has said, “This partnership offers all the key players in both institutions an opportunity to share expertise and resources that will make the transition to university and the working world a smoother and more meaningful experience.” The ideal student is one who will thrive in a challenging, academically oriented, international environment, and who is intending to continue to post-secondary education in Canada.

Markham 0 0
  • Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc
    Ottawa, Ontario

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    Our Take: Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc

    our takeJoan of Arc was founded by the Congregation of the Sisters of Joan of Arc in 1954, the intention being to provide support for girls living away from home. The school, quite obviously, has changed considerably over the years, bringing the focus to education, and moving to an ecumenical curriculum. Many of the changes were driven by parents of the school, including a revisioning of the core mandate in 1991. The school moved to its current location in 2002, and has continued to grow its programs and enrolment since then. Academics are taught through the lens of bilingualism and global education. The girls-only environment helps build a foundation of empowerment, something that graduates take with them into their high school careers and beyond. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a challenging, diverse, community-based educational environment.

Ottawa 0 0
  • John Knox Christian School - Brampton
    Brampton, Ontario
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    "...learned the various skills they need for success."
    Sean VanEerden - Parent   (Jun 18, 2018)

    Our children are both happy at school. They have good relationships with their teachers and they see...

    "...impressed with the care, commitment, and skills of the teaching staff."
    Colleen Wood - Parent   (Jun 19, 2018)

    My son, who is now in Grade 6 has attended John Knox since JK. He is a smart child and has benefite...


    Our Take: John Knox Christian School - Brampton

    our takeThere is of course a great range of approaches across Christian private schools, from those that reflect only the values of the Christian church, to those that use those values in consort with Biblical teaching to inform all aspects of the curriculum and its delivery. John Knox is very much the latter, rightly placing pride in the school’s ability to grow a student’s sense of their faith. The school is non-denominational, and the faculty is comprised of accredited Christian instructors. For the families that enroll here, that is a principal draw. The school is smaller than the national mean, affording a very personal, community feel, as well as extensive opportunities for individual instruction. The ideal student in one able to thrive in a challenging yet supportive academic environment.

Brampton 0 9
  • Junior Academy
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Junior Academy

    our takeDianne Johnson founded the Junior Academy in 1988 in the belief that small is better, and indeed the school has remained small, with an annual enrolment of just 100 students. Johnson lead the school for most of its life, lending a continuity to the program and keeping the focus clearly on the quality of the students' learning experience, and maintaining, above all, an atmosphere of care and support. While not all students arrive from the immediate area, the school prizes its position within the community, and encourages active parental involvement within the life of the school.

Toronto 0 0
  • Kaban Montessori School
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: Kaban Montessori School

    our takeDespite what many might perhaps naturally assume, not all Montessori schools are created equally, even within the class of schools that hue very closely to the core of the model. As Maria Montessori would herself have approved, each school takes on a unique character through the passions and personalities of those that work and learn within it, and Kaban is a good example of that. The name, Kaban, is a Mayan word meaning “earth,” and was chosen to represent the unique cast of the program, one that seeks to highlight stewardship to the environment both within the school and outside in the natural world. It’s a nice touch, and one that brings forward some of the core elements of the method that perhaps get short shrift. Yes, manipulatives are a part of it, though they are tools toward achieving the goal of mastery of the concepts and, in working with peers, a confidence in who we are and how we relate to others. Kaban nicely focuses its efforts very clearly around those concepts, both within its physical space as well as in the delivery of the curriculum. The size of the school is big enough to allow for diversity in programming while also allowing all of the students to feel that they are known and have a role and responsibilities in the life of the school. Instruction is student-centered and individualized, something that is an important draw for the families that enroll within the school. In all of that, and more, there’s a lot to love.

Mississauga 0 0
  • Kells Academy
    Montreal, Quebec

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    Our Take: Kells Academy

    our takeIrene Woods began her career as an educator within the public system, and while there noted that often the after-school tutorial sessions were more productive, and more time efficient, than the teaching done in the classroom. The obvious question—at least it was obvious to her—was, why don’t we just teach this way all the time? Which, in time, is exactly what she did, applying the tutorial model—small group, student-led instruction—to the entire curriculum. Kells was founded in 1978, and Woods has been an instructor and director there ever since. Those aspects of the tutorial model—individual attention, and a creative approach to instruction—are what continue to define the program today. The school has grown considerably over the years, including the creation of a boarding program, though the division between the elementary and high school programs helps to keep the focus small-group instruction.

Montreal 0 0
  • Kelowna Christian School
    Kelowna, British Columbia

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    Our Take: Kelowna Christian School

    our takeKelowna was founded in a broad evangelical tradition, created to express a set of ideals rather than those of a specific congregation. The academic tradition is strong, and that constitutes a significant draw for the families that enroll. Of course, values do too, including the delivery of the curriculum through the lens of Christian belief. The scriptures and biblical truths form the foundation of the life of the school and the lessons taught here. Students are encouraged to apply their learning through leadership and stewardship within the school community and beyond. The goal, no matter what career path is followed, is to live in service. The ideal student is one who shares the values of the school and who chooses to live through them, and who is able to thrive in a challenging yet eminently rewarding academic atmosphere.

Kelowna 0 0
  • Kendellhurst Academy
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: Kendellhurst Academy

    our takePrivate schools, of course, intend to offer an alternative, and Kendellhurst is a great example of that. The program is founded in an approach to ECE that borrows the best from Montessori and other alternative approaches, yet does it in a very tailored, intentional way in order to best address the needs of the students that attend. It's less about doctrine than meeting the specific needs of student population. There are three locations, though all feel a piece of the communities that they sit within, something that the Streetsville location is a particularly good example of. The educational context is local, small, and integrated with the needs of the families that enroll here. The feel is homey, comfortable, and supportive, and camp sessions allow families to extend that experience into the summer months, providing an opportunity for continuity between school terms. Organic meals and after school programs are included with tuition, something that can provide a welcome support to the daily management of family life.

Mississauga 0 0
  • Keystone International Schools
    Toronto, Ontario
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    "lovely teachers and interesting classmates"
    ruby ma - Student   (Jan 24, 2018)

    In Keystone International Schools, we have lovely teachers and interesting classmates. Everyone stud...

    "...always fostered a positive environment and [...] made sure that I was doing well in school."
    Adham Alazhari - Student   (Jul 31, 2018)

    I really enjoyed being a student at Keystone. Overall I made lifelong memories and really good frien...


    Our Take: Keystone International Schools

    our takeOne of the resources of Keystone International Schools is the city itself, something that administration has very consciously built into the programs. Toronto has a wealth of resources, of course and Keystone strives, rightly, to make the most of them. While not a preparatory school in name, the program nevertheless addresses itself to a student population preparing for success at university. Supports are in place for international students, and the school adopts an international gaze, looking well beyond the school walls, educating students to be adept at international communication and engagement. The ideal student is one able to thrive within a diverse, collaborative academic environment.

Toronto 0 11
  • Kidz Kare Inc.
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Kidz Kare Inc.

    our takeKidz Kare was founded in 2003 by Jennifer Roselli, a parent who wanted to create an environment that was more responsive to the needs of parents, including herself. Care, a family focus, a modern setting—that was the baseline, though the intention was also to include an appropriate education piece, one aimed not only at better preparing children for entry into the primary grades, but also at exciting curiosity and intellectual engagement in the short term.  Moreover, the intention was to provide a balance between those two things—care and learning—in an awareness that, typically, early childhood care providers either focus on one or the other, rather than both equally. The company has grown and now includes a range of ancillary services, including home care and tutoring, all of which have the needs of urban parents firmly in mind. It’s a unique approach, and one that rightly has found favour with families looking for childcare that hits all those sweet spots: care, learning, social development, and service.

Toronto 0 0
  • King Heights Academy
    Woodbridge, Ontario

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    Our Take: King Heights Academy

    our takeParents are drawn to King Heights principally by its reputation for delivering high-quality academics. Not all schools perhaps have the same working definition for quality, though King Heights, in many ways, presents the most sound: challenging, collaborative, creative, and active. While not all students are required to enroll within it, the IB program provides a foundation for the life of the school that is inclusive of the values of global, linguistic, and cultural diversity. Also notable is a willingness to continually evaluate best practices, combining elements of traditional curriculum delivery with innovative tools and approaches. The culture of the school is one based in an empathetic world view, with parents and extended family welcome to participate actively in the school community.

Woodbridge 0 0
  • King's Christian Collegiate
    Oakville, Ontario

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    Our Take: King's Christian Collegiate

    our takeKCC is impressive, beginning with a sparkling campus inclusive of a broad range of cutting edge facilities. It’s a larger school, and demonstrates all the benefits of size, including extensive in-class resources and extra-curricular programming. There’s a lot to do here, and the students who attend are typically keen to make the most of it. The faculty are required to take part in ongoing professional development, and are given lots of latitude to be creative in the delivery of the curriculum. And on it goes. The athletics facilities are extensive and absolutely up to date, the arts programming diverse and dedicated, and the cafeteria exemplary. The ideal student is one who is operating at the top of his or her peer group and looking to learn and grow within a values-based environment populated by those of a similar mindset.

Oakville 0 0
  • King's-Edgehill School
    Windsor, Nova Scotia

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    Our Take: King's-Edgehill School

    our takeKing's-Edgehill School is the oldest independent school in Canada, and was founded as King's Collegiate by United Empire Loyalists in 1788. It was given royal assent by King George III the following year, the first instance that honour was bestowed outside Britain. The initial goal of the school was to prevent young men from traveling abroad to receive an education, men that would be needed to stay to administer and defend the colonies. While the school remained small, its alumni took prominent roles in military, legal, religious, and political life (including two fathers of Confederation).

    So, yes, there’s an impressive history here, in all kinds of ways. That said, the school has changed considerably over the years. The historic buildings have been augmented by recent, and very sympathetic, development, all set on a 65-acre campus. It’s, frankly, beautiful. The academic program is as rigorous as it is supportive, and the school attracts students from around the world, creating a diverse, vibrant, exceedingly modern student population.

Windsor 0 0
  • Kingsley Primary School
    Etobicoke, Ontario
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    "she loved all her teachers and she thrived"
    Jane Mueller - Alumnus   (Jan 24, 2018)

    Our child attended Kingsley from JK to Grade 5. She enjoyed everything during her time at Kingsley,...

    Delivered on the promise to "belong, discover, thrive"
    Nicole Morell - Parent   (Jan 24, 2018)

    It was a tough decision to move our 4-year old son to a new school, but after a challenging junior k...


    Our Take: Kingsley Primary School

    our takeWhen parents are considering a school, they’re right to ask about instructional styles, teaching, programs, assessment. Those are important. Though when we pick up our kids from school each day, we’re not thinking about those things. Instead, we ask: “How was your day?” Maybe we ask it reflexively, but when it comes to how children learn, that’s actually where the rubber really meets the road. Kids learn best in a consistent, supportive, personal, safe, and community-focused environment. Providing that kind of environment is what forms a basis for all of the work at Kingsley. When they say “thrive” they mean it in the broad sense—gaining a strong academic foundation—but also in the sense of having fun, gaining confidence, and finding a voice within a community of peers. The programs are strong, the teaching staff seasoned, and the school has had consistent success for more than three decades. For the families that enroll here, all of that is important. Likewise, the strength and focus of the learning environment is often, quite rightly, a principle draw. After all, a child's ability to thrive in life begins in having a good day, today.  

Etobicoke 0 10
  • Kingsway College School
    Etobicoke, Ontario

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    Our Take: Kingsway College School

    our takeNeil deGrasse Tyson has said, "imagine how different the world would be, if, in fact, that were 'reading, writing, arithmetic, empathy.'" Kingsway College School poses the same question, and has worked to augment a strong academic program with a cross-curricular attention to values. It can risk sounding a bit grand, as when Derek Logan, the head of school, notes that a goal is to teach students to "lead with vision and humility." These are little kids, after all, given that the program ends at Grade 8. Nonetheless, the attention to values, and providing opportunities for social development, in addition to a sense of mastery with core skills, is a strength of the school. The ideal student is one who is able to thrive in an active, academically challenging environment.

Etobicoke 0 0
  • Kohai Educational Centre
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Kohai Educational Centre

    our takeKohai began in 1973 as a summer camp for children with emotional, intellectual, and behavioural disorders. Parents were the driver, encouraging the founders to build out the programming based on the success that the summer program was having. It was formalized as a school in 1976 around the approach that had been adopted in the camp setting, one focused on small-group learning and student-directed instruction. Kohai addresses itself specifically to the needs of children who, simply, learn differently, and who require a setting that offers the kinds of supports that they need. The foremost, often, is an environment that is built with them in mind, and which sees their potential, first, rather than their limitations. Which is exactly what Kohai has been offering—impressively, beautifully, skillfully—for more than 40 years.

Toronto 0 0
  • Kuper Academy
    Kirkland, Quebec

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    Our Take: Kuper Academy

    our takeKuper was founded in 1986 as a means of providing an intensive, imaginative program for the early grades. The school has grown since then to include the upper grades, and housed within modern facilities, with physical expansion completed in 2008. The attention to an intensive curriculum remains, one that seeks to straddle the goals of a traditional liberal arts education with a range of 21st century literacies. While not expressly intended as a gifted program, the ideal student is one who is able to thrive within a traditional, challenging, yet diverse learning environment inclusive of a relatively large student body.

Kirkland 0 0
  • La Citadelle International Academy of Arts and Science
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: La Citadelle International Academy of Arts and Science

    our takeLa Citadelle was established in 2000 with just 5 students and operating out of a church basement. The program has grown considerably since then, with an annual enrolment of 200 students spanning prep-K to Grade 12. Further, in 2015 the school moved into a new space, doubling the size of the physical plan and providing an opportunity to grow the student population and its programs significantly. Despite that growth, the approach to instruction remains true to the original intentions. Since its inception La Citadelle has been progressive, and while achievement is one of the six core values, so are compassion and harmony. There is a high level of individual support, in part a function of a low teacher/student ratio. The ideal student is one that is operating ahead of her peers, able to thrive within a challenging, varied, and multilingual teaching environment. 

Toronto 0 0
Mississauga 0 9
  • Lakefield College School
    Lakefield, Ontario
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    "Excellent teachers who care about the students and give them their all."
    Jan Dunk - Parent   (Sep 05, 2018)

    LCS is an amazing school that offers a wide range of top notch classes. The staff is phenomenal and ...


    Our Take: Lakefield College School

    our takeThe first thing that people typically know about Lakefield is that Prince Andrew and the King of Spain both studied here. And, truth be known, they did. That said, the reality of the school isn't perhaps of the sort that that we might feel would attract a royal gaze. Lakefield is set in a rural setting, and while academics are strong, there is also a focus on physical activity and outdoor education as a vehicle for the development of interpersonal and leadership skills. As a result, students are more likely to be found on the ropes course or at the hockey rink than in quiet contemplation at tea time. Academics are rigorous, though lifestyle is, too, often creating a heightened level of engagement. Alumni, including the royals, conspicuously retain a very personal connection to the ongoing life of the school.

Lakefield 0 11
  • Landmark East School
    Wolfville, Nova Scotia

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    Our Take: Landmark East School

    our takeLandmark’s motto is “changing lives since 1979” and that’s not something they state lightly. The fact is, they really have. The core of the Landmark program is a belief that all students can learn, something that they share with the very best, and most innovative schools in the country, intended for learners with various academic challenges. As with the Arrowsmith schools, Landmark East begins with empowerment: the knowledge that these students can achieve great things, and that attention, support, and a belief in possibility is the key to allowing them to reach their potentials. When students arrive they find a place that doesn’t see them as lacking anything at all, or as exceptional. Here, they are students within an environment designed for them, and populated with peers and teachers who know exactly where they are coming from. That can be, and most often is, entirely transformational in how students perceive themselves and their abilities. Truly, that’s huge. 

Wolfville 0 0
  • Léman Manhattan Preparatory School
    New York, New York

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    Our Take: Léman Manhattan Preparatory School

    our takeLéman is the only school in Manhattan with sister campuses in Europe, Asia and Latin America, something that speaks to the focus of the school. This the school provides a strong core curriculum while teaching through a broad lens, one that takes in the diversity of the city and as the world beyond. The student body is divided over two campuses, which offers a more intimate experience within each, though retaining a robust array of learning resources for both. The student population is varied and broad, with students from more than 50 countries. Together with the IB offering, this is a school that encourages an informed and critical approach to our place in the world, and positive forms of interpersonal, intercultural communication. In many ways, it’s an expression of the city that provides its context. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a challenging, stimulating, and wonderfully diverse learning environment.

New York 0 0
  • Liberty Prep School
    Toronto, Ontario
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    "when we drop him off, he runs to the teachers"
    Colette Tom - Parent   (Mar 10, 2018)

    My son just turned 2 years old. He likes the teachers, when we drop him off, he runs to the teachers...


    Our Take: Liberty Prep School

    our takeWe might typically think of a prep school as a high school that intends to prepare students for university. Clearly, Liberty uses the term in a slightly different sense, and intends to provide a strong foundation in the early years, preparing students for success when they move on to the middle and high school years. Attention is given, of course, to core academics, though likewise to building confidence and creating independent, engaged learners. As per the Montessori approach, instruction is inquiry based, seeking to build on the children’s talents and interests. The attention to the atmosphere of the school is clear, and the spaces are beautifully appointed to provide an environment conducive to learning together, and which also reflects the character and diversity of the surrounding neighbourhoods.  

Toronto 0 9
  • Linbrook School
    Oakville, Ontario

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    Our Take: Linbrook School

    our takeThere has been a Linbrook School at this site in Oakville for more than 80 years—prior to 2010, it was the site of a public school with that name. The current Linbrook school keeps the name, as the founders liked the continuity it provided within the community, including the educational tradition that the school represented. That said, the current Linbrook shares little more than a name with that school. It’s the only boys’ school in Oakville, and the approach is based in providing a diversity of activity, and physical movement, both within the classroom and without. Students learn in a dynamic, group environment. Classrooms are large to promote small group facilitation. The facilities were entirely updated for the school's opening, and incorporate a full range of instructional technology. The grounds, including green space and play fields, also recommend the school.

Oakville 0 0
  • The Linden School
    Toronto, Ontario
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    An emphasis on community
    Caitlin O'Leary - Parent   (Jan 23, 2018)

    My daughter is very bright, engaged and articulate, but she's also very reserved and shy. She was i...

    "...the girls are encouraged to develop their passions and to voice their own opinions,"
    Roseanne Carrara - Parent   (Mar 09, 2018)

    My daughter came to Linden from an overcrowded Toronto Catholic District School Board classroom wher...


    Our Take: The Linden School

    our takeAll schools, to some extent, defy the various stereotypes that the general population might have about private education. Still, the Linden School is a particularly stark example of that. Founded by Diane Goudie and Eleanor Moore in 1993, the school was intended as a needed and necessary alternative to what was happening in public schools, as well as other private institutions. Goudie had butt heads with other educators by demanding that education be based in a sense of equity, especially as girls and women are concerned. The Linden School is the result, and today it does exactly what Goudie and Moore hoped it would: provide an example of a school for girls that will make a difference in the students' lives and, in turn, encourage them to make a positive difference in the lives of others. The goal, as Moore said at an address at York University, is to educate each student to "to speak with courage--[to] be credible, find a community, listen for all voices, change structures, be a leader and above all make a difference." Since they founded the school, Goudie and Moore have lead by example, earning honorary doctorate of law degrees from York University in recognition of their leadership in the field of education. On receiving the doctorate, Goudie addressed the convocation saying "Ask yourselves the tough questions: What do you want to achieve beyond your paycheque? What are you prepared to risk in order to make a difference in your communities or in the global community?" Those are, of course, very tough questions, and the Linden School is structured around them. For the wrong student, it could be overwhelming. For the right student, it can provide a very strong foundation for a lifetime of engagement, leadership, and success.

Toronto 0 10
  • Little Owl Preschool Elementary
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Little Owl Preschool Elementary

    our takeThe student body at Little Owl reflects the diversity of the surrounding community, and the school uses that as a foundation to encourage and celebrate a multicultural perspective. Little Owl is small, which is a draw for the families that enroll, as is the program that runs from preschool through the primary and elementary years. There is a close, family feel, with an individual attention to the needs of the students. Likewise, there is an attention to building students’ emotional and social esteem within a values-based environment. The ideal student is one looking for something different, and who will thrive in a hands-on, community based academic environment.

Toronto 0 0
  • London International Academy
    London, Ontario

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    Our Take: London International Academy

    our takeLondon International Academy was founded in 2002 with an explicit attention to preparing students for success at university in North America. In the years since the student population has grown considerably, as has the school’s mandate. Today annual enrollment is 350 students who arrive from around the world. The school has developed a full palette of services with the international student in mind, including language instruction, university guidance, cultural exchange programs and a challenging curriculum. The ideal student is one with an eye to succeeding in post-secondary studies in Canada.

London 0 0
  • Lower Canada College
    Montreal, Quebec

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    Our Take: Lower Canada College

    our takeFounded in 1909, LCC has a long tradition and a reputation to match. The list of alumni includes some shining lights of Canadian arts, letters, politics, business, and academics. There is a sense of place, and it’s considerable—students feel that they are participating within something larger than themselves. Of course, LCC has evolved over the years, though adaptations have been considered and orderly. A bilingual program for the primary grades was adopted in the early 1990s. The school became fully coeducational in 1995. The International Baccalaureate programme, too, is relatively new. Families are attracted to the traditions of the school, and the dedication to adapting to meet the needs of students. LCC continues to provide an example both of the value of looking ahead, developing programs that will meet the evolving needs of students, and with an eye to the kinds of academic, professional, and social environments students will encounter in their post-secondary careers and beyond.

Montreal 0 0
  • Luther College High School
    Regina, Saskatchewan
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    "Luther expects a lot of you"
    Lauren Schenher - Student   (Jan 31, 2018)

    I went to Luther College High School from grades 9-12. I chose to go because of the emphasis it plac...

    "Our children have been very happy at Luther"
    Terelyne Vadeboncoeur - Parent   (Feb 23, 2018)

    Our children have valued the sense of community, the friendships, and the range of opportunities ava...

    "Luther is wonderful"
    Mayson Sonntag - Student   (Mar 12, 2018)

    The student experience at Luther is wonderful. The staff is very supportive, and the teacher to stud...


    Our Take: Luther College High School

    our takeLuther College High School was established in 1913 as a boys’ boarding school, and with just 32 students that inaugural year. Girls were first admitted in 1920, and over the years there have been other changes, too. Today the population is predominantly day students, though there is still a sizable boarding program. Luther College has just completed a huge capital campaign focused on developing the school’s physical plan. Completed in 2015, it added over 40,000 square feet of space, including a new gymnasium, common spaces, and media labs. The curriculum is taught through a Christian lens, and annual events highlight the Lutheran tradition, including the candlelight services that mark Advent. The ideal student is one who can thrive in an active, diverse school community, and who is intending to proceed to post-secondary studies after graduation.

Regina 0 11
  • Lycée Claudel
    Ottawa, Ontario

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    Our Take: Lycée Claudel

    our takeIn really any way you care to look at it, there is a lot going on at the Lycée Claudel. It was founded as the Cours Claudel in 1962 in order to provide a school for the children of Francophone diplomats wishing to have their children educated in French, and following the French national curriculum. When the first students graduated the program in 1974, the school became known as Lycée Claudel. The school continued to grow, and move, ultimately moving in 1988 into the buildings vacated by the University of Ottawa’s secondary school.

    Lycée Claudel is an international school in two important ways, both of which are somewhat unique to the school. First, its student population includes students from nearly 50 different countries, which is surprising, at least initially, given that it’s a day school and doesn’t have a boarding program. Of course, the reason is because the school is in Ottawa, and therefore enrolls many children of diplomats. Second, the school continues to offer the French curriculum, as it has from day one. It’s also a member of AEFE, an accrediting body to assure that schools comply with the French curriculum, something of particular interest to French nationals living abroad who intend to return to France. There are only four schools that are fully accredited by the AEFE in Canada, and Lycée Claudel is one of just two that are located outside Quebec, and the only one in Ontario.

    Many families choose the school because they are French nationals, while others choose it because the instructional language is French, rather than the model used in French immersion classrooms. Others choose the school because if the quality of instruction, and the international focus. Of course, the profile of the school is high, given the range of students that attend and the long list of notable alumni, which includes Justin Trudeau.

    In all those ways, Lycée Claudel is remarkably unique. Again, there is a lot going on, and all of it impressive. The ideal student is one who thrives in a large, diverse, and challenging educational and social setting.

Ottawa 0 0
  • Lycée Français de Toronto
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Lycée Français de Toronto

    our takeNot all immersion programs are created equally, and Lycée Francais is an example of that. The school was founded in 1995 with support from the French consulate to offer a French education to the children of French nationals living in Toronto (a portion of the faculty, then as now, are themselves French nationals). The program is based on the curriculum used in France, as developed by the French Ministry of Education. That said, the most substantive difference is that the program is dual, admitting students with either English or French as a first language, with French as the primary language of instruction from pre-school on up. Immersion often gets lumped in with gifted programs, though it's not at all just for high flyers. That said, the LFT program is challenging and very much intended, especially in the upper grades, for students preparing to enroll at university.

Toronto 0 0
  • Lycée Louis Pasteur
    Calgary, Alberta
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    "...great teachers and remarkable academic program."
    Deniz Basibuyuk - Parent   (May 23, 2018)

    My daughter enjoyed the school environment and the size of the school allowed kids to feel like it...

    "...our children have so much more confidence in their work. The positive energy and encouragement is so helpful."
    Brigitte Smith - Parent   (May 14, 2018)

    I have to say that the class sizes really are what make our children feel comfortable, less kids mak...


    Our Take: Lycée Louis Pasteur

    our takeIn Canada, “lycée” most typically references a relationship with the French ministry of education, and that’s true of Lycée Louis Pasteur. When the school was established in 1966, it taught to the French curriculum to address the needs of French nationals, though it soon attracted families outside that community to the quality of the program and to the authentic provision of language immersion. Today, that remains, and families look to LLP for a strong French immersion program, one that is more robust than those found in public schools. They are also looking for a curriculum that is delivered through a different lens, one that is more cognizant of the diversity of the global community, and more reflective of a student’s place within that wider world. Certainly, Lycée Louis Pasteur provides all of that. The ideal student is one looking for a challenge and for an opportunity to learn within a diverse community of peers.  

Calgary 0 9
  • Lynn-Rose College
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: Lynn-Rose College

    our take

    Founded in 1997 as Lynn-Rose Heights, the program has grown to into the upper grades and adopted the IB curricula. The expansion, to the school’s credit, has been considered and calculated in order to grow the offering while maintaining a consistent vision. The intention is to address a range of learners within a setting that is individually oriented in which all are challenged to reach their potential within the core academic fields and beyond. Lynn-Rose College, founded in 2017, is the latest expression of those ideals, and was created at the request of elementary families. With a dedicated campus, the program allows for a dedicated social and academic environment for students in grades 7 through 12. The blend of the Ontario and IB curricula is a draw, as is the quality of instruction, and a very porous interface between families and faculty. The attention to values, particularly as underscored within the IB programmes, is also a draw

Mississauga 0 0
  • The Mabin School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: The Mabin School

    our takeWhen Geraldine Mabin founded the Mabin School in 1980 it was considered strikingly experimental. Children were taught in open environments, followed their curiosity, and learned more through guided experience than direct instruction. A teacher at the school once commented that "Our pattern is to have no pattern." Today, despite the changing educational landscape in Canada during the intervening decades, the school remains at the vanguard of alternative education. While Mabin left the school in the 1998, it still reflects the ideals on which it was based, and she remains involved with the school today. "Time in the classroom for actual learning as opposed to teaching is shrinking," Mabin said in 2011. "There's a very high expectation on academics and testing. A lot of time is spent on drumming in lessons and worrying about kids who haven't made it. Children should be given time to learn things, to not be pushed." The instruction is strong, and supported through extensive cross-curricular programming. Parental involvement in the life of the school is encouraged. The ideal student is one who will thrive within a rich, vibrant, and varied learning environment.

Toronto 0 0
  • Macdonald-Cartier Academy
    Ottawa, Ontario

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    Our Take: Macdonald-Cartier Academy

    our takeMacdonald-Cartier was formed in 1990 to offer a challenging, academic, bilingual program, and it’s been happily and successfully been doing it ever since. The student body is small, with just 60 students annually, which translates into a very responsive, student-centered approach to curriculum delivery. The intention is somewhat unique, namely to give students a strong preparation for high school with an eye to university admission. The feel, as the name implies, is very rooted in a sense of place, and in that the school is an expression of the cultural and historical life of the national capital region. Likewise, there are a wealth of resources located locally, and Macdonald-Cartier rightly makes very good use of them.

Ottawa 0 0
  • MacLachlan College
    Oakville, Ontario

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    Our Take: MacLachlan College

    our take“MacLachlan prides itself on being at the cutting edge of innovation in teaching and learning theory,” says Michael Piening, head of school. “This generation of learner, and the world they are growing up in, is very engaged, social and interactive. We looked internally at how we could best respond and adapt to enhance student exploration, creativity and knowledge.” That’s quite a mouthful, to be sure, but it’s a good one nevertheless. Schools are challenged to adapt their programs to the needs of students, and there are a lot of red herrings out there, such as an over-emphasis on digital literacy, for example. To be a 21st century learner can mean many things, though at McLachlan it means engagement with ideas, peers, and community. The annual Word Fest is a great example of that, in that case using the language arts program as a starting point for an engagement with issues and topics that require students to think creatively, empathize, and communicate their ideas. Earlier this year the grade one classes took part in a workshop with the Hamilton Children’s museum, roll-playing a shipwreck, stuck on coral in the midst of a storm. That, and indeed many programs at MacLachlan, can rightly turn heads. They provide telling examples of how the school expresses its dedication to engagement, exploration, and social interactivity, all of it as charming as it is impressive. The ideal student is one who can thrive in a diverse, active, and challenging academic environment. 

Oakville 0 0
  • Madrona School Society
    Vancouver, British Columbia

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    Our Take: Madrona School Society

    our takeMadrona was founded in 1993 to address the specific needs of learners operating at the top of their peer group. Instruction is based in delivering the fundaments of literacy and numeracy, though it also builds out considerably from there. The school isn’t tiny, with an annual student body of 100, but the feel is very personal and individualistic given a low student-teacher ratio. Students are encouraged to follow their interests and grow into an understanding of a sense of responsibility and active participation in their education. At the moment the school offers the primary and elementary grades, though the intention is to continue building the program through the high school grades relatively soon. That’s something that enrolling families, given the strength of the program, are keen to see realized. A strong school community, one that welcomes parental involvement in the life of the school, is a primary draw. The ideal student is one who will thrive in a challenging, hands-on, collaborative learning environment.

Vancouver 0 0
  • Magnificent Minds
    North York, Ontario

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    Our Take: Magnificent Minds

    our takeThe mantra of private education is “fit”—finding the right environment for your child’s specific learning needs. Magnificent Minds is a great example of that concept, to be sure. While there are psychoeducational services and support in place for students who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, the school’s approach can benefit a range of learning needs; most often children arrive here coming from environments that, for whatever reason, were unable to provide the supports they needed. The school is small, and for the families that enroll here, that is one of its great benefits. Instruction is student-centred, adapting to the needs of each individual. There is an emphasis on play, and an awareness of the benefits of growing a positive sense of self within a close community of peers. The context of possibility, of celebrating and building upon a child’s unique talents and ability, for many students has been transformational.

North York 0 0
  • The Maples Academy
    Amaranth, Ontario

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    Our Take: The Maples Academy

    our takeThe Maples was founded in 1989 in order to provide a strong core program in the junior and elementary grades, and that remains the draw for parents today. The school is small, with an annual enrollment of 100 students, allowing for a very personal, individual approach to instruction. It was purchased in 2014 by the owner of St. Jude’s and Oakwood, and benefits through the association, including becoming an IB candidate school. Parents are drawn by the strength of the academic program as well as that of the arts offerings, including a robust instrumental music program. Parents are welcome to be involved in the life of the school, and communication between parents and faculty is direct and frequent. The school was founded to provide a welcome alternative to the public offerings in the area, and it’s been happily living up to that mandate for nearly three decades.

Amaranth 0 0
  • Maranatha Christian Academy
    Brampton, Ontario

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    Our Take: Maranatha Christian Academy

    our takeNot all Christian private schools are expressly associated with a specific denomination, or a specific church, but MCA is both: it was founded by the North Park Worship Centre as a means of furthering their work and addressing the needs of their community and congregation. The school retains a fidelity to a close reading of the gospels, something that informs instruction across all curricular areas. The school is close-knit and family oriented, and what it might lack in extracurriculars it gains in a very individual approach to education. Enrollment is open to all, and not limited to the church community, and is particularly attractive to families looking for a school that provides the core curriculum as informed by Christian values.

Brampton 0 0
  • McDonald International Academy
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: McDonald International Academy

    our takeMcDonald was founded in 1994 to deliver a quality university preparation for students in Canada as well as those arriving from around the world. Ever since, it’s been doing exactly that. The school maintains a small, almost exclusive feel, especially when compared with some of the larger international schools found in Ontario and beyond. The two campuses augment that feel, and students enter a close-knit academic and social community. All of the important supports are in place to appeal to the international learner, from language support, to assistance with daily life, to university counselling. The downtown campus, perhaps especially, is proximate to a rich range of resources, including the nearby University of Toronto campus. The school prides itself on offering a strong academic basis for university entry, as well as a rich and rewarding social experience. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a very vibrant, diverse, challenging and urban academic context.

Toronto 0 0
  • Meadow Green Academy
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: Meadow Green Academy

    our takeGeorganne MacKenzie founded Meadow Green in order to offer an academic program that was both rigorous and inclusive of Christian values. The approach is as consistent as it is committed to addressing the specific needs of each learner, both academic and social. In crafting the curriculum MacKenzie wanted to reflect the academic traditions of strong core language, numeracy, and assessment, while also bringing in modern best practices. The ideal student is one operating at the upper end of his or her peer group, and who is able to thrive in a challenging, diverse, and cooperative learning environment.

Mississauga 0 0
  • Meadowridge School
    Maple Ridge, British Columbia

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    Our Take: Meadowridge School

    our takeMeadowridge is a school that intends to inspire and teach through direct, personal involvement. They don't just teach art, for example, they immerse students within it, including an on-site collection of works from an a-list of Canadian artists, including Tom Thomson, Kenojuak Ashevak, and Lawren Harris. The campus includes a forest, so the links between art and the environment are profound. Likewise, gardens and greenhouses provide an entrée to ecology and biology, and a design lab provides an entrée into technology and engineering. Those, and other examples, provide a unique balance between traditional learning and experiential learning. The buildings, the 27-acre campus, the proximity to Vancouver as well as a range of natural environments—all of it would rightly be the envy of any school. The ideal student is one who is curious, engaging, and prone to make use of the range of programs and opportunities that Meadowridge provides.

Maple Ridge 0 0
  • Mentor College
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: Mentor College

    our takeMentor College and TEAM School are closely associated, something that brings unique strengths to both. They are overseen by a single administrative body, and they share some facilities, services, and extracurricular programs. The benefits are in a shared infrastructure and organizational efficiency. The facilities are modern and robust, as are student services and transportation. There is a robust, rich program of extra-curricular activity, something that, again, is a benefit of not only the school's size, but also the intra-school associations and programs. That said, the division of the campuses gives each—high school, intermediate, and primary—its own sense of propriety and identity. It's a unique model, one that gains both the benefits of a large student population, as well as those of smaller communities of students. In numbers, this is one of the largest schools in Canada, though the lived experience of the families that attend doesn't bear that out. Frequent and casual communication between parents and teachers, as well, underscores a personal, student and family-centered approach.

Mississauga 0 0
  • Metropolitan Preparatory Academy
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Metropolitan Preparatory Academy

    our takeMetro Prep, in once sense at least, is very much what you might think a preparatory academy is for: the program is intended to prepare students for post-secondary education, particularly university. From there, however, all bets are off, and the school adopts none of the cliches or the stances that are hallmarks of the traditional, stereotypical prep school. The students don't wear uniforms, for one, the intention being to encourage individuality rather than conformity. Likewise, while the school intends student success, it's not defined in test scores, but by a creative engagement with the curricular content, and the world. Confidence over bravado; critical thinking over rote learning – in so many ways, this isn't your grandfathers' prep school. The ideal student is one who can thrive in a very active, engaging student environment, and intending to continue their studies at university.

Toronto 0 0
  • Mississauga Christian Academy
    Mississauga, Ontario
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    "teachers and staff are very involved and student focused"
    Z Mitchell - Parent   (Mar 10, 2018)

    The Teachers and staff are very involved and student focused. They know each of them by name in the...


    Our Take: Mississauga Christian Academy

    our takeWhile some Christian schools offer only a Christian-inflected education, MCA was established in 1977 to provide a program that actively promotes the values and lessons of the church across all the curricular areas. It’s also unique in that it’s one of the few schools in the region that are formally affiliated with a church, Meadowvale Bible Baptist. Class sizes are small, and the annual enrollment of 140 students allows for individual instruction and a close-knit community feel within the school. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a challenging, collaborative academic environment, and is looking to grow into their faith within a community of true peers.

Mississauga 0 9
  • Mississauga Christian French School (MCFS)
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: Mississauga Christian French School (MCFS)

    our takeMCFS was founded in 2008 with a very unique constellation of offering, prime among them being a values-based program for the ECE and elementary years. Added to that is a progressive approach to instruction following on from the Reggio Emilia program, and the provision of an authentic French-language learning environment. It's a nice mix. Families are welcome and encouraged to participate in the life of the school, something which defines the culture found there, as does a small student population and a low student to teacher ratio. A goal of the administration is for each student to be known and celebrated, something which imparts a clear sense of belonging and, in turn, the confidence to participate actively in the programs offered. The ideal student is one able to thrive within a challenging yet eminently supportive academic environment.

Mississauga 0 0
  • Momentum Montessori
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Momentum Montessori

    our takeThere are many aspects to the Montessori method, though the primary one is approaching children with a sense of respect. That was revolutionary when Maria Montessori was first describing the method, a time when children were seen as smaller, less complete, less facile adults. Momentum is a modern school, of course, though it retains a fidelity to the core of the Montessori approach, namely that provision of respect, and that desire to allow children to be seen as whole people, rather than incomplete adults. The environment has been created to be one of implicit caring and support, on one hand, while also providing lots of opportunity to make new discoveries and to try new things. The adoption of new techniques and technologies has been done in a sympathetic way in order to enhance engagement with the core program and the core values, rather than disrupt them. The inclusion of the Suzuki Method is admirable, allowing children to experience music in a more authentic way then they may find elsewhere. Families rightly turn to Momentum for all of that, both the adherence to the core of the method, and willingness to allow it to grow naturally as appropriate to the needs of community that it serves.  

Toronto 0 0
  • Monkey See Monkey Do Montessori
    Vancouver, British Columbia
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    Strong leadership, quality instruction
    Jing Grant - Parent   (Apr 08, 2018)

    She likes her teachers the best! She keeps talking about them at home so much that my parents, who o...


    Our Take: Monkey See Monkey Do Montessori

    our takeAcademics are perhaps what we think of first whenever we think of education, though education is also about learning to work, interact, and relate well with others. The Montessori method truly takes that to heart, as does Laurie Mossop, who founded Monkey See Monkey Do in 2007 and remains the school’s director today. She created the environment to allow for authentic, significant interaction between students throughout the instructional day, providing a foundation for building empathy and respectful engagement. That’s important, of course, and the school graduates students with the academic and interpersonal skills they’ll need to succeed in elementary school. Also a plus is the involvement of parents within the community of the school, something that families rightly welcome.

Vancouver 0 9
  • Montcrest School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Montcrest School

    our take

    For most families who consider private schooling, it’s the values piece that really tips the balance, and Montcrest is a great example of that. Yes, it’s got a strong, demonstrated history of academic excellence and innovation, including close attention to individual learning styles. In addition, though, it has demonstrated a keen and ongoing attention to the development of values, character, and community. The Peacemakers program is one example, and indeed a particularly good one. Students within it are trained in peer mediation and conflict resolution, which they then very visibly promote throughout the school environment. That kind of attention contributes to the development of leadership skills based in collaboration. The community garden, quite delightfully, is where all of those values are poignantly expressed. The location of the school on the edge of one of the city’s storied ravines is also a plus, something that the school rightly makes much use of.

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  • The Montessori Country School - Milton Campus
    Milton, Ontario

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    Our Take: The Montessori Country School - Milton Campus

    our takeThe country school tradition is based in creating learning spaces that are inflected with some rural ideals—quiet, collaborative, community based, and including an interface with nature—that are reflected well within the MCS setting. Families are drawn to the community of the school, one that is small enough to allow students to know each other, and for parents to know each other as well. MCS also faithfully reflects the core of the Montessori tradition, including learning through hands-on manipulation and multi-age classrooms. In all of that, there’s a lot to like, including well-appointed classrooms and outdoor learning spaces.

Milton 0 0
  • The Montessori Country School - Nobleton Campus
    Nobleton, Ontario

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    Our Take: The Montessori Country School - Nobleton Campus

    our takeThe country school tradition is based in creating learning spaces that are inflected with some rural ideals—quiet, collaborative, community based, and including an interface with nature—that are reflected well within the MCS setting. Families are drawn to the community of the school, one that is small enough to allow students to know each other, and for parents to know each other as well. MCS also faithfully reflects the core of the Montessori tradition, including learning through hands-on manipulation and multi-age classrooms. In all of that, there’s a lot to like, including well-appointed classrooms and outdoor learning spaces.

Nobleton 0 0
  • Montessori House of Children
    Brantford, Ontario

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    Our Take: Montessori House of Children

    our takeEstablished in 1974, Montessori House of Children is within the first cohort of schools offering the method in Canada, with the first schools starting up in the late 60s. Then as now the intention was to provide a strong, values-based foundation with an eye to the skills and abilities that children will need to be successful in the primary and elementary grades. The program intends to offer a family-oriented approach in a comfortable, familiar environment, as supported by the building itself. Also true to its original mandate, MHC hews closely to the philosophy and methods developed by Maria Montessori, something that is a draw for the families that enroll here. A range of learning differences are supported, and small class sizes ensure a high level of individual attention.

Brantford 0 0
  • Montessori Jewish Day School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Montessori Jewish Day School

    our takeCommunity is a primary component of any quality independent school, whether it’s a community of interest, identity, or, even better, both. Parents who look to MJDS rightly are attracted to the sense of community that the environment there can instill. It’s about heritage, but it’s also about lots of other intangibles which inform a child’s understanding of her place in the world. Families are always keen to learn about the academic program of a school, though place and community, truly, are equally important, or arguably more so. The Montessori approach starts there as well, bringing mutual respect to the fore within the classroom setting. The administrative leadership is strong, as is the teaching, with a close attention to accreditation and development. In all, MJDS presents a very nice constellation of attributes.

Toronto 0 0
  • Montessori Learning Centre of Pickering
    Pickering, Ontario

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    Our Take: Montessori Learning Centre of Pickering

    our takeOften what attracts parents to Montessori education is the close, community feel that many schools are able to provide, and that’s very true of MLCP. The school began in 1984 with 25 students, and growth has been less of a concern for its administrators than quality. The student population today is just 200, this in a program that spans preschool through Grade 8. Yes, there are all of the things we expect of the Montessori approach, though that’s coupled with a very close attention to the needs of individuals, both students and parents combined. Before and after care is available, and while it’s not included in tuition, the rates are very reasonable. Likewise, those programs are entirely flexible—parents pay only for what they use. In that, and in other ways, this is a school that really operates with the needs of its families foremost in mind.

Pickering 0 0
  • Montessori School of Wellington
    Guelph, Ontario

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    Our Take: Montessori School of Wellington

    our takeThe size of MSW is a draw, as is the CCMA accreditation. The program retains a high fidelity to the philosophy and methods that Maria Montessori developed—the founder was instructed by Maria Montessori’s granddaughter—and builds out from there, as with the inclusion of yoga and daily immersive French within the curriculum. Before and after school care is a plus, as is a high level of individual, student-guided instructional attention. The school is located in a residential neighbourhood, creating a good sense of place, something that is a cornerstone of the method. The feel is family-based, and building from the students’ natural interests and curiosities. The values of respect, empathy, and stewardship are nicely built into all aspects of the instructional day.

Guelph 0 0
  • MontessoriWorks
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: MontessoriWorks

    our take

    MontessoriWorks offers a lot of versatility, from half- and full-day programs, to before and after care options. That’s attractive to families, to be sure, though the attention to the foundation of the Montessori method is as well. The staff has worked to provide a family-style environment, one that feels inclusive and supportive. Likewise, staff seeks to infuse the values into all aspects of program delivery, including an attention to interpersonal relationships as well as students’ relationships to their environments, both within the school and beyond. Instruction is based in student-centered, hands-on activity, in order to build communication and cooperative engagement. In all, MontessoriWorks presents a close-knit, well-crafted program that remains true to the core philosophies of the Montessori method.  

Mississauga 0 0
  • Mulgrave School
    West Vancouver, British Columbia

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    Our Take: Mulgrave School

    our takeMulgrave was founded in 1993 on the grounds of the West Vancouver Montessori School, and has grown exponentially since then due to the strength of the program and the school’s earned reputation. Today Mulgrave is home to just over 900 students from pre-school through grade 12, housed within a 150,000 sq. ft. building that includes substantial upgrades completed with the senior school expansion in 2015. A new capital and development campaign will be complete in 2019, further augmenting the campus and the programs provided there. The school operates a centre for educational innovation, a clear expression of the administration’s desire to be a model to others, and to continue to evaluate and grow the programs the school offers. So, there's a lot going on, largely driven, as it was at the start, by the members of the community the school serves. The school rightly prides itself on maintaining a close, community feel throughout, while offering a strong academic foundation through the International Baccalaureate and an overall dedication to delivering the curriculum through a global lens. The ideal student is one who will thrive in a vibrant, challenging yet supportive academic environment.

West Vancouver 0 0
  • Neuchâtel Junior College
    Neuchâtel, Switzerland

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    Our Take: Neuchâtel Junior College

    our take

    Neuchâtel Junior College was founded in 1956 and, from then to now, there’s been nothing else quite like it when it comes to options for North American students. It’s so unique that, in some ways, it’s hard to believe that it exists at all: a school, offering the Ontario curriculum, nestled within the stunning natural and diverse cultural environments of Europe. The views are inspiring, as is the proximity to international organizations, including the UN in Geneva. Skiing in Zermatt, visiting Flanders Fields on Remembrance Day … it goes on and on. The instruction is rigorous, and classes are intimate. The majority of students arrive from Ontario, though the student population is drawn from across Canada, the US and abroad. The ideal student is one who is inclined to make the most of the vast range of opportunities that the school provides through this unique educational experience.

Neuchâtel 0 0
  • Newton’s Grove School
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: Newton’s Grove School

    our takeNewton’s Grove began its life in 1977 as the first private school in Mississauga, known then as Mississauga Private School. It soon moved to Etobicoke, though returned to Mississauga in 2015, moving into its permanent location in 2017. The moves are symptomatic of the school’s growth, based in a growing reputation for its academics coupled with a robust athletic program. Values, too, are a draw, with a dedication to promoting respect and responsibility throughout the curricular areas. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a challenging, vibrant, socially oriented environment.

Mississauga 0 0
  • Niagara Christian Collegiate
    Fort Erie, Ontario

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    Our Take: Niagara Christian Collegiate

    our takeNiagara Christian Collegiate can be a bit deceiving, at least at first glance. The setting is rural, with the nearest community of size being Niagara Falls to the north. The Niagara Parkway—the route through which NCC is accessed—is a sleepy, scenic drive along the eastern edge of the Niagara peninsula. The campus, for anyone driving by, can seem sympathetically sleepy, a world away from the hustle of urban life. Which, to some extent, it is. What you don’t see—and perhaps what even locals don’t accurately grasp—is the breadth and the diversity of the academic programs as well as the school’s student population. Half are international students, arriving from as close as the US to as far afield as Japan and Tunisia. The curriculum has a similar breadth, and the goal of the school is to deliver a comprehensive, international education through the lens of Christian values. The ideal student is one who is interested in all of that: growing within their faith and gaining a sense of their place in the world alongside peers of a like mind.

Fort Erie 0 0
  • North Broward Preparatory School
    Coconut Creek, Florida

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    Our Take: North Broward Preparatory School

    our takeNorth Broward Prep was founded in 1957, though it’s grown considerably since then, including a significant growth in its boarding program. The school has moved as well, and currently sits on a campus that is as close to a college campus that you can likely get outside of the post-secondary market. For people that come from away, the Florida environment is certainly a draw, though the size of the student population and the correlating size and breadth of the programs offered tops the list. There is a lot going on, and while the student population is on the larger end of the spectrum, the faculty is sizable as well, this to allow for a very individualized, supported approach to instruction. There’s nothing quite like North Broward, which is exactly why families turn to the school. It offers a vibrant, diverse, globally minded atmosphere within a setting constructed to prepare students academically and personally to succeed at college and university. The ideal student is one looking for a challenge with an eye to post-secondary success.

Coconut Creek 0 0
  • North Point School For Boys
    Calgary, Alberta

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    Our Take: North Point School For Boys

    our takeNorth Point was founded in 2014 in order to address boys who are kinesthetic learners. That is, boys who are academically capable, yet learn best through tactile learning—hands on—and through physical activity, rather than sitting still and listening quietly. Not all boys are kinesthetic learners, of course, though certainly many are, and as such can be prone to not reaching their full academic potential in more traditional, passive educational settings. North Point has structured its program for them. North Point also groups students, for some portions of the day and for some programs, with boys of varying ages, not limited to those within their particular grade. The intention is to allow for mentorship/leadership relationships to develop, something that, for some boys, can be transformative. The ideal student is a boy who will thrive in a very active, close-knit setting, one in which physical activity, including athletics and physical competition, is a significant aspect of school life.

Calgary 0 0
  • North Star Academy
    Laval, Quebec
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    a close knit, friendly atmosphere
    Joseph Sorella - Parent   (Mar 27, 2018)

    My child has enjoyed and benefitted from the small class sizes and the extra personal 1 on 1 attenti...


    Our Take: North Star Academy

    our takeIn some senses, North Star is the very definition of a liberal arts education, namely one that intends not to educate students to the vocations, but to educate them to engage creatively, thoughtfully, and respectfully with the world around them. While not tiny, North Star is on the smaller end of the school spectrum, and it benefits from its size through an ability to provide an individualized approach to the delivery of the curriculum. Likewise, the students enter a community that is close-knit and personal, where they are known and celebrated for what they bring to the environment. Development is important, including the adoption of new classroom techniques and tools, and values are as well, including an appreciation of diversity, and allowing both a local and international perspective on the course material. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a challenging, vibrant, and values-based learning environment.  

Laval 0 10
  • North Toronto Christian School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: North Toronto Christian School

    our takeThe program at NTCS has been developed to extend the lived experience of Christianity of home and church into an academic setting. The values expressed there, as well as Biblical teaching, provide a foundation for the delivery of the curriculum across all instructional areas. For the families that enroll, that’s a primary draw, as is the opportunity for the learner to enter a student population of true peers in terms of academic ability and worldview. The extracurricular offerings are broad, and supported by the size of the student body, which is 400 annually. An emphasis on athletics and active lifestyles is also a draw. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a challenging yet supportive setting, and preparing for university studies.

Toronto 0 0
  • Northmount School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Northmount School

    our takeHeadmaster emeritus Glenn Domina quotes Theodore Roosevelt's "Citizen in a Republic" speech—" The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and blood"—to underscore his guarantee that at Northmount "your son will not get his sister's education." No, that's not the cornerstone of the school, but Domina's statements highlight the values that inform the life of the school, values that are also very firmly centred in the Catholic traditions on which the school's program is based. The school is strong, both socially and academically, and including a rich extracurricular program, particularly when viewed in light of the school's size. Faith is central to the approach. The ideal student is one who shares the values that the school promotes and is personally inspired by them.

Toronto 0 0
  • Northstar Montessori Private School
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: Northstar Montessori Private School

    our takeNorthstar isn’t your average Montessori school, in part because of its size—with an annual student population of 300, it’s a fair bit larger than the average—as well as its resources. The school was founded in 1996, though has grown its programs considerably in the intervening decades. There are some things that understandably stand out, such as the training pool, which is a recent addition, though they only underscore a more general awareness of the broad range of programming and facilities throughout the school. There are lots of bells and whistles, all of them welcome, though the core program is here too, with a fidelity to the Montessori method as demonstrated through CCMA accreditation. The program is offered from preschool through Grade 8, allowing families a consistency of approach and experience through the primary and elementary years.

Mississauga 0 0
  • Oakville Christian School (OCS)
    Oakville, Ontario
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    "The school recognizes student for more than just academics."
    Michelle Pratt - Parent   (Mar 10, 2018)

    Our experience at Oakville Christian has been wonderful. The school, the teachers, the PTA and the ...

    Strong academics, close-knit community
    Leanne Getty - Parent   (Feb 27, 2018)

    My daughters are currently in grades one and two and are both thriving at Oakville Christian School....

    "I think it says a lot about a school if your graduates like to come back and help out where they can."
    Charlotte Jeneway - Parent   (Feb 28, 2018)

    My children have, and still do appreciate everything that Oakville Christian School offers them on a...


    Our Take: Oakville Christian School (OCS)

    our takeOCS was founded in 1982 to serve a need principally for a quality school that taught the Ontario curriculum through a Christian lens. Since, the school has built its reputation on precisely that: offering a Christian perspective on the core Ontario curriculum. The school has a strong community feel, a product to some extent of its size, though leadership has given close attention to developing instruction and extra-curriculars, including the development of a strong athletic program. The school continues to reflect its original mandate while also remaining agile, adopting new programs and practices to meet the needs of students in a changing world. 

Oakville 0 9
  • Oakwood Academy
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: Oakwood Academy

    our take

    Not all students are created equally, and Oakwood was created, more than anything else, with that idea firmly in mind. It was founded by Trillian Taylor and Michele Power, who remain directors at the school today. The school is intentionally small, allowing for a very individual attention to the unique needs of each student, including an overt attention to social and emotional development. Families who enroll here do so knowing that their learners are capable of a lot, while in the awareness that they would benefit from a different approach than is found elsewhere. Students entering Oakwood join a community of true peers, something which in itself can be transformative to their learning experience and academic success.

Mississauga 0 0
  • OAT - Ontario Academy of Technology
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: OAT - Ontario Academy of Technology

    our takeIn a general sense, OAT is a specialty school in the way that, say, a ballet school is a specialty school—it brings together students who share a passion, and builds the curriculum around their engagement with that curriculum. And, like a ballet school, or a hockey school, it’s not for everyone. But, for the students that it’s for, the experience can be transformative. At OAT students work and learn alongside true peers, those who share an abiding interest in technology. The core curriculum is the provincial one, though delivered in a technology intensive learning environment.

Toronto 0 0
  • Odyssey Heights School for Girls
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Odyssey Heights School for Girls

    our take

    Every private or independent school has its own identity, and its own profile, and Odyssey Heights is great reminder of that. Every day begins at 9:55am with yoga, Pilates, dance, or fitness. The students take part in a robust outdoor ecological and experiential education program, and grow and sell organic produce. There’s a no-homework policy, and the school does almost all the back to school shopping in part to ensure that home time is family time. There is a focus on both the arts and the sciences, and through those to empower girls to engage with others, to take a role, and to fill it. It’s not your typical school, which is precisely the source of Odyssey Heights’ strength.

Toronto 0 0
  • Odyssey Montessori School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Odyssey Montessori School

    our takeOdyssey was founded in 2006 by Mary Tomazos who was inspired by the experience her children had within a Montessori setting. The program began with a single classroom, though has grown in the intervening years, including an expansion to a second location. The classroom appointments are sparkling, providing a clean, clear, beautifully organized learning spaces. The offering of full, extended, and half day classes, as well as before and after school programs, allows for families to manage the school day around their needs as well as the developmental needs of their children. Parents are encouraged to play a range of roles within the life of the school, and are invited to attend workshop, in class observation, and parent-teacher conferences throughout the academic year.  

Toronto 0 0
  • Olivet School
    Etobicoke, Ontario
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    Quality instruction, attentive faculty
    Monica De Oliveira - Parent   (Jan 24, 2018)

    MY daughter loves going to school and she only dislikes the times I come earlier to pick her up or t...

    "I was excited to go to school"
    Julianne Diab - Alumnus   (Feb 28, 2018)

    My overall experience at Olivet School was very positive. I remember being happy and comfortable wit...

    A positive learning environment, inside and out
    Claire Hurd - Alumnus   (Feb 28, 2018)

    Olivet nurtured my academic talents and helped to grow my social confidence. I became part of a true...


    Our Take: Olivet School

    our takeOlivet was established in 1893, though through moves and development, the school doesn’t reflect its age. Nevertheless, there is a continuity which, if less overt, remains within the life of the school.  The academic program is strong, though families also turn to Olivet due to an appreciation of the context that the school provides, including an attention to spiritual and personal growth. The aim of the school is to provide a foundation for life, and for learning after the children go on to other schools after grade 5. The property accesses green space, allowing the lessons to extend to those about  environment and environmental stewardship. Parental involvement in all aspects of the life of the school is very high, a function of the school’s size. All of that combines to create a community atmosphere that extends beyond the classroom, and beyond the walls of the school. The ideal student is one who will thrive in a challenging, close-knit academic environment.

Etobicoke 0 10
  • OMS Montessori
    Ottawa, Ontario

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    Our Take: OMS Montessori

    our takeEstablished in 1966, OMS is one of the older dedicated Montessori schools in the country. It’s also one of the larger Montessori environments, something that is in part a function of the school’s long success. Size is certainly not a bad thing, and the principal benefits are diversity within the student population and the breath of program offerings. That said, with a student population divided between two schools, OMS is able to have the best of both worlds, with each location feeling very close-knit in all the ways that we imagine Montessori programs to be. OMS grew from offering instruction in the primary years into the middle and high school years. In 2015, the high school grades became The Element, a school of its own. So, while the locations may be separate, the continuity across all grade levels is understandably attractive to the families that enroll at OMS.

Ottawa 0 0
  • Ontario Virtual School
    Toronto, Ontario
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    "I enjoyed how even though this was an online course I could still interact with others and get feedback from both the teacher and fellow students..."
    Stephanie Sassi - Alumnus   (Nov 19, 2018)

    Ontario virtual school provided me with one of the best experiences. They cared about my marks and h...

    "OVS is the PERFECT school...You can keep going back to the content, even if it is hard, and spend as much time as you like to understand that content completely before moving on"
    Wajiha Fatima Syeda - Student   (Nov 22, 2018)

    Ontario Virtual School has provided me with a very valuable learning experience. The best thing abou...


    Our Take: Ontario Virtual School

    our take

    Since it was founded in 2010, it has grown to an annual student population of 3000, easily dwarfing the largest brick-and-mortar private schools in Canada by a third and more. The student body is comprised nationals, in addition to those in Canada, in more than 15 countries. The teaching staff of 25, all Canadian certified, and the school is accredited in Ontario, able to confer the OSSD. In all, this isn’t a new or developing concept, rather one that reflects a growing need. OVS students register for a much broader range of reasons, all of which signal the diversity of needs that OVS is serving. This includes students who are seeking to fill out a few courses in addition to their current school work, those striving to upgrade existing marks, and those who are scheduling around other commitments, from elite athletics to time spent in medical care. For overseas students, it’s an opportunity to earn an Ontario Secondary diploma, and therefore apply to Canadian universities, without incurring the costs the cost of boarding and travel. The delivery may be different that many are used to, but the teaching is strong, with a range of supports to ensure learner success. As such, OVS offers a valuable option to a growing number of students, in Canada and around the world.

Toronto 0 11
  • Oxford Learning Academy (Private School)
    Milton, Ontario

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    Our Take: Oxford Learning Academy (Private School)

    our takeOxford Learning Academy was established in 1984 to provide supplemental tutoring, and while it still offers part-time learning, it has also developed a full-time program. Instruction is student-centred, student-paced, and requires more of individual learners than typical classroom instruction. Oxford, of course, has long lead the charge in this regard, and continues to provide an alternative that, for many learners, is transformational, allowing them to achieve their potentials in ways that other instructional approaches simply don’t.

Milton 0 0
  • Pear Tree Elementary
    Vancouver, British Columbia

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    Our Take: Pear Tree Elementary

    our takePear Tree is young, and has all the attributes of youth: energetic, engaging, fun. The day program grew out of the Pear Tree education programs, and launched in 2016. So, it’s fresh, and indeed that’s an attraction. The feel is a great one, and that’s not to be underestimated—creating the right environment, the right feel, is important. With Pear Tree, it’s that vibrant feel that creates the first impression. The program is the definition of progressive, with small classes, hands-on instruction, and built around links across areas of the curriculum. Students are required to work collaboratively, solving problems together, and to engage creatively with each other and with technology. Activity is important, as is nutrition, which is just as it should be. The ideal learner is one who will thrive in an active, creative, small-group oriented environment.

Vancouver 0 0
  • Peel Montessori Private School
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: Peel Montessori Private School

    our takeMaria Montessori opened her first school in 1907, so the Montessori method has been with us, fully formed, for more than a century. The ideas that Montessori brought to the table have found their way into mainstream education in a variety of ways. That said, the whole is truly greater than the sum of any of the parts, and it’s the sum that Peel Montessori offers. Parents who turn to Peel are looking for fidelity to the core program as initially described: the community feel, the organization, and the individualized approach that makes the method so successful with young people. Children have fun, though the school rightly brings leadership and responsibility into the classroom as well. The goal is for students to gain not just with the skills and knowledge necessary for success, but also the confidence to excel.

Mississauga 0 0
  • Peoples Christian Academy (PCA)
    Markham, Ontario

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    Our Take: Peoples Christian Academy (PCA)

    our takeThere is a great range of approach within Christian education, from those that have chapel in the morning and little more, to those that weave Christian teaching and principles throughout the curriculum and the life of the school. PCA is very much the latter, a place where Christianity informs the entire school experience, and the delivery and the content of the curriculum. This is the school for students for whom the veracity of their faith is tantamount to who they are and the way the wish to learn; faith and fidelity to scripture are at the fore within PCA. The strength of the academic program is evident through decades of academic success. The school is on the larger side of the mean in Canada, and the benefits of that size are seen in the breadth of curricular and extracurricular programs that are on offer. The ideal student is one who is able to thrive in a challenging environment, and who is preparing to advance to university.

Markham 0 0
  • Philopateer Christian College
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: Philopateer Christian College

    our takePhilopateer was founded in 1999 with 40 students, and it has grown considerably over the intervening years. The annual population is now at 360 students, and the focus is less on growth than building out the programming, as demonstrated with the appointment of Dr. Mary Ashun as principal in 2012. The school is non-denominational, and families turn to Philopateer for academic excellence as well as a clear basis, across the curriculum, in the values of the Christian church. The culture of the school is very diverse, with students arriving each year from around the world, offering an international feel to the school community. The athletic program is also strong, especially in the areas of gymnastics and swimming, with some students advancing to international competition. The ideal student is one operating at the top of his or her peer group, is looking for a community of shared interest, and is preparing for success at university.

Mississauga 0 0
  • Pine Lake Montessori School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Pine Lake Montessori School

    our take

    Families turn to Montessori for a range of reasons, and Pine Lake is a strong example of a majority of them. The teaching is strong, with instructors well-versed in the core methods, as demonstrated through CCMA accreditation. That said, families are also drawn by the close-knit community, the creative, hands-on programming, and the crisp, well-appointed learning spaces. Academics are important, though set and setting are important, too, something which provided the impetus for Sue Eirdmousa to found Pine Lake in 2012. The program continues to grow, as with the fairly recent addition of the lower elementary grades. That likely will continue as the student population ages and current families are understandably reluctant to move on to other schools, this given the success that the program to date. Indeed, it was due to pressure from the parent community that the program was extended, something which is as good an indicator of the health of a school that you could ever hope to find.

Toronto 0 0
  • Prestige School - Richmond Hill Campus
    Richmond Hill, Ontario

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    Our Take: Prestige School - Richmond Hill Campus

    our takePrestige sets a high bar for its students, academically as well as socially and ethically. The program is designed and delivered to meet the needs of students functioning at the top of their peer groups. There is a close-knit feel within the student body, and an ongoing attention to the needs and development of each student as he or she progresses through the curriculum. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a challenging yet supportive environment and looking to learn within a peer group that consists of like-minded and similarly abled students.

Richmond Hill 0 0
  • Prestige School - Toronto Campus
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Prestige School - Toronto Campus

    our takePrestige sets a high bar for its students, academically as well as socially and ethically. The program is designed and delivered to meet the needs of students functioning at the top of their peer groups. There is a close-knit feel within the student body, and an ongoing attention to the needs and development of each student as he or she progresses through the curriculum. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a challenging yet supportive environment and looking to learn within a peer group that consists of like-minded and similarly abled students.

Toronto 0 0
Mississauga 0 9
  • Prince Edward Montessori School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Prince Edward Montessori School

    our takePrince Edward was founded in 1995, and has since grown to incorporate two campuses. The program at both extends from the early years through grade 1, providing a seamless transition into the elementary curriculum. Literacy and numeracy are at the forefront of the program, just as they should be, though the development of interpersonal skills and physical education are as well. All of those are draws for the parents to who enroll at Prince Edward. The summer camp offerings are a draw as well, providing some opportunities for a consistency of care throughout the year.

Toronto 0 0
  • The Priory School
    Montreal, Quebec
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    " .... outstanding from beginning to end."
    Suzanne Csik - Parent   (Feb 07, 2018)

    Our son's experience at The Priory was outstanding from beginning to end. The Priory curriculum and ...

    "my daughter loved going to school"
    Ana Desmaison - Parent   (Feb 10, 2018)

    My daughter loved The Priory. She flourished because she felt safe and loved by everyone, her teache...


    Our Take: The Priory School

    our takeThe Priory was founded in 1947 with 25 students, though it grew quite quickly in the early years. When the school moved to its current location in 1961, it was officially opened by Governor General Georges Vanier, giving an indication of the profile the school had developed in a relatively short period of time. The founders, Frances E. Ballantyne and Alphonsine Howlett, believed that children “learn by doing,” something that was revolutionary for the time. Howlett said of The Priory that “it is a school for the children. We are opposed to the idea of ‘children for the school.’ We had seen evidence around us that children had too little interest in their studies and we wanted a school where pupils would want to learn and would enjoy learning.” While the school has grown over the years, it has remained true to those initial ambitions. The school’s most robust capital campaign, begun in 2010, added to the instructional spaces, including provisions for 21st century literacies. A strong sense of community within the school is also a notable draw.

Montreal 0 9
  • Progressive Academy
    Edmonton, Alberta

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    Our Take: Progressive Academy

    our takeProgressive Academy hits a lot of the sweet spots that parents are looking for when considering private education. The size of the student body is smaller than the mean for schools across Canada, and affords a more individual, personal approach to instruction. The students are known by faculty, staff, and peers, and therefore quickly gain a sense of place and belonging. That said, the school is large enough to provide a good range of curricular programs and extracurricular activities. Students have the opportunity to try activities that they perhaps wouldn't attempt in larger, more competitive settings. A strong academic program is delivered in consort with an attention to interpersonal skills and social and emotional development. The school is a particular draw for families looking for a balanced program, one that builds from the students’ interests and creativity, yet supports them to reach a bit beyond their immediate comfort zones. 

Edmonton 0 0
  • Queen Margaret's School
    Duncan, British Columbia
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    " ... outstanding on all levels ... "
    Mary Furneaux - Parent   (Feb 05, 2018)

    At Queen Margret's my child has grown to appreciate the diversity of the students. Being a preschool...


    Our Take: Queen Margaret's School

    our takeVancouver Island has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to beautiful, excellent schools, and certainly Queen Margaret’s is one of them. It was founded in 1921 by Norah Creina Denny and Dorothy Rachel Geoghegan, who dedicated themselves to providing what was, for the time, something unique: a robust educational experience for all, including women “capable of realizing ourselves as complete individuals.” Certainly, that’s what they did, and it’s a tradition that the school maintains today. The riding program is distinguishing, as is the strength of the academic programs. A strategic plan begun in 2014, to complete at the school’s centenary, will reaffirm the commitment of the founders to excellence as well as their commitment to adapting to the changing needs of students.

Duncan 0 9
  • Randolph-Macon Academy
    Front Royal, Virginia

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    Our Take: Randolph-Macon Academy

    our takeRandolph-Macon Academy is remarkable in all kinds of ways, the most apparent, perhaps, being that it is the only school in North America to house its own aviation program. That, understandably, is a draw for many students, especially those intending to participate within the school’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. That said, military academies, or military-inflected programs, aren’t only for those arriving with such specific career aspirations. The academics at Randolph-Macon are demonstrably strong, though so are the values that provide the lens through which the core curriculum is taught. The academic environment is organized around a clear sense of purpose and excellence in all areas of life, and that itself, for many students, can be transformational, providing a clear foundation within a community of like-minded peers and mentors. The ideal student is one looking for a purposeful environment, one with a clear set of expectations and outcomes. 

Front Royal 0 0
  • Richland Academy
    Richmond Hill, Ontario

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    Our Take: Richland Academy

    our takeRichland is a Reggio Emilia inspired school, though the administration historically hasn’t been afraid to innovate and put their own spin on things. One example is the house system around which the community of the school is organized. It’s emblematic of the culture of care, and the house names—Suzuki, Fox, and Keilburger—are emblematic as well. Those things hint at an undercurrent of service and engagement that runs through the culture of the school. The instructional programs are strong, but often it’s that culture/values piece that is also a primary draw.  

Richmond Hill 0 0
  • Richmond Hill Montessori & Elementary Private School
    Richmond Hill, Ontario

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    Our Take: Richmond Hill Montessori & Elementary Private School

    our takeRHMS was established in 1986, and has grown considerably over the years to where it sits now with an annual student population of 600. That’s big in the world of private schooling, particularly given that the program only covers preschool through Grade 8. Size can be a strength, to be sure, and Richmond Hill is a prime example of that. The program is broad and deep, with extensive curricular and extracurricular offerings. The campus has been developed throughout the life of the school, and today is an example, in every way, of how good a facility school can be, both aesthetically and practically. Classroom appointments are up to date throughout, including in-class technology that incorporates a full range of instructional devices and applications. All resources are applied in sympathy with the core program of the school and the values that undergird it. And, despite the size of the student population as a whole, the segmentation of the primary and elementary programs, in consort with the low student to teacher ratios, the lived experience of the school is quite close-knit and personal. Over the past three decades plus RHMS has done a lot, and in all the right ways, and the school certainly lives up to its reputation.

Richmond Hill 0 0
  • Ridley College
    St. Catharines, Ontario

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    Our Take: Ridley College

    our takeRidley expresses so many of the great traditions of private school, and it comes by all of them absolutely honestly. The school was founded in 1889, making it one of the oldest schools in the country. It began life as an Anglican boys’ school—it was named after an Anglican Bishop—but is non-denominational today, and has been co-ed since 1973. That said, many of the traditions that inform the life of the school date to the founding, including chapel meetings that serve to bring the school together around shared events and shared values. The school maintains a cadet corps, the largest of its kind in Canada. The chapel, and indeed all of the buildings that comprise the campus, are, frankly, gorgeous. It’s easily one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. The strategic plan, implemented in 2014, provided an opportunity to take stock of the school at the time of its 125th anniversary, including a dedication to maintaining a global perspective across the breadth of the curriculum. Throughout its long history Ridley has maintained a reputation as one of the best schools in Canada, one that no doubt will remain for very many years to come. The ideal student is one who arrives predisposed to make the most of the wide range of academic and extra-curricular opportunities that will be made available to them. 

St. Catharines 0 0
  • River Valley School
    Calgary, Alberta

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    Our Take: River Valley School

    our takeAuthor and educator Mary MacCracken once wrote that “children can’t begin to learn until they feel safe.” 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, with streams based in the Arrowsmith and Montessori methods, though all informed with that same 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.   

Calgary 0 0
  • Robbins Hebrew Academy
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Robbins Hebrew Academy

    our takeThe three Rs are important, though who we are, how we grow, and how we build a sense of belonging within our communities are important too. Certainly, that’s the principal that has guided the school since it was founded in 1957. The academics are strong, and RHA has long demonstrated a willingness to look forward, adapting programs to the needs of the students—including the adoption of many of the practices that fall within the category we might think of as 21st century literacies. Identity is a focus, too, and is a foundation of the Robbins program across all of the curricular areas. The ideal student is one looking to learn and grow into a sense of themselves as learners and members of the communities they are a part of.  

Toronto 0 0
  • Rockway Mennonite Collegiate
    Kitchener, Ontario

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    Our Take: Rockway Mennonite Collegiate

    our takeIn some ways, Rockway was born out of a pacifist impulse, established by Swiss Mennonites who were concerned about the military tenor that seeped into the public school system leading up to and during WWII. Times of course have changed, though the foundational principles remain, as well as the values that lay behind them: compassion, understanding, and an open mind to the experiences and perspectives of others. If all you knew about the school was its name, a closer look would reveal a lot of surprises. The school has a robust international program, welcoming students from around the world as well as an extensive exchange program. The curriculum is taught through a Mennonite lens, while also partnering with a local Muslim school, and creating regular opportunities for students to interact with local Jewish, Hindu, and Sikh communities. It’s a unique school, to be sure, which is exactly why families, both within and without the Mennonite community, enroll their children here.

Kitchener 0 0
  • The Rosedale Day School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: The Rosedale Day School

    our takeLocated in the heart of downtown Toronto, Rosedale is proximate to a wealth of physical resources that wouldn't be available to schools of a similar size located elsewhere. The student body is small, with just 120 students, though the school partners with the University of Toronto, the AGO, and the ROM, all of which are located within a short distance of the school. The school very happily makes use of all of those resources, including the athletic facilities at U of T. The school adopts a range of progressive practices, including a promotion of cross-curricular instruction and cooperative learning. In all, it's a very nice mix, combining the intimacy of a small student body with a lot of resources and facilities close to hand. While perhaps not a gifted school, per se, the ideal learner is one who can benefit from an enriched curriculum.

Toronto 0 0
  • Rosseau Lake College
    Rosseau, Ontario
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    "This is my first year here and I can tell you for sure, there is nothing like it."
    robi pardo - Student   (Feb 08, 2018)

    If you are looking for a school were teachers care about the students, and treat them like friends b...

    "an incredible outdoors, future forward, and inclusive school"
    Christopher Gan - Student   (Feb 08, 2018)

    Rosseau Lake College is an incredible outdoors, future forward, and inclusive school. Personally I l...

    "Teachers were fantastic, engaging"
    Barbara Barclay - Alumnus   (Feb 09, 2018)

    I attended RLC in the 90's, for grades 9-13 (OAC) and had a wonderful experience. The dorm experien...


    Our Take: Rosseau Lake College

    our takeRosseau Lake is a small school—the student body, including both boarding and day students, sits at just shy of 100 students. Located on a lake in Muskoka, for many students, there is a lot to get excited about. It’s intimate, active, and the physical plan is stunning. The school is using this, its 50th anniversary year, to renew its commitment to providing a very personalized, forward looking educational experience. The ideal student is an active one, as the setting is used to great advantage to promote, in addition to academics, an active, outdoor lifestyle.

Rosseau 0 11
Mississauga 0 9
  • Rotherglen School - Oakville
    Oakville, Ontario

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    Our Take: Rotherglen School - Oakville

    our take

    Rotherglen School was founded in 1979 by Marie Laningan at the Erin Mills campus. The school has grown in the intervening years to include four locations, all of which share the same approach. Were all the students housed at one campus, Rotherglen would be one of the largest independent schools in the area, home to 1000 students annually. The various locations, however, afford a unique sense of community within each, with small class sizes, and a close-knit feel. While aesthetics don’t mean everything, they nevertheless do mean something, and the school is physically beautiful, with dedicated, consistent learning spaces.

Oakville 0 0
  • Rothesay Netherwood School
    Rothesay, New Brunswick

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    Our Take: Rothesay Netherwood School

    our takeThe school dates to 1874 when the brilliantly named Ezekiel Stone Wiggins founded Thompson's School, a coed day school. It teetered a bit in the early years, with changes in ownership, and direction, though in time found ultimately found both its academic and financial footings. A long-standing association with Netherwood, a school for girls founded in 1894, resulted in an amalgamation between the two in 1984. The school remains true to a tradition of academic excellence, and the campus is rich with reminders of its long history. The school has also has benefited from robust development, the product of a number of capital campaigns over recent decades. Between the long tradition and extensive recent development, there's frankly a lot here to love. Notably among the school's alumni is John Peters Humphrey, primary author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Rothesay 0 0
  • Rowntree Montessori Schools (RMS)
    Brampton, Ontario
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    "...RMS gave me the tools and resources to reach my full potential."
    Zayne Thawer - Alumnus   (Jun 14, 2018)

    I was a student at Rowntree Montessori Schools for almost 10 years, and in that time the biggest fee...


    Our Take: Rowntree Montessori Schools (RMS)

    our takeRMS was founded in 1969, placing it within the first cohort of Montessori schools in the country. As with those of its vintage, RMS has a long reputation for providing a quality program, one that has a high fidelity with the core aspects of the method. The school has grown to comprise four campuses, allowing for a nice range of resources while also maintaining a close-knit community environment at each location. RMS has also grown into its own identity, one based in adopting new methods and approaches, as appropriate and when sympathetic to the school’s mandate to educate with an eye to achievement and leadership. The ideal student is one able to thrive in a close-knit, challenging, active, and social learning environment.

Brampton 0 9
  • Royal Cachet Montessori School
    Markham, Ontario

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    Our Take: Royal Cachet Montessori School

    our takeMontessori can mean different things to different people, and programs and facilities can vary between schools. That said, if you knew very little about what Montessori is, Royal Cachet may well reflect the image that you would have in your mind. The school operates out of a dedicated building, purpose built to house the Royal Cachet program. That's a plus. Within it the administration seeks to provide a setting and a model of instruction that remains very close to the intentions and techniques outlined by Maria Montessori. This is very much the school for those looking for a very traditional, dedicated, consistent application of the Montessori method. The ideal student is one who thrives in a play-based, constructivist learning environment.

Markham 0 0
  • Royal St. George's College
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Royal St. George's College

    our take

    Royal St. George’s College began as an Anglican choir school, and that tradition remains, in various ways, to this day. The entire school meets every Thursday for evensong, for example, and the houses are Canterbury, Westminster, Winchester, and York. The Royal designation was bestowed by the Queen herself at about the time of the school’s 25th anniversary. In that, and much else, this is a very traditional school, which can at times seem untouched by time and the pace of history.

    Despite that, and the age of some of the buildings, the school isn’t as old as you might expect, having been founded in the heart of downtown Toronto’s Annex district in 1961. It also isn’t as stodgy or as insular, and boasts an impressive list of alumni that includes prominent journalists, philanthropists, scientists, and two members of a rock band with a name that can’t be printed here without the use of a lot of asterisks. In all, it’s an interesting mix, and a very successful one as well. The choral program remains very strong, though is part of a broad range of extracurricular programs. The school very rightly makes good use of all the cultural centres nearby, including U of T, the ROM, the AGO, and the reference library. Values, too, remain important, and are a draw for many parents who enroll their boys here, whether or not they live within the Anglican tradition.

Toronto 0 0
  • Rundle College
    Calgary, Alberta

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    Our Take: Rundle College

    our takeRundle College offers Kindergarten through Grade 12, though is divided across three campuses: one for each of the primary, elementary, and high school programs. As such, the school is able to provide a very broad range of programming while, at the same time, delivering a close, intimate student experience. The student population is academically inclined, and the program is focused on university preparation. As such, students enter a community of learners that share a like mind toward academic achievement. The facilities are up-to-date and often strikingly so, as is particularly the case with the WJ Collett School, home to the K-6 program. Progressive classroom design is combined with a consistent, purpose-oriented architectural aesthetic. Parents and students who turn to Rundle are looking for an engaging, personalized, academically inclined learning environment. And, unerringly, that’s precisely what they find. Rundle Academy, a sister program, supports learners diagnosed with various learning disabilities, and provides student-centred instruction to meet their specific learning needs.

Calgary 0 0
  • The Sacred Heart School of Montreal
    Montreal, Quebec

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    Our Take: The Sacred Heart School of Montreal

    our takeThe Sacred Heart School of Montreal was founded in 1861, and built around the principles that were at the core of the Society of the Sacred Heart, which was begun by Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat in 1800. Among those principles was to educate girls to take part in society beyond the home or the church. Barat sought to encourage girls to take a transformative role in their communities, something that, it perhaps goes without say, was a unique perspective for the time. Sacred Heart continues to follow that ideal, expressing it within modern curricular and extracurricular programing, including the integration of 21st century literacies and online tutoring. An international gaze, too, is used to inform the program, seen specifically in service trips and international exchanges. The school was unique when it was formed, and it remains at the cutting edge of education today.

Montreal 0 0
  • Séminaire Marie-Reine-du-Clergé
    Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix, Quebec

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    Our Take: Séminaire Marie-Reine-du-Clergé

    our take

    Séminaire Marie-Reine-du-Clergé was founded in 1956 as an expression of the Catholic church, which for a time was intended for boys seeking ordination. Times have changed, and indeed so has the school. Girls were first admitted in 1985, and while the school expresses many of the values of the church—indeed it is the values piece that attracts many students—today the program is secular, without any formal ties to any Christian denomination. The student population, at 275, is a nice size, one that is small enough to maintain a very personal, close-knit community, while large enough to allow for a good range of programs and extracurricular activities. Its location allows for a rich program of outdoor education and physical activity, something that rightly is a draw for many who attend. The school maintains a close association with the surrounding community, adding a unique dimension to the life of the school.

Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix 0 0
  • Selwyn House School
    Westmount, Quebec

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    Our Take: Selwyn House School

    our takeMany schools have changed considerably over their lives, and of course that's particularly true of the older schools. Selwyn House was begun in 1908 by Captain Algernon Lucas, a graduate of Selwyn College at the University of Cambridge. He was just 29 at that time, and he arrived in Canada in the same year that he graduated from Cambridge. He was, frankly, looking for a job. In Montreal, he found one, namely teaching seven boys. To say that the school has come a long way since it was founded is as much an understatement as you could ever hope to find. A visitor to Selwyn House today is impressed in all sorts of ways, and rightly so. The school is home to an exceptional academic program, and despite having begun its life in Lucas' apartment, is now housed in the kind of buildings that Lucas could only have dreamed of. The school participates in the full range of traditions, and has in turn gained notice well beyond the city of Montreal. (It even plays a role in two classics of Canadian literature, Mordecai Richler's Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang and Barney's Version.) The alumni of Selwyn House include, literally, titans of industry, including the Bronfmans and the Molsons, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and the philosopher Charles Taylor, among many other notable Canadians, past and present.

Westmount 0 0
  • Shawnigan Lake School
    Shawnigan Lake, British Columbia

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    Our Take: Shawnigan Lake School

    our take

    Shawnigan was founded in 1916 with just six students and cast in the mold of the leading English grammar schools. Its direct model was Westminster School, whose history stretches back to 1179. As such, it provides, aesthetically at least, a contrast to Brentwood, which neighbours the school. Both, as well as Brookes to the south, have some of the most stunning campuses that you could hope to find. The setting of Vancouver Island simply adds to the luster. The founders of Shawnigan Lake felt that all of those things—buildings, vistas, space—were important aspects of learning, and that a school’s setting should be inspiriting. And, certainly, it is. What the campus might lose in terms of warm and cuddly, it gains in a sense of tradition, organization, and consistency. The centennial celebration included school founder C. W. Lonsdale’s 1932 Packard convertible, adding a touch of the Great Gatsby. Still, there is a nice mix of modernity as well, perhaps most obviously in Genius Hour, a program developed by Wendy Milne, assistant head of academics. It’s a cross-grade, cross-curricular program in which students are challenged with creating their own project and seeing it through to completion. The only provisos are that each project involve collaboration, have a clear guiding question, and involve research. All of that—cross-curricular, cross-grade, hands-on, collaborative—are hallmarks of the Shawnigan approach. And, in Genius Hour and beyond, the results are impressive. The student who will do best is one who is a self-starter, operating at the top of his or her peer group, and able to dive in, making the most of the breadth of opportunity provided.

Shawnigan Lake 0 0
  • Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic School
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic School

    our takeWhen Edgerton Ryerson established a national, public education system, he highlighted the need for consistency: every school should be the same, offer the same things, from coast to coast. Sadly, that conception of what schools should be, and what they should provide, remains doggedly with us today. Thankfully, schools like Shepherd Montessori step away from that model, choosing rather to offer something as unique as the community they are formed to serve. Shepherd is a school using the Montessori method to deliver a program that is also based in the values of the Catholic church. In that, it’s happily one of a kind. Further, the student population is small, allowing a heightened level of individual attention, something that is also a primary draw. The community of the school is diverse, and while not all families are active within the Catholic church, all nevertheless appreciate the school’s attention to developing the students’ understanding of their spiritual selves. The approach in the classroom is child-centered, child-directed, and project oriented. The ideal student is one able to thrive with a close-knit learning environment.

Mississauga 0 0
  • Sherwood Heights School
    Mississauga, Ontario

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    Our Take: Sherwood Heights School

    our takeSherwood Heights intends to give students a strong foundation for further study, granted through a traditional, content-based academic program. Expectations are clear and explicit, including a demonstrable facility with the core curriculum and the development of watertight study habits. For many families that culture—one in which social currency is gained through academics—is a primary draw. Extra-curricular programs augment the core areas of instruction. The ideal student is one who is academically inclined, operating at the top of their peer group, and looking for an environment that prizes all of that.  

Mississauga 0 0
  • Shining Light Montessori School
    Maple, Ontario

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    Our Take: Shining Light Montessori School

    our takeMaria Montessori placed a lot of trust in the power of place and how it informs our sense of ourselves. Certainly, one of the primary strengths of the Shining Light program is exactly that: the school is an expression of the surrounding community, though is also a community unto itself. It is small, and the benefits of its size is a principal draw, allowing learners to participate in an environment that is close, familiar, and in which they can grow an authentic sense of belonging, and a responsibility to others. A fidelity to the methods and techniques of the Montessori method is also a primarly draw.

Maple 0 0
  • Shoore Academics
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Shoore Academics

    our takeThe Shoore Centre was founded in order to provide academic support to students with a range of learning challenges. Class sizes are small, as is the school itself. What the setting lacks in social outlets and extra-curricular activities it gains in a personal, dedicated attention to the specific needs of the students. While there have been innovations undertaken to enhance opportunities for social development, the core program accentuates literacy, numeracy, and life skills. The ideal student is one who is struggling academically and socially, and who could better reach his or her potential without the distractions and the demands of a traditional high-school environment.

Toronto 0 0
  • Sidney Ledson Institute
    Toronto, Ontario
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    "Great school"
    Ramesh Nuggehalli Narasimha Gowda - Parent   (Mar 10, 2018)

    The experience my kid gets is diverse. It is a wholesome learning culture. The teachers are great an...

    "excellent teachers"
    Chandini Ramesh - Parent   (Mar 10, 2018)

    My daughter has loved every teacher who has taught her and that is what she appreciates the most and...

    "helpful teachers ... small class sizes"
    Atchuthan Kathirithamby - Parent   (Mar 07, 2018)

    Our son had a truly amazing experience at Sidney Ledson. At first, he was reluctant to move to a sma...


    Our Take: Sidney Ledson Institute

    our takeThe school was founded in 1982 in order to create a program that reflected the work of Sidney Ledson, an author and expert on topics relating to teaching technology and motivation. His methods gained traction internationally, at the core of which is the idea that we needn’t wait to introduce children to new skill areas (specifically around language and numeracy) and the sooner we start, the better. His books on reading expanded the concept and application of phonics, and his work remains a foundation for the language arts programs at the institute today. There, and elsewhere, the approach intends to challenge students to reach further, to expand and improve their abilities in order to reach their fullest academic potentials. The ideal student is one operating at the top of his or her peer group, and, in the later grades, is preparing for success within university studies.

Toronto 0 10
  • Signet Christian School
    Toronto, Ontario

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    Our Take: Signet Christian School

    our takeSCS was formed in 1974 as an expression of the surrounding community, and created by a group of parents who wanted a school that would offer a strong academic program within a values-based environment. The name has changed, and enrollment has grown, though that focus remains. The school isn’t affiliated with a specific denomination, and attracts students from any and all, as well as those that don’t belong to a specific faith tradition. There are many ways that schools express Christian ideals, and in the case of SCS it’s very much those of inclusion, service, and ethical behavior. The school has a very close, community feel, and what it might lack in terms of extra-curriculars it gains in individual attention and a sense of belonging within the school community.  

Toronto 0 0
  • Somerset Academy
    Markham, Ontario

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    Our Take: Somerset Academy

    our takeSomerset has established its reputation in offering a challenging, supportive academic program to prepare students for success in high school and beyond. The school is small, something that is a primary draw for families looking for a more personal approach to instruction. The core curriculum is augmented by an overt attention to fostering communication and interpersonal engagement. The offering of French and Mandarin language instruction is also a notable draw. The ideal student is one operating toward the top of his or her peer group, who will thrive in a very close-knit, community oriented educational environment, and is able to work effectively through an accelerated curriculum.

Markham 0 0
  • Southpointe Academy
    Delta, British Columbia

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    Our Take: Southpointe Academy

    our take

    Southpointe Academy is a relatively young school, having been founded in 2000, and just as there are benefits with age, there are also benefits with youth. Unlike older schools that need to evolve their programs and infrastructure to meet the changing needs of students, Southpointe was formed around those needs, i.e., the skills, values, and behaviours students will need to succeed in university and professional life. Starting with a primary and elementary program, the school quickly grew to include the high school years. A sparkling new facility, opened in 2012, was purpose built to house the programs, with spaces conducive to project-oriented learning and creative collaboration. The curricular offerings, including the International Baccalaureate and a nice compliment of AP courses, are rightly a draw for the families that enrol here. So too is the attention to growing an awareness of global citizenship, as perhaps best exemplified in partnerships with schools in China, France, Spain, and the US. The ideal student is one who will thrive in a challenging, student-driven, and intellectually diverse learning environment

Delta 0 0
  • St. Andrew's College
    Aurora, Ontario

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    Our Take: St. Andrew's College

    our takeThe program at St. Andrew’s has long been distinguished by a high rate of success, with the list of notable alumni providing an abbreviated who’s who of Canadian arts, letters, politics, and entrepreneurship. While Dr. Bruce Macdonald left the headmastership in 1935, the culture of the school, even today, remains very much an expression of his vision. This in part due to the fact that in a lot of ways he was well ahead of his time. For example, he was the first boys-school headmaster in Canada to hire a female instructor, something he did in 1905. Macdonald wanted the school to develop “the complete man, the well-rounded citizen”—athletics and arts, in addition to academics, were vigorously promoted. What’s interesting is that, even with those sorts of very progressive ideals, Macdonald was also very keen on tradition, something that he used to give students a sense of being part of something bigger than themselves. While there are a few schools that retain their cadet corps, St. Andrew’s is the one that has retained it entirely intact, with military ranks, pipes and drums, kilts and sporrans all firmly still in place. St. Andrews completed a substantial capital campaign in 2015 which included the creation of athletics facilities as well as the Wirth Theatre. All of that, as well all the development over the century of the school’s life, has created a school that is strikingly modern, while retaining a sense of participation in tradition. It’s a nice mix. The ideal student is one given to making the most of the varied programs on offer.

Aurora 0 0
  • St. Clement's Early Learning School
    Toronto, Ontario
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    "love the teachers and the students"
    Jennifer Majer - Parent   (Mar 12, 2018)

    My children love the teachers and the students at SCELS. We have met a lot of great families while ...


    Our Take: St. Clement's Early Learning School

    our takeSt. Clement’s was founded in 1955, and has been doing great work with young children ever since. The approach is based in creating a caring community of learners, with small class sizes and a close-knit student body. It’s telling that the school tends to express its size in terms of families; they say that they are able to serve up to 200 families. Indeed, there is a real sense of partnership and involvement with families, as wholes, rather than simply a group of children. It’s that approach that informs the reputation of the school. The facilities nicely reflect St. Clement’s age and pedigree, while the interiors and appointments are at the cutting edge of early childhood instruction.

Toronto 0 9