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THE OUR KIDS REPORT:
Merrick Preparatory School

Grades 9 TO 12 — Merrickville, ON (MAP)

Merrick Preparatory School:
THE OUR KIDS REPORT
REPORT CONTENTS:

Pages in this report:

  • Grades
    9 — 12
  • Gender
    Coed
  • Class Size
    8 — 12 students
  • Tuition
    $16,450 to 58,200/year
  • Language of instruction
    English
  • Associations
    OFIS
  • Enrollment
    20 day students, 60 boarding students, 30 eschool students
  • Curriculum
    Traditional
  • EBROCHURE
    View eBrochure

School address

  • 118 Main Street East, Merrickville, Ontario, K0G 1N0 (MAP)
  • Busing available (View details)

School Busing:

Merrick Preparatory offers bus transferring. Service options offered are airport pick-up, regular rider, door-to-door pickup.

The regions Merrick Preparatory offers busing from are:

  • Kemptville
  • Smiths Falls
  • Ottawa
  • Goulbourn
  • Carleton Place
  • Nepean
  • Prescott

Additional notes: For our boarding students we provide transportation to and from the airport. For our Day students transportation can be arranged at a cost recovery basis.

Our Perspective

How we see Merrick Preparatory School


Merrick Preparatory School is one of those hidden gems of the academic world. Housed in an historical inn, nestled within a smaller Ontario town, it has all the benefits of being small as well all the benefits of being proximate to some of nation’s most prominent urban centres and a wealth of notable post-secondary institutions. The school is positioned to support the needs specific to students arriving from overseas, including ESL support and university placement services. The academic program is firmly focused on preparing students for success at university in North America. So, it checks all of the important academic boxes and then some. There’s also a sense that learning isn’t only about what we take away from the experience, but also who we are while we’re here; how we spend our days is how we spend our lives, and students at Merrick spend their days in a spotless, beautiful setting alongside mentors and peers who share the experience with them. It’s one of those schools that is so charming, inviting, and personal, that you just want to sit and stay. As such, it’s a particular draw for students arriving in Canada looking for an authentic experience of the life and culture of the country. It’s a school designed for students to feel known within, and to feel rooted and at home. It succeeds in all of that.

School's Perspective

How Merrick Preparatory School sees itself


The school administration answered our questions

Who are you, as a school?

"Renowned for small class sizes with outstanding academic and linguistic support and 100% placement rate to first choice universities. Rigorous academics, fun co-curricular activities, a safe and secure environment with above industry standard accommodations (double beds/en suite bathrooms) makes Merrick Prep a top choice school for students from around the world. Programs offered: Grades 9 to 12, ESL foundation program, and a University Qualification Year."

  • Distinctly Canadian - Uniquely Global
  • Over 18-25 countries represented in the student population
  • Rigourous Academics
  • Diverse co-curriculars
  • Weekend Activities
  • Your success starts at Merrick Prep
  • Boutique style dormitory rooms
  • PIEoneer award winner 2021: Secondary Learning International Impact Award
  • Diverse, inclusive, multicultural community
  • Personalized attention & preparation for university

What do you do differently and uniquely well?

"We focus on creating courageous, community minded, compassionate global citizens - inquisitive, broad-minded, open and tolerant. We challenge our students to think critically and analytically. We build community, showing students the richness of living harmoniously within a diverse and tolerant environment, while pushing themselves and each other to reach beyond their grasp. Each of us has the power to control our destiny and the responsibility to contribute for the global good."

Why do families choose you over schools they compare you to?

"We are experts at taking mid-range academic achieving students and helping them become high-range academic achieving students, earning multiple offers to top world ranked universities, often on scholarship. 81% of students earn offers to U of T. But families choose us for our small class sizes, small school and strong sense of belonging and community. Tolerant, open minded, safe. We have a deeply caring environment and instill compassion, and individual responsibility for the choices we make."

What might families find surprising about your school?

"Our fast response time to all questions. The deep caring provided by all staff: kitchen, cleaning, maintenance, teachers, residential life staff, admissions and Headmaster who lives on campus – the “family” feel is real! Weekly emails from each teacher to each student and their parents. Weekly “All Staff” “meetings where we focus on “student success” - each student is discussed – how to we help them be their best. Four report cards per semester. Keen attention to detail in all facets."

What aspect of your school is underappreciated?

"Our ability to positively influence our students to believe they can reach beyond their grasp and achieve their dreams, and the impact this has for the rest of their life. Parents and students often look for big fancy campuses with all the bells and whistles – the focus is on the physical environment; the emotional (& even academic) environment is less obvious. We create an environment the positively impacts our students’ confidence, sense of belonging and purpose – and that lasts a lifetime."

What five facts about your school tell your story?

"* Founded in 2012 * 100% university acceptance rate to top ranked institutions * Average class size is 8-10 students * Offering grades 9-12 and University Qualifying Year * 81% of our students received offers to the University of Toronto (U of T), ranked #1 in Canada * Multicultural environment with students from over 40 countries from around the world"


School Facilities

Photo-tour of facilities


Athletics facilities


Campus


Classrooms


Residences


Science facilities


Shared spaces


School Videos

Insider Perspectives

How people from the school’s community see Merrick Preparatory School


Video reviews of Merrick Preparatory School

Parent, IREEN O (2022)

Watch our parent interview with IREEN O to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Merrick Preparatory School.

Alumnus, Deren Toredi (2021)

Watch our alum interview with Deren Toredi to learn about the unique experience of attending Merrick Preparatory School.

Alumnus, Yazeed Al Adawi (2020)

Watch our alum interview with Yazeed Al Adawi to learn about the unique experience of attending Merrick Preparatory School.

Written reviews of Merrick Preparatory School

(5)

Student, Helen Phan (2022)

It's nice. I love the place because of the love, spirit, and pride I feel when I'm in the building; ...

(4.5)

Student, Elisa Hopkins (2022)

I was awarded a scholarship to Merrick Preparatory School for Grade 9 as a day student for 2021-2022...

(4.4)

Parent, John Hopkins (2022)

As our daughter hoped, she has found that the most rewarding aspect of being at Merrick Prep is the ...
See all written reviews (6 total)

School leadership

Top-down influence on the school’s direction and tone


Message from school leadership

Mr. Kevin Farrell, Headmaster
BA Hon, MA (ABD), BEd, MBA

I am delighted to welcome you to Merrick Preparatory School!  We provide a world class education for grade 9, 10, 11 and 12 students wishing to gain entry into the finest universities in North America and abroad. We have a 100% university acceptance rate and over 30% of our graduates receive scholarships exceeding $5,000.

Our school is nestled on the shores of the Rideau Waterway - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - in Merrickville, Ontario, a safe, quiet and clean village where students can focus uninterrupted on their studies.  Home to nationally and internationally renowned artists and named "The Most Beautiful Village in Canada", the warmth of this historic town provides an idyllic family environment for learning.  Just 45 minutes from Ottawa, the nation's capital, our students have access to Parliament Hill - seat of our federal government, our national museums, national art gallery, national performing arts centre, Rideau Canal - the worlds longest skate-way, two universities, two colleges and the spectacular National Capital Commission's Gatineau Park.

Our boarding students enjoy luxurious rooms with en suite bathroom, fine dining and some of the best teachers this country has to offer.  Our day students share classes with students from around the world providing a dynamic and truly international education. With an average class size of 10 students and over 140 hours of in-class instruction per credit course, our students excel and reach beyond their grasp.  Individualized and focused attention, academic differentiation combined with personal and social growth result in students who become courageous, resilient and compassionate global citizens.

Come join the Merrick Preparatory School family.  We are Distinctly Canadian and Uniquely Global.  Your success starts here!

Sincerely,

Kevin Farrell, Headmaster

 

Evaluate Merrick Preparatory School for your child

Answer just to supplement this page with our expert insight into the FIT between Merrick Preparatory School and your child (BETA).
1. Select category
1. Select category
  • Sociability
  • Mental focus
  • Physical activity level
  • Academic focus
  • Arts-oriented
  • STEM-oriented
  • Gifted
  • Special needs (general)
  • Learning disabilities
  • Social/emotional issues
  • Learning style
  • Learning preference
  • Anxious
  • ADHD
  • Autistic
  • Dyslexic
2. Select child's dominant trait
How outgoing is your child?

3. See personalized insights
How Extroverted kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    If you’re considering a small school for your extroverted child, make sure it offers plenty of social opportunities, including the ability to seek out and interact with different peer groups. Since smaller schools have smaller and less diverse student populations than big schools, it can sometimes be more challenging for your child to find a like-minded group of friends—friends with similar interests, values, etc. 

    “It’s important to look at the social makeup of the school,” says Ruth Rumack of Ruth Rumack's Learning Space. "Is there enough variety that your child will have a group that they feel connected with? Because you want to have friends that are like-minded and you want to be in a social situation where you feel honoured and respected. Variety can also be found in extracurriculars, leadership programs, and sports activities, which tend to have kids with a wide range of personalities.”

    Also, make sure a school’s teaching and learning approach is suitable for your social child. “For instance, a school focusing on individual learning instead of group learning may not play into your child’s strengths,” say Ann and Karen Wolff, Toronto-based education consultants at Wolff Educational Services. “You want to make sure the social, emotional, and academic realities of the classroom are a match for your child’s personality.”

  • Boarding school

    At a boarding school, your extroverted child will likely enjoy seeking out and interacting with peer groups from different backgrounds, away from home. In fact, studying and living with other kids for an extended period of time, as many alumni tell us, provides the unique opportunity to form close relationships that can last well beyond the school years. Many boarding schools also have large student populations and more extracurriculars—including activities like student council, team sports, and arts programs—which will give your outgoing child a broader scope of opportunities to feed off the energy of others, and possibly even become a leader, in a dynamic environment.

    Keep in mind, though, “Being an extrovert can be a catalyst for getting involved in lots of activities, which can sometimes be hard to manage,” says Joanne Foster, Toronto-based education consultant and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids. “For instance, a particularly extroverted child may try to end up juggling too many people and activities. While they still may thrive at a boarding school, it helps to know your child and how much social interaction they can handle comfortably.”

How Introverted kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools often have small classrooms and tight-knit communities, which can make it easier for your introverted child to come out of their shell, make friends, and feel like they belong. Since they’re less socially overwhelming, your child should find it easier to navigate their social environment. And since they’re conducive to group work, small classes often have plenty of interaction, which can help your child develop critical interpersonal skills. 

    Of course, small schools normally have a less diverse student population than big schools, which can sometimes make it more challenging to find a group of like-minded peers—peers with similar personalities, interests, values, etc. This makes it especially important to ask a school about its extracurricular programs, which can help your introverted child establish an intimate social circle.

  • Boarding school

    At a boarding school, your introverted child will be more motivated (and virtually compelled) to seek out and interact with different peer groups. Away from home and in a new environment, they’re more likely to take the initiative to form close friendships, which can boost their independence and confidence, and help them develop critical social skills.

    "Consider, though, whether your child will be comfortable and confident while living away from home, and while having to navigate the various, and sometimes unforeseen social-emotional experiences, alongside the academic challenges,” says Joanne Foster, education expert and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids. Finally, ensure support systems are in place to promote their social and emotional development, and that your child is willing and prepared to take advantage of them. Your child will often need to advocate for themselves at a boarding school, and they’ll need confidence and perseverance to do so.

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select child's dominant trait
How mentally focused is your child?

3. See personalized insights
How Mentally focused kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes often provide more individualized learning and one-and-one support, which can bolster your child’s concentration. The structure and intimacy of smaller classes can help your focused child engage more fully with their studies. Since they’re conducive to group work, small classes also often have plenty of interaction, which can help your child develop critical interpersonal skills.

    Just keep in mind the law of diminishing returns regarding class size. While a class of 12 or 15 students can boost engagement, a class of 4 or 5 can reduce it, since there are too few voices and perspectives to generate much meaningful interaction and discussion.

    Finally, “Small schools often have a family-like feeling, because the class sizes are so small,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “They form a sense of community across the grades. You get these cross-grade friendships, relationships, and mentoring if it gives certain kids leadership opportunities, something they would rarely have in a larger school.”

  • Boarding school

    Many focused kids find the diverse and vibrant student community of boarding schools stimulating. Working and interacting with a group of kids away from home and in a new environment can open up new learning and social pathways. Just make sure to inquire about a school’s teaching and learning approach. For instance, ask how much independent learning and individualized support a school offers, as many focused kids find this beneficial. Also, ask about class sizes, as smaller classes with low student-to-teacher ratios can help ensure your child won’t get lost in the shuffle.

How Distractible kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classrooms often provide more personalized attention and one-and-one support, which often helps distractible kids engage with their studies and sustain their focus. Since they’re conducive to group work, they tend to be more interactive, which your child may find invigorating.

    Just keep in mind the law of diminishing returns regarding class size. While a class of 12 or 15 students can boost engagement, a class of 4 or 5 can reduce it, since there are too few voices and perspectives to generate much meaningful interaction and discussion.

    The intimacy of smaller schools and classes can also help your child connect with the student community. “Small schools often have a family-like feeling, because the class sizes are so small,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “They form a sense of community across the grades, with cross-grade friendships, relationships, and often, leadership opportunities.”

  • Boarding school

    Many distractible kids enjoy the vibrant student community of boarding schools. Interacting and working with kids away from home and in a new environment can open up new learning and social pathways, which can be stimulating and can cultivate sustained concentration.

    Just make sure a school’s teaching and learning approach is suitable for your child. “For instance, your child may benefit from extra individualized attention and one-on-one support,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “If so, you’ll want to make sure a school provides these things and implements whatever other educational practices suit their academic profile and personality.”

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select child's dominant trait
How physically active is your child?

3. See personalized insights
How Very physically active kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    If you’re considering a small school for your physically active child, ensure it offers plenty of unstructured social time, such as outdoor recess, during which they can let loose. Since some small schools have fewer supplementals, you should also ask about after-school activities like sports and dance, which can give your child more opportunities to channel their energy in useful ways. Since different kids enjoy different physical activities, ask school staff what’s available, what your child is eligible for, and how they can get involved.

  • Boarding school

    At a boarding school, your physically active child will enjoy interacting with different peer groups drawn from a large student body. Through a wider range of supplementals—such as sports, hiking, and nature clubs—they’ll have the opportunity to feed off the energy of others in a dynamic and active environment.

    Keep in mind, though, “Being active and social can be a catalyst for getting involved in lots of physical activities, which can sometimes be hard to manage,” says Joanne Foster, Toronto-based education consultant and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids. “For instance, a particularly energetic child may try to end up juggling too many activities. While they still may thrive at a boarding school, it helps to know your child and how much physical activity they can handle comfortably.”

How Less physically active kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    If your child is looking to get more physically active, make sure a small school offers plenty of opportunities to do this. This makes it especially important to ask about a school’s extracurriculars—such as team sports—which can improve your child's physical fitness and enable them to broaden their horizons.

    Smaller schools often have small and intimate classrooms, where your less active child can work independently and in small groups, allowing them to focus on academics in a peaceful, structured, and supportive environment. With tight-knit, less intimidating communities, small schools can also help your child come out of their shell.

  • Boarding school

    If your child is looking to get more physically active, they’ll benefit from the wide range of extracurriculars at these schools—such as sports and nature walks. This can improve their physical and mental health. It can also help them broaden their horizons and come out of their shell. Your child may join one or more of the many non-physical supplementals these schools offer, such as an after-school robotics or book club.

    Ensure, though, that the school will give your child ample downtime to rest and replenish the energy they expend. “Consider, too, whether your child will be comfortable and confident while living away from home, and while having to navigate the various, and sometimes unforeseen social-emotional experiences, alongside the academic challenges,” says Joanne Foster, education expert and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids.

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select child's dominant trait
How focused is your child on school and academic achievement?

3. See personalized insights
How Intensively academically-focused kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    If you’re considering a small school for your academically-focused child, ensure it offers enough enrichment and acceleration opportunities to challenge them. Make sure it also has plenty of academic diversity in the classroom, where your child can work with, be challenged by, and even measure themself against other academically-focused kids.

    Of course, “Smaller schools give kids opportunities to be the ‘big fish in a small pond,’ where their successes and abilities are truly highlighted,” says Una Malcolm, Director of Bright Light Learners. “Some kids enjoy this, and this can be a valuable opportunity to develop their confidence and self-esteem.”

  • Boarding school

    Many boarding schools have a broad scope of specialist courses for your child to choose from, to pursue their interests and develop new ones. They also tend to have a lot of academic diversity in the classroom, where your child will find many opportunities to challenge themselves with other kids who enjoy school and have high academic aspirations.

    Just make sure to inquire about a school’s teaching and learning approach. For instance, ask what kinds of independent learning and enrichment opportunities a school offers, as many academically-focused kids benefit from these. Also, ask about class sizes, as smaller classes with low student-to-teacher ratios can help ensure your child won’t get lost in the shuffle.

    Finally, since they’ll be living away from home, ensure support systems are in place to promote their social and emotional development, and that your child is willing and prepared to take advantage of them. Your child will often need to advocate for themselves at a boarding school, and they’ll need confidence and perseverance to do so.

How Less academically-focused kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classrooms often provide more personalized attention and one-and-one support, which often helps less academically-focused kids engage with their work more fully. Since they’re conducive to group work, these classes tend to be more interactive and stimulating.

    Just make sure a school provides your child with plenty of opportunities to pursue their passions outside of class—something not all small schools offer. “Research shows that when students have something to look forward to after school, they’re often more motivated and focused during the day,” says Janyce Lastman, Director of The Tutor Group. “This can really help them renew their energy and recharge their batteries.”

    Also, keep in mind the law of diminishing returns regarding class size. While a class of 12 or 15 students can boost engagement, a class of 4 or 5 can reduce it, since there are too few voices and perspectives to generate much meaningful interaction and discussion.

  • Boarding school

    Many less academically-focused kids enjoy the vibrant community of boarding schools. They’ll be able to interact with a large and diverse student body and participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities, which can help them become more well-rounded.

    Just make sure a school’s teaching and learning approach is suitable for your child. “For instance, say your child can benefit from extra individualized attention and one-on-one support,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “You’ll want to make sure a school provides these things, and implements whatever other in-class practices suit their academic abilities and learning needs.”

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select if applicable
Is your child passionate about the arts?

3. See personalized insights
How Arts-oriented kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools often have smaller classes with plenty of individualized learning and support, which can give your arts-oriented child the freedom to pursue their creative passions with close supervision and guidance. A smaller student community often means more group work and collaboration, which can enhance learning and enliven the creative process. Smaller schools, especially arts-focused ones, are also more likely to integrate the arts into the general curriculum, something many, though not all, artsy kids enjoy.

    Small schools tend to have fewer arts programs, classes, and extracurriculars than bigger schools. Ask what’s available, focusing specifically on your child’s areas of interest and need. For instance, if they’re keen to work on their sculpting skills, find out whether a class is offered during or after school, and whether your child is eligible for it.

  • Boarding school

    If you’re considering a boarding school for your arts-oriented child, make sure it offers them plenty of opportunities to explore their creative passions and refine their artistic skills. Often, small- to medium-sized classes with plenty of individualized learning work well, since they give your child the freedom to pursue their interests and carve out a fulfilling developmental path. Ask any prospective school about its class sizes, teaching approach, and arts curriculum, to ensure it’s the right fit.

    With larger student populations, boarding schools often have more arts programs, classes, productions, and staff. They also tend to offer a wider range of extracurriculars for your child to scratch their creative itch. Ask what opportunities are available, focusing especially on your child’s interests and needs: for instance, if they love art history, find out whether the school offers such a class and when.

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select if applicable
Is your child passionate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)?

3. See personalized insights
How STEM-oriented kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools tend to have fewer STEM programs, classes, and extracurriculars than bigger schools. Ask what’s available, focusing specifically on your child’s areas of interest and need. For instance, if they’re keen to work on their computer programming skills, find out whether a coding class is offered during or after school, and whether your child is eligible for it. Also, ask how they teach problem-solving, instill creativity and innovation, and use technology.

    Of course, since small schools often have smaller classes with plenty of individualized learning and support, they can give your child the freedom to pursue their interest in STEM with close supervision. A smaller student community often means more group work and collaboration, which can enhance learning and stimulate intellectual and creative insights. Smaller schools are also more likely to integrate STEM learning into the general curriculum, something many STEM-oriented kids enjoy.

    Just keep in mind the law of diminishing returns regarding class size. While a class of 12 or 15 students can boost engagement, a class of 4 or 5 can reduce it, since there are too few voices and perspectives to generate much meaningful interaction and discussion.

  • Boarding school

    With large student populations, boarding schools often have more STEM-oriented programs, classes, and specialized staff. They also tend to offer a wider range of extracurriculars for your child to explore their passion for STEM.

    Ask what opportunities are available, in class and out, focusing especially on your child’s interests. For instance, if they’re interested in engineering, find out whether the school offers such a class and when. Also, inquire about a school’s class sizes and teaching approach. Often, small- to medium-sized classes with plenty of individualized learning work well, since they give your child the freedom to pursue their interest in STEM with close supervision.

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select if applicable
Does your child have gifted learning abilities?

3. See personalized insights
How Gifted kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools are sometimes more flexible in meeting gifted learning needs. Make sure a school is willing and able to provide the right learning environment to directly address your child’s learning needs, whether it’s through a segregated gifted class, a part-time withdrawal class, or in-class adaptations such as acceleration or enrichment opportunities.

    If your child enjoys learning and competing with other high-ability learners, confirm this opportunity is available. Also, find out whether a school has extracurricular programs your child will find challenging and stimulating.

    Finally, “Smaller schools give kids opportunities to be the ‘big fish in a small pond,’ where their successes and abilities are truly highlighted,” says Una Malcolm, Director of Bright Light Learners. “Some kids enjoy this, and this can be a valuable opportunity to develop their confidence and self-esteem.”

  • Boarding school

    Many boarding schools provide learning environments that directly address gifted students’ learning needs, such as dedicated gifted classes, withdrawal classes, in-class adaptations, etc. They also often have a wide range of extracurricular programs to challenge and stimulate gifted learners and enable them to pursue areas of interests. For instance, they might have an after-school Spanish discussion or reading group for students with a special interest in or talent for language and literature.

    “Consider, though, whether your child will be comfortable and confident while living away from home, and while having to navigate the various, and sometimes unforeseen, social-emotional experiences, alongside the many academic challenges,” says Joanne Foster, gifted education expert and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids.

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select if applicable
Does your child have special needs?

3. See personalized insights
How Special needs (general) kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of individualized teaching and learning and one-on-one support, giving them the flexibility to accommodate students with a wide range of special needs. Some also provide learning environments that directly address special learning needs, such as segregated classes, part-time withdrawal classes, and integrated classes.

    However, “Keep in mind that some small schools only provide support for one special need,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “Ask which special need(s) a school supports, how it supports it, and whether it has teaching staff with the right training and expertise to provide this support.”

    Finally, since small schools tend to have fewer resources, ensure they have whatever’s needed to foster your child’s academic, social, and emotional development, such as guidance departments, academic and social counsellors, educational assistants, and assistive technologies.

  • Boarding school

    Some boarding schools provide learning environments that directly address special needs, including dedicated classes, integrated classes, and part-time withdrawal classes. Many also provide a range of resources to cultivate your child’s overall development, such as academic and psychological counselling, social workers, faculty advisors, and tutors.

    Just make sure any prospective school has small enough classes to provide the structure, individualized learning, and one-on-one support your child will likely require. Also, since they’ll be living away from home, inquire what support systems are in place to keep them on the right track—academically and socially. For instance, if your child has an auditory processing disorder, ensure the school has an on-site specialist to provide them with the help they need.

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select if applicable
Does your child have a learning disability?

3. See personalized insights
How Learning disabilities kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of personalized learning and one-on-one teaching. This gives them the flexibility to support students with a wide range of learning disabilities (LDs), and to actively monitor their progress and development. Some also provide learning environments that directly support LDs, such as segregated classes, part-time withdrawal classes, and integrated classes. 

    However, “Keep in mind that some small schools only provide support for one type of learning disability,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “For instance, they may only support dyslexia or language-based learning disabilities." Ask which learning disability (or disabilities) a school supports, how exactly it supports it.” Finally, make sure a smaller school has out-of-class resources to support your child’s development. For instance, if they struggle with decoding language, ensure they have a reading intervention specialist on staff. 

  • Boarding school

    Some boarding schools provide learning environments that explicitly support learning disabilities, including dedicated classes, integrated classes, and part-time pull-out classes. Many also provide a range of resources to promote your child’s academic, social, and emotional development, such as robust guidance departments, counsellors, psychologists, social workers, and faculty advisors

    Just make sure any boarding school has small enough classes to provide the structure, individualized learning, and one-on-one support your child will likely require. Also, ensure it has the resources and staff to address your child’s specific challenges. For instance, if they struggle with visual processing, ask whether properly trained staff are available to help them with reading, math, maps, charts, symbols, pictures, and the like.

    Finally, “Ensure your child has a strong understanding of their learning challenges and what kind of support and accommodations they need,” says Stacey Jacobs, Director of Clear Path Educational Consulting. “At a boarding school, kids will need to advocate for themselves, and they’ll need the knowledge and confidence to do this.”

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select if applicable
Does your child have a social, emotional, or behavioural issue?

3. See personalized insights
How Social/emotional issues kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of individualized learning and one-on-one support, giving them the flexibility to accommodate students with a range of social issues. Some also offer learning environments that directly address these kinds of special needs, such as segregated classes, part-time withdrawal classes, and breakout support groups. 

    “Students with behaviour/emotional/social issues often thrive in smaller school settings,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “These students often feel a sense of comfort and ease in knowing that all of the staff know them and understand their challenges. They can be supported in a trusting environment and have to navigate fewer social relationships, both with their peers and adults.”

    However, keep in mind that some small schools only provide support for one or two social or emotional issues, such as clinical anxiety or depression. Ask which issues a school supports, how it supports them, and whether it has teaching staff with specialized training to provide this support. Finally, since small schools tend to have fewer resources, make sure they have whatever your child needs, such as an on-site psychologist to help them with their impulse control, if this is an issue.

  • Boarding school

    Some boarding schools provide learning environments that directly address social issues. For instance, some provide dedicated classes (or are dedicated schools) for "troubled teens," who may struggle with alcohol or drug addiction or who may suffer from an anxiety or eating disorder. 

    “Many parents feel that a boarding school is the best environment for their child with behavioural challenges,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “For one thing, they may believe it’s in the best interest of their child to be away from their community and possibly those who might be a ‘bad influence.’”

    Just make sure a school has small enough classes to provide the structure, individualized learning, and one-on-one guidance your child will likely need. Also, since they’ll be living away from home, ensure support systems are in place to keep them on the right track and that your child is willing and prepared to take advantage of them. Your child will often need to advocate for themselves at a boarding school and they’ll need confidence and perseverance to do so.

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How Conventional learner kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Some small schools, especially alternative ones, have smaller classes with a student-centred curriculum and an individualized approach to learning. While this benefits many kids, conventional learners often prefer a more traditional environment, with pre-planned units, teachers who deliver whole-class lectures, and lots of structure.

    That said, many schools with smaller classes, especially those which offer individualized learning, have the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of learning styles. For instance, if your child prefers direct instruction, textbook-based learning, and graded work—as many conventional learners do—a small school may be able to offer these things.

  • Boarding school

    Boarding schools can be a nice fit for conventional learners, who tend to prefer whole-class lectures, direct instruction, textbook-based learning, and graded work. While some boarding schools offer more alternative approaches—e.g., student-centred, inquiry-based, and individualized learning—these are more the exception than the rule. Asked detailed questions about a school’s teaching approach to ensure your child’s academic needs will be met, bearing in mind that learning preferences vary even among conventional learners. 

How Unconventional learner kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools tend to have smaller classes with plenty of individualized learning and independent and small group work. This can enable your unconventional learner to pursue their interests in an engaging and sometimes collaborative environment. It’s also often easier for smaller schools to set up classes of special interest for certain students—such as art history or microbiology—allowing them to pursue unique learning paths.

    Small schools normally have fewer extracurriculars for kids to explore passions and develop skills outside of class. Ask what’s available, focusing specifically on your child’s areas of interest.

  • Boarding school

    If you’re considering a boarding school for an unconventional learner, make sure it offers them plenty of opportunities to pursue their interests. Often, small- to medium-sized classes with lots of individualized learning work well, since this gives your child the freedom to carve out a fulfilling academic niche. Ask a school about its class sizes, teaching approach, and amount of individualized learning, to confirm whether it’s the right fit.

    With larger student populations, boarding schools often have more extracurriculars for your child to explore their passions outside of class. Ask what opportunities are available, focusing especially on your child’s interests and needs: for instance, if they love computer programming, inquire whether the school offers an after-school or lunch program to boost their coding skills.

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How Independent learner kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools often have smaller classes with plenty of individualized learning, which can give independent learners the freedom to pursue their interests and explore their passions. It’s also often easier for smaller schools to set up classes of special interest, such as evolutionary biology or musical theory.

    Small schools tend to have fewer extracurriculars and supplemental learning options than bigger schools. Ask what’s available, focusing specifically on your child’s areas of interest. For instance, if they’re eager to work on their painting skills, find out whether an after school or lunch program is offered and whether your child is eligible for it.

  • Boarding school

    If you’re considering a boarding school for your independent learner, make sure they’ll have ample opportunity to explore their passions. Often, small- to medium-sized classes with plenty of individualized learning work well, since they give your child the freedom to pursue unique learning pathways. Ask a school about its class sizes, teaching approach, and curriculum, to ensure it’s the right fit.

    With larger student populations, boarding schools often have more extracurriculars and supplemental learning options. Find out what’s available, focusing especially on your child’s areas of interest: for instance, if they love robotics, ask whether the school offers such a program. 

    Also, “If your independent learner is a competitive student who likes to measure themselves against their peers, they’re more likely to find this in a boarding school,” says Janyce Lastman, Director of The Tutor Group. ““Since they have diverse student bodies, it will be easier for your child to find academically-focused peers to compete with.”

    Finally, “Boarding schools also promote self-reliance and resourcefulness since students live away from home, and these are valuable attributes for independent learners and other kids to have,” says Joanne Foster, education consultant and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids.

How Collaborative learner kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools with smaller classes offer more opportunities for the kind of group work collaborative learners enjoy. Whether it’s discussion groups, project work, or peer-to-peer teaching, they tend to offer plenty of group activities in an inclusive environment.

    Also, “Small schools often have a family-like feeling, because the class sizes are so small,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “They form a sense of community across the grades. You get these cross-grade friendships, relationships, and mentoring if it gives certain kids leadership opportunities, something they would rarely have in a larger school.”

  • Boarding school

    Boarding schools have a wide range of learning environments. While some prioritize collaborative and group learning, others don’t. Of course, since they often have more classes and bigger student cohorts, they can normally accommodate a broad scope of learning styles, including both collaborative and independent learning.

    Since boarding schools tend to have larger student populations, they often have more extracurriculars which involve group or collaborative learning, such as debate and student government. Also, “Due to their large numbers of students, they offer more opportunities to find a group of like-minded peers,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. This can give your child the opportunity to explore interesting and dynamic social learning opportunities, in and out of class.

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Is your child anxious?

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How Anxious kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Many small schools have smaller classes with lots of one-on-one support and close supervision to support kids with anxiety (and other emotional issues). 

    “Students with anxiety often thrive in smaller school settings,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “These students often feel a sense of comfort and ease in knowing that all of the staff know them and understand their challenges. They can be supported in a trusting environment, and they won’t have to navigate as many social relationships with kids and adults.”

    However, some small schools don’t support kids with certain anxiety disorders, especially severe ones. Ask what kinds of anxiety issues a school supports and how it delivers this support. Finally, make sure your child has access to resources they may need in class or out, such as on-site counselling.

  • Boarding school

    Make sure any school you’re considering has small enough classes to provide the structure and one-on-one support your anxious child needs. Also, since they’ll be living away from home, ensure support systems are in place to keep your child on the right track, academically and emotionally, and that they’re willing and prepared to take advantage of them. For instance, if your child has a social or generalized anxiety disorder, weekly visits with an on-site psychologist may be in order. 

    Also, “Consider whether your child will be comfortable and confident while living away from home, and while having to navigate the various, and sometimes unforeseen, social-emotional experiences, alongside the many academic challenges,” says Joanne Foster, education expert and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids.

    Of course, boarding school can be a great way for some anxious kids, especially those with milder anxiety, to develop confidence, independence, and resilience. Having to manage schedules and routines and advocate for oneself can be emboldening.

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Does your child have ADHD?

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How ADHD kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of individualized learning, structure, and one-on-one support, which students with ADHD tend to require. Some also offer learning environments (and special education staff) that directly support ADHD, such as segregated classes, part-time withdrawal classes, and breakout groups. 

    “Students with ADHD often thrive in smaller school settings,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “These students may feel a sense of comfort and ease in knowing that all of the staff know them and understand their challenges. They can be supported in a trusting environment, and they won’t have to navigate as many social relationships with their peers and adults.”

    However, keep in mind that some small schools don’t have the resources to accommodate kids with ADHD, especially if it’s severe. Ask what kind of support is available, both in class and out, and how it will be delivered. For instance, “do you have an in-house psychologist to work with my child on their focus and organization?”

  • Boarding school

    Make sure any boarding school has small enough classes to provide the structure, individualized learning, and one-on-one guidance kids with ADHD need. Also, since your child will be living away from home, ensure support systems are in place to keep them on the right track, and that they’re willing and prepared to take advantage of them. Your child will often need to advocate for themselves at a boarding school, and they’ll need the confidence and perseverance to do so.

    Finally, “Evenings can be challenging for kids with ADHD,” says Stacey Jacobs, director of Clear Path Educational Consulting. “If your child is on medication, it may sometimes wear off at night, which can make completing homework and falling asleep challenging. Ensure boarding supervisors and dons are well-equipped with strategies to support kids with ADHD.”

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Is your child autistic?

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How Autistic kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of individualized learning, structure, and one-on-one support, which students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often need. Some also offer learning environments (and special education staff) that directly support autism, such as dedicated classes, part-time withdrawal classes, and classes with breakout groups. 

    “Students with autism tend to do well in smaller school settings,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “These students may feel a sense of comfort and ease in knowing that all of the staff know them and understand their challenges. They can be supported in a trusting environment, and they won’t have to navigate as many social relationships with their peers and adults.”

    However, keep in mind that some small schools won’t be able to accommodate kids with autism, especially if a child is on the higher end of the spectrum. Ask what kind of support is available, both in class and out, and how it will be delivered. For instance, “do you have an in-house psychologist to work with my child on their communication and interaction skills?”

  • Boarding school

    Make sure any boarding school has small enough classes to provide the structure, individualized learning, and one-on-one support kids with autism need. Also, since your child will be living away from home, ensure support systems are in place to keep them on the right track, academically and socially, and that they’re willing and prepared to take advantage of them. Your child will often need to advocate for themselves at a boarding school, and they’ll need the confidence and perseverance to do so.

    Finally, “Consider whether your child will be comfortable and confident while living away from home, and while having to navigate the various, and sometimes unforeseen, social-emotional experiences, alongside the many academic challenges,” says Joanne Foster, education expert and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids.

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Is your child dyslexic?

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How Dyslexic kids fit with Merrick Preparatory's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of personalized learning and one-on-one guidance. This gives them the flexibility to support students with a range of learning disabilities (LDs), including dyslexia, and to actively monitor their progress and development. Some also provide learning environments that directly support dyslexia, such as segregated classes and part-time withdrawal classes. 

    “Keep in mind, though, that not all small schools provide support for kids with dyslexia,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “For instance, a school may only support kids with LDs involving math or numbers (like dysgraphia).” 

    Ask whether a school supports dyslexia, and if it does, how it delivers this support. Finally, make sure a smaller school has out-of-class resources that meet your child’s needs. Since your child struggles with decoding language, they may need regular visits with an on-site reading intervention specialist.

  • Boarding school

    Make sure any boarding school has small enough classes to provide the structure, individualized learning, and one-on-one support your child needs. Also, confirm it has the resources and staff to support your child’s reading disorder. For instance, since they struggle with phonic decoding, ask whether a reading specialist is on staff. 

    Finally, “Ensure your child has a strong understanding of their learning challenges and what kind of support and accommodations they need,” says Stacey Jacobs, director of Clear Path Educational Consulting. “At a boarding school, kids will need to advocate for themselves, and they’ll need the knowledge and confidence to do so.” 

    Keep in mind that some boarding schools provide learning environments that explicitly support dyslexia, including dedicated classes and part-time pull-out classes. Many also provide a range of resources to promote your child’s academic, social, and emotional development, such as robust guidance departments, counsellors, psychologists, social workers, and faculty advisors.

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THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Merrick Preparatory School

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