REVIEW OF Merrick Preparatory School BY parent, Rachel Tlhole
- Date of Review
October 26, 2023
- Child 1
Gr. 9 - Gr. 10 (Female, Current Boarding Student)
(4.5) Student Experience
My daughter's experience is meeting other learners from other countries, making new friends, and learning about Canada as a country. She appreciates the support she is receiving from the teachers and the principal. She just misses home food which is understandable. The weekend activities are something she is looking forward to. The Canadian schooling system is different, she is enjoying the long summer break, and the fact that the school starts at 9 am instead of 7:30 am back at home, so she can sleep till late. It is her first time being at boarding school and Merrick Prep gave her that experience without her being overwhelmed. She has the comfort of her own double bed and ensuite toilet, which makes a huge difference because it does not feel like she is squashed in a hostel.
(5) School Leadership
Every time I ask something from the school, I receive an immediate response. They even go beyond my expectations to ensure that our needs are met. Recently I needed my daughter to take photos for the visa application, the principal arranged transportation for her. When it was time to send her passport to Toronto, the principal arranged for courier services and was even following up on my behalf. The fact that I have not heard my daughter talking about infighting at the school or giving me a sense that is being bullied, I know that the school is fostering a positive atmosphere
The teachers are sending feedback to parents on what the learners did for the week and the following week's look ahead. So as a parent at any given time I am aware of what my daughter is learning at school. The quality of education is excellent because even as an engineer, some of the questions that my daughter asked me, I used YouTube to figure them out. I had the privilege of sitting on the online classes while she was still waiting for her visa, and I was impressed with the content of the work. The assignments they are given are the correct tools to prepare them for tertiary life. I see that my daughter is not afraid to ask questions to the teachers if she does not understand and she receives the support
Merrick Prep is very good academically and has the potential to produce excellent future professionals. Small classes are an advantage because learners are free to ask questions and have full attention from the teachers. The weakness might be sports activities. However, the learners attend sports tournaments but not very highly competitive ones. Also, the weekend activities, movie nights, and games played at the school can compensate for the sports. I know that with the quality of education my daughter is receiving, she is dreaming big, and can see herself as an architect, interior designer, etc., which is a motivation for me. With the high level of education quality she is receiving, I am confident that she is being prepared for the future. She is starting to look at universities, which makes me feel proud as a parent that she is motivated.
Looking at the size of the school, there are learners who go camping, go-carting, river drifting, shopping, etc., which is good for them as well to go outside and have fun. The learners have in-house competitions for sports activities. My daughter is not an A student when it comes to sports, so I am satisfied with ice skating, basketball, etc., just for fun.
The school has learners who act as leaders for the week, which my daughter enjoys. This has given her the opportunity to lead and to be led. The students get along very well, they help each other, for example, when going out on activities, to style each other's hair, etc. They celebrate birthdays. I see that even though my daughter is at home for the holidays, she still continues to chat with her friends at school and catch up. This shows that they have developed special bonds between them beyond the school walls. The general mood at the school is happiness, from what I see with my daughter and her friends. What stands out for me with this school is the family environment that it provides for the learners.
(5) School Life
My daughter's life changed, she is more independent now. The confidence level is excellent. The school does not interfere with her background of being a Christian. She is not forced to take part in activities that are against our religion. She enjoys going to the school because it is small, and she has a small circle of friends. For prospective parents, if you are looking for a second home away from home for your children, Merrick Prep is the place to be. Your child will be free to be themselves and they will be well looked after and you can have peace of mind knowing that your child is in good hands. The school reinforces discipline especially in academics which is good for learners and they become accountable for their schoolwork.
What stands out is the warmth and the friendliness of Merrick Prep parents. I have not physically met them, but my daughter has been invited for sleepovers, of course with my permission and the permission of the principal. I have telephone contacts of some of them and we sometimes assist each other. Parents are welcome to be involved in the school, however, distance could be an issue as parents are coming from all over the world. It could be good if the school could arrange a virtual parents' day, however, I am not sure if it can work with different time zones. Also, parents can be involved in school projects. In general, I have a sense that the parents are committed to the school.
(5) School Location
The community is very friendly, everyone knows everyone because it is a small town. The students can walk in town freely. They can visit their school friends of course with permission. They go shopping, etc. The location of the school is away from the big cities distraction, however the learners can go to Ottawa which is the nearest town which is good.
Be rest assured that your application process will be very smooth. Johanna and Justin will go all out that the application process is comfortable and even assist you with the relevant people for visa applications. Even with the arrival of the learners from their homes to school, they are involved. They follow up with you on Zoom calls and they even give contacts of other parents so that you can speak to them yourself. For my daughter, they arranged an interview for her with one of the learners and now they are friends. It becomes easier when you talk to parents about the school and the learning because then you hear it from the horse's mouth. Our application process was stress-free and they still assist us even today.