Trafalgar School For Girls, founded in Montreal in 1887 with eight students, now has 208. Sandra Keymer-Temple is so fond of the school that she decided to become a "lifer."
"I went to the principal after my first day of school and said 'Thank you very much, I had a very nice day and I'll be back tomorrow,'" says Keymer-Temple, who now is the school's director of alumni relations. "And I've been going back for 55 years."
For 17-year-old head girl Melanie Wright, graduation last spring was a mixture of joy and sorrow. "The comfort and security I've had here, I know I will never get again and I'm really going to miss that," she says. "I've had a really fun five years. It's been a lot of work and Trafalgar definitely pushed me more than any other school could have."
Clare Hunt says her time at Trafalgar changed her life.
"Coming into Trafalgar, I was really self-conscious, a real introvert," says the 17-year-old. "I've learned a lot about voicing my opinion. I really have gained so much confidence."
Hunt says it was a bonus for her to be able to follow in her mother's footsteps at Trafalgar. She took great pride in being initiated into the same house her mother was in more than 20 years ago.
Denys Heward, a teacher at LCC for 30 years, says the school attracts a certain type of student. "LCC is not for everybody," says Heward, who was an LCC student himself for 10 years. "It's for motivated students who want to work and will work hand-in-hand with the staff."
Focusing on individual student strengths is of utmost importance, Heward says. "The staff has the highest expectations of the students, and it is our job to transfer that to them. It isn't what the student doesn't have, it's what the student does have that we build on."
Costa Ragas, who's in Grade 11 this fall, says he appreciates the one-on-one attention he receives at LCC. "It's the teachers and the relationships they have with the students that is so important," says Ragas, who is head boy.
Ragas says he also appreciates the diversity of the school, which teaches the importance of always being open-minded.
"There are people from all different backgrounds here," he says. "We are all different, but we're all the same as well. We all have to face the same problems."
Alicia Crelinsten, the school's head girl, says the co-ed nature of the school is particularly beneficial. "I think co-ed enhances your education," she says. "Boys and girls have different points of view, and it's important to be able to share that, and learn more. We all work together."
Since 1908, Selwyn House, in Westmount, Quebec, has focused on providing challenging programs to its students. Today, about 560 boys are enrolled in the single-gender school. The secret of the school's success? "It's the people," says James McMillan, Selwyn House's director of advancement, who also teaches music. "We refer to the triangle of commitments that makes the school a success. It's a commitment from the teachers, the students and the parents.
"Having a staff that cares is where you start from. You can't buy that, you have to cultivate it. The programs are delivered by good teachers, good coaches and good mentors."
Matthew Menzar, who just graduated from Selwyn House, says his education will help him go far. "At Selwyn you're taught how to deal with tough work and the future," says Menzar, who was head prefect and president of the student council. "It offers a good education and good preparation to move on. If I'm ever faced with anything difficult in life, I know I'll know how to handle it."
Menzar is going to miss the school, especially "the closeness and the homey feeling," says the 17-year-old, who was a student there from Grade 7. "We all feel like it's a second home."
McMillan says Selwyn students are keen to learn - a pleasure for any teacher. "I love coming in here every day, and I don't think I'm the exception to the rule," says McMillan, who has a son at the school. "I'm a life-long student - there's always something new to learn. We believe in that for the student, and I certainly believe it for myself."
At Montreal's College Prep International, the sounds of 35 different languages fill the halls.
School director Ursulene Mora-Farmer says it emphasizes bringing out the talents and strengths of its 150 students. Adjustments are made annually to do just that.
"Each and every year, you have to look at your student clientele," says Mora-Farmer. "One year you may have a lot of talented musicians, the next year it may be something else."
There are no entrance exams for College Prep; instead, all candidates are interviewed. "We just happen to be a small school and we can afford to be selective," Mora-Farmer says.
The student population often includes the sons and daughters of diplomats and government officials stationed in Montreal. Only about 10 percent of students are boarders and they are placed with the school's 15 home-stay families.
"We're really like a family here," Mora-Farmer says. "We call ourselves a prep-school family because when you're here, that's just what it is."
At Sedbergh, situated eight kilometres from Montebello, students learn that there are no bounds to a classroom. "Yes, we are a school and academics are important, but the classroom has more than four walls," says Beth Steel, the school's director of admissions.
Set amid 1,200 acres of mountains, valleys and forests, Sedbergh was established in 1939. With numerous outdoor activities, Sedbergh students make full use of their surrounding environment.
One hundred students are registered, 90 percent of them boarders. About 40 percent of the students are from outside Canada.
The school is committed to offering "the education of a lifetime" in a small, student-centered community and preparing young people for university and for life's challenges.
Steel says Sedbergh graduates should have a love and appreciation for the outdoors, a healthy lifestyle and an understanding that learning is a life-long skill that can take place anywhere.
"We are a high-energy school. Kids who are willing to try new things get the most out of our program."
Seniors at the school are expected to be leaders in several ways, from helping out in the dorms to assisting on weekend outdoor education trips and acting as assistant coaches.
Marie Duval says she learned a lot about independence in her four years at Sedbergh.
"I wouldn't change anything, if I had it all to do again," says the 17-year-old, who graduated last spring. "I loved my experience at Sedbergh. It gave me a chance to do things I would never have done if I was at a different school."
At Miss Edgar's and Miss Cramp's School (ECS) in Montreal, 12-year-old Brianna Gibson is excited about the new challenges of Grade 7. "I like sports and there's lots - and they encourage you to participate," says Brianna, who hopes to pursue a career in sports medicine.
Brianna says the small class sizes enable students to receive help whenever they need it.
ECS turned 90 this year, and has 315 students. Mary Sue Gibson, who teaches Grade 3, says she was delighted by her daughter's decision to join her at the school.
"The first thing that pops into my head about the school is how most of the girls are very eager to learn," says Gibson. "We encourage students to develop at their own rate and that development is very exciting to watch."
She, like the teachers at all of the Montreal private schools, takes great satisfaction in seeing her students flourish.
Bishop's College School (est. 1836)
Bishop's College School is an English boarding and day school for students in grades 7 through 12. Small in size and culturally diverse, BCS is an IB World School offering the IB DP and course certificates. [View profile]
|$24,000 to $55,500
||MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Coed||24000|
|$21,500 to $63,000
||MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Coed||21500|
We offer a sound, internationally recognized academic foundation. Our students gain fluency in three languages and achieve mastery of biology, chemistry and physics. [View profile]
|$7,150 to $10,400
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||7150|
Trafalgar School For Girls (est. 1887)
Based in the heart of downtown Montreal, Trafalgar School for Girls is a diverse school community that challenges and inspires girls to love learning, build confidence and shape a better world. [View profile]
||MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Girls||18000|
Centennial Academy (est. 1998)
Centennial is the only high school in Quebec that helps students master their challenges of learning and graduate on time. Over 90% of our students graduate in five years and go on to college and university. [View profile]
||MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||18950|
St. George's School of Montreal (est. 1930)
St. George's School of Montreal is a bi-lingual private school where students acquire a life-long love of learning as we challenge each student to excel and become confident problem solvers and engaged citizens. [View profile]
|$18,204 to $22,440
||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||18204|
Collège Bourget is a day & boarding school situated between Montreal & Ottawa, that exceeds Quebec curriculum guidelines & ensures our students grow through different spheres: arts, sports, community service & science. [View profile]
|$4,700 to $35,000
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Coed||4700|
|$10,820 to $11,535
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed||10820|
|$20,140 to $22,675
||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls||20140|
Lower Canada College (est. 1909)
Lower Canada College is a coed, K-12 university preparatory school, committed to excellence in teaching and learning. It is the only English school in Quebec offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. [View profile]
|$18,150 to $23,150
||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||18150|
Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie (est. 1905)
École secondaire francophone privée pour jeunes filles située à Outremont, Qc. Les frais de scolarité sont de 4 500 $ par année. Elle offre les profils Éducation internationale, Danse-études et Musique-études. [View profile]
|$4,500 to $10,700
||MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls||4500|
|$5,121 to $14,640
||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||5121|
|$11,850 to $12,528
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed||11850|
Kells Academy (est. 1978)
Kells Academy is a private school in Montreal which offers Kindergarten to grade 11. Its average class size is 15 students. We offer boarding facilities & separate Elementary,Middle and High School campuses. [View profile]
|$14,550 to $37,000
||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Coed||14550|
Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School (est. 1909)
Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School is a Tier 1 school for girls in Kindergarten through Grade 11, located in Westmount, Quebec. For every girl who has a mind of her own, we have a school to nurture it. [View profile]
|$18,764 to $21,417
||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls||18764|
|$5,000 to $5,700
||MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Girls Coed||5000|
College Prep International (est. 1944)
College Prep International, a traditional private school in Montreal, offers English instruction with partial French immersion, for grades five to twelve. Its average class size range from 12 to 18 Students [View profile]
|$12,500 to $13,500
||MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||12500|
||MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||12265|
|$5,568 to $11,832
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed||5568|
Séminaire Marie-Reine-du-Clergé (est. 1956)
SMRC is a coed day and boarding high school in French Canada with a warm & relaxed natural campus, modern rooms, enrichment & support, technology enhanced classrooms & labs, 8 cultural & sports programs, 20+ activities [View profile]
|$3,580 to $28,480
||MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Homestay Day Coed||3580|
|$16,795 to $52,814
||MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls||16795|
|$16,475 to $17,920
|Elementary Day Coed||16475|
North Star Academy Laval is the only private English high school in Laval. We offer small classroom sizes for individualized attention. We teach not only for school but for life! Certificate of eligibility not required. [View profile]
|$12,400 to $27,400
|MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed||12400|
Emmanuel Christian School (est. 1975)
Emmanuel Christian School offers a bilingual program in both Elementary and High School. Our caring, Christ-centered environment enables students to thrive and reach their full potential through a variety of activities. [View profile]
|$7,780 to $15,000
||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||7780|
|$18,350 to $23,900
||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys||18350|