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Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E.:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Gr. 1 TO Gr. 8 — Richmond Hill, ON (Map)

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

REVIEW OF Academy for Gifted Children - P.A.C.E. BY parent, Melanie Maresch

  • Date of Review
    March 09, 2023
  • Child 1
    Gr. 1 - Gr. 8 (Male, Current Day Student)
  • Child 2
    Gr. 1 - Gr. 6 (Female, Current Day Student)

(5) Student Experience

Both of our kids love the culture and environment at PACE. They have many close friendships that have developed since starting in grade one that have continued and blossomed from grade one until today. They feel supported and recognized every day. The students are free to share ideas and take part in their learning experience. They especially love the leadership responsibilities they are offered but are not forced to participate in. They also love the diversity in day-to-day learning. The students are kept busy and active throughout the day and have ample time to engage with the other students. Our children have been in the same class with many of the same classmates year after year so they have developed an understanding of each other even those that they aren't necessarily friends with.

(5) School Leadership

The leadership at PACE is amazing from the top down. The director makes an extraordinary effort to know and understand each student and all of their individual strength and weaknesses and works hard every day to understand any challenges they may be having. The director works closely with her Vice Principals and teaching staff to ensure that each child's "hidden talents" are nurtured and developed to their fullest potential. Discipline is handled swiftly and expeditiously but with the utmost fairness, kindness, and professionalism. There is continuous effective communication with both students and parents.

(5) Teaching

The teaching staff at PACE are very engaged and focused on teaching each student's individual learning style. They teach with energy, passion, and joy. There is a very low turnaround in the teaching staff so the teachers are able to stay engaged with the students throughout their entire tenure at the school. Each teacher at PACE has an "open door" policy and they all continuously encourage the students to come for extra instruction during homework periods in any subject. Either the teacher, student, or parent feels the student could benefit from extra instruction or support. The teachers communicate regularly with the parents if a student is not grasping something and parents can email a teacher directly at any time and expect either a response email or a call promptly.

(5) Academics

PACE Academy is a school for gifted children so the academics are advanced but fully supported. The administration and teaching staff truly want all students to succeed to their highest potential and there are many avenues of support to help students and parents. The academics are taught with a strong balance between theory and experiential teaching techniques. They teach the theory and then spend lots of time encouraging students to use theory into practical applications. There are lots of discussions where students are encouraged to voice their thoughts and opinions about the subject manner. Debate is encouraged at PACE and the students feel involved in the teaching process. Failure in practical application is also encouraged at PACE because often the students learn more from a failed experiment than from a successful one.

(5) Extracurriculars

There is great diversity in extracurriculars at PACE. They have many strong arts programs to balance out the advanced curriculum like music, theater, art classes, and drama. They have trivia, game club, robotics, model UN and debate clubs. The students are also encouraged to take part in a strong student council and yearbook committee. The list of extracurriculars changes from year to year to cater to the students nonacademic interests.

(5) Students

The student body is fairly small which is nice because it keeps the classes to 20 students. From grades 1 to 3 there is one class for each grade then a 2nd class is added for grades 4 onward. The additional students that start in grade 4 are mingled evenly with the existing ones to form the new grade class. The students are engaged and highly motivated. They work and play very well together both inside the school and out. The students have great school spirit which is nurtured through many student council activities from "house day" to "spirit weeks" each term. Many of the kids have been together for several years. The students can select the extracurricular activities and sports they choose to participate in so they can have that extra time with their friends.

(5) School Life

Both of our children love going to PACE. They even beg to go on the half days when we give them the option to miss it. They really enjoy being with the other students and the teaching staff. Every day is a new and different day at PACE with new in-class activities. The student council plans fun houses and spirit days throughout the school year. Our daughter is very attached to most of her teachers, especially the director, she even dresses to impress them! She is particularly involved in drama, musical theater, and the various performance they put on each year. Both of our kids wake up every day excited to go to school. There is something at PACE for every interest group whether it's the arts, sports, robotics, or music.

(5) Community

The broad community of PACE is welcoming and inclusive for the most part. Unfortunately, the Covid 19 pandemic did take away a lot of the opportunities for parents to mingle but the administration is working to bring back some of those opportunities. Before the pandemic, there were various occasions that brought parents together to mingle and develop relationships. PACE has resumed its spoken word, musical theater, and Winterlude which is a music festival of song and dance performances. There, students are able to show off their musical instrument development these are all great opportunities for parents and extended family to come out and watch. Many class grades have parent-run Whatsapp groups so parents can stay in touch and be informed about what is happening at PACE.

(5) School Location

PACE is in a central location off of a residential street where the grade 7+ students have the opportunity to go "off campus" to a variety of places to grab lunch. The only negative I can think of overall is the parking lot has high traffic during drop off and pick up largely due to cars parked on both sides of the street.


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