REVIEW OF Agora Prep BY parent, T Miller
- Date of Review
August 29, 2022
- Child 1
Gr. 5 - 6 (Male, Current Day Student)
(5) Student Experience
Agora is a place where my son feels loved, welcomed and part of a bigger family. Traditional public schools were challenging for him - you’re expected to fit in a box and taught never to think outside that box. Our goal was to find something different for our son who is energetic, creative, a deep thinker and loves to learn through talking and conversation. He loves at Agora that he gets to be creative in how he learns, at a pace that’s right for him! He gets to explore his interests while learning real-world skills like researching, presenting in front of an audience, and managing personal goals and timelines. He gets the opportunity to be a leader and always feels emotionally supported by his teachers.
(5) School Leadership
Agora takes pride and is invested in helping, teaching, and supporting our son in being the best person he can be. They understand that each child is unique and they truly foster each child's individual uniqueness. The children feel loved, supported, and accepted for who they are! Agora is fair and always makes sure to understand and get to the root of any and all issues -they work through the challenges to ensure lessons are learned and the consequences are appropriate.
The teachers at Agora are referred to as coaches because they don’t just teach, they inspire, guide, support, and mentor – you can tell they love what they do, and they love seeing all the kids be the best they can be! The coaches are enthusiastic and knowledgeable not just in the core subjects like reading, writing, and arithmetic – but are also well versed in how to support and foster strong mental health through things like meditation, mindfulness, yoga, etc. We are always kept up to date on where our child is developmentally. I love that they foster confidence in my child around the things he knows, but also support and help to push him to challenge himself at a pace that continues to build his overall self-confidence.
While Agora supports all the core subjects like reading, writing, math, science they also take it to the next level to make sure the children learn through real-world experiences with things like thinking through and writing a business proposal - supported with financials (math, literacy), growing your own garden (science, math), managing personal finances (math), public speaking (communication, literacy). In addition, the students are encouraged to start their day with reflection and mindfulness to get them open to being creative and ready to learn - supporting and building strong mental health. They do independent and group work helping them learn collaboration as well as independence. The program Agora offers not only prepares my child for his future but is truly setting him up for success! I am amazed at how much my son has flourished since leaving the public school system.
Agora provides students with the opportunity to explore different extracurriculars. They offer a variety of afterschool programs such as coding, karate, music, drama, giving the students the opportunity to try new things and see what they enjoy or might be good at. During recess all ages get to play together - sometimes it's freeplay and sometimes organized games or sports are put together by the various coaches where they get the opportunity to compete, coach and mentor each other, and possibly learn a new sport or game. It's so refreshing seeing all ages get along and play together!
The students and coaches feel like family. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging of each other. The coaches and students are a diverse group of people who all help to foster an amazing culture of inclusiveness. You're always greeted with a smile and felt welcome anytime. Not only are the kids forming special bonds across all ages, but so are the families - many times getting the kids together for pool parties or fun events outside of school. It's so refreshing being part of a school that cares for your child like they are family and then seeing other parents even encouraging and supporting your child in their special moments even when it might not be a special moment for their child. Agora never forgets to celebrate the big and little moments and to ensure everyone is included in the celebration.
(5) School Life
Agora truly is a place where my son feels loved, welcomed and part of a bigger family. He's expressed that it's his first time going to school and never feeling like he's being judged. He feels like he's accepted for who he is and that it's celebrated. He’s made new friends of all genders and ages and is beyond excited to go each day. He can’t wait to share what he’s learned, the fun things he's done, or the funny things people have said on our drive home each day. When he attended public school it was hard to get him out of bed in the mornings, he would come home after school feeling deflated and miserable. Now he's excited to go to school every morning and is full of life and excitement every time I pick him up.
Communication from Agora prep has always been amazing! I feel like I'm always 'in the know' of what's going on, what changes might be happening, what new things the school might be looking to introduce or explore, how we as the parent community can help or support. They have a monthly newsletter that goes out to the parents and there is a communication tool that is used by the staff to communicate and share with parents daily the events or special moments the students have had during the day. As a parent, I never feel discouraged from asking questions and am always encouraged to feel welcome to help and support whenever I can when help is needed. Being part of Agora feels like being part of a bigger family!
(5) School Location
The school is located in a very safe neighbourhood within the town of Aurora. It's location is very easy to get to coming from many different directions (i.e. 404. 400) and is conveniently located right next to a beautiful open grassy space where the kids get to run, play sports, etc. with a great little park for the students to enjoy too (all supervised of course)!
Applying to Agora prep was a very seamless process. I loved that we had the opportunity to bring our son to the school for a 'trial day' just to make sure it was going to be a good fit for both them and him. After completing that first-day trial our son didn't look back, he wanted to start immediately! We completed an evaluation/assessment so the school could understand exactly where our son was academically and then we worked with the administration team to complete all the necessary paperwork for final acceptance. Once our son's acceptance was complete he started immediately. He joined in the middle of a school year and the school was fantastic at supporting the transition mid-year and helping him navigate his new world while making him feel like 'he found his forever home.'