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Two years ago, Matthew Pilgrim—then 10—arrived at school to find no teacher in his classroom. It was up to the students to teach the day’s lessons, then hours later, to dissect the experience during a school assembly. Read more


List of alternative schools

 
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Waterloo Region (Breslau), Ontario — St. John's-Kilmarnock School offers enriched educational programming for students from Junior Kindergarten – Grade 12 through its accredited International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. Discover the possibilities. View School Profile.


  • Accredited IB World Continuum School
  • Beautiful 36-acre natural campus
  • Extensive co-curricular opportunities
  • Tech-free dining builds community in Founders' Hall
  • Outdoor experiential learning from Junior Kindergarten onwards
Grades:
JK to 12 (Coed)
Type:
Progressive, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$18,980 to $71,620
Living:
Boarding/Day
Enrollment:
425
Avg. Class:
10 to 18
St. John's-Kilmarnock School 18980 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed
 
 

Toronto, Ontario — The York School is a JK to Grade 12 International Baccalaureate school in midtown Toronto. Our mission is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are engaged citizens of the world. View School Profile.


  • International Baccalaureate World School (JK - Grade 12)
  • 100% university placement rate
  • Co-educational learning environment
  • Progressive, contemporary approach
  • International community
Grades:
JK to 12 (Coed)
Type:
Progressive, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$33,750
Living:
Day
Enrollment:
740
Avg. Class:
15 to 20
The York School 33750 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
 
 

Toronto, Ontario — Located in the heart of Toronto, Upper Canada College is the oldest independent boys' school in Ontario. Our IB graduates are highly regarded by top universities and post-secondary institutions worldwide. View School Profile.


  • High-achieving, all-round boys
  • Challenging but rewarding IB program
  • First rate academics, athletics and arts
  • 19 different sports and 65+ clubs
  • Boutique urban boarding program
Grades:
SK to 12 (Boys)
Type:
Liberal Arts, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$35,000 to $68,450
Living:
Boarding/Day
Enrollment:
1200
Avg. Class:
20 to 25
Upper Canada College 35000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Boys
 
 

Ottawa, Ontario — Elmwood School is Ottawa's pre-eminent school for girls from PreK to Gr. 12. Our high academic standards, small class sizes and safe, supportive environment ensure that each girl is inspired to reach her full potential. View School Profile.


  • Recognized for academic excellence
  • Welcoming, inclusive and diverse community
  • International Baccalaureate World School (PYP, MYP, DP)
  • Round Square and Apple Distinguished school
  • Merit- and need-based scholarships available
Grades:
PS to 12 (Girls)
Type:
Progressive, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$15,540 to $29,700
Living:
Day
Enrollment:
370
Avg. Class:
15 to 17
Elmwood School 15540 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
 
 

Toronto, Ontario — Branksome Hall is Toronto’s only all-girls, all-years International Baccalaureate (IB) World School developing the leaders of tomorrow through the nurturing of curiosity and critical thinking at every age. View School Profile.


  • 13-acre downtown campus
  • Athletics and Wellness Centre
  • IB programs: JK to Grade 12
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Boarding starting in Grade 7
Grades:
JK to 12 (Girls)
Type:
Liberal Arts, International Baccalaureate
Tuition:
$35,700 to $72,500
Living:
Boarding/Day
Enrollment:
964
Avg. Class:
12 to 22
Branksome Hall 35700 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
  • Oakville, Ontario
    Winston Churchill/Lakeshore Road East
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $9,250 to $19,500

Clanmore is one of the few schools offering authentic Montessori programming from Toddler - Middle School. Our culture is warm and inviting and our philosophy empowers us to support each child as a unique individual.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Clanmore Montessori School 9250 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • NS to 6 Coed
  • $20,200 to $22,500

An authentic, CCMA accredited Montessori School located in downtown Toronto, offering programs for Toddlers, Casa and Elementary children in beautiful settings with large and expansive natural playgrounds.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Westside Montessori School 20200 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Brampton, Ontario
    Torbram/Clark
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $14,970 to $19,970

Tall Pines School in Brampton provides enhanced Montessori and traditional classes from Infant to Grade Eight, is the longest accredited CCMA Montessori school in Canada, and is a leader in 21st Century education.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Tall Pines School 14970 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $16,450 to $21,940

Lynn-Rose Schools offer challenging academic programming from three years old to grade twelve in Mississauga. Lynn-Rose is an official International Baccalaureate World School.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Lynn-Rose Schools 16450 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Merton St/Mt Pleasant
  • JK to 6 Coed
  • $28,500

Sunnybrook School offers the IB Primary Years Program for all students in JK - Grade 6. We have a fully integrated co-ed and 1:1 iPad program for all the grades. Our inquiry approach leads to global citizens.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Sunnybrook School 28500 Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Maple Ridge, British Columbia
    240th Street/Dewdney Trunk Road
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $24,500 to $34,500

Meadowridge is an IB Continuum World School that supports the development of the whole child in a safe, supportive and challenging environment.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Meadowridge School 24500 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Davenport Rd/Spadina Rd
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • $13,775 to $21,750

Small class sizes and our unique curriculum - infused with Arts, Movement, Outdoor Education - create deeper connections across subjects, at all child development stages. Parents describe us as “schooling with heart".

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Waldorf Academy 13775 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed

TMS  

  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
    Bayview/Hwy 407
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $18,185 to $32,600

TMS is a leading, accredited independent school that offers a unique design of Montessori and International Baccalaureate programmes. Our students thrive in academics while building a foundation of Significance.

  • Day
  • Montessori
  • International Baccalaureate
TMS 18185 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Erin Mills Parkway/Argentia Rd
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $9,565 to $13,995

St. Jude's Academy is an IB World School that offers programs from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 in Mississauga. A university preparatory school with a focus on student life, average class size is 16 to 18 students.

  • Day
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
St. Jude's Academy 9565 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Markham, Ontario
    Woodbine Ave/Major Mackenzie Dr E
  • NS to 3 Coed
  • $6,800 to $12,900

Royal Cachet has authentic Montessori programs from infants to grade 3 in our healthy & safe environments. We focus on the Language & Math areas of the Montessori Curriculum & encourage our students to grow and succeed.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Royal Cachet Montessori School 6800 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Bank Street/Marché Way
  • 7 to 12 Coed
  • $18,256 to $21,222

The Element nurtures focused, engaged and internally motivated students who strive to do their best. The Element High School provides conditions that will put youth ‘in their element,’ in school and beyond.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Montessori
The Element High School 18256 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Highway 417/Greenbank
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $17,283 to $21,527

Acadecap International School (Académie de la Capitale), an IB World School, offers bilingual and/or English programmes from JK to Grade 12. Students thrive in a growth mindset environment and a culture of excellence.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Académie de la Capitale 17283 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • $21,500

Richland Academy is a progressive, innovative Reggio inspired and International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for children from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8. Voted #1 Private School in Richmond Hill 4 years in a row.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Richland Academy 21500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Richmond Hill, Ontario
    Yonge Street/Silverwood Ave.
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $16,550 to $27,000

Century Private School in Richmond Hill runs from preschool to grade twelve, with small class ratio to ensure best learning for our students.

  • Day
  • Montessori
  • International Baccalaureate
Century Private School 16550 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Brampton, Ontario
    Sunforest Drive/Bovaird Drive E
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • $8,100 to $15,000

RMS is an award-winning progressive private school. Our structured enriched programme cultivates character, leadership, respect and cultural diversity while developing each child’s 21st century skills and a STEM mindset.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Montessori
Rowntree Montessori Schools (RMS) 8100 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Alta Vista Drive/Industrial Road
  • NS to 6 Coed
  • $13,275 to $27,201

OMS Montessori is a non for profit, independent school offering separate French and English programs within a world class Montessori environment.

  • Day
  • Montessori
OMS Montessori 13275 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Thornhill, Ontario
    Bathurst St/Rutherford Rd
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $12,470 to $23,400

Toronto Waldorf School offers a curriculum that integrates academics,arts & movement, and addresses the intellectual, physical, emotional & social aspects of child development. Preschool to gr. 12.

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Toronto Waldorf School 12470 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Oakville, Ontario
    Lakeshore Road East/Bel Air Drive
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $9,900 to $23,900

Offering Montessori programs from Toddler to Grade 8, Dearcroft is accredited by CCMA and staffed by dedicated teachers.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Dearcroft Montessori School 9900 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Lawrence Ave./Bathurst St.
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $22,500 to $23,380

The Clover School's innovative curriculum combines Montessori essentials with heart-centred learning practices designed to nurture the ​mind​, heart, health, and soul of each child.

  • Day
  • Montessori
The Clover School 22500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $19,475 to $69,995

GNS is an independent JK-12 International Baccalaureate day-school in Victoria, BC, that challenges and supports each of our students to do their best through truth and courage in learning and in life.

  • Homestay/Boarding/Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Glenlyon Norfolk School 19475 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Boarding Day Coed
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • K to 8 Coed
  • $15,140 to $25,000

Rotherglen School - OAKVILLE offers programs for students age 4 to grade eight. The average class size is 18 students.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Montessori
Rotherglen School - Oakville 15140 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • NS to 5 Coed
  • $6,600 to $10,500

ABC Montessori is one of Mississauga's premier private schools. We offers both Montessori and traditional school programs from preschool to Grade 5 with an emphasis on developing literacy, numeracy, sciences, and arts.

  • Day
  • Traditional
  • Montessori
ABC Montessori 6600 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Queen Street East/Glen Manor Drive
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • $7,200 to $22,275

Our objective is to guide children with respect and understanding, developing in them a love of learning. Our aim is to create a nurturing environment full of intellectual, social and moral learning and development.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Avalon Children's Montessori School 7200 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Tomken Rd./Eglinton Ave. E
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $9,800 to $15,400

Northstar Montessori offers an authentic Montessori curriculum for Toddler age to Grade 8. Our goal is to develop strong character and contributing citizens who understand that their involvement makes a difference.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Northstar Montessori Private School 9800 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Pickering, Ontario
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $9,000 to $13,000

Montessori Learning Centre of Pickering is a non denominational, inclusive school that offers programs from Pre-school to Grade eight. We acknowledge and celebrate religious and cultural events as part of our cultural program.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Montessori Learning Centre of Pickering 9000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Aurora, Ontario
    St. John Sideroad/Yonge St.
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $13,400 to $19,550

Aurora Montessori offers an enriched Montessori program for students to Grade 8 with an option of an OSSD credit in Grade 9 Academic Math. A unique Mindfulness and Technology program develops key 21st-century skills.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Aurora Montessori School 13400 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Nobleton, Ontario
    15th Sideroad/Hwy 27
  • NS to 6 Coed
  • $9,000 to $18,000

For 38 years, Montessori Country School has provided a top rated CCMA accredited curriculum for students 15 months through grade 6 on two sprawling campuses, and an integrated virtual classroom for elementary students.

  • eSchool/Day
  • Montessori
The Montessori Country School 9000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary eSchool Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • NS to 6 Coed
  • $8,750 to $19,900

CMS' aim is to offer a quality Montessori education preparing all children to reach their full potential and to play a responsible role in protecting the global environment and fostering peace and harmony.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Central Montessori Schools 8750 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Eglinton Ave E/Laird Dr
  • NS to 6 Coed
  • $10,080 to $16,800

Maria Montessori School is one of the longest established AMI accredited Montessori school's in Canada. We offer accredited programs for children 18 months to 12 years and hire only AMI certified teaching staff.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Maria Montessori School 10080 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Woodbridge, Ontario
    Weston Road/Rutherford Road
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $15,598 to $15,998

With 2 Campuses located in Vaughan, King Heights Academy provides a unique educational experience for toddlers to grade 12 which includes the IB Program. Our new Thornhill Campus offers a Sports Program from grades 1-12

  • Day
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
King Heights Academy 15598 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Whitby, Ontario
    Brock Street South/Dundas Streer West
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $10,500 to $14,000

The Hatch House Montessori School is a very child centered school where each student is respected for his/her uniqueness and is taught accordingly. Ask about our unique, fully bilingual elementary program.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Hatch House Montessori School 10500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Markham, Ontario
    14th Ave/Kennedy
  • NS to 12 Coed
  • $8,200 to $41,500

Trillium School is a private school that offers programs from pre-school to grade twelve in Markham with Montessori-based kindergarten.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Traditional
  • Montessori
Trillium School 8200 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Bathurst St./Eglinton Ave. West
  • PS to 6 Coed
  • $15,500 to $17,500

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  • Day
  • Montessori
  • Waldorf
Alive Montessori & Private School 15500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Baseline Rd./Woodroffe Ave.
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $12,705 to $20,620

Bishop Hamilton Montessori School, a not-for-profit independent school in Ottawa, provides an authentic Christian Montessori approach for children 3 months to 14 years.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Bishop Hamilton Montessori School 12705 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Burlington, Ontario
    Appleby Line/Upper Middle Road
  • PS to 12 Coed
  • $10,000 to $16,700

Halton Waldorf School offers an education that fosters confidence, independence and intelligence. Located on five forested acres, the school has been uniquely designed to support the goals of Waldorf education. Est 1984

  • Day
  • Waldorf
Halton Waldorf School 10000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
  • Stouffville, Ontario
    Ninth Line/Main Street
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • $7,782 to $15,396

Toronto French Montessori offers French and English programs from pre-school to grade 8 in York Region. Its average class size is 15 students.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Toronto French Montessori 7782 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Day Coed
  • Brantford, Ontario
    Charlotte St/Chatham St
  • NS to SK Coed
  • $10,000 to $12,000

Located in Brantford, Ontario, Montessori House of Children (MHC) provides excellent programs for grades Nursery to 3 and helps young children reach their learning potential with both independent and self-directed learning. MHC also offers support for students with learning differences.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Montessori House of Children 10000 Preschool Kindergarten Day Coed
  • North York, Ontario
  • NS to 6 Coed
  • $8,750 to $17,950

CMS' aim is to prepare all children to reach their full potential (academically, artistically, & physically) and to play a responsible role in protecting the global environment and fostering peace and harmony.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Central Montessori School – Maplehurst Campus 8750 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • NS to 6 Coed
  • $16,700 to $26,250

Bannockburn School leads in Montessori education by offering an exceptional, enriched Montessori curriculum in a nurturing environment carefully prepared to meet the needs of children in the formative years of childhood.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Bannockburn 16700 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    QEW/Trafalgar Road
  • NS to K Coed
  • $10,000 to $17,000

La Villa Montessori is an AMI recognized School that adheres to Dr. Montessori's principles. We provide a nurturing environment that fulfills the child's emotional, social, physical and intellectual needs.

  • Day
  • Montessori
La Villa Montessori School 10000 Preschool Kindergarten Day Coed
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Hurontario/Queensway
  • NS to SK Coed
  • $7,100 to $12,000

Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic School in Mississauga offers Casa Montessori programs for children a ged 2.5 to 6. Before- and after-school care and summer camps also available.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic School 7100 Preschool Kindergarten Day Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Bathurst/Sheppard
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $9,000 to $18,750

MJDS inspires a lifetime love for learning in a nurturing environment that fosters respect for oneself, the community and the world, guided by the shared values of Judaism and Montessori education.

  • Day
  • Montessori
Montessori Jewish Day School 9000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Glen Erin/Dundas
  • NS to 6 Coed
  • $15,250 to $15,750

Kaban Montessori School in west Mississauga/Erin Mills is a CCMA accredited school for children aged 6 months to 12 years. Come for a tour, you'll love it!

  • Day
  • Montessori
Kaban Montessori School 15250 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
  • Mississauga, Ontario
  • PS to 8 Coed
  • $7,725 to $18,615

Rotherglen School - MISSISSAUGA is a montessori school that offers programs from pre-school to grade eight. The average class size is 18 students.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Montessori
Rotherglen School - Mississauga 7725 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Newmarket, Ontario
    Bayview Ave/Newpark Blvd
  • JK to 12 Coed
  • $7,800 to $25,900

Situated on seven acres of rolling parkland and gardens, Country Garden Montessori Academy in Newmarket is a co-ed private day school for students in grades PS-12. The school provides a family atmosphere and is committed the intellectual growth and emotional well-being of students.

  • Homestay/Day
  • Montessori
Country Garden Montessori Academy 7800 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Day Coed
  • St. Catharines, Ontario
    Edinburgh Dr/Scott Street
  • NS to 8 Coed
  • $6,775 to $14,275

We provide students with opportunities to explore real-world concepts and issues, broadening their sense of responsibility, develop their critical thinking skills, and empower them to take action in a global community.

  • Day
  • Montessori
  • International Baccalaureate
Wheatley School 6775 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
  • Rothesay, New Brunswick
    Rothesay Rd/College Hill Rd
  • 6 to 12 Coed
  • $23,920 to $65,810

Our unique daily Advisor Program ensures every student is surrounded by a strong network of highly qualified, dedicated faculty and staff whose mission is to provide academic, emotional, and social guidance and support.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
Rothesay Netherwood School 23920 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed

It wasn’t exactly a typical day at a typical school but his father, Tim Pilgrim, says it’s the sort of experience that helps set Voice Intermediate School in Toronto, Ontario apart from other alternative schools. The school’s global education philosophy aims to foster growth in the whole child, not only through academics, but with character building, creative pursuits, sports and language study. 

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“We wanted to find an atmosphere that had smaller class sizes and one with a commitment to exploration,” Pilgrim says. An independent learner, Matthew wasn’t given the chance to express himself regularly or to develop his own personal interests, he says. 

Encouragement to express who you are

Since arriving at Voice Intermediate in Grade 5, Matthew has “blossomed,” Pilgrim says. “You’re encouraged to thrive. You’re encouraged to express yourself,” he says. “You’re encouraged to really step up to the plate.”

Self-expression and exploration—core values to Voice Intermediate founder and Principal Marie Lardino—pervade every aspect of the school. A cohesive and consistent underlying philosophy is one of the strengths of alternative schools, says Rena Upitis, an education professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. It’s just a matter of finding the right philosophy, and the right school, for your child, she says.

Within some other schools, though, a student’s experience may be almost wholly dependent on individual teachers—some might be amazing, some not so much, Upitis says.

Discover your child’s strengths

At Voice Intermediate, classes follow the Ontario curriculum, but go further to integrate elements meant to give the child an all-encompassing education. Lardino says she wants to help students find out where their strengths are, learn conflict resolution and other core values, and prepare for life outside of the classroom. “You learn who you are as a person and as a learner,” says Lardino. “And then you go from there and you get to understand your role in the world.”

—Lisa Van de Ven
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