Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Bond Academy (2021)
Bond Academy alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Olga, Lisa, Jane Phillips had to say about the school.
Highlights from the Q&A discussion
Olga — current parent
Olga has a son that currently attends Bond Academy in Grade 11. She views her relationship with Bond Academy as a partnership that allows her son to learn, grow, make friends, and feel supported in an academic environment.
- "I transitioned into the private sector, and I joined Bond Academy with my son. I feel that I joined because the school is a partner to a parent to deliver results for your child. We joined the Bond Academy when my son was in Grade 9. So the things that I look at for a school is, do they have a strong academic background? Will they provide high quality education? Bond delivered on that value."
- "[Bond Academy] creates and develops a well-rounded person. They create a person that is open-minded, kind, and understands that diversity. They really prepare the child for the real world, not just the academic world, not just the school life … . Transitioning my son from Grade 8 from his previous public school to Bond Academy, I looked at those values and how they exhibit those values.”
- "I feel I have a partnership with the teachers, who I can reach out to for support. I know that my son has the same feeling. So what I looked for in school, is what I'm experiencing now. But as with any partnership, you as a parent also need to be engaging and reach out to the teachers, to the counsellors, to the principal. And it does make a parent feel very comfortable that the construct around Bond is one that gives you that outcome."
- "I know [my son] is creating a strong foundation to get to his Grade 12 year next year. Whatever he wishes to do, he's going to be ready to do it."
- "I have a happy child that enjoys coming to school. He's up at 7 in the morning because we have to travel to come to school, always with a smile, happy to come to school. And there is no challenge of having to coerce him or coax him out of the door. He wants to come to school."
- “Bond [Academy] states in their vision statement … that they are striving towards high quality education … to develop a well-rounded person. And I think as a parent, we stay at Bond [Academy] because we want our children to take advantage of the values there, because those values represent success in the future."
- “The outcome [of attending Bond Academy] is a child that not only can successfully work at a university level ... but in the future, in the career that they will pursue, they will have foundations around a personality that has been developed, that is well-rounded.”
- "[Bond Academy] strives for community engagement. They look at sports as a way to be a more rounded individual and that all contributes to [your child becoming] a member of society that adds value. I'm a part of the business community in my career, and I look at hiring a lot of people, and I have hired hundreds of people. The people that I hire have to be well-rounded people not only skilled to do the job, but also a diverse, positive, energetic, compassionate and understanding of each other's values and culture, and that's what Bond brings. That's one of the reasons that I came to Bond [Academy], because I wanted that diversity, and I'm happy thus far. I know I'm going to be happy until [my son] finishes his high school career at Bond [Academy]."
- “Bond [Academy] provides a lot of teachings on behavior, to ensure that [the students] understand what it means to bully, or what it means not to have biases, or what it means to respect each other.”
- "Students are human beings that are developing their character, their personality. What I will say is as a parent, I felt supported in having open trusting discussions that involved the teachers, the principals, and the child ... so that we can all figure out how to support the child, to further grow, to further learn."
- "We shouldn't be afraid of incidents occurring. They should occur at school. They should be used as learning opportunities so that these students can become the best people possible when they come out of Bond [Academy]. When the time comes, they won't have any issues at their workplace, because they have the tools to handle it, they have the teachings and they have the support. And that's what Bond [Academy] helps achieve with the support of their teachers.”
- “Three words I think characterize Bond Academy are supportive, knowledgeable and positive."
Lisa — current parent
Lisa has worked at Bond Academy teaching Montessori for 14 years. Lisa has two children that currently attend Bond Academy, one daughter in Grade 6 and one in Grade 9. They both enjoy the many extracurricular activities Bond Academy has to offer, and look forward to going to school every day.
- "I could see not only the activities they were doing, but just the fun that they were having [at Bond Academy]. I could see that they were safe, they were cared for, and for me, that meant everything."
- "[Bond Academy] could modify their program to suit not only Montessori students, but children coming from Kindergarten. So they were able to modify the program to suit the needs of everyone. I had my two kids come out of Montessori, so they were coming from a very enriched program where they were used to being so challenged and they needed that constant challenge, and the teacher was able to accommodate."
- "Bond [Academy] offers sports, drama, music, there's really something for everyone. And my kids have really thrived here. They love coming [to Bond Academy] every day. They love the personal attention they get from all of the teachers. It's a safe place and it's familiar and comfortable. So it was really the best decision I've ever made keeping them here."
- "Sometimes it's really hard to get [my daughter] out of [Bond Academy]. She would live there if she could. She loves everything about it. She's up before I am in the morning and dressed and ready to go. She's rushing me out the door." Even with the COVID protocols.
- "[My daughter] loves all of the activities offered [at Bond Academy]. She loves that all of the teachers know who she is, and ask her how she is doing. They really take the time to get to know her, and find out what's going on. In the past, we've asked her, 'does she ever think about leaving schools?' And she will quickly answer, no … . Bottom line, [my daughter] loves [Bond Academy]."
- "The programs are extremely different. You would have to look into which program [at Bond Academy] you think would suit your child better. Kindergarten is play-based, and Montessori is very structured. There are no toys in the room. It's a very different learning environment and a parent would have to decide which environment would be better for their child. I can't remember a time where we had one child move from one to the other."
- "Both kindergarten and Montessori have French classes. We have three courses a week for 30 minutes. … Previously, we were doing a Mandarin class. We have not done that yet this year and I'm not sure if that will be available. But in previous years, we have had Mandarin also."
- “Loyal, high achiever, and fun [is how I would describe Bond Academy], lots of fun."
Jane Phillips — current parent
Jane has worked at Bond Academy as the Head of Guidance, Admissions, and Camps for 19+ years, so she is very familiar with the school. She also has five grandchildren, two that have already graduated, and three that currently attend. Her twin grandsons are in the Montessori program, and her granddaughter is in Grade 2.
- "I can speak from two sides of my mouth. One is the administrator, but another as a grandparent who has had five grandchildren go through here. ... I would only want them to be here if I thought it was a wonderful place. [Bond Academy] is a very kind, caring environment. The teachers are involved with the children, whether they teach them daily or they just work with them in activities in the school."
- "It certainly gives you a warm feeling when you're here. And we actually call ourselves the ‘Bond family’, which might sound hokey to some people, but that really is the feeling in the school. … [The students] love their teachers so much."
- "[Bond Academy] is a very special little place. It's wonderful that children can, if they’re little, start their lives in school here, or if they're going into high school, they can make the transition from the elementary program to the secondary program, with all of the support that they have."
- “[Bond Academy] only has residence for students who are 16 and older. And up until recently, most of the students and our residents are international students, and they mainly come from China. ... A lot of students who had joined our school in Grade 11, and come here for Grade 11, Grade 12, and get their Ontario diplomas, so they could go to Canadian and American universities. So most of our students in our residence come from that group.”
- "[Bond Academy[ has small classes, even on a regular normal year, our class size would be maybe 16 in high school at the most. Sometimes if it's a really popular arts course … we might stretch up to 18 because otherwise we're having to turn students away."
- "All of [Bond Academy’s] teachers in the high school are here till 4:15, and the students can just wander in and get extra help from their teacher in the classroom. On top of that, at 4:15, they can then go into either of two rooms that we have. One is for science and maths, and the other room is our social sciences and English room which are both open until 5:30."
- "Students can get a lot of academic support … but [Bond Academy] also will introduce them to sports teams, on a regular basis, so they have an opportunity to be involved in lots of activities … . We also have choirs and bands, and we have theater. [Bond Academy] does a lot of one-on-one counseling when the students first come in, to make sure that they understand what the expectations are of working toward a diploma."
- "[Bond Academy] is the only [school] that runs a virtual [university] fair. We normally have an in-person fair, where [the students] can talk to the people from the universities one on one. But of course, we couldn't do that this year … . It was a beautiful experience for all of our students from Grade 9 to 12. So we start them early [thinking about university] in Grade 9 and they're aware of all the support that's available at Bond Academy."
- “[Bond Academy] does not have a lot of ESL students, but those that are ESL students, if they require some assistance in helping develop their language [skills], they do have assistance that is available for them."
- “[Bond Academy] has wonderful arts programs. And it doesn't mean that math and science suffer at all. When they get to Grade 7 and 8, they have specialists who teach those subjects, as a matter of fact.”
- “[Bond Academy’s] academic standards are second to none. But we also have enhanced opportunities for the students involved … plus all the activities and the clubs and things. My granddaughter, she's in a meditation group."
- "There's teams and things they can do [at Bond Academy], like cross country, basketball, volleyball, everything you can think of ... the school believes in a healthy, active lifestyle. The head of our department really inspires students to buy into that, and to want to be involved in the activities and be on the team. So it's a great place."
- "The students are shown through example, through being involved in activities, how one should behave. So things like bullying and activities that you read about in the paper that are happening in local schools. We don't have those things [at Bond Academy]. I really believe it's because our students would be kind of appalled to see anybody do it, because it's not the kind of behaviour that goes with the character development that we're trying to encourage here at Bond [Academy]."
- "Socially, it's never been an issue when we bring new students [to Bond Academy]. I don't think I ever heard of them having any social issues. When your students come in, they're taken in by all the [current] students."