REVIEW OF Crestwood Preparatory College BY parent, Megan Van Volsen
- Date of Review
August 05, 2022
Gr. 7 - 10
(5) Student Experience
My son attended Crestwood from grade 7-grade 10. My daughter started this year in grade 8. Both kids loved the sports and extracurriculars offered at the school. My son and daughter have had the opportunity to be coached by enthusiastic and knowledgeable coaches and both appreciated the time spent before, during and after school by staff. My son and daughter loved the relationships and connections made with the staff. Teachers genuinely care and take an interest in all students' lives. During my son's hockey playoffs in Toronto, Crestwood teachers came to cheer him on, outside of school hours which meant so much to him. The commitment staff has to Crestwood and their students cannot be matched. My son appreciated the support he always felt from staff and encouragement to reach his goals and be the best possible person. My daughter said it just "feels" good to be a student at Crestwood and part of the Crestwood family.
(5) School Leadership
The school leadership and administration are awesome. The greatness starts at the top and trickles down to all. The administration leads by example and they hold high standards for all educators and students within the school. Administrators are approachable and open to listening and value students' voices. Communication with families is excellent and the weekly newsletters are extremely helpful. The EDSBY system is an effective communication tool for all members of the Crestwood community. Students can communicate with their teachers/administrators, stay organized with homework and assignments and all notices/updates to families are shared through EDSBY so current information is shared in a timely manner. I am extremely impressed with the level of home-school communication at Crestwood.
The teaching at Crestwood is stellar. Both of my children are coming from the public system and I teach in the public system. There is no comparison. The quality of instruction at Crestwood is second to none. The growth I have seen in both of my kid' study habits, and the ability to stay organized and take responsibility for their learning and communicating with teachers themselves have significantly improved since attending Crestwood. Staff at Crestwood are committed to their student and extremely passionate about their subject matter, take a real interest in helping students improve and do the best they can to help students reach their goals. My daughter really struggled in mathematics prior to attending Crestwood and now math is one of her strongest subjects because she has had a teacher that was committed to helping her learn, the way she learns and supporting her success now but also later in life.
The academic program at Crestwood is exemplary. Both of my children have thrived academically since they started attending Crestwood. Following COVID and multiple school closures, Crestwood students did not skip a beat. Staff went above and beyond to deliver the curriculum online efficiently and creatively. The curriculum is presented in such an effective way and students are pushed to raise their own bar to be the best version of themselves while also challenging themselves to continue reaching for the stars. The pace is quick but manageable and activities are relevant, current and interesting. Both of my children's writing has significantly improved and gains were noted in their ability to write essays, paragraphs and detailed answers to questions. My children will be more than prepared for their next steps in life with the foundation of the education they are receiving at Crestwood.
The extracurriculars offered at Crestwood offer something for everyone. Students are encouraged to join new teams or events, regardless of experience or ability. Teams are created with many students welcomed with a focus on fun and development. With that being said, there are elite athletes who are being pushed to develop in a variety of athletic opportunities. If sports aren't your thing, the arts and music are celebrated as well. Well-rounded students come out of Crestwood and being involved in many activities is encouraged!
The Crestwood spirit and inclusive culture are felt when you walk through the front doors. You can tell that students want to be there and staff as well. Crestwood feels like a family when you walk through the halls. Due to the smaller size of the school, there are many personal relationships observed, just by walking into the school. Spirit weeks and school spirit are celebrated and staff seem as enthusiastic to participate in "spirit days" as the students. Teachers lead by example and really seem to love their jobs! Students of all ages interact and demonstrate manners and respect for each other. Both of my children have commented that students of all ages talk, hang out and are encouraging of each other, regardless of grade or age.
(5) School Life
Both of my children absolutely LOVE attending Crestwood and have both shared that "Crestwood has changed my life." As a parent, I have noticed the personal growth, academic growth and social growth in both of my children, since they started attending Crestwood. The overall culture of the school creates amazing humans and produces high achievers with goals and dreams. Social relationships and friendships are strong and Crestwood is a place my children want to go to every day. When my son enrolled in Crestwood in grade 7, the entire grade travelled to Camp Timberlane for a week of an overnight camp to promote positive relationships and bonding amongst all of the grade 7s. It was a memorable and impactful week for my son. He laughed and made memories and friendships to last a lifetime. Crestwood understands and values human relationships.
The broader community at Crestwood Preparatory College, including the parent community, has been nothing shy of welcoming. Parents are always asked for input, and communication with staff and participation in school life is encouraged. Meeting with parents for teacher interviews multiple times a year demonstrates how parents' voices are valued and encouraged. The relationship between the home and school community is strong and it feels that families are always welcome in the school. The Crestwood family extends beyond the school walls! The book and uniform exchanges are such a wonderful gesture from the parent community to connect with other families and share resources. As a new parent a few years ago, and my children did not attend the Lower School, I did not feel like an outsider but instead was welcomed in with a smile and open arms.
(5) School Location
Crestwood does not look like many private schools in the Toronto area. That is what makes it so special. Crestwood is tucked into a residential neighbourhood, by the local library. This is a private school you may mistake for a local public high school or even drive by without noticing it is even there. This school may not look like an Ivy league school or have the biggest track or fanciest exterior, but what it has to offer inside is worth more than any other private school out there. Crestwood is a hidden gem. The minute you enter the front doors, you will feel what sets it apart from all other schools. Welcoming, inclusive, respectful.
Go for it! Both of my children were admitted through a different process but both had positive experiences. Both of my children were part of interviews that were a good learning experience for them. Tours of the school were such an amazing way for our entire family to see the school and really feel that warm, welcoming community within the walls of Crestwood. I remember thinking to myself that the class sizes, level of engagement in the classrooms during the tours and friendly faces were remarkable. Crestwood is unique. The minute you walk through the doors, you want to stay and become part of the school community. The energy and spirit are contagious. Becoming a Crestwood Lion is a privilege and honour. Thank you to all of the Crestwood staff for being such amazing role models and mentors for my children.