REVIEW OF Crestwood Preparatory College BY parent, Joseph Frasca
- Date of Review
August 05, 2022
Gr. 7 - 10
(5) Student Experience
My son started attending Crestwood Preparatory College in Grade 7 and has just now completed Grade 10. His experience over the last four years at CPC has been extremely enriching. He has made friendships with like-minded and goal-driven students that will undoubtedly last a lifetime. He has been inspired by both staff and fellow students through creative educational activities and discussion, as well as friendly classroom competition amongst his peers, to be the best he can be academically. Through a very attentive administration that is in tune with the personalities of individual students, he has been encouraged, at times with a gentle nudge, to expand his horizons and partake in extracurricular activities above and beyond the many sports programs which my son has no issues signing up for on his own initiative. All this in a very friendly and inclusive environment.
(5) School Leadership
Although there have been many examples of how the school administration at CPC has shown great leadership over the last few years, there has been no singular example more significant than the actions the administration has taken with the recent pandemic. They were one of the first schools to come out and take the position that the kids need to physically be in classrooms every single day in order to learn and grow and, as much as reasonably possible, the school environment needs to be one that is functioning at full activity and participation to be successful. Accordingly, the school mandated vaccines last summer, with some necessary exceptions. They also did their part and took all steps necessary and beyond with respect to mechanical upgrades, sanitization and full-time nursing staff. Although not everybody will agree with this decision, the school did not miss a beat come to the start of the school year as they were one of the few that were able to enjoy all extracurricular activities including sports at the very start of the school year as planned and communicated to the school community.
We have found the teaching staff at Crestwood to be very dynamic, energetic and engaged. They are of varied interests and from different walks of life representing a true cross-section of the real world. In the classroom, the students are encouraged to participate which is facilitated by the smaller classroom sizes. The projects assigned are very thoughtful and practical to potential life choices. Technical skills such as 3D printing, robotics and computer programming, engineering a bridge, creating and marketing a green product, full video production with the latest industry software, or simulating stock trading just to name a few. The teachers are available every single day for extra support which my son takes advantage of when he misses classes due to sports. He will often go to school 30 minutes earlier in the morning to go over what he might have missed in class or if further explanation is required.
The academic program at CPC is enhanced and well-rounded. It focuses on the traditional basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic as well as on the latest technology. In addition to an enriched curriculum, it places an emphasis on life skills such as organization, time management and self-discipline. From a technology standpoint, my son started taking notes in class with a laptop on his first day in Grade 7. The school also offers opportunities for Reach Ahead credits. My son's first high school credit was a Grade 9 Geography course he completed in Grade 8. These opportunities for acceleration continue throughout the high school levels. The school fosters a culture of learning and higher education that will undoubtedly more than well prepare your child for University and life thereafter.
The opportunities for extracurricular activities at Crestwood are endless. Whether your child wants to venture into many of the sports programs which are available at a multitude of skill levels, a variety of arts programs, interested in the environment, the school newspaper or yearbook, debating, robotics, chess, leadership programs, improv or the school band, there is something for everybody. Furthermore, based on our experience, there has been individual encouragement from staff for my son to join some programs that he otherwise may not have ventured into on his own. He ultimately accepted the challenge and was glad that he did.
I'm sure by now it has become clearly evident based on this review that my family is extremely pleased with Crestwood. It should therefore come as no surprise that we would want our daughter to share that same positive experience that our son has been fortunate enough to be part of over the last four years. She will be starting this coming school year and I wanted to share her experience recently when she was on a tour of the school. As we entered the gymnasium, 6 girls that were sitting under a basketball net, simultaneously jumped up and ran to greet her at the door. "Hi, I'm (so and so)," say a few of them, "What's your name?" "Do you play hockey?" says another, "I really like your jeans," "Are you coming to Crestwood?" My daughter made 6 friends instantly and left the gymnasium with a huge smile on her face because suddenly, everything fell into place and this just felt right. As with my son's experience, there is an undeniable school spirit and family atmosphere at Crestwood that you instantly feel a part of.
(5) School Life
I asked my son what stands out the most about everyday life at Crestwood. His response was simply that the school is like family. Everybody knows each other, from the students to the teachers, to members of the administration. When you walk through the hallways of the school you are greeted by name so it feels like home. I recall a few years ago when a new student started sometime later in the school year. He didn't know anybody at the school and was very shy. The VP approached my son quietly and asked if he could show the boy around and introduce him to some of the friends in my son's group. My son and the other boys took the new student in and made him feel at ease. This culture of family, leaving nobody behind, school spirit and inclusivity starts from the top and has permeated down through the student body.
There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the parent community at Crestwood for as much or as little as you desire, or are able to fit into your schedule. Although we are not heavily involved ourselves due to time considerations, we are always made aware through regular notices and reminders, of ways we can get involved with different initiatives and school events. Either through the Crestwood newsletters that are circulated via email on a monthly basis or the dedicated portal for the parent community within the school's Edsby application that is always accessible, there is no shortage of information on ways to volunteer your time on various committees right on up to executive roles in the parent association. We are extremely grateful for those that do volunteer as they really make a positive impact in the school community!
(5) School Location
The school is situated in a very central location that is easily accessible by either car or public transit. There are also all the amenities that you would need in very close proximity to the school that are readily accessible on foot. From a sports perspective, the hockey team regularly walks to Fenside Arena, the school's home rink. There is a public library directly across the street from the school. There are also a couple of commercial plazas a few steps away where the older students can venture out for coffee, several lunch options, a grocery store, convenience store, bank and a pharmacy.
I found the Crestwood admissions process to be clear and efficient. Although I do not have much to compare it to, I would imagine it is as involved as any similar school application. There are dedicated admissions staff members at the school that I found to be responsive and supportive with the application process when necessary. Crestwood also utilizes a school admissions portal that I found very intuitive and simple to use. Through the portal, you are able to go through the admissions requirement checklist at your own pace. You do not have to complete the entire application at one time as you are able to save your work and go back to complete the remaining outstanding items when you are able. The portal also sends out helpful reminders via email related to missing application items, course selection, statements and upcoming payments, that help keep the process on track.