I have 3 children at the Dalton School and this is our 4th year here, so we have experienced preschool to 4th grade. The very first thing we noticed was the kind and caring teachers, especially in the lower grades. As young students they felt comfortable and nurtured. They felt loved and at the same time knew what was expected of them and I believed this allowed them to thrive. They all have always loved going to school here. The teachers have been great, but I think what ours kids would say they like best is their friends.
This is a new and growing school, so the founder is very dedicated to making it one of the best in Toronto and the very best Mandarin/English dual immersion program. The principal has an impressive background and is a very big part of the daily school life. She knows each child individually and spends time with them to evaluate their learning progress. The founder of the school is wonderful and also available and approachable on a regular basis. All of the kids see her and interact with her regularly too. They are easy to communicate with if needed and respond quickly. I feel they deal with discipline issues right away and handle things with the parents as needed.
We have been happy with the teaching. They have excellent Mandarin teachers and English teachers and spend a half day with each. I feel with any school and child, you need to be involved in their learning and take a role in making sure you child is supported and challenged. Being a small school, there is a great learning environment and the children here get more attention, for example, our son was given other challenges/tasks, when he was getting his work done faster etc. The teachers and principal are very available if you need to speak with them and I feel they really care about the students and are happy to be there.
Each class spends half day in full immersion Mandarin and half day in English. They do a similar academic program in both, so there is cross over in their learning of each topic covered. They work individually and collectively on certain things. I love that my kids love learning here. I feel they have a very solid math and English background for their grade or even above. I do not speak Mandarin, but I am told their Mandarin is good! I do see their homework and I am very impressed:)
The school is small, so there are not extracurriculars, such as competitive teams or clubs. Instead they have after school activities, which are great. My kids love the after school chess class, and have participated in and loved others, such as, coding, art, piano, etc. The after school activities follow the S.T.E.A.M. philosophy, which stand for: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Design, Mathematics. Some of these classes are in Mandarin which is a plus too.
Again, it is a small school which is growing. Probably all of the students know each other. Often the older kids will help the younger ones. This is a close group of happy kids. Each year the students put on a big performance and it is amazing to see them all work together.
My kids love going to school here. I feel they love it because they are challenged, but nurtured and they are respected, but know what is expected of them too. Mostly, because they have so much fun with their friends and teachers too. The school is moving next year to a bigger space as it is growing so fast. I feel this will greatly improve the quality of life of the students by having this bigger and better facility.
It is a small group, so it is nice to get to know most of the parents. The parent reps organize parent's nights out to help families get to know each other better too. I enjoy being involved, so I am often asked to participate and help when Scientist in School comes. I have gone on many field trips with the students. I have also given a presentation to each of the classes. There has been a great group of families here so far:)
The schools location is actually great, but it is out growing the current spot near Yonge and St Clair and it is moving to near Yonge and Davenport. So I can't speak on this point from experience, but the new location looks great too and it will be all brand new. I have seen the drawings and it looks wonderful for the kids. In the new facility the kids will be in the school or on the outside play areas and aren't allowed to leave the school unless consent is given.