REVIEW OF Delano Academy & Delano High BY parent, Sabrina Bartolini
- Date of Review
August 22, 2018
Gr. 5 - 5
(5) Student Experience
My kids love the one on one attention. They feel that their needs are met and understand the material easily. Whenever my kids aren't sure about a topic they feel very comfortable asking their teachers for help. The teachers have been accommodating and very attentive. This provides them the opportunity to overcome their timidness and gain confidence in their abilities. The material is presented in a way that is interesting and most importantly, applies to real world situations. For instance, my kids love their rewards system. Delano dollars are used to teach students the value of a dollar, responsibility, organization and reliability. They each are assigned a job each month, they are paid an imaginary income. Using this income they can use it to pay off the "mortgage" on their lockers. The kids love earning their Delano dollars so they can purchase prizes at the end of each month. I love it because it teaches them the value of a dollar and how to budget their money.
(5) School Leadership
Very loving staff, they treat your child like their own. It is very evident from they moment you walk in the door that each child is loved and respected. Every student is taught the IB principles. I feel very comfortable when leaving my children in the morning as I know that their needs are being met. If there any concerns, both teachers and administration keep parents informed. Also, if you have concerns do not hesitate to speak to the staff. The leadership ensures that the staff meet the standards of the school.
My children's teachers have been a great influence to my boys. They quickly respond to any concerns and follow through if they need to go over a topic. They make my children feel like they can always go for help. All children meet challenges at some point and I feel that the teachers welcome questions from their students. My children have always felt that they can ask their teachers questions about a challenging topic. The work is broken down into steps so that they can achieve sometimes what appears to be very difficult tasks. For instance, they build rubrics and checklists to tasks for speeches, their portfolios and Maker Faire projects. If the pace is too quick, each student's progress is individualized and students are challenged yet complete work at a manageable pace so it doesn't appear overwhelming.
I appreciate the IB program and never had really understood how the program worked. It encompasses the IB learner traits which simply means that all children work on and incorporate into their daily learning to be lifelong learners. They learn to be communicators, knowledgeable, inquirers, thinkers, principled with integrity, open minded, caring, reflective, balanced, risk takers. The culture of the IB learner profile is reviewed daily during morning assemblies and during the school day. My children came from the public system and I had noticed that over the course of just a few months they were speaking with more maturity and aware and owning their responsibilities at school. My children have excelled this year and I feel it has much to do with the close attention they receive in their small class of 14 and the IB program. It has made the world of difference coming from a class of 30 to a class of 14. The kids are enjoying their success.
They offer extra curriculars based on student interests. Because the school is small, the activities are geared towards the interests of what most kids would want to do. They weren't able to offer all the activities listed when we did an orientation before joining the school. This year they offered activities such as: soccer, basketball, coding, chess club, hockey/skating for instance. The extracurriculars are an additional cost. They run for approximately in 3 month increments.
The kids and staff have developed a family type of environment. All the students get along and show each other respect (which are the qualities that the school emphasizes). There are many opportunities for children to work collaboratively and build community. Events such as Anti-Bullying Day, Mother's Day High Tea, Remembrance Day Assembly, Father's Day Activity Day, Holiday concert and the Year End Celebration have provided the kids of all ages to connect and appreciate one another. My children have forged new friendships this year - despite the small school size. The school is small but it is not to be underestimated because it's spirit is loud and big! A great leadership opportunity for my kids this year was working with younger students weekly to help them in their classes. They felt like valued contributors to the school community.
(5) School Life
My kids are very happy and are getting an excellent education. My children love the school because of the attention they receive - their needs are met both academically, socially and emotionally. My children feel a great loyalty to their new friends and they love their teachers. There is no homework for students after school up until Grade 5 which has been incredibly important for our family. Our family has had more time to spend together in the evenings. During the day, the students work hard and they need to time to rest as well. Another aspect is the effective communication online with staff and students with their teachers. There is great emphasis on communication and collaboration using 21st century tools. My kids really enjoy working on their computers and especially their after school class, coding.
Parent involvement is definitely encouraged and welcome. There is a parent advisory council. Parents can join the council at the beginning of the school year. Parents play an integral in many of the school events, including the Delano Academy Gala. The staff are courteous and have always welcome my comments or questions. The online learning platform for students is accessible to parents. Parents are able to view their children's assignments, marks, attendance and correspond with the staff/administration. There is an online forum for admin to communicate to parents and parents can communicate their ideas and share information with other parents as well. Administration provides a weekly newsletter with upcoming information about the school and dates Lastly, both parents and grandparents are always welcome to school events - Grandparents Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and all other school events.
(3.5) School Location
The location is a bit obscure but they have neighboring resources the school can access: baseball diamonds, soccer fields, water park and hockey rink. The school location is in a korean community centre but the school uses some of its facilities e.g. auditorium, kitchen, gymnasium, cafeteria, and the downstairs acts as the school hub. The school area is designed really well for collaborative learning and a very welcoming environment.
I would recommend calling the school and scheduling an appointment for a tour. Ms. Palombo (Head of School) has always been gracious and welcomed myself and my husband for a meeting for whatever our concerns. She spent a lot of time with us and her one-on-one attention along with our kids enthusiasm for the school is what helped us decide to send our children to Delano. We just had a good feeling of Ms. Palombo, her passion for students and her school. The meeting was not stressful at all. Our children were given the opportunity to spend a day at the school to see how they liked the school. They spend the day in all the classes of their grade with a student leader to show them around and truly get the feel of being a student at Delano. After this day, your child will know if they want to be there and then it will be easy to sign up. Our kids were convinced and so so excited after that day. I'll never forget their excitement about them telling me about their day. Loved it.