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Don Valley Academy:
The Our Kids Report > Academics
Grades 9 TO 12 — Toronto, ON (Map)


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Don Valley Academy:
THE OUR KIDS REPORT
REPORT CONTENTS:

Don Valley Academy ACADEMICS & EXTRACURRICULARS

Curriculum Traditional

[Show definition of Curriculum]

Central to your child's school experience is the underlying curriculum taught in the classroom. "Curriculum" refers to both what is taught and how it's taught. When considering the different curricula outlined in the next few pages, keep in mind that few schools fall neatly into one category or another. Most schools' curricula comprise a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. Having said that, most schools do have a general overall curriculum type. These are identified for each school on OurKids.net.

Curriculum approach at Don Valley Academy: Traditional

Don Valley Academy has a Traditional approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Liberal Arts, Progressive, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).

[Show: About Traditional?]

Traditional curricula tend to be very content-based and rooted in the core disciplines. It is a structured approach that involves the teacher delivering a unified curriculum through direct instruction. Students usually learn by observing and listening to their teacher, studying facts and concepts in textbooks, and completing both tests and written assignments - which challenge students to not only demonstrate their mastery of content but their ability to analyze and deconstruct it critically. Class discussions are also used to create critical dialogue around the content of the curriculum.

Curriculum at schools on OurKids.net:
  Traditional - 41%
  Liberal arts - 14%
  Progressive - 32%
  Montessori - 11%
  Reggio Emilia - 0%
  Waldorf - 2%

What Don Valley Academy says about their overall curriculum and approach:

Don Valley Academy is dedicated to providing programs that meet the individual needs of each student. Whether a student needs extra attention, or is gifted and requires a challenge, our school provides a personalized success plan that guides each student to achieve his or her goals. Particular focus is given to developing and refining study skills and research techniques, as well as fostering motivation and time management. The customized approach in a Don Valley Academy classroom not only provides our students with a strong background in a particular subject area; it helps to build stronger, more confident students. Keeping classes small allows our teachers to maintain the individual attention and close relationships we believe are essential to helping our students face challenges, overcome obstacles, and develop confidence. Our students are encouraged and supported to take ownership of their own education, they become increasingly aware of their personal learning style, and effectively develop the skills and the confidence necessary for success in university and beyond.


Approach

Focus
Academic

Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics

    Equal Balance

    Mathematics approach at Don Valley Academy: Equal Balance

    Don Valley Academy has an Equal Balance approach to Mathematics (as opposed to Traditional Math, Discovery Math approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.

    Mathematics at schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 69%
      Traditional math - 26%
      Discovery math - 5%

    What Don Valley Academy says:

    This information is not currently available.

    Textbooks and supplementary materials:

    This information is not currently available.

    Calculator policy:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Science

    Equal Balance

    Science approach at Don Valley Academy: Equal Balance

    Don Valley Academy has an Equal Balance approach to Science (as opposed to Expository, Inquiry approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    Science programs that balance expository and inquiry learning equally will likely have an equal blend of tests and experiments; direct, textbook-based instruction and student-centred projects.

    Science at schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 70%
      Expository - 5%
      Inquiry - 25%

    Teaching approach:

    This information is not currently available.


    Treatment of evolution:

    Subjectoffered
    Evolution as consensus theory
    Evolution as one of many equally viable theories
    Evolution is not taught

    Topics covered in curriculum:

    Subjectoffered
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Ecology
    Geology
    Meteorology
    Physics
    Physiology
    Zoology
  • Literature

    Equal Balance

    Literature approach at Don Valley Academy: Equal Balance

    Don Valley Academy has an Equal Balance approach to Literature (as opposed to Traditional, Social Justice approach).

    [Show: About Equal Balance?]

    These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.

    Literature at schools on OurKids.net:
      Equal balance - 75%
      Traditional - 22%
      Social justice - 3%

    What Don Valley Academy says:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Humanities and Social Sciences

    What Don Valley Academy says:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Foreign Languages

    What Don Valley Academy says:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Fine Arts


    Program offers:

    Subjectoffered
    Acting
    Dance
    Drama/Theatre
    Graphic Design
    Music
    Visual Arts

    What Don Valley Academy says:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Computers and Technology

    What Don Valley Academy says:

    This information is not currently available.


    Program covers:

    Subjectoffered
    Computer science
    Robotics
    Web design
  • Physical Education

    What Don Valley Academy says:

    This information is not currently available.

  • Advanced Placement courses

    This information is not currently available.
  • Sex and health education

    Ontario curriculum

    Sex and health education approach at Don Valley Academy: Ontario curriculum

    Don Valley Academy has an Ontario curriculum approach to Sex and health education (as opposed to Does not follow prrovincialcurriculum approach).

    [Show: About Ontario curriculum?]

    The structure, pacing, focus, and tone of the sex education curriculum reflects that of the provincial one, taught in public schools.

    Sex and health education at schools on OurKids.net:
      Follows provincial curriculum - 60%
      Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 40%

    Approach to sex and health education: Mostly value-neutral

    Don Valley Academy has a approach Mostly value-neutral (as opposed to Fairly value-based approach).
    [Show: About Mostly value-neutral?]

    By and large, students are taught about sex free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. The school doesn't impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on students when teaching sex and related issues.

    What Don Valley Academy says:

    This information is not currently available.

Language English

Learn about Don Valley Academy's languages of instruction and enrolment.

Don Valley Academy offers English as the primary language of instruction.

Language of enrolment include: English

Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

[Show definition of Curriculum Pace]

This refers to the rate at which students move through the curriculum (e.g., topics, textbook material, skills, etc.). Curriculum pace is often defined in comparison to provincial standards.

Curriculum Pace approach at Don Valley Academy: Standard-enriched

Don Valley Academy has a Standard-enriched approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Accelerated, Student-paced approach).

[Show: About Standard-enriched?]

Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

Curriculum Pace at schools on OurKids.net:
  Standard-enriched - 59%
  Accelerated - 18%
  Student-paced - 23%

What Don Valley Academy says about their curriculum pace:

This information is not currently available.


Flexible pacing style

Type Offered
Subject-streaming (tracking)
Multi-age classrooms as standard
Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
Regular guided independent study opportunities
Differentiated assessment

What Don Valley Academy says about their flexible pacing:

This information is not currently available.

Academic Culture Supportive

[Show definition of Academic Culture]

Through the collective mindset of teachers, administrators, students, and parents, each school develops and maintains its own academic culture. This generally relates to the norms and expectations created around academic performance. Many parents look to private schools because they want a specific type of culture. Some want a rigorous environment that will elevate their child to new heights. Others want a nurturing environment that will help their child develop a passion for learning.

Academic Culture approach at Don Valley Academy: Supportive

Don Valley Academy has a Supportive approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Rigorous approach).

[Show: About Supportive?]

A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.

Academic Culture at schools on OurKids.net:
  Supportive - 49%
  Rigorous - 51%

What Don Valley Academy says about their academic culture:

Students at Don Valley Academy benefit from the individual support available with their teachers to reach their full potential. The close relationship with their teachers challenge and inspire students to push themselves to meet or exceed their academic goals. Almost all of the graduating students are preparing for future University and College programs.

Developmental priorities Balanced

[Show definition of Developmental priorities]

Schools have specific goals regarding how they want their educate and develop their students. This is part of a school's overall philosophy or vision, which is contained in its mission statement. While they tend have several developmental aims, schools tend to priortize certain aims, such as intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional, or physical development.

Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced

Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation.

Secondary Developmental Priority: Emotional

The goal is to cultivate "emotionally intelligent and confident individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others."

What Don Valley Academy says about their developmental priorities:

We are dedicated to providing educational programs that meet the needs of each student. Our aims are: ~ To develop respectful, passionate, and motivated students ~ To build a community of learners where each individual is respected and valued ~ To inspire and challenge

Special needs support Partial Integration

[Show definition of Special needs support]

Schools offer a wide range of approaches and services to support students with special needs. This may include individualized learning, one-on-one support, small classes, resource rooms, and learning aids. These supports may be provided in a number of different environments such as a dedicated special needs school or class, an integrated class, a withdrawal class, or a regular class with resource support or in-class adaptations.

Don Valley Academy offers Partial Integration

Students are placed in a separate special education class, but are strategically integrated into a regular classroom for certain periods.

A - Forms of Support
Accommodation:
Modification:
Remediation:
B - Environments
Indirect Support:
Resource Assistance:
Withdrawal Assistance:
Partial Integration:
Full-Time Class:

Special NeedNeed
Forms of SupportA
EnvironmentsB
ADHD
  • Learning disabilities
    Dyslexia (Language-Based Learning Disability)
    This is a learning disability that can limit a child's ability to read and learn. It can have a variety of traits. A few of the main ones are impaired phonological awareness and decoding, problems with orthographic coding, and auditory short-term memory impairment.
    Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
    This is a sound differentiation disorder involving problems with reading, comprehension, and language.
    Dyscalculia
    This is a kind of specific learning disability in math. Kids with this math disorder have problems with calculation. They may also have problems with math-related concepts such as time and money.
    Dysgraphia
    This is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.
    Language Processing Disorder
    This is characterized by having extreme difficulty understanding what is heard and expressing what one wants to say. These disorders affect the area of the brain that controls language processing.
    Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
    These involve difficulties interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. They're usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial, and social skills.
    Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
    A characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD. It can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.
  • Developmental
    Autism
    Refers to a range of conditions that involve challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech and nonverbal communication. They also involve unique strengths and differences. For instance, there are persons with both low- and high-functioning autism (some claim the latter is identical to Asperger's syndrome).
    Asperger's Syndrome
    On the autism spectrum, Asperger's is considered quite mild in terms of symptoms. While traits can vary widely, many kids with Asperger's struggle with social skills. They also sometimes fixate on certain subjects and engage in repetitive behaviour.
    Down syndrome
    his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
    Intellectual disability
    This is a condition characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning (e.g., reasoning, learning, and problem solving). Intellectual disabilities are also known as general learning disabilities (and used to be referred to as a kind of mental retardation).
    Williams syndrome
    This is a rare genetic disorder present at birth. It is characterized by intellectual disabilities or learning problems, unique facial features, and cardiovascular problems.
    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These may include growth deficits, facial anomalies, and damage to the central nervous system, which can lead to cognitive, behavioural, and other problems.
  • Behavioral and Emotional
    Troubled behaviour / troubled teens
    roubled teens tend to have problems that are intense, persistent, and can lead to quite unpredictable behaviour. This can lead to behavioural and emotional issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behaviour, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
    Clinical Depression
    This is a mental health disorder also called "major depression." It involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in daily activities, such as school, work, or one's social life.
    Clinical anxiety
    This is a mood disorder involving intense, relentless feelings of distress and fear. They can also have excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations, and repeated episodes of intense anxiety or terror.
    Suicidal thoughts
    This involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.
    Drug and alcohol abuse
    This involves the excessive use of drug and/or alcohol, which interferes with daily functioning.
    Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
    This is a disruptive behavioural disorder which normally involves angry outbursts, often directed at people of authority. This behaviour must last continuously for six months or more and significantly interfere with daily functioning.
  • Physical
    Multiple sclerosis
    This is a condition of the central nervous system. It affects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of motor control, memory loss, depression, and cognitive difficulties.
    Cerebral palsy
    his refers to a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. CP is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.
    Muscular dystrophy
    Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
    Spina Bifida
    This is a condition present at birth due to the incomplete formation of the spine and spinal cord. It can lead to a number of physical challenges, including paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder incontinence, hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), and deformities of the spine.
    Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
    This is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Also known as "sensory integration disorder," it affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech.
    Blindness
    Visual impairment is a decreased ability or inability to see that can't be fixed in usual ways, such as with glasses. Some people are completely blind, while others have what's called "legal blindness."
    Deafness
    Hearing impairment, also known as "hearing loss," is a partial or total inability to hear. The degree of hearing impairment varies between people. It can range from complete hearing loss (or deafness) to partial hearing loss (meaning the ears can pick up some sounds).
    Cystic Fibrosis
    Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
    Multiple physical
    Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.

Read our guide to special needs schools and special education


Academic support

TypeOffered
Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties

Mild but clinically diagnosed learning disabilities

TypeOffered
Accommodations
Modifications
Extra support

Additional support

TypeOffered
Social skills programs
Occupational therapy
Psychotherapy
Speech-language therapy

Gifted learner support In-class adaptations

[Show definition of Gifted learner support]

Schools support students with gifted or advanced learning abilities in a several ways. Whether they offer a full-time gifted program or part-time support, they normally provide some form of accelerated learning (delivering content at a faster pace) or enrichment (covering content more broadly or deeply). Many schools also offer a wide range of in-class adaptations to support advanced learners, such as guided independent studies, project-based learning, and career exploration.

Curriculum Delivery: This information is not currently available.


In-class adaptations

Program Offered
Custom subject enrichment (special arrangement)
Custom curriculum compacting (special arrangement)
Guided independent study (custom gifted arrangement)
Cyber-learning opportunities (custom gifted arrangement)
Formalized peer coaching opportunities (specifically for gifted learners to coach others)
Custom subject acceleration (special arrangement)
Career exploration (custom gifted arrangement)
Project-based learning (custom gifted arrangement)
Mentorships (custom gifted arrangement)

What Don Valley Academy says about their gifted learner support:

This information is not currently available.

Homework Policy

[Show definition of Homework Policy]

Homework is work that's assigned to students for completion outside of regular class time. There's a long-standing debate over homework. Should homework be assigned to school-age children? If so, in what grades? And how much homework should be assigned? In selecting the right school for your child, it's important to look closely at a school's homework policy.

Nightly homework

In grade Gr. 12, Don Valley Academy students perform an average of 2 hours of homework per night.

9101112
Don Valley Academy60 mins60 mins90 mins120 mins
Site Average75 mins86 mins102 mins111 mins

What Don Valley Academy says about their flipped classroom policy:

This information is not currently available.

Report Card Policy

[Show definition of Report Card Policy]

While all schools measure individual progress and achievement in students, they have different ways of doing this. For instance, many traditional schools gauge progress through report cards, which give students lettered or numbered grades. Other schools, meanwhile, measure progress in other ways, either in addition to or instead of giving grades. For instance, they may offer prose-based feedback (i.e, comments), academic achievement reporting, habits and behaviour reporting, and parent-teacher meetings. In choosing the right school for your child, take a close look at its policy for measuring the individual progress of students.

How assessments are delivered across the grades

TypeGrades
Lettered or numbered gradesGr. 9 to Gr. 12
Habits and behaviour reportingGr. 9 to Gr. 12

Extracurricular Activities

While academics remain the priority for most private schools, many also place a strong focus on a well-rounded education and encourage participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, arts, or clubs. Involvement in extracurriculars helps stimulate students in their studies, makes them more motivated to learn, and can make school more enjoyable and fulfilling. Extracurricular activities can also provide students with a much-needed break from the stresses of academics, while helping them to develop skills and allowing them to take part in valuable social situations.

Sports offered

Don Valley Academy offers 0 competitive sports and 0 recreational sports.

  Competitive offered          Recreational offered
all sports]
  • Archery
  • Curling
  • Ultimate
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Cricket
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Cycling
  • Downhill skiing
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Figure Skating
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Ice Hockey
  • Ice Skating
  • Lacrosse
  • Martial Arts
  • Mountain biking
  • Racquet Ball
  • Rowing
  • Rugby
  • Running
  • Sailing
  • Skateboarding
  • Snowboarding
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Squash
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball
  • Weightlifting
  • Wrestling

Clubs offered

Don Valley Academy offers 3 clubs and extracurricular programs.

  Clubs offered           Clubs not offered
all clubs and programs]
  Foreign Language Club
  Habitat for Humanity
  Jazz Ensemble
  Math Club
  Musical theatre/Opera
  Ballet and Classical Ballet
  Online Magazine
  Outdoor Club
  Outdoor Education
  Paintball
  Photography
  Poetry/Literature club
  Radio club
  Robotics club
  Round Square
  School newspaper
  Science Club
  Scouting
  Student Council
  Yearbook
  Yoga
  Animation
  Art Club
  Astronomy Club
  Audiovisual Club
  Band
  Chess Club
  Choir
  Community Service
  Computer Club
  Dance Club
  Debate Club
  Drama Club
  Environmental Club


THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Don Valley Academy

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