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Elmwood School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Preschool TO Gr. 12 — Ottawa, ON (Map)

Elmwood School:

Interview with Elmwood School Alum, Fumi Shibutani

Fumi Shibutani graduated from Elmwood School in 2016. She enjoyed the small class sizes, and the one-on-one attention teachers could give each student during her time there. Elmwood School instilled values such as caring and tolerance, and Fumi remembers participating in many volunteer and fundraising opportunities that benefited the greater community. The school showed its forward-thinking by incorporating technology into lesson plans as an integral part of the curriculum. Fumi believes that the school has helped improve her leadership skills and confidence and taught her the importance of risk-taking. She is now working towards her bachelor’s degree at the University of Toronto.

Video Contents

Highlights from the interview

  • Teachers and students at Elmwood School tried to instill in each other and themselves things like being caring, being tolerant, and being risk-takers.

  • What I most appreciated about Elmwood School was the diversity of the experiences I was given. Students were also really encouraged to give back to the community. We participated in things like things like ‘Run for the Cure,’ breast cancer awareness in the fall and being able to participate in fundraisers in our health system. Having that awareness instilled from a young age, and being able to gain that compassion and empathy is something that I appreciate that I had the experience of having.

  • A lot of private schools have small class sizes, and that's one thing that differentiates it from public school. One thing that makes Elmwood School special is the SLG system. So in most schools, we have a traditional homeroom with just students in your grade. At Elmwood School in high school, students have the unique opportunity to be in an SLG, which is like a homeroom, but it consists of students in Grades 9 to 12, and you have the same teacher throughout. I think what makes it special is that you're new to high school as a Grade 9 and 10 student, so you haven't experienced what high school life is like yet. So being able to have Grade 11’s and 12’s in that same homeroom every day, it's great to have that mentorship, have someone to look up to and ask advice from.

  • Elmwood School’s personality traits are spirited, welcoming, and forward-thinking. Elmwood School has a house system, where you're sorted into a house, and any ‘spirit afternoon,’ you are in that house, competing in some friendly competition and athletic events. Elmwood School has a house system interwoven into so many aspects of school life, from sports, spirit afternoons, and fundraising events, and it feels like everyone comes together and appreciates that house that they're put into.

  • Elmwood School is forward-thinking in terms of how well technology is integrated into so many aspects of school life. It's a big part of our curriculum, how they conduct our work, and how they do things in the classroom. Making sure that they’re ahead of the curve technologically is something important to Elmwood School.

  • At Elmwood School, I saw a willingness to give back to the community. There's that inherent care of the people around us and giving back to make the world around us a better place for everyone.

  • Being caring, being tolerant, and being risk-takers are big traits communicated at Elmwood School. Beyond that, the school promotes being a lifelong learner and global citizen.

  • What new Elmwood School students would find surprising would be how welcoming the whole community is. Coming in, it's really easy to find a sense of community and integrate yourself with other students who have similar interests and find a sense of belonging, no matter what you're interested in.

  • In many ways Elmwood School made me more confident in myself and my ability to be a leader.

  • Elmwood School gave me a chance to develop my leadership skills and to nurture that quiet style of leadership that I don't know if I would have had in other places.

  • I've come to appreciate how small the class sizes were at Elmwood School and how tight-knit the community was. It was great having that one-on-one engagement with the teachers, but also just having a much smaller student population where you felt like you knew everyone. Those are things that I appreciate in hindsight. So number one would be the small class sizes. I think that one on one engagement with the teachers is so important. Getting that attention, asking questions, and being in a supportive environment are super important. The second one would be the community, and I’m not just talking about the teachers and students, but also the supporting staff. They were so supportive, and they make things run smoothly at the school.

  • I had a teacher at Elmwood School who worked with me from Grade 8, up until I was applying to universities. I think having that connection with one person who can see you grow from a young teenager to that university application stage has been just such an amazing experience. I've been so lucky to have that. So as with any big decision, I'd say do research, speak to the students, talk to the teachers, and see whether or not Elmwood School's curriculum has what you're looking for for your child. Go in for that taste of it to experience what Elmwood School has to offer. By going and seeing things in action, you can get a sense of whether or not you feel like it'd be the right school for you. I think that is an important thing to consider when choosing a school.

  • If students put their all into it, really try hard, explore different opportunities and forge those relationships, it allows them to benefit from the amazing opportunities that Elmwood School has to offer.


More about Elmwood School

Back to Elmwood School overview

Our Kids Feature Review

The 50-page review of Elmwood School is part of our series of in-depth accounts of Canada's leading private schools. It provides a unique and objective perspective on the school's academics, programs, culture, and community.

Read our in-depth review

More video reviews

Roundtable Q&A (2020)

Watch our Elmwood School Q&A discussion with Sigil (Alum), Ryan Schwartz (Parent), Julie (Parent) to gain fresh insight into the school’s culture, values, and strengths.

Parent, Swathi Kappagantula (2022)

Watch our parent interview with Swathi Kappagantula to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Elmwood School.

Parent, Ryan Schwartz (2022)

Watch our parent interview with Ryan Schwartz to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Elmwood School.
See all video reviews (5 total)


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