Welcome to Our Kids.

We’re here to help you find the right school, the right way.

For more than 20 years we’ve worked with leading education and child development experts to explore and improve the school-choice process. The result is a robust suite of tools—used by over 2.6 million families every year—which enable you to choose your best-fit school among the 350+ profiled on this site.

We’re your virtual school-placement consultant: your personal guide to discovering, evaluating, and choosing the right school for your child.

To connect with hundreds of private schools, set up one-on-one meetings with them, and discuss your child’s fit, register for our October 3rd Private School Admissions Pathway.


Register for free access
Welcome to Our Kids

Interview on choosing the right school: Jane Kristoffy

Education expert Jane Kristoffy shares insights about choosing a private school for your child

Find a list of schools

Jane Kristoffy is an education consultant at Right Track Educational Services, an education consulting firm in Etobicoke, Ontario.

We asked her several questions related to the issue of choosing a school. We covered topics such as learning about schools, mistakes parents make, school culture, and extracurriculars. Here’s what she had to say.

For more expert advice on a wide range of questions related to school choice, read our comprehensive guide. You can also read our parent interviews on choosing a school, as well as  our in-depth advice guide on getting into a private school.

Q: To what extent is making a good school choice an art versus a science?
A: I think it's both. You need to have the facts, but at the end of the day, a kid needs to feel a sense of belonging. They need to fit into the community in order to thrive, so the most important things that I'll say to families, you have to go on a tour of every school of your choice A, B, C, and D. I say four. That's my minimum, and I'll even include the school down the street—your local public school. That's definitely a consideration.

Q: What’s the best way to find out about schools?
A: I like the families to go to the open houses, and the schools like the families to go to the open houses, because it's kind of like big bang for their buck. But I want kids in the schools doing the hustle and bustle when the classes are changing, when the announcements are on, when kids are walking to the washroom or to the office with the attendants. That's what I want families to be present for, so I always encourage people to go on tours in April and May and early October because I want the kids to have that visceral reaction to the school when they walk in the front door.

Does this feel like home to me? Can I imagine myself here? Is this too uptight or is it too stressful? Is there an anxiety in the air, or does it feel like I could really belong here? I think that the sense of belonging, the climate of the school, or the culture, is a crucial factor, and that's going to be different for everybody.


Q: What are some of the best ways to find out about the culture or community of a school?
A: You have to do a tour, and perhaps go on a second tour. Logistically if you're not going to the school down the street, it's a hassle. And so you have to do the research. I would say go online. Do a tour. Go to the open house. For your first-choice school, do the SSAT there. Talk to people. But when you're talking to people you have to remember that they're coming from their own story, so you've got to be very careful with what you take from that, but I think every single little bit of information is important.

Q: How important are extracurriculars in a child’s education?
A: I think that extracurriculars in a child's story is paramount. If you are really active in something outside of class. It enables children to pursue interests and passions they might not otherwise have the opportunity to.

Q: What are some common mistakes parents make in the decision-making process?
A: If parents aren't upfront about everything that that kid needs, they're not serving their child's interests. You've got to be honest with the school about exactly what it is your child needs because if that school doesn't have the resources to serve those needs, it's a waste of time and energy and money, and also the kid isn't going to fulfill their own potential because they won't thrive there.

Also, not going on a private tour. Not having a plan a, b, and c. Relying too much on reputations. Relying on outdated stories of a school.
 

Child-specific advice on school choice
For child-specific insights on choosing a school, read our guide. We explore how school choices crucially depend on kids' unique traits, such as their mental and academic focussocial tendenciesactivity level, academic interests (such as art and STEM), and other attributes (such as giftednessspecial needslearning disabilities, and social issues).

To get school-choice advice customized to your child's unique traitscreate a child profile through your user account.

Read our other education expert choosing interviews: Janyce LastmanAnn and Karen WolffElaine DansonUna MalcolmRuth RumackJoanne FosterIrina Valentin

Advertisement
Find Private Schools:

In the spotlight:

Latest Articles


October 29, 2020
Choosing a school based on children’s learning interests
Exploring your child's school fit based on their academic interests

October 29, 2020
Choosing a school based on special needs
Exploring children with special needs' school fit

October 26, 2020
One College, Four Schools – A Journey of Learning with Joy and Purpose
Personalized education from toddler to teenager at Hillfield Strathallan College

October 22, 2020
The benefits of a bilingual education
The main advantages of going to a bilingual school

October 15, 2020
Comparing the Canadian, American, and British school systems
What’s the difference between the Canadian, US, and British education systems?
Our Kids The Trusted Source
Our Kids The Trusted Source

By logging in or creating an account, you agree to Our Kids' Terms and Conditions. Information presented on this page may be paid advertising provided by the advertisers [schools/camps/programs] and is not warranted or guaranteed by OurKids.net or its associated websites. By using this website, creating or logging into an Our Kids account, you agree to Our Kids' Terms and Conditions. Please also see our Privacy Policy. Our Kids ™ © 2020 All right reserved.

Sign up to receive our exclusive eNews twice a month.

You can withdraw consent by unsubscribing anytime.

Name
Email
verification image, type it in the box
Our Kids From Our Kids, Canada’s trusted source for private schools, camps, and extracurriculars.