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Girls' schools encourage girls to be themselves

How a girls' education inspires individuality and builds confidence

"It's kind of easy to be yourself here - you pretty much don't have to worry about what other people are thinking, or about impressing boys," says Alison, a student at St. Clement's School, an all-girls' school in Toronto, Ontario. The Grade 8 student, who's attended the school since Grade 1, says she enjoys the strong sense of camaraderie she enjoys with her peers, and the ability to focus on academics without any interruptions. Read more


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List of all-girls' schools

 
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  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Buena Vista Road/Springfield Road
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • $13,960 to $26,960

Elmwood School is Ottawa's pre-eminent school for girls from JK to Grade 12. Our high academic standards, small class sizes and safe, supportive environment ensure that each girl is inspired to reach her full potential.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • International Baccalaureate
Elmwood School 13960 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Spadina/St Clair Ave W
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $32,860 to $62,250

Located in Toronto, The Bishop Strachan School is Canada's oldest independent JK to Grade 12 day and boarding school for girls, welcoming students from Toronto and around the world.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Progressive
The Bishop Strachan School 32860 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Oakville, Ontario
  • PS to 12 Girls
  • $18,000 to $28,430

Oakville's SMLS continues to be a premier independent school for girls Preschool to Graduating Year since 1891. "Millie" graduates take on the world with confidence and the knowledge that they can do anything.

  • Day
  • Progressive
  • Reggio Emilia
St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School 18000 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Bloor Street East/Mount Pleasant Road
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $33,630 to $66,805

Branksome Hall is Toronto’s only all-girls, all-years International Baccalaureate (IB) World School.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
Branksome Hall 33630 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    York Mills/Leslie
  • NS to 12 Girls/Coed
  • $14,500 to $36,500

Hawthorn School is an all-girls school in Toronto that offers programs from toddler to grade 12. Our unique mentoring program is tailored to each girl to help them reach their full potential.

  • Homestay/Day
  • Liberal Arts
Hawthorn School 14500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Day Day Girls Coed
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Lawrence Avenue West/Avenue Road
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $33,850 to $61,900

Havergal College is an all-girls school in Toronto for students in JK to Grade 12. Preparing Young Women to Make a Difference Since 1894.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Liberal Arts
Havergal College 33850 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Yonge/St. Clair
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $16,800 to $22,600

The Linden School provides a challenging academic program for girls from JK - Grade 12. We create opportunities to discover the joys of learning and foster the development of critical thinking and physical well-being.

  • Day
  • Progressive
The Linden School 16800 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $14,180 to $65,490

St. Margaret's School (est. 1908) is an independent school in Victoria, BC, offering empowering education for girls from JK to Grade 12. At SMS, girls don't just get equal opportunity; they get every opportunity.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Traditional
St. Margaret's School 14180 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls
  • Montreal, Quebec
    Atwater/Docteur-Penfield
  • 7 to 12 Girls
  • $16,850 to $55,271

Since 1861, The Sacred Heart School of Montreal, the city’s only all girls English Catholic high school, has been graduating exceptional leaders. Grade 12 will be offered beginning in 2019-2020.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Traditional
The Sacred Heart School of Montreal 16850 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Day Girls
  • Whitby, Ontario
    Garden Street/Hwy. 2
  • 4 to 12 Girls
  • $23,450 to $62,490

Located in Whitby, Trafalgar Castle School is an all-girls day and boarding school inspiring students in Grades 4-12. For nearly 150 years, Trafalgar Castle girls have become women of impact.

  • Boarding/Day
  • Liberal Arts
Trafalgar Castle School 23450 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Girls
  • Mississauga, Ontario
    Mississauga Rd/Dundas St W
  • 5 to 12 Girls
  • $17,950

Holy Name of Mary College School in Mississauga, is an independent Catholic school for girls in grades 5-12 offering an enriched university preparatory programme. The average class size is 12 students.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Holy Name of Mary College School 17950 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • JK to 12 Girls
  • $22,900

With over 120 years of excellence in all-girls’ education, our rigorous academic program is complemented by strong arts, design technology and athletic programs. Financial assistance is available.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Crofton House School 22900 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • London, Ontario
    Richmond Street/King Street
  • 9 to 12 Coed/Boys/Girls
  • $11,000 to $41,900

A Canadian Private Secondary Co-ed Boarding school, located in downtown London, Ontario. LIA offers academic courses from Grades 9-12 and is authorized to grant the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

  • Day/Boarding
  • Traditional
  • International Baccalaureate
London International Academy 11000 HighSchools Day Boarding Boarding Coed Boys Girls
  • Montreal, Quebec
    chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine/Avenue Claude Champagne
  • 7 to 11 Girls
  • $4,950 to $15,400

École secondaire francophone privée pour jeunes filles située à Outremont, Qc. Les frais de scolarité sont de 4 500 $ par année. Elle offre les profils Éducation internationale, Danse-études et Musique-études.

  • Day/Boarding
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie 4950 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls

The Study  

  • Westmount, Quebec
    The Boulevard/Place Breaside
  • K to 11 Girls
  • $19,230 to $21,655

The Study, founded in 1915, is one of Canada's premier all-girls' school. Dedicated teachers offer a warm and stimulating bilingual mother-tongue environment from kindergarten to grade 11. The World Needs Great Women.

  • Day
  • Progressive
The Study 19230 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Westmount, Quebec
    Mount Pleasant Avenue/Cedar Avenue
  • K to 11 Girls
  • $18,763 to $21,417

Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School is a Tier 1 school for girls in Kindergarten through Grade 11, located in Westmount, Quebec. For every girl who has a mind of her own, we have a school to nurture it.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Miss Edgar's & Miss Cramp's School 18763 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Toronto, Ontario
    Yonge St./Eglinton Ave.
  • 1 to 12 Girls
  • $30,750

St. Clement's School develops outstanding women who are intellectually curious, courageous, and compassionate.

  • Day
  • Liberal Arts
St. Clement's School 30750 Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Girls
  • Ottawa, Ontario
    Iris St/Woodroffe Ave
  • JK to 8 Girls
  • $15,750

In our all-girls environment, academic achievement in both official languages is the norm. A Joan of Arc Academy bilingual education prepares the women leaders for the challenges of tomorrow. Come and see the difference.

  • Day
  • Progressive
Joan of Arc Academy / Academie Jeanne d'Arc 15750 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Girls

"I like all the house spirit. At a coed school, it might be uncool to be spirited, but here, everyone is," Alison says. "It's also probably a bit easier at an all-girls school because you get rid of all the distractions and the gossip, and it minimizes the drama."

The social and academic benefits to which Alison is referring are backed up by the facts. A March 2009 study released by the University of California, Los Angeles found that female graduates of single-sex high schools in the United States were more academically oriented, intellectually confident and politically engaged.

"In an all-girls' learning environment, girls are encouraged to express themselves and to take healthy risks they might not otherwise try in a coed environment," says Susan Beck, executive director of The National Coalition of Girls' Schools.

"They're also surrounded by other girls performing at the highest level in every area, so there's lots of positive reinforcement."

When it came to academics and career ambitions, the study found that the single-sex school grads were more comfortable with their abilities in traditionally male-oriented areas: they had greater confidence in their math and computer skills, and were more likely to begin college aspiring to become engineers.

Science happens to be Alison's favourite subject, one she says she'd like to pursue further upon graduating: "I'd like to study it at Queen's University or the University of Toronto, and then possibly go into the health sciences field."

Alison's success at school and beyond is bolstered by LINCwell, an innovative female-oriented student enrichment initiative at St. Clement's that's designed to help students achieve their academic, co-curricular and personal goals. Customized to the developmental needs of girls, the holistic program includes yoga, tai chi and Pilates classes, school-life balance support, study skill-building seminars, and nutrition and brain development workshops.

"What we're hoping to do, through LINCwell and through girls' education in general, is to affirm that the unique strengths these girls have in communication, emotional connectedness and relationships are valuable to being leaders," says Dr. Leanne Foster, director of the LINCwell program. "We're laying the foundation that allows them to launch themselves and go further."

—Sharon Aschaiek

Series: Girls Schools

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