At Greenwood, we foster each young person’s independence to venture further. We encourage our students to think independently, to persevere through obstacles, to maintain moral courage and to connect with their communities. Our supportive, co-ed community allows students to feel positive and engaged each day, while our trailblazing approach to personalized education challenges every student to realize their full potential.
Warm, small school atmosphere
Advanced Placement program
Full arts and athletic programs
Academic excellence achieved through personalized instruction
Core curriculum includes outdoor education and community service
SSAT not required
Learning at Greenwood College School during COVID-19
What learning looks like now: Our hybrid model allows courses to be delivered both in person and online simultaneously by the same teacher(s). Teachers can see, hear and respond to the students participating online via web conferencing, and students can see all of their teachers and classmates. This goal of this model is to deliver equivalent learning experiences whether a student is in the classroom or at home. This model also ensures that students who choose to learn from home, or who have to remain home for health reasons, can interact with their teachers and classmates in real time.
Safety protocols at Greenwood include mandatory masks/face coverings, physical distancing, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing, rigorous hand hygiene, staggered scheduling and directional signage . Access to the building is restricted to students, staff and essential visitors. Anyone entering the building must complete a screening form prior to entry.
Plans are currently underway for co-curricular offerings that provide students with choice while also observing heath and safety protocols. Many of these offerings may be online only at the beginning of the school year.
Gr. 7 - Gr. 12
What Greenwood College School says: Grade 7 and 8 students are in the school building 5 days per week. Grade 9-12 students have been divided into two cohorts, with approximately half of each grade in each cohort. Each day, one cohort is in the school building while the other participates in online classes synchronously.
Students have been further cohorted into smaller groupings. Grade 7-8 students are grouped into "pods" of no more than 20 students. Grade 9-12 classes are capped at 15 students. Mixing between pods and class groups is as limited as possible.
Having been founded in 2002, Greenwood is a relatively young school, though has grown in response to the needs of the families that enroll here, and the place that it has within the academic mosaic of the city. It still thinks of itself as a small school, and the lived experience is personal and close-knit. That said, at 475 students, it’s certainly not tiny, and the curricular and extracurricular programs benefit from the size. The current facility, opened in 2016, is an apt expression of the goals of the school, as well as the families that support it. It includes flexible learning spaces and up to date athletic and arts spaces. Greenwood, in some sense, still flies a bit below the radar in the public consciousness, though given the success and growth it’s experienced, that won’t last long. The ideal student is one able to thrive within an active, academically oriented learning environment.
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 Greenwood: Progressive
Greenwood has a Progressive approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Traditional, Liberal Arts, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).
[Show: About Progressive?]
Progressive (sometimes called "in- quiry-based") curricula attempt to place children's interests and ideas at the heart of the learning experience. Instead of lessons being driven by predetermined pathways, progressive curricula are often "emergent", with learning activities shaped by students' questions about the world. Instead of starting with academic concepts and then tying it to everyday experience, progressive methods begin with everyday experience and work back to an academic lesson. Teachers provide materials, experiences, tools and resources to help students investigate a topic or issue. Students are encouraged to explore, reflect on their findings, and discuss answers or solutions.
Curriculum at schools on OurKids.net
Progressive - 28%   Traditional - 42%   Liberal arts - 17%   Montessori - 10%   Reggio Emilia - 1%   Waldorf - 2%
What Greenwood says: Greenwood's personalized approach to teaching and learning is designed to support and challenge every student. We believe that when students are nurtured as individuals, they build their unique capacity to become confident forward thinkers both inside and outside the classroom. Delivering a personalized program means looking at how the “what, how, when and where” aspects of learning need to change to meet the needs of each individual student. Our teachers take time to understand every student’s unique personality, strengths and learning style. They can then design a fully personalized learning experience that sets up each student for engagement and success.
In traditional literature programs students focus on decoding the mechanics of texts: plot, characterization, and themes. These texts tend to include a balance of contemporary and “classic” literature. When studying a past work, students investigate its historical context -- but only insofar as this adds understanding to the work itself. Past works are therefore studied “on their own terms”, and not merely as historical artifacts to be deconstructed: traditional literature programs are firmly rooted in the humanities, and carry the belief that great literature can reveal fundamental and universal truths about the human condition. These programs emphasize class discussions and critical essay writing, and aim to develop in students critical thinking, communication skills, and a cultivated taste and ethos.
Literature at schools on OurKids.net
Traditional - 19%   Social justice - 4%   Equal balance - 77%
What Greenwood says: Students analyse literary texts from contemporary and historical periods.
What Greenwood says: Humanities and social sciences courses at Greenwood include Food & Culture (Grade 11), Introduction to Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology (Grade 11), World Religions and Belief Traditions: Perspectives, Issues, and Challenges (Grade 11), Challenge and Change in Society (Grade 12) and Philosophy: Questions and Theories (Grade 12).
The communicative method of language acquisition emphasizes the use of the target language in authentic contexts. The approach commonly features interactive group work, games, authentic texts, and opportunities to learn about the cultural background of the language. Drills and quizzes may still be used, but less frequently than with the audio-lingual method.
Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.
What Greenwood says: Students apply the elements and principles of design when exploring the creative process through drawing, painting, printmaking and mixed media. Students use the critical analysis process to reflect on and interpret art within a personal, contemporary and historical context.
A major effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy throughout the curriculum and in everything students do. Digital literacy is understood to be a fundamental skill in the 21st century: it therefore follows, the idea goes, that teachers should find ways to connect every lesson back to technology. Effort is made to ensure the use of technology is meaningful and advances students’ skills beyond what they would otherwise be from using computers outside the classroom.
Computers and Technology at schools on OurKids.net
Heavy integration - 33%   Light integration - 19%   Medium integration - 48%
What Greenwood says: Greenwood is designed for the digital native, with technology and collaboration tools fully integrated into our program. Students work on laptops throughout the day; students can purchase a laptop through the school or select their own learning device through the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program.
Sex and health education approach at Greenwood: Ontario curriculum
Greenwood 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 - 55%   Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 45%
Approach to sex and health education: Mostly value-neutral
Greenwood 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 Greenwood says: This information is not currently available.
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 Greenwood: Standard-enriched
Greenwood 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.
What Greenwood says: Courses at Greenwood are based on the Ontario curriculum. Differentiated instruction is used to allow students to learn in a variety of manners, including via blended learning, self-paced, collaborative, individual, and teacher-directed. We strive to guide students to develop intrapersonal, interpersonal, and cognitive skills.
Flexible pacing style
Flexible pacing style
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
What Greenwood says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.
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 Greenwood: Rigorous
Greenwood has a Rigorous approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Supportive approach).
[Show: About Rigorous?]
A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.
Academic Culture at schools on OurKids.net
Rigorous - 49%   Supportive - 51%
What Greenwood says: This information is not currently available.
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."
What Greenwood says: This information is not currently available.
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.
Greenwood offers Withdrawal Assistance
Students remain in a regular classroom for most of the day, but are pulled out for extra support from a qualified special education teacher.
Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD:
Summary: Support is dependent upon students’ individual needs. For example, if a student is struggling in one class, support would be given by the classroom teacher. If there is a pattern amongst many classes, the student's Adviser would facilitate a more fulsome intervention. This intervention will involve strategies such as enlisting parent support, supporting the growth of academic and executive functioning skills, and organizing an extra help schedule. Student supports and intervention progressively involve more people as needed.
After reviewing a psychoeducational report and seeking parent and teacher input, we may recommend that a student carry a reduced course load so they can access Student Success Centre (SSC) support. Students who do so receive a timetabled period in the SSC where they earn a Learning Strategies credit. Grade 12 students in need of SSC support can enrol in the Transition Skills Program, a non-credit course.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
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.
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."
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 (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.
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.
Dedicated gifted programs:
Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)
Curriculum delivery: Acceleration and enrichment (There is an equal emphasis on acceleration and enrichment.)
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.
In grade Gr. 12, Greenwood students perform an average of 2 hours of homework per night.
This school frequently "flips the classroom": asks students to learn material at home and do the "homework" in-class (with teacher support).
What Greenwood says about their flipped classroom policy: Homework time is set on an individual basis by students' Advisers.
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.
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.
What Greenwood says:
There are extracurricular opportunities at Greenwood for any interest, from arts to academics, offered through our Clubs program. Highlights include our Junior and Senior plays, band and choir, student leadership and House system, and Jack Chapter. We offer more than 40 athletics teams, with 80% of the student body participating in at least one sport.
Competitive sports: 15 Recreational sports: 1
Legend: Competitive offered Recreational offered
Track & Field
Greenwood College School offers 22 clubs and extracurricular programs.
This can depend on a number of factors, including the type of school, living arrangements, what’s included in tuition, school location, resources, and facilities. Many private schools in Canada have tuition that ranges between $6,000 and $12,000 a year. While some schools, such as schools which provide room and board, can be more expensive, many of these schools provide ways to defray the costs of tuition. For instance, they may offer merit-based scholarships or needs-based financial aid (often referred to as “bursaries” or “subsidies”).
What Greenwood says about their tuition: When comparing tuition at independent schools, it is important to consider what is and is not included in your fees. Unlike many schools, Greenwood’s tuition fees cover the majority of a student's activities, including all fees associated with the school's comprehensive outdoor education program from Grades 7 through 12 (with the exception of optional experiences).
Need-based financial aid
Greenwood College School does not offer need-based financial aid.
Merit based Scholarships
Greenwood College School does not offer merit-based financial awards.
Private schools come in all shapes and sizes. Some larger schools have enrolment numbers in the thousands, while some smaller schools have only a few dozen students. Boarding schools tend to be on the larger side, while alternative schools, such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf, are normally smaller. Besides the overall size of school, there are other important facts you’ll want to know about a school’s enrolment. For instance, here you can learn about a school’s enrolment for separate streams (if they have them), such as day and boarding, its average class size, and its average enrolment per grade.
Gr. 7 to Gr. 12
Average class size
15 to 19
% of international students (total enrolment)
Number of different nationalities within student population
Private schools in Canada have admissions policies. All schools have some required application materials, though these vary between schools. These may include letters of application, application fees, essays, and exams (such as the SSAT). Many schools also require interviews with prospective students, either with their parents, on their own, or both. Schools also have different standards and priorities when evaluating student applications, different acceptance rates (which may vary between grade levels), and target different kinds of students. To improve your child’s chances of acceptance, you should find out everything you can about a school’s admissions policies and how they assess applicants.
7 - 12
SSAT (out of province)
Day students: December 01, 2021 Offer mid-year entry:
Applying to Greenwood involves the following steps:
Complete the online application
Complete the Character Skills Snapshot (more information below)
Schedule an interview
All applicants are required to complete the Character Skills Snapshot (CSS), administered by the Enrollment Management Association. This online tool examines seven essential character qualities or “non-cognitive” attributes of individual students. Research shows that these qualities are the ones that independent schools feel are most important to nurture in their students. The CSS takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. Learn more about the CSS here.
Please note that an interview cannot be scheduled until the application is complete. Applications are considered complete when Greenwood has received:
At least one teacher recommendation form
The results of the applicant's Character Skills Snapshot
Acceptance Rate: 50%
This is the percentage of applicants typically accepted into the school. So if 50 students are admitted out of 100 applicants, the school has an overall acceptance rate of 50%.
Student Entry Points
This shows approximately how many openings there are likely to be in each grade in a typical year, as well as the estimated acceptance rate for each grade level.
Day Acceptance (Acceptance rate)
Type of student Greenwood is looking for:
Greenwood's assessment of student-applicants emphasizes character, personality, academic readiness and interest in personal growth. Among the questions we consider are the following:
• Does the applicant have the academic ability to complete the requirements leading to the Ontario Secondary School Diploma?
• Do the applicant and their family have values and experience or inclinations that are consistent with Greenwood’s ‘whole person’ approach to education?
• Is the applicant involved in the school life of their current school and in extra-curricular activities outside of school, and will they contribute in a positive way to the Greenwood community?
• What is the character of the applicant? Is the applicant supportive of others? How has the applicant dealt with previous challenges and opportunities?
• Is the applicant academically and otherwise engaged in life? Are they curious, interested in learning and excited about trying new experiences?
Where graduates of a school do their post-secondary studies can be an important factor in choosing a private school. Do you want your child to go to a Canadian university, an Ivy league school in the US, or some other institute? Regardless of your inclinations, take a look at a school’s university placement record, and the services they offer to support university applications and decisions.
Average graduating class size
Students accepted into post-secondary studies upon graduation
Percentage of students who attend post-secondary institutions outside of Canada
Students who attended a Ivy+ school
Number of students in the past 5 years that that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)
Greenwood College School Graduates’ Post-Secondary Studies:
This information is not currently available.
Aggregate of All Schools’ Post-Secondary Studies:
24% - Liberal Arts and Sciences 25% - Engineering and Applied Sciences 25% - Business/Commerce 5% - Fine and Performing Arts 14% - Applied Health Sciences 2% - Applied Professional Studies (Post-grad certificate / diploma) 6% - Other
Services Offered to Students
What Greenwood says:
When our graduates leave Greenwood, they do so with a few things in common. Our alumni are confident, tell you what’s on their minds, and are eager to contribute. They’re not intimidated by uncertainty. They have a sense of adventure and of themselves, and they're ready to explore what excites them – whether that’s volunteering with Doctors Without Borders, or pursuing a graduate degree at Cambridge.
Most popular university destinations include Queen's, Dalhousie, Western and McGill.
I am delighted that you are interested in finding out more about Greenwood College School. Greenwood is one of the great success stories within Toronto’s independent school community. Since opening our doors in 2002, we have grown from 72 students to our present enrolment in 2019-2020 of 498 students in Grades 7-12.
When our graduates leave Greenwood, they do so with a few things in common. Our alumni are confident, tell you what’s on their minds, and are eager to contribute. They’re not intimidated by uncertainty. They have a sense of adventure and of themselves. We find that families who choose Greenwood share that independent spirit, and want their child to develop the qualities they need to explore what excites them – whether that’s volunteering with Doctors Without Borders, or pursuing a graduate degree at Cambridge.
We hope you enjoy learning more about Greenwood, and we encourage you to visit our website to book a tour of the school. You will love what you see and hear.
Get better perspective on Greenwood College School
Join the Our Kids roundtable discussion about Greenwood College School. Alumni and current parents are answering questions and sharing their insights—about the school’s culture, strengths, and weaknesses.