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THE OUR KIDS REPORT:
Guiding Light Academy

Grades JK TO 8 — Mississauga, ON (MAP)

Guiding Light Academy:
THE OUR KIDS REPORT
REPORT CONTENTS:

Pages in this report:

  • Grades
    JK — 8
  • Gender
    Coed
  • Class Size
    5 — 16 students
  • Tuition
    $11,000/year
  • Language of instruction
    English
  • Associations
    N/A
  • Enrollment
    100 day students
  • Curriculum
    Traditional & Montessori
  • EBROCHURE
    N/A

School address

  • 225 Broadway Street, Mississauga, Ontario, L5M 1J1 (MAP)

Our Perspective

How we see Guiding Light Academy


One of the reasons that private school is attractive is because there is no assumption that one size fits all, and Guiding Light is a great example of that. It presents both traditional and Montessori instruction in consort with the values and lessons of the Catholic church. It’s not for everyone, though for some, it provides a strikingly tailored fit. The ideal family is one that is active within the Catholic faith and looking for a school that will support that spiritual life. Families who enroll are drawn by the strength of the academic program, as well as by the breadth of extra-curricular offerings, all offered within a very close-knit school community. There is no other school like it, and for the families that enrol, that's perhaps Guiding Light's greatest strength. 

School's Perspective

How Guiding Light Academy sees itself


The school administration answered our questions

Who are you, as a school?

"Guiding Light Academy is a Catholic private elementary school in Streetsville, Mississauga. We offer an enriched curriculum for JK, SK & Grades 1 to 8 that far exceeds the Ontario standard. We focus on spiritual development, academic excellence & an extensive co-curricular program that includes music, gymnastics, sport, drama, elocution & dance. The Spiritual Guidance is under the full responsibility of The Heralds of the Gospel & Lumen Veritatis Academy. Each school day begins with Daily Mass at our local Parish."

  • Catholic private education from Kindergarten to Grade 8
  • Faith Based Environment that teaches all students the foundations of the Catholic Faith
  • Daily Mass at the Local parish
  • Accelerated Academic program using Guiding Light Academy's propriety blended curriculum & workbooks
  • Accelerated French Program from Jk to Grade 8 includes DELF examinations
  • Themed learning weeks for students to develop an attachment to a particular subject
  • Accelerated French Program from Jk to Grade 8 includes DELF examinations
  • Graduating Students test into IB programs, AP programs or other Private Schools
  • Extensive Co-curricular program includes professional voice training, public speaking and sports

What do you do differently and uniquely well?

This information is not available.

Why do families choose you over schools they compare you to?

This information is not available.

What might families find surprising about your school?

This information is not available.

What aspect of your school is underappreciated?

This information is not available.

What five facts about your school tell your story?

This information is not available.


School Videos

Insider Perspectives

How people from the school’s community see Guiding Light Academy


Video reviews of Guiding Light Academy

Parent, Lucas & Lilian Vivas (2021)

Watch our parent interview with Lucas & Lilian Vivas to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Guiding Light Academy.

Roundtable Q&A (2021)

Watch our Guiding Light Academy Q&A discussion with Miriam (Alumnus), Michael (Parent), Slavic (Parent) to gain fresh insight into the school’s culture, values, and strengths.

Written reviews of Guiding Light Academy

(5)

Parent, Candice Carneiro (2022)

Gr. PS to 2 (current), Gr. PS to 5 (current) — As a first-time parent, entrusting your child to the care of others is a pivotal moment in your life...

(4.7)

Parent, Janice C (2021)

My children have been at Guiding Light Academy for 9 years and have been very happy there. The Catho...

(5)

Parent, Vania Padua (2021)

A large part of our worries as parents is wondering what our children’s experience will be at scho...
See all written reviews (5 total)

School leadership

Top-down influence on the school’s direction and tone


Message from school leadership

Deanne Jackson, Principal

We at Guiding Light Academy are blessed to share the integral role of guiding our children during the formative years of their lives.

Through outstanding learning and teaching, with constant reinforcement of core values, we strive to prepare our children for the tapestry of life.

On a personal note, I have founded and managed School of Knowledge, Sharjah, U.A.E., for the last 30 years. My gratification is when my students, now young adults, feel that the best years of their lives were the ones spent in our care! This sense of achievement is what I endeavour  to bring to the field of education in Toronto as well.

Evaluate Guiding Light Academy for your child

Answer just to supplement this page with our expert insight into the FIT between Guiding Light Academy and your child (BETA).
1. Select category
1. Select category
  • Sociability
  • Mental focus
  • Physical activity level
  • Academic focus
  • Arts-oriented
  • STEM-oriented
  • Gifted
  • Special needs (general)
  • Learning disabilities
  • Social/emotional issues
  • Learning style
  • Learning preference
  • Anxious
  • ADHD
  • Autistic
  • Dyslexic
2. Select child's dominant trait
How outgoing is your child?

3. See personalized insights
How Extroverted kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    If you’re considering a small school for your extroverted child, make sure it offers plenty of social opportunities, including the ability to seek out and interact with different peer groups. Since smaller schools have smaller and less diverse student populations than big schools, it can sometimes be more challenging for your child to find a like-minded group of friends—friends with similar interests, values, etc. 

    “It’s important to look at the social makeup of the school,” says Ruth Rumack of Ruth Rumack's Learning Space. "Is there enough variety that your child will have a group that they feel connected with? Because you want to have friends that are like-minded and you want to be in a social situation where you feel honoured and respected. Variety can also be found in extracurriculars, leadership programs, and sports activities, which tend to have kids with a wide range of personalities.”

    Also, make sure a school’s teaching and learning approach is suitable for your social child. “For instance, a school focusing on individual learning instead of group learning may not play into your child’s strengths,” say Ann and Karen Wolff, Toronto-based education consultants at Wolff Educational Services. “You want to make sure the social, emotional, and academic realities of the classroom are a match for your child’s personality.”

  • Language immersion school

    If you’re considering a language immersion school for your extroverted child, make sure it offers a wide range of social opportunities, including the ability to interact with kids outside of class. Since most of your child’s learning won’t be in their mother tongue, they may find it challenging at times to negotiate the complexities of social interaction in the classroom. This makes it especially important to ensure the school offers extensive extracurriculars—such as volunteering, sports teams, and arts programs—which will help your child satisfy their need to interact and make friends.

How Introverted kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools often have small classrooms and tight-knit communities, which can make it easier for your introverted child to come out of their shell, make friends, and feel like they belong. Since they’re less socially overwhelming, your child should find it easier to navigate their social environment. And since they’re conducive to group work, small classes often have plenty of interaction, which can help your child develop critical interpersonal skills. 

    Of course, small schools normally have a less diverse student population than big schools, which can sometimes make it more challenging to find a group of like-minded peers—peers with similar personalities, interests, values, etc. This makes it especially important to ask a school about its extracurricular programs, which can help your introverted child establish an intimate social circle.

  • Language immersion school

    If you’re considering a language immersion school for your introverted child, make sure it offers plenty of social opportunities, including the ability to interact with different peer groups outside of class. Since most of your child’s learning won’t be in their mother tongue, they may find it challenging at times to negotiate the complexities of social interaction in the classroom. This makes it especially important to ensure the school offers extensive extracurriculars—such as student council, volunteering, and team sports—which can enable your child to connect with peers, make new friends outside of class, overcome their shyness, and develop critical social skills.

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2. Select child's dominant trait
How mentally focused is your child?

3. See personalized insights
How Mentally focused kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes often provide more individualized learning and one-and-one support, which can bolster your child’s concentration. The structure and intimacy of smaller classes can help your focused child engage more fully with their studies. Since they’re conducive to group work, small classes also often have plenty of interaction, which can help your child develop critical interpersonal skills.

    Just keep in mind the law of diminishing returns regarding class size. While a class of 12 or 15 students can boost engagement, a class of 4 or 5 can reduce it, since there are too few voices and perspectives to generate much meaningful interaction and discussion.

    Finally, “Small schools often have a family-like feeling, because the class sizes are so small,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “They form a sense of community across the grades. You get these cross-grade friendships, relationships, and mentoring if it gives certain kids leadership opportunities, something they would rarely have in a larger school.”

  • Language immersion school

    The demanding curriculum of language immersion schools, which requires students to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language, is a nice fit for many focused kids, especially those who enjoy the challenge of high-level learning and who are language-oriented. Many focused kids also value the opportunity to work in a structured learning environment with other motivated and studious kids, who may share a passion for learning.

    That said, “Mentally focused children who are curious and unconventional learners may prefer more scope for independent learning than language immersion schools sometimes allow,” says Dona Matthews, education consultant and co-author (with Joanne Foster) of Beyond Intelligence. “For these kids, the best schools are often those that are flexible enough to give them the time and energy to pursue their interests both in and out of school. The added challenges provided by second-language learning can sometimes interfere with this goal and hinder a child’s academic development.”

    Finally, since learning in a second language makes it difficult to negotiate social interaction in class, make sure your child has plenty of time to interact with their peers outside of class—something all kids need.

How Distractible kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classrooms often provide more personalized attention and one-and-one support, which often helps distractible kids engage with their studies and sustain their focus. Since they’re conducive to group work, they tend to be more interactive, which your child may find invigorating.

    Just keep in mind the law of diminishing returns regarding class size. While a class of 12 or 15 students can boost engagement, a class of 4 or 5 can reduce it, since there are too few voices and perspectives to generate much meaningful interaction and discussion.

    The intimacy of smaller schools and classes can also help your child connect with the student community. “Small schools often have a family-like feeling, because the class sizes are so small,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “They form a sense of community across the grades, with cross-grade friendships, relationships, and often, leadership opportunities.”

  • Language immersion school

    If you’re considering a language immersion school for your distractible child, ensure they offer plenty of individualized learning and one-on-one support. Since these schools require students to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language, they can sometimes be taxing for kids who are distractible. This is especially true if they struggle with languages in particular or academics in general.

    That said, if your child enjoys learning languages and is academically-oriented, a language immersion program can help bolster their ability to focus and sustain their concentration. Talk to school directors, education consultants, and others in the know to help gauge whether your child is likely to be a good fit.

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2. Select child's dominant trait
How physically active is your child?

3. See personalized insights
How Very physically active kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    If you’re considering a small school for your physically active child, ensure it offers plenty of unstructured social time, such as outdoor recess, during which they can let loose. Since some small schools have fewer supplementals, you should also ask about after-school activities like sports and dance, which can give your child more opportunities to channel their energy in useful ways. Since different kids enjoy different physical activities, ask school staff what’s available, what your child is eligible for, and how they can get involved.

  • Language immersion school

    If you’re considering a language immersion school for your active, energetic child, make sure to look into the amount of unstructured social time provided. The challenging curriculum of these schools—which requires students to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language—makes it especially important for your child to have time throughout the school day to get outside, stretch their legs, and let loose. Make sure you also find out what activities are offered after school, such as sports and dance, which can provide physical outlets for your active child.

How Less physically active kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    If your child is looking to get more physically active, make sure a small school offers plenty of opportunities to do this. This makes it especially important to ask about a school’s extracurriculars—such as team sports—which can improve your child's physical fitness and enable them to broaden their horizons.

    Smaller schools often have small and intimate classrooms, where your less active child can work independently and in small groups, allowing them to focus on academics in a peaceful, structured, and supportive environment. With tight-knit, less intimidating communities, small schools can also help your child come out of their shell.

  • Language immersion school

    The demanding curriculum of language immersion schools, which requires students to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language, is a nice fit for many less-active kids who enjoy the challenge of high-level learning. They’ll be able to focus on their studies in a structured learning environment with studious and motivated peers, who may share a passion for learning.

    Since learning in a second language makes it difficult to negotiate social interaction in class, make sure your child has ample time to interact outside of class, which all kids need. Also, if they're looking to get more physically active, look into how much unstructured social time and what kinds of after-school activities a school offers (e.g., individual and team sports).

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How focused is your child on school and academic achievement?

3. See personalized insights
How Intensively academically-focused kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    If you’re considering a small school for your academically-focused child, ensure it offers enough enrichment and acceleration opportunities to challenge them. Make sure it also has plenty of academic diversity in the classroom, where your child can work with, be challenged by, and even measure themself against other academically-focused kids.

    Of course, “Smaller schools give kids opportunities to be the ‘big fish in a small pond,’ where their successes and abilities are truly highlighted,” says Una Malcolm, Director of Bright Light Learners. “Some kids enjoy this, and this can be a valuable opportunity to develop their confidence and self-esteem.”

  • Language immersion school

    The demanding curriculum of language immersion schools, which requires students to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language, provides the right kind of challenge for many academically-focused kids, especially those who enjoy languages and may have a talent for them. Many of these kids also value the opportunity to work in a structured learning environment with motivated and studious peers, who may share a passion for academics in general and languages in particular.

    That said, “Academically-focused children who are curious and unconventional learners may prefer more scope for independent learning than language immersion schools sometimes allow,” says Dona Matthews, education consultant and co-author (with Joanne Foster) of Beyond Intelligence. “For these kids, the best schools are often those that are flexible enough to give them the time and energy to pursue their interests both in and out of school. The added challenges provided by second-language learning can sometimes interfere with this goal and hinder a child’s academic development.”

    Finally, since learning in a second language makes it difficult to negotiate social interaction in class, ensure your child has plenty of time to interact with other kids outside of class—something every child needs.

How Less academically-focused kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classrooms often provide more personalized attention and one-and-one support, which often helps less academically-focused kids engage with their work more fully. Since they’re conducive to group work, these classes tend to be more interactive and stimulating.

    Just make sure a school provides your child with plenty of opportunities to pursue their passions outside of class—something not all small schools offer. “Research shows that when students have something to look forward to after school, they’re often more motivated and focused during the day,” says Janyce Lastman, Director of The Tutor Group. “This can really help them renew their energy and recharge their batteries.”

    Also, keep in mind the law of diminishing returns regarding class size. While a class of 12 or 15 students can boost engagement, a class of 4 or 5 can reduce it, since there are too few voices and perspectives to generate much meaningful interaction and discussion.

  • Language immersion school

    If you’re considering a language immersion school for your less academically-focused child, ensure it offers plenty of individualized learning and one-on-one support. Since they require students to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language, these schools can sometimes be burdensome for kids who are less interested in academics. This is especially true if they struggle with language learning.

    That said, if your child enjoys and excels at language learning, a language immersion school can help improve their academic focus and inspire a love of learning. Talk to school directors, education consultants, and others in the know to help gauge whether your child is likely to be a good fit.

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Is your child passionate about the arts?

3. See personalized insights
How Arts-oriented kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools often have smaller classes with plenty of individualized learning and support, which can give your arts-oriented child the freedom to pursue their creative passions with close supervision and guidance. A smaller student community often means more group work and collaboration, which can enhance learning and enliven the creative process. Smaller schools, especially arts-focused ones, are also more likely to integrate the arts into the general curriculum, something many, though not all, artsy kids enjoy.

    Small schools tend to have fewer arts programs, classes, and extracurriculars than bigger schools. Ask what’s available, focusing specifically on your child’s areas of interest and need. For instance, if they’re keen to work on their sculpting skills, find out whether a class is offered during or after school, and whether your child is eligible for it.

  • Language immersion school

    “Many arts-oriented children are curious and unconventional learners, and prefer more scope for creativity than language immersion schools sometimes allow,” says Dona Matthews, education consultant and co-author (with Joanne Foster) of Beyond Intelligence. “For these kids, the best schools are often those that are flexible enough to give them the time and energy to pursue their artistic interests both in and out of school. The added challenges provided by second-language learning can sometimes interfere with this goal and hinder a child’s creative and artistic development.”

    That said, arts-oriented students who enjoy and are good at the language arts often welcome the cognitive challenge and stimulation of learning in a different language, as this allows them to exercise their “language muscles.” If they’re hard workers who enjoy academics, a language immersion school can be an especially good fit.

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Is your child passionate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)?

3. See personalized insights
How STEM-oriented kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools tend to have fewer STEM programs, classes, and extracurriculars than bigger schools. Ask what’s available, focusing specifically on your child’s areas of interest and need. For instance, if they’re keen to work on their computer programming skills, find out whether a coding class is offered during or after school, and whether your child is eligible for it. Also, ask how they teach problem-solving, instill creativity and innovation, and use technology.

    Of course, since small schools often have smaller classes with plenty of individualized learning and support, they can give your child the freedom to pursue their interest in STEM with close supervision. A smaller student community often means more group work and collaboration, which can enhance learning and stimulate intellectual and creative insights. Smaller schools are also more likely to integrate STEM learning into the general curriculum, something many STEM-oriented kids enjoy.

    Just keep in mind the law of diminishing returns regarding class size. While a class of 12 or 15 students can boost engagement, a class of 4 or 5 can reduce it, since there are too few voices and perspectives to generate much meaningful interaction and discussion.

  • Language immersion school

    Some students may find it challenging to learn STEM subjects in a second language, as immersion schools usually require. Using an unfamiliar language can interfere with their comprehension and progress in STEM studies, which can be frustrating.

    Another concern: “Consider curious and independent learners,” says Dona Matthews, education consultant and author of Beyond Intelligence. “They often prefer more scope for exploring their interest in STEM than language immersion schools sometimes allow. For these kids, the best schools are often those that are flexible enough to give them sufficient time to pursue their passions both in school and out. The added challenge of second-language learning can sometimes interfere with this goal and hinder a child’s intellectual and creative development.”

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Does your child have gifted learning abilities?

3. See personalized insights
How Gifted kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools are sometimes more flexible in meeting gifted learning needs. Make sure a school is willing and able to provide the right learning environment to directly address your child’s learning needs, whether it’s through a segregated gifted class, a part-time withdrawal class, or in-class adaptations such as acceleration or enrichment opportunities.

    If your child enjoys learning and competing with other high-ability learners, confirm this opportunity is available. Also, find out whether a school has extracurricular programs your child will find challenging and stimulating.

    Finally, “Smaller schools give kids opportunities to be the ‘big fish in a small pond,’ where their successes and abilities are truly highlighted,” says Una Malcolm, Director of Bright Light Learners. “Some kids enjoy this, and this can be a valuable opportunity to develop their confidence and self-esteem.”

  • Language immersion school

    Gifted students often welcome the extra challenge provided by language immersion schools, where they’ll learn all or most of their subjects in a second language. However, these schools aren’t an ideal fit for all gifted learners. “Consider, for example, a child whose strengths are her reasoning skills and conceptual mastery and who thrives on high-level discourse,” say Dona Matthews and Joanne Foster, gifted education experts and authors of Being Smart about Gifted Education. “In a French immersion program, it will take years before her knowledge of the French language is sufficiently developed to keep pace with her ideas and concept formation… This can make her school experience frustrating and boring, rather than stimulating and challenging, especially for the first few years of this kind of program.”

    Or, “Consider curious and independent learners,” says Matthews. “They often prefer more scope for exploring their own interests than language immersion schools sometimes allow. For these kids, the best schools are often those that are flexible enough to give them enough time to pursue their passions both in school and out. The added challenge of second-language learning can sometimes interfere with this goal and hinder a child’s intellectual and creative development.”

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Does your child have special needs?

3. See personalized insights
How Special needs (general) kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of individualized teaching and learning and one-on-one support, giving them the flexibility to accommodate students with a wide range of special needs. Some also provide learning environments that directly address special learning needs, such as segregated classes, part-time withdrawal classes, and integrated classes.

    However, “Keep in mind that some small schools only provide support for one special need,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “Ask which special need(s) a school supports, how it supports it, and whether it has teaching staff with the right training and expertise to provide this support.”

    Finally, since small schools tend to have fewer resources, ensure they have whatever’s needed to foster your child’s academic, social, and emotional development, such as guidance departments, academic and social counsellors, educational assistants, and assistive technologies.

  • Language immersion school

    Some special needs, such as learning disabilities involving language, can make it extremely difficult to learn all or some of one’s subjects in a second language, which can impede the acquisition of literacy skills. “For example, a child with dyslexia in a French immersion program would struggle to read in both English and French without adequate intervention,” says Una Malcolm, Director of Bright Light Learners. Unfortunately, few language immersion schools have on-site specialists to support kids with language-based and other kinds of learning disabilities that can interfere with the literacy skills needed to thrive in this program.

    That said, students with special needs who enjoy and are good at the language arts often welcome the cognitive challenge and stimulation of learning in a different language, as this allows them to exercise their “language muscles.” If they’re hard workers who enjoy academics (and they don’t have a language-based learning disability), a language immersion school can be a nice fit.

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Does your child have a learning disability?

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How Learning disabilities kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of personalized learning and one-on-one teaching. This gives them the flexibility to support students with a wide range of learning disabilities (LDs), and to actively monitor their progress and development. Some also provide learning environments that directly support LDs, such as segregated classes, part-time withdrawal classes, and integrated classes. 

    However, “Keep in mind that some small schools only provide support for one type of learning disability,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “For instance, they may only support dyslexia or language-based learning disabilities." Ask which learning disability (or disabilities) a school supports, how exactly it supports it.” Finally, make sure a smaller school has out-of-class resources to support your child’s development. For instance, if they struggle with decoding language, ensure they have a reading intervention specialist on staff. 

  • Language immersion school

    Some learning disabilities (LDs), such as those involving language, can make it extremely challenging to learn all or some of one’s subjects in a second language, as immersion programs require. “For example, a child with dyslexia in a French immersion program would struggle to read in both English and French without adequate intervention,” says Una Malcolm, Director of Bright Light Learners. “It’s thus important for parents to be aware of early signs of phonological decoding issues—or processing or reasoning issues, for that matter—since most language immersion schools do not offer intervention or support in these areas, and unfortunately this can lead to literacy difficulties in both languages.”

    That said, students with LDs who are language-oriented often enjoy the stimulation of learning in a different language, as this allows them to exercise their “language muscles.” If they work hard and enjoy academics (and they don’t have a language-based LD), a language immersion school can be a nice fit.

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Does your child have a social, emotional, or behavioural issue?

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How Social/emotional issues kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of individualized learning and one-on-one support, giving them the flexibility to accommodate students with a range of social issues. Some also offer learning environments that directly address these kinds of special needs, such as segregated classes, part-time withdrawal classes, and breakout support groups. 

    “Students with behaviour/emotional/social issues often thrive in smaller school settings,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “These students often feel a sense of comfort and ease in knowing that all of the staff know them and understand their challenges. They can be supported in a trusting environment and have to navigate fewer social relationships, both with their peers and adults.”

    However, keep in mind that some small schools only provide support for one or two social or emotional issues, such as clinical anxiety or depression. Ask which issues a school supports, how it supports them, and whether it has teaching staff with specialized training to provide this support. Finally, since small schools tend to have fewer resources, make sure they have whatever your child needs, such as an on-site psychologist to help them with their impulse control, if this is an issue.

  • Language immersion school

    Some social issues can make it extremely difficult to stay on track in a language immersion program. For example, a child with severe anxiety may struggle to stay focused enough to keep pace with his or her peers in a French immersion program. If the school doesn't offer intervention or support for this disorder, which many immersion schools won’t, this can lead to ongoing academic (e.g., literacy) problems, and potentially compound the emotional issue.

    That said, kids with social issues who enjoy and are good at the language arts often enjoy the cognitive challenge of learning in a different language. If they’re hard workers who are strong academically (and they don’t have a severe social or emotional disorder), a language immersion school can be a nice fit.

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How Conventional learner kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Some small schools, especially alternative ones, have smaller classes with a student-centred curriculum and an individualized approach to learning. While this benefits many kids, conventional learners often prefer a more traditional environment, with pre-planned units, teachers who deliver whole-class lectures, and lots of structure.

    That said, many schools with smaller classes, especially those which offer individualized learning, have the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of learning styles. For instance, if your child prefers direct instruction, textbook-based learning, and graded work—as many conventional learners do—a small school may be able to offer these things.

  • Language immersion school

    Most language immersion schools cater to conventional learners, offering plenty of structure, teacher-led instruction, and clear criteria for assessment. They also enable your child to work with peers who are often motivated and studious–an environment conventional learners can thrive in. 

    That said, for conventional learners who are less academically-focused, a language immersion program—which requires students to learn all or most subjects in a second language—can be taxing. This is especially true if languages aren’t a strength for your child.

How Unconventional learner kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools tend to have smaller classes with plenty of individualized learning and independent and small group work. This can enable your unconventional learner to pursue their interests in an engaging and sometimes collaborative environment. It’s also often easier for smaller schools to set up classes of special interest for certain students—such as art history or microbiology—allowing them to pursue unique learning paths.

    Small schools normally have fewer extracurriculars for kids to explore passions and develop skills outside of class. Ask what’s available, focusing specifically on your child’s areas of interest.

  • Language immersion school

    “Many unconventional learners prefer more scope for independent learning than language immersion schools sometimes allow,” says Dona Matthews, education consultant and co-author of Beyond Intelligence. “For these kids, the best schools are often those that are flexible enough to give them the time and energy to pursue their own interests both in and out of school. The added challenges provided by second-language learning can sometimes interfere with this goal and hinder a child’s academic development.”

    That said, unconventional learners who enjoy and are good at languages often welcome the extra challenge of learning in a different language. If they’re hard workers who enjoy academics, a language immersion school can sometimes be a good fit.

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How Independent learner kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools often have smaller classes with plenty of individualized learning, which can give independent learners the freedom to pursue their interests and explore their passions. It’s also often easier for smaller schools to set up classes of special interest, such as evolutionary biology or musical theory.

    Small schools tend to have fewer extracurriculars and supplemental learning options than bigger schools. Ask what’s available, focusing specifically on your child’s areas of interest. For instance, if they’re eager to work on their painting skills, find out whether an after school or lunch program is offered and whether your child is eligible for it.

  • Language immersion school

    “Independent learners prefer more scope for working on their own than language immersion schools sometimes allow,” says Dona Matthews, education consultant and co-author (with Joanne Foster) of Beyond Intelligence. “For these kids, the best schools are often those that are flexible enough to give them the time and energy to pursue their interests both in and out of school. The added challenges provided by second-language learning can sometimes interfere with this goal and hinder a child’s academic development.”

    That said, independent learners who enjoy and are good at the language arts often welcome the challenge of learning in a different language. If they’re hard workers who enjoy academics, a language immersion school can sometimes be a good fit. “It can also sometimes lead to interesting and gratifying learning experiences where kids get to use and practice an acquired language in different contexts,” says Foster.

How Collaborative learner kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Small schools with smaller classes offer more opportunities for the kind of group work collaborative learners enjoy. Whether it’s discussion groups, project work, or peer-to-peer teaching, they tend to offer plenty of group activities in an inclusive environment.

    Also, “Small schools often have a family-like feeling, because the class sizes are so small,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “They form a sense of community across the grades. You get these cross-grade friendships, relationships, and mentoring if it gives certain kids leadership opportunities, something they would rarely have in a larger school.”

  • Language immersion school

    The demanding curriculum of language immersion schools, which requires students to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language, can sometimes be restrictive for collaborative learners. Some of these schools don’t provide enough time for the types of group learning activities collaborative learners crave. Also, learning and speaking in a foreign tongue can make it difficult for your child to communicate and interact with their classmates, which can be frustrating.

    That said, collaborative learners who enjoy and are good at the language arts often welcome the challenge of learning in a different language. If they’re hard workers and enjoy conversing, networking, and practicing the language they’re studying with others, then a language immersion school can be a good fit.

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select if applicable
Is your child anxious?

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How Anxious kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Many small schools have smaller classes with lots of one-on-one support and close supervision to support kids with anxiety (and other emotional issues). 

    “Students with anxiety often thrive in smaller school settings,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “These students often feel a sense of comfort and ease in knowing that all of the staff know them and understand their challenges. They can be supported in a trusting environment, and they won’t have to navigate as many social relationships with kids and adults.”

    However, some small schools don’t support kids with certain anxiety disorders, especially severe ones. Ask what kinds of anxiety issues a school supports and how it delivers this support. Finally, make sure your child has access to resources they may need in class or out, such as on-site counselling.

  • Language immersion school

    Anxiety can make it challenging to stay on track in a language immersion program. For instance, a child with severe generalized anxiety may lack the emotional resources and focus to keep pace with their peers in an immersion program. If a school doesn't offer intervention or support for this disorder, which most immersion schools won’t, this can lead to ongoing academic (e.g., literacy) problems and potentially exacerbate your child’s anxiety.

    That said, kids with less severe anxiety who enjoy and are good at languages often welcome the cognitive challenge of learning in a different language. If they’re hard workers who are strong academically, a language immersion school can be a nice fit.

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select if applicable
Does your child have ADHD?

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How ADHD kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of individualized learning, structure, and one-on-one support, which students with ADHD tend to require. Some also offer learning environments (and special education staff) that directly support ADHD, such as segregated classes, part-time withdrawal classes, and breakout groups. 

    “Students with ADHD often thrive in smaller school settings,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “These students may feel a sense of comfort and ease in knowing that all of the staff know them and understand their challenges. They can be supported in a trusting environment, and they won’t have to navigate as many social relationships with their peers and adults.”

    However, keep in mind that some small schools don’t have the resources to accommodate kids with ADHD, especially if it’s severe. Ask what kind of support is available, both in class and out, and how it will be delivered. For instance, “do you have an in-house psychologist to work with my child on their focus and organization?”

  • Language immersion school

    Students with ADHD sometimes find it challenging to stay on track in a language immersion program. For example, students with severe inattention issues may struggle to learn all or most of their subjects in a second language. If a school doesn't offer targeted intervention or support for this issue, which most immersion schools won’t, this can lead to ongoing academic (e.g., literacy) problems, and potentially exacerbate some of your child’s challenges.

    That said, kids with milder ADHD who enjoy and are good at the language arts often enjoy the cognitive challenge of learning in a different language. If they’re hard workers who are strong academically, a language immersion school can be a nice fit.

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select if applicable
Is your child autistic?

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How Autistic kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of individualized learning, structure, and one-on-one support, which students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often need. Some also offer learning environments (and special education staff) that directly support autism, such as dedicated classes, part-time withdrawal classes, and classes with breakout groups. 

    “Students with autism tend to do well in smaller school settings,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “These students may feel a sense of comfort and ease in knowing that all of the staff know them and understand their challenges. They can be supported in a trusting environment, and they won’t have to navigate as many social relationships with their peers and adults.”

    However, keep in mind that some small schools won’t be able to accommodate kids with autism, especially if a child is on the higher end of the spectrum. Ask what kind of support is available, both in class and out, and how it will be delivered. For instance, “do you have an in-house psychologist to work with my child on their communication and interaction skills?”

  • Language immersion school

    Autism can sometimes make it difficult to learn all or most of one’s subjects in a second language, as language immersion programs require. For instance, autistic children with poor executive functioning skills may struggle to keep up with their peers in this setting. If a school doesn't offer targeted intervention or support for this issue, which most immersion schools won’t, this can lead to ongoing academic (e.g., literacy) problems and potentially compound some of your child’s challenges.

    That said, kids with mild autism who enjoy and are good at the language arts may welcome the cognitive challenge of learning in a different language. If they’re strong academically and have strong enough executive functioning skills, a language immersion school can be a nice fit.

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select if applicable
Is your child dyslexic?

3. See personalized insights
How Dyslexic kids fit with Guiding Light Academy's dimensions:
  • Small school (150 students or less)

    Smaller schools with small classes normally provide lots of personalized learning and one-on-one guidance. This gives them the flexibility to support students with a range of learning disabilities (LDs), including dyslexia, and to actively monitor their progress and development. Some also provide learning environments that directly support dyslexia, such as segregated classes and part-time withdrawal classes. 

    “Keep in mind, though, that not all small schools provide support for kids with dyslexia,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “For instance, a school may only support kids with LDs involving math or numbers (like dysgraphia).” 

    Ask whether a school supports dyslexia, and if it does, how it delivers this support. Finally, make sure a smaller school has out-of-class resources that meet your child’s needs. Since your child struggles with decoding language, they may need regular visits with an on-site reading intervention specialist.

  • Language immersion school

    Dyslexia can make it extremely challenging to learn all or most of one’s subjects in a second language, as language immersion programs require. For instance, “A child with dyslexia in a French immersion program would struggle to read in both English and French without adequate intervention,” says Una Malcolm, director of Bright Light Learners. “It’s thus important for parents to recognize early signs of phonological decoding issues—or processing or reasoning issues, for that matter—since most language immersion schools do not offer intervention or support in these areas, and unfortunately this can lead to literacy difficulties in both languages.”

    If you’re considering a language immersion school for a child with dyslexia, make sure it offers the intensive support your child requires. For instance, since your child will likely need to work closely with a reading intervention specialist on their phonic decoding, ensure one is on staff.

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