REVIEW OF Guiding Light Academy BY parent, Cindy Flandes
- Date of Review
March 17, 2021
JK - Gr. 8
(4.5) Student Experience
Guiding Light Academy has been a home away from home for all my children. I am mother to seven children, of which six have had the opportunity to attend Guiding Light Academy. Guiding Light has been a blessing for our family. My children went from having a very negative experience in schooling to really enjoying going to school. My children love being greeted at the door by name every morning and knowing that they are not just a number but rather truly cared for by all at the school. My children have not only enjoyed the academics of Guiding Light but also having the chance to grow spiritually daily. My children have expressed that they are thankful for having the opportunity to attend Guiding Light Academy and my husband and I share and are also thankful in knowing that they are receiving a high level education and that they are being strongly formed in our Catholic faith.
(5) School Leadership
The school leadership and administration at Guiding Light is exceptional. When i drop off my children in the morning i know that they will be cared for in an environment that is loving, and fair. I truly love how our family values transfer over into my children's educational experience. Guiding Light fosters a positive school environment where children are given certain expectations with regards to their behaviors and responsibilities and if these are not met then children are aware of the consequences. Guiding Light Academy deals with discipline issues fairly and judiciously and transparently. As a parent I truly appreciate being in the loop of the issues concerning my children but also know and trust that the issues are handled appropriately, fairly and promote and stimulate my children to do better next time.
The quality of instruction offered at Guiding Light Academy is superb. The teaching staff is highly motivated, enthusiastic about teaching, caring, understanding, creative, and much more. The teachers at Guiding Light Academy go above and beyond to teach not only the Ontario Curriculum for the appropriate grade but they begin teaching concepts that push into the following year. The teaching staff at Guiding Light Academy is highly knowledgeable about their subject and I love how creative they are in order to teach some concepts that are harder to understand. At this current time with the pandemic occurring I love how Guiding Light has taken the initiative to provide education in person and online simultaneously. I appreciate this way of learning because not only do all students get the chance to learn and ask questions concurrently with the students in class but all students feel that they are in a class. Guiding Light Academy has exams three times/year. This type of evaluation is great in fostering in my children a sense of responsibility and ownership that they would otherwise not be exposed to so early in their lives. I appreciate the 1:1 with the teachers post exam time because it really provides me a chance to understand and see how my children are doing in school. Also, I truly appreciate the time teachers take to conduct 1:1 with each student to review any missed work or to further explain any materials that may have not been understood in the classroom.
Guiding Light Academy excels in preparing my children for life's next steps. Guiding Light academically inspires lifelong learning and development of spiritual awareness that is extremely important for our family especially in our current culture. The enriched program emphasizes a higher lever of academics with a nurturing learning environment that encourages self-awareness principles and builds emotional intelligence, strong morals, and ethical values. The schedule that Guiding Light Academy uses for the children, where they have a particular teacher for each subject is very helpful for children to learn flexibility and adaptation. This method helps children obtain the expertise of those teachers teaching their specialty subjects. This method allows children to experience how high school and university are conducted. I currently have five children in Guiding Light Academy and one child who recently graduated from grade 8. I can attest to how prepared he was and continues to be with hard work and taking on academic responsibilities. I can also share that I feel thanks to Guiding Light he is able to perform to the best of his abilities and is doing fantastic in grade 9.
Throughout our years at Guiding Light Academy my children have had various opportunities to participate in various activities. Things from soccer to guest speakers, to Shakespeare workshops to computer coding. The variety of things that my children have had the opportunity to participate in has been wonderful. I like how diverse the opportunities have been because they have truly been eye openers for my children in being able to discover some of their interests and strengths and this has and is developing them into well rounded students.
The student body which ranges from pre K to grade 8 at Guiding Light Academy is very united. The classroom sizes are small and this allows for students to really develop relationships that are close with each other. The students at the school are friendly, helpful and accepting of each other. I have children in a variety of classrooms and I can see how their relationships have flourished with their classmates. I also enjoy watching how the older students grow and show compassion and care for the younger students and take on leadership roles. This can especially be seen in the events that take place during the year at the school, such as Mother's Day Celebration, Father's Day Celebration and Grandparents Day. It is really great to see how the older kids are mentors to the younger ones and how they each benefit from these relationships.
(5) School Life
My children really enjoy going to school at Guiding Light Academy. They really like how everyone knows their name, and how they are individually greeted in the morning and at dismissal. They relish in knowing that they always have someone looking out for them. One of the teachers in particular Ms. Dante is fabulous. When she is present I rely on knowing that my children's best interest are always priority for her. Although I mentioned this teacher in particular- in reality all the staff is very loving, caring and really wants to see our children excel in everything they do. They truly take your child's accomplishments as their own. My children love the spiritual aspect of Guiding Light, this is where they have learned more about their religion and have been encouraged to grow in their faith. The daily mass and rosary are essential in the overall growth of my kids. They also really enjoy the weekly points/treat day where classes are awarded points based on their behaviours during the week and those with higher points win a small prize. This truly motivates my children in wanting to be on their best behaviours as soon as they walk through the school doors.
Guiding Light Academy really takes the time to engage parental involvement at the school. At the beginning of each school year there is a parent meeting where all parents can meet, the events for the school year are shared, and then there is always a really informative and forming talk that is given by the Heralds of the Gospel. These meetings have not only served in building relationships with the other parents and getting to know those families that are new to the school but have also helped me grow as a parent who wants to raise happy, resilient and spiritually sound children. The events that are held at the school yearly are also great platforms to get acquainted with the teachers of the students and with the particular parents of the classmates of each child.
(5) School Location
Guiding Light Academy is located in Streetsville, Mississauga. Streetsville is a smaller community within the larger city of Mississauga. The students of Guiding Light Academy are taught a sense of community through their participation in the food drive for the local food bank, in their participation in Remembrance Day Celebrations conducted by the Canadian Legion in the downtown square. The children are also encouraged to discover their community by being taken to the local library by foot, and by being taken to daily mass at the nearby Catholic church, St. Joseph. All these activities and others really instill in my children a sense of familiarity, belonging and community for the neighborhood and community surrounding their school.