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THE OUR KIDS REPORT:
Hawthorn School

Grades Nursery/Toddler TO 12 — Toronto, ON (MAP)

Hawthorn School:
THE OUR KIDS REPORT
REPORT CONTENTS:

Pages in this report:

  • Grades
    Nursery/Toddler — 12
  • Gender
    All girls, Coed
  • Class Size
    8 — 15 students
  • Tuition
    $15,000 to 40,000/year
  • Language of instruction
    English, French
  • Associations
    CIS Ontario
  • Enrollment
    0 homestay students, 0 day students
  • Curriculum
    Liberal Arts
  • EBROCHURE
    View eBrochure

School address

  • 101 Scarsdale Road, Toronto, Ontario, M3B 2R2 (MAP)
  • Busing not available

Our Perspective

How we see Hawthorn School


As the only all-girls' Catholic independent school in Toronto, Hawthorn provides a unique and very specific program, one that focusses on the needs of girls while providing instruction through a Catholic lens. It was founded relatively recently—it celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014—through the instigation of a group of parents who wanted the kind of academic specificity that the school continues to promote today. And, truly, there's no other school like it: girls are challenged to pursue passions in the full range of academic pursuit, STEM primary among them. Character, too, is a primary focus, including an expression of self. The ideal student is one who thrives within a supportive yet academically challenging environment.

School's Perspective

How Hawthorn School sees itself


The school administration answered our questions

Who are you, as a school?

"Hawthorn's all-girls environment and one of the lowest student-to-teacher ratios in the country, allows each student to explore their potential in an enriching learning environment. With a 100% university acceptance rate, we help our students succeed in the next phase of their learning-and beyond. Our Classical Liberal Arts Education provides cultural literacy and critical reasoning skills and our Mentoring Program aids the students in the growth of virtues. "

  • Pursuit of excellence in education
  • Classical liberal arts curriculum
  • Catholic education
  • Broad extra-curricular program
  • Leadership though service
  • Caring, supportive environment
  • Mentoring program
  • Small class size
  • Partnership with parents
  • University preparatory

What do you do differently and uniquely well?

"Our goal is to make a difference in each girl’s life and we take that to heart. Although what the Hawthorn Difference will mean for each girl will depend on their individual needs and goals, the way it is delivered is set upon a common foundation of five key pillars: Pursuit of Excellence in Education, Personal Mentorship, Partnership with Parents, Leadership through Service, and All Girls Advantage."

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

"Hawthorn’s all girls environment, small class sizes, and one of the lowest student-to-teacher ratios in the country, provides a unique kind of student-by-student learning that is proven to differentially prepare students for reaching and succeeding in the next phase of their learning-and beyond. We respect the shared goals of our students and their families. We pride ourselves not only on preparing the girls for a postsecondary education, but also on helping them to succeed in their life’s path."

What might families find surprising about your school?

"One of the ways that we keep making a difference is by listening and changing, but not only the requirements of an increasingly competitive and complex world – but by listening to and working together with parents. Hawthorn was founded upon the principal belief that parents are the primary educators of their children, and our commitment to educate together in partnership with them, is part of what continues to make Hawthorn different."

What aspect of your school is underappreciated?

"We respect the shared goals of our students and their families. We pride ourselves not only on preparing the girls for a postsecondary education, with a 100% university acceptance rate, but also on helping them to succeed in their life’s path – no matter what it may be. Our curriculum provides cultural literacy, critical reasoning skills, and aid in the growth of virtue, in a smaller school environment that allows teachers and mentors to know every girl, their personal interests and abilities."

What five facts about your school tell your story?

"1. Hawthorn is the only independent all-girls school in Toronto offering a Catholic- inspired education 2. Founded by parents in 1989, Hawthorn provides a unique academic, character-based education of the whole person 3. The Mentor Program serves as the cornerstone of Hawthorn’s Character Education Program. Students are assigned a mentor from JK to 12. 4. Teaching methods and educational practices are tailored to the way girls learn to ensure academic success. 5. 100% University Acceptance."


School Facilities

Photo-tour of facilities


Athletics facilities


Arts facilities


Campus


Classrooms


Science facilities


Instructional resources


Shared spaces


School Videos

Insider Perspectives

How people from the school’s community see Hawthorn School


Video reviews of Hawthorn School

Parent, Amy & Peter McCrea (2021)

Watch our parent interview with Amy & Peter McCrea to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Hawthorn School.

Roundtable Q&A (2020)

Watch our Hawthorn School Q&A discussion with Gwen (Alumnus), Marnee (Parent), Steve (Parent), Liz (Parent) to gain fresh insight into the school’s culture, values, and strengths.

Alumnus, Jane Zuchelkowski (2020)

Watch our alum interview with Jane Zuchelkowski to learn about the unique experience of attending Hawthorn School.

School leadership

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


Interview with key leadership

Watch our Hawthorn School leadership interview to learn about the academics, culture, and values of the school.
Watch the interview

Message from school leadership

Irian Flores de Medina, Head of School

Welcome to the Hawthorn School profile and thank you for your interest in our school!

As many of you are aware, halfway through the 2019-2020 school year, the education system faced an unusual challenge. Schools were forced to move from conventional in-class learning to exclusively virtual classrooms almost overnight. At Hawthorn, we are pleased to say that we were able to get our online classes up and running with almost no delay, due to the adaptability and dedication of our faculty and staff. All the way from the children in the Daycare to the Upper School students, adapted to the needs and capacities of the different age groups, we were able to provide both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. Despite the challenges, teachers were able to address all aspects of the curriculum. 

Even as the school year was finishing we were preparing for the possible scenarios we would face in the fall.  We are so grateful for each of our families - including our students, our faculty, and our staff, who came together in these past months and who make Hawthorn an exceptional place to learn, to teach, and to work! In the past months and weeks, we’ve come a long way and many people have worked hard to make it possible for us to start our school year with full time in-person instruction, five days a week, knowing that we have done everything possible to ensure the safety of our staff and students.

Thank you parents for considering entrusting us with the education of your daughters. We know that you have many options, especially this year, and we are grateful for your interest in choosing a Hawthorn education for them. We continue to remain dedicated to our mission and parents are a key part of what we do here. There are many things that have changed this year due to our current situation, from the extra sanitization of our school to the additional screening procedures. At the same time, much remains the same - we are committed to communicating with parents and to helping them raise their daughters to be women of integrity and faith, the leaders of tomorrow.

We are so happy to see our students back at school and in person. Though the past few months have been challenging at times we are very proud of how they have risen above the difficulties and not let the situation prevent them from continuing to learn and grow. One thing that we can say for sure is that this year will still not be business as usual, to know that they need look no further than the plexiglass sneeze guards on the desks and the masked faces that are around the school. These measures are for the safety of everyone and allow us to return to in person learning. It sometimes seems like a lot, the things that we need to do and the many things that are not possible. One thing that we want all our students and prospective students to know is that at Hawthorn, they are never alone in their struggles. Here they are surrounded by people - friends, parents, teachers, and mentors - that they can rely on every step of the way.  

At Hawthorn we have an amazing group of dedicated people, including support staff and teachers. It is a great joy and privilege to work with them every day. Our faculty have time and time again shown how dedicated they are to their students, not only their academic learning but also their character development and emotional well-being. They have truly risen to the occasion and accepted the challenge of teaching in these new circumstances. We are very grateful to them for all that they do!

This year is going to be an amazing and memorable one because we know that everyone will be working together, following the guidelines and helping us with our goal of keeping the school open. The way that we will accomplish this goal is by paying attention to all the small details and doing our work well and with love. 

To those that are interested in a Hawthorn education, we would be delighted to welcome you into our family! Our admissions director, Rhonda Wood, would be happy to speak with you and guide you through the process of applying to Hawthorn. Please contact her at 416-444-3054 or by email at [email protected].

Evaluate Hawthorn School for your child

Answer just to supplement this page with our expert insight into the FIT between Hawthorn School 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 Hawthorn School'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.”

How Introverted kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.

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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 Hawthorn School'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.”

How Distractible kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.”

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 child's dominant trait
How physically active is your child?

3. See personalized insights
How Very physically active kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.

How Less physically active kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.

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2. Select child's dominant trait
How focused is your child on school and academic achievement?

3. See personalized insights
How Intensively academically-focused kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.”

How Less academically-focused kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.

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2. Select if applicable
Is your child passionate about the arts?

3. See personalized insights
How Arts-oriented kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.

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2. Select if applicable
Is your child passionate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)?

3. See personalized insights
How STEM-oriented kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.

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 gifted learning abilities?

3. See personalized insights
How Gifted kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.”

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 special needs?

3. See personalized insights
How Special needs (general) kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.

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2. Select if applicable
Does your child have a learning disability?

3. See personalized insights
How Learning disabilities kids fit with Hawthorn School'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. 

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2. Select if applicable
Does your child have a social, emotional, or behavioural issue?

3. See personalized insights
How Social/emotional issues kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.

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2. Select child's dominant trait

3. See personalized insights
How Conventional learner kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.

How Unconventional learner kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.

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2. Select child's dominant trait

3. See personalized insights
How Independent learner kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.

How Collaborative learner kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.”

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?

3. See personalized insights
How Anxious kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.

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2. Select if applicable
Does your child have ADHD?

3. See personalized insights
How ADHD kids fit with Hawthorn School'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?”

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2. Select if applicable
Is your child autistic?

3. See personalized insights
How Autistic kids fit with Hawthorn School'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?”

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2. Select if applicable
Is your child dyslexic?

3. See personalized insights
How Dyslexic kids fit with Hawthorn School'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.

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THE OUR KIDS REPORT: Hawthorn School

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