Ottawa, ON | Grades 1 - 12 | Shortlist
My daughter went from hating going to school and feeling 'stupid' to enjoying school and improving her confidence. The teachers were caring and took the time to support and encourage her. Her mental health was our primary concern and reason for removing her from the public system and thank goodness we did. She went for a half-day 'trial' and liked it so much we started her the next day and never regretted it. I think had she remained in the public school system her outcomes might have been very different. We considered keeping her there for high school but she wanted the experience of a bigger school and more friends and it worked out great. She looks back at her time at Heritage very fondly.
My daughter transferred mid-year. She likes the small classroom setting and the teaching staff. She likes that the school starts later than her previous school. She has made friends. She loves that she can leave the school grounds to grab a bite at one of the nearby cafes. She is now taking a summer class. It is a very small group and she is thriving. She likes that the teachers are approachable and are really invested in her success. She likes that the school offers a lot of 'outside of the box' and hands- on learning opportunities. For example, for this summer course in English, students walked to Preston street, each student stood on the street each facing a different direction so they could describe the scene from each their own perspective. She really enjoyed that.
Our son had many difficulties in the regular school system due to a number of learning disabilities and medical issues. He has been diagnosed with dyslexia, is color blind and has Crohn's disease. Due to his medical condition he had to attend many doctor appointments requiring flexibility in the school curriculum to accommodate him. Due to his learning differences he required a host of different requirements to reach his full potential. This was not possible within either the public or Catholic school system. At Heritage, the small class size and exceptional teachers, were able to customize a plan to teach to his strengths. Their patience and understanding enabled him to become confident and perform well, with much improved marks and attitude. His main issues were not in his abilities but in how to express these ideas. Over the years they have further assisted with other life skills from obtaining employment, presenting the best him, living a good and productive life in addition to all the academic courses that he will require to attend university. For the parents they provided continual communication of progress and hurdles and worked collaboratively with us to best help our son. This included both academically as well as providing workshops to get access to potential government programs to assist financially and different software programs to help us keep pace with the tools that he was using. We are confident that he will be able to attend either college or University of his choice after next year. We feel very blessed to have found Heritage Academy and highly recommend it to anyone struggling with a school solution to their dyslexic child.
My child appreciates the individual attention afforded by small class sizes as well as the flexibility and creativity of the teachers in accommodating different learning styles. She/he is very social, and has expressed disappointment that there is not greater access to a larger student population (i.e. more opportunities to make new friends), but understands that an effective learning environment is important. She/he has commented on some areas of the fairly old building that need repairs. She/he sometimes gripes about the "uniform" (simple t-shirt), but I think it's a good idea, and makes getting ready in the morning simple! Having access to a library would be nice. Perhaps the students could visit a library once a month so that they can have access to a range of books and learn to appreciate all that a library has to offer.