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Grades Preschool TO 12 — Markham, ON (Map)

J. Addison School:

Roundtable Q&A Discussion About J. Addison School (2021)

J. Addison School alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Mr. Koji, Chloe, Nicholas, Daniel had to say about the school.

Video Contents

Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Mr. Koji — current parent

Mr. Koji has one son that recently graduated from J. Addison School in 2021 another that’s still enrolled in the school. He felt that his sons, although highly athletic, were struggling academically. He decided to enrol them at J. Addison, and since then has seen both of them thrive in all areas of learning.

  • “There were no promises made [to my son] without hard work. … As long as the student is willing to put in the work, [J. Addison School] is willing to help. … I can tell you I'm a big advocate of J. Addison School. Within the first semester, we noticed a tremendous change in [our son], the way he relates to people and the way approaches things changed. The first time he came home [from J. Addison School] ... we had concerns about his [messy] room, and any parent with teenagers will understand. When I went into his room, it was like day and night. We gave [J. Addison School] a boy, and they gave us a man.”
  • “We know [our son is] a good athlete, but he started basketball at J. Addison [School]. We didn't really know how well it would take off, but because our academic concerns trumped basketball, we said, ‘let's see how it goes.’ To be quite honest with you, [J. Addison School] exceeded all of our expectations. [The school basketball team] went on to win the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Challenge Series. … I was there at every game, and I could see the growth. In just the past weekend, [my son] won the MVP award.”
  • “Academically, [my son] came in to [J. Addison School] with an average grade of 67%. He graduated with an average rate of 88%.”
  • “[My son] was struggling with math. … The first time his grades came in [from J. Addison School], and I asked him ‘what changed? You were struggling with math until you transitioned to J. Addison School],’ and he looked at me and said, ‘Dad, the teachers and the staff actually care. They want you to be good.’ After that statement, he said, ‘I think [my younger brother] should come to [J. Addison School] too.’”
  • “[Three words that describe J. Addison School], from what I observed from my kids, would be inclusiveness, leadership, and innovation. … As you know, the world is a global village, and being unique means that you're different from everybody, and the ability to assimilate and work with everybody makes you a global leader. … [J. Addison School] has been leading us on the educational front. It took a kid like my son, who was not very confident in himself, and turned him into a leader. This shows me that J. Addison [School] naturally grooms leaders.”
  • “The transition [for my sons from their old school to J. Addison School] was seamless, and to me that is innovative. The innovativeness has actually transcended from the staff and faculty members to the students, and they believe they’re leaders in the province and in the country.”
  • “The values of the parents that I observed are diversity, compassion, and motivation. If you look at J. Addison [School], the motivation aspect of it, they are always motivating [students] to be who they are and to be leaders of tomorrow.”
  • “The work that [J. Addison School] puts in to help students succeed motivates not just the student, but also the parents. There is diversity in the school. It is inclusive.”
  • “Recently, with the advent of the EDI (the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Fund), J. Addison [School] is actually at the forefront of this. Before the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Fund became a global phenomenon, [J. Addison School] was already at the forefront of it. They gave scholarships to some of the minority students, and work well in making sure that they succeed. … The staff has compassion, and they actually invest in students.”
  • “Every time I pick up the phone to call [J. Addison School], [the staff is] right there. [They’re] like, ‘okay, hold on, Mr. Koji, I'll get you what you need.’ The compassion that the staff, the faculty, and the students [show at J. Addison School] is just mind-blowing for me.”

Chloe — alum

Chloe graduated from J. Addison School in 2016, after attending the school for two years as an international boarding student from China. She had the highest average her final year there and was elected Valedictorian. She was then accepted into one of the top business programs in Canada but chose to go to the University of Hong Kong to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance.

  • “What I appreciated most at [J. Addison School] is … how hard [the staff at J. Addison School] tried to give us everything that we wanted and needed. … I think that what J. Addison [School] did is they really listened to [the students], and they tried to give us everything that we wanted, and all the courses that they could bear.”
  • “When I was a Grade 11 student, I was starting to choose the courses for my university. I remember I took a look at the list that J. Addison [School] offered. … [The teacher said], ‘I know that there are not many choices for now, but [students] can definitely let us know what they want to [study] ... and we will try our best to see what we can do.’ Many of [the students] said that they wanted to learn about social sciences. I remember in one semester’s time, [J. Addison School] made [the course] for us. I remember it was a family study course. … We were so excited to have it. … I think it's very amazing.”
  • “[J. Addison School] offered me an accounting course that really changed my life. That's what my major was in university. I remember, I told [my teacher], ‘I think I like business’, after studying an international business course. … I remember [the teachers], kept asking us, ‘what do you want? Let us know what you want, and then we will try to give it to you.’”
  • “I think it's so amazing that [J. Addison School] tries to make [students] feel at home when we are away from [home]. I'm really appreciative.”
  • “I think what is best about [J. Addison School] is that you can voice [your opinions], and you can grow together with the school.”
  • “[J. Addison School] has all kinds of different cultures in their environment. … Because it's a new school, [J. Addison School] doesn't have very rigid [rules]. ... I think what is good is that [J. Addison School] listens to students, and they want us to voice what we think the school is not doing well at the moment, so they can do it better.”
  • “Given that most students and classmates at [J. Addison School] were international we were having a hard time adapting to the new environment and the new learning style in Canada. What is offered in Asia is so much different. … If you don't score well, people don't think you’ll do well [in life]. At [J. Addison School], all the teachers let us know that they appreciate every [student’s] uniqueness. It didn’t matter whether we were good at sports, or good at studying, or good at art. [J. Addison School] gave us all the resources that we would like to have in order to improve.”
  • “All of the teaching staff [at J. Addison School] always told us that if we were trying our best, they appreciated our effort a lot. It was a very encouraging atmosphere.”
  • “No matter where you come from, I know it can be very stressful and challenging to get used to a completely new environment at the beginning. I want all of the new [J. Addison School] joiners to remember that you are not alone. All the teachers [at J. Addison School] are very passionate and very encouraging. They want you to feel like a family at all times. You can let J. Addison [School] be another home you can rely on. You can tell [the staff] your concerns. You have friends and teachers as your family.”
  • “I think you can be your best [at J. Addison School]. You can learn a lot, you can grow with the school, and you can achieve a lot.”

Nicholas — alum

Nicholas graduated from J. Addison School in 2020 as an Ontario Scholar and is now studying kinesiology at the University of Toronto. During his time at J. Addison, Nicholas appreciated the small class sizes, which allowed him to come out of his shell. He made new friends from all over the world in the school’s diverse atmosphere and learned about many other cultures. He feels that the school improved his confidence, work ethic, and organizational skills, which helped him thrive academically and socially.

  • “What I most appreciated about J. Addison [School] was the student population, because back in my larger school, a very big school in Hong Kong, honestly, I was just another number. … In J. Addison [School], I felt like I was a bigger piece of the pie. … I feel that more students got to take the spotlight more often.”
  • “[The smaller population at J. Addison School] was very good for growing, because you got the chance to meet other people from different classes. … For me, I think that's very big, because I am an introvert, and this opportunity really helped me strive academically.” 
  • “I fell in love with chemistry at [J. Addison School]. The first lesson I had was amazing. [My teacher] was so enthusiastic about chemistry. I loved it. Now I'm taking summer courses. I'm still taking chemistry. I didn't enjoy it as much as I did at [J. Addison School], but it's still very fun. I love chemistry. … It's only been a year for me since I left [J. Addison School], so [my perspective on it] honestly has not changed. [J. Addison School] has changed me in terms of my work ethic and also academic organization drastically.”
  • “[What differentiates J. Addison School is] the student population. Honestly, it's so different from other schools, because schools in Hong Kong are usually very big. I also think the diversity [at J. Addison School] played a huge role in making it unique/ … At [J. Addison School] there are people from Russia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, everywhere. I got to learn a lot more about people from other cultures, and I also got to reconnect with my Chinese heritage with my Chinese friends, because a huge population of the students are from China.”
  • “I think living in a boarding school, my first impression was that it was going to be very lonely, and because it's very far from home, I would feel kind of sad. Then when I put myself in the actual setting of the boarding school at [J. Addison School], it felt like home. Sharing a room with several other students helped me build trust among my peers, which also allowed me to get help from other students when I needed help with my homework.”
  • “It felt very natural to me when I first came to J. Addison [School]. I just trusted in the process, and I ended up somewhere better than where I would have expected myself to be. … I describe the school as very challenging because I pushed myself beyond my original limit. I kept doing that, and it made me become so much better than I was before I came in.”
  • “J. Addison School is very compassionate. … I was not just a number in the school. I felt like a bigger piece of the pie, and they supported students in every way that they could. I think that was something I couldn't get from any other school.”
  • “I think [families would be most surprised about] the ethnic diversity [at J. Addison School]. ... In Canada, locals usually go to local public schools, but there's actually a lot of local students [at J. Addison School]. There's also a lot of international students. So everyone just comes together.”
  • “It's not just the students that are very ethnically diverse, but also the staff. [J. Addison School] has got teachers from all around the world, which enabled us to become more accepting of others.”
  • “I miss every second I got to spend [at J. Addison School]. It was truly a unique experience, and I was extremely grateful for every second.”

Daniel — alum

Daniel graduated from J. Addison in 2015, where he achieved the highest average in his graduating class, and was the Student Council President. He then went to Wilfred Laurier University, where he studied business and graduated with honours. He now works as a business consultant and analyst.

  • “The one thing I'd say I appreciated the most about [J. Addison School] was the number of opportunities I got to take it on. … The school was so small when I was there, there weren't many clubs that were around, but there was a lot of leeway and a lot of opportunities for me to join. The Student Council, for example, or starting a club like Red Cross, or starting a soccer team. There were a lot of leadership opportunities that I got to take on, and I think that was due to the fact that [J. Addison’s] size was so small and the school was so new.”
  • “I got to take on a lot more leadership opportunities [at J. Addison School] that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to. I learned a lot of soft skills that really helped me in business school, especially with the case competition, doing other clubs on campus, or even now that I'm working.”
  • “I learned a lot of soft skills [at J. Addison School] from dealing with people from different cultures, or from being in a leadership role as a Student Council President, and communicating to teams. … I think if you want me to pitch J. Addison [School] to a prospective student, I'd say that's number one thing is the opportunities that are given to you if you're willing to take them on.”
  • “At [J. Addison School], everyone's pretty studious and academically focused for the most part. So I think that was a major difference [from the public school I attended before]. ... When I went to [J. Addison School] it was super early on in the school’s inception. We kind of grew together with the school, instead of being at a school that's 150 years old … where things are very traditional and they always try to stick to what they've known the best.”
  • “In three words, [I would describe J. Addison School] as multicultural, a tight-knit community, and inclusive.”
  • “I think parents would be surprised how much their kids will grow during their time at [J. Addison School].”
  • “It was quite tough to manage everything at one time, with having to study, get good grades, and apply to university. The support behind me [at J. Addison School] was tremendous. [My teachers] were the key individuals who helped me through a lot of the challenges that I went through during Grade 12. I think it's a really cool combination of the teachers holding your hand a little bit, helping guide you to things, but also pushing you really hard.”
  • “[The teachers at J. Addison School] were always pushing me here and there to make sure that I was succeeding, and that I was doing the best I can.”
  • “I think through just one year of being at J. Addison [School] I grew a lot as a person, and I honestly would say that I would have not been the same person I am today if I did not go to J. Addison [School]. That's how important and big [the school] is to my life. One year of being at J. Addison [School] basically changed my life.”

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More written reviews


Student, Zaimuran Tuerhong (2022)

Gr. 8 to 9 — I am a 9th-grade student at J Addison School and I was originally born in Beijing, China. In 2021, I came to J. Addison School as an international boarding student and I have been at the school for al...


Student, Steven Guo (2022)

Gr. 7 to 8 — From my perception, I think J. Addison school is indisputably the most outstanding private school in Toronto among other schools I’ve been to. The experience I had here at J. Addison will forever le...


Student, Daryn Lai (2021)

Based on my personal experience, I would consider the school like a second home for me. In addition, there are over 300 day and boarding students from various countries, including Canada. The school o...
See all written reviews (7 total)

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