Micro schools: the wave of the future

The main features and benefits of micro schools

Find a list of schools

The one-room-school-house of the past is back, but it’s retooled and positioned to be the school of the future. Dubbed “micro schools,” these independent, often progressive schools have been opening across the UK, the US, and here in Canada. Many, though, have been around for decades. Read more


List of micro schools (schools with 60 or fewer students)

 
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"We are a therapeutic boarding school for Gr. 3-12 students requiring individualized academic, clinical, and behaviour-management solutions in small class sizes and professional home stay or boarding environments" —From the school

  • Gr. 3 to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $30,750 to $89,180 /program
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Applewood Academy for Progressive Learning 30750 MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Boarding Day Coed
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Yonge Street/Silverwood Ave.
 
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"Century Private School in Richmond Hill runs from preschool to grade twelve, with small class ratio to ensure best learning for our students." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 12 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $18,500 to $28,500
  • Day school
  • 0 students
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Century Private School 18500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Yonge/Eglinton
 
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"We go beyond curriculum expectations to provide opportunities for students to earn admission into their choice of university using our AP accreditation, staff expertise and individual goal setting in small classes." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $14,500 to $21,500
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Toronto STEM School 14500 HighSchools Homestay Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Eglinton Avenue East/Laird Drive
 
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"Explore Nature is experiential learning, exploring curiosity for the natural world. Our programs embrace nature connection through meaningful experiences and relationships focusing on personal growth and well-being." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 3 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $5,575 to $13,750
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Explore Nature 5575 Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
Burnaby, British Columbia
Boundary Road/Canada Way
 
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"Whytecliff is a safe, empathetic & supportive place for teens with a diverse range of learning needs / personal challenges. Our positive community & high-growth environment pulls each child up to be their very best!" —From the school

  • Gr. 8 to 12 (Coed)
  • $8,900 to $21,000
  • Day school
  • 32 students
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Whytecliff Agile Learning Centre - Burnaby 8900 HighSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Yonge St./Lawrence Ave.
 
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"The Dunblaine School empowers students with learning disabilities to reach their full potential. It offers programs for students from grade one to eight, with an average class size of 5-7 students." —From the school

  • Gr. 1 to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $26,000 to $27,500
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The Dunblaine School 26000 Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Concord, Ontario
 
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"Rotman School: Educating children to empower them for positive contributions to Canadian society. Fostering independence, creativity, and self-esteem through exploration of unique skill sets." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum; Reggio Emilia
  • $12,000 to $16,500
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Rotman Arts and Science School 12000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Ottawa, Ontario
Kirkwood/Laperriere
 
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"Revel Academy is a learner-driven micro-school that utilizes adaptive and mastery-based technology, Socratic discussions, hands-on projects, and real-world apprenticeships in an innovative, character-forging community." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $15,250
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Revel Academy 15250 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Etobicoke, Ontario
Bloor St./Jane St.
 
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"Blyth Academy Etobicoke, located in Toronto's west end, focuses on personalized education, small class sizes, and experiential learning." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum
  • $19,495 to $25,395
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Blyth Academy Etobicoke 19495 HighSchools Day Coed
Vancouver, British Columbia
 
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"HongDe Elementary School provides Kindergarten-Grade 5 students a Chinese (Mandarin) / English bilingual education in a safe and supportive learning environment that recognizes the individual needs of each student." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 6 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $16,800 to $19,800
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HongDe Elementary School 16800 Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
Etobicoke, Ontario
 
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"Oak Learners inspires meaningful learning every day for students in Kindergarten through Grade Eight. Passionate teachers nurture children’s natural curiosity about their world with hands-on experiences." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; Reggio Emilia
  • $16,900 to $19,250
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Oak Learners 16900 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Lower Spadina/Bathurst
 
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"At Free Spirit MDT, we are dedicated to creating a nurturing, stimulating and welcoming environment. Learning in a intimate setting, we are able to take into consideration and encourage the free spirit of each child." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to K (Coed)
  • Montessori approach
  • $11,600 to $15,700
  • Day school
  • 16 students
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Free Spirit Montessori Downtown 11600 Preschool Kindergarten Day Coed
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Leslie/16th Ave
 
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"Morningside/ABA based curriculum and individualized approach targets not only academic success but also emotional, social, vocational and life skills that are the core skills of life-long success of each student." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Reggio Emilia
  • $17,000 to $25,000
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AIM Without Limits 17000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
North York, Ontario
Bathurst/Wilson
 
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"Magnificent Minds Inc. caters to students whose needs are not being met in traditional school environments, pursuing personal best through a balanced approach to education." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $20,000 to $26,000
  • Day school
  • 30 students
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Magnificent Minds 20000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Surrey, British Columbia
152 Street/Highway 10
 
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"We understand the importance of developing a well-rounded individual. Our Art and Sports Expert Streams are integrated with the Academic curriculum to amplify our students’ growth into capable and confident adults." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 7 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $17,000 to $18,250
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Glarea Elevated Learning 17000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Markham, Ontario
Brimley Road/14th Ave South
 
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"Established in 1974, Somerset Academy is an independent, not-for-profit private school that provides education to students in JK Grades 8. Somerset Academy has an average class size of 13 to 18 students." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $12,850 to $15,200
  • Day school
  • 0 students
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Somerset Academy 12850 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Church/Bloor
 
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"Founded in 1997, the Abelard School is a small independent school for grades 7 through 12, located in downtown Toronto. It offers small class sizes and an enriched, integrated curriculum to bright, motivated students." —From the school

  • Gr. 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $22,000 to $27,000
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The Abelard School 22000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
QEW/Erin Mills Parkway
 
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"GlenOak Academy offers an educational experience as EXTRAORDINARY as your child! Our innovative, engaging approach to teaching and learning focuses on positive relationships, character development and academic success." —From the school

  • Gr. SK to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $24,500 to $61,900
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GlenOak Academy 24500 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day eSchool Coed
Kanata, Ontario
March Road/Sandhill Road
 
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"March Academy offers an alternative program for students in grades 1 through 8. Small classes with enriching academics as well as weekly lessons in music, the arts, nature, yoga, taekwondo, and daily physical education." —From the school

  • Gr. 1 to 8 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum
  • $16,000
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March Academy 16000 Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Highway 27/Finch
 
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"Learning Beam Academy has a focus on academic achievements and innovative learning opportunities using the Ontario curriculum. Our school is an online private high school that offers credit courses for grades 9-12." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $12,500 to $16,500
  • eSchool
  • 10 students
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Learning Beam Academy 12500 HighSchools eSchool Coed
Burlington, Ontario
Guelph Line/New Street
 
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"At ELEVATE, we are focusing on identifying and meeting the needs of students with learning differences. We use evidence-based approaches like UFLI, Wilson, and OG to support our students." —From the school

  • Gr. 1 to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $24,000
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Elevate Learning Centre 24000 Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Mississauga, Ontario
Hurontario/Queensway
 
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"Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic School in Mississauga offers Casa Montessori programs for children a ged 2.5 to 6. Before- and after-school care and summer camps also available." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to SK (Coed)
  • Montessori approach
  • $7,070 to $11,960
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Shepherd Montessori Private Catholic School 7070 Preschool Kindergarten Day Coed
Vancouver, British Columbia
Broadway/Granville
 
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"Vancouver's only dedicated STEM high school, VISST offers the full BC curriculum with accelerated & enriched STEM. Students will learn from domain experts and PhDs in small classes." —From the school

  • Gr. 8 to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $1 to $23,400
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Vancouver Independent School for Science and Technology 1 HighSchools Day Coed
Richmond Hill, Ontario
 
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"A place where every learner is seen, heard and empowered to make an impact in their communities. An unparalleled online learning experience, providing academic excellence, experiential learning and personalized support." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $20,500
  • eSchool
  • 40 students
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HTS Online 20500 HighSchools eSchool Coed
Kitchener, Ontario
 
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"Carmel New Church School provides a loving, peaceful place with indoor and outdoor classrooms where students are taught to become productive and caring people, both in this life and the next." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $2,000
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Carmel New Church School 2000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
North York, Ontario
Avenue Road/Lawrence Avenue
 
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"Through our dynamic individual education plans, mentorship, and therapeutic counselling we ensure all students feel comfortable, respected and cared for, so they stay actively engaged in their educational journey." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $18,875 to $24,075
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AVRO Academy 18875 HighSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
 
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"Aurora Alternative Micro School has created a curriculum that combines academic and creative experiences , engaging a child's head, heart and hands in an environment that is supportive, nurturing and rich in growth." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $11,000
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Aurora Alternative Micro School 11000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Brantford, Ontario
Charlotte St/Chatham St
 
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"Located in Brantford, Ontario, Montessori House of Children (MHC) provides excellent programs for grades Nursery to 3 and helps young children reach their learning potential with both independent and self-directed learning. MHC also offers support for students with learning differences." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to SK (Coed)
  • Montessori approach
  • $12,000 to $13,000
  • Day school
  • 41 students
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Montessori House of Children 12000 Preschool Kindergarten Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Queen/Silver Birch
 
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"The Cole Academy welcomes students of all genders and orientations and their families. Using stories of under-represented communities, TCA prepares students socially, emotionally, and academically for future schooling." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $25,000
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The Cole Academy 25000 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Dufferin St/Lawrence Ave W
 
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"Leonardo Da Vinci Academy provides exceptional schooling for the formative years. Our unique curriculum aims to instil a love of learning and challenges students to develop their full potential." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Montessori
  • $10,500 to $18,300
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Leonardo Da Vinci Academy of Arts & Sciences 10500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Bloor St. West/Windermere St.
 
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"Erudite School offers individual learning maps to meet the needs of each child. Our curriculum highlights: English, French, and optional Russian, the Arts and STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $15,540
  • Day school
  • 40 students
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Erudite Private School 15540 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Ottawa, Ontario
Carling Avenue/Broadview Avenue
 
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"Edelweiss Private Academy offers elementary education to students with ASD and other exceptionalities, maintaining small teacher to student ratios. We promote strong academic, physical and social-emotional development." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $20,500 to $40,000
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Edelweiss Private Academy 20500 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Queen St E/Woodbine Ave
 
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"ATI is a school for ambitious teens who want to develop into independent, curious, self-motivated individuals. Gain the skills, knowledge and agency to build the future that you want. Located in The Beaches." —From the school

  • Gr. 7 to 9 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $18,000
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Academy of Thought and Industry Toronto 18000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
North Vancouver, British Columbia
W 22nd/Phillip
 
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"As a Reggio Inspired School in North Vancouver, Sunflower engages daily in rigorous reflective practice - collaboratively designing curriculum and environment around the emerging interests and curiosities of the children" —From the school

  • Gr. PS (Coed)
  • Reggio Emilia approach
  • $2,400 to $5,500
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Sunflower Early Learning Society 2400 Preschool Day Coed
Whitby, Ontario
Brock Street South/Dundas Streer West
 
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"The Hatch House Montessori School is a very child centered school where each student is respected for their uniqueness and is guided through learning accordingly. Ask about our unique, fully bilingual elementary program." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to 8 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum
  • $12,250 to $15,750
  • Day school
  • 0 students
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Hatch House Montessori School 12250 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Bathurst St./Eglinton Ave. West
 
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"NOW WITH LICENSED DAYCARE! Bring your child for a free trial to let him or her experience the difference. Don't be surprised if he or she doesn't want to go home at the end of the day! SUMMER CAMP PROGRAMS AVAILABLE!" —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 6 (Coed)
  • Montessori curriculum; Waldorf
  • $15,500 to $17,500
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Alive Montessori & Private School 15500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
Etobicoke, Ontario
Burnhamthorpe Road/Kipling Avenue
 
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"At Olivet School, we focus on building the "whole child". We create a warm, caring environment for our students through small class sizes and integrating Christian values and character development into all that we do." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 5 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $7,880 to $13,240
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Olivet School 7880 Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
Riverview, New Brunswick
 
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"Focusing on balancing academic and intellectual growth with physical and mental well-being, we engage students in a culture of collaboration and wellness through our world-class academic program." —From the school

  • Gr. K to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum; International Baccalaureate
  • $15,900
  • Day school
  • 33 students
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Eastgate Academy 15900 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Etobicoke, Ontario
Bloor/Shaver
 
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"Kingsley's small classes and personal approach help students reach their unique potential. Each child is seen, heard, and respected. French, music, and phys-ed round out a program which includes plenty of time outdoors." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 5 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Reggio Emilia
  • $7,500 to $13,000
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Kingsley Primary School 7500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
Etobicoke, Ontario
 
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"Quo Vadis, through a Polish-English bilingual program, aims to assist in the formation of well-rounded, responsible individuals, promotes academic excellence and encourages self-esteem within a Catholic environment." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 8 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $13,500
  • Day school
  • 40 students
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Quo Vadis Elementary School 13500 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
Bayview Ave/Broadway Ave
 
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"A daily goal is for our children to arrive at school excited for the day ahead. Aside from our excellent academic programs, we plan many fun events for the children to enjoy throughout the school year." —From the school

  • Gr. PS to 2 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum; Reggio Emilia
  • $8,500 to $24,000
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Children's Garden Nursery School 8500 Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed
Ancaster, Ontario
Garner rd w/Panabaker dr
 
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"Our friendly, helpful and inclusive environment makes us unique! TBC cultivates respect. We expect our students to work hard, to think critically and creatively. A parent coined it a "Boutique School". Proud to be." —From the school

  • Gr. 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $34,000
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Tapply Binet College 34000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Day eSchool Coed
Orleans, Ontario
 
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"Ottawa Victory Christian Academy becomes an extension of your family. Staff and teachers know each child and work with students and their family to achieve success academically, socially, physically, and spiritually." —From the school

  • Gr. JK to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $7,250 to $7,750
  • Day school
  • 50 students
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Ottawa Victory Christian Academy 7250 Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed
London, Ontario
Wellington Street/Central Avenue
 
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"Sycamore School offers grades 8-12 personalized education in an alternative programs that address the needs of secondary school students who may thrive in a small community of learners working toward graduation." —From the school

  • Gr. 8 to 12 (Coed)
  • Liberal Arts curriculum
  • $20,200
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The Sycamore School 20200 HighSchools Day Coed
Toronto, Ontario
 
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"Some of the greatest inventors, authors, and entrepreneurs of our time had minds that differed from the average. Our unique methodology addresses the needs of learners with ADHD and Dyslexia." —From the school

  • Gr. 3 to 8 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $21,000
  • Day school
  • 30 students
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The Learning Common 21000 MiddleSchools Day Coed
Gretna, Manitoba
 
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"Faith is at the center of all we do at MCI- from the court, to the stage, to the classroom. We work to provide a safe space for students to ask questions, dig deeper, grow into who God is calling them to be." —From the school

  • Gr. 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Traditional curriculum
  • $6,800 to $30,500
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Mennonite Collegiate Institute 6800 HighSchools Boarding Day Coed
Unionville, Ontario
Brimley Road/14th Ave
 
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"Founded in 1990, Yip's Montessori Program cater to children from 1.5 to 6 years old. Yip's campuses are located in Markham and Unionville." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to SK (Coed)
  • Montessori approach
  • $9,480 to $15,840
  • Day school
  • 0 students
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Yip’s Music & Montessori School 9480 Preschool Kindergarten Day Coed
Kimberley, British Columbia
 
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"Grateful. Mindful. Purposeful. Successful. At Purcell Collegiate School, we will prep you--for university and for life. Learn more about the u.prep@pcs suite of extra-curricular programs on our website." —From the school

  • Gr. 7 to 12 (Coed)
  • Progressive curriculum
  • $62,000 to $83,000
  • Boarding
  • 60 students
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Purcell Collegiate School 62000 MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Coed
North York / Scarborough, Ontario
Victoria Park/Lawrence
 
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"Nurturing innate love for learning, we offer independent educational chances for young children to cultivate lifelong knowledge and self discovery." —From the school

  • Gr. NS to SK (Coed)
  • Montessori approach
  • $8,500 to $13,500
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Curlew Montessori School 8500 Preschool Kindergarten Day Coed

What micro schools are like

While micro schools can vary in many ways, one thing they have in common is their size. Micro schools, as you might expect, are small and have an intimate learning environment. In particular, you can expect a micro school will have most of the following features related to its size:

While micro schools vary in their aims and goals, they tend to share a common approach. This approach is in stark contrast to that of more traditional or conventional schools. Indeed, micro schools tend to have the following alternative or progressive characteristics:

Benefits of micro schools

It is widely accepted that any current education system must continually adapt and reform to keep pace with the needs of the future. It can be a struggle, though, for large schools to make effective changes to keep up. It is exactly this ability of micro schools to adapt and manage change quickly that makes them so successful.  

Little bureaucracy and lower overhead costs allow for a flexibility in education not experienced in other models. Micro schools can be adaptable and innovative, and can apply best practices, new programs, and methodologies that are being developed and implemented in other parts of the world.

Small classes and programs make on-going evaluation and assessment of programs and student achievement easier to do in real-time. They also provide the flexibility to make improvements right away.  

The curriculum at micro schools tends to be student-driven to increase engagement and an appreciation for lifelong learning (similar to Montessori and Waldorf schools). The focus is on developing each child, with their unique abilities, strengths, interests, and personal learning goals in mind.

This contrasts with the “one-size-fits-all,” standardized curriculum that is still the norm, despite being developed to educate the masses over a century ago. Newer, innovative approaches in education that favour the development of 21st century skills, such as inquiry and project-based learning, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education, and an integrated curriculum are easier to apply effectively in the small setting of a micro school.

Personalized learning” programs are commonplace in micro schools, with the educator team working collaboratively to guide and support students in all aspects, including academics, 21st century skill development, and social-emotional needs. The collaborative “it-takes-a village” approach allows for a seamless transition from year-to-year, with a continuation of goal-setting and skill development, because all staff members understand each student’s needs and work together to provide support. This individualized approach supports the development of the whole child: academically, socially, and emotionally.

Micro schools and the future

Micro schools focus on 21st century skills, modern approaches, personalized learning, and have an intimate home-like environment. This “old-is-new-again” model is quickly becoming an appealing option for many families looking for a more progressive and innovative approach to education. The growing coverage of these schools in the media means bringing their unique take on learning to the forefront of discussions on the definition of school.

These schools thus have the unique opportunity to take huge steps forward in education. This is the reason their founders and directors have decided to open up shop and take education reform into their own hands. The drive to be innovative, efficient, and effective helps ensure big success for students. This ability to be so adaptive and responsive to the individual needs of students is very appealing in an age where the pace of change is hard to keep up with.

Micro schools do have their limits of course, such as fewer extracurriculars and sports clubs. However, the addition of these schools provides much needed choice in education. This is becoming more important as we look to meet the changing needs of our students, so that they can succeed in the 21st century.

Amanda Dervaitis, founder and principal of Summit Micro School in Toronto

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