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Niagara Christian Collegiate:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Gr. 6 TO Gr. 12 — Fort Erie, ON (Map)

Niagara Christian Collegiate:

Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Niagara Christian Collegiate (2020)

Niagara Christian Collegiate alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Daniel Cattori, Todd MacGregor, Julie MacGregor had to say about the school.

Video Contents

Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Daniel Cattori — alum

Daniel attended NCC as an international boarding student from Mexico. He is now back in Mexico, attending an American university. He found religion, as well as a tight-knit community while attending Niagara Christian Collegiate.

  • “One thing that I appreciated the most after starting [at NCC] well five years ago was the fact that I was part of a community… . I was not one more student in the whole school. I was actually someone in the school. That sense of community, people around me, wanting me to become better or maybe wanting to learn from others is something that was extremely useful. I appreciate it a lot. Now that I'm in university, I see that it is really hard to find yourself in that community.”
  • “Well, and this is so I said before, our community is relatively small in contrast to other schools. I don't think there are many schools that the class sizes are relatively small like NCC. The benefit of NCC having small classes is you get to know the teacher. The teacher gets to know you. If you have any questions, you can just simply ask. If you're struggling, the teacher will know that you're struggling. Because of the small class size, the teacher can focus on you, he can adapt the teaching method to you, so you can really succeed there.”
  • “[NCC] is a community in the sense that, you know you're far away from home, but you have people there that care about you, and are behind you all the time. They somehow act as parents, for example, that if you are not doing really well at school or in a class, not only the teacher knows about that, but the dorm staff will also know all that.”
  • “If [the staff] see you doing something else but studying, they will come and encourage you to study. Another thing that, at least to my parents, that was really surprising was that the school is located alongside the river, which is pretty amazing and pretty beautiful.”
  • “Somehow my parents fell in love with a story [NCC’s President told], and then they decided that it would be a great idea [to enrol me] since I was in a really good position to be sent to NCC. I think they're quite happy with that decision … my mom, and I think other parents too, are really concerned about [their kids] being in another country. So being able to talk to the staff, being able to talk to the dorm staff, being able to talk to my teachers, being able to talk to the administration staff helped a lot.”
  • “Students should try to, as I said, take advantage of your resources for you to develop, for example, you finish school and instead of going to your dorm, you could totally go for a walk alongside the river or join an extracurricular activity, or just hang out with your friends.”
  • “If NCC were a person, it would be a person who is lovable or caring, and adaptive. ... We are like a family … . [NCC] worries about you and they want you to become better. This can be any staff member, teachers, faculty, anyone … if you are not doing well in any area you're worried about, there is certainly someone that you can talk to and they will try to help you to fix it.”
  • “[What makes NCC] adaptive ... a very simple example ... is that if you're struggling with something in the education aspect, and you come up with the teacher and say, ‘hey, I need your help with this, I need you to help me understand this,’ they will certainly give time out of their schedule to make sure you understand it.”
  • “I was one of those students who, when I got there in Grade 8, was not really involved with the Christian religion. I was never pushed by someone [at NCC] to pray, or pushed by someone to believe in something. Definitely, you can be a Christian, or another religion and still fit in perfectly well at [NCC].”

Todd MacGregor — current parent

Todd and his wife Julie have three children, one has graduated and two currently attend NCC. Todd is a pastor in the Fort Erie area, and has established strong connections with Niagara Christian Collegiate through religion.

  • “The first thing that stood out to me [about NCC] was integrity and quality of character … we've noticed that with administration staff ... custodial staff and teachers, from middle school in and through the high school, there's been this consistency in the quality of character amongst the teachers, and a real Christian integrity, which we've really appreciated.”
  • “I would also say, there's a really kind environment … . [NCC] is generous and outgoing and goes above and beyond to make our kids feel comfortable, and engage with us in a kind and respectful manner as parents. They keep us all well-informed… . [NCC] is such a unique environment when it comes to international school and local students. The teachers and staff [at NCC] ... have really integrated this really accepting environment, both from teacher to student and from student to student.”
  • “As a pastor, and obviously a father, the faith aspect was important to us at Niagara Christian Collegiate.”
  • “I think if there's any positive aspect that we didn't foresee in making this transition from public to private context, is the international component of students from all over the world coming together, and what a positive impact it had on our kids.”
  • “We didn't anticipate the academic improvement that NCC would give [my children], obviously, we knew that the faith aspect would be great, and we could see the international component being a positive impact, but we noticed a huge difference in how our kids were learning and in their grades improving. Even if there was a struggle… it's real one-on-one time that the teachers can give students … and they will  identify and then notify us as parents, and say ‘there's some concerns, and here's how we're going to help remedy that in a really good way.’”
  • “I think they're thankful for the opportunities that they're given, and forced into… they have opportunities that you wouldn't have in the public arena... and that especially when it comes to sports … at NCC it's like, ‘no, you have to play because we don't have enough players and you're just going to play.’
  • “From what we've noticed ... from our personal experience, there's an obvious value on excellence in academics.”
  • “[There is] a personal faith that we had noticed from the beginning [at NCC]. We desired that from the beginning. The personal relationships that teachers can have with students when it comes to faith, and a Christian worldview, is a value that is tangible as well that we've noticed.”
  • “I would say it's the environment as a whole [that makes NCC Christian]. It's not just a chapel on Monday mornings where I'm going to speak for 20 minutes, and we're going to do a couple of worship songs. It carried on through the teachers, through their character. Even as they play a role of leading the students in some sort of aspect … they talk about the pressures of life in a school context, and help to weather that, in understanding how to really appropriate the strength that God gives, in what faith means, and how it matters.”
  • “[I had] the privilege to be able to run this youth group called ‘The City’ [at NCC]…  which is just it's another environment where the students can come and hear about Christ, and they can hear from the word of God, and do it in their not alone, in their kind of learning with with other students. Where they're free to ask honest questions, and things that they're wrestling with, and doubts, and struggles, and the pressures, and failures, and stress, and anxiety that comes.”

Julie MacGregor — current parent

Julie and her husband Todd have three children: one has graduated and two currently attend NCC. She credits NCC with inspiring her daughter to be adventurous in her travels after graduating.

  • “No  student is left to themselves. If anyone is on their own, they are reached out to. Everyone, no matter how unique, is made to feel part of the family. We have seen, because our kids have gone for a couple of years now, many different types of students come in, and absolutely maybe their experience before [in other schools] was more negative because of their uniqueness. NCC can turn that around and we've seen them flourish in a very short time. It's a beautiful thing to see for sure.”
  • “I had heard that small classroom sizes were great, but we'd never experienced it … . Our kids had been keeping afloat in the public school system. So, it was just wonderful for as they as they attended for longer, and for teachers to be able to tune in to the people that [our kids] are…[NCC] could speak to their strengths and weaknesses, and help them in lots of areas that were never even really brought to our attention before.”
  • “[For our daughter], the international aspect of the school has shaped her whole life, and she loves having friends all over the world. It has inspired her to travefter graduating, go to Sweden and explore Europe. And this is not something that's going to end anytime soon.”
  • “[Our daughter] has benefited from meeting people from different backgrounds, that have different worldviews and experiences, and that has only enriched all of our children. … We wanted them to see that we live in a global world now and we aren't just stuck in our little town anymore. We wanted them to see how beautiful our world is, and that although it was difficult for us to send our daughter away, it's been a wonderful thing.”
  • “[My kids] are not so afraid to take things on, and they will take risks and are much more confident. Those are just a few of the ways that they have been impacted [by NCC], which we've seen that just go beyond their school life.”
  • “We aren't from the city, so [my kids] are used to a calm, kind of boring environment. They love it because there is this sense of freedom there with so much space to roam in. They have their independence and they feel like it's theirs, they own it. As much as kids can feel sometimes like everybody is looking over their shoulder and watching. That's not how it is [at NCC].”
  • “The kids are trusted to be able to handle themselves and just be kids [at NCC]. They're allowed to be kids on the campus … that is something that they enjoy, and that matters to them.” 
  • “They never want to leave. They love the culture [at NCC] … and the one thing [my kids] all have said right at the beginning of their attending NCC, was that there is a wonderful mood and feel of the environment. It's not a toxic environment.”
  • “[NCC] is not chaotic, it's really pleasant. There is kindness, respect, and manners … . They really were happy to be there. They weren't nervous. They were instantly very comfortable on campus because of just that kind of culture that's just there. It's wonderful, and it's obvious, even just on an open house day that they would get that.”
  • “We know that also [NCC’s] values are reinforced by the personal investment that we see the teachers giving. [The teachers] care about how you're doing. Every time there's been any struggle in academics, there are a variety of opportunities for support, from tutoring to just suggesting another teacher on campus who is strong in certain skills. The teachers do whatever it takes to help your student do well, and overcome obstacles. They do that without any kind of condemnation or pressure, so we know that NCC values that, because they just come alongside their students.”
  • “We know that NCC values a culture of family, and a culture of belonging. So many times teachers, custodial staff, and administration are asking students how they are doing, and how they can pray for them. Putting on after-school activities, and even just offering different running clubs or basketball, or whatever, just creating an environment that is like family. They even have international food days and things like that, where we get to just learn more about one another and each other's cultures and backgrounds.”
  • “A culture that supports one another is definitely a value [of NCC]. [NCC strives] for Christ-likeness in all pursuits … .That is what is always the ultimate goal for NCC ... integrity, and Christ- like values.”
  • “Even for students who have not yet come to faith, there is not a huge pressure, but they are just surrounded by examples of what it is to follow Christ, and what it is to be loved that way, loved by Christ.”

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