Interview with Northmount School PARENT, Robin Di Tosto
Robin has two sons who attend Northmount Academy. After negative experiences in the public school system, she decided it was time for a change. Immediately, she saw a significant, positive shift in her son’s confidence and happiness. Northmount Academy has an exceptional academic program and focuses on the arts and physical education to ensure the boys leave the school as well-rounded as possible. Robin is thankful for the diverse and welcoming Catholic-based program that teaches her sons strong values and helps them explore their character. She appreciates the tight-knit community of parents, teachers, and students at the school who all work together to reach the common goal of fostering bright young men with a broad range of interests.
Highlights from the interview
My older son was attending a public school in our area, and we had some concerns regarding class sizes, learning capabilities, and other issues. We went to an Our Kids Information Fair, and we met with some representatives from Northmount School. We decided to take a tour of Northmount School led by one of the fantastic students, and we were sold.
Once my older son got to Northmount School, a combination of factors made his anxiety go down, such as the smaller class sizes, and the way that the children are. The students are expected to behave, and that is reinforced. He knew that Northmount School was a safe place where he could explore his learning and his environment. He was less stressed and able to do the things that kids enjoy.
My son would probably say his favourite part of Northmount School is gym class or recess, but I can tell that it's so much more than that. He tells me what he's learned in French that day, or about one of his extracurricular activities. He's finding different pieces that he's interested in, creating a well-rounded character and student. Northmount School is not just focused on the high academics, it's also focused on learning about character, and how to be a kind, good human being.
I appreciate the community that's at Northmount School. The parents, the faculty, the headmaster, the students themselves, and the teachers all come together for a common goal of trying to get students to be well-rounded gentlemen.
Northmount School has small classroom sizes, about 12 to 18 children maximum per class. Parents can go and talk to the teachers, or they'll come talk to you, there's always that constant communication.
Because Northmount School is a not-for-profit school, all the funds raised by the community get poured back into the school. We raised funds and now have a brand new computer lab. The library is a bit small, and the seating is challenging So we re-outfitted it. While some parts of the Northmount School building are smaller than what we potentially need, there are those incremental improvements happening so we can use the space more efficiently. In addition to that, we are doing a capital campaign to renovate the school and make it larger, not necessarily to increase the student population. Small class sizes will continue being a key part of our community but to right-size it.
Northmount School students will open the door for you and say good morning. They learn how to converse; you don't get that a lot with younger kids.
The older boys at Northmount School are invested in the younger boys. They take care of them, explain things to them, and help them read.
Northmount School is engaged in helping the kids go through the path of learning and exploring their character. It's such a friendly, warm community with a lot of values. It is a Catholic school, so the Catholic values are interspersed throughout.
While Northmount School has the Catholic faith in the classroom, and we have Mass, it's wonderful that the school is open to all faith backgrounds and people who choose not to select a faith. It's a wonderful tapestry for everyone and gives different flavours and opportunities for the boys to explore different areas.
Northmount School has very advanced academics. They push the boys, but they support them as well.
Not every boy is advanced in their academics, and that's okay, Northmount School is for them. If there are areas that need assistance, they have a supplemental program called the CASTLE program, where boys can get some extra assistance as needed.
Northmount School students learn a virtue every month like understanding, responsibility, or honesty. They learn in the classroom how to give examples of the virtues and how they can implement them into their daily lives so that it becomes common sense and second nature.
Northmount School boys are outside as much as possible. Northmount School offers tons of physical and outdoor time and the artistic side of things. The boys not only are doing math, language arts and more traditional subjects, they have a spring play, art shows, a drumline, and other fun things that help them explore the arts, which rounds them out.
There isn't a typical Northmount School family. We have families of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. The characteristic of a family at Northmount School is that they want to be there, belong, and see their boys and the school succeed. They want to see the school succeed. The Northmount School community is engaged.
Northmount School sees parents as the primary educator. They want us in conversations about their child’s education. We are in partnership. Parents at Northmount School appreciate and rise to the challenge that they're in partnership with the teachers to bring out the best in the individual child.
I'm a big fan of Northmount School’s administration. The headmaster, Dr. Sheridan is a master class in how to lead a school, and how to inspire both the teachers and the students. He knows all of them, and they know him. He's fair but firm, and it's wonderful to have him leading off the school.
The admissions process for Northmount School was seamless, but there is some rigour. There's an interview, and then the child will do a trial in a classroom. They take a keen look at family and child fit within the school. Northmount School is very conscious of the school's meaning to the community. They're very careful and professional but also very warm and welcoming.
Northmount School boys know the staff all by name. The faculty goes above and beyond. They have a vested interest in the students, and they want to be there. They're very engaged, and they want to see these boys succeed. They let us know if there is an issue And they're open to conversation and working together to drive the best forward for the students.
I would recommend Northmount School because of the academics, the community, their character education and their culture The academics are unparalleled. Everyone I talk to can't believe what my boys are doing and the support they receive. The character piece makes sure that students are well-rounded in terms of how they act as citizens. We are so lucky to have the Northmount School community.