REVIEW OF Toronto STEM School BY parent, IVANI MANCINI
- Date of Review
May 28, 2019
Gr. 11 - Gr. 11
(4) Student Experience
My son is attending TSS - Toronto STEM School since September, 2018. Overall the experience at TSS has been extremely pleasurable, because of the great care that the school offers to their students. This is due to the small number of students in the class, which prevents the classes from noise and distraction between the students. Furthermore ,the teachers have a greater knowledge of the students weaknesses and strengths. The school offers great insight over the students personal difficulties and offers good quality teaching. The environment is very friendly and supportive. The classes are dynamic, with hands-on activities, creating a more inviting experience for the students. One of the only disappointing features is the small array of nationalities, which creates stronger friendships between some students more than others.
(4.5) School Leadership
From the start of my search for schools, the support received from the school leadership at TSS was extraordinary. Since my son is an international student, there were many issues that needed to be resolved and I received the necessary help from the leadership for them. My trust in the school leadership is absolute, because they know my son and support him everytime he needs. I am absolutely confident that my son is receiving the help needed to achieve his goals.
Teaching at Toronto STEM School is very good in general. There is a high quality of instruction because there is a small number of students in class and teachers can give particular attention for them. Teachers love what they do and the study environment helps them to work the best they can. There is a good communication between teachers and students. There is respect between them, but despite of this, the relationship is very kind. The feedback received is very important and is constant. My son is always challenged and receives support to conquer more and more, since the acceptance into a university is the dream of most of the students at TSS and the teachers understand this, providing the necessary advice everytime.
The school has an academic program facing the technologic area. So, if your child wants to study engineering, computer science or some kind of technological subject, this is the right place to do it. Despite this, there are some students that are accepted in science courses and become doctors, for example. The school cultivates an atmosphere that encourages the students to achieve excellence in their knowledge and makes them believe that they can more and more. I have the feeling that since my son started studying at TSS, his sense of responsibility was enhanced and he started facing the challenges with courage because the school provides him strenght to believe that he can do anything he wants since he strives to do so.
At TSS, the extracurricular opportunities are in areas like mathematics, for example. Students paticipate of Math contests. This is a small school and there is not many sports classes where students can develop sports skills. So , if your goal is the development of an athlete, this is not the kind of school you should look for.
The students at Ontario Academy of Technology are happy people, because they like to be with each other. They are close friends and they know each other very well because it is a small school and grants them this. They often visit universities together, they go to technology factories and to science centres. If there is a birthday, the student will have his birthday cake and a party that brings happiness to everyone and reinforce the sense of community. We can see this through the Instagram photos and stories and we become happy like them. Every time there is a university acceptance, everybody vibrates with the success of each other. And this motivates the students to always be present at school to accompany academic life and show his own achievements to his friends.
(4) School Life
When my son was in the middle of the 11 grade at Ontario Academy of Technology, I asked him if he liked the school. For the first time in his life, he told me that he loved a school. He told me that he loved the teachers, he loved his friends, the place and the staff. I could not be happier when I heard this. Today the school does not provide a place for lunch or social meetings betwen the students. However I feel happy because I know that next September there will be an upgrade about this matter, once the school is expanding its area.
The majority of the students of Toronto STEM School are international students that dream about attending a Canadian university. These students live far from their families, what makes difficult to get the parents involved directly in the school life. Despite of this, the parents receive feedback of the students progress regularly. Social media helps to be closer to the school life, feeding us with photos and videos. I myself live abroad and every time I go to Toronto I visit TSS and the staff welcomes me very well, keeping me updated about all the aspects concerning the school life of my son and shows me the next steps to be taken. This reassures me that even if I am far from my son, everything is going fine.
(4.5) School Location
Toronto STEM School is grounded in an excellent location, near the subway and in a good neighbourhood. My son and his friends regularly go eating in different places near the school. After the classes they frequently go to the cinema in a shopping centre very close to the school. They regularly go together to the gym in the same shopping. Definitely TSS is not an island for him.
As I already said, I live abroad. I found TSS at Our Kids magazine and since the beginning my contact with the school was through the internet. Every time I asked for any information about the admission of my son, the staff answered on the same day as thoroughly as possible. All the steps for the Visa and other documents necessary for the acceptance in Canada were provided by the school. And finally, when we arrived in Canada, we were absolutely welcomed and received important information and support in aspects concerning common life in a new country like bank account, cell phone company account and the homestay. All these made us feel secure once we were so anxious about such a huge change in the life of our teenager son.