Ottawa Christian School is an interdenominational Christian day school that seeks to provide students with a Christ-centered elementary education. We aim to educate children in a vibrant and creative environment, equipping them for a life of faithful Christian discipleship and service. Ottawa Christian School is affiliated with Edvance and Christian Schools International.
Educating children, equipping them for a life of faithful Christian discipleship and service
We believe that faith and learning go hand in hand as we focus on developing the whole child
Comprehensively Christian environment for 53 years
Curriculum meets or exceeds provincial standards for skills
Motivating environment for optimal learning
Professional Christian teachers and staff
Working with families and churches to disciple children
Access to the very best resources, in a facility that promotes academic, physical & spiritual growth
Learning at Ottawa Christian School during COVID-19
What learning looks like now:[email protected]: In March 2020 Ottawa Christian School was required to make a rapid shift to remote learning. The staff quickly responded and each division developed an interim plan to continue their student’s academic journey and also to help them to stay connected with their teacher and classmates. This was an emergency response to a very much unanticipated world situation.
As every family is in a different situation with varying degrees of technology, time and capacity for supporting this shift in the delivery of their education, language arts and math were prioritized. Math and Language Arts lessons are provided each day often with zoom meetings and/or video teaching. Additional subject material for creation studies, Bible, science, history, French, art and PE were provided as optional activities for students and families to extend their learning.
At Ottawa Christian School we desire to have every student learning in the “sweet zone” where they are not frustrated and yet are challenged in their learning. We continue to communicate with our families to ensure that their child is working in this zone. Learning support continues with check-ins from our team of Educational Assistants and 1-1 tutoring in our remedial reading programs as well as several small math groups.
We are grateful for the dedicated engagement of our families, students, teachers and community members who continue to support Ottawa Christian School to be a vibrant learning community.
Librarian on site and books are reviewed for age appropriate content.
Insider Reviews and Perspectives
Our Take: Ottawa Christian School
The academic program is proven and strong, though the families that enrol are drawn particularly by the values that underwrite the delivery of the curriculum. The school has a much longer history in the region that the building itself suggests. While the current location was completed in 2010, the school was founded in 1958, receiving provincial charter in 1966. The school has grown over the years, adapting to new forms of instruction as any school of similar pedigree would, while remaining true to the initial mandate to recognize and encourage the diversity of talents and abilities within the student body. The student population is on the smaller side, which the students appreciate, allowing a heightened sense of place within the school community. Students arrive from a wide catchment area, joining others of similar academic aspirations while growing their understanding of Christ’s purpose.
Central to your child's school experience is the underlying curriculum taught in the classroom. "Curriculum" refers to both what is taught and how it's taught. When considering the different curricula outlined in the next few pages, keep in mind that few schools fall neatly into one category or another. Most schools' curricula comprise a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. Having said that, most schools do have a general overall curriculum type. These are identified for each school on OurKids.net.
Curriculum approach at OCS: Liberal Arts
OCS has a Liberal Arts approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Traditional, Progressive, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).
[Show: About Liberal Arts?]
Liberal Arts curricula share with traditional programs their emphasis on core knowledge-acquisition, but tend to borrow more best practices from the progressive approach. A Liberal Arts program might still feature group work and projects, for example, contrary to the more singular emphasis on tests and essays at a Traditional program.
Curriculum at schools on OurKids.net
Liberal arts - 17%   Traditional - 15%   Progressive - 17%   Montessori - 17%   Reggio Emilia - 17%   Waldorf - 17%
What OCS says: What OCS says: Our programs are designed to create authentic and rigorous learning experiences for all students. Based on the Ministry of Education’s expectations, they are also supplemented by a variety of curriculum resources, such as Christian Schools International (CSI). Our classrooms foster high quality student work—putting less emphasis on the amount of material memorized and more on making connections, thinking through issues, and solving problems. We encourage students to be reflective leaders of their own learning, supporting them to produce high-quality work as they complete their daily learning activities, set individualized goals, create projects, and author presentations. We encourage self-assessment, creativity, collaboration, effective communication, and critical thinking. Our vision is to educate children, equipping them for a life of faithful Christian discipleship and service.
Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
The Thematic approach organizes the curriculum around certain themes or cultural universals. Students might spend time focused on food. Then they might focus on transportation or government, and so on.
The communicative method of language acquisition emphasizes the use of the target language in authentic contexts. The approach commonly features interactive group work, games, authentic texts, and opportunities to learn about the cultural background of the language. Drills and quizzes may still be used, but less frequently than with the audio-lingual method.
Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.
What OCS says: OCS offers several leadership teams in the areas of dance, drama and creative movement.
Music classes consist of choir periods, music theory and instruments including recorder, ukulele, violins, brass and percussion.
Preschools and kindergartens tend to have a particular curriculum or curricular approach. This refers to what is taught and how it's taught. Most preschools have a curriculum that comprises a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. A preschool's curriculum may or may not, though, reflect its higher-level curriculum (if it's part of a school with elementary or secondary programs)
Preschool/K Curriculum approach at OCS: Academic
OCS has an Academic approach to Preschool/K Curriculum (as opposed to Play-based, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia approach).
[Show: About Academic?]
Academic-based preschools and Kindergartens are the most structured of the different types, and have a strong emphasis on math and reading readiness skills. These programs aim to expose children to what early-elementary school is like. While time is still allotted to free play, much of the day is built around explicit lessons guided by the teacher. Classrooms often resemble play-based ones (with different stations set up around the room), but at an Academic program the teacher leads students through the stations directly, and ties these activities to a whole-class lesson or theme.
What OCS says: What OCS says: OCS is a place where students live joyfully and celebrate the excitement of learning. We provide a stimulating, rich and safe environment in which children can develop spiritually, socially, emotionally and physically. Each child is recognized as a unique individual, and is encouraged to learn about and experience God's world, to discover and develop their talents, and to interact with others in a caring, Christian manner. Our kindergarten programs are a balance of investigation, exploration, guided practice, and explicit instruction. Our Junior and Senior Kindergarten students enjoy numerous engaging activities that integrate learning with real-life contexts.
This refers to the rate at which students move through the curriculum (e.g., topics, textbook material, skills, etc.). Curriculum pace is often defined in comparison to provincial standards.
Curriculum Pace approach at OCS: Standard-enriched
OCS has a Standard-enriched approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Accelerated, Student-paced approach).
[Show: About Standard-enriched?]
Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.
Through the collective mindset of teachers, administrators, students, and parents, each school develops and maintains its own academic culture. This generally relates to the norms and expectations created around academic performance. Many parents look to private schools because they want a specific type of culture. Some want a rigorous environment that will elevate their child to new heights. Others want a nurturing environment that will help their child develop a passion for learning.
Academic Culture approach at OCS: Supportive
OCS has a Supportive approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Rigorous approach).
[Show: About Supportive?]
A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.
Academic Culture at schools on OurKids.net
Supportive - 50%   Rigorous - 50%
What OCS says: We come along side our students in achieving their individual academic goals.
Schools have specific goals regarding how they want their educate and develop their students. This is part of a school's overall philosophy or vision, which is contained in its mission statement. While they tend have several developmental aims, schools tend to priortize certain aims, such as intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional, or physical development.
Primary Developmental Priority: Balanced
"Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation."
Secondary Developmental Priority: Spiritual
The goal is to cultivate "individuals with inner resourcefulness, strong faith and respect for God or a higher power."
What OCS says: We believe that faith and learning go hand in hand as we focus on developing the whole child - academically, physically and spiritually.
Schools offer a wide range of approaches and services to support students with special needs. This may include individualized learning, one-on-one support, small classes, resource rooms, and learning aids. These supports may be provided in a number of different environments such as a dedicated special needs school or class, an integrated class, a withdrawal class, or a regular class with resource support or in-class adaptations.
OCS offers Withdrawal Assistance
Students remain in a regular classroom for most of the day, but are pulled out for extra support from a qualified special education teacher.
What OCS says about their special need support: If we find during regular student assessments that a student has lagging skills in a particular area, we address this through in-class support (teacher or EA) and/or direct teaching sessions in our Learning Support Room.
Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD:
Summary: We use the Barton Reading and Spelling Program to address dyslexia and reading disabilities. Students also have access to the Assistive Technology Program called Google Read and Write.
Small group and individual instruction is available for students to work at their own pace and address their areas of need. This includes academic and social/behavioural needs.
The Learning Support Room is a place where students can go to receive additional support as required, such as body breaks, brain breaks and academic support.
Occupational, physical and speech therapy are provided through LHIN (Local Health Integration Network) on a limited basis.
Parents have the option of funding a private speech therapist and/or NILD therapist who will work with students during the school day.
This is a learning disability that can limit a child's ability to read and learn. It can have a variety of traits. A few of the main ones are impaired phonological awareness and decoding, problems with orthographic coding, and auditory short-term memory impairment.
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
This is a sound differentiation disorder involving problems with reading, comprehension, and language.
This is a kind of specific learning disability in math. Kids with this math disorder have problems with calculation. They may also have problems with math-related concepts such as time and money.
This is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.
Language Processing Disorder
This is characterized by having extreme difficulty understanding what is heard and expressing what one wants to say. These disorders affect the area of the brain that controls language processing.
Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
These involve difficulties interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. They're usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial, and social skills.
Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
A characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD. It can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.
Refers to a range of conditions that involve challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech and nonverbal communication. They also involve unique strengths and differences. For instance, there are persons with both low- and high-functioning autism (some claim the latter is identical to Asperger's syndrome).
On the autism spectrum, Asperger's is considered quite mild in terms of symptoms. While traits can vary widely, many kids with Asperger's struggle with social skills. They also sometimes fixate on certain subjects and engage in repetitive behaviour.
his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
This is a condition characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning (e.g., reasoning, learning, and problem solving). Intellectual disabilities are also known as general learning disabilities (and used to be referred to as a kind of mental retardation).
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These may include growth deficits, facial anomalies, and damage to the central nervous system, which can lead to cognitive, behavioural, and other problems.
roubled teens tend to have problems that are intense, persistent, and can lead to quite unpredictable behaviour. This can lead to behavioural and emotional issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behaviour, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
This is a mental health disorder also called "major depression." It involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in daily activities, such as school, work, or one's social life.
This is a mood disorder involving intense, relentless feelings of distress and fear. They can also have excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations, and repeated episodes of intense anxiety or terror.
This involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.
Drug and alcohol abuse
This involves the excessive use of drug and/or alcohol, which interferes with daily functioning.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
This is a disruptive behavioural disorder which normally involves angry outbursts, often directed at people of authority. This behaviour must last continuously for six months or more and significantly interfere with daily functioning.
This is a condition of the central nervous system. It affects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of motor control, memory loss, depression, and cognitive difficulties.
his refers to a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. CP is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.
Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
This is a condition present at birth due to the incomplete formation of the spine and spinal cord. It can lead to a number of physical challenges, including paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder incontinence, hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), and deformities of the spine.
Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
This is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Also known as "sensory integration disorder," it affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech.
Visual impairment is a decreased ability or inability to see that can't be fixed in usual ways, such as with glasses. Some people are completely blind, while others have what's called "legal blindness."
Hearing impairment, also known as "hearing loss," is a partial or total inability to hear. The degree of hearing impairment varies between people. It can range from complete hearing loss (or deafness) to partial hearing loss (meaning the ears can pick up some sounds).
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.
Schools support students with gifted or advanced learning abilities in a several ways. Whether they offer a full-time gifted program or part-time support, they normally provide some form of accelerated learning (delivering content at a faster pace) or enrichment (covering content more broadly or deeply). Many schools also offer a wide range of in-class adaptations to support advanced learners, such as guided independent studies, project-based learning, and career exploration.
Dedicated gifted programs:
Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)
Curriculum delivery: Enrichment (The main focus is on enrichment. This means that while students may work at a marginally quicker pace than public school peers, the primary aim is to study subject in broader and deeper ways.)
Homework is work that's assigned to students for completion outside of regular class time. There's a long-standing debate over homework. Should homework be assigned to school-age children? If so, in what grades? And how much homework should be assigned? In selecting the right school for your child, it's important to look closely at a school's homework policy.
In grade Gr. 8, OCS students perform an average of 45 mins of homework per night.
What OCS says about their flipped classroom policy: This information is not currently available.
While all schools measure individual progress and achievement in students, they have different ways of doing this. For instance, many traditional schools gauge progress through report cards, which give students lettered or numbered grades. Other schools, meanwhile, measure progress in other ways, either in addition to or instead of giving grades. For instance, they may offer prose-based feedback (i.e, comments), academic achievement reporting, habits and behaviour reporting, and parent-teacher meetings. In choosing the right school for your child, take a close look at its policy for measuring the individual progress of students.
While academics remain the priority for most private schools, many also place a strong focus on a well-rounded education and encourage participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, arts, or clubs. Involvement in extracurriculars helps stimulate students in their studies, makes them more motivated to learn, and can make school more enjoyable and fulfilling. Extracurricular activities can also provide students with a much-needed break from the stresses of academics, while helping them to develop skills and allowing them to take part in valuable social situations.
Competitive sports: 4 Recreational sports: 5
Legend: Competitive offered Recreational offered
Track & Field
Ottawa Christian School offers 9 clubs and extracurricular programs.
This can depend on a number of factors, including the type of school, living arrangements, what’s included in tuition, school location, resources, and facilities. Many private schools in Canada have tuition that ranges between $6,000 and $12,000 a year. While some schools, such as schools which provide room and board, can be more expensive, many of these schools provide ways to defray the costs of tuition. For instance, they may offer merit-based scholarships or needs-based financial aid (often referred to as “bursaries” or “subsidies”).
Day (2 days/week)Day (3 days/week)DayDay (Domestic)Day (International)
Day (2 days/week)
Day (3 days/week)
What OCS says about their tuition: Annual tuition is based on 12.3% of gross family income for the first child in grades 1 to 8.
Each additional student (from the same family) is:
2 Day JK $600
3 Day JK /SK $900
5 Day JK/SK $900 + $2200 (EKP)
Gr 1 to 8 - $1510
Please note: There is no discount for International students.
Please contact Janene Hoekema, Advancement Coordinator, at OCS at 613-825-3000 x105.
2nd child (sibling)
3rd child (sibling)
4th child (sibling)
Need-based financial aid
Grade range that need-based aid is offered:
JK to 8
Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid
Private schools come in all shapes and sizes. Some larger schools have enrolment numbers in the thousands, while some smaller schools have only a few dozen students. Boarding schools tend to be on the larger side, while alternative schools, such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf, are normally smaller. Besides the overall size of school, there are other important facts you’ll want to know about a school’s enrolment. For instance, here you can learn about a school’s enrolment for separate streams (if they have them), such as day and boarding, its average class size, and its average enrolment per grade.
JK to Gr. 8
Average class size
% of international students (total enrolment)
Number of different nationalities within student population
Private schools in Canada have admissions policies. All schools have some required application materials, though these vary between schools. These may include letters of application, application fees, essays, and exams (such as the SSAT). Many schools also require interviews with prospective students, either with their parents, on their own, or both. Schools also have different standards and priorities when evaluating student applications, different acceptance rates (which may vary between grade levels), and target different kinds of students. To improve your child’s chances of acceptance, you should find out everything you can about a school’s admissions policies and how they assess applicants.
B. Ed., B.A. Honours, Christian Schools Teacher's Certificate, Christian Schools Principal Certificate
As you tour our site you’ll get a good sense of who we are. We believe that faith and learning go hand in hand as we focus on developing the whole child academically, physically and spiritually. A Christian understanding of the world is integrated into every facet of education at Ottawa Christian School, including extra-curricular activities and sports programs. Enjoy your online tour and come visit us!
Join the Our Kids roundtable discussion about Ottawa Christian School. Alumni and current parents are answering questions and sharing their insights—about the school’s culture, strengths, and weaknesses.