Orangeville, ON | Grades JK - 8 | Shortlist
My child loves the interactive learning that the teachers provide at OCS. The students learned all about tornadoes and weather patterns this year and she was so excited to come home and research her project and learn about it all. She was also eager to share what she learned with me at school. My child loves attending school every day. In fact, when she is sick and can't go, she is very disappointed. My child also enjoys the individual attention she receives from her teachers. She described her teacher this past year as an adult in her life that she can rely on and get good life advice from. My child also loves her friends at Orangeville Christian School. She calls her friends "iron sharpens iron" friends - the kind who help her make wise choices. She has learned to recognize this through the years as she has grown up at OCS.
The leadership and administration at OCS have been consistent and caring. The principal and teachers are easily accessible through phone calls and emails and always connect with parents when needed. When we have concerns, they are always addressed and followed up with. We have always felt that OCS is partnering with us as parents and helping to teach our kids to communicate well and take responsibility for their behavior. Because of their emphasis on Christian values and Biblical principles, our children are encouraged to share their point of view and to respect the other person's view as well. This combination of respect, accountability, and taking responsibility has prepared our child for high school and beyond.
The quality of instruction at OCS has been phenomenal. The teachers work hard to creatively present the material and students learn how to problem-solve and correct and review their own work. Teachers are very good at providing feedback to students when needed. My daughter wrote a speech this year and had it edited by peers and her teacher also took the time to go through it individually with her and improve it. She ended up saying it for the school and going on to say it again with other schools present. Because of the teacher's help and encouragement, this hidden gift was developed at a new level this year. Teachers communicate well through emails and phone calls when necessary. My child had a rough week at one point this year and both her homeroom teachers messaged me that they were concerned and we were able to work it out together. It's so great to have a community working together to raise our children! Teachers and Resource at OCS have been great at helping our child succeed in areas that are more challenging. They have been able to provide EA support as needed throughout their time at OCS.
The Math curriculum (Jump Math) has been great for both our kids. They have excelled in learning many different ways of doing math problems rather than the one-way approach we grew up learning. For language, my children have learned to edit and alter their writings. Also, their teachers have instilled a passion for reading by having an extensive classroom library and sharing their own passions by reading to the class. OCS also has a school library. Because each classroom also has its own library of books, they have non-stop opportunities for reading. The band program is wonderful and has allowed both my children to learn to play instruments and prepare them for opportunities in the future should they wish to pursue musical studies.
My child participated in plays and volleyball this year. These were both great opportunities for her. She learned to act and be on stage and memorize lines. She also had opportunity to go to a volleyball tournament for the day. In grade 5/6, my child participated in a band adjudication (field trip) at Canada's Wonderland. This was a great opportunity to hear other schools play and receive feedback.
OCS has approximately 100 students. This is the perfect size to have programs and sports teams and yet still feels like a small school where everyone is friends. One thing we have loved about OCS is how the big kids look out for the little kids. This has been a great thing for them. They also have a reading program where the older grades read to the younger grades. My daughter's reading buddy made her some adorable pictures and she loves to share about her reading buddy with us at home. Our kids have made lifelong friends at OCS and will continue on to high school with some of them too. There is a sense of community among the students and opportunities for parents to get to know each other at different fundraising and school events throughout the year such as the BBQ, yard sale, Golf Tournament, pie-baking bee, and various field trips.
Both my children love to go to school at OCS. They are excited to see their friends and share with us what they have learned at school. When school stopped this year, they were both devastated as they really missed their friends and going to school each day. Our favourite thing about OCS is the feeling that we are family. Of course, our children have had good days and not so good days, but every day we know that they are getting a fantastic education, teachers, and staff who genuinely care about them and pray for them and a principal who knows each student by name and cares for each one individually. The atmosphere at OCS is calm and fun and we are so thankful that we had the privilege of sending our children here.
OCS provides many volunteer opportunities for families. This provides for a spirit of community. Parents are welcomed and encouraged to be a part of life at OCS. Communication is always encouraged and staff is concerned for each student individually. Getting to know the families at OCS and that you share similar values has been such a gift to us as parents. I have really enjoyed the many field trips as my children grew which allowed me to get to know other parents, students, and teachers at OCS. Teachers are always happy to see parents and email and talk to them. I often send emails with questions about homework or any concerns and teachers always respond quickly and help resolve the issues as needed every time.
The location of OCS is great! It's close to many smaller communities which provides a great atmosphere. It's in the country which means there's a large property for them to play at recess and it's located far back from the road which makes it safe. There's lots of room outside for sports, games, and the playground. It's close to our home in Orangeville but also provides bus service for parents who can't drop off their children. We have used the bus and driven and were grateful for the bus option when we needed it.