REVIEW OF Scholars’ Hall BY parent, Anna Ethier
- Date of Review
November 02, 2021
Gr. 9 - 10
(5) Student Experience
We left the school in grade 7 to try the school in our area to be able to make friends with the children in our surrounding community. It was a mistake. The difference in so many aspects from school to teachers is too vast to write a simple review. My son experiences a wonderful level of respect at Scholars' Hall from teachers and students. There is no bullying tolerated and is easily sorted out. The teachers are so enthusiastic and my son started to chime in again. He has a good time and recounts events that have happened. He has been able to find a path for himself because the school is so understanding of students' individuality. The staff is so open to finding something that works. He is doing so much better and there are always people and resources to help him out if he wants it.
(5) School Leadership
The staff at Scholars' Hall continue to impress me. They are so understanding of children and the need for them to feel safe and be able to thrive. I have seen them tenderly, patiently and privately talk to someone with anxiety. In situations with some altercation, they are quick and firm to respond and have both parties come to agreements so both feel heard. The school started as a true gift to society from a man that could see the gaps in our school system. It has since expanded to a school that is full of amazing, exceptional teachers. The staff instills leadership in children by teaching leadership skills and getting kids involved in events or helping in grades with the younger children. In the time of a pandemic, they were super quick setting up the school to accommodate student and staff safety. When it was necessary by law, they continued school online, as if they were in class, with short breaks in between. It was harder for the teachers but they made it happen so well. In my son's previous school, he was given his homework for the week on Monday morning and never saw his teacher again until the next Monday. Half an hour! I so appreciate Scholars' Hall for their foresight and enthusiasm for this whole situation. They are leaders in education.
I am so happy with the quality of teachers at Scholars' Hall. They are enthusiastic and so ready and able to answer questions. There is more opportunity for discussion amongst the kids because of the smaller classes. You can't hide in a class of 12 to 15. The teachers gently get you involved until you're as excited or at least more involved;) The teachers allow for free expression and encourage individuality. They have a way of starting you off on something you can do easily to something that will allow more discovery and enthusiasm to take on questions or projects that challenge. Children start becoming much more inquisitive and confident in their skills. In the higher grades, there is a level of respect given to make kids feel accountable and grow into responsibility. The teachers make me feel that this is the environment I want my child to grow in. They are so good to the kids.
From the very beginning, I have witnessed the difference in academics in this school. The children are encouraged to expand their minds. The staff test each child to see what grade level they are experiencing then places them where they will blossom. The importance of success for each student is important to them. The quality of each course is intelligently put together. The vocabulary taught is descriptive and accomplished. They have all the curriculum of other schools and more. They teach Leadership on a regular basis. They have science fairs and book fairs. They have an excellent art teacher and display student art in the main hallways. It's really, very good. They have school spirit and a proper gym. Extracurricular clubs like a running club, karate, Spanish...they have more I just can't remember them all. If your child wants to learn it, they will try and supply it. They even have a philosophy with questions that can make me think for days. I'm excited for my child.
Scholars' Hall provides not only academic accomplishments but also stresses the point of having fun and getting involved socially. They do have many extracurricular clubs. I wanted my son to join the running club but he wasn't ready. He did go to a few runs in the end and enjoyed himself. They were very open to him participating when he was ready. We all enjoyed the science fair. It was a lot of fun for my child and for us. They do a spirit week where every day is a theme. The last day of school is a fun day with water slides and a whole host of fun things to celebrate. I think the school recognizes that academics are important but to take the edge off and to be able to concentrate, children need relief hence the creative extracurriculars and learning through fun...or just fun.
"Kids will be kids" but there seems to be an understanding of the rules of conduct early and allows for free choice. Maybe because it's a cozier atmosphere of 12 to 15 students per class or because the rules are understood, the atmosphere is less stressed. Kids are generally more relaxed. Respect in choices is given so I think the kids don't have to fight for it which allows them to act more thoughtfully. The school's way of getting them to learn through experience with projects allows kids to mingle and create and get to know each other better, giving them a sense of comradery. The opportunity for kids to start being responsible early also accomplishes a sense of ownership and importance. Kids will always be kids. They are growing and learning and navigating. This school just seems to be able to handle the sequence well.
(5) School Life
School life is pretty relaxed for the children. Each child receives a locker. There are those favourite extracurricular activities to get involved in. There are many games and sports equipment to play with during recess. People are very friendly here. The teachers will stop my son in the hallways or outside to talk to him just because they're cool like that. I feel that my son is much more grounded and aware of the differences in this school. I think that he enjoys the freedom of this environment although there is always someone around watching out for everyone. The students and teachers are respectful of each other. The teachers are always trying different ideas to make the learning experience fun and memorable. Although they are firm, their patience is something to behold.
I find the parents are well informed through Facebook and other social media. We are always given updates and Birthdays are announced to all. It's fun for the kids to hear about themselves on social media too. Lots of ways to find out what is coming up and what to prepare for. This avenue also allows parents to communicate with each other. I once saw someone offer a free uniform. Nice. Other parents will congratulate students for the work they have done as well. There have been opportunities for parents to meet during events and fairs. Although the pandemic protocols did slightly affect some of these events, they still managed to come up with the brilliant idea of having a car parade that involved all the graduates to be celebrated for their hard work.
(4.5) School Location
The school is tucked into a very lovely corner of the industrial park, surrounded by trees. For the younger kids, there is ample room for playing on greenspace or they can choose the ball court. For the High School students that choose to leave for lunch, there is the Huron Park space within walking distance and many nearby restaurants that serve food. The school does have a cafeteria for all students.
The admissions process was easy. We had so many questions. They were very patient answering all of our questions and allowing us time to think of more questions. We were happy to see that they assessed each child's grade level understanding before proceeding. They gave us a choice of different payment plans. We were quickly given a list of uniform choices. We were given a plan for our child's success. That's what we really wanted. Our son was invited to attend for a day for free. He was introduced and the kids immediately made him feel comfortable. I will always be grateful for those children and the two teachers he had that year. We left for a few years and came back in 2020. Best decision!