St. John's-Ravenscourt School logo

THE OUR KIDS REPORT:
St. John's-Ravenscourt School

Grades K TO Gr. 12 — Winnipeg, MB (MAP)

St. John's-Ravenscourt School:
THE OUR KIDS REPORT
REPORT CONTENTS:

Pages in this report:

  • Grades
    K — Gr. 12
  • Gender
    Coed
  • Class Size
    18 — 22 students
  • Tuition
    $26,670 to 72,000/year
  • Language of instruction
    English
  • Associations
    AP, CAIS, RoundSquare
  • Enrolment
    870 day students, 20 boarding students
  • Curriculum
    Liberal Arts & Reggio Emilia
  • EBROCHURE
    N/A

School address

  • 400 South Drive, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 3K5 (MAP)
  • Busing available (View details)

School Busing:

SJR offers bus transferring. Service options offered are regular rider.

The regions SJR offers busing from are:

  • Winnipeg

Additional notes: Busing is available to all students and is included in tuition. The buses operate inside the perimeter of Winnipeg. The bus pick up and drop off spots are at locations close to ones home but may be several blocks away or a short drive. The school does not provide door to door service. There is also the option of choosing Before and After school Extended Day in replacement of busing for those students in Kindergarten to Grade 5.

Our Perspective

How we see St. John's-Ravenscourt School


SJR was founded in 1820 principally to serve the children of the Selkirk settlers. By 1834 there were forty students, evenly split between boys and girls. The school has inevitably grown and changed over the years since, though it’s success throughout has been unimpeachable. SJR has graduated 18 Rhodes scholars, for example, and the Queen granted patronage and established a scholarship in her name in 1981. Today the programs are as strong as the school’s reputation. A strong academic program is paired with an equally strong attention to the values of stewardship, ethical leadership, and excellence in all areas of academic, social, and athletic life. A strategic plan to culminate in 2020, the school’s bi-centennial, is intended to further develop the school’s campus and programs; it's intended not as a revolution, says the head of school, Jim Keefe, but as the impetus for further evolution of what the school has been providing. The ideal student in one with sights set on post-secondary studies, and able to thrive in a challenging, expansive academic environment.  

School's Perspective

Compare with:  

How St. John's-Ravenscourt School sees itself


The school administration answered our questions

Who are you, as a school?

"Nestled within an oxbow of the Red River lies Western Canada’s oldest independent school, St. John’s-Ravenscourt (SJR). As a co-educational K-12 school, with boarding and day programs, SJR students are engaged in an inspiring environment. Our strong educational offerings provide a balance of values related to academic excellence, social responsibility, creative expression, and active healthy living. With exceptional debate, public speaking and leadership programs, SJR prepares students for their future success."

  • Founded in 1820
  • 18 Rhodes Scholars
  • World-class debating and public speaking - 16 World Champions
  • Variety of AP courses available
  • 100% of graduates offered university placement
  • 98% of graduates are accepted to their first choice university program
  • Nine hockey teams
  • Newly renovated and updated hockey arena on campus
  • Nationally renowned math program

What do you do differently and uniquely well?

"St. John's-Ravenscourt School offers a unique public speaking and debating program that is engrained in the school across all grade levels. We feel that teaching students how to speak well provides them with skills for the future while at the same time building their confidence."

Why do you think families choose you over schools they compare you to?

"When families consider SJR, they feel that the school provides a strong education for their child that pushes them to be their best. They see that academics are at the core of SJR while also providing a well-rounded breadth of opportunities including arts and athletics. Most importantly, families continue to tell us that they appreciate the open nature of the school, welcoming all people."

What might families find surprising about your school?

"What families might find surprising about SJR is that there is a real community built amongst all families, students, teachers, and staff. Parents often comment once their child is enrolled at SJR, how much they feel a part of the school and welcomed.
Another aspect is the academic pursuit of all students. Families often comment they see a change in their child for the better, in their drive to succeed in school. The feeling of it's cool to be smart is definitely felt at SJR."

What aspect of your school is underappreciated?

"What often goes unrecognized initially is the athletic and arts offerings and the multitude of opportunities for students to get involved throughout the school. Athletically, our school offers students a wide array of sports and many facilities to use including an arena on campus, a state of the art fitness center, and a double sized gym. Additionally, the arts program offers music, art, and drama in many capacities including a Rock Show, drama productions, and art clubs and events."

What five facts about your school tell your story?

"- Founded in 1820 - one of the oldest schools in Canada
- 15 World Champions in Debate and Public Speaking
- 100% university acceptance rate, and 98% also get their first choice of program and university
- 23 acre campus with 2 large fields, play structures, and beautiful outdoor classroom space
- Class sizes are on average 22, in Junior school they are 18-19 and for Middle and Senior school class sizes are 20-24."


School Facilities

Photo-tour of facilities


Athletics facilities


Arts facilities


Campus


Classrooms


Residences


Science facilities


Instructional resources


Shared spaces


School Videos

Insider Perspectives

How people from the school’s community see St. John's-Ravenscourt School


Video reviews of St. John's-Ravenscourt School

Alum, Sukhcharhat Dhillon (2021)

Watch our alum interview with Sukhcharhat Dhillon to learn about the unique experience of attending St. John's-Ravenscourt School.

School leadership

Top-down influence on the school’s direction and tone


Message from school leadership

Mr. Jim Keefe, Head of School
B.A., Hons.

St John’s-Ravenscourt (SJR) is an independent co-educational Kindergarten to Grade 12 university-preparatory day and boarding school that offers an outstanding all-round education for talented boys and girls. We are fiercely proud of our rich heritage and combine our long traditions with the best of 21st Century learning to enable our students to thrive in this quickly changing world, not only during their school days but at university and beyond.

Our School community is built around the four pillars of academic excellence, creative expression, active healthy living and social responsibility. We have extremely high expectations of our students, in terms of their academic commitment and co-curricular attainment as well as their personal qualities of compassion, integrity and service. I am very proud to lead a School of such fundamental strength, clear mission and exhilarating possibilities.

SJR has rightly earned an enviable reputation for ensuring that our students rise to the challenge and fulfil their academic potential. Our talented faculty has forged a strong tradition for educational innovation and for creating a vibrant learning environment that nurtures students and helps them grow into well-rounded adults. There is also, of course, our tremendous raft of co-curricular opportunities that develop leadership, self-belief and character.

Situated on the banks of the Red River in Winnipeg, SJR boasts a wonderful campus and some of the very best facilities of any independent school in Canada and beyond.

The best way to appreciate our warm and purposeful atmosphere and strong sense of community is to make a personal visit. Come and meet me and my colleagues and talk with our splendid students. In the meantime, this website provides a wealth of information about life at SJR, and I hope it captures your imagination.

Evaluate St. John's-Ravenscourt School for your child

Answer just to supplement this page with our expert insight into the FIT between St. John's-Ravenscourt School and your child (BETA).
1. Select category
1. Select category
  • Sociability
  • Mental focus
  • Physical activity level
  • Academic focus
  • Arts-oriented
  • STEM-oriented
  • Gifted
  • Special needs (general)
  • Learning disabilities
  • Social/emotional issues
  • Learning style
  • Learning preference
  • Anxious
  • ADHD
  • Autistic
  • Dyslexic
2. Select child's dominant trait
How outgoing is your child?

3. See personalized insights
How Extroverted kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Most big schools provide your extroverted child with plenty of social opportunities and the ability to interact with different peer groups with a wide range of personalities, interests, values, etc. A larger student population and more extracurriculars—including activities like team sports, arts programs, and debate—will give them a broader scope of opportunities to participate in events that scratch their interpersonal itch. “This may also give them the opportunity to hone certain skills,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “For instance, they might run for student council to develop leadership and public speaking skills and learn to be a voice for other students.”

  • Reggio Emilia school

    Through extensive group work, projects, and activities, Reggio Emilia schools provide the kind of social and collaborative learning environment many extroverts crave. Since it’s believed children learn well through social interaction, they’re given plenty of time to interact, listen to each other, ask and answer questions, and work on their communication skills. This can nurture their curiosity and imagination, improve their social skills, and enable them to form close and fulfilling friendships. While most Reggio Emilia schools also give kids quite a bit of unstructured social time, make sure you ask about this.

  • Boarding school

    At a boarding school, your extroverted child will likely enjoy seeking out and interacting with peer groups from different backgrounds, away from home. In fact, studying and living with other kids for an extended period of time, as many alumni tell us, provides the unique opportunity to form close relationships that can last well beyond the school years. Many boarding schools also have large student populations and more extracurriculars—including activities like student council, team sports, and arts programs—which will give your outgoing child a broader scope of opportunities to feed off the energy of others, and possibly even become a leader, in a dynamic environment.

    Keep in mind, though, “Being an extrovert can be a catalyst for getting involved in lots of activities, which can sometimes be hard to manage,” says Joanne Foster, Toronto-based education consultant and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids. “For instance, a particularly extroverted child may try to end up juggling too many people and activities. While they still may thrive at a boarding school, it helps to know your child and how much social interaction they can handle comfortably.”

How Introverted kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Make sure any prospective school, no matter what size, provides the right social environment to help your child feel at home, make friends, and develop confidence. This is especially important at big schools, which are sometimes more socially overwhelming and challenging for an introvert to find their bearings in. Of course, “Because larger schools usually have a more diverse student population, introverted kids are more likely to find a small group of people like them, a peer group they can relate to and find acceptance from,” says Dona Matthews, Toronto-based education consultant and co-author (with Joanne Foster) of Beyond Intelligence.

    Bigger schools often have a broader scope of extracurricular activities, which is another way to help your child meet the right group of friends. “This may also give them the opportunity to develop certain skills,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “For instance, they might run for student council to develop leadership and public speaking skills and learn to be a voice for other students. Remember, though, each child is different—so what works for one may not work for another.”

  • Reggio Emilia school

    In Reggio Emilia schools, teachers consider each child’s relationship to one another and aim to promote positive connections between them, a blessing for introverted kids (as it is for extroverted kids). The warm, community feel of the Reggio classroom—which is set up to promote lots of interaction—can enable your child to feel at home, connect with classmates, and overcome their shyness. Given the social and dynamic environment of the Reggio classroom, make sure your child will get enough time on their own, in and out of class, to replenish their energy and psychological resources.

  • Boarding school

    At a boarding school, your introverted child will be more motivated (and virtually compelled) to seek out and interact with different peer groups. Away from home and in a new environment, they’re more likely to take the initiative to form close friendships, which can boost their independence and confidence, and help them develop critical social skills.

    "Consider, though, whether your child will be comfortable and confident while living away from home, and while having to navigate the various, and sometimes unforeseen social-emotional experiences, alongside the academic challenges,” says Joanne Foster, education expert and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids. Finally, ensure support systems are in place to promote their social and emotional development, and that your child is willing and prepared to take advantage of them. Your child will often need to advocate for themselves at a boarding school, and they’ll need confidence and perseverance to do so.

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select child's dominant trait
How mentally focused is your child?

3. See personalized insights
How Mentally focused kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    If you’re considering a big school for your mentally focused child, look into the size of its classrooms. Many kids, including focused ones, do better in smaller classes, which not all big schools have. Smaller classes often provide ample individualized learning and one-on-one support, which can boost your child’s engagement.

    Also, ensure a school’s teaching approach is suitable for your focused child. “For instance, a school emphasizing group learning over individual learning may or may not play into your child’s strengths,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “You want to make sure the social, emotional, and academic realities of the classroom are a match for your child’s attention skills and personality.”

  • Reggio Emilia school

    In Reggio Emilia schools, teachers consider each child’s relationship to one another and aim to promote positive connections between them, which can be great for highly focused kids (as it can be for less focused kids). The Reggio classroom is set up to promote lots of interaction and group learning, which helps focused kids engage even more fully with their work.

    That said, make sure any Reggio Emilia school provides the right balance of learning opportunities for your child. For instance, if your child prefers individual to group learning, make sure it provides plenty of opportunities for them to work on their own.

  • Boarding school

    Many focused kids find the diverse and vibrant student community of boarding schools stimulating. Working and interacting with a group of kids away from home and in a new environment can open up new learning and social pathways. Just make sure to inquire about a school’s teaching and learning approach. For instance, ask how much independent learning and individualized support a school offers, as many focused kids find this beneficial. Also, ask about class sizes, as smaller classes with low student-to-teacher ratios can help ensure your child won’t get lost in the shuffle.

How Distractible kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    If you’re considering a big school for your distractible child, look into its classroom sizes and teaching and learning approach. Distractible kids often do better in smaller classrooms with plenty of individualized learning and one-on-one support, as this can help them sustain their concentration.

    Also, “Ask what strategies a school has in place to engage and motivate students,” says Stacey Jacobs, Toronto-based education consultant at Clear Path Educational Consulting. “For instance, do they have flexible seating and innovative furniture?”

    Bigger schools tend to have a wider range of extracurriculars to choose from, which can help your child to pursue an interest or develop a passion. And, “Research shows that when students have something to look forward to after school, they’re often better able to focus during the day,” says Janyce Lastman, Toronto-based education consultant at The Tutor Group. “This can really help them renew their energy and recharge their batteries.”

  • Reggio Emilia school

    In Reggio Emilia schools, teachers consider each child’s relationship to one another and aim to promote positive connections between them, which can often help distractible kids stay engaged in class. The warm, community feel of the Reggio classroom—which is set up to promote lots of interaction—can help your child feel invigorated, focus on their work, and be more productive.

    Just make sure any Reggio Emilia school isn’t too stimulating: know your child and how much stimulation they can handle. And more generally, make sure the school provides the right overall environment for your distractible child: for instance, if they’re likely to benefit from plenty of individualized learning and one-on-one support, ensure this is provided.

  • Boarding school

    Many distractible kids enjoy the vibrant student community of boarding schools. Interacting and working with kids away from home and in a new environment can open up new learning and social pathways, which can be stimulating and can cultivate sustained concentration.

    Just make sure a school’s teaching and learning approach is suitable for your child. “For instance, your child may benefit from extra individualized attention and one-on-one support,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “If so, you’ll want to make sure a school provides these things and implements whatever other educational practices suit their academic profile and personality.”

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select child's dominant trait
How physically active is your child?

3. See personalized insights
How Very physically active kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Big schools tend to provide an especially wide range of opportunities for your physically active child to use their energy in productive ways, such as individual and team sports, hiking, and nature walks. In most big schools, they’ll also be given plenty of breaks throughout the day for physical and gross motor activities, such as outdoor recess in the playground. Since different kids enjoy different kinds of physical pursuits, find out exactly what activities a school offers, both in class and out.

    Also, ensure a school’s teaching and learning approach is suitable for your active child. “For instance, a school focusing on individual learning instead of group learning may or may not play into your child’s strengths,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “You want to make sure the social, emotional, and academic realities of the classroom are a match for your child’s personality and energy level.”

  • Reggio Emilia school

    Through extensive group work, projects, and activities, Reggio Emilia schools provide the kind of social and dynamic environment many physically active kids thrive in. Since Reggio educators believe children learn well through social interaction, they’re given plenty of time to interact, play, and explore their environment together.

    Some Reggio Emilia schools also have a nature focus, which can enable your active child to get outdoors, learn about their surroundings, and take part in activities like gardening. Note: since Reggio schools aren’t based on a strict and unified set of principles, be sure to ask any prospective school about its focus on nature, the outdoors, and physical activity in general.

  • Boarding school

    At a boarding school, your physically active child will enjoy interacting with different peer groups drawn from a large student body. Through a wider range of supplementals—such as sports, hiking, and nature clubs—they’ll have the opportunity to feed off the energy of others in a dynamic and active environment.

    Keep in mind, though, “Being active and social can be a catalyst for getting involved in lots of physical activities, which can sometimes be hard to manage,” says Joanne Foster, Toronto-based education consultant and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids. “For instance, a particularly energetic child may try to end up juggling too many activities. While they still may thrive at a boarding school, it helps to know your child and how much physical activity they can handle comfortably.”

How Less physically active kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    If your child is looking to get more physically active, they’ll benefit from the wide range of extracurriculars at big schools, such as sports and nature walks. In addition to improving their physical and mental health, these activities can help them broaden their horizons and come out of their shell.

    Just make sure any prospective school, no matter the size, provides the right academic and social environment to help your less active child focus on their work and feel like they belong. This is especially important at big schools, which sometimes have bigger classes (with less one-on-one support) and can be more socially overwhelming. That said, the bigger the school, the more diverse the student body (in terms of personalities, interests, etc.), which can make it easier for your child to find a group of like-minded peers. 

  • Reggio Emilia school

    If your child is looking to get more physically active, most Reggio Emilia schools offer plenty of opportunities to do this. They tend to offer plenty of unstructured social time as well as exploratory field trips and activities (e.g., in nature).

    In Reggio Emilia schools, teachers consider each child’s relationship to one another and aim to promote positive connections between them, a blessing for less active kids (as it is for more active kids). The warm, community feel of the Reggio classroom—which is set up to promote lots of interaction—can help your child feel at home, connect with classmates, and develop important social skills.

    Given the social and dynamic environment of the Reggio classroom, just make sure your child will get enough time on their own, in and outside of class, to replenish their energy and psychological resources.

  • Boarding school

    If your child is looking to get more physically active, they’ll benefit from the wide range of extracurriculars at these schools—such as sports and nature walks. This can improve their physical and mental health. It can also help them broaden their horizons and come out of their shell. Your child may join one or more of the many non-physical supplementals these schools offer, such as an after-school robotics or book club.

    Ensure, though, that the school will give your child ample downtime to rest and replenish the energy they expend. “Consider, too, whether your child will be comfortable and confident while living away from home, and while having to navigate the various, and sometimes unforeseen social-emotional experiences, alongside the academic challenges,” says Joanne Foster, education expert and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids.

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select child's dominant trait
How focused is your child on school and academic achievement?

3. See personalized insights
How Intensively academically-focused kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Many big schools offer high-level courses as well as subject-specific enrichment and acceleration opportunities, which some academically-focused kids find stimulating. Most also have plenty of academic diversity in the classroom, where your child will find many opportunities to challenge themselves in groups with like-minded peers. “Many academically-focused kids enjoy competition in the classroom: they like to measure themselves against peers with high academic aspirations,” says Janyce Lastman, Director of The Tutor Group. “They’re more likely to find this in big schools with big classes.”

    Also, “Due to their large numbers of students, bigger schools offer more opportunities for reflection and collaboration with one’s peers, and to learn from the perspectives of different students, in class and out,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. Having a larger and more diverse pool of students can be a catalyst for intellectual and creative progress (and even breakthrough insights!).

    That said, make sure your child will be able to register for their desired courses in a big school. While big schools often have a wide range of core and specialist courses on their docket, sometimes logistical issues—such as scheduling and timetables—make it challenging for them to run some courses or for your child to enrol in them.

  • Reggio Emilia school

    The Reggio Emilia classroom is set up to promote lots of interaction and group learning, which many academically-focused kids find engaging. Also, “Since it has an individualized approach to learning, a Reggio school will ensure your child can pursue areas of interest and acquire important skills and knowledge,” says Stacey Jacobs, Director of Clear Path Education.

    If, however, your academically-focused child prefers individual to group learning, ensure the school provides plenty of opportunities for them to work on their own. And more generally, make sure the school offers the right overall learning environment for your child: for instance, if they’re likely to benefit from enrichment and acceleration opportunities, confirm these are provided.

  • Boarding school

    Many boarding schools have a broad scope of specialist courses for your child to choose from, to pursue their interests and develop new ones. They also tend to have a lot of academic diversity in the classroom, where your child will find many opportunities to challenge themselves with other kids who enjoy school and have high academic aspirations.

    Just make sure to inquire about a school’s teaching and learning approach. For instance, ask what kinds of independent learning and enrichment opportunities a school offers, as many academically-focused kids benefit from these. Also, ask about class sizes, as smaller classes with low student-to-teacher ratios can help ensure your child won’t get lost in the shuffle.

    Finally, since they’ll be living away from home, ensure support systems are in place to promote their social and emotional development, and that your child is willing and prepared to take advantage of them. Your child will often need to advocate for themselves at a boarding school, and they’ll need confidence and perseverance to do so.

How Less academically-focused kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    If you’re considering a big school for a less academically-focused child, look into its classroom sizes and teaching and learning approach. Smaller classrooms with plenty of individualized learning and one-on-one support can help kids really engage with their school work, regardless of their level of academic interest.

    Bigger schools normally have a wide range of specialist subjects to choose from, which can help your child pursue an interest or develop a new one. Just make sure your child will be able to register for their desired courses in a big school, since sometimes logistical issues—such as scheduling and timetables—make it challenging for these schools to run some courses or for your child to enrol in them.

  • Reggio Emilia school

    In Reggio Emilia schools, teachers consider each child’s relationship with one another and aim to promote positive connections between them, which can help many kids engage with the curriculum, including less academically-focused ones. The warm, community feel of the Reggio classroom—which is set up to promote lots of interaction—can help your child feel invigorated, focus on their work, and develop a love of learning

    Just make sure any Reggio school isn’t too stimulating: know your child and how much stimulation they can handle. And more generally, make sure the school provides the right overall learning environment for your less academically-focused child: for instance, if they’re likely to benefit from plenty of individualized learning and one-on-one support, ensure this is provided.

  • Boarding school

    Many less academically-focused kids enjoy the vibrant community of boarding schools. They’ll be able to interact with a large and diverse student body and participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities, which can help them become more well-rounded.

    Just make sure a school’s teaching and learning approach is suitable for your child. “For instance, say your child can benefit from extra individualized attention and one-on-one support,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “You’ll want to make sure a school provides these things, and implements whatever other in-class practices suit their academic abilities and learning needs.”

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select if applicable
Is your child passionate about the arts?

3. See personalized insights
How Arts-oriented kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    If you’re considering a big school for your arts-oriented child, make sure it offers them plenty of opportunities to explore their creative impulses. Ideally, it will have some smaller classes with plenty of individualized teaching and learning, since this will give your child more flexibility to pursue their interests and get one-on-one support to refine their skills.

    Since big schools have larger student populations, they often have more arts programs, classes, productions, and staff than smaller schools. They also tend to offer more supplementaries, like after-school musical theatre classes or field trips to art museums.

    Finally, “Due to their large numbers of students, they offer more opportunities for reflection and collaboration with one’s peers, and to learn from the perspectives of different students, in class and out,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. “This also allows kids to understand the contributions they can make to the larger student community, such as being a musician in an orchestra, an actor in a play, or a dancer in an ensemble.”

  • Reggio Emilia school

    Reggio Emilia schools have an individualized approach to learning, which will give your child the freedom to pursue their interest in the arts and explore their creative passions. These schools also tend to integrate art and creativity throughout the curriculum via their focus on the expressive arts. “Reggio Emilia schools strongly encourage students to express themselves and their ideas through a wide variety of media,” says Stacey Jacobs, Director of Clear Path Educational Consulting. “This is how they learn to communicate their understanding of the world around them.”

    Since different Reggio Emilia schools operate according to different teaching and learning principles, inquire about a school’s approach to arts education. For instance, ask if they have an experience-based approach to teaching art (and if so, what this looks like), whether they offer any direct instruction in the arts, and how, if at all, they integrate the arts with the rest of the curriculum.

  • Boarding school

    If you’re considering a boarding school for your arts-oriented child, make sure it offers them plenty of opportunities to explore their creative passions and refine their artistic skills. Often, small- to medium-sized classes with plenty of individualized learning work well, since they give your child the freedom to pursue their interests and carve out a fulfilling developmental path. Ask any prospective school about its class sizes, teaching approach, and arts curriculum, to ensure it’s the right fit.

    With larger student populations, boarding schools often have more arts programs, classes, productions, and staff. They also tend to offer a wider range of extracurriculars for your child to scratch their creative itch. Ask what opportunities are available, focusing especially on your child’s interests and needs: for instance, if they love art history, find out whether the school offers such a class and when.

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select if applicable
Is your child passionate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)?

3. See personalized insights
How STEM-oriented kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Since big schools have larger student populations, they often have more STEM programs, classes, and specialty teachers than smaller schools. They also tend to offer more STEM-oriented supplementaries, like after-school robotics classes or field trips to science museums. And, “Due to their large numbers of students, they offer more opportunities for reflection and collaboration with one’s peers, and to learn from the perspectives of different students, in class and out,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. Having a larger and more diverse pool of students can make it easier to produce valuable insights and have creative breakthroughs.

    Ask prospective schools about their class sizes. Smaller classes with plenty of individualized teaching and learning give students more flexibility to pursue their interests in STEM and get one-on-one support to refine their knowledge and skills.

  • Reggio Emilia school

    Reggio Emilia schools’ individualized learning approach gives students a lot of flexibility to explore their interests in different subjects such as STEM. Their approach to teaching science, math, and other STEM subjects is inquiry-based and involves lots of hands-on learning and exploration, which many kids find engaging.

    That said, the experiential approach to STEM learning doesn’t work for all kids. Some kids may prefer more direct instruction and theoretical analysis in STEM than some Reggio Emilia schools provide. Since Reggio Emilia schools vary in their approach, talk to school directors and staff to gauge whether your child is a good fit.

  • Boarding school

    With large student populations, boarding schools often have more STEM-oriented programs, classes, and specialized staff. They also tend to offer a wider range of extracurriculars for your child to explore their passion for STEM.

    Ask what opportunities are available, in class and out, focusing especially on your child’s interests. For instance, if they’re interested in engineering, find out whether the school offers such a class and when. Also, inquire about a school’s class sizes and teaching approach. Often, small- to medium-sized classes with plenty of individualized learning work well, since they give your child the freedom to pursue their interest in STEM with close supervision.

Select a trait in Step 2 to receive child-customized insights about this school. Create a child profile to save your child trait selection.
2. Select if applicable
Does your child have gifted learning abilities?

3. See personalized insights
How Gifted kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Some big schools provide learning environments that explicitly address the needs of gifted students. These can include dedicated gifted classes, part-time withdrawal classes, enrichment opportunities, acceleration options, and in-class adaptations. Big schools also usually have a wider scope of curriculum options and extracurricular activities that can provide gifted learners with the challenge and stimulation they need across a range of topic areas. Finally, they tend to have more academic diversity in their student bodies, helping your child find like-minded peers as well as opportunities to challenge themselves with other intellectual, curious, and high-ability learners.

  • Reggio Emilia school

    Reggio Emilia schools’ individualized learning approach enables gifted students to move ahead in the curriculum or pursue more in-depth studies, to keep them challenged and engaged. Also, their classrooms are set up to promote lots of interaction and group learning, which some gifted learners find academically and socially stimulating.

    If, however, your academically-gifted child prefers individual to group learning, ensure the school provides opportunities for independent activities and pursuits. And more generally, make sure the school offers the right overall learning environment for your child, e.g., whether that’s experiential or more traditionally academic.

  • Boarding school

    Many boarding schools provide learning environments that directly address gifted students’ learning needs, such as dedicated gifted classes, withdrawal classes, in-class adaptations, etc. They also often have a wide range of extracurricular programs to challenge and stimulate gifted learners and enable them to pursue areas of interests. For instance, they might have an after-school Spanish discussion or reading group for students with a special interest in or talent for language and literature.

    “Consider, though, whether your child will be comfortable and confident while living away from home, and while having to navigate the various, and sometimes unforeseen, social-emotional experiences, alongside the many academic challenges,” says Joanne Foster, gifted education expert and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids.

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Does your child have special needs?

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How Special needs (general) kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Since kids with special needs require special attention, ensure any prospective school has small- to medium-sized classes with plenty of structure, individualized learning, one-on-one support, and properly trained special education staff. Also, ask exactly what kinds of special needs support a school provides. For instance, while it's unlikely to provide modifications to the curriculum, does it offer accommodations, and if so, for which special needs?

    Some big schools provide learning environments that explicitly support students with special needs. These can include dedicated special needs classes, integrated classes, and regular classes with in-class adaptations and breakout groups. Many also provide a range of out-of-class resources to promote your child’s academic and social development, such as robust guidance departments, academic and psychological counselling, social work, tutors, and faculty advisors. And some have designated resource/learning centres for students with special needs, as well as various in-house support staff, like speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and reading specialists.

  • Reggio Emilia school

    Reggio Emilia schools’ special focus on personalized learning and support can be a blessing for kids with special needs. Instead of a one-size-fits-all curriculum, these schools help guide kids through the curriculum according to their own abilities, tailoring it to their strengths, weaknesses, and interests. This makes it less likely your child will fall behind or get lost in the shuffle.

    Just make sure Reggio Emilia schools’ emphasis on group and experiential learning is the right fit for your child. Some kids may require more direct instruction and one-on-one support than some of these schools provide.

  • Boarding school

    Some boarding schools provide learning environments that directly address special needs, including dedicated classes, integrated classes, and part-time withdrawal classes. Many also provide a range of resources to cultivate your child’s overall development, such as academic and psychological counselling, social workers, faculty advisors, and tutors.

    Just make sure any prospective school has small enough classes to provide the structure, individualized learning, and one-on-one support your child will likely require. Also, since they’ll be living away from home, inquire what support systems are in place to keep them on the right track—academically and socially. For instance, if your child has an auditory processing disorder, ensure the school has an on-site specialist to provide them with the help they need.

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Does your child have a learning disability?

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How Learning disabilities kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Since kids with learning disabilities (LDs) require special attention, ensure any large school has smaller classes (ideally 15 students or less) with plenty of structure, personalized learning, and individual support. Also, look into exactly what kinds of LD support it provides. “While many big schools provide accommodations, such as extra time for tests or assignments, few provide a modified academic curriculum,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting.

    Some big schools provide learning environments that explicitly support students with LDs. These can include dedicated classes, integrated classes, and regular classes with in-class adaptations and breakout groups. Many also offer a range of out-of-class resources to promote your child’s overall development, such as academic and psychological counselling, social workers, tutors, and faculty advisors. 

  • Reggio Emilia school

    Reggio Emilia schools’ emphasis on personalized learning can be a blessing for kids with learning disabilities (LDs). Since they don’t have a standardized curriculum, these schools help guide kids through their studies according to their own abilities and interests. This makes it less likely they’ll lose track, get lost in the shuffle, or become frustrated. 

    Just make sure Reggio Emilia schools’ focus on experiential and open-ended learning works for your child. Some kids with LDs may require more direct instruction and one-on-one support than some of these schools provide. For instance, if handwriting and spelling are areas of challenge, ensure they’ll have ample time and support to work on these skills.

  • Boarding school

    Some boarding schools provide learning environments that explicitly support learning disabilities, including dedicated classes, integrated classes, and part-time pull-out classes. Many also provide a range of resources to promote your child’s academic, social, and emotional development, such as robust guidance departments, counsellors, psychologists, social workers, and faculty advisors

    Just make sure any boarding school has small enough classes to provide the structure, individualized learning, and one-on-one support your child will likely require. Also, ensure it has the resources and staff to address your child’s specific challenges. For instance, if they struggle with visual processing, ask whether properly trained staff are available to help them with reading, math, maps, charts, symbols, pictures, and the like.

    Finally, “Ensure your child has a strong understanding of their learning challenges and what kind of support and accommodations they need,” says Stacey Jacobs, Director of Clear Path Educational Consulting. “At a boarding school, kids will need to advocate for themselves, and they’ll need the knowledge and confidence to do this.”

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Does your child have a social, emotional, or behavioural issue?

3. See personalized insights
How Social/emotional issues kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Since kids with social issues require special attention, ensure any prospective school has small- to medium-sized classes with plenty of structure, individualized learning, one-on-one support, and properly trained special education staff. Also, ask exactly what kinds of support a school provides both in class and out. For instance, does it provide intensive one-on-one counselling for kids with anxiety?

    “Big schools can be challenging for students who experience anxiety or other emotional and mental health issues,” says Una Malcolm, Director of Bright Light Learners. “Their large student population can contribute to anxiety and worries, and may make it more difficult for teachers to monitor their well-being.”

    Some big schools provide learning environments that explicitly support students with social issues. These can include dedicated classes, integrated classes, and regular classes with in-class adaptations and resource support. Many also provide a wide scope of resources to promote your child’s development, such as educational assistants, resource teachers, counsellors, social workers, and support groups.

  • Reggio Emilia school

    The warm, community feel of the Reggio Emilia classroom—which is set up to promote lots of interaction—can enable kids with social issues to feel at home, connect with classmates, and make close friends. Many kids will also find Reggio’s individualized learning approach and co-constructed curriculum engaging since it enables them to select activities and tasks of interest. 

    Just make sure Reggio Emilia schools’ emphasis on group learning is the right fit for your child. Also, some kids may require more structure and one-on-one support than some of these schools provide, such as those with severe emotional or behavioural issues like oppositional defiance disorder (ODD).

  • Boarding school

    Some boarding schools provide learning environments that directly address social issues. For instance, some provide dedicated classes (or are dedicated schools) for "troubled teens," who may struggle with alcohol or drug addiction or who may suffer from an anxiety or eating disorder. 

    “Many parents feel that a boarding school is the best environment for their child with behavioural challenges,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Consulting. “For one thing, they may believe it’s in the best interest of their child to be away from their community and possibly those who might be a ‘bad influence.’”

    Just make sure a school has small enough classes to provide the structure, individualized learning, and one-on-one guidance your child will likely need. Also, since they’ll be living away from home, ensure support systems are in place to keep them on the right track and that your child is willing and prepared to take advantage of them. Your child will often need to advocate for themselves at a boarding school and they’ll need confidence and perseverance to do so.

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2. Select child's dominant trait

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How Conventional learner kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Big schools vary in the classroom environments they offer. Size isn’t nearly as important as the teaching and learning approach that individual teachers use in meeting the needs of a conventional learner. 

    Here are some things to look for: 

    • A traditional classroom setup (teacher at the front facing the students) 

    • Whole-class lectures 

    • Plenty of structure

    • Graded work and clear criteria for assessment

    Conventional learners tend to do well in learning environments with all or most of these features. However, since learning preferences differ even among these students, ensure a school provides what your child needs.

  • Reggio Emilia school

    Reggio Emilia schools’ decentralized, collaborative learning environment is often a nice fit for unconventional learners. Conventional learners, however, tend to prefer more teacher-led instruction, textbook learning, and structure than some Reggio Emilia schools provide. However, since different Reggio Emilia schools operate according to different principles, ask a school about its teaching and learning approach to assess your child’s fit.

    Keep in mind, the Reggio Emilia classroom is set up to promote lots of interaction and group learning, which helps students engage more fully with their work. This tends to be a plus for all kinds of learners, including conventional ones.

  • Boarding school

    Boarding schools can be a nice fit for conventional learners, who tend to prefer whole-class lectures, direct instruction, textbook-based learning, and graded work. While some boarding schools offer more alternative approaches—e.g., student-centred, inquiry-based, and individualized learning—these are more the exception than the rule. Asked detailed questions about a school’s teaching approach to ensure your child’s academic needs will be met, bearing in mind that learning preferences vary even among conventional learners. 

How Unconventional learner kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    If you’re considering a big school for an unconventional learner, make sure it offers them plenty of independent learning opportunities. Ideally, it will have some smaller classes with lots of individualized teaching and learning, since this will give your child more flexibility to pursue their interests and explore their passions.

    Big schools normally have more extracurriculars for kids to probe different areas of interest, from painting to robotics to creative writing. Also, due to their large numbers of students, they offer more opportunities to find a group of like-minded peers to learn and grow with, in class and out.

  • Reggio Emilia school

    Reggio Emilia schools have an individualized approach to learning, which will give your child the flexibility to explore areas of special interest. Also, “Reggio Emilia schools tend to celebrate unconventional learning and thinking,” says Stacey Jacobs, Director of Clear Path Educational Consulting. “They tend to really emphasize creative expression—they strongly encourage students to express themselves and their ideas through a wide variety of media.” Finally, the Reggio Emilia classroom is set up to promote lots of interaction and group learning, which many unconventional learners (and conventional learners) find stimulating. 

    That said, if your child prefers individual to group learning, ensure a school provides plenty of opportunities for them to work on their own. And more generally, make sure it offers the right overall learning environment for your child: for instance, if they’re likely to benefit from math enrichment, confirm this is provided.

  • Boarding school

    If you’re considering a boarding school for an unconventional learner, make sure it offers them plenty of opportunities to pursue their interests. Often, small- to medium-sized classes with lots of individualized learning work well, since this gives your child the freedom to carve out a fulfilling academic niche. Ask a school about its class sizes, teaching approach, and amount of individualized learning, to confirm whether it’s the right fit.

    With larger student populations, boarding schools often have more extracurriculars for your child to explore their passions outside of class. Ask what opportunities are available, focusing especially on your child’s interests and needs: for instance, if they love computer programming, inquire whether the school offers an after-school or lunch program to boost their coding skills.

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How Independent learner kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Make sure a big school offers your child plenty of independent learning opportunities. Ideally, it will have some smaller classes with individualized teaching and learning, giving your child more flexibility to pursue their interests and develop their skills. With more classes and student cohorts, big schools can often accommodate a wide range of learning styles, including independent learning. Some also offer greater access to guidance and resources to help students subject choices and independent pursuits.

    Since big schools have larger student populations, they often have more extracurriculars and after-school programs. Whether it’s art, STEM, or coding, your child will have more opportunities to continue their unique learning path outside of class.

    Finally, “If your independent learner is a competitive student who likes to measure themselves against their peers, they’re more likely to find this in a big school,” says Janyce Lastman, Director of The Tutor Group. “Since they have diverse student bodies, it will be easier for your child to find peers with high academic aspirations to compete with.”

  • Reggio Emilia school

    Reggio Emilia schools have a child-focused, individualized learning approach, which gives kids the freedom to pursue activities and tasks of interest. Also, “These schools strongly encourage students to express themselves and their ideas through a wide variety of media,” says Stacey Jacobs, Director of Clear Path Educational Consulting. This is a great way to cultivate independent thinking and learning.

    Since Reggio Emilia schools also prioritize group learning, ensure a school provides enough time for your child to work on their own. And more generally, make sure it offers them the right overall learning environment: for instance, if they’re likely to benefit from science enrichment opportunities, confirm these are provided.

  • Boarding school

    If you’re considering a boarding school for your independent learner, make sure they’ll have ample opportunity to explore their passions. Often, small- to medium-sized classes with plenty of individualized learning work well, since they give your child the freedom to pursue unique learning pathways. Ask a school about its class sizes, teaching approach, and curriculum, to ensure it’s the right fit.

    With larger student populations, boarding schools often have more extracurriculars and supplemental learning options. Find out what’s available, focusing especially on your child’s areas of interest: for instance, if they love robotics, ask whether the school offers such a program. 

    Also, “If your independent learner is a competitive student who likes to measure themselves against their peers, they’re more likely to find this in a boarding school,” says Janyce Lastman, Director of The Tutor Group. ““Since they have diverse student bodies, it will be easier for your child to find academically-focused peers to compete with.”

    Finally, “Boarding schools also promote self-reliance and resourcefulness since students live away from home, and these are valuable attributes for independent learners and other kids to have,” says Joanne Foster, education consultant and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids.

How Collaborative learner kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Big schools vary widely in their learning environments and approaches. While some stress collaborative learning and provide lots of group activities, others don’t. That said, with many classes and diverse student cohorts, big schools can often accommodate and nurture a wide range of learning styles, including collaborative learning.

    Since big schools have larger student populations, they often have more extracurriculars and supplementals for students to pursue group learning activities like debate and student government. Also, “Due to their large numbers of students, they offer more opportunities to find a group of like-minded peers, in class and out,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services.

  • Reggio Emilia school

    Reggio Emilia schools enable kids to work alongside their classmates in a variety of contexts. Collaborative learning is a major focus: kids often work in groups on tasks, assignments, and projects, and aim to explore issues and solve problems with their peers.

    In Reggio Emilia schools, teachers consider children’s relationships to one another and aim to promote positive connections between them—a blessing for collaborative learners (as it can be for other types of learners). Classrooms are set up to promote lots of interaction and group learning, which can help your child engage fully with their work and develop key social skills.

  • Boarding school

    Boarding schools have a wide range of learning environments. While some prioritize collaborative and group learning, others don’t. Of course, since they often have more classes and bigger student cohorts, they can normally accommodate a broad scope of learning styles, including both collaborative and independent learning.

    Since boarding schools tend to have larger student populations, they often have more extracurriculars which involve group or collaborative learning, such as debate and student government. Also, “Due to their large numbers of students, they offer more opportunities to find a group of like-minded peers,” say Ann and Karen Wolff of Wolff Educational Services. This can give your child the opportunity to explore interesting and dynamic social learning opportunities, in and out of class.

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Is your child anxious?

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How Anxious kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Since kids with anxiety require special attention, ensure any prospective school has small- to medium-sized classes with plenty of structure, individualized learning, one-on-one support, and properly trained special education staff. This is especially true if your child has a diagnosed anxiety disorder.

    “Big schools can be challenging for students with anxiety,” says Una Malcolm, director of Bright Light Learners. “Navigating a large student population and lots of relationships can compound issues with anxiety. And it’s sometimes more difficult for teachers and administrators to monitor students’ well-being in this setting.”

    That said, many big schools provide a wide scope of resources to support anxiety (and other mental health issues), such as educational assistants, resource teachers, psychologists, social workers, and support groups. Ask exactly what kinds of support a school provides, both in class and out. For instance, does it provide counselling for kids with a social anxiety disorder or selective mutism?

  • Reggio Emilia school

    The warm, community feel of the Reggio Emilia classroom—which is set up to promote lots of interaction—can enable kids with anxiety to feel at home. It can help them connect with classmates, make close friends, and pursue engaging independent and group projects.

    Just make sure the Reggio Emilia focus on group learning is the right fit for your child. Also, some anxious kids may require more structure and one-on-one support than some of these schools provide, especially kids with diagnosed anxiety disorders. Ask what support is available and how it’s delivered to gauge whether a school is likely to meet your child’s needs.

  • Boarding school

    Make sure any school you’re considering has small enough classes to provide the structure and one-on-one support your anxious child needs. Also, since they’ll be living away from home, ensure support systems are in place to keep your child on the right track, academically and emotionally, and that they’re willing and prepared to take advantage of them. For instance, if your child has a social or generalized anxiety disorder, weekly visits with an on-site psychologist may be in order. 

    Also, “Consider whether your child will be comfortable and confident while living away from home, and while having to navigate the various, and sometimes unforeseen, social-emotional experiences, alongside the many academic challenges,” says Joanne Foster, education expert and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids.

    Of course, boarding school can be a great way for some anxious kids, especially those with milder anxiety, to develop confidence, independence, and resilience. Having to manage schedules and routines and advocate for oneself can be emboldening.

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Does your child have ADHD?

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How ADHD kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Since kids with ADHD require special care, ensure any prospective school has smaller classes (ideally 15 students or less) with plenty of structure and one-on-one support to help them stay focused on their studies. Also, ask exactly what kinds of support a school provides both in class and out. For instance, “do you have an in-house psychologist who can help my child with their impulse control?”

    “Big schools can sometimes be challenging for students with ADHD,” says Una Malcolm, director of Bright Light Learners. “Navigating a large student population and lots of relationships can sometimes be a distraction which interferes with the ability to focus in class. And in a big school with bigger classes, it’s sometimes more difficult for teachers to monitor students’ well-being.” 

    The upside is most big schools offer a range of support for children with ADHD (and other special needs), such as educational assistants, resource teachers, psychologists, social workers, and support groups. They also tend to offer many supplemental activities to give your child physical, cognitive, and creative outlets, and to enable them to hyperfocus on areas of interest (which many ADHD kids enjoy).

  • Reggio Emilia school

    “Being an active participant, rather than a passive recipient, in learning, as emphasized by Reggio Emilia programs, tends to benefit kids with ADHD,” says Stacey Jacobs, director of Clear Path Educational Consulting. “Engaging in hands-on learning and being encouraged to explore and develop creative thinking is another plus.”

    Just make sure Reggio Emilia schools’ emphasis on group learning is the right fit for your child. Also, some kids with ADHD, especially if it’s severe, may require more structure and one-on-one support than some of these schools provide. Speak to school directors and staff to get a sense of whether your child’s needs are likely to be met.

  • Boarding school

    Make sure any boarding school has small enough classes to provide the structure, individualized learning, and one-on-one guidance kids with ADHD need. Also, since your child will be living away from home, ensure support systems are in place to keep them on the right track, and that they’re willing and prepared to take advantage of them. Your child will often need to advocate for themselves at a boarding school, and they’ll need the confidence and perseverance to do so.

    Finally, “Evenings can be challenging for kids with ADHD,” says Stacey Jacobs, director of Clear Path Educational Consulting. “If your child is on medication, it may sometimes wear off at night, which can make completing homework and falling asleep challenging. Ensure boarding supervisors and dons are well-equipped with strategies to support kids with ADHD.”

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Is your child autistic?

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How Autistic kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Since kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) require special attention, ensure prospective schools have smaller classes with plenty of structure and one-on-one support, run by qualified special education staff. Depending on where your child falls on the spectrum, they may need a learning environment with direct support for ASD, such as a dedicated ASD class or a regular class with targeted ASD support. 

    Many big schools offer a wide range of resources to support kids with autism (and other special needs), such as educational assistants, psychologists, and social workers. Ask what’s available, focusing specifically on your child’s needs. For instance, “do you have an in-house psychologist who can help my child with their social skills?”

  • Reggio Emilia school

    Some kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), especially those on the higher end of the spectrum, may require more structure and one-on-one support than some Reggio Emilia schools provide. Also, ensure these schools’ emphasis on group learning is the right fit for your child, as some kids with ASD prefer to work more independently. Speak to school directors and staff to get a sense of whether your child’s needs are likely to be met.

    That said, the warm, community feel of the Reggio Emilia classroom—which is set up to promote lots of interaction—can help kids with autism connect with classmates, make close friends, and pursue engaging activities and projects. This is especially true if they’re on the lower end of the spectrum.

  • Boarding school

    Make sure any boarding school has small enough classes to provide the structure, individualized learning, and one-on-one support kids with autism need. Also, since your child will be living away from home, ensure support systems are in place to keep them on the right track, academically and socially, and that they’re willing and prepared to take advantage of them. Your child will often need to advocate for themselves at a boarding school, and they’ll need the confidence and perseverance to do so.

    Finally, “Consider whether your child will be comfortable and confident while living away from home, and while having to navigate the various, and sometimes unforeseen, social-emotional experiences, alongside the many academic challenges,” says Joanne Foster, education expert and author of ABCs of Raising Smarter Kids.

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2. Select if applicable
Is your child dyslexic?

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How Dyslexic kids fit with SJR's dimensions:
  • Big school (151+ students)

    Since kids with dyslexia require special attention, ensure any large school has smaller classes (ideally 15 students or less) with plenty of structure, personalized learning, and individual support. Also, ask exactly what kinds of resources it has to support your child. For instance, “do you have a reading intervention specialist to help my child work on their phonic decoding?”

    Some big schools provide learning environments that explicitly support students with dyslexia. These can include dedicated classes and regular classes with in-class adaptations and breakout groups. Many also offer a range of out-of-class resources to promote your child’s overall development, such as academic and psychological counselling, social workers, tutors, and faculty advisors.

  • Reggio Emilia school

    Reggio Emilia schools’ emphasis on personalized learning can be a blessing for kids with dyslexia. Since they don’t have a one-size-fits-all curriculum, these schools help guide kids through their studies according to their own abilities and interests. This makes it less likely they’ll fall off track, get lost in the shuffle, or become frustrated. 

    Just make sure Reggio Emilia schools’ focus on group and open-ended learning works for your child. Some kids with dyslexia may require more structure, direct instruction, and one-on-one support than some of these schools provide. For instance, to help them with their phonic decoding, your child may require a reading specialist, which most Reggio Emilia schools won’t have on staff.

  • Boarding school

    Make sure any boarding school has small enough classes to provide the structure, individualized learning, and one-on-one support your child needs. Also, confirm it has the resources and staff to support your child’s reading disorder. For instance, since they struggle with phonic decoding, ask whether a reading specialist is on staff. 

    Finally, “Ensure your child has a strong understanding of their learning challenges and what kind of support and accommodations they need,” says Stacey Jacobs, director of Clear Path Educational Consulting. “At a boarding school, kids will need to advocate for themselves, and they’ll need the knowledge and confidence to do so.” 

    Keep in mind that some boarding schools provide learning environments that explicitly support dyslexia, including dedicated classes and part-time pull-out classes. Many also provide a range of resources to promote your child’s academic, social, and emotional development, such as robust guidance departments, counsellors, psychologists, social workers, and faculty advisors.

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