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Sunnybrook School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades JK TO Gr. 6 — Toronto, ON (Map)

Sunnybrook School:

Interview with Sunnybrook School PARENT, Clark Savolaine

Clark, the father of two students at Sunnybrook School, shared his perspective on how the school benefited his sons. Most of all, he expressed his appreciation of the IB program and its strength in preparing students for the next stages of life. He also likes the sense of community in the school and connections among the students and families. Finally, he values the high-quality extracurricular activities organized by the school.

Video Contents

Highlights from the interview

  • From the beginning, when we were looking for SK options for our first child, Sunnybrook really just stood out for a variety of reasons. It was just a really positive first impression.

  • My son quickly made friends, got a lot of good teacher attention, and the like, and so it was not too much of an adjustment period. The setting was small and very personal. I don't remember too much of an adjustment period.

  • I think what my kids really like about the school is that there's a lot of continuity, through their school life. There's not a lot of turnover in students. They've been with their friends since Senior Kindergarten through Grade 6 and Grade 3.

  • The IB Programme, which Sunnybrook offers, really stood out. Like any parent thinking about schools, academic rigor, academic excellence, was very much what we were looking for, in good education. As we did more research, we really liked the international nature of the curriculum. We liked the continuity of the curriculum, not only across grade levels, but even within a grade, across the different programming. Certainly, the curriculum and the academics were the number one factor. 

  • Obviously, the teachers are the number one thing in any school, and we've just been continually impressed by all of the teachers, their approach, their ability to hold the kids to high and consistent standards, but also tailor personal attention when required.

  • We were also quite impressed by the school's leadership, administration, and staff.

  • The physical location of the school is quite small, and I think what surprised us was that it doesn't feel small. A benefit of being small is just having more of that community across grades, across various parent groups. And so, overall, it feels like a normal, medium-sized school setting, in a way that I might not have thought from just our first visit to the location.

  • They put on very high-quality art, plays, and athletic activities. They're continually going off site or finding different, unique ways to use the on-site spaces.

  • I think anyone who takes the time to go actually visit Sunnybrook, and walk around the school, and just see it in action on a given day, is going to be very impressed in a different way than if you're just looking at a drive by or a brochure.

  • A lot of the school's values are tied to the IB principles and the IB learner profiles, which we really like. A lot of things around inquiry, risk taking, and character, feels very genuine. There's a lot of positive reinforcement, and a lot of application, to anchor education within the grade and the curriculum, but also across language, athletics, and the arts. And so I think the values are very much tied to traditions, related to personal growth and education, which really resonated with us.

  • One thing you get with a school like Sunnybrook is the other families that place a lot of value on education and take a lot of active interest in their child's education for a variety of reasons. So I find that, whenever you're attending a parent-teacher event, or a school play or a cross-country event, the parents are quite involved. These are people who have many competing interests on their time, but it's clear that education is a priority for them. And that's very much what we were looking for.

  • Our son, in Grade 6, won the Geography Bee two years in a row, and the school did a good job of building into a bit of an event, took it very seriously, and it was very meaningful. I think the school did a very good job. I feel like there has been a lot of work like that, very much something that feels above and beyond.

  • One thing that Sunnybrook School does is the house games, dividing the kids into these various houses. For my younger son, who is quite athletic, the house games definitely help him get up in the morning and look forward to school, to go and be a bit competitive, burn off a bit of that energy, and be ready for other learning settings.

  • We've been extremely impressed with both the administration and the teachers. It's clear that they have very high standards for the kids, but also very much understand how they're allocating personal attention. I can't say enough about the quality of the teachers and their attention.

  • It's clear that the feedback for each student is very specific, it's very tangible, and it's very fair. We've been very impressed with the report cards, and parent-teacher interviews. And so while other parents, in other settings, have struggled with some of that over the years, it's clearly something that Sunnybrook takes very seriously and very thoughtfully.

  • On the administration side, we were very impressed with the transition during COVID-19. Every organization, every part of the economy, was struggling with that. But the maturity, the calm, the presence, the communication, the ability to transition to virtual learning, was very impressive. It was something that, in hindsight, could have gone a very different way. At the time, it just felt very much expected as ‘That's how Sunnybrook operates’.

  • The first reason I’d recommend Sunnybrook is just the academics and the curriculum that's tied to the IB program and the quality of the teachers. Academic excellence, learning, and preparing for future grades and future life challenges, is the most important part. We've just been so impressed over the years with our two boys there, and with how the school approaches their education.

  • The second reason would be the Sonny Brook community. The personal involvement of all parents across different years, the different opportunities for parents to get involved, whether it be in athletics and cross-country, or school play, or fundraisers and children's fairs. It is something that the kids don't just get to see their friends, but I think parents over time become friends.

  • The third reason would be the attention to extracurricular activities. Sunnybrook has a very high-quality music program, very involved athletics off-site, and very high quality French instruction. You might not think a smaller-size school would be as strong as they are in those areas. But it's clear that Sunnybrook views that as part of its competitive advantage, and has invested in it accordingly.

  • One of the only disadvantages of Sunnybrook is that it ends at Grade 6.


More about Sunnybrook School

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Key insights on Sunnybrook School

Each school is different. Sunnybrook School's Feature Review excerpts disclose its unique character. Based on discussions with the school's alumni, parents, students, and administrators, they reveal the school’s distinctive culture, community, and identity.

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Our Kids Feature Review

The 50-page review of Sunnybrook School is part of our series of in-depth accounts of Canada's leading private schools. It provides a unique and objective perspective on the school's academics, programs, culture, and community.

  • Academically, Sunnybrook students share a capacity for accelerated learning.
  • The school has a personal, involved feel.
  • School leadership has been remarkably consistent since the founding.
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Our Kids Feature Review video

Learn about Sunnybrook School's unique and defining characteristics through this informative video.

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Parent, Nina and Mark Angelo (2023)

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More written reviews


Parent, Laura Waters (2020)

Our daughter started at Sunnybrook for SK. She immediately felt welcomed into the entire school community. At Sunnybrook, every staff member greets each child and knows them by name. She loves how her...


Parent, Olivia Kao (2019)

My child recently switched from a Montessori environment to Sunnybrook School this year. Although it has only been a month, he is excited to go to school everyday. He loves his teachers, the team ev...


Parent, Reza Asadikia (2018)

The size of this school is in a way that is not intimidating for younger students, but at the same time encourages interaction with older student to help them grow. With one JK and one SK classroom cl...

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