Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Tapply Binet College (2021)
Tapply Binet College alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Musa, Nick had to say about the school.
Highlights from the Q&A discussion
Musa — alum
Musa enrolled at Tapply Binet College in his Grade 12 year after struggling in the public school system. Both he and his parents wanted him to pursue higher education, so they joined Tapply Binet College with the hopes that he would achieve higher marks, and be more involved in the school community. After making the switch for his Grade 12 year, Musa saw a great improvement in his marks and his work ethic. He credits Tapply Binet College’s student-focused teaching style and small class sizes for this improvement.
- “We were looking for a smaller school [for our son], and his Grade 8 teacher had suggested we check out [Tapply Binet College], or ‘TBC’, as [our son] likes to call it. … He attended some classes on a day, just to visit, and after that, he was totally sold and wanted to [enroll]. He was really looking for small, and as parents, we were concerned that if you went to a really big school. … That he would sort of sit in the back and fall through the cracks very quietly, nobody would notice.”
- “At [Tapply Binet College], in most of his classes, [my son] only had three or four students. ... Math was something that he just had a mental block about when he started Grade 9, and [the teachers] got [him] through academic math [courses], I'm sure, with some struggles.”
- “[Excelling in academic math] was something that [my son] would not have been able to do in a public school. To us, the size of [Tapply Binet College] was really important, and also the incredible flexibility as far as when he took which courses, and how long he took to get things done. It was just a very flexible arrangement. For example, I think in Grade 10 he took Grade 12 biology. He got to take it early, which he really enjoyed because he is really interested in biology.”
- “After Grade 2, we pulled [our son] out of public schools, and put him in a Montessori-based system that was more flexible. [Tapply Binet College] provided a more flexible continuation [from a Montessori school]. ... I think without the one-on-one [attention] that [my son] had with [Tapply Binet College] ... it would have been a real struggle because he would have fallen through the cracks. He would have sat quietly in the back and fallen through the cracks.”
- “[Tapply Binet College] helped [our son] to build his confidence. When he arrived ... he was not brimming with confidence. ... When [our son] left [Tapply Binet College], he had a lot of confidence. He really grew and developed both academically and emotionally, and was ready for university. I think there are two things; he got the academic skills he needed for university, but he also developed self-confidence. That enabled him to make the transition to Lakehead University, where he went for his post-secondary [education].”
- “[My son] loved his classmates at [Tapply Binet College]. It was an incredibly interesting group of students. He loved his teachers, [he had] wonderful teachers who are all really interested in the subject matter, who pushed him hard when they had to. ... [They] pushed him hard, and sometimes he pushed back, and he resented it, but she made him a much better student. He really liked that. He enjoyed all of his teachers at [Tapply Binet College]. So I think that those are the things he valued.”
- “The thing I think [my son] really valued was the [Tapply Binet College] building. It has lots of nooks and crannies, lots of great places where you can sit between classes and do your work. If you want to socialize, there's a common room where [students] can socialize with their friends.”
- “I think [my son] appreciated [Tapply Binet College’s] building as well as the premises. It's quite a beautiful location and a beautiful farmhouse but within walking distance of places to eat and stuff like that. He appreciated the whole package there.”
- “Unlike a large public school, for example, or even a large private school, parents are really an important part of their children's education at [Tapply Binet College]. ... We had parent meetings with [my son], and those were really great opportunities to sit down with [my son] and teachers, and to look at where he had been, look at some samples of his work, map out what courses would interest him, and how things would look going forward.”
- “[Tapply Binet College] was very flexible as far as making adjustments as we went. … Even though parents don't dictate what happens, they do have a fair bit of input. I remember once we were planning a trip out of the country, and had to come back after Labour Day, and all the flights on Labour Day were booked. I wrote an email and said, ‘when is school starting? Because I'm having trouble getting a flight back.’ And the response was, ‘when would you like it to start?’ So I had the opportunity to fly back the day after Labour Day.”
Nick — current parent
Nick has a son that went to Tapply Binet College from Grade 9 to Grade 12. He chose the school because of the small classes, which he felt contributed to his son’s success there. He saw improvements in his son’s academic performance, but also his confidence and willingness to take risks. He appreciated the flexible teaching style at Tapply Binet College, which catered to each individual student’s needs. His son is now thriving at Lakehead University, which Nick attributes to his time at the school.