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The Claremont School

Grades JK TO Gr. 8 — Toronto, ON (MAP)

The Claremont School:

Pages in this report:

  • Grades
    JK — Gr. 8
  • Gender
  • Class Size
    6 — 12 students
  • Tuition
    $16,000 to 26,000/year
  • Language of instruction
  • Associations
  • Enrolment
    82 day students
  • Curriculum

School address

  • 70 Silver Birch Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M4E 3K9 (MAP)
  • Busing not available

Our Perspective

How we see The Claremont School

Schools are founded for a range of reasons, though a few are founded out of a very acute need, and that’s the case with Claremont. The school provides support for students with dyslexia and that academic environment—one that is created to address the needs of the students—can itself be transformative. The delivery is based in the Orton-Gillingham multi-sensory approach to instruction, which is in every way the international standard. But this is a home, too, and students benefit from the close, caring approach of a faculty that understands them as learners and comes to know them as people. Parents no doubt are prone to describe the school as life-changing, and, for very many, it certainly is.

School's Perspective

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How The Claremont School sees itself

The school administration answered our questions

Who are you, as a school?

"Claremont School is a small, private elementary school (K - 8) specializing in Structured Literacy/Orton-Gillingham instruction. Our specialized, rigorous and traditional teaching is available to all students and is particularly effective for students with dyslexia. Our multi-sensory, systematic exploration is a perfect match for Kindergarten where students learn the fundamentals in a creative, nurturing environment. "

  • Unique curriculum for students with dyslexia (reading, writing and math difficulties).
  • Focus on developing students strengths in: The Arts, Drama, Sports, and Engineering.
  • Strong academic Language focus, including grammar, phonics, vocabulary acquisition and morphology.
  • Language program is based on the Orton-Gillingham Approach ( Structured Literacy).
  • Strong academic Math focus, including numeracy, algebra, and real life math.
  • Math program uses a combination of textbooks and hands-on multisensory activities.
  • Accommodations are made throughout the curriculum where necessary to ensure success.
  • Frequent reporting periods: multiple progress reports and 3 end of term reports.
  • Close and frequent communication with parents and Parent Council.
  • New: Kindergarten Program and Outdoor Education program

What do you do differently and uniquely well?

"Our small classrooms provide individual attention to academic needs, both in closing gaps and accelerating gifted students. We have a balanced, rigorous curriculum, which draws from research-based best practices and builds self-confidence through numerous Arts, Engineering, Drama, and Outdoor Education initiatives. All our language teachers have taken a 45-hour training course in the Orton-Gillingham Approach."

What tradeoffs has your school made to serve families in this way?

"Our school prioritizes the acquisition of strong reading, writing and math skills and traditional values of kindness, compassion and consideration. Our small classes encourage Socratic dialogue, discovery teaching and learning, debating and fostering curiosity about our environment through integrated studies of Science, Math and Biology. Our school has a strong progressive discipline policy as we believe that respect for staff and students is fundamental to a positive learning environment. Cell phones are not allowed during the school day and use of assistive technology is limited. We believe that students' love of learning can be cultivated and reinforced so that their unique potential can be fulfilled and can contribute to building a healthy society."

What key junctures in your school's history have most shaped its present?

"Claremont School was established in 2010 with a class of 6 students in Eastminster United Church on Danforth Avenue, Toronto. In 2018, after our population grew to 75, the school moved to its own premises in the Beaches where we enjoy local parks, the boardwalk and have exclusive use of our heritage building. We now have an enrolment of over 80, but are still committed to our small school community."

What type of student is a good fit for your school?

"Students who are enthusiastic learners, enjoy the Arts, Drama and Engineering/Design.
Students who are struggling to acquire literacy and math skills in mainstream institutions.
Early Elementary School students who want to establish strong foundations in small classes.
Students who thrive in a structured, nurturing environment."

Under what conditions would you advise a family against choosing your school?

"Our school is not suitable for students who wish to learn French as we do not offer second languages at this time."

To your knowledge, why do families choose your school over others?

"Our school has a track record of bridging academic gaps and advance a student's educational journey. Many of our students are relieved to join a school that teaches them in a way they can access the curriculum and succeed. Applications to our school usually come from families who know others who have made significant progress and want the same for their children. The changes in self-esteem and confidence show a marked improvement when students can demonstrate their knowledge and talent."

How would you characterize your school's image amongst the public?

"Our school is known for the academic progress that our students make in our caring, nurturing environment. We are a very active school with outdoor education programs -- growing food to eat; drama - two performances/year; unique clubs - archery, art, card making; circuit training; field trips and collaborative projects."

What aspect of your school is underappreciated?

"Our school has a very active administration dedicated to providing our students with the best educational and extra-curricular experience. In order to provide these specialized programs in small teacher-student ratios, the school is also a publishing house and teacher training facility."

What improvements or changes has your school made recently?

"We have extensively developed our playground area, added a Gaga pit and sandpit. We have a gardening program where students learn to compost and grow their own vegetables. We have added to our administration team, adding a Curriculum Lead and Office Manager."

How will your school change in the next 5 years?

"We hope to expand our program to other areas of the City. We will be increasing our capacity in the school, by building another classroom and building out our stage area."

School Facilities

Photo-tour of facilities


Instructional resources

School Videos

Insider Perspectives

How people from the school’s community see The Claremont School

Written reviews of The Claremont School


Parent, Robin Wight (2021)

My children attended both the Junior Kindergarten program as well as Grade 4. Every day they were e...

School leadership

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

Message from school leadership

Evelyn Reiss, Director/ Principal
B.Sc., B.Ed., M.A. (Leeds), M.A. (Toronto), F/ AOGPE, OCT

Students with dyslexia read slowly, laboriously, deciphering text letter-by-letter, leaving little mental capacity to contemplate the meaning being conveyed or the literary devices employed. Reading for these students becomes a task to avoid. Early in their school life, a vicious cycle develops where weak readers avoid reading and fall behind. Good readers gain knowledge and confidence while struggling readers may find much of the curriculum inaccessible and experience diminished self-confidence. Similar patterns of behaviour occur when learning to spell and communicate in writing. Dyslexic students find learning to spell very challenging. This in turn hampers their choice of words used in writing passages, which is not an accurate reflection of their knowledge.

We know how to help students with dyslexia to read and spell thanks to the work of Dr. Orton, Anna Gillingham and their pioneering colleagues, who developed a unique language pedagogy in the early 1900’s. Claremont School has based their curriculum on the Orton-Gillingham Approach (OGA) and created a complete language program for elementary students struggling to learn to read and spell. We call this Practical Linguistics and it incorporates best practices in the field of language instruction.

Having used the OGA/Practical Linguistics Approach with my dyslexic students and seen for myself how empowering and life-changing this approach is, I was determined to start my own common-sense revolution in the world of special education. To that end, with the help of the students and teachers at the Claremont School, I have created a reading and spelling curriculum accessible to teachers around the world called The Great Word House™ (GWH). Our therapeutic teaching is now available to the many students who need our help. Claremont School is at the forefront of teacher training and publishing in the field of reading and spelling education.

Our mission is to teach students with dyslexia, so that they may fulfill their considerable potential and gain the skills and self-confidence needed for academic success.



Evelyn Reiss signature
Evelyn Reiss, B. Sc., M.A.
Principal, The Claremont School

THE OUR KIDS REPORT: The Claremont School

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