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Review of: The Dragon Academy


"changed my kids' lives"

Shanti Barclay - Parent    (Mar 29, 2018)
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Student Experience

My child was not happy at our local public school. He loves Dragon. Everything scholastic changed at Dragon. Homework was done ahead of time. Projects were taken very seriously. Discussions about politics, art and history were common ground for the dinner table. Grades rose from 50's to 90's. My husband and I were so blown away (literally), we registered our younger children. Our younger children went through the same transition from attending school begrudgingly to waking up raring to go. They were sad and teary leaving the school after the Art Cafe at the school before the December break because they knew how much they would miss being there over the break. It is such a phenomenal school that literally changed my kids’ lives.


School Leadership

Dragon has a great communication system between admin/staff/student and parents. The teachers and principle are totally approachable via email, phone or in person.I have not had any problems with the school and I have 3 kids there. The environment is indescribable. The students are respectful and kind to each other. There are no uniforms but on a class trip with all different schools, you can pick out a Dragon. They will be the kids who are dressed to their own tune, are confident but not boastful and they are no "inner circles" of jocks, mean girls etc.


Teaching

The teachers have won my children's hearts.The principle is revered by my children.They have become such academics in the way they speak and problem solve from being exposed to thinkers/teachers who create an environment of thoughtful insight. There are no surprises on report cards. The comments are insightful and helpful.No matter their mark or level of difficulty with certain subjects, my kids have a new found confidence in their own ability to learn new things. They are fully supported by the teachers. They are challenged everyday, especially by the use of the city as a classroom where trips broaden book knowledge.


Academics

Strengths: Location (Bloor and Bedford) Building: Renovated Mansion brings a sense of comfort and community. Class Size: 2 to 6 students Homework Club: Free, four days a week Teachers: highly educated, kind, caring people, even (and especially) to teenagers! Principal: no words can do justice. go meet Dr.Fox. Students: all students get along, grade 7 will go have lunch with kids in grade 12, they look out for each other, everyone knows everyone Culture: be who you are with the respect that everyone is being who they are, think, analyze, discuss EVERYTHING, creativity is powerful. Program: runs like a university; Socratic method, small group discussions, high quality written work cultivated, oral presentations, creativity, learning strategies. Weakness: not affordable for most


Extracurriculars

Dragon students are really well rounded. They are connected to the JCC, the ROM, the AGO and UofT. There are many clubs like Opera Club. The kids also enjoy going to the JCC to shoot hoops etc. after school. Dragons learn about the cultural and artistic events in our city from world renowned exhibits to obscure art shows of poets. They travel within Ontario (outdoor trip) and to the U.S. The students are empowered to take initiative to create clubs and groups based on what they are interested in (which they do).


Students

Having 3 Dragons, I hear a lot about their day by virtue of listening in. The students at Dragon are really diverse in interests and backgrounds but they all seem to bond over being in an environment where learning from each other is highly valued. One of my kids says, "it's too small not to get along with everyone". The students spearhead lunches together and things like "chris cringle". All the kids know each others names. Grades mean nothing. The co chairs of the student counsel consist of a student in grade 7 and a student in grade 12.


School Life

I am completely overwhelmed by how much my three children LOVE Dragon. I suspect Dragon will always be a base camp in life for them. I know past students continue to visit and even work there. My kids are far more intellectual and well spoken. They have a broader perspective on politics. They have learned about art and the ancient worlds. They are more independent. They have left their more superficial friends from public school and created new bonds with other Dragons.


Community

Parents play a vital role at Dragon. I do not believe I have ever attended the Dragon without running into other parents. Parents are constantly welcomed to participate in "open houses", the parents' guild and nights out like Indian dinner and the Opera evenings.


School Location

The location could not possibly be any better. The kids walk to the JCC for gym. They can buy lunch at Whole Foods, 3 minutes away. Often my son goes to the ROM for lunch (it is across the street and Dragons are members). St. George station is right there. My kids subway everywhere now and can use the subway to go to friends' houses in the Beaches or Forest Hill or High Park. The kids also use UofT facilities which I love because it demystifies university.


Admissions

The admissions processed involved an amazing kind of "afternoon tea" with the principle on a beautiful summer day, in her wonderful office on a couch. It did not take long before my husband and I were fully immersed in Dragon life so admitting our next two kids was a breeze.


University placement and counselling

Huge burden off my back!!! I could not believe the support here. Guidance spent I cannot imagine how long planning options for my son's university; canvassing programs to suit his learning style and personality, bringing in students to talk to him about their experience, setting up mentoring and post grad support, sending me links to special programs. As a parent, this support has been incredible. It took the pressure of me to research all the schools and struggle through applications etc.


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