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The York School:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades JK TO Gr. 12 — Toronto, ON (Map)


Interview with The York School PARENT, Sonia Thomas

Sonia’s original decision to choose the York School was based on the academically strong IB Programme, and they are, indeed, happy about that. In addition, ever since enrolling her kids at the school, she has also come to appreciate the school’s active communication with parents, the cultural diversity of the school community, the parents’ network, and the extracurricular activities and resources.

Highlights from the interview

  • I think our most important criterion was we wanted the kids to be challenged academically. And an IB school, we thought, would prepare them for post-secondary education. This is now their third year, and they are really enjoying their time there. They are definitely being challenged at school, which was great. They've responded well to that.

  • A big value of this school is really the experiential learning. And I definitely see it in the way the kids answer questions and how they have to look at issues and topics from different perspectives. It definitely pushes them outside of their comfort zone, and it's been so fantastic to see it become their way of looking at things overall, outside of school, too. I see my kids’ attitudes shifting toward a different way of seeing and interpreting things.

  • During the pandemic, the ability of the school to adjust and pivot, when we had to switch online learning, was phenomenal. And I think what it told me is that this school is so prepared to manage different situations and future situations that may come up.

  • One of the things I really loved about the York School was that they really had an amazing onboarding procedure to welcome new families and new kids. My kids started when they were in Grades 5 and 7, when they didn't know anybody in their grade. They were very nervous. And as parents, we were very nervous for them, as well. But the school was so welcoming. We were paired up with an existing family that we could liaise with over the summer, so that when September started, I felt comfortable and my kids felt comfortable, because they already had a friend, somebody who could show them the ropes. And I think that was a huge part of making us feel comfortable when we first started.

  • The teachers are quite incredible in how they support the children and communicate with the parents. One of the biggest reasons I love this school is actually the faculty. They're quick to identify if there are areas of success or areas that need more support. They let the student know first, and then involve the parents if we need that extra involvement. The teachers obviously care. They're not just going through the motions. They really do value the kids and want to support them and see them succeed. Something that the kids enjoy having is not being afraid to talk to their teacher about challenges they face in school.

  • One of the best parts of being at school is all the activities. Despite the COVID-19 years, the school has really done an excellent job at trying to make it as fun as can be and promote the school spirit, to have activities within the grades, as much as possible. And I think the kids really appreciated that. As a parent, I think, I'm so appreciative of the great education that my kids are getting, and the wonderful faculty and staff.

  • The parent community and the parent council, they're fantastic. The school really makes an effort to keep the parents informed, encouraging the parents to join outdoor activities with other parents, if possible. During COVID-19, we stayed connected through online chats or a WhatsApp group. And the families really appreciated that, especially newer families, who maybe had not even stepped into the school yet.

  • I love that the York School is an international school. It really adds a different dimension to the classroom, the dynamics, and the interplay of how we are living in a very big world that is so connected. You get exposure to different cultures and people who have a different perspective. And the school really encourages kids to explore, to look at different perspectives, and to be curious about the world around them.

  • Everybody's recognized, and they really make an effort to make sure people feel open and able to be who they are, without being judged. In the years that we've been there, my kids have recognized different religious backgrounds, different cultures, different holidays and feasts, how people feel individually. I think most families are parents who want their kids to do well and parents who want their kids to have an open minded, diverse global education.

  • My kids surprised me with their participation in drama, which was not really in their comfort zone. They were both very proud of their performance. We had an opportunity to see them do a performance, and it was just fantastic! It shows that they feel comfortable enough with their peers to be able to freely participate, really put themselves out there. Especially kids between Grades 7 and 9, they're usually so self-conscious. That was something I would have never guessed they would get into.

  • One of the things I didn't really realize is how well the school stays connected with the parents. I find that all of the different Principals, of course, the Head of the school, are very open and supportive. They really do make an effort to communicate, whether it's emails from the principal, or the weekly school blast that lists everything that parents need to know. I wouldn't hesitate to send them an email if I needed to, and I really appreciate that they're always so approachable. 

  • The reasons to attend this school, I would say, are that it’s a wonderful co-ed, it has the IB programme, and that it's a diverse international school in downtown Toronto. It offers an opportunity for an incredible education that will really prepare your child for a postsecondary education. Your child will get so much support from teachers and faculty, who really want the children to thrive.

  • I would recommend visiting the school website, connecting with a current family, and visiting the school if you have the opportunity. Sometimes you don't know until you walk into the school, and you look around, and you go, ‘Wow, this is where I can see my child being.’ And for the child's face to light up and go, ‘This is awesome! And this is where I want to be.’ And you can feel the energy when you walk into the school. If you don't have that, because it's not always available, I would recommend connecting with one of the parents at the school.


More about The York School

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Key insights on The York School

Each school is different. The York 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 The York 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.

  • The York School is the definition of an urban school, one that identifies with, reflects, and makes significant instructional use of the urban context.
  • Character programs and staff development illustrate a commitment to building positive relationships as the foundation for learning.
  • Innovative programs give life and breadth to a strong core academic program.
  • The York School was created to appeal to learners who are inclined toward academic achievement.
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Our Kids Feature Review video

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

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Roundtable Q&A (2023)

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Roundtable Q&A (2020)

Watch our The York School Q&A discussion with Noah Godfrey (Parent), N/A (Parent), Heather Ursu (Parent) to gain fresh insight into the school’s culture, values, and strengths.

Parent, Mitch Green (2023)

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More written reviews


Parent, Heather Faralla (2022)

I have three boys at The York School and started four years ago with my eldest in Grade 9. He is now graduating this year and what a wonderful experience this has been – for our entire family. Aft...


Parent, Glenn Asano (2021)

Without hesitation, both our children (Gr. 8 and 11) cite their teachers at the school as being the experience they appreciate most at York. Enthusiastic, passionate and encouraging are the words that...


Alum, Lani Stern (2018)

The York School is a community that shaped me into the person that I am today. The list of opportunities is almost comical, to name some: band, choir, basketball, softball, volleyball, ultimate, chess...


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