REVIEW OF The York School BY parent, Thomson Yip
- Date of Review
May 27, 2021
Gr. Preschool - 6
(5) Student Experience
Trinity Montessori School is like our daughter’s second home. She started in the Casa program at the age of 2.5 and is now in grade 6, her final year of the Elementary program. If you ask her for feedback about the school, there are only positive things. She has a deep sense of belonging and close bonding with her classmates and teachers. The school fosters a safe, positive and supportive environment, which builds her confidence. She feels safe to speak up and be herself while not afraid of being judged. In addition to academic excellence, the school also focuses on character building. We appreciate the amazing teachers and dedicated principal who have inspired our daughter to have a positive attitude in learning and be a better citizen. She is well-prepared when she moves on to her next chapter.
(5) School Leadership
The school provides regular updates through emails and newsletters. Parents always have the up-to-date information on what is going on and school events. The admin staff are very responsive and polite whenever we contact the school office. The strong leadership and dedication of the Trinity staff was exemplary during this COVID-19 pandemic. When the government announced the first lockdown in March 2020, the school reacted swiftly and pivoted to online learning with minimal disruption. The staff have done a lot of preparation for this smooth transition. When in-person learning was allowed in Fall 2021, the school implemented vigorous health measures. They put the safety and well-being of the students as a priority, which gives us a peace of mind for sending our daughter back to in-person learning; knowing that the school has done their best to keep everyone safe. The staff listens and welcomes constructive feedback from parents. We can have open conversations with the school principal to voice our concerns. They are willing to work with the parents to address any concerns. The school always puts students first and will do everything to help the students succeed.
Teachers at Trinity are dedicated and passionate about their profession. They spend time getting to know each child. Their teaching style is interactive and fun to keep the students engaged. Also, they are very caring and patient, but at the same time they stand firm on their principles. We get regular feedback from the teaching team regarding the progress of our daughter. Their comments always tell us where she excels in and what she can improve on so that we can collaboratively help her to work on those areas. They are great at motivating, supporting, and challenging our daughter to unlock her true potential! The teachers always go above and beyond to help the students and their families. For example, our daughter had to miss a class due to an appointment and the teacher spent extra time with her after school covering the class material. During COVID-19 pandemic, the teachers are available online after school to help students on their homework and answer any questions. Sometimes, they even stay behind to chit-chat with the students. She can go to her teachers for anything and they will always make time for her.
The Casa and elementary program provides our kid a strong academic foundation. The elementary students have homework everyday and regular tests to assess their understanding on the topics. There is a strong focus in the core subjects such as language and math. Every subject is taught at an advanced level and with a suitable pace. We really appreciate that Trinity incorporates English grammar into their curriculum which helps in our daughter’s writing. Also, in every school term, she works on topic-based projects (Oral Visual Communication) and presents to the whole class. Some projects are individual and some are team-based. These projects allow her to do her own research, explore new ways to learn and become proficient on a topic by herself. It also trains up her presentation skills and confidence.
Besides academic programs, Trinity has a holiday concert before the winter break and a spring concert every other year. Every student is involved. In addition, it offers a variety of after-school classes, e.g., chess club, French enrichment course, etc. The school also takes part in many competitions regularly including Peel Music Festival, Mathematica, Polar Expressions, Many Faces of Markham, etc. The students also participate in many community events like Terry Fox Run. Each year, there are a number of school trips. In the younger years, it is usually a local day trip. In grade 4, our daughter went on a 3-day trip to Ottawa. This was exciting for her as it was the first time that she went on an overnight trip without her parents. It also built her independence. Going to Montessori Model United Nations in New York City in grade 5 was the highlight in her school life. She had the opportunity to dive into real-world issues and worked with students from around the world for a proposed resolution. She met many new friends and had a chance to present in the closing ceremony. This was one of the most memorable learning experiences for her.
Trinity has a small population and class sizes. Every time I drop in the school, I can feel the warmth and cozy atmosphere in the campus.. The students all look cheerful. There is no shortage of mingling, playing and laughter everywhere. Within this tight-knit community, each student knows each other very well. The students are kind, well-behaved and respectful to each other. The students genuinely care for one another. We often see older students helping the younger students and the younger students look up to their seniors as role models. They enjoy each other's company and helping each other with their school work. During online school, whenever someone faces technical difficulties, the students will immediately alert the teacher and try to help their classmate to resolve their technical challenges.
(5) School Life
Trinity is a great school with a rigorous curriculum, strong leadership, passionate staff and nurturing environment. It is not only a place for studying, but also a place where the students develop their social skills and responsibilities. They cultivate a child to become a compassionate and resourceful person. Everyday, our daughter is so excited to go to school and wants to spend every moment there. In her early school years, her grandparents used to pick her up at 3:30 pm when class finished. Very soon, she asked if she could stay after school because she wanted to spend more time with her classmates and teachers. Therefore, we adjusted her schedule to let her stay till 5 pm. During the after school hours, the students first do their homework and study before they get to go outside to play. It builds a good habit for our daughter. There are so many fond memories from Trinity’s school life which she can cherish for life.
Other than students, Trinity parents are very close as well. The school provides numerous opportunities for parents to meet up. Other than the concerts, parents are invited to the annual French day and end of school BBQ. There are also some morning tea sessions for parents covering different topics (e.g., nutrition, internet safety). I have learned a lot from these sessions. Outside of school, parents often set up playdates for the kids to interact. There are also birthday parties where they celebrate their special days with each other. During these social gatherings, parents share stories about their kids and their experiences. We learn practical hints and tips from each other. The parents are very helpful and supportive and we look after each other’s children sometimes.
(4.5) School Location
The school is conveniently located at the south east corner of Woodbine and 16th avenue with a mix of retail and residential properties nearby. For Phy. Ed. class, the students will go to nearby community centers for swimming, skating or multi-sports. In the spring, upper elementary students may have short runs around the neighbourhood. Since Trinity is a small school with limited parking spaces, pick up and drop off can be crowded. The school manages the limitation by having teachers waiting outside to assist the students getting into the building so parents can just drop off and go.