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The York School:
THE OUR KIDS REPORT
Grades JK TO 12 — Toronto, ON (MAP)


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REVIEW OF The York School BY parent, Jeff De Guzman

  • Date of Review
    March 10, 2022
  • Grades
    Gr. K - 6

(5) Student Experience

We have three children currently attending Pythagoras Academy. We know that all kids enjoy attending school eagerly seeking to learn, seeing their friends, and their teachers. We appreciate the staff for what they do to make our children comfortable and excited to come to school every day. We feel that our kids enjoy the small class sizes. They are able to get the assistance they need from their homeroom teachers if they don't understand the material. The teachers are very responsive and are quick to bring to our attention of anything that needs to be addressed. Our children really appreciate their willingness to help out. These teachers really make you feel confident that they are committed to ensuring your child gets the best education they can get.

(5) School Leadership

Pythagoras has recently introduced the Five Chairs Five Choices during a professional development day to their staff which is an effective way to deal with challenges that arise. This training exposed different perspectives and allows the person to figure out the best possible way to resolve. This training is being taught to the students so they can start applying while in school as well in their daily lives. We believe that the school is consistently promoting a positive environment through emotional social learning. The school definitely communicates effectively and doesn't hesitate to contact parents if something needs to be addressed right away.

(5) Teaching

The teachers you will find at Pythagoras are incredible. We have been attending the school for the past 5 years and each year we are constantly anxious about who our children's teacher will be. We have yet been disappointed. We find that all the teachers are very passionate about what they do because they invest the time as if it were their children. The homeroom teachers as well as the specialty teachers are knowledgeable at what they do. Additionally, the school invests more than the allocated professional development days for the staff knowing that it will transfer the knowledge and exposure to the children at school. This is definitely a win-win situation. Our children are constantly being given constructive feedback in order to progressively be better as a student as well as a person in the community.

(5) Academics

The academic program in Pythagoras is quite unique, especially their wide range of specialized programs that encourage creativity and build on students' problem-solving skills. They have a world-class musical theatre program where throughout the school year students work on a Broadway show which is then performed in a full production theatre. It is quite amazing to see how these students perform in full costume. The information technology program has state-of-the-art equipment that teaches students how to code robots and is able to field test them to ensure they work how they wanted to. The school's participation with First Lego League is amazing to see how teams work together to solve real-world issues using their innovative processes. Our children were fortunate enough to participate in the FLL competition for the past couple of years and were able to win several awards.

(4.5) Extracurriculars

There is quite a range of extracurricular opportunities you will find at Pythagoras Academy. Their after-school programs include but are not limited to Mandarin, Public Speaking, Robotics, basketball and fictional writing. I have two of my children participate in the Robotics team in which they have competed in the First Lego League. This was not only competitive but fun at the same time. This taught them to work as a team and to confidently face judges questioning their robot. The basketball team is in its early stages of developing within the school which is exciting.

(5) Students

Pythagoras has approximately 210 students including the junior kindergarten classes. There will be no more than 20 students per class making it feasible for a homeroom teacher to teach effectively to their students. As for school spirit, students are divided into four different house teams which are Birch, Maple, Oak, and Arbutus which are trees that are native to British Columbia. The students participate in different events throughout the school year and earn points in which at the end earn an award for the house such as an ice cream party. Some of these events include sports day, pajama day, and crazy hair day to name a few. Students of all grades get points by demonstrating kindness, effort and being helpful. The students at the school get along very well regardless of grade. There is a reading program where the older grades are partnered with one in the lower grades.

(5) School Life

The overall quality of student life at Pythagoras is great. Our children enjoy going to school every day. They usually are disappointed when we miss school because they won't see their friends or their teachers. Since our school is quite smaller than most, the parent community is quite close to each other. Most families in the school actually hang out outside of school. The COVID pandemic definitely put a damper with its restrictions because normally parents are hanging out after school waiting to pick up their children. We would usually be able to enter the school and the children would be happy to see us right outside their classroom to get them. Students are always greeted as they enter school and staff are ensuring they're properly wearing their uniforms and understand the importance of looking presentable.

(5) Community

Currently, my wife and I are lucky to be a part of the Pythagoras Academy Parent Organization (PAPO) executive team. We strive to ensure the parents of the school are involved by hosting events where parents can volunteer to help. We also have fundraisers throughout the year that fund different items for the school such as the most recent kindergarten items that include Developmental Play, KinderReaders, and InterPro Printing. We welcome new and existing families throughout the school year so that they feel they belong to something special at he school. Unfortunately due to the coronavirus, just like everything else, it restricted a lot of opportunities for parents to be presently involved within the school. Prior to these restrictions, parents were able to volunteer as playground chaperones, set up the stage for the annual school play, and participate in a school Gala.

(4.5) School Location

Location is always key to finding a school. This was definitely something we had to keep in mind when searching for an independent school. We needed a school that would be relatively close to the house knowing we would need to be driving to and from school. Pythagoras is in the middle of Richmond, B.C. Students are typically within the school grounds and don't venture beyond the school grounds unless on a field trip. Due to COVID restrictions, the school bus isn't currently running.

 

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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.

  • York is the definition of an urban school, one that identifies with, reflects, and makes significant instructional use of the urban context.
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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...

(4.7)

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...

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Alumnus, 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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THE OUR KIDS REPORT: The York School

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