Harrow, ON | Grades 1 - 8 | Shortlist
St. Peter’s also provides an opportunity for an hour and a half of daily physical activity; something his previous schools have been unable to accommodate much to my chagrin. The schools’ wide variety of physical activities has provided the physical outlet needed in order for my son to develop strength, agility, and endurance, but also to be able to return to the classroom focussed and ready to learn.
St. Peter's ACHS College School offers an individualized approach where every student works at their own level and pace, where my son is free to learn at his own speed without fear of competition or ridicule. No student is left behind and equally no student is held back. I find that the smaller class size is one of the schools’ greatest strengths because of the teacher-student ratio. The boys have input on what topics they research and are encouraged to explore what they are curious about. If they have a interest in the solar system, physics or WWII, they have the freedom to explore that interest further. St. Peter’s is exactly what my son needed as their academic approach fit my sons’ unique learning style.
Students are most affected by the quality of their teachers. Our sons, (and daughters for that matter) interact with teachers everyday, but the quality of that interaction matters for our son's (and daughters') future. The difference between a good and bad teacher has a significant impact on our children. Headmaster, Peter Thyrring is dedicated to teaching and without doubt, committed to students' success with his student-focussed approach. He has the ability to develop a strong relationship with his students, and is patient in understanding of the different levels of cognitive, social and emotional development. He is acutely aware that students have individual needs and abilities, and an understanding that instruction should be tailored to meet each learners' needs. Peter builds a safe, positive and inclusive learning environment.
The rapport my son has with the other boys in his class has been another blessing, as they function much like a family of brothers (my son is an "only child" so he misses out on the residual learning that often takes place in a larger group setting). As with any family of siblings, there is bound to be a period of time where the boys bicker and trade zingers, but it is never more than a spat. The boys are taught to self-govern; how to respectfully disagree and dispute a point objectively and with fairness. They are trained to stand up for what is right and to not make excuses. They have student-ranks that assist in governing the student body so that the system is always truthful, fair and understanding.
When my son first started at St. Peter's, he was reluctant to attend due to the Code Of Conduct associated with a school of this nature. That stringent, rigid structure is exactly what he came to rely on and found comfort in. That very framework has since proven itself as my son continues to develop into a respectable young man, confident in his ability and respectful of his strengths and weaknesses. At a time where strong male leadership is at an extreme low (especially within the home) Headmaster Thyrring has shown himself to be truthful, fair and understanding. I am grateful for his pursuit of excellence and the dedication needed to give so tirelessly of himself. I am humbled by the strength of his character and the honesty of his integrity. While the world is looking the other way, Mr. Thyrring has stepped up and provided an honourable system of moral conduct.
As a parent with a 13-year old who has had a variety of struggles, school was a hard place to be. Wanting to provide the best environment for my son, I began the search for alternative options and was thrilled to learn about the diversity of St. Peter’s ACHS College School. With a strong emphasis on discipline and values, the structured learning environment St. Peter’s has thus provided, has made all the difference as my son prepares for high school. St. Peter's has instilled in him, a sense of self-worth and pride in being accountable to himself as well as the "team". He recognizes his responsibility to his own learning, takes pride in his accomplishments and understands the importance of his contribution to the greater community.
With so much of our learning falling outside of the confines of the traditional classroom, I appreciate the personal relationship that my son has been able to create with Headmaster, Peter Thyrring, often contacting him after hours for homework support and, on occasion, advice on personal matters. Appropriate male role modeling has always been exhibited, without bias, and delivered with a strong emphasis on discipline, accountability while producing a complimentary impact for the greater good of the school and its' students.
In addition to school staff, the school is primarily run with a small, but dedicated group of parent volunteers. The Parent Advisory Committee assists with several events, both within the school and locally to endorse community involvement. Heritage Days, such as the RCL Remembrance Day parade, religious celebrations and/or obligations (such as Mass), Shrove Tuesday Pancake Suppers are just a few of the ways parents are involved in the life of St. Peter's. The parents of past and present students take a personal interest in the functioning of the school and are often seen helping out evenings and weekends, maintaining the building, our grounds and livestock programs. Couple all of these previous attributes with the benefits of several week-long trips throughout the year, where parents are encouraged to attend, I know I have found the right place for my son.
The school is situated on 8-acres of quiet, rural land, away from the hustle and bustle of the crowded city. it is conveniently located on Hwy. #20, just outside of the quaint town of Amherstburg, Ontario and nestled within a small, residential neighbourhood. It is a short 30-minute drive to neighbouring Windsor or Detroit for medical care, services or major attractions.
The Admission process was really very simple. Headmaster Peter Thyrring is very easy to talk to and enjoys getting to know each family on a personal level. He will make himself available to listen attentively to your concerns, give you a tour of the school and answer questions you may have. If you visit after hours, you and your son might meet some of the Residency students. (What better way to access the suitability of the school than to meet some of the students, right?) Financial help is available to families that qualify, so don't let that be a hinderance. Call the school and leave a message. Someone will likely get back to you same day.