REVIEW OF The York School BY parent, Don Marino
- Date of Review
October 22, 2020
Gr. 8 - 12
(5) Student Experience
We love who our three boys have turned out to be. The teachers give so much of themselves, and the personal time they put into the boys amazed us. The retreats our sons participated in were life-changing and inspiring. We wish all students could experience what our boys have been so fortunate to experience at St. Michael’s College School. We'll certainly miss our daily contact with this great community. In quoting our son, Matthew ’19 “Over my years at St Mike’s, I’ve been challenged by my teachers to perform my best in the classroom, by my friends to establish my options and beliefs, and by my coaches to constantly strive to be my best”. That’s what GOODNESS, DISCIPLINE, AND KNOWLEDGE mean to me.”
(5) School Leadership
It's an honour to write this review. Upon my first interaction with the school leadership it was clear that St.Michael's was in good hands. The effort to communicate and share ideas was a sure sign of leadership. It is easy to see that the leadership displays an ease in cultivating meaningful relationships with parents and students alike. Their character is one of honesty and integrity. The love of the schools is evident in the time and hard work they put in on a daily basis.
It is clear that the quality of teaching is what we expected. The teachers nurture an environment where you won't feel the need to hide in the crowd....and won't have the opportunity to easily do so. It is clear to my wife and I that teachers at St. Mike's are passionate about the subjects they teach. This imbued them with the love of learning for its own sake. We see it in our sons that they encourage their students to take risks and challenge assumptions so that they can embrace different ways of thinking and find creative solutions to problems. They encourage our boys to read widely in order to extend their knowledge and hone their analytical skills, all within an exciting academic atmosphere. This care of teaching and learning has helped my three sons in preparation for their future.
Academics are at there highest not only because of the quality of teaching, but because of their holistic approach to education and its resources enable the students to develop their individual talents and grow in confidence and character. It evident that St. Michael's offers the kind of education that equips its students with academic skills that help develop their personal qualities that will serve them throughout their lives. It is easy for all to see that there is a rich culture encouraging individual passions, it is no surprise that the students enjoy a unique experience here. I truly believe that this approach brings out the best in each student and engenders enthusiasm and ambition. Qualities that we recognize in our three sons, making them ready for the future.
Our three sons knew that St Mike's was the right school for them, not solely because of the strong academic excellence, but also because of the opportunities to explore their wide array of interests beyond the classroom. The clubs and programs supported the development of additional skills, while complementing what they learned in the classroom. With over 60 clubs our boys had lots of choices.
The thing that puts a smile on my wife and I is that the friends that my sons have made during the 15 years between my sons attending St Mike's is a sure sign that the quality of the boys is evident in how they have respect for each other in their interactions and care for each individual. With more than 900 students our boys are able to have a diverse group of friends from diverse cultures, giving them a respect and inclusive understanding of the world. St Mike's has always been a high spirit school, this spirit is noticed when walking through the halls. When walking though the halls you can feel the that the Basilian motto of GOODNESS,DISCIPLINE AND KNOWLEDGE is in every boy that enters and in every man that graduates.
(5) School Life
Our three boys loved every aspect of the school, it engaged them to be themselves. When looking back at their time spent at St Mike's we see that their school success is measured by much more than grades. We have found that school life at this school is unmeasurable other than meeting the young men themselves. Their confidence, leadership potential and strength of character in the students that we have observed are what make school life intertwined with the quality of life. The pride in being a St Michael's man is part of every graduate young and old. School life doesn't end the day you leave its continues with every meeting and celebration as an alumnus. I see this in my sons, it's a continuation of a life long story.
Community is a key part of the student and parent experience at St. Michael's College School. It allows the full community to get involved, this creates an accepting,empathetic and loyal atmosphere and an amazing school spirit. Parents are a large part of the every day life of the school, be it through the P.A. or any of the committees. I have witnessed the quality of the St Mike's community first hand, being the chair of the FATHER-SON BBQ event for eight years. How the event grew every year from 100 fathers and sons to well over 400 fathers and sons. How every parent wants to give something of themselves, to make the school a better place for all. My wife and I have made many friends from our time spent with this community, its something that we are very grateful to have experienced.
(5) School Location
Midtown Toronto location of the school made it easy for our boys to commute. It being nestled in the Forest Hill neighbourhood gives the campus a heritage feel, that complements the pre confederation birth and tradition. St Michael's College School has always been a landmark for my boys and I. Because of its location the school is easily accessible from all parts of the GTA.
The admissions team was key in our choosing St. Michael's College School, they made the process less stressful with our sons best interests at heart. The admissions team made a lasting impression, as we went through our personal tour it was evident that the love for the school and care for its wellbeing was visible in the way the director of admission spoke about the school. That feeling was automatically transferred to my boys as they walked the hallways. Once the application process was started , the support started as well. Every question was answered, reply to our email were prompt, no question asked felt like we asked a bad question. Honesty and integrity were a priority. That gave us comfort that we made the right diction for our boys.
(5) University placement and counselling
From our experience the college counselling was excellent. They encouraged our three sons to evaluate and articulate their talents, interests, and aspirations as they began the college admissions process. The counsellors offered close, personal guidance and support throughout the application and selection process, this allowed an educational process in which each of our sons had considerable responsibility. We also found that my sons' counsellors had a deep knowledge of every Canadian university, which made articulating the benefits and shortcomings much easier. The university night was also very helpful allowing my sons to speak directly to a representative of the universities. Having alumni that are attending some of the universities was also extremely helpful and gave my sons some comfort in their choices. This was a pleasant experience for parents as well.