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


Roundtable Q&A Discussion About The York School (2020)

The York School alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Noah Godfrey, Heather Ursu, Sasikan had to say about the school.

Video Contents

Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Noah Godfrey — current parent

Noah has three children at The York School. Valuing a co-ed environment, he praises the school's emphasis on perseverance and believes each student finds a unique match catering to their distinct needs and talents.

  • We wanted all of our kids to go to the same school. So the fact that the York School is coed was really important to us. And from there, when we looked around.

  • There really weren’t many schools that were comparable to The York School in terms of the quality of education, and a real reputation in the city and around the globe. So, for us, it was The York School or bust. It is really where we wanted to be.

  • I think we’ve been pleasantly surprised with the amount of coaching and support, and real love, that the kids receive from their teachers, from the entire staff. Everyone knows their name. Everyone makes them feel like they’re part of the family. If they see that there’s a little bit of struggle or pain or discomfort around something, whether it’s something happening at recess, or maybe a certain class that they’re in, there’s no cracks that you slip through.

  • Students are taught to persevere. Struggle is not shamed, but in some ways it’s celebrated. I tell my kids every day that they are so unbelievably lucky to get up every morning and be able to walk into those doors, into an environment that not only pushes them, but really supports them and helps them, helps them achieve, and enjoy the journey of learning.

  • The kids always seem to find some opportunity available at The York School that’s almost specifically targeted towards them. The teachers are very proactive and very quick to identify struggles, or more importantly, strengths. It feels like that the school has, behind the scenes, a ‘fairy godmother’ for each kid. For my daughter, her ‘fairy godmother’ wasn’t even a teacher, it was someone in the Admissions Office. They struck up a really close, really great relationship. This person saw a strength in my daughter, nurtured it, and it led to her becoming an ambassador to the school in her first year there, in Grade 6.

  • To me, the York School is like a sports coach, one of those ‘iconic’ coaches that you have in life, who push you to perform but also see the entire ‘you.’ I think the school is really focused on the student as a multifaceted person: for example, the fact that there’s people on staff whose sole job is social-emotional learning, or how, especially in the younger years, parent-teacher interviews aren’t about what happens inside the classroom so much as outside of it, what happens in the hallways, at lunch, at recess. There really is a focus on the entire kid and not just whether they can do their multiplication tables.

Heather Ursu — current parent

Heather's family, relocating from New York to Toronto, sought a small, co-ed, progressive IB school for its global transferability, compatible with their previous school in New York City. The York School's extensive IB experience solidified their decision.

  • We wanted the IB Programme, because we weren’t sure if we would be staying in Canada. We were coming from New York City, where our kids were in a smaller, urban progressive coed school. We wanted to mirror our experience in New York as best as possible for our kids, who were in their primary years.

  • We found The York School, which not only has IB but it’s been doing it for so long. The York School has been accredited as an IB school for a long time, which means that the teachers deliver that program expertly, with a lot of experience behind them.

  • As far as how The York School has exceeded our expectations, it’s the culture of the school that impressed us the most. Our son plays basketball, and he joined the basketball team in Grade 5. They won the final in four consecutive years. But there were also lessons in sportsmanship that spoke volumes about the school’s culture.

  • The kids get a lot of leadership opportunities. My younger daughter, when she was in Grade 5, was an MC for the assemblies leading into International Women’s Day. I feel like, for my daughter as a formative lesson, she’s learned to advocate for herself. This is not a kid who would have wanted to stand up in front of people before, and now she’s emceeing at an assembly.

  • The biggest impact I saw on my son was from the IB Programme. My son applied to a boarding program in the U.S. for high school, and because of his marks coming out of the IB middle-year programme, he was guided into the honours program there. That will put him on an AP path at his new school.

  • Reflection is a really big part of everything that they do at The York School. Every experience, good and bad, there’s a reflection component that’s included. The students are able to reflect and feel really proud of it, feel like they’ve really grown — they have the ability to see that now.

  • The word that jumps out to me to describe The York School is ‘curious’. The teachers themselves, I feel, approach learning as ‘lifelong learners’. I think curiosity just kind of drives everything at The York School.

  • I find The York School to be a very caring place. I think they care about our kids, and I think our kids learn there to care about each other. They learn to care about our community, and the world at large.

  • I think ‘innovative’ is another word that always comes up when I try to describe The York School. It’s a school that embraces technology, and embraces opportunity. I think the way that it innovates and is able to adapt and change — that’s a big part of its personality as a school.

Sasikan — current parent

The mother of two girls at the York School's Junior School, Sasikan chose it for its coed, IB curriculum, and inclusive international community, which she felt mirrored their family background. The school surprised her in how it nurtured their daughters into passionate readers.

  • We were looking for an IB school that was co-ed and went all the way to Grade 12. When we were looking for a school, there was really no competition, no schools we considered other than The York School.

  • We started asking around with my husband’s colleagues, and we got extremely good feedback from them about the school. Everybody said the same thing, that The York School is a great school.

  • What we wanted was an international community, that was very open-minded, and that’s exactly what we got at the school.

  • The parent involvement in the school is amazing. We all have similar values and mindsets, in terms of what we want for our kids, and with the support and the community, it’s been a very great experience for us. There are so many activities in which parents can be hands-on involved with the school. Up to this day, it really surprises me.

  • With the IB Programme, we love the Units of Inquiry. It presents students with an open-ended question, and they investigate it and learn how to present their knowledge in different ways. They actually learn how to learn. The students learn how to do research, and learn how to present their work at a very early age, and I think that’s really impressive.

  • One major impact that The York School has had on my two daughters is the love of reading in the Junior School. We have an amazing librarian. I don’t know what it is, but my especially my older daughter, she’s been gobbling up books like crazy. We can’t find enough books for her to read right now.

  • Another great impact The York School school has had on my daughters is it has really boosted their self-confidence. It’s made them both become more of a risk-taker, which I find really great. My daughters were extremely shy when we started at the school, so it’s a slow progression, but we definitely see it. I’ve seen it happen over time, and not only in one aspect. We can see it in terms of the questions that they ask us, or the food that they’re willing to eat, different cultures and different people that they’re willing to approach and say ‘Hi’ to.

  • For me, the three words that describe The York School would be inclusive, adaptive, and engaging.


More about The York School

Back to The York School overview

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.

See key insights about The York School

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.
Read our in-depth review

Our Kids Feature Review video

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

Watch the review

More video reviews

Roundtable Q&A (2023)

Watch our The York School Q&A discussion to gain fresh insight into the school's culture, values, and strengths.

Parent, Mitch Green (2023)

Watch our parent interview with Mitch Green to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend The York School.

Alum, Ryan Cho (2023)

Watch our alum interview with Ryan Cho to learn about the unique experience of attending The York School.
See all video reviews (6 total)

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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