Woodbridge, ON | Grades 9 - 12 | Shortlist
Parent interaction is extremely well encouraged at the school. Parents are invited and notified of all events occurring. The volunteer hours allow for some involvement in the school's maintenance and upkeep. While we have not become Members, I believe that the opportunity to become more involved in the school's life is available in this way. I think that a greater sense of community could be fostered by having more opportunities for the parents to meet in a social setting. For example, apart from the "Back in the Groove meeting", parent social activities like BBQs, Golf tournaments, Fund-raising Dinners/Dances would all improve the parent community. Because of the wide geographic range of the students, this opportunity allows us to feel more connected to the school, our kids and their friends.
The community at TDCH is so welcoming and loving and I’ve never seen any school like it before. All the teachers care about the students and their learning and the faculty always help the kids and parents in any way they can. I love how open and easy to talk to the principals are. They really made my experience one of a kind and you don’t think you could find that anywhere else. The parents have to get involved because they need 25 volunteers hours every year at the school which really helps them get to know TDCH, the students, and the other parents. The school loves when graduates come back because the teachers had/have such a big bond with them. It’s really just a welcoming place whether you’ve been raised at feeder schools or you just joined in grade 9 like I did, but overall TDCH is a great place to be.
The broader community at TD Christian High School is very welcoming. The school is situated in a residential area of Woodbridge (but is accessible to students by bus from very distant locations - even Barrie, Etobicoke etc). The first visit we had to the school involved meeting other parents of grade 9 students and the school staff who made the first visit very comfortable. I find that each time I visit the school, the staff and teachers make a point of saying hello. Even after the first few months, I felt very comfortable in the school. There are many different group meetings offered for parents to meet other parents and also have learning opportunities about social issues that high school students face. The involvement for parents is voluntary, which I appreciate.
The school community is spread out in a vast geographical area. This is a little bit frustrating for the students as this limits them on visiting or hanging out with their friends outside school hours. There are several nations and countries represented in the school both in parent community as well and student and staff groups. The school tries to organize plays and membership meetings when parents are invited and encouraged to join. There are alumni tournaments which give opportunities for parents and older students to get together. There are also 'parent cleaning days' when parent get opportunities to meet and mingle. Compared to public schools, there is definitely better communication with parents, but this might be one area where the school could look into bringing the parent community more together - maybe prayer rallies or other events when more connection could be established.
Communication between school and parents is amazing. Everyone is very friendly and helpful. Parents are welcome to be involved in the life of the school. Parents are always invited into the school meetings, parties, and concerts. When we attend our first open house in the school, I found that a lot of parents and grandparents graduated from TDCH a long time ago and now they are bringing their sons and daughters into the school. The overall environment of the school feels like a family. In my view, this is one of the reasons that so many generations have graduated from TDCH. I also like how some of the teachers are graduates, and that they were part of the TDCH community back when they were in High School.
One of the things that first impressed me about TD was the ample ways that a parent could volunteer in the school. There is actually an expectation that every family volunteers at least 25 hours per year. This got my wife and I motivated to get involved in everything from a rummage sale to acting as a scribe during final exams. The school has a newsletter called "The Fridge Door" where they consistently publish opportunities for parents to get involved in the life of the school. Right from the first interview with the principal, the leadership encouraged us to participate in the life of the students throughout the school year. Lots of parents communicate with each other and offer car pooling to those who stay after school for extra curricular activities.