REVIEW OF Toronto District Christian High School BY parent, Maja Donko
- Date of Review
May 28, 2019
Gr. 9 - 10
(5) Student Experience
TD Christian does not have 1800 students which is typical in most high schools. The students in this school don't get lost in a huge school. Teachers know students by name and I think this makes a big difference in how a teenager feels about going to school. My daughter graduated from TD Christian and went on to attend York University Engineering program, where she is excelling. My daughter enjoyed her overall experience at TD Christian, and made some great friends. Her transition to a university program was easy. My son is in 10th grade and is part of the music program, the robotics club, the hands-on video creation and video editing class, and will be starting computer coding classes in grade 11. Environmental Block is a course that was taken by both of my kids, and this course is something very unique to this school. My son really enjoys TD Christian, especially the diversity of the courses he has been able to take and can take in Grade 11 and Grade 12.
(5) School Leadership
The principal, vice principals and teachers always respond to my emails and phone calls. I have always appreciated this. My experience with the school and the teachers has been very positive. The ongoing expansion of the school will only improve the learning experience for the future students. Both my kids have had positive experiences at TD Christian. The school also has an excellent online resource for parents to access grades and for students to monitor the work. The school has addressed current social issues in a manner which I think is very effective. School assemblies have most recently discussed consequences of smoking cigarettes or vaping - the strict policy on these matters is really important to me, and I really appreciate this about TD Christian.
As a parent, I would highly recommend the school because of the small classes, all teachers know all of the students, it is a very engaging environment with all sorts of different programs catering to the differences in all students. The school also has a strong sports program (many of the school teams move onto regional levels to compete), and excellent music and drama programs. I can't say enough about the music teacher; he is amazing and the music program at TD Christian School is outstanding. The drama program is excellent, and the school theatre productions are first class. With such a variety of courses (from photography, guitar, music, intern programs), every student can be passionate about their learning. I was always told that I could contact the teacher at any time if I had questions or concerns about my kids' classes. It is very obvious that the teachers care about the students and want them to do well, regardless of the courses (from english class to photography).
A strong academic program is supported by the smaller class sizes compared to other high schools. Our personal experience with the academic program at TD has been positive, and I always had open communication with the teachers if I had questions about homework assignments or kids' progress in classes. I found this school has some of the best math, physics and chemistry teachers, which is really important for science based university or college programs. Classes are 80 minutes which allows for a lot of content to be learned and questions answered. The class length is good to be able to explain concepts and even start homework sometimes. The school also has homework club every week after school, which is really useful for students (my daughter went regularly in grade 12).
There are many extracurricular opportunities for every student at TD Christian. Instrumental bands (minimal experience required, and excellent teacher), amazing choir which includes young men and women from all grades, different clubs (including robotics) and of course, a huge variety of sports teams. My niece was on the ultimate frisbee team, and many of my daughter's friends were part of the school hockey team. There is a huge drama production every year, which is a great opportunity for students. The school even offers a scuba club.
In the first week of Grade 9, TD Christian school has introduced an amazing opportunity for students to get to know one another; this really helps the grade 9 students make friends even in the first few days of school. My kids both said the students at TD Christian were for the most part always encouraging and friendly. Some kids came from elementary schools knowing only a few students, and others, did not know anyone. There is such a diverse group of students, and through sports, robotics, music, drama, school assemblies, it seems all students can interact through the year. This school does a homeroom class every Monday, so kids from all grades interact in homeroom, and they have the same homeroom teacher through the 4 years. This homeroom concept for 4 years was really appreciated by my daughter as she really got to know her teacher very well.
(5) School Life
My review of TD Christian School is based on my own experience with both of my kids, as well as my interactions with other parents and friends of my kids. All of them speak very highly of the school and how the experience for the students is always positive. This is apparent when attending any of the school events - it is obvious that kids like going to school there. My own experience of the overall quality of student life at TD Christian has been positive. Both of my kids enjoyed going to school – I never had them say they didn’t want to go to school. This means a lot as a parent. It means the school is doing something right. It means that they have found friends at school. I like the school assemblies, and I think that both of my kids always enjoyed being part of the school community in that way.
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.
(5) School Location
The school is located in residential area, with few small eateries within walking distance of the school. Fortunately the lunch period is not very long, so students cannot be away from the school for very long, it’s easier to eat at the school. In grade 9 students are not allowed to leave the property without permission. I notice that with other high schools, students have very long lunch periods and they go to local malls. I like how TD Christian manages the students in Grade 9 by not allowing them to leave property. In Grade 10 students are allowed to leave school property at lunch. I'm impressed that transportation is included in cost of the tuition, so students who live far from the school can attend.
The first time my husband went into the school during the school day, he could not believe how quiet the corridors were, all the kids were in class. This was one of the reasons that helped us choose this school for our kids. We had a meeting with the vice principal who explained the school policies and again, was very welcoming. Knowing that it is a faith-based school was very important to our family. The admissions process was easy. I would not change it, I think it is important to meet the staff before your kids start school. Go to the school and walk around and make your own decision, just as we did. I would encourage other families to make a visit to the school. Having a child enjoy going to school, and getting a great overall academic and extra-curricular experience is very important. I would not change our decision about my kids attending TD Christian.