Have you considered sending your child to one of the many
fine private schools in downtown Toronto? Many parents are worried about the
state of public education in our city. Last year's teachers' job action
provoked concerns about the stability of the system. And even though Canada has
a comparatively good public school system, it's evident that there are many
challenges facing TDSB schools.
Overcrowding is a problem at some schools. Budget cuts mean
that class sizes keep growing. Teachers are expected to cope with
ever-increasing numbers of students with learning and behavioural challenges,
and some schools have a large percentage of ESL students. A few schools are
even trying to cope with gang violence on school property.
As well, some wonder about the directions that the Ontario
Ministry of Education has taken. Standardized tests, introduced several years
ago to all public schools, are a tactic used by failing school systems.
Finland, which is considered to have the best school system in the world, abolished
all standardized tests. Toronto's initiative to provide full-day kindergarten
also goes against the principles of many leading educational thinkers.
Toronto has a wide variety of private schools, from prep
schools to French language schools, from single-gender institutions to schools
based on a particular philosophy, such as Montessori. Better private schools
offer students many advantages, including:
- A culture of excellence. Private schools
celebrate academic achievement. Students who are not performing to their
potential may be in a school where excelling is not considered "cool.” At fine
private schools, students are expected to give their best effort. Older
students provide good role models for younger ones, and supports are in place
to help every student maximize their performance.
- Balance. Private schools help students
achieve balance in their lives. At better schools, each student is expected to
maintain high academic standards, but also participate in athletics and extracurricular
activities. Skills such as time budgeting, planning, study skills and
practicing self-discipline help students achieve a healthy balance at school,
and are invaluable in life.
- Values. Private schools aim to educate
the whole child. In addition to instilling a love for learning and knowledge, better Toronto private
schools promote the building of character and the practice of values like
respect for others, a strong work ethic, taking responsibility, service to the
community, integrity, and self-discipline.
- Size. Private schools usually have fewer
students than public schools. Classes are smaller, leading to a better
student-teacher ratio. These schools are better able to build and maintain
facilities for sports, drama, and other activities, and they endeavour to have
the latest in technology available to students as soon as possible.
An Internet search will yield a list of private schools in downtown
Exploring school websites will tell you a lot about each
school's particular focus, philosophy, and other information. Many schools hold
"Open House” events where you can tour the facilities and learn more about what
is offered. When you have narrowed your list to a few schools, call to make
appointments with the enrollment officers of the school, who will answer any
questions you may have.
Explore your options today -- give your child the gift of a
private school education!