How Do I Determine The Best Private Schools In Mississauga?

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Determining the best private schools is a lot like determining the best people to fall in love with and consider for marriage. While ultimately there is just one person that is the best fit for you (maybe even a perfect fit) there are probably many people out there with whom who you could be happy. The same is true of schools and the fit that they could have with your child.

When you consider that both a marriage and a school relationship can be short if things aren’t working well, and long if they are, I will look at factors that will lead parents to helping them find a good fit for a long-term relationship with a school. As in finding a mate, everyone’s specific needs are as individual as they are, but there are certain common factors to determining the best schools, just as there are common factors to finding a life-long love.

Factor #1 – REPUTATION

Just as a person’s reputation precedes him or her, so too does the reputation of a school. You wouldn’t want to consider a serious relationship with someone who treats others poorly and is only interested in their money, so why would you consider a school for your children where the students are not treated well and where students are little more than dollar signs to the administration? The best private schools in Mississauga understand that reputation is just as important for a school as it is for an individual. They will do everything within their power to ensure that students and parents alike feel valued and appreciated.

Factor #2 – HIGH MAINTENANCE vs. LOW MAINTENANCE

Some people are simply never satisfied. No matter how much you give they continue to want more from you. Such people are high-maintenance and they will ultimately drain the joy from your life. A long-term relationship with a high-maintenance person is extremely difficult. Such people are characterized by taking more than they give. Low-maintenance people, on the other hand, tend to be easy to please and are happy to give back as much as they take. They understand that give and take is crucial to a long-term relationship. In Mississauga, private school fees are part of the “maintenance” of the relationship. Read more.

Contact Us:
St. Jude’s Academy
2150 Torquay Mews
Mississauga, Ontario
Zip Code: L5N 2M6
Phone: 905 814 0202
Email: sawatsky@rogers.com

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Do ESL Classes Really Work?

ESL Classes and Courses at St. Judes Academy

According to the website at freeenglishnow.com, “Students universally complain because ESL does not teach them to speak English. It can’t. ESL principally teaches two things (language memory and visual memory) and only one of these is required in speech. At its very best, ESL partially teaches only one of the three essential elements required in spoken language.” (http://freeenglishnow.com/why-esl-does-not-work)

Despite this claim, English as a Second Language (ESL) is taught in schools around the world without any serious challengers to its status as the default method for training those whose native tongue is not English to reach proficiency in English in the shortest period of time possible. Part of the reason why ESL is the undisputed method leader is because there is no standardized ESL curriculum. All ESL classes are different as teachers often edit their curriculum to deal with the specific language needs of their students.

Does the claim that ESL doesn’t teach students to speak English hold any weight, and if it does, does it matter? In my professional opinion, the claim is legitimate but the purpose of ESL is not to train students to speak the language in the first place.

Learning a language is hard work. I lived in Brazil for two years and did the best I could to learn to speak Portuguese (I didn’t speak a word of it before moving there.) I found that it was much easier for me to understand what others were saying around me and to read the language than it was to speak it back to my Portuguese-speaking neighbours. In fact, by the end of my time in Brazil I was able to have limited conversations with Brazilians who had some knowledge of English if they spoke to me in Portuguese and I spoke to them in English. There is just so much more to speaking a language than knowing the vocabulary, as the folk at freeenglishnow.com are quick to point out.

When it comes to ESL classes, the objective is to get the student to the destination of being able to pass a written language test such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) which is generally required for students to be able to attend classes in a way that is similar to native-English speakers. Since students spend most of their energy listening to others speak and responding back to the teacher in written form, the need for speaking skills is not as high as for listening, reading and writing skills. Continue reading to learn more about ESL Classes and Courses.

Contact Us:
St. Jude’s Academy
2150 Torquay Mews
Mississauga, Ontario
Zip Code: L5N 2M6
Phone: 905 814 0202
Email: sawatsky@rogers.com

Do Private High Schools Produce More Successful Alumni?

Statistically, only about six percent of Canadian students attend private schools. One would therefore expect that about six percent of Canada’s leaders in any particular area of expertise would claim to have been educated in a private school setting. However, the actual results are dramatically higher. Figures vary, of course, but at least one study reveals that more than thirty percent1 of Canada’s economic elite cite a private school educational background. That’s five times (500%) higher than one would expect. It would be statistically significant if that figure was only 25% higher.

Economics are important, but does the same kind of performance translate to other measurements of success? Data is harder to acquire since the measurement of success is not as clear, but if one were to take a look at who the people are at the top of any particular segment of Canadian society, whether it be legal, medical, social, musical, artistic, commercial, political, humanitarian, or a host of other fields, you will find a disproportionate number of leaders in these segments were educated in private high schools.

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How can that be? Surely the children attending private high schools aren’t five times smarter than those in public schools. In fact, anyone with the desire to send their children to a private school and the finances to afford it can find a private school that will educate their child. Keep in mind that when we refer to private schools here we are not talking about only the most elite boarding schools, we’re talking about all private schools in Canada. Therefore we have to assume that the children themselves are not the reason for the success, but rather that there must be factors specific to the private schools that do not exist in the public school system. Here are some of those factors.

1. Networking: By their nature, private schools tend to be smaller and more intimate (smaller class sizes) than their public counterparts. This smaller size tends to give students at a private school a better opportunity to get to know a broader base of the students at the school, rather than be forced into a small clique in a larger environment. When you know your schoolmates better it is much easier to reach out to them when it comes time to find a good job or to meet people who have influence in any particular situation. It’s a testament to the age-old saying that “It’s not about what you know but who you know that matters.” Even being able to list the right people as references on a resume can have a huge impact on one’s success.

2. Culture of Cooperation: Say what you want about public high schools, my experience has not permitted me to see many (I have witnessed a couple) where there was a spirit of cooperation among the students. In most cases, the dog-eat-dog mentality prevails there. My experience of private college schools, on the other hand, has been almost the exact opposite. Most of the private high schools where I’ve worked and visited have been places that were defined by a spirit of cooperation, even when that spirit has demonstrated an elitist edge to it. Continue to original source.

Contact Us:
St. Jude’s Academy
2150 Torquay Mews
Mississauga, Ontario
Zip Code: L5N 2M6
Phone: 905 814 0202
Email: sawatsky@rogers.com

Reflections on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

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During my 22 years in as an IB teacher, diploma coordinator, IB examiner, consultant, workshop leader, site visitor and evaluator, I have had the opportunity to witness the many benefits gained by all students, teachers and schools, offering IB programmes.

The IB is “the HOW” (application) and “the WHY” (reasons for learning) of “the WHAT” (course content). The diploma is accessible to all students. The teachers are trained and dedicated to adapting teaching to learning. Classes are student-centred and teaching is diversified, thus affording access to all abilities.

But, what does it take to succeed? Certainly the answer to that question does not lie totally in the methods used in the classroom, nor in the structure of the IB diploma subjects taught. The student must also play a central role in his/her own learning, the keys to which reside in the IB Learner Profile attributes such as “inquiry”, “open-mindedness”, “risk-taking” and “reflection”. Each student needs to be invested in the learning. Students are usually quick to apply collaboration with their peers as a way of supporting their progress since they are not in competition. IB students may be found in the Library huddled over a chemistry or math problem or listening while a classmate reads an argument for their extended essay. Students are encouraged to help each other. No student is alone with the work.

IB diploma requirements are challenging, but the skills, such as serious research, formal essay writing, viewing issues from several perspectives, analysing data and drawing conclusions lead the student to take on post-secondary studies with ease. They will write external examinations for each IB subject, set by the IB and graded by examiners from the IB global community. They will also produce an internal assignment, graded by their teachers and monitored by the IB to ensure accurate application of IB assessment requirements. They will complete a 4000-word research essay and a Theory of Knowledge presentation and essay. They will participate in the Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) program, which though not graded, constitutes an important aspect of their growth as a citizen of the world. Earning the diploma is the result of the student’s commitment and hard work. This all adds up to excellent preparation for future study and life experiences. I have witnessed IB diploma students become Rhodes Scholars, neurosurgeons, musicians, lawyers, authors, entrepreneurs, contributors to advanced technology, politicians and teachers. Visit source.

Contact Us:
St. Jude’s Academy
2150 Torquay Mews
Mississauga, Ontario
Zip Code: L5N 2M6
Phone: 905 814 0202
Email: sawatsky@rogers.com

Which Private Elementary Schools In Mississauga Are The Best?

There’s a well-known adage that says, “You get what you pay for.” Is that saying applicable to Mississauga private school fees? After all, private school tuition payments can easily be comparable to automobile or even mortgage payments each month, so making sure that you’re getting the best value for your money is important.

As a former private school administrator and principal, I have a very good understanding of where your tuition dollars get allocated. Your private school monthly cost is determined largely by the following factors.

  1. The salary and benefits package offered to each staff member at the school.
  2. The number of students per teacher.
  3. The costs associated with purchase, upkeep and expansion of the facilities.

These are, by far, the most significant cost issues a private school needs to control. In fact it is not at all uncommon for a private school to allocate 60-70% of their entire budget to teacher pay. Therefore it makes sense that if teachers are being paid well the costs are going to rise dramatically. However, if the school averages twenty-or-more students per teacher, a higher-paid teacher’s cost-per-student drops considerably compared to a school committed to small class sizes of say fifteen students per teacher. Generally, smaller class sizes are more ideal for learning than those schools where the goal is to fill the room with students.

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Private elementary schools in Mississauga try hard to balance the class size with the ability to retain teachers, since experienced staff are often better teachers than their less-experienced counterparts. However, this is not always the case. Some teachers get comfortable (some even get lazy) in their tiny classroom kingdoms, but their experience teaches them how to get away with looking engaged with the students when that may not often actually be the case. If I had to choose between a classroom with fifteen students and a second-year teacher or a classroom with twenty-seven students and a teacher with ten years experience, I would rather see my child in the classroom with fewer students. Continue to original source.

Contact Us:
St. Jude’s Academy
2150 Torquay Mews
Mississauga, Ontario
Zip Code: L5N 2M6
Phone: 905 814 0202
Email: sawatsky@rogers.com

Why Opting For IB Schools In Mississauga Matters

The world-renowned International Baccalaureate programme has been around for about fifty years now and currently has over 4000 authorized schools in place all over the world. The steady growth in IB programs over the decades reflects the trust that this program has garnered from educators and parents worldwide. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is blessed to have several schools, both public and private that offer IB curriculum, and Mississauga has a healthy percentage of that number.

If you’re wondering what it takes to get into IB schools in Mississauga, you might be surprised to hear that the most important factor is probably commitment. You’re unlikely to see your child just “fall into” an IB program, but it is the school itself that is judged on its “worthiness” to offer the IB program, rather than the student being judged if he’s worthy to participate in the program, so it’s all about finding the right school.

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If your child attends an International Baccalaureate diploma school (the Diploma Programme only applies to what Canadians refer to as eleventh and twelfth grade), there is an IB exam separate from the standard school program that each student must take and pass in order to be recognized as an International Baccalaureate diploma graduate. The IB program is designed to be consistent between schools as much as possible. Of course, every school handles the IB program with its own style, but regardless of the school’s approach, one should find that moving between one IB program and another to be relatively seamless. Families that tend to move a lot can take comfort in the consistency that the IB program brings to their children’s academic studies.

Perhaps one of the most important features of the IB program is the emphasis the IB puts on global awareness, rather than focusing on regional distinctions. IB schools in Mississauga tend to be diverse, value the study and knowledge of a second or third language, and encourage students to think critically. You may find similar emphasis in other schools as well, but these tend to be core values to an IB school. Continue reading.

Contact Us:
St. Jude’s Academy
2150 Torquay Mews
Mississauga, Ontario
Zip Code: L5N 2M6
Phone: 905 814 0202
Email: sawatsky@rogers.com

New To Milton? Private School Options

Choosing the right school for their children is one of the most important decisions parents have to make. Unfortunately, moving rarely allows parents the luxury of getting to experience all of the school options available to them before the children have to spend time in one, leaving parents feeling hurried into a decision that they might later regret.

You’re probably well aware by now that Milton has grown in population by dramatic percentages over the past couple of decades, and it is likely to keep growing at a fast pace for some time. This fast growth has led to the opening of several new public schools in the area, which has been a real boon for the town. Unfortunately, private schools, which tend to take much longer to start and grow, have been slow to keep up with Milton’s phenomenal growth.

Here is a list of as many private schools in Milton as I could find:

  • The Montessori Country School (Preschool – 6th Grade)
  • An accredited Montessori program.
  • Learning Blocks Montessori School (Preschool to age 6)
  • Montessori School of Milton (Preschool to age 6)
  • Building Blocks Montessori School (Preschool to age 6)
  • Oxford Learning Academy (Preschool – 8th Grade)
  • A full-day academic program that utilizes a homeschooling approach with the benefits of socialization in a small classroom environment. (Oxford Learning is primarily a tutoring program across Canada.)
  • Milton Christian School (Preschool – 8th Grade)
  • A non-denominational religious private school.
  • Grade Learning (High School)
  • An online high school program.

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While seven different private schools is great, four of them are Montessori program schools (and only one of the four addresses the elementary grades.) If what you are looking for is found then by all means, contact the school(s) that interest you.

For most families, this list isn’t likely to satisfy their needs for a private school solution. First of all, none of the schools listed above is very large, although some are growing rapidly. Secondly, only one addresses the high school years at all, and the only option is an online program. Continue to original source.

Contact Us:
St. Jude’s Academy
2150 Torquay Mews
Mississauga, Ontario
Zip Code: L5N 2M6
Phone: 905 814 0202
Email: sawatsky@rogers.com