What is the school’s philosophy?
At High Park Day School we believe that all students have the potential to be active, independent thinkers and learners. We believe that an effective education is not a uniform one.
We differentiate our lessons and teaching styles to provide a unique, personalized program for every student. We believe that confidence and motivation are the seeds of life-long learning, and that without these, education becomes a to-do list rather than an exploration of ideas, interests and values. We develop our curriculum to be the latter, allowing the students' questions to drive our lessons, units and assessments.
A strong foundation in learning skills, and mastery of reading, writing and mathematics provides our students the tools necessary for independent learning. Involving students in group discussions, unit planning and self-reflection provide the higher level thinking skills needed for success in tomorrow's world.
How does the school challenge and support student achievement?
We encourage students to stand in their strength, while providing appropriate challenges to help each student develop further. Since our class sizes are small and our teachers are exceptional, every student is on his or her own track of progress. Simultaneously, students are given specific roles within our PBL projects so that they can use their strengths and contribute to the overall success of their group.
Do you accept students with learning disabilities?
Identified learning exceptionalities are considered when reviewing applications for admissions and acceptance is on a case by case basis. If it is determined that learning, attention, emotional and/or behavioural issues will impede successful integration into our community and may actively interfere with the learning of others, we will not accept that student.
How does the school encourage involvement among parents, teachers and students?
We strive to be as transparent as possible. Parents, students and teachers all have access to an internal on-line system that serves as an information centre and social network platform. Through this network, we can communicate real-time, share important news and school events, participate in chat forums and keep track of homework and class assignments. Each week we update our school blog to share the highlights of what is going on in the classroom. We hold regular parent/teacher meetings during reporting periods. We also welcome parents to volunteer in the classroom or to share their knowledge as experts when they can during Project Based Learning!
Is the school calendar in line with the Toronto District School Board calendar?
We have our own unique calendar which adheres more closely to the international school calendar, but does have some overlap with the TDSB PA/PD Day and holiday calendar. We generally begin our school year one week in advance of the TDSB. In addition to the Christmas holiday that falls at the same time as the other school board calendars, we have the following breaks throughout the year:
- Autumn Break in October (1 week)
- Winter Break in February (1 week)
- Spring Break in April (1 week)
What curriculum guidelines does the school follow?
Language and Math programs are offered at each student's academic abilities which is determined through careful assessment and evaluation. Science, Social Studies, Arts, Literature and Media/Technology are integrated through Project Based Learning which lends itself naturally to differentiation and provides the appropriate challenge to best facilitate skill development and deep understanding of knowledge. Students receive 40 minutes per day of each Physical Education and French instruction as per the Ontario Curriculum guidelines.
In order to make the learning of the curriculum more meaningful and relevant and to bring cohesion to all students are learning, we incorporate thematic units across all grade levels. These themes introduce students to various local and global issues.
How are students evaluated?
When new students join HPDS they are given a series of formal and informal assessments to determine their abilities in different learning areas (learning style, reading comprehension, spelling and grammar skills, mathematics, oral fluency, social interaction). These snap-shot assessments allow us to begin a personalized program for each new student. Additionally, during curriculum planning and development, classroom teachers work together to select key curriculum objectives and assessment tools to be implemented. We use PBL rubrics as well as 21st Century Skills rubrics to evaluate and monitor student success.
Students are taught how to self and peer evaluate, as well as how to set meaningful learning goals. Since students are a part of curriculum development and the assessment process, our reports are never a surprise. Progress Reports are sent home before the December holiday and at the end of the school year. Progress Reports are accompanied by meetings with teachers and often include the presence of the student.
What is the average class size?
The average class size is approximately 12 students per teacher, but often students are split into small groups or co-taught by two or more teachers.
What is the admission process for my child?
Please fill our the Inquiry form from the website. Once completed form is received and reviewed, we will contact you to schedule a family interview and a trial days for your child. The average length of application process from inquiry to enrollment is two weeks.
What facilities and equipment does the school offer?
As well as providing all necessary materials for everyday learning, we house an ever growing student library, have an off-site gymnasium, and access to computers and iPads. We take advantage of what our High Park and Babypoint communities have to offer; the Jane/Dundas Library and Magwood Park are regular destinations for our students. We use the parks and facilities to run daily lessons and activities.