Micro School. Big Education.
My son has been at HPDS for 4 years now and is barely recognizable from the smart, but frustrated and angry boy he was when he started. The public system had completely let him down. HPDS took the time to know what motivated him and rebuild his trust in learning. The teachers showed him how empowering understanding his learning style can be when approaching collaborative work, new learning opportunities or when leading others. He is happy and so much more confident in his abilities. Our favourite thing about the school is how genuine the teachers are. They really care about him as a student and as a person.
The best decision we ever made was to put our son in High Park Day School for Grades 7 & 8. Our son became a confident and insightful learner which has helped him successfully transition into his first year of High School. Because of his 2 years spent at HPDS, he has all of the necessary tools and skills for success going forward.
HPDS staff brings to life the best of sociocultural learning theories on child development. Kids learn in multi-age groups, and have the benefit of both peer learning, and differentiated learning. The lessons are inquiry-based and concept-driven. The curriculum is designed to encourage critical thinking and trans-disciplinary approaches to ‘big ideas’. The staff-student ratio allows for lots of one-on-one time and it means that teachers know the ‘whole child’ and can exercise tremendous flexibility in both drilling down and pushing forward on new learning challenges wherever appropriate. As the parent of a kid who tests gifted-LD, we know this is incredibly important. So too is the emphasis on problem-solving, which is applied equally to scientific concepts and inter-personal relationships. Being a small school also gives HPDS the ability to travel out into the community – whether that’s to take advantage of the nearby parks and ravines, the public library, or places like Karma co-op. HPDS offers a model of what education can be.
HPDS has been such a blessing for our whole family – we all feel so much at home there. Our son and daughter are being challenged at their individual level to develop their strength and receiving an amazing support to build up the areas where they are not so strong. The curriculum truly works the way it is meant: engaging the students and guiding them onto the path of “loving to learn”.
There are not enough words to describe how thankful I am for this opportunity. This experience has really opened my eyes and shown me that schools can be different and can be a huge positive influence on kids. You have shown all of us what caring teachers really look like, and that positivity can be shown regardless of how stressful life may be. Thanks to you we have seen the amazing things that hard work, love and positivity can do for children.
We know our son is a smart boy who observes everything!! Actually hearing him share his knowledge tickles my heart! Thanks for giving our son the confidence he needs to succeed!
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