How to Choose the Best Private School in Ontario

Every parent wants their own children to succeed in life and one of the best foundations to set them in the right path is to give them quality education.
Most parents believe that the quality of education is far better in private schools. Of course, it is understood that there is still the need to find the best private school.

Some key things you should know

If you live in Ontario or moving to this province in east-central Canada, the province’s has public and private educational institutions and recognizes education alternatives and is the only province in Canada that provide funds for Catholic schools, which is stated in Canada’s Constitution. The Education Act governs education in Ontario, which has a section on bullying and provisions for the imposition of compulsory education when a child turns six. Likewise, the educational system imposes the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Most private schools and all public schools in Ontario follow the Ontario Curriculum.

Private schools in Ontario do not receive financial support and funding from the government unlike other Canadian provinces. Their operation is independent of the Ministry of Education jurisdiction but must be in accordance with the Education Act. All private schools in Ontario must have the specific general requirements as well as the additional requirements if the school wants to acquire the authority to grant credits towards OSSD (Ontario Secondary School Diploma).

Since the Education Ministry does not licence, regulate or accredit, as well as oversee the private schools’ operations, it is crucial that the parents, students and their guardians do the right kind of research prior to registration. Most of the things you should know must come directly from the school. It does not mean that the Ministry of Education cannot provide you with useful information regarding private schools in Ontario, though. Their website has a list of private elementary and secondary schools. Here are the important things to know:

  • Application of the Ontario curriculum
  • Conduct of criminal reference check on all their staff
  • Discipline policy or code of conduct
  • Teacher membership with the Ontario College of Teachers
  • Publication of their admissions policy and years of operation
  • Administration of testing for Education Quality and Accountability Office
  • Liability insurance for pupil-related accidents?
  • Policy regarding complaints by pupils and parents, and access to student records
  • Contracts with parents on fees and refunds as well as some policies

Making a Final Selection

The best private school (or even public) school for your child should be able to harness your child’s inherent talents and skills and enhance and improve on these so that they can fully utilize them when they are older.

Think of whether you want to register your child to a single-gender or a co-ed school. Then you have to look into the teaching styles, the academic success rates, the location and cost as well as the extracurricular activities the private school offers. Ontario’s private schools come in two categories – private for profit schools and independent or non-profit schools and each of them have their own formats and philosophies in administering the students’ learning experience.

Base your search at your lifestyle priorities and family values. Do you want your child to have a sense of community or want your child to excel on the arts or sciences?

How will the school work with your schedules if both of you are working?

Likewise, you must understand the vision and mission of the private school in Ontario. In Ontario, parents can have an influence on the private school’s operations up to a certain extent, depending on their policies.  If this is what you want, you should look for a private school with a membership system or one that is governed by a board.
You cannot do this if you choose an owner-operated school.

Private elementary schools in Ontario does not follow the Ontario public school curriculum but the private high schools do so because their students have to graduate with the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Private schools in Ontario likewise do not require their teachers to be certified.
One other thing you have to check are the extras, including computers and nature, athletics, music and arts. See if the private school is accredited and inquire about the standards that the school have to meet, their student success rates as well as standardized test scores.

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