Parenting & Family

Good Public/Catholic elementary school in Toronto?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 9th, 2018 1:28 pm
[OP]
Member
Jul 26, 2016
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Good Public/Catholic elementary school in Toronto?

Hi, I am looking for advice of good public/catholic elementary school in Toronto/Etobicoke. I know people usually go to or choose from their home school (district). Given that we can move, Are there relatively good ranked elementary schools (preferably French Immersion or dual track) in the area as well as affordable housing (condos/apartments/basement apartments)?

We are currently living in 1 bedroom condo but plan to move to a 2 bedrooms in 1-2 years. Since we will be moving we may as well consider where to move to depending on schools as our little one will go to JK in 2-3 years.

Thanks in advance!
14 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
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OTTAWA
A good first start could be the Fraser Rankings:

http://ontario.compareschoolrankings.or ... nName.aspx

Donj't focus only on the ranking or score but look at it along with some other information. The scores don't mean anything to students or teachers so some schools take them more seriously so small changes might not indicate much. 50% failure rate vs 95% probably does.
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Oct 6, 2005
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fogetmylogin wrote:
Feb 7th, 2018 7:48 am
Donj't focus only on the ranking or score but look at it along with some other information.
Yeah, anything in the top 25% of Toronto is probably a good school... it's only when you start getting into the schools with mediocre scores that's when you need to worry. Best to check to how many kids are actually passing the EQAO, average income of area, demographics, parental education levels, etc. and see if they're compatible with your expectations.
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Dec 27, 2013
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Woodbridge
Rankings fluctuate with cohort, and depending on the size of the school, one or two exceptionally strong or weak students in one year may have a disproportionate effect on scores. A school with 25 3rd graders in the building might have 80% at grade level EQAO one year (20/25). The next year, they might be at 68%. If it's the same size cohort, that's 17/25 at grade level. That difference is based on 3 kids. Those kids may have IEPs, may be ELLs, may be new to the school etc.

The Fraser Institute looks at raw EQAO data. EQAO is one assessment tool among many. It assesses kids using a format that is inconsistent with what teachers are expected to apply in our own practice. I'm expected to and do provide differentiated assessment and opportunities for children to show their learning. Tests are included in that, but are not the only form of assessment. The raw EQAO data represents an assessment that students are told will not be reflected on their report cards and which is presented to them in a format that is inconsistent with almost everything else that they have seen to that point. EQAO also provides data beyond the raw score, which is all the Fraser rankings look at. You can read more about that here - http://www.ourkids.net/blog/fraser-inst ... -eqao-9310

Schools change. A 9.6 one year might be a 7.8 the next year and a 8.5 the year after that. Teachers retire, transfer, go on leave, come back from leave. Principals are transferred every 3-6 years. Communities change with new demographics. The ranking that you see today will not be the ranking in 3 years, or 12 years when your child will be graduating elementary school. In those 10 years of elementary school they'll have many teachers, work with many classmates, and experience many influences inside and outside of school. If your child has a good support system at home and you work together with the teachers to cultivate proper learning skills and a positive attitude in school, they'll succeed wherever they go.

Look at the type of community that you want your child(ren) to grow up in. Consider different amenities in the area, libraries, community services, parks, shopping, transit, proximity to employment, proximity to family, affordable housing etc. I'd say that all of that is a lot more important than how a couple dozen 3rd and 6th graders did on one test last May.
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Feb 9, 2009
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Once they hit high school, unless it's a highly ranked school, it's best to put them in a very reputable private school (if you can afford it).
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Dec 27, 2013
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Sanyo wrote:
Feb 7th, 2018 10:50 pm
Once they hit high school, unless it's a highly ranked school, it's best to put them in a very reputable private school (if you can afford it).
Why? Research supports that private school students perform better and have superior outlooks than private school students; however, they all point to socio-economic advantages as well as having peers with post-secondary educated parents as the main reasons for this. You can't really change the former, and you can address the latter by enrolling your child in a variety of clubs or teams and exposing them to diverse activities. While it is true that the average public high school graduate doesn't perform as well as the average private high school graduate, parents need to make decisions based on their individual child, not the average. If they have the right work ethic and learning skills, the proper support from home and access to tools and resources to support their learning, they can do just as well in a public school.

Having said that, some private schools have their own approach and clubs and programs and philosophy that might appeal to you. Reputable private schools do provide a great education and should certainly be considered if there are good reasons for doing so. I simply don't agree with the idea that unless a child attends a highly ranked public school or very reputable private school that they are somehow disadvantaged. There are far too many variables.
Last edited by jvnanu on Feb 7th, 2018 11:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Oct 6, 2005
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jvnanu wrote:
Feb 7th, 2018 6:40 pm
Rankings fluctuate with cohort, and depending on the size of the school, one or two exceptionally strong or weak students in one year may have a disproportionate effect on scores. A school with 25 3rd graders in the building might have 80% at grade level EQAO one year (20/25). The next year, they might be at 68%. If it's the same size cohort, that's 17/25 at grade level. That difference is based on 3 kids. Those kids may have IEPs, may be ELLs, may be new to the school etc.

Good schools shouldn't fluctuate that much... unless like you say the school is very small. It's averages, and to have 3 additional students fail the EQAO is pretty serious for the school.

At my kids school, the scores are pretty consistent year after year... up or down by a couple percentage points, up or down the rankings by 5 or 10 spots, but no drastic swings.

Sanyo wrote:
Feb 7th, 2018 10:50 pm
Once they hit high school, unless it's a highly ranked school, it's best to put them in a very reputable private school (if you can afford it).
There's no need if you go to a good public school ... private school in general is a waste of money in the many areas of the GTA. A good public school student will still end up getting into the same universities as a private school student, but $300,000 less.

It's better to save the money and gift it to your child for an Ivy League education - that'll do more in the long run than private high school.
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Dec 27, 2013
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coolspot wrote:
Feb 8th, 2018 8:27 am
Good schools shouldn't fluctuate that much... maybe up or down in the rankings by 10 or 20 spots, but not unless the school is very small, the scopes should not swing that wildly.
They fluctuate less in established communities where the demographics are quite stable. They can fluctuate significantly in communities that are developing. Looking at some random schools in YRDSB or YCDSB:

Willshire - 7.0 in 2016, 8.5 in 2017.
German Mills - 8.3 to 7.4 to 8.1
Charlton - 9.6 to 8.2 to 8.6
St. Joseph - 7.9 to 5.8 to 7.8
Henderson - 9.3 to 9.7 to 7.3 to 7.8
Christ the King - 10.0 to 8.4 to 9.0

I know that you could go through and find examples of very stable rankings. I'm also aware of the fact that these fluctuations generally stick within 1-2 points. But even those swings represent a lot of schools. Thise year a 9.0 is ranked 65, while an 8.0 is ranked 307. That's a 1 point swing which represents 242 positions. The number gets even larger once you get closer to the average score. A school ranked 7.0 is 912th in the province, whereas 6.0 is 1642. That's 730 ranking positions for 1 point. You won't necessarily see a school go from 10 to 5 to 9 to 4 to 10, but fluctuations do happen. All I'm saying is go beyond the ranking. It's an incomplete evaluation which omits many variables that should make a school community attractive to parents.
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Jan 9, 2011
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Private schools get higher scores not because the quality of education is any better, but because they slam the door on the riff-raff that would otherwise drag the average down. Poor, hungry, learning disabled, etc. Keep them out and watch your scores go up, potentially attracting new families who don't know any better and think the school ranks higher because the teachers are better. It simply ain't so.

The exposure to a larger cross section of people your kid will get in public school will better prepare him for dealing with the same cross section of people when he is grown up. Don't discount the value of that.
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Aug 2, 2004
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Don’t you have to be Catholic to go to a Catholic school? At least one parent?
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Gee wrote:
Feb 8th, 2018 12:16 pm
Don’t you have to be Catholic to go to a Catholic school? At least one parent?
In TCDSB:

"Who can register at a TCDSB elementary school?
Catholic children, or
Non-Catholic children of Catholic parents - one custodial parent who is baptized Catholic, living in the city of Toronto and having the ability to direct tax support to the TCDSB.
Children of parents enrolled in the R.C.I.A./R.C.I.A. program with a Catholic church."

https://www.tcdsb.org/FORPARENTS/Admiss ... hools.aspx
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
Thanks for the quick reply.

@Eric1010, do you qualify? You mentioned catholic school in your original post.
Jr. Member
Feb 7, 2018
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Toronto ON
Eric1010 wrote:
Feb 6th, 2018 5:02 pm
French Immersion or dual track
What is "dual track"? New parent here. Thanks

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