Parenting & Family

Private Schools - Would you send your kid if you had the money?

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  • Nov 8th, 2018 4:47 pm
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random pattern wrote:
Nov 4th, 2014 8:43 pm
Any thoughts on Havergal vs. BSS and UCC vs. Crescent? I thought I'd be sold on Havergal but now I'm leaning towards BSS, and my wife is completely feeling Havergal... UCC just seemed so big, though to be fair we haven't observed a class like we have for the girls' schools...
... Crescent and UCC are boys schools. Havergal and BSS are girls schools.
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IMO, it's not just about the money, it's the mindset behind the money. There's a culture to Private Schools, which extends to the child's parents, family, lifestyle, where they live, vacation, assets they have, etc.
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Anonymouse wrote:
Nov 9th, 2014 1:42 pm
I am not really qualified to speak about the relative merits of those schools anymore (I attended SAC when Mulroney was PM, and have since moved far away).

I think the best thing is to talk to the heads of school and ask what his/her educational philosophy/concept is for the school, and see if it is compatible with your own philosophy. For example, SAC was all about bringing up the "whole man." There is almost equal emphasis on sports and academics. At a place like UTS, unless it has changed a lot, it is academics almost to the exclusion of everything else. Some of the girls' schools have programs that revolve around arts because many girls respond well to that kind of environment.

Talk to the head of the department that is close to your heart, and ask what aspect of the program he/she is most proud of.

None of the schools you name is likely to produce an unsatisfactory outcome; some of them have been in the education business for a hundred years or more.
Thanks - I appreciate the response.

Girls:
It's really down to Havergal or BSS. Liked both and they're both convenient (and that matters to us). Branksome is 10 min too much out of the way and I don't want to pay the same amount for St. Clements when it doesn't have the resources the others have.

Boys:
UCC is convenient, is really the only option that starts as early as SK, and has everything - but I'm just not getting the same vibes as when we spoke to the heads of the girls schools. RSG "feels" good to me but then we'd have to wait a few years and again I don't want to pay the same tuition there as the other schools yet not have access to the same type of resources. Plus it's not convenient.

I used to think UTS would be a nice inexpensive option, but now that it isn't subsidized and I realize how strictly academic their focus is, and that it doesn't start until grade 7, it's not anymore.

Anyway, we just completed the apps for Havergal and BSS for our daughter (for JK) and we'll see what happens. Next year we'll apply to UCC for our son (for SK) and see what happens...

Thanks for the responses....
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Reviving this thread...

So we decided on the girls school and now need to look into boys ones.

Still not completely feeling Upper Canada College, and neither Crescent nor Royal St. Georges start until grade three. Anybody have any experience or thoughts on Sterling? Don't really love the location or the idea of having to switch again before high school, but there aren't a lot of options at this age and I have heard good things about it....
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Aug 11, 2008
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random pattern wrote:
Sep 4th, 2015 7:11 pm
Reviving this thread...

So we decided on the girls school and now need to look into boys ones.

Still not completely feeling Upper Canada College, and neither Crescent nor Royal St. Georges start until grade three. Anybody have any experience or thoughts on Sterling? Don't really love the location or the idea of having to switch again before high school, but there aren't a lot of options at this age and I have heard good things about it....
If you have a daughter at a girls school, you already have a great resource available. Talk to other parents and find out their experiences with different boys schools. Although I have noticed that parents tend to go with the same set of schools, e.g. BSS and UCC, SCS and Crescent, etc. You're probably get better feedback than asking on a forum.
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I wish there was a way to sort schools out by teachers and their rankings, etc.
The biggest thing that matters to me is the teachers' passion. The classes I worked the hardest for, did the best in, wanted to learn more for and continue learning had the teacher who loved teaching. They wouldn't follow everything word for word by the book but they made every class exciting. From little tidbits of information they can throw into each lesson to they way they can answer questions about their subject...

I wouldn't care if the teacher went to teachers college or not. Have a teacher who likes to teach their subject and I'm sending my kid to you.
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inmyturret wrote:
Sep 8th, 2015 4:14 pm
If you have a daughter at a girls school, you already have a great resource available. Talk to other parents and find out their experiences with different boys schools. Although I have noticed that parents tend to go with the same set of schools, e.g. BSS and UCC, SCS and Crescent, etc. You're probably get better feedback than asking on a forum.
Already done. Daughter just started her first year, but other parents are how we first heard about Sterling. Anyone have any experiences or thoughts? The other one we're adding to the list to consider now (though it's co-ed) is Bayview Glenn...
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random pattern wrote:
Sep 4th, 2015 7:11 pm
Reviving this thread...

So we decided on the girls school and now need to look into boys ones.

Still not completely feeling Upper Canada College, and neither Crescent nor Royal St. Georges start until grade three. Anybody have any experience or thoughts on Sterling? Don't really love the location or the idea of having to switch again before high school, but there aren't a lot of options at this age and I have heard good things about it....
Don't think you have that many options of that tier besides UCC if you want your kid in there from the very beginning. You could always switch to another school like SMC or UTS for high school.

I would say that the future success of your children are not wholly dependent on the school they attend. I'd argue that the motivation of the child himself/herself (which is directly instilled by parenting) is the deciding factor of what path they head on. With private school, there is more camaraderie and opportunity, but there are also children who are unmotivated because of the vast wealth their families' already possess. These children grow up only knowing how to have fun, and not knowing how to work because they believe that they will be financially supported indefinitely.
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Mar 23, 2009
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Heh. Zombie thread.
EugW wrote:
Jan 28th, 2013 2:48 pm
There are two high schools in my neighbourhood.

One is poorly rated and kind of rough. One is well rated and not rough, and has a long waiting list for entry from students outside the area. Luckily we are in the area for the second school. Otherwise I would strongly consider a good private school, but not a lower tier private school.
BTW, I am a product of the public school system. I used to be bigger defender of the public school system, but now not so much. The problem is that just like private schools, there are good and bad public schools. I think we need to look at each school on an one-on-one basis.

For elementary school, we have considered French immersion, but our well-rated local neighbourhood elementary school does not offer it. The school that does offer it is further away and is located on the other side of a major roadway, and it's rougher than average. Thus, the possibility of private French school comes to mind.

In terms of convenience Toronto French School isn't far from my workplace so that's an option. What do people think of that school? (Yes, I know there was a scandal there, but as far as scandals go, it's not a major one IMO.) I see that it makes the top 25 list in Canada for private schools.

BTW, in terms of cost, yes it's a lot, but then again, we paid that much for daycare early on too.

The concern I have though is that attrition rates from french immersion is supposedly high, with fluency not always so high for a lot of kids, and with some kids struggling at English academically. Also, our household is an English speaking one. My wife does speak french and she is fluent, but as her second language. I am most definitely not fluent in French, and honestly can barely understand basic conversations, as I quit taking French in grade 9. Then again, as far as French schools are concerned, I might guess that Toronto French School might be one of the best ones.
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Some french schools require at least one parent to be be french native tongue.
We are entering the immersion lottery in our catchment school, where 90 percent of all students apply for immersion in SK, two thirds of them win the lottery. If they do become french speakers, Spanish will hopefully follow.
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If you're not of that class, just winning the lottery.. no.
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As others have mentioned, Daycare for an infant is in the same realm as private schools...so we could afford if we wanted....we just don't want to send our kids to a private school. The only benefit is the connection to their classmates parents (when my wife last taught in a private school it included actors, Film Directors, Musicians, politicians, C-Suite). Oh well, I guess at our run of the mill public school they'll have to interact with kids that have parents who are only doctors, lawyers, teachers, Government Employees, D-Suite... but of course a much broader cross section of society.

In the end, the work generated by the kids in the Private Schools was no better (English, Creative writing), they were not better kids (if anything more spoiled)...and while she could have had far more money for the class room toys and events (pay and other benefits were equal to the letter), she'd had to leave when she finally realized as a teacher or guidance, she was not there for the kids, but for the Parents...

but to each their own....you do what is right for you and your kids.
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EugW wrote:
Sep 12th, 2015 6:52 pm
Heh. Zombie thread.


BTW, I am a product of the public school system. I used to be bigger defender of the public school system, but now not so much. The problem is that just like private schools, there are good and bad public schools. I think we need to look at each school on an one-on-one basis.

For elementary school, we have considered French immersion, but our well-rated local neighbourhood elementary school does not offer it. The school that does offer it is further away and is located on the other side of a major roadway, and it's rougher than average. Thus, the possibility of private French school comes to mind.

In terms of convenience Toronto French School isn't far from my workplace so that's an option. What do people think of that school? (Yes, I know there was a scandal there, but as far as scandals go, it's not a major one IMO.) I see that it makes the top 25 list in Canada for private schools.

BTW, in terms of cost, yes it's a lot, but then again, we paid that much for daycare early on too.

The concern I have though is that attrition rates from french immersion is supposedly high, with fluency not always so high for a lot of kids, and with some kids struggling at English academically. Also, our household is an English speaking one. My wife does speak french and she is fluent, but as her second language. I am most definitely not fluent in French, and honestly can barely understand basic conversations, as I quit taking French in grade 9. Then again, as far as French schools are concerned, I might guess that Toronto French School might be one of the best ones.
Immersion never really appealed to us so we eliminated TFS from consideration right away. Don't feel very strongly about French, and it makes me wonder about the lack of focus in other areas since French is so highly prioritized.

Having said that, there is something to be said about learning another language (whichever one it is) and how it makes one think in different ways. And if you're interested in a co-ed school, TFS has a great reputation and should be one that you consider. (You might also want to look at La Citadelle.) Anecdotally, I can share that in the last two years we've met two sets of parents who pulled their kids from TFS, though I'm sure that happens to a certain extent at all schools.

As far as cost, I think it should be a factor. $35k plus per year per child every year certainly adds up and while public schools may have some advantages, so do good private schools. Basically copied and pasted from an earlier post:

-phenomenal resources.
-you don't have to worry about strikes every few years.
-higher expectations of teachers since it's a non-unionized environment.
-there seem to be greater opportunities for making lifelong friendships.
-school will not be their only environment. We will be taking them to a place of worship regularly and they will also be encouraged/expected to volunteer regularly. My wife and I are pretty grounded (then again, who doesn't think of themselves that way?!), so I'm pretty sure they will be too.
-I think being surrounded by other children of like minded parents is conducive to learning.
-at the end of the day, the idea is to give them options and I think going to good private schools gives those to them - including a greater chance of going to an Ivy League post secondary institution if they choose.

I went to a public gifted program and my wife went to a public IB program and we've done ok, but I want more for our children. We're fortunate that we even have this choice and if it means only going on one nice vacation a year and not always having the latest model European SUVs in our driveway, we can live with that.

I know parents who don't choose to send their kids to private school are often quick to point out that private school students are spoiled, but we have a number of friends and colleagues who have older children in private schools and they all seem well adjusted. I'd also suggest that a sense of entitlement is not exclusive to private schools. At the end of the day bad on us as parents if we can't address that wherever our kids go.

But yes, to each their own... :)
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Dec 12, 2011
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random pattern wrote:
Sep 4th, 2015 7:11 pm
Reviving this thread...

So we decided on the girls school and now need to look into boys ones.

Still not completely feeling Upper Canada College, and neither Crescent nor Royal St. Georges start until grade three. Anybody have any experience or thoughts on Sterling? Don't really love the location or the idea of having to switch again before high school, but there aren't a lot of options at this age and I have heard good things about it....

Curious which Girls School you decided on and how your daughter is doing here? Also curious what you decided on for your boy. I have both as well and trying to do some research as neither hubby or I went to private. TIA
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Jun 21, 2009
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Bumping this thread. Living in an area where the highschools are consistenly in the bottom half of the Fraiser Institue rankings means that I am considering private schools for my girls.
To those who have gone the private school route, what are your current thoughts on the schools? Did they achieve the objectives you enrolled your kids for?

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