Reviews of Merrick Preparatory School

Merrickville, ON  |  Grades 9 - 12  |  Shortlist

 

Review by: Mustafa Tabba - Parent (May 27, 2021)

"They have truly uplifted my son from an average student to one who excels in everything he does."


Student Experience

The staff and the teachers are simply amazing. The care given to my son is second to none. The quality of education and effort given to make sure he excels is truly equivalent to what we give our child as parents. They have truly uplifted my son from an average student to one who excels in everything he does. And what is most amazing about MPS, is that he now loves academia. He thrives on working hard, doing well and keeping his teachers happy, and he truly behaves as if MPS is his second family. He also has a much more elevated degree of commitment to performing his tasks, doing his homework and assignments. He has also committed himself to his desire to impress his teachers !


School Leadership

Again, I cant but give full praise to MPS here. Kevin leads the school as a tough CEO, but he also ensures that he is as caring as a parent where it matters, and as a mentor advisor when needed. The positive caring spirit filters throughout the whole MPS team in all that they do. Efficiency, caring and developmental impact is a guiding principle in all that they do, it be in dealing with issues, in their communications as well as teaching approaches. All teachers, (including the headmaster!) , give each student the right time they need to mature, to learn and to excel. Over the years, my 3 kids have attended over 8 different schools... nothing comes close to MPS. I say that with true and full conviction.


Teaching

The teachers are simply amazing. The care given to my son is second to none. The quality of education and effort given to make sure he excels is truly equivalent to what we give our child as parents. They have truly uplifted my son from an average student to one who excels in everything he does. And what is most amazing about MPS, is that he now loves academia. He thrives on working hard, doing well and keeping his teachers happy. He truly behaves as if MPS is his second family. This is the spirit and default setting that is prevalent at MPS. And this is why I consider them a great learning institution. Keep it up MPS, and make sure you have a place from my young daughter.


Academics

The quality of education is truly superior. Being a school that runs the OSSD, in a smaller setting, with care and time given to each student, means that the true spirit of OSSD and the foundational elements on which it was built, is fully transferred to the kids. The style of teaching is also effective and impactful. Their focus on learning and linking topics to real life, brings life and clarity to each topic that my child learns. This is exactly how it should be done. Furthermore, the balance between assignments, quizzes and exams seems to be just right, even though it is heavy and challenging across the year. Most importantly, the approach and topics really prepare the children to their next phase of education, at the University level.


Extracurriculars

Having had the last year administered online, due to the pandemic, they had been limited with what they can do. Nonetheless, the after-school support and the caring communication and support that they adopt, has given MPS a special place in my child's life. They have done considerably well with virtual fun, games, fitness sessions, challenges and others when they could.


Students

While I am not too familiar on that front, the multitude of international students at MPS, from all corners of the world makes the student body more of a United Nations of children who want to learn, and who are disciplined as well. This is not to say that MPS selects only students who are disciplined, but are actually able to ensure that all students are compliant with the rigorous curricular of the academic year. And I actually experienced, through my child, how they are able to succeed on that front. It was clear that this can only be achieved in small school setting, which allowed my son to develop a close bond with all his teachers, who were then able to spend the needed time with him to ensure he succeeds. Noting that my son did travel to another country to meet up with a friend he met at MPS.


School Life

As mentioned, the small school setting allows MPS to provide a school life that cannot be replicated by others. They get to know the child and know exactly what type of help and support is needed. This makes the students feel close to the school, feel connected and develop a true sense of belonging to MPS. The default setting is discipline, learning and caring. all of which made my son more committed to perform and attend every class. It also allowed him to feel a heightened sense of independence and more confidence, every month of the year it be while attending classes or working on assignments. And when in some cases he did slack off, it was identified right from the start, early on, addressed, analyzed and dealt with in a very professional and caring manner.


Community

The school clearly identifies with the important fact that parents are important stakeholders, and are as important as the children themselves. This is made clear right from the beginning, it be in the initial induction meetings or later during the school year. At every step of the way, parents are updated weekly on the class activities, in detail. Furthermore, a weekly progress report is sent explaining the progress of the child in every aspect of academia; it be his class work, class engagement, quizzes or exams. They also fully welcome parents and children to engage with teachers at any point and for any reason whatsoever. This provides us as parents with the confidence, knowledge and comfort to engage with the school at all levels and at all time.


School Location

A very nice location, between 2 super cities, namely Ottawa and Montreal. This allows for access to the big cities in no time. Only 40 minutes away from Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Yet it did deliver on the benefits of a small, safe city. The school itself is located in the small beautiful city of Merrickville, which used to be referred to as the "Jewel of Canada". The area enjoys gorgeous scenery and a safe environment. Most importantly, the small community around MPS is super friendly.


Admissions

I would say apply, and hope that you are accepted. They are fair, yet demanding in terms of ensuring that only those students that they believe can commit will be accepted and offered admission. They don't only look for those who might excel, but those who can commit to a rigorous learning process. And here, when I say "those", I also include the parents and not just the children. As mentioned, MPS views parents as an integral part required for the success of their learning approach. While some paperwork is needed, as normal, its an efficient, friendly process. They are fully hands-on and really make you feel cared for. They advise on every step of the way, to make sure the process is user-friendly, clear and transparent. The one aspect I would modify is their need to focus on the benefits of a small school, and the value of such to the kids. I was a bit apprehensive at the beginning, but I am now a preacher of that approach. One key aspect they dwelt on was to ensure that my son himself was happy to move to MPS. This is exactly what happened with my son.


University placement and counselling

That is top notch as well. They are hands on, understand the exact needs of your child, and truly advise on what's best for him or her. The counseling received by me for my son was clear, transparent, honest and extremely useful. And it didn't start in Grade 12, but started even before admission. They took the time to understand the college paths that my son was likely to take, and ensured that we all had clarity on what these options meant for my son under the OSSD system. They were accommodating to all our queries and concerns, and guided us throughout. One key aspect they dwelt on was to ensure that my son's selections where the most aligned choices that best fit with his interests, skills and capabilities.




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