Centennial Academy has been empowering students with learning challenges to become autonomous, resilient, life-long learners since 1969. We continually innovate and evolve to better meet our students' needs. Our unique, science-based approach works for all types of learners and equips them with the skills and self-confidence they need to succeed in school and beyond. Over 90% of our students graduate in five years and move on to CEGEP and university. We have both an English- language and a French-language sector.
18-20 students per class
Diverse teaching strategies
Specialized support services
Direct instruction on learning strategies
Leadership and community service programs
Supervised homework period built in to the regular school day
A new home for Centennial for 2020-2021: 2065 Sherbrooke St. West
Insider Reviews and Perspectives
Our Take: Centennial Academy
“We don’t jump on their weak areas,” says Angela Burgos, head of school. “If your child struggles with math, we’re not going to pounce on math right away — a sure recipe for failure and discouragement. Instead, we work on developing strengths to get some traction and then tackle those harder areas.” That approach accounts for much of the value that Centennial can offer, and the success that it has. The typical student arrives after struggling within a traditional academic setting. Most often, that struggle is a result of linguistic disruption—dyslexia, dysgraphia—or executive functioning issues, as common in children with ADHD or autism spectrum disorders. For them, the approach taken at the school can feel like a breath of fresh air. Instruction is empathetic, using strategies appropriate to the students' unique needs. An environment in which students find themselves as part of a majority, rather than an academic or social minority, can also create unique opportunities for the development of a positive self-concept than might previously been available to them. “School results increase because their confidence increases," says Burgos. Celebrating their 50th anniversary, Centennial Academy is also unique within Montreal in that it offers a full curriculum in both English and French.
Central to your child's school experience is the underlying curriculum taught in the classroom. "Curriculum" refers to both what is taught and how it's taught. When considering the different curricula outlined in the next few pages, keep in mind that few schools fall neatly into one category or another. Most schools' curricula comprise a blend of best practices drawn from multiple curriculum types. Having said that, most schools do have a general overall curriculum type. These are identified for each school on OurKids.net.
Curriculum approach at Centennial Academy: Traditional
Centennial Academy has a Traditional approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Liberal Arts, Progressive, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).
[Show: About Traditional?]
Traditional curricula tend to be very content-based and rooted in the core disciplines. It is a structured approach that involves the teacher delivering a unified curriculum through direct instruction. Students usually learn by observing and listening to their teacher, studying facts and concepts in textbooks, and completing both tests and written assignments - which challenge students to not only demonstrate their mastery of content but their ability to analyze and deconstruct it critically. Class discussions are also used to create critical dialogue around the content of the curriculum.
Curriculum at schools on OurKids.net
Traditional - 44%   Liberal arts - 17%   Progressive - 27%   Montessori - 10%   Reggio Emilia - 1%   Waldorf - 1%
What Centennial Academy says: We are early adopters of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a scientifically-driven educational framework that addresses the main barrier to learning: an inflexible, one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. UDL reaches all types of learners, by providing multiple means of representation, expression and engagement.
We create optimal learning conditions for all types of learners, while coaching our students to develop effective learning behaviours that help them become autonomous and resilient learners for life.
All of our students follow the Québec government curriculum and write the Québec government exit exams. Although 90% of our students have one or more learning challenges, more than 90% of them graduate in five years and go on to CEGEP and university.
Our school day includes a 45-minute period to complete homework under the supervision of teachers and learning professionals.
Traditional Math typically teaches a method or algorithm FIRST, and THEN teaches the applications for the method. Traditional algorithms are emphasized and practiced regularly: repetition and drills are frequently used to ensure foundational mastery in the underlying mathematical procedures. The traditional approach to math views math education as akin to building a logical edifice: each brick depends on the support of the previously laid ones, which represent mastery over a particular procedure or method. Traditional Math begins by giving students a tool, and then challenges students to practice using that tool an applied way, with progressively challenging problems. In this sense Traditional Math aims to establish procedural understanding before conceptual and applied understanding.
Mathematics at schools on OurKids.net
Traditional math - 29%   Discovery math - 3%   Equal balance - 68%
What Centennial Academy says: This information is not currently available.
Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.
Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.
Inquiry-based science emphasizes teaching science as a way of thinking or practice, and therefore tries to get students “doing” science as much as possible -- and not just “learning” it. Students still learn foundational scientific ideas and content (and build on this knowledge progressively); however, relative to expository science instruction, inquiry-based programs have students spend more time developing and executing their own experiments (empirical and theoretical). Students are frequently challenged to develop critical and scientific-thinking skills by developing their own well-reasoned hypothesis and finding ways to test those hypotheses. Projects and experiments are emphasized over textbook learning. Skills are emphasized over breadth of knowledge.
In traditional literature programs students focus on decoding the mechanics of texts: plot, characterization, and themes. These texts tend to include a balance of contemporary and “classic” literature. When studying a past work, students investigate its historical context -- but only insofar as this adds understanding to the work itself. Past works are therefore studied “on their own terms”, and not merely as historical artifacts to be deconstructed: traditional literature programs are firmly rooted in the humanities, and carry the belief that great literature can reveal fundamental and universal truths about the human condition. These programs emphasize class discussions and critical essay writing, and aim to develop in students critical thinking, communication skills, and a cultivated taste and ethos.
Literature at schools on OurKids.net
Traditional - 20%   Social justice - 3%   Equal balance - 77%
What Centennial Academy says: This information is not currently available.
Pragmatism in the humanities and social sciences emphasizes making learning relevant to students’ present-day experience. Assignments tend to centre around projects and tasks rather than argumentative essays; these projects will often have a “real-world” application or relevance. There might be more of a social justice component to a pragmatic program, though that isn’t always the case. Subjects like history and philosophy are still covered/offered, but they play a less prominent role in the overall program than in the case of perennialism. The social sciences (contemporary geography, sociology, psychology, etc), meanwhile, might play a more prominent role in pragmatic programs. The key goals are to make learning progressive and relevant, while teaching students real-life skills and critical thinking.
Humanities and Social Sciences at schools on OurKids.net
Creative arts programs are studio-driven. While historical works and movements may still be taught to add context to the program, students mainly engage in making art (visual, musical, theatrical, etc). The goal is use the actual practice of art to help educate students’ emotions, cognition, and ethos.
What Centennial Academy says: Students must take both physical education and fitness courses. During physical education, students work in a team to reach a desired goal in an activity. During fitness, students take part in individual exercises to develop their personal fitness level
Sex and health education approach at Centennial Academy: Quebec curriculum
Centennial Academy has a Quebec curriculum approach to Sex and health education (as opposed to Does not follow prrovincialcurriculum approach).
[Show: About Quebec curriculum?]
The structure, pacing, focus, and tone of the sex education curriculum reflects that of the provincial one, taught in public schools.
Sex and health education at schools on OurKids.net
Follows provincial curriculum - 55%   Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 45%
Approach to sex and health education:
Centennial Academy has a approach Mostly value-neutral (as opposed to Fairly value-based approach).
[Show: About Mostly value-neutral?]
By and large, students are taught about sex free of any particular moral or ethical standpoint. The school doesn't impose any particular values or value systems (such as social, political, or ideological values) on students when teaching sex and related issues.
Centennial Academy's approach to sex-ed: This information is not currently available.
This refers to the rate at which students move through the curriculum (e.g., topics, textbook material, skills, etc.). Curriculum pace is often defined in comparison to provincial standards.
Curriculum Pace approach at Centennial Academy: Standard-enriched
Centennial Academy has a Standard-enriched approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Accelerated, Student-paced approach).
[Show: About Standard-enriched?]
Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.
Through the collective mindset of teachers, administrators, students, and parents, each school develops and maintains its own academic culture. This generally relates to the norms and expectations created around academic performance. Many parents look to private schools because they want a specific type of culture. Some want a rigorous environment that will elevate their child to new heights. Others want a nurturing environment that will help their child develop a passion for learning.
Academic Culture approach at Centennial Academy: Supportive
Centennial Academy has a Supportive approach to Academic Culture (as opposed to Rigorous approach).
[Show: About Supportive?]
A school with a “supportive” academic culture focuses more on process than short-term outcomes: academic performance is a welcomed side-benefit, but not the driving focus. This does not mean the school lacks standards, or has low expectations for its students: a school can have a supportive academic culture and still light the fire of ambition in its students. It does mean, however, the school provides a less intensive culture than schools with a “rigorous” academic classification, and is focused more simply on instilling a love of learning and life-long curiosity.
Academic Culture at schools on OurKids.net
Supportive - 49%   Rigorous - 51%
What Centennial Academy says: We help students with learning challenges become autonomous, resilient, life-long learners. Since we know that every child learns differently, we provide our students with many different pathways to learning, which maximizes their chances of success.
Centennial is the only high school in the province that helps students with learning disabilities master their learning challenges and graduate on time.
Schools have specific goals regarding how they want their educate and develop their students. This is part of a school's overall philosophy or vision, which is contained in its mission statement. While they tend have several developmental aims, schools tend to priortize certain aims, such as intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional, or physical development.
Primary Developmental Priority: Emotional
The goal is to cultivate "emotionally intelligent and con?dent individuals, capable of leading both themselves and others."
Secondary Developmental Priority: Intellectual
The goal is to cultivate "academically strong, creative and critical thinkers, capable of exercising rationality, apprehending truth, and making aesthetic distinctions."
What Centennial Academy says: Our goal is to help our students develop effective learning behaviours so they become autonomous and resilient learners.
Schools offer a wide range of approaches and services to support students with special needs. This may include individualized learning, one-on-one support, small classes, resource rooms, and learning aids. These supports may be provided in a number of different environments such as a dedicated special needs school or class, an integrated class, a withdrawal class, or a regular class with resource support or in-class adaptations.
Centennial Academy is a Special needs school
Full-time programming is offered for all students which is exclusively focused on one or more special needs.
What Centennial Academy says about their special need support: Centennial welcomes students with ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, anxiety and autism spectrum disorders. No student should be expected to fit into a mold. We aim to be academically and socially inclusive and strive to make learning both accessible and meaningful. Based on data and needs, students might be offered additional support through our after-school program. Support includes help with homework, planning and organization, either in groups or individually.
Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
Mild but clinically diagnosed ADHD:
Summary: We are firm believers in the Universal Design for Learning, a completely inclusive approach that meets the learning needs of the greatest number, and diversity, of students. UDL ensures that all types of learners can learn, by providing multiple means of representation, expression and engagement. At Centennial, all students follow the rigorous Quebec curriculum, without differentiation, reducing requirements or competencies. Our curriculum is planned and delivered in an engaging and predictable manner by our highly-qualified teachers, making it accessible to all learners. Our multidisciplinary team of specialists works with students outside the classroom to help them develop and acquire the learning and social skills they need to become life-long learners.
This is a learning disability that can limit a child's ability to read and learn. It can have a variety of traits. A few of the main ones are impaired phonological awareness and decoding, problems with orthographic coding, and auditory short-term memory impairment.
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)
This is a sound differentiation disorder involving problems with reading, comprehension, and language.
This is a kind of specific learning disability in math. Kids with this math disorder have problems with calculation. They may also have problems with math-related concepts such as time and money.
This is a kind of specific learning disability in writing. It involves problems with handwriting, spelling, and organizing ideas.
Language Processing Disorder
This is characterized by having extreme difficulty understanding what is heard and expressing what one wants to say. These disorders affect the area of the brain that controls language processing.
Nonverbal Learning Disorders (NLD)
These involve difficulties interpreting non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language. They're usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial, and social skills.
Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit
A characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD. It can result in missing subtle differences in shapes or printed letters, losing place frequently, struggles with cutting, holding pencil too tightly, or poor eye/hand coordination.
Refers to a range of conditions that involve challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and speech and nonverbal communication. They also involve unique strengths and differences. For instance, there are persons with both low- and high-functioning autism (some claim the latter is identical to Asperger's syndrome).
On the autism spectrum, Asperger's is considered quite mild in terms of symptoms. While traits can vary widely, many kids with Asperger's struggle with social skills. They also sometimes fixate on certain subjects and engage in repetitive behaviour.
his is associated with impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics.
This is a condition characterized by significant limitations in intellectual functioning (e.g., reasoning, learning, and problem solving). Intellectual disabilities are also known as general learning disabilities (and used to be referred to as a kind of mental retardation).
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. These may include growth deficits, facial anomalies, and damage to the central nervous system, which can lead to cognitive, behavioural, and other problems.
roubled teens tend to have problems that are intense, persistent, and can lead to quite unpredictable behaviour. This can lead to behavioural and emotional issues, such as drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behaviour, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
This is a mental health disorder also called "major depression." It involves persistent feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems in relationships with others or in daily activities, such as school, work, or one's social life.
This is a mood disorder involving intense, relentless feelings of distress and fear. They can also have excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations, and repeated episodes of intense anxiety or terror.
This involves persistent thoughts about ending one's life.
Drug and alcohol abuse
This involves the excessive use of drug and/or alcohol, which interferes with daily functioning.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
This is a disruptive behavioural disorder which normally involves angry outbursts, often directed at people of authority. This behaviour must last continuously for six months or more and significantly interfere with daily functioning.
This is a condition of the central nervous system. It affects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of motor control, memory loss, depression, and cognitive difficulties.
his refers to a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. CP is caused by abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.
Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens the body's muscles. Causes, symptoms, age of onset, and prognosis vary between individuals.
This is a condition present at birth due to the incomplete formation of the spine and spinal cord. It can lead to a number of physical challenges, including paralysis or weakness in the legs, bowel and bladder incontinence, hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain), and deformities of the spine.
Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder)
This is a Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Also known as "sensory integration disorder," it affects fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech.
Visual impairment is a decreased ability or inability to see that can't be fixed in usual ways, such as with glasses. Some people are completely blind, while others have what's called "legal blindness."
Hearing impairment, also known as "hearing loss," is a partial or total inability to hear. The degree of hearing impairment varies between people. It can range from complete hearing loss (or deafness) to partial hearing loss (meaning the ears can pick up some sounds).
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an inherited genetic condition, which affects the body's respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. It affects young children and adults.
Accommodating a wide range of physical conditions and disabilities.
Schools support students with gifted or advanced learning abilities in a several ways. Whether they offer a full-time gifted program or part-time support, they normally provide some form of accelerated learning (delivering content at a faster pace) or enrichment (covering content more broadly or deeply). Many schools also offer a wide range of in-class adaptations to support advanced learners, such as guided independent studies, project-based learning, and career exploration.
Dedicated gifted programs:
Full-time gifted program (parallel to rest of school)
Part-time gifted program (pull-out; parallel to rest of class)
Curriculum delivery: This information is not currently available.
Homework is work that's assigned to students for completion outside of regular class time. There's a long-standing debate over homework. Should homework be assigned to school-age children? If so, in what grades? And how much homework should be assigned? In selecting the right school for your child, it's important to look closely at a school's homework policy.
In grade Gr. 11, Centennial Academy students perform an average of 45 mins of homework per night.
What Centennial Academy says about their flipped classroom policy: This information is not currently available.
While all schools measure individual progress and achievement in students, they have different ways of doing this. For instance, many traditional schools gauge progress through report cards, which give students lettered or numbered grades. Other schools, meanwhile, measure progress in other ways, either in addition to or instead of giving grades. For instance, they may offer prose-based feedback (i.e, comments), academic achievement reporting, habits and behaviour reporting, and parent-teacher meetings. In choosing the right school for your child, take a close look at its policy for measuring the individual progress of students.
While academics remain the priority for most private schools, many also place a strong focus on a well-rounded education and encourage participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, arts, or clubs. Involvement in extracurriculars helps stimulate students in their studies, makes them more motivated to learn, and can make school more enjoyable and fulfilling. Extracurricular activities can also provide students with a much-needed break from the stresses of academics, while helping them to develop skills and allowing them to take part in valuable social situations.
Competitive sports: 4 Recreational sports: 5
Legend: Competitive offered Recreational offered
Track & Field
Centennial Academy offers 8 clubs and extracurricular programs.
This can depend on a number of factors, including the type of school, living arrangements, what’s included in tuition, school location, resources, and facilities. Many private schools in Canada have tuition that ranges between $6,000 and $12,000 a year. While some schools, such as schools which provide room and board, can be more expensive, many of these schools provide ways to defray the costs of tuition. For instance, they may offer merit-based scholarships or needs-based financial aid (often referred to as “bursaries” or “subsidies”).
Day (Domestic: in province)
Day (Domestic: in province)
What Centennial Academy says about their tuition: Research-based approach which embeds best practices into the learning experience of every student. Includes 25 accommodations and strategies which are integrated into the school approach. Homework period at school with teacher support, learning specialists and after school program, student success coaches providing help with structure and learning strategies, laptops, school materials, clubs.
2nd child (sibling)
3rd child (sibling)
Need-based financial aid
Grade range that need-based aid is offered:
7 to 11
Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid
This school works with Apple Financial Inc. for processing financial applications In-person meeting with the Head of School (Skype/phone meeting for international applicants)
A completed application form
The applicant’s Birth Certificate which includes the name of both parents
The applicant’s most recent report card
The applicant’s final report card from the previous completed school year
The applicant’s Certificate of English Language Eligibility (if the applicant intends to register for the English Sector)
A copy of a psycho-educational report or other assessments/evaluations/documents such as an Individualized Education Program (IEP) which can help us to understand the applicants learning profile – (if applicable)
Proof of Quebec Residency which includes a copy of the applicant’s Medicare Card, parent’s Medicare Card, and parent’s driver’s license.
A recent photograph
A non-refundable application fee of $50 CAD – payable by cash or cheque made out to Centennial Academy
*International students please visit the admission section of our website for more information on necessary documentation.
Merit based Scholarships
Centennial Academy does not offer merit-based financial awards.
Private schools come in all shapes and sizes. Some larger schools have enrolment numbers in the thousands, while some smaller schools have only a few dozen students. Boarding schools tend to be on the larger side, while alternative schools, such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf, are normally smaller. Besides the overall size of school, there are other important facts you’ll want to know about a school’s enrolment. For instance, here you can learn about a school’s enrolment for separate streams (if they have them), such as day and boarding, its average class size, and its average enrolment per grade.
Gr. 7 to Gr. 11
Average class size
% of international students (total enrolment)
Number of different nationalities within student population
Private schools in Canada have admissions policies. All schools have some required application materials, though these vary between schools. These may include letters of application, application fees, essays, and exams (such as the SSAT). Many schools also require interviews with prospective students, either with their parents, on their own, or both. Schools also have different standards and priorities when evaluating student applications, different acceptance rates (which may vary between grade levels), and target different kinds of students. To improve your child’s chances of acceptance, you should find out everything you can about a school’s admissions policies and how they assess applicants.
A copy of a psycho-educational report or other assessments/evaluations/documents such as an Individualized Education Program (IEP) which can help us to understand the applicants learning profile - (if applicable)
Proof of Quebec Residency which includes a copy of the applicant’s Medicare Card, parent’s Medicare Card, and parent’s driver’s license). International applicants must obtain the required documents to enter Quebec for study purposes. Please see the section below on obtaining immigration and study permit documentation for Quebec
A recent photograph
A non-refundable application fee of $50 CAD – payable by cash or cheque made out to Centennial Academy
Acceptance Rate: 95%
This is the percentage of applicants typically accepted into the school. So if 50 students are admitted out of 100 applicants, the school has an overall acceptance rate of 50%.
Student Entry Points
This shows approximately how many openings there are likely to be in each grade in a typical year, as well as the estimated acceptance rate for each grade level.
Day Acceptance (Acceptance rate)
30 - 45 (95%)
30 - 45 (95%)
30 - 45 (95%)
30 - 45 (95%)
30 - 45 (95%)
Type of student Centennial Academy is looking for:
If your child is not happy going to school, lacks motivation, cannot concentrate, spends hours on homework, struggles with reading/writing, if his/her marks don't reflect his/her efforts or if he/she has a diagnosis of Autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, ASD, Anxiety, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia and/or Dyspraxia, you should consider Centennial.
Where graduates of a school do their post-secondary studies can be an important factor in choosing a private school. Do you want your child to go to a Canadian university, an Ivy league school in the US, or some other institute? Regardless of your inclinations, take a look at a school’s university placement record, and the services they offer to support university applications and decisions.
Average graduating class size
Students accepted into post-secondary studies upon graduation
Percentage of students who attend post-secondary institutions outside of Canada
Students who attended a Ivy+ school
Number of students in the past 5 years that that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)
Centennial Academy Graduates’ Post-Secondary Studies:
This information is not currently available.
Aggregate of All Schools’ Post-Secondary Studies:
24% - Liberal Arts and Sciences 25% - Engineering and Applied Sciences 25% - Business/Commerce 5% - Fine and Performing Arts 13% - Applied Health Sciences 2% - Applied Professional Studies (Post-grad certificate / diploma) 6% - Other
For over 50 years, Centennial has been true to its mission to help students with learning challenges become autonomous and resilient learners. Too many schools are designed to fit the so-called "average" student. At Centennial, it's quite the opposite. Everything we do, from the way our school is structured to the way our classes are taught, is designed to remove unnecessary obstacles that get in the way of learning. We make learning both meaningful and accessible. Our results speak for themselves: 90% of our students are diagnosed with learning challenges, yet, with our help, over 90% of our students graduate on time and move on to CEGEP and university.