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Oct 3, 2020

"Teacher-student-parent communication is very efficient and effective through many channels"


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Review of: Delano Academy

Raye Cai - Parent    (Jun 22, 2020)

Student Experience

We had attended another school that was very good at the beginning when it had a good principal who was an educator. As soon as she left, the owner turned the school into a business, even moved the school to a temporary location that shared classrooms with other night schools. When I noticed that the quality of education had been sliding, I went to look for other options. After touring many schools in the Vaughan area, I found Delano Academy. There are small class sizes ensuring one-on-one attention from the teacher to my kids. I get a daily report on what they have learned and how they performed in school. Teachers are always reachable and responsive within minutes or hours of my messages. All the extracurricular (PE, Music, Art) teachers at Delano are professionals invited to teach. There isn't a Math teacher teaching subjects like PE unlike some other schools might have. High-tech educational tools, such as iPads, computers, Littlebits, Sphero, etc are implemented in teaching. Delano is one of the 2 schools I have heard that has been conducting all-day live classes online during COVID19. My kids are with their teachers all day every weekday. Their classes are progressing just the same as in school. On top of classes, they also have live social events, such as science presentation, talent show, assemblies, recess, after school care, special event celebrations. I also see teachers posting notifications and materials at night all the time. This is the dedication you see in Delano Academy.


School Leadership

Always reachable, responsive within minutes most of the time. The discipline is not enforced by fear, but infused by pride. In the case of any issues between students, they are addressed immediately and resolved in a manner of a learning process instead of correction proceeding. The love, dedication, and care shown by the teachers and administrative staff prove that they are role models to the kids. Kids are encouraged to express their feelings and addressed immediately.


Teaching

The quality of the education is the reason why we came to Delano. Owned and managed by real educators who carries tens of years of experience in teaching. Delano academy is a very academic-focused school. The teachers closely observe each kid and tailor the curriculum to each student. Each kid is encouraged and challenged at the same time. Teacher-student-parent communication is very efficient and effective through many channels, such as daily reporting and messages on LMS, as well as e-mail, phone. The COVID situation gave me the opportunity to observe all the classes live. Teacher's knowledge and effectiveness of teaching is to be applauded. Also worth mentioning is the discipline in class, if the teachers can effectively capture the kid's attention during online live classes, there's no doubt during in-school classes they are far more productive.


Academics

I absolutely think that Delano Academy will successfully prepare my kids for their next step in life. They are constantly being encouraged and pushed to achieve higher. The academic culture in Delano is customized/tailored learning. The teachers observe the strength and weaknesses of each kid, so as to help them overcome obstacles, as well as extending their strength further. Teamwork is strongly encouraged. Throughout the year, there are numerous events and class assignments that involve teamwork and creative thinking. Kids are encouraged to think outside the box. The use of technology is also encouraged in a proper manner with the right amount of time under teachers' guidance and correct focus. With that, they understand how to use electronics properly as assistance to their academics.


Extracurriculars

All the extracurricular (PE, Music, Art) teachers at Delano are professionals invited to teach. We don't have a math teacher teaching PE like some other schools. Extracurricular is very important in kids' health and development. I have to say, this played a very important role in my decision. Perfect example, I play the piano, but I can't teach my kids how they study under a professional piano teacher. I can't tell you how many times I watch them in class and think "WOW! I never would have thought to put it this way". High-tech educational tools, such as iPads, computers, Littlebits, Sphero etc are provided. Their STEM learning involves serious teaching and learning, unlike other schools who might be using low-cost consumables and call it STEM as long as kids are making something.


Students

Delano is a fairly new and small sized school, which gives it a huge advantage in focusing on each student's development. There's a morning assembly every morning. It's led by students and the whole school gets together to discuss a major event or event of significance. Students learn from each other and are encouraged to speak. Students also "operate" school as a virtual financial institution with Delano dollar as the currency. They earn their Delano dollar through academic and social achievements, good mannerism, helping others, etc. They spend their dollar on virtual or physical items including auction, investment, virtual real estate, etc. Through this exercise, students are able to establish value in many aspects of life. They also have house teams, everyone takes part in earning house points for their house team. They help each other conquer obstacles through events and take pride in being a contributing member. Delano also hosts many student-led events and general events that students participate and act in key roles. Through working and helping each other in all these activities, they build a very strong bond with their fellow students.


School Life

My kids absolutely LOVE going to school. They love their teachers and administrative staff. If they lose a tooth at home, the first person they think of telling is their teacher. Sure enough, the teachers get an earful in the morning. I may even get a note from the teacher to let me know the significance of the event and the fun stories they get. Ever since we came to Delano, getting up in the morning is never hard. Kids always wake up excited about what they are going to do, what they want to tell their teacher, what they want to share with everyone, even though the day starts earlier because Delano starts at 8:15 instead of 9 am (like in our previous school). The day always ends with lots of accomplishments. Overall, I simply feel that my kids are very happy at Delano.


Community

Parents and grandparents are always welcome in school. The school staff recognizes everyone. Besides the almost-daily communication, we are constantly invited to school events such as father's day, mother's day, grandparent's day, talent show, Christmas party, breakfast, tea events, staking events, and of course graduation. These events are sincerely focused on communication with the parents, showing parents' the kid's achievements. The school gives parents lots of opportunities to participate, but at the same time, not giving pressure to the ones that can not make it due to work schedule. I have had experience in previous schools that trips are canceled because not enough parent volunteers to help to watch the kids. That had never happened in Delano.


School Location

Delano is located in a very quiet area, there's also a daycare nearby if you have a very little one and a school-aged one, this is very convenient. School is highly secure with school staff on top of students' whereabouts constantly. There's no chance for them to wander off. There's a very large playground and a large sports facility nearby when needed.


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