We are an enriched school that supports gifted and highly intelligent learners through individualized programming which allows us to support learning challenges that may also be part of students' academic profile. Our small community is supportive and inclusive, allowing students to enjoy their school journey. Using the Ontario Curriculum, we expand and individualize topics, encourage hands on learning and our mixed grade classes allow for students to be successful while teaching and learning together.
What learning looks like now: We have developed four stages of response depending on the level of community infection and transmission. We currently offer in person all day instruction. However, we are prepared to go to both a hybrid model with different scenarios of numbers of students in each group. As well as a fully online model should that become necessary again.
Instruction is student-lead, building from the curiosities, talents, and skill base that each student brings into the room. Most who enroll here are operating above their grade level, though require support to remain challenged and engaged with earning. The delivery follows the Ontario curriculum, though is cross-curricular, making connections across subject areas and areas of interest. The school is centrally located, adjacent to public transit as well as wealth of world-class resource, of which the program rightly makes good use. The feel is close-knit, and while the intention is to grow enrolment, it will remain a small, student-centred school in a lovely brick building on a leafy street in the heart of the city. Esprit may not be big, but between its reason for being and the expertise and experience behind the offering, it has a lot to give.
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 Esprit Academy: Progressive, Montessori
Esprit Academy has a Progressive, Montessori approach to Curriculum (as opposed to Traditional, Liberal Arts, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf approach).
[Show: About Progressive, Montessori?]
Progressive (sometimes called "in- quiry-based") curricula attempt to place children's interests and ideas at the heart of the learning experience. Instead of lessons being driven by predetermined pathways, progressive curricula are often "emergent", with learning activities shaped by students' questions about the world. Instead of starting with academic concepts and then tying it to everyday experience, progressive methods begin with everyday experience and work back to an academic lesson. Teachers provide materials, experiences, tools and resources to help students investigate a topic or issue. Students are encouraged to explore, reflect on their findings, and discuss answers or solutions.
Curriculum at schools on OurKids.net
Progressive - 28%   Traditional - 42%   Liberal arts - 17%   Montessori - 10%   Reggio Emilia - 1%   Waldorf - 2%
Esprit Academy has a Montessori approach to secondary curriculum.
Particularly popular in the younger grades (preschool to elementary), but sometimes available all the way up to high school, Montessori schools offer an alternative vision to the standard lesson format of most classrooms. Instead of listening to whole-class lessons, Montessori classrooms allow students to choose which "tasks" or activities interest them. These tasks centre around special Montessori puzzles - their essential feature being they contain a right answer and allow for selfcorrection. A strong emphasis is therefore placed on lessons being concrete and rooted in practical experience, along with students developing a sense of self-sufficiency, confidence and curiosity.
What Esprit Academy says: We are a progressive alternative school that uses some Montessori principals in learning and teaching. Our curriculum uses the Ministry of Ontario guidelines as our skeleton, allowing the students to dive deeply into the areas of interest and strength. Each student follows their own programming, in that we tailor the speed and manner of teaching to the individual. Our students are highly intelligent and require a different approach to learning. We also focus on learning specific skills to allow our students to be life long learners. Teaching reading, writing and mathematics in a step wise fashion so that each student has a strong foundation in which to continue their learning careers. Students often arrive with gaps in their previous learning. Our goal is to identify these issues, and work towards filling them so that our students can move forward with their learning.
These math programs feature an equal balance of “Traditional” and “Discovery” methods.
Mathematics at schools on OurKids.net
Equal balance - 66%   Traditional math - 30%   Discovery math - 4%
What Esprit Academy says: Lessons begin with concrete materials and real world examples so that students understand why they are learning the specific skill. There are three types of questions that students work on throughout the week. First is their daily math, these are practice questions, or activities with materials that help to reinforce new concepts and become proficient in computation. Second are review questions, a few questions each week on previous materials that ensure that students retain previously learned skills. Lastly are challenge questions. These questions allow the students to apply known skills to new and more challenging questions to stretch their understanding and use critical thinking to figure out the solution.
Textbooks and supplementary materials: We use a variety of textbooks and materials as needed for each student. We have Nelson, JUMP, Singapore Math along with online practice and games.
Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.
Systematic-phonics programs teach young children to read by helping them to recognize and sound out the letters and syllables of words. Students are then led to blend these sounds together to sound out and recognize the whole word. While other reading programs might touch on phonetics (either incidentally or on a “when needed” basis), systematic phonics teaches phonics in a specific sequence, and uses extensive repetition and direct instruction to help readers associate specific letter patterns with their associated sounds.
What Esprit Academy says: We strongly use Montessori materials and pedagogy in the early reading program. This ensures that students understand the phonetics of the English language. We work with students on reading through writing, moving onto step wise introduction of exceptions, grammar rules and comprehension.
DIBELS Testing: This school does not use DIBELS testing to assess reading progress.
What Esprit Academy says: This information is not currently available.
Programs that balance systematic and process approaches equally likely have an emphasis on giving young students ample opportunities to write, while providing supplementary class-wide instruction in grammar, parts of sentences, and various writing strategies.
What Esprit Academy says: We begin by having the students write. We want them to enjoy the process of writing, seeing it as a way of sharing their stories and ideas. Once they are comfortable with the writing process, we work on grammar, spelling and sentence structure in a step wise fashion so that they each skill is shown one at a time.
Teaching approach: We have direct teaching of concepts in science class. Discussions about the why of the world and how it works. Students learn through discussion, direction instruction and independent research. Each week an entire afternoon is dedicated to a STEM challenge exercise, where students are given a problem to solve through design, construction and testing.
These literature programs draw in equal measure from “Traditional” and “Social Justice” programs.
Literature at schools on OurKids.net
Equal balance - 77%   Traditional - 19%   Social justice - 4%
What Esprit Academy says: The traditional approach is used to build the students understanding of reading and the mechanics needs to comprehend and take meaning from what they are reading. However, we use a variety of texts to work through the learning. We focus our choices on texts that show all walks of life, all types of families and speak to the difficulties that humans may face. Using these materials to spring board discussions on our role in social justice and what we can do to improve the world for those in it.
The Thematic approach organizes the curriculum around certain themes or cultural universals. Students might spend time focused on food. Then they might focus on transportation or government, and so on.
What Esprit Academy says: Students begin their historical learning at the big bang and work forward to present day. This is done over the different school years. There is an integrated approach to history, including it in drama, art and language learning as it is not a stand alone subject in the real world. Geography is taught beginning with the student and the area they know and understand and expand to include the rest of the universe. Again geography is integrated into other subjects to ensure that students gain an understanding of the physical geography. The science of the building of the world is viewed from both the geological and scientific aspects of what has happened in the past as well as what is currently happening.
What Esprit Academy says: Students who have been at the school continue along the timeline of life and focus on areas of interest and how they affect the world today. We look at history's affect on the modern world and ask the big questions of why, who and what. Those students who are new to the school are introduced to the timeline and spend part of their time learning the expanse of history and geography available to learn. They also participate in the discussions doing a combination of work.
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.
A major effort is made to integrate the development of digital literacy throughout the curriculum and in everything students do. Digital literacy is understood to be a fundamental skill in the 21st century: it therefore follows, the idea goes, that teachers should find ways to connect every lesson back to technology. Effort is made to ensure the use of technology is meaningful and advances students’ skills beyond what they would otherwise be from using computers outside the classroom.
Computers and Technology at schools on OurKids.net
Heavy integration - 33%   Light integration - 19%   Medium integration - 48%
What Esprit Academy says: This information is not currently available.
What Esprit Academy says: Our goal is have students understand the benefits of physical activity and encourage them to be active daily. Our program follows the interests of the students so they are more inclined to participate. Our goal is participation and not skills building. We do
Sex and health education approach at Esprit Academy: Not Ontario curriculum
Esprit Academy has a Not Ontario curriculum approach to Sex and health education (as opposed to Follows provincial curriculum approach).
[Show: About Not Ontario curriculum?]
The sex education curriculum does NOT follow the provincial one taught in public schools - either in terms of structure, pacing, focus, and/or tone.
Sex and health education at schools on OurKids.net
Does not follow prrovincial curriculum - 45%   Follows provincial curriculum - 55%
Approach to sex and health education: Mostly value-neutral
Esprit 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.
What Esprit Academy says: This information is not currently available.
Whole-class lectures should never be given. Students learn best through small group lessons, interaction, and independent work.
Whole-class lectures should only be given occasionally (e.g., at the beginning of a term or unit). Students usually learn best through small group lessons, interaction, and independent work.
Whole-class lectures should be given semi-regularly (e.g., at the beginning of a lesson or a week). While students often learn best through group and independent work, it's sometimes important for teachers to set the stage for and contextualize learning.
Whole-class lectures should be given often (e.g., every day). While group and independent learning is important, teachers need to provide lectures on a regular basis to provide the foundation for learning.
Modern-day technology is never used in the classroom. This can interfere with students' social and emotional development and can be a distraction.
Modern-day technology is very rarely used in class, since it can be a distraction and interfere with development. Students at the upper levels, though, might be permitted to use a computer or a tablet to do research for a specific project.
Modern-day technology is used in moderation since it can be a distraction. For instance, computers and other digital media might be used for research, writing, and multimedia projects.
Modern technology is used fairly regularly. For instance, computers and other digital media might be used for research, writing, multimedia projects, and to learn keyboarding skills. Teachers may sometimes also use digital media, such as interactive whiteboards, to teach lessons or introduce topics.
Overall approach : Which option best describes your overall curricular approach?
33% of schools
Schools that adhere strictly to the original Montessori program. They follow Montessori principles to the letter.
46% of schools
Schools that adhere to the original Montessori program and principles. On occasion, though, they supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.
15% of schools
Schools that are faithful to the original Montessori program and principles, but sometimes supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.
6% of schools
Schools that are faithful to the original Montessori program and principles, but often supplement it with modern curricular approaches or materials.
This school uses teaching assistants.
What Esprit Academy says: We use a combined methodology designed specifically for gifted students who may have other learning challenges. These modifications are made to ensure that our students achieve the independence they require for life long learning.
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 Esprit Academy: Student-paced
Esprit Academy has a Student-paced approach to Curriculum Pace (as opposed to Standard-enriched, Accelerated approach).
[Show: About Student-paced?]
The main curriculum pace is non-standardized and is HIGHLY responsive to the pacing of individual students, (via differentiated instruction, differentiated assessment, etc). In theory, some students outpace the default/normalized curriculum, while others spend periods "behind schedule" if they need the extra time.
What Esprit Academy says: We assess each student, their current knowledge and tailor the work to fill in gaps, build a better foundation, or move them through curriculum at a faster pace as necessary.
Flexible pacing style
Flexible pacing style
Multi-age classrooms as standard
Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
Regular guided independent study opportunities
What Esprit Academy says about flexible pacing: Each student works at their own pace through the curriculum. Lessons are given to each student to ensure that they are learning in the best way possible for their learning style.
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.
What Esprit Academy says: We have high academic standards as our students are highly intelligent and can grasp concepts way beyond their chronological age. However, many of our students have learning challenges and need extra support in specific subjects. Our goal is to build their competences in these areas so that they can meet or exceed grade level expectations.
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: Balanced
"Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation."
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 Esprit Academy says: Our learning environment supports our students socially and emotionally. We spend time discussing mental health needs and different perspectives on how to live. We spend an hour a day in the ravine to ensure the the physical needs of our students are met. Discussing that if our bodies aren't healthy we can't learn.
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.
Esprit 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 Esprit Academy says about their special need support: Each student has the curriculum tailored to their learning level and needs.
Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
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: Acceleration and enrichment (There is an equal emphasis on acceleration and enrichment.)
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. 8, Esprit Academy students perform an average of 30 mins of homework per night.
What Esprit 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.
Esprit Academy does not offer any competitive or recreational sports.
Esprit Academy offers 6 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”).
What Esprit Academy says about their tuition: We are a not for profit school and we work each year to keep tuition affordable for our families. We do offer low teacher to student ratios and an abundance of one to one learning. There is a one time $1500 enrollment fee for first time families. This helps us offset any costs associated with enrolling a new student, assessments and materials.
Need-based financial aid
Esprit Academy does not offer need-based financial aid.
Merit based Scholarships
Esprit 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. 1 to Gr. 8
Average class size
3 to 5
% 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.
Interview/discussion with parents regarding needs of student
Student report cards for current and past year
Application forms filled out and submitted
Discussion/Interview with student(s)
Visiting day - student spends a morning in the school
Acceptance Rate: 75%
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)
3 - 5 (75%)
3 - 5 (75%)
3 - 5 (75%)
3 - 5 (75%)
2 - 3 (75%)
2 - 3 (75%)
3 - 5 (75%)
3 - 4 (75%)
Type of student Esprit Academy is looking for:
Our students are gifted or highly intelligent. They may have learning challenges or differences. Our students are motivated to learn and engaged in their own learning journey.
I'm so pleased you have dropped by to have a look at our school. At Esprit Academy we pride ourselves in providing an enriched environment for the gifted and highly intelligent student. Our staff works with each student and develops an individualized program based on curriculum expectations, student interest and academic needs. We cater to the twice exceptional learner. These students require a different approach when building skills and learning new material. We look forward to meeting you during the Admissions Pathway on October 3. Or book a private meeting with us to discuss any questions.