In Ontario, public schools have strict zoning rules dictating which children can attend the school. The only way parents can have any say in where their child attends public school is if they are willing to move to a different neighbourhood altogether so that they can access a particular public school. Some exceptions apply if a child is enrolled in a specialized program at a distant public school, but these are rare cases.
Mississauga private schools on the other hand do not implement geographical restrictions on their student population, so that anyone is free to attend regardless of their home location as long as they meet the admission requirements.
Without this essentially insurmountable restriction, parents are free to pick from a plethora of options for their child’s future. There are many different types of private schools: Montessori, faith schools, boarding schools, single gender schools, prep schools… Each private school boasts of different affiliations, and there are many private schools across the financial spectrum, from the more affordable to the big investments like Upper Canada College.
But there is no need to rule out private schools with higher annual fees. Most private schools have a financial assistance program in addition to scholarships and bursaries to help families enrol their children.
So in conclusion, private schools provide more options for your child’s education. They do not limit attendance based on zoning rules, and offer many more learning models than traditional schooling, such as inquiry-based learning and concept-based learning. They come in all shapes and sizes, and offer many more programs in addition to the standard provincial curriculum.
St. Jude’s Academy (SJA) is one of the only full IB World Schools in the Peel Region in Mississauga. SJA offers the official IB World PYP, MYP, and DP programs, which represent a continuation of learning excellence from Junior Kindergarten to grade 12. These inquiry-based programs are internationally recognized and revered as one of the highest standards of teaching. The specially certified IB teaching staff encourages and supports children to become critical thinkers and lifelong learners through these series of interconnected, academically rigorous programs. Teachers provide stimulating learning experiences focused on the strengths and needs of individuals in order to help all students reach their full potential.
As an IB World school, SJA offers an international standardized education. I recognize that I have mentioned the value of a standardized education here on my blog before, but it is difficult for me to overemphasize its benefits! The Ontario education system, both private and public, does not offer the same level of standardized education as IB World schools which follow the highly successful Geneva model that was established in 1968. An IB DP diploma is automatically recognized by many prominent international universities as a reputable high school degree representing the advanced education received. But besides carrying more weight for post-graduate success, a student receiving an IB World education will develop invaluable lifelong skills to become a world citizen of the twenty-first century. They are imbued with a sense of drive, purpose, and unlimited possibility for their role on the world stage. IB World students do not just received an excellent education… they become excited about their education! With the rise of chronic student absenteeism and learning apathy, inspiring students to take an interest in their education is no mean success, and motivates them to perform to the best of their ability. .
The same way it is so important for our global economy to have a standardized system of weights and measures and currencies, it is equally important to have a standardized education!
To read more, please check out my previous post on this topic.
As I mentioned in my popular Finland School post, there are no private schools in Finland. Miksi? Why? Because the country is so committed to national public education there is no need for private schools which cannot offer a better quality of schooling than what already exists. Ontario is not so fortunate. The proliferation of private schools in our province indicates that the public school education system—for a variety of reasons which I will not go into—is not able to deliver the quality of education parents want to provide for their children. And do not be misled by the rampant myth that only the elite take advantage of enrolling their kids: numerous surveys reveal that parents from all income, occupational, and educational groups send their children to private schools.
That is because Ontario parents are becoming disillusioned with our public school education system, especially after the massive teachers’ strike in 2015 which disrupted countless classrooms, cancelled extracurricular activities, and jeopardized students’ university applications when assignments ceased to be marked. Private school families will never have to worry about the threat of labour strife because of the nature of the institution and the private subsidization of teachers’ wages. In return, families also benefit from the following characteristics they report as having influenced their decision to make the switch to private school:
- a safe environment for their children
- dedicated teachers with additional certification (for IB World schools)
- an emphasis on academic quality
- a commitment to student success: no student left behind (only 85.5% of Ontario students graduated high school in 2015, a rate which has increased but according to The Toronto Star only because we are devaluing the OSSD. An IB Diploma can never be devalued)
- no bureaucratic red tape interfering with innovation and lesson plans
- private schools educate the “whole child” and develop student character
All of this helps to explain why there has been a significant growth of private school enrolment in the last two decades.