Senior School

FAQ

Do you want to know more about how the academics will work? What happens when you want to change directions in your Path Program? Or whether we can accommodate an IEP? The answers to these and more can be found below.


 

List of 17 items.

  • How many students per grade?

    We are planning to have between 44 and 66 students per grade, with classes capped at 22 students each. Our maximum enrolment would be 264 students.
  • What extra-curriculars will you offer?

    The Senior School will have a variety of extra-curriculars in academics, arts, athletics, and citizenship. A number will likely be initiated by teachers. Some might be offered thanks to partners. Significantly, students will be encouraged to initiate many others (with teacher oversight). Offerings will depend on the necessary logistics – do we have the required facility; do we have interested students; is this feasible? The Path Program is an additional means for students to pursue their personal interests. Substantial extra-curricular activity is expected through Path.
  • What kind of timetable will the students have?

    The timetable has been designed for optimal learning. The academic day is expected to begin at 8:50 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.

    Math and French will be taken on alternating days all year long. Most other subjects will be scheduled daily in trimesters. These trimester periods will be two or two-and-a-quarter hours in length, allowing for deep, experiential learning both onsite and off.

    A required Interdisciplinary Studies Course, that includes the KCS Path Program and an introduction to entrepreneurship, will take place every Wednesday afternoon over the course of three years.
  • My child needs advanced math/French. Can you meet their needs?

    Yes, our timetable will be designed to support students who place beyond their grade-level math or French programs. Students joining a higher grade for math or French would need to complete an assessment showing mastery of the grade-level curriculum (following a prescribed Ministry process).
  • How will all the academic requirements get covered?

    All Ontario teachers have latitude in how they deliver their courses - from one school to the next, the learning experience can differ significantly due to teacher decisions. Many schools deliver more than the Ministry curriculum, often through Advanced Placement courses, the International Baccalaureate program, and distinct programs like that of Ursula Franklin Academy (teaching all curriculum in four days each week). The KCS Senior School teachers will deliver an enriched experiential curriculum while also welcoming student input in further enriching their learning. Clear structure around student input in course assignments, and the dedicated time and support of a faculty Advisor, will set students up for success with this model for enriched learning.
  • My child has an IEP. Can you meet their needs?

    Like the KCS Junior School, the KCS Senior School admissions process will strive to ensure all accepted students are a good fit and motivated by what the school offers. The strengths and needs of all students, whether they have an IEP or not, will be considered. The nature of the school model supports the KCS commitment to differentiation.
  • How can I be sure that my child will get a quality education?

    As a CAIS-accredited independent school since 1996, KCS has proven its ongoing commitment to excellence. In addition, like all independent and private secondary schools in Ontario, the KCS Senior School will be inspected by the Ministry of Education in its first year, and every two years after that. We know what is required of us and are designing the school program to exceed expectations. An external expert is supporting our effort.
  • Are students really capable of this kind of leadership in their learning?

    The KCS Junior School has a long track record of revealing the leadership potential that lies within students. Through project-based learning, our unique Go Ahead elective, our StEP entrepreneurship programleadership and service learning programs and more, it is abundantly evident that our students are ready to embrace a more authentic, experiential challenge in their learning. Pioneering high schools are further evidence that this is a viable evolution in the school experience. Grade 9 students will have guidance from their Advisor and from all the faculty. Prior to university is exactly when they need to start developing this capacity, under the attentive guidance of their senior school teachers.
  • How will the learning partnerships work?

    There are many types of learning partnerships. They could range from a brief one-off engagement between an expert and a student, answering questions related to one’s field of expertise, to taking on a co-op student. A Path Mentor would commit to no more than two hours per month, which could be via phone or email, to answer questions, provide general feedback, and suggest resources for students pursuing their Path Project. This engagement could last as long as three years, but can be shortened by either party if desired.

    Students will learn how to seek, engage with, and learn from partners as part of a credit-earning course starting in the first trimester of grade 9. Their Advisor will support them in finding and making the most of the experience with their Path Mentor throughout the three years of their Path Project. All faculty will support students in engaging with experts to enrich their learning. A secure, online tool will give students access to a large roster of external, vetted experts. This tool will be used to help students and teachers manage partnerships. One member of faculty will have an administrative role in overseeing this significant dimension of the school experience.
  • What if a student wants to change the topic of their Path Project?

    This is fine. They will continue the KCS Path Program with this change in direction. They will be responsible for reflecting on this change, and accounting for it in their extended essay, as per the regular expectations.
  • How will this school prepare students for university?

    Students who are most successful at university are not only academically ready, they are also independent, resourceful, intrinsically motivated students who can manage and make the most of their learning. These will be attributes that are directly exercised to an unparalleled degree throughout their four years at this Senior School. In addition, the KCS Path Program will give these students a learning story that will make them stand out in any personal essay or resume sought by an admissions office. Extra-curricularly, we expect our students will become leaders at future campuses and following that, in their careers, as they will already be well connected to many experts and organisations, skilled at leveraging these relationships, and experienced in creating impact.

    The Head of Senior School has begun engaging with professors and program directors from various universities, and they share the enthusiasm for our model that all others have. We will be engaging directly with admissions representatives in many universities so they know about the KCS Senior School and know how distinctly prepared our graduates will be for post-secondary studies.

    A guidance counsellor, supporting students in course selection and eventually university admissions, will be a member of faculty from our first year of operation. This person will join the Head of School and Head of Senior School in building relationships with universities.
  • Given the lack of a gym, how will this school serve students with athletic ambitions?

    Though the facility isn’t expected to have its own gym, it is expected to have a fitness room with weights and related equipment, as well as a multi-purpose space supporting a variety of physical activity. We also expect to be close to at least one athletic facility and potentially more than one. We intend to secure partnerships with these facilities so they are available for regular use. In addition, the nature of the timetable makes it easy to go offsite. We intend to pursue partnerships with multiple athletic facilities in West Toronto so students can have a complete PE experience with potentially a much broader range of opportunities than a typical high school would provide.

    This school will be particularly suitable for elite athletes or performers as it will uniquely support absences for training, games, trips, rehearsals, and performances. The trimester timetable will suit athletes/artists with busy seasons, when they could schedule a spare or two. Managing a full course load of just over four courses at a time, two of which are year-long, also makes absences and significant external demands easier to accommodate. Finally, the online Learning Management System will have all courses significantly shared online (expectations, lessons, reading, links, and assignments), not as a substitute for being present in class but as a way to support students who might miss school for field study, co-op, or external responsibilities. The ready availability of content will also help all students optimize learning in a program with a rigorous pace.
  • How will students get to offsite learning spaces?

    Early in grade 9, students will be introduced to the wealth of learning opportunities in the GTA. They will gain experience going offsite, whether on foot, TTC, school bus, or other means. When going to an offsite location for a class, club, or team, all grade 9 students will travel together with a teacher. As students become older and more independent, they will be allowed to get themselves to the offsite location if this is approved by parents and it makes sense to do so.

    Wednesday afternoons are reserved for the Interdisciplinary Studies course, Advisory, and the KCS Path Program. Students may choose to go offsite for the purpose of their Path Project. This must be approved by their Advisor and parents.

    Students in grades 11 and 12 will be supported in pursuing field placements and co-op placements. They will have faculty oversight.
  • Will KCS students need to apply to join the senior school?

    KCS graduates will have a guaranteed spot with no need to apply. As per our usual practice, parents will be asked to re-register for the next school year in February. Our KCS parents would follow this process when their child is in grade 8.
  • Will this model work for students who don’t come from the junior school?

    All students will benefit from the same significant orientation being delivered through the mandatory Interdisciplinary Studies course starting in grade 9. They will also have a dedicated Advisor who will oversee their engagement in the KCS Path Program. Motivation to join our school and excitement at what it offers will be factored into admissions. It is therefore expected that new students from other schools will be very motivated to take advantage of the opportunities and they will be surrounded by visible evidence of this compelling way of learning on a daily basis. The transition is expected to be smooth and positive.
  • What will CAIS think of this model? Will it impact our next CAIS accreditation?

    CAIS will recognize all the features of this model. It is a progressive, excellence-driven organization that expects member schools to commit to continuous improvement and pursue meaningful innovation. In fact, a catalyst for this model came from the Project 2051 program led by CAIS in 2015. Grant Lichtman, an internationally respected change-leader in education, works closely with CAIS and independent school leaders across Canada to help our schools deliver on the excellence expected of us. Everything about this model aligns with the CAIS Standards.
  • Will this school pass Ministry inspection?

    We are confident it will pass inspection. We know what the Ministry requires to pass inspection, we know we can meet those requirements, and we are working with a consultant who is helping us verify that we will meet inspection requirements. KCS has an unblemished track record of meeting the highest expectations in the country through its CAIS membership and accreditation process. We have always been determined in striving for excellence, and we will carry forward that commitment to the high school.

    The first inspection will take place during the first year of operation. It isn’t possible to be inspected in advance.

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Where we've been. Where we're going.

Take a deep dive into the KCS Matters blog and learn about the full journey from pre-kindergarten to the KCS Senior School.

Questions?

Contact Andrea Fanjoy 
Head of Senior School
afanjoy@kcs.on.ca

The Future of Education and Skills, Education 2030, OECD

Schools are facing increasing demands to prepare students for rapid economic, environmental and social changes, for jobs that have not yet been created, for technologies that have not yet been invented, and to solve social problems that have not yet been anticipated. Education can equip learners with the agency, the competencies and the sense of purpose to shape their own lives and contribute to the lives of others. Children entering school in 2018 will be young adults in 2030. So, change is imminent.
KCS Junior School: 4600 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke, ON M9A 1A5
NEW! KCS Senior School: Opening Sept. 2021 at 2183 Lake Shore Boulevard West, Etobicoke

(416) 234-5073   •   admissions@kcs.on.ca
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