Posts Tagged ‘Our Kids Media’

Private School Registrations On The Rise – Find Out Why

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Fast Facts About Private Schools In Canada

  • Canada has more than 1,700 private and independent schools, with about 348,656 students.
  • About one out of every 16 children in Canada, or 6.4 per cent, attended a private elementary or secondary school and it’s rising. The enrolment level remains in the same range.
  • Five provinces provide some public money to private schools—Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Quebec. The arrangement varies from region to region.
  • The proportion of children who come from households with an annual income of $50,000 to $100,000 was about the same in both private and public schools—45 per cent—in 1998-99.

For most parents, private school is about choice. Increasingly, parents from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds across Canada are choosing independent and private school so that they can find the school that is perfect for their child.


Why My Daughters Go To Private School, Even Though I Can’t Afford It – Part 2

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

In the first segment of this three-part series, I made a rather brazen statement that ruffled a few feathers: “Private school education is not only for the rich and privileged, but also for those who are willing to go into debt, those willing to fund-raise, those willing borrow from parents, those willing to volunteer time, and especially ONLY those willing to make massive sacrifices to their lifestyles, all for the sake of their kids!”.


Noel Ocol: Like Father, Like Daughters

In the public school system, it’s a commonly accepted notion that everyone in grade school (junior kindergarten to grade eight) passes. Sure, some students may get “C’s” in their report card, on a rare occasion a “D,” but never an “F” to fail a grade level. No matter how incompetent or how unprepared a child is to move to the next grade, they still get passed. Like an assembly line, no discrimination, no quality control – from one teacher to the next.

My point is that the grades reported to parents in the term report cards may not truly reflective to kids actual achievements and abilities. As a parent trying to prepare my kids for the real world, that’s truly a concern for me, as it would be for any CEO of a company trying to make decisions based on skewed or made up performance reports.


Why My Daughters Go To Private School, Even Though I Can’t Afford It – Part 1

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Let me be the first to point out that I’m no parenting expert, psychologist or self-help guru. In fact, I’m not an expert on anything in particular. I’m just a regular guy who loves muscle cars and vintage motorcycles, and of course my loving wife and kids. Like most of you younger dads out there, I’m just trying to navigate through life while raising two daughters in this crazy world of ours. This bi-weekly column is simply a collection of my observational commentaries on balancing family life, hobbies, friends, health, and how my daughters somehow influence them all… Like Father, Like Daughters

Noel Ocol: Like Father, Like Daughters

Sure, the most common perception is that a private school education is only for the rich and privileged. And while that opinion might have some historical truth, I’d like to suggest a slight amendment to that statement that would make it more accurate:

Private school education is not only for the rich and privileged, but also for any parent who is willing to go into debt, those willing to fundraise, those willing borrow from family, those willing to volunteer time, and especially ONLY for those willing make massive sacrifices to their lifestyles, all for the sake of their kids.

In this three-part series of Like Father, Like Daughters, I’ll endeavor to explain why I chose to pay for something that I could have for free, and why I feel that it will pay great dividends in years to come despite the many sacrifices made.

I’ve sent both my daughters to a small private school, here in Toronto, since junior kindergarten and I by no means, fraternize with the Toronto’s society of the rich and powerful. I have however, humbly fundraised, borrowed, volunteered time and made numerous sacrifices over the past seven years, and I suspect that I will continue to do so over the next ten years. So why do I do it?

Very simply, I value the character formation of my daughters and I’m willing to beg and borrow for it.

Now keep in mind, I’m not suggesting that a private school would provide a better academic education than a public school, nor am I inferring that a public school education is inferior across the board. In fact,  the level of academic excellence wasn’t even a deciding factor in the private vs. public education decision. My number one priority in educating my children is their character formation and ensuring that the virtues, values and traditions that they are taught at home and by the family are also instilled in their learning environment. Virtues such as faith, hope, charity, courage, fortitude, restraint, compassion, prudence, and love, I believe, would not be promoted let alone practiced consistently by the faculty, administration and students at the local Catholic public school. Everything else scholastic and athletic falls second in my books.

So, while in the process of deciding on a school, I spoke to several teachers from both the private and public sectors and even to a few who taught both. During that discourse, I found a common trait in their outlook which I found particularly interesting. Apparently, the teachers who taught in the public school seem to abhor parent-teacher interviews, whereas the teachers who taught in the private school commonly welcomed it, even promoting them more frequently, both formally and an informally.

Now why would that be? When I proposed my observation to the various teachers, the general consensus was typically consistent. In the public school system, there seems to be a natural discord in the relationship between the teachers and the parents. Its “Us against Them”. The Teachers vs The Parents, “You bring you kid here and let us do our job”. While I’m sure that it’s  not the rule with EVERY teacher in the public schools but it does appear to be commonly accepted mindset.

Surprisingly, amongst the teachers employed in the private schools, there seems to be generally accepted understanding that the parents are the primary educators and their role as a teacher is to support and supplement the parent’s direction and mandate. They in fact insist that the parents become involved in various matters of the school. I certainly like that idea. If I have a set of principles that I work to instill in my kids at home, I want them reinforced in the school. I like the idea of  teacher and school accountability to the parents, rather than to a “faceless” board of trustees.

The Score: Private School 2, Public School 0

* * * * *

In the next installment, I’ll discuss some of the commonly accepted “best-practices”, disclosed by some teacher friends, (over dinner and a few bottles of Australian Merlot), that has further convinced me that I’ve made the right schooling decision.

Stay Tuned.

5 Tips to Help Children with Learning Disabilities Succeed

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Downtown Oakville

When a child is diagnosed with a learning disability many parents feel devastated and scared. They ask themselves “What will my child’s future be like?” “Will they be successful?” Parents must realize that to achieve success, a child with a learning disability must focus on their strengths, know their weaknesses and discover learning strategies for dealing with difficulties.


2011 Report Card on Ontario Elementary Schools

Thursday, May 12th, 2011
St Michaels Choir School

Ontario elementary students overall have scored slightly higher in standardized tests over the past five years, with girls performing better than boys in reading and math for most schools, but there is still room for improvement in cases where children are not meeting provincial standards, according to the Fraser Institute’s 2011 annual report card.

In 2010, 30.1 per cent of exams were below the provincial standard, a modest improvement to 2006’s figure of 33 per cent. The average school rating was 6 out of 10.

“There’s always room for improvement but we’re a long way from getting an A,” says Michael Thomas, associate director of school performance studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of the Report Card on Ontario’s Elementary Schools 2011, in an interview with Our Kids Media.