Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
At Kingsley believe that it is important for parents to know and understand the fundamentals of how our school is run and operated. We want you to know who we are, our values, and the emphasis we put on providing your children with a well-rounded education. Answering some significant questions for you ahead of time will help you gain insight into what we stand behind at Kingsley.
How does the issue of the public and/or separate school system strikes affect Kingsley?
Kingsley School continues to run at full capacity when the public and/or separate school systems go on strike. We are not unionized and therefore we continue to operate as usual, running all of our regular and extra-curricular programs.
What is the school's philosophy and vision? How does this translate to the day-to-day life of the student?
Kingsley's philosophy was founded on the teachings of Dr. Haim Ginott. These basic principles outline the idea that there is no unacceptable child, only unacceptable behaviours. By using the philosophy of Dr. Ginott, teachers at Kingsley set clear boundaries while acknowledging and exploring the child's emotions. On a day-to-day basis, this means our teachers relate and communicate with each student by modeling communication that is congruent with the child's emotions and situation. If necessary, teachers implement consequences rather than punishment. For further reading about our philosophy and vision please visit our "Who We Are" page.
When did your school open?
Ursula Morton founded Kingsley in 1981. Mrs. Morton believed that there was a gap in the school system between the high-end expensive private schools and the public system. She wanted a school that offered a solid, academic program that was affordable to the working parent. She also wished to provide a before-care and after-care program so that parents would not need to move their children from place to place and that they were being nurtured and taken care of according to the same philosophy throughout the school day.Kingsley’s idea of a "seamless day" was created over thirty-five years ago and we are proud that we continue to uphold Ursula Morton’s original vision.
What kind of leadership and governance does the school have? Is it governed by a board or owner operated? Is it non-profit or for-profit?
Kingsley is governed by a Board of Directors. We are a not-for-profit school which differs from a non-profit. In a not-for-profit school we are able to employ our staff whereas a non-profit runs solely on volunteerism. Kingsley School also became a registered charitable organization in 2011. We are also a member of th Ontario Federation of Independent Schools (OFIS)
Approximately how much financial aid is available to your students?
Every year, our school offers two bursaries, which pay fifty percent of tuition for one child per family. Any family wishing to apply for a Kingsley bursary will be asked to provide a letter addressed to the principal stating why they believe their child would benefit from a Kingsley education. In addition, a copy of the last T4 form must be provided, showing a total annual family income of less than $65,000. Should all the requirements be met, and a bursary is awarded, the family will be required to pay half the cost of a full tuition.
What curriculum does the school use? Does it follow, meet or exceed the provincial educational guidelines?
Kingsley follows the Ontario Provincial Curriculum as set by the Ministry of Education. Due to our limited class spaces, our teachers are able to spend quality time with each student and delve into depth with each subject. This results in exceeding the minimum requirements because students are given opportunity to inquire, explore, and experiment using a variety of tools and resources that go beyond the basic expectations. We enriched the program by offering Music, French and Physical Education classes starting in Junior Kindergarten that are taught by specialty teachers.
What extra-curricular activities are offered?
At Kingsley, volunteers and teachers have traditionally offered extra-curricular activities at no extra charge during the school day such as; Running Club, Sports Club, Games Club, Skipping Club, Sketching Club, Talent Show Club, and more. We also enlist third parties to run after school classes at an extra cost (e.g. Sure Chef, Wilmington Tennis, Kid's Fun Factory, Mad Science, etc).
What is the student-teacher ratio and maximum class size?
Our student-teacher ratio fluctuates from year to year. The important factor is that our maximum class size is twelve students per classroom teacher, plus the specialty teachers
How do teachers interact with students?
Kingsley teachers are wonderful at teaching and reaching every student. Teachers interact with students on many levels during a typical Kingsley day. Teachers ensure that every child has a voice in the class during group discussions. Due to our purposefully small class sizes, teachers spend quality teaching time with each student on an individual basis throughout each day. We follow an outline set out by Dr. Haim Ginott and we stay true to the Kingsley philosophy that Ursula Morton put in place in 1981. We do this by:
Never denying a child's feelings
Only treating behaviour as unacceptable, not the child him- or herself
Empowering children to do things for themselves, because dependence breeds hostility
Helping children to learn to choose within the safety of limits
What are the teachers' qualifications? What kind of professional development are they offered?
In Ontario, Independent and Private Schools are not required to hire OCT Certified Teachers (Ontario College of Teachers). We believe that this is good practise and our classroom teachers are certified. Having this certification is only one of many valuable qualities and assets that our teachers possess. There are also many other variables that are measured when determining the best fit when it comes to hiring teaching staff at Kingsley (e.g. skills, experience, knowledge, specialties, etc.). Each year Kingsley provides some Professional Development, (PD) for the staff during our PD days. Teachers also attend seminars, lectures and even visit other teaching professional in the field. Teachers are required to share their PD experiences and findings with the entire staff during select staff meetings throughout the school year. Because we strongly believe in life-long learning and keeping our staff engaged and inspired, when the Kingsley budget allows for it, the school has been able to offer a predetermined amount to each staff member to assist with the costs of Professional Development.
Is there an entrance test? What type? How much emphasis is placed on the results?
We do not require any entrance tests at Kingsley. We do request that students wishing to enroll at Kingsley visit with us and spend a day in the classroom. This helps the family and the school to determine whether it is a good fit for both parties.
How does technology fit into the curriculum?
In today's society technology should be used in classrooms. At Kingsley we use SMART Board technology in a variety of ways. We also have a computer lab where older students use our laptops when researching for class projects, and writing short stories and poems. Students also use laptops beginning in kindergarten by using an interactive reading program. Media Literacy programs have found Kingsley students creating and filming commercials and short plays. There are unlimited creative ways in which to use technology in the classroom and we continue to discover innovative means to teach our students through the use of technology.
Does the school provide daycare or have extended hours?
Kingsley school provides a before-care starting at 8:00 am, and an after-care program that runs from 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm. Our Kingsley staff run these programs so as to provide a seamless day for our students. Homework help is available during our after-care program.
Is there an endowment fund? To what extent does the school support families who need financial aid?
Kingsley School is a not-for-profit charitable organization. The Kingsley Board of Directors have set up funds for future needs. Each year, when there is a surplus, funds are put aside. These funds could be used for moving costs, operations, and also put towards the future in hopes of one day owning our own property.
How does the school measure individual achievement and progress?
Kingsley follows the provincial standards that are set by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Students are assessed by using a variety of methods and tools on an ongoing basis. For further information please visit the Assessments page on our website (found under "What We Teach").
What type of student is the school looking for?
We welcome the whole child and happily include their parents, siblings and extended families into our community as well. We ask that parents are honest with us about their child's needs, especially if they have a history of extreme behaviour. At this time, Kingsley does not have special educational resources. During the admissions process, we ask that any child enrolling in grade one or a higher class visits the classroom for a day. This will help to determine that partnering is both a good fit for the family and a good fit for the school. Our goal is to attract families that are in alignment with our philosophy, values and vision.
How does the school respond to a child who is not meeting academic expectations?
If a student is not meeting academic expectation, the classroom teacher and principal will coordinate a conference. Together, they examine all the attempts that have been made and take steps to assist the student. Parents are always made aware of any concerns that the teacher may have, whether the concerns are of a social-emotional, physical, behavioural or academic nature. Likewise, parents are welcome to bring their concerns to the child's teacher. Together, the parents or guardians, teacher and principal, if necessary, will all work together to find the best solution to set the child up for academic success.
What is the school's homework policy? Is there homework help?
Kingsley's homework policy is simple. Work is never sent home that is not already covered in the classroom. Homework is meant for mastery and the discipline of concentrating on the task. At Kingsley we strongly encourage every student to read for twenty minutes per day (with and adult if possible) . We know that this practice helps nurture strong readers. Homework help is available to students who attend the after-care program. Should a parent be interested in homework help, they are welcome to speak to the principal or directly to our after-care teacher.
What are the school's values, goals, and priorities?
At Kingsley, our goals, values and priorities all coincide with our philosophy, mission and vision. We recognize that every learner is unique which why we do not approach education as a "one size fits all" arrangement. We realize that students have their own individual needs, they excel and shine in their own way, and they will reach their potential in their own way. Our school values stem from our character curriculum and evolve through adults modeling good behaviour for the students, and ultimately students modeling good behaviour for students. With the proper tools and strategies, we emphasize and teach values such as: Respect, Responsibility, Compassion, Fairness, Self-regulation, Honesty, Patience, Perseverance, Good Sportsmanship, and more.
Where do the school's graduates go?
Kingsley is not a feeder school into any one educational institution. Kingsley graduates are equipped with the skills, abilities, and confidence that allows them to follow their educational journey to many different places. Our graduates have proceeded to specialty schools (e.g. sports, music, theater), the public mainstream school system, and to other private schools. Our competent staff- some of whom have had their own children graduate from Kingsley - are very helpful in assisting parents and providing them with information on next-step possibilities, Since we are not a "one size fits all" school, we do not expect our students to all continue on to the same school.