'Reaching for the Top'
The Transition Class (JK/SK) maintains a very low, 1:3, adult-student ratio with EA support for children who are school aged but are not ready to participate in a typical classroom setting or still have ABLLS-R programs to acquire needed in order to participate fully. The EA will make every effort to spend some one-on-one time with each student throughout the day. Students in the Transition Class participate each day in fun educational activities that promote social emotional learning, gross and fine motor development, and language development. Early math and reading/phonics skills will also be studied. The students will follow the Language for Learning program to promote language acquisition. The Transition Class is a half day program, where students spend the remainder of the day at TIPES working one on one with an IBI therapist. Full time enrolment is recommended as a combination of Transition Class with one to one, Primary Class or Functional Skills Class.
Our Primary classes maintain a 1:6 teacher - student ratio to better meet our students’ individual learning needs. Our students learn to develop active listening and self-regulation skills that help them make the best of their learning opportunities and take responsibility for their behaviour. Our teachers follow the Ministry of Education curriculum in all subject areas, as well as a specially designed Social Skills program. The focus of the primary grades is to help students build a strong foundational knowledge of concepts and skills. Strong skills in Language, Reading and Math are crucial for future learning. Students at EPA learn the core subjects of Reading, Spelling, Writing, Language and Mathematics through evidence based Direct Instruction where these critical fundamental skills are practiced until mastered. In other curriculum areas, students begin by first learning about themselves, their lives, their families, and their community. Eventually they expand their studies to a wider Canadian, and global perspective. Young children learn best by doing and our students are given a variety of opportunities to explore through hands-on activities and group participation. Our students benefit from an enriched, integrated Arts program which culminates in a musical production at year's end. Our students also enjoy a full Physical Education Program, which includes weekly yoga and swimming.
Our Junior classes maintain a 1:8 teacher - student ratio, as students are more able to follow directions and work independently. Our students learn six effective learning skills and work habits (i.e. responsibility, organization, independent work, collaboration, initiative and self-regulation) that lead to strong character development, good interpersonal skills and academic success. Our teachers follow the Ministry of Education curriculum in all subject areas, as well as a specially designed Social Skills program. Students at EPA learn the core subjects of Reading, Spelling, Writing, Language and Mathematics through evidence based Direct Instruction where skills are practiced until mastered. The focus of the junior grades is to build on and apply the concepts and skills learned in the primary grades. For example, in the primary grades, students develop an understanding and appreciation for music through songs, rhymes and chants. In the junior grades, students begin to read music notation and play an instrument. In Primary, they learn about the early settlers in Canada, in Junior they study ancient civilizations. In the Junior grades, concepts become more complex and abstract and our teachers skillfully breakdown new learning into meaningful parts that students can understand. Students begin expanding their knowledge through experimentation, projects, and research. Our students benefit from an enriched Arts program and Physical Education Program, which includes weekly yoga and swimming.
Our Intermediate classes maintain a 1:12 teacher - student ratio where students are preparing for learning at the Secondary Level. Independent learning is fostered to help students make a smooth transition into high school. In many intermediate schools in Ontario, students follow a rotation schedule, where each subject is taught by a different teacher. At EPA our students enjoy studying all subjects from one teacher throughout the day. At this level students are engaged in inquiry-based learning where they make predictions, research information using technology, and guide their own learning. Students use self-assessment, reflections and class generated rubrics to help them understand what needs to be done to successfully reach the end goal. Our teachers follow the Ministry of Education curriculum in all subject areas, as well as a specially designed Social Skills program. Students at EPA learn the core subjects of Reading, Spelling, Writing, Language and Mathematics through evidence based Direct Instruction where skills are studied until mastered. Intermediate subject matter becomes increasingly more complex and students study History and Geography. In Science, students build foundational skills for the future study of biology, physics, chemistry and earth and space science in high school. Our students benefit from an enriched Arts program and Physical Education Program, which includes weekly yoga and swimming.
'Direct Instruction' Program
At Edelweiss Private Academy, Reading, Spelling, Writing, Math and Language Understanding skills are taught through Direct Instruction. Direct Instruction is an explicit teaching method that involves teachers giving specific instructions to deliver lessons. Skills and concepts are taught through demonstration and action, which are regularly reviewed and practised until fully mastered. Your student will be placed in the individualized or group Direct Instruction class, based on his/her needs.
Our Functional Skills Class helps our students become independent and successful at home, at school and in the community. Through the development of functional academic skills, daily living skills, occupational and interpersonal skills, student learn to live and work independently. Topics include Personal Care, Household skills, Essential Math and Reading, Leisure and Recreation, Community Living, Safety, Self-Awareness and Self-Confidence, Occupational Skills, and Interpersonal Skills. Activities are hands-on in nature and sensory integration activities are incorporated into the programming. The Functional Skills Class maintains a very small teacher-student ratio (1:3) and is a half day class. Additional EA support is available, if needed, at an additional cost.
* An additional program offered, not included in tuition.
Swimming/Active Lifestyle Course
Each week, EPA students enjoy swimming at the JCC (Jewish Community Complex) which is conveniently located next to the school. Swimming helps children develop social skills, confidence, and self-esteem. It improves motor skills, range of motion, spatial awareness, muscle tone and strength and it is an important life saving skill. Most importantly, it is a fun physical and sensory activity that students look forward to every week.
Strong social skills are important for long term success. Students need strong social skills to effectively communicate with, relate to and connect with others. They are critical life skills that help us build social interpersonal relationships. At EPA, students attend a Social Skills class each week. As well, social skills and character development are integrated into learning throughout the school day. Students have many opportunities to engage in social interactions, share, take turns, cooperate, work as a team, understand and manage their emotions, and learn empathy. Social play situations are structured, modelling, encouraged and reinforced. By developing good social skills, our students can better reach their goals.
The Arts encourage the development of motor skills, language skills, social skills, decision-making, risk-taking, and creativity. EPA provides an enriching Arts program, including studies in Visual Arts, Music, Drama and Dance.
Music can be a powerful teaching tool. It provides freedom of expression and is a multi-sensory activity, using a child’s tactile, auditory, and visual systems. It improves learning, memory, coordination, motor skills and sensory integration. At EPA, students in the Primary Grades enjoy putting on a year-end musical production and the Junior/Intermediate students learn to play a musical instrument.
Visual Arts provides students a way to be creative and express their feelings. Visual Arts directly exercise and strengthen a child’s cognitive and fine motor skills. It teaches students to create a plan, follow steps and in the end, feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when their project is completed. There is no right or wrong answer in art, so it is open and accessible to all. Student art creations are displayed throughout the school to enhance our students’ self-esteem and confidence.
Drama provides a creative and dynamic teaching tool. It improves a student’s speech and communication skills, encourages teamwork, builds confidence, and improves concentration as students memorize dialogue and listen for their turn to act. Drama stimulates a student’s imagination and creativity and provides important life skills. The students at EPA have enjoyed participating in 5 different musical productions, often citing that acting in the play was the highlight of their school year.
Dance provides a terrific form of exercise, improving a child’s overall physical fitness and body awareness. It is also a form of creative expression that helps students gain confidence. Dance can be physically, mentally, and emotionally therapeutic for students. Through dance, students can be actively involved in their learning. While dance can improve motor skills and flexibility, it can also be a great way to manage anxiety and stress.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM activities help students succeed in our ever-increasing technological world. Hands-on science experiments and activities help students understand abstract scientific concepts. Technology is a powerful academic resource and tool. Technology use is encouraged at EPA with all students being provided with an iPad for use at school (i.e. for conducting research, recording answers and thoughts, and as a means of assistive technology).
Physical Education and Yoga Program
Physical fitness is so important for a child’s overall health, body, and mind. In an effort to help our students develop a healthy lifestyle, EPA provides a thorough physical education program. Students participate in daily physical activities (DPA), daily outside sports and play, weekly physical education classes in the gym, and weekly yoga and recreational swimming. Physical activity is a great way to manage stress.
There are several benefits gained from yoga. Yoga helps students with emotional regulation. Students learn breathing exercises and poses to help them relax, focus, and develop mindfulness. Yoga helps improve gross motor skills and increase body awareness. Yoga also helps increase concentration, coordination, flexibility, and strength. At EPA, our students enjoy weekly group yoga sessions which in turn help them develop good learning skills and work habits.
Afterschool care is available from 3:30 to 4:30 each day at an additional cost. The Afterschool program is led by EPA Educational Assistants who provide homework support, promote social interactions through games and activities or guide students as they engage in self-chosen activities. Please contact your classroom teacher or the principal if you wish to have your child enrolled in the Afterschool program.
* Afterschool program is not included in tuition.