Written by Kelvin Sealey, Ed.D
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic through which we’ve all been struggling, the decision was made by the owner of The Dragon Academy in Toronto to cease operations. The great sadness brought on by this decision was tempered slightly by the parallel decision by Dragon Academy senior administrators to begin CaST School as a new experiential education high school. In this way, CaST School was born from within the loving community of Dragon Academy.
Dragon Academy Alternatives
There are dozens of private schools in Toronto each catering to a set of families that appreciate the intimate atmosphere and high academic challenge for which small private schools are known. Losing Dragon Academy was particularly sad for those parents who sought a school that was familiar with teaching highly capable students who nevertheless faced challenges in the public school system or with larger schools. While Dragon Academy accommodated families facing multiple educational challenges, CaST School, which hired most of the Dragon Academy faculty, and is run by several former administrators of the Dragon, has continued the legacy of academic excellence, patience and fortitude once found within the Dragon.
There are several private schools in Toronto capable of accommodating bright students with exceptionalities, including Blyth Academy, Abelard School, and The Study. However, CaST School, having adopted the experiential education curriculum of Dragon Academy while fine tuning an online learning and place-based learning formula, has certain benefits its competitors do not. Few schools in Canada can boast the dynamic public arts and bioinformatics projects associated with CaST School, nor can they claim to have built a system of education within Ontario’s Ministry-approved secondary school curriculum, to broaden opportunity for acceptance into the best university programs in Canada and around the world. CaST School competes well with the best private schools in Toronto, and it is fast becoming the most unique.
Online learning paired with in-class education, which is sometimes referred to as blended learning or hybrid learning, is likely to become a long-term part of the secondary school curriculum in Ontario. Some families are finding that they prefer online education in the face of difficulties their children experienced in other in-person public or private school settings.
CaST School has made online education a full component of its suite of education offerings, scheduling late morning classes online beginning at 10:00am, allowing for teens to earn the sleep their bodies crave, with afternoon in-person classes beginning at 1:30pm. Students have the option of taking all classes online, with synchronous learning, or of splitting their education between online and in-person classes. CaST School recognizes that while education on computers can be isolating, it is better to include some socializing activities in the lives of teens than for there to be none at all. This mix of online and in-person learning, particularly for those students who have faced social challenges in other public or private schools, meets the test of high academic rigour with the best one-to-one learning small private schools offer students. We think we’ve gotten the mix just right.
We at CaST School invite you to visit our classes online by appointment, and to survey the set of private schools in Toronto capable of offering you or your children a highly challenging yet comforting learning opportunity in a small school setting. We think you’ll decide CaST School has what you have been searching for.