Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are Richland’s Homework / Reflection Sessions?

​To support students in the learning process, our Faculty offers supervised homework and reflection sessions after school, from 3:30-4:00 pm Monday to Thursday. This extra support is at no additional cost, and allows our older students to get a head start on homework, minimize daily workload, and enjoy more quality family time at home. This reflection time for our younger students provides them with opportunities to revisit activities they enjoyed during the day, and to collaborate with friends.

Q: What is the typical class size at Richland?

​Small class sizes are one of Richland’s strongest features, as the low teacher to student ratio allows for differentiated instruction and individual attention that is simply not possible in larger classrooms.  The teacher –to-student ratios at Richland are: Toddler – 1:5; Preschool– 1:8;  JK-SK – 1:15 and in Grades 1-8 – 1:19.

Q: Does Richland accept international students and/or do you offer an ESL program?

​International students are welcome to apply to Richland Academy.  Our teachers work closely with parents and the student to integrate them into the school and the classroom. Richland Academy does not offer a formal ESL program for students, but teachers and staff will provide additional personal support and offer recommendations for additional parental and private tutoring, where we feel it would benefit the child most and allow them to reach their full potential at the school.

Q: Does Richland offer a food service program?

​For our Early Years children, meals are included in their program in accordance with the Day Nursery Act.  For our students in JK to Grade 7, we are excited to offer food service to our Globe Café for the 2015-2016 academic year.  We have partnered with Kid’s Kitchen, a family owned and operated business that serves nutritious meals to elementary school children throughout York Region. In fact, Kid’s Kitchen is the #1school lunch program for the region.Food service at Richland is available as a convenient and healthy option for families, but is not mandatory for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Q:  What are Richland’s hours?

​Our instructional hours are 8:45 am – 3:30 pm, Monday to Friday.  We open our doors to welcome students at 8:20 am and classes start promptly at 8:45 am.  There is an optional supervised reflection and homework period in the child’s classroom held from 3:30-4:00 pm,Monday to Thursday.

Q: Does Richland offer before and after-school programming?

​Richland offers an Extended Care Program, which is included in our Early Years program and provided for older students for a reasonable fee.  The program hours are from 7:30-8:30 am in the morning and runs from 4:00-6:00 pm after school. Younger students in the program have the opportunity to do arts and crafts, read books and play interactive games.  Older students may complete their homework under the supervision of a qualified instructor, use the computers or take part in creative activities organized by the Program Coordinator.

Q:  Are co-curricular programs offered at lunch and after school hours at the school?

​There are several co-curricular programs offered by the school. The programs usually run 6-8 weeks in length and are one hour in duration from 4:00-5:00 pm daily.  There are three co-curricular sessions per academic year.Examples of possible programs include;  Karate, Soccer, Watercolour painting,  Chess, Choir, Ecofriends Club, Ambassadors Program, Robotics,  to name a few.

Q: What are the “Specialty Subjects” at Richland and how often are they taught?

​The Specialty subjects at Richland include French, Performing Arts and Studio Arts.  Each specialty subject engages students in active learning, instills confidence in them, allows them to express themselves and take risks, learn collaboration and develop valuable life skills. All specialty subjects are offered from Early Years to Grade 8.

Q: Is there an athletic program at Richland?

​Students  enjoy a full physical education and an intramural program.  Students  in JK-SK  have Phys. Ed. classes twice a week and in Grades 1-8, Physical Education classes are held three times a week.  The Phys Ed. program is delivered by the classroom teachers, who are fully trained in all areas of the program for their age group. Richland is also a member of the SSAF (Small Schools Athletic Federation), participating in local track and field, soccer, basketball and volleyball meets several times a year.

Q: What is the application process at Richland?

​Applying to Richland is a fairly simple process.  Please see the How to Apply page on our website for all the details.

Q: How is a Richland student selected?

​A student’s application information is first reviewed by the Director of Admissions.  Students entering the school from SK and up are given a brief academic skills level assessment during their Day Visit at Richland and have a personal interview with the Director of Admissions at that time. We also review teachers’ evaluations, additional report cards and other materials that are submitted with the Application for Enrollment. All of these aspects are taken into consideration when determining which applicants we can serve the best and who will flourish in our collaborative school environment.

Richland Academy attempts to place students who will fit into the culture of our school, reflect our school’s core values and have interests in activities outside the classroom. At each entry level, a small committee reviews and discusses the merits of the applicant and we will meet with the parents of each applicant before final decisions are made.

Q: Where do Richland graduates normally go for High School?

​The success of Richland graduates speaks for itself.  Our former students enjoy a 100% acceptance rate at the schools of their choice, including Holy Trinity School, Country Day School, Pickering College, St. Michael’s College School, DeLaSalle School, St. Thomas of Villanova College School, and several quality local public and Catholic  Schools.

The Leadership opportunities our students have at Richland equip them with the skills and confidence necessary to thrive in new environments.   All of our receiving schools express that Richland students make natural leaders in their schools.  The commitment to learning Richland students develop throughout their elementary education prepares them for social and academic achievement.  At the most recent Honour Roll ceremony at St. Michael’s College School, all the Richland students enrolled were recognized.

Q: Does Richland offer Tuition Assistance?

Richland Academy recently introduced a Tuition Assistance Fund.  Information and application details about the Fund can be found on the school website, in the Admissions section.

Q: Are there ways for parents to get involved at the school?

​Parent engagement is a key part of life at Richland. There are several ways that parents can become involved; volunteering at the school library, attending excursions, within your child’s classroom, attending Parent Council meetings, assisting with school events etc.  If a parent has a special skill or connection in the community, we always welcome professional support and collaboration with our students, which helps to support the ‘authentic learning’ that goes on every day.

The Parent Council consists of parent volunteers, and two Richland Administrators. Parent Council meets approximately one a month at a mutually-convenient time for members. Meetings are normally about one hour in length and cover a wide range of topics affecting the Richland community.

Q: How do Faculty and Administration share information about students and school events with parents?

We work hard to keep all Richland families aware of current events, important news items, correspondence, teachers’ class blog posts, and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google +, You Tube, Instagram, Vimeo) on a regular basis.  Richland Academy’s blog, Inquiring Minds, is an excellent way to stay on top of all the learning that is happening at the school; learning of our students,  teachers and staff.

We communicate with our families frequently via email, the Richland website, our secure online Parent Portal , hard copy letters sent home and on occasion, and telephone calls home. Parents are welcome to request a private meeting or phone conversation with their child’s teacher at any time – with advance notice.

Key Differentiators to Montessori

​When exploring educational options for children, families often inquire about the distinctions between Montessori and the Reggio Emilia approach to learning.  Both philosophies are child- centered; and both engage children as active participants in their learning, allowing them to make many independent choices throughout their educational journey.

Montessori is a set approach to curriculum designed at the beginning of the 20th Century.  The Reggio approach is a sophisticated method of teaching and learning, evolving with current educational research, and indeed contributes to latest research into how a child learns in the 21st Century.

The advantages of a Reggio-inspired education:

  • Mastery of academic content, achieved through experience and application
  • Divergent thinking, with an ability to ask open-ended questions, solve problems, and offer new solutions
  • Mindset of excellence
  • Rich vocabulary resulting from in-depth inquiries and conversations
  • Development of creative and critical thinking skills
  • Each child is capable and competent, developing their character positively, through perseverance, empathy, and personal well-being
  • Small class sizes foster nurturing relationships with teachers and contribute to meeting the individual needs of each child
  • Ability to work collaboratively with others, as well as independently – becoming self-directed learners
  • Effective communication through oral, written and digital expression
  • Supportive partnership between home and school
  • Citizenship is nurtured
  • An environment designed to inspire and engage children in creativity, exploration, and discovery
  • Time devoted to play and outdoor learning, enhancing the development of oral and narrative understanding, self-regulation, social negotiation and a positive approach to learning
  • Documentation showing the path of a child’s development
  • Graduates destined to be Global Leaders

“Within the first 6 months of attending Richland, we have seen our son transform from cautious to brave, from “walk me inside” to kiss and ride.  We have seen a significant increase in his confidence, his independence, his coping skills and his relationship building.  Additionally, he is more caring and empathetic particularly towards other children.  No longer does he require me to be his intermediary in dealing with his teachers, as he is very comfortable communicating on his own.  His senses are more alive, his curiosity enhanced, his deductive reasoning skills are formidable.  His negotiating skills well honed.  This all speaks to Richland’s commitment to develop children who are  “deeper thinking, confident, world ready.” – Grade 1 Parent