In this, our eleventh year, The YMCA Academy continues its evolutionary process in becoming Toronto’s finest school for students who learn differently. I use the word “evolutionary” deliberately, for the school, which was founded on very sound educational principles, has organically grown over time, adjusting its personnel and practices as warranted by the needs of our ever-changing group of students.
A very good friend of The Academy, Aron Solomon, taught me a great deal about what it means to run an amazing school. For Aron, boasting that a school produces “well rounded individuals” is merely repeating a cliche, and is true of almost all schools. Ontario curriculum demands that students master 4 courses in English, 3 in Mathematics, 2 in Sciences, 1 in Art, 1 in Physical Education, and so on. By the very nature of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, students are “well rounded.” For Aron, a school attains greatness when it consistently identifies and supports a student’s passions.
Each year, a new and wonderful group of students adds many unique gifts and talents to the community, and we try to be responsive to their passions as well as their needs. Thus, we enhance our focus on student supports and accommodations, but all within an environment that focuses on students assets rather than disabilities.
This is all made possible by an amazing group of dedicated faculty and staff, in an environment where collaboration and support are the norm, not the exception.
If you are interested in having a look at what we do, please don’t hesitate to call and visit! We’re always ready for a tour.
Don Adams, Head of School