Thriver and The YMCA Academy

ThriverTM Inc. ( is a technology-based company with offices in Toronto and Windsor, Ontario. Thriver™ is a new online learning platform designed to help parents become effectively involved in the cognitive development of their children. While the platform can help any child, it is particularly helpful for children who are experiencing difficulty in school.  The YMCA Academy is excited to be taking part in an innovative research project with Thriver™. The technology that is developing will help our teachers understand how the students learn and may provide them with new information that could be used to inform instructional changes in the classroom. We are always looking for ways to provide instruction for our students, and this technology may provide options for delivering differentiated support to a broader YMCA community in a highly engaging format.

Thoughts about our Parent Social

Last evening, we held our annual Parent Social event.  It gives us an opportunity to thank our new and returning families, as well as to introduce ourselves to some prospective families who are considering The Academy for their children.  We are thankful that all have placed, or are considering placing, such trust in us for the care of their children!

The evening was very gratifying for the staff of The Academy — as we hear from satisfied families about their past issues with systems of education, and about their present satisfaction with the work we are doing with them.  And indeed, we have a remarkable team here supporting their children both inside and outside of the classroom.

For us, the evening is important in that it helps us to foster a more inclusive team approach to the care of our students.  We do have incredible supports here, but when the families are actively added to the team, the prospects for a successful high school experience are increased greatly.  Moreover, our Parent Social gives us the chance to consider strategic questions and options for The Academy.  In light of this, we are forming a Parent Council, who, we hope, will continue to engage the parents, students and staff of The Academy in continuing the evolution of the school.  If you are interested in becoming part of the parent council, give me a call at the school!

Don Adams: Head of School

A Great Start!

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

Aug. 29th, 2013 – School Starts Tuesday Sept. 3!

It’s my pleasure to welcome you to the new year at The YMCA Academy.  School starts on Tuesday, September 3.  It will be important to be here a bit early to receive your schedule, locker assignment, and other vital information!  Plan on being here by 9:00.  We will begin our school assembly at 9:30, followed by20 minute classes.  Dismissal is 11:30 a.m.

See you Tuesday!

Don Adams, Head of School