The YMCA Academy is more than just a school, and tuition goes above and beyond academic learning.
Academy fees include a wide range of services, including:
- access to laptops and other assistive technologies
- a YMCA of Greater Toronto membership
- on-site counselling
- an overnight outdoor education excursion
- services for parents/guardians, and much more.
Tuition for the 2019-2020 school year is as follows:
- Full year (2 semesters, up to 8 courses): $25,000
- Half year (1 semester, up to 4 courses): $12,500
Incidental Fee: The Academy has a one-time incidental fee of $2,000 for new students.
Computers and Technology
During school hours students have access to personalized profiles on individual Lenovo Thinkpad Laptops provided by the school. Laptops are replaced regularly, allowing the Academy to be on the cutting edge of IT change. Laptops are loaded with industry-leading software: productivity software, multimedia, digital design, 3D design, educational programs, science simulators as well as assistive technology.
The Academy is a fully wireless environment. Students can access a wealth of select information on the internet through our broadband connection.
Apple computer-driven editing suites with audio video production capabilities including Final Cut, GarageBand and iMovie, are available for cross curricular assignments.
All classrooms house an LCD projector or Smartboard allowing teachers to differentiate instruction for students who learn best through visual enrichment.
Students receive a full-year YMCA of Greater Toronto membership. This allows them access to any YMCA in the world. Their primary YMCA location is the Toronto Central Grosvenor Street YMCA Centre. In addition to hosting the YMCA Academy, this facility includes a full Health and Fitness Centre.
The Academy has a full-time on-site counsellor available to support students to make informed choices that will lead toward their personal growth/development and well being. Students and their families and guardians have access to our confidential counselling services.
The Academy hosts a homework club that is supported by Academy staff. Students have the opportunity to receive one-on-one teacher assistance. Staff is also available for individual support upon request.
The Academy invites students to participate in an exchange to help form strong links between their own communities and communities elsewhere in Canada. Through the YMCA’s Youth Exchanges Canada program our young people are twinned with peers from another province or territory.
The exchange typically occurs near the end of second semester. Students fundraise to host their visiting peers.
Outdoor Leadership and Skills Training
Once a year The Academy takes an overnight trip to a YMCA outdoor education facility to participate in team and leadership skills development. Students and staff, with the guidance of outdoor education counselors, participate in such activities as: rock-climbing, high ropes, low-ropes, archery and mountain biking.
Cooperative Education is a planned learning experience that integrates classroom theory and learning experiences in a community placement to enable students to apply, expand, and refine knowledge and skills acquired through a related curriculum course or a locally developed course. The knowledge and skills of the in-school course are applied in a practical work environment.
School-Wide Personal Development Assemblies
The entire school meets for an hour once a month for "VOICES," a gathering in which they are invited to share their ideas about school life at The Academy. Discussions may be stimulated by a staff presentation, a guest speaker, a performance or some other activity. The goal of VOICES is to create opportunity for students to experience community and exchange their thoughts in an open forum. The Academy's collaboration with Mindfulness Without Borders also takes place during VOICES gatherings.
In addition, students come together once a month in small groups with a staff facilitator for "TAPs" (Taking a Pause), where they have a chance to exchange ideas on their learning from the VOICES experience. Our goal is to encourage students to take a pause and develop the skill of reflection.
The Academy's non-credit Resource course enables students to get their individualized needs met and get assistance with their regular classroom work with a focus on skill building. This might include, but is not limited to, extra time for projects, tests and quizzes, additional one-to-one attention/instruction, access to and instruction in the use of computers and software programs such as Dragon, Kurzweil, SMART Ideas, Notebook, typing programs, access to a scribe and organizational support. Recommendations for this course may be made by students, staff or parents/guardians. Content is determined on an individual basis.
Remediation is offered as a non-credit class for students requiring remediation in two areas: language and mathematics. In this class a language and mathematics remediation specialist on staff works with students who have demonstrated difficulties with language, mathematics or both on a daily basis to help the student achieve grade level literacy and numeracy.
Each year, the Academy plans and initiates a suite of student-centred clubs. Popular clubs in past years have included: Guitar Club, Basketball Club, Astronomy Club, Queer-Straight Alliance, Drama Club, and more.
Guidance and Career Planning
A guidance counsellor is on staff to assist students in navigating secondary and post-secondary options towards their goals of university, college, apprenticeship or the workplace.
In addition to the support systems provided for our students, The Academy offers parents/guardians many opportunities for feedback, education and support.
Parent/Guardian and Staff Ongoing Communication
Teachers remain in constant communication throughout the school year to keep parents/guardians informed. Telephone calls and e-mails keep parents and guardians abreast of students’ successes and areas for improvement.
Parent/guardian teacher interviews are held mid-semester and include the parents/guardians, the student and all of the students’ teachers. By having all of those who work with the student present, we are able to provide a “full picture” of the students’ progress in school.
Parent/guardian workshops are held throughout the year to allow families to meet and discuss relevant and current issues. Guest speakers present the most current information on topics such as:
- harm reduction
- the “teen brain”
- post-secondary transition
Informal Counselling Support
Being a small, intimate school we learn a great deal about our students and their families. Parents often turn to our in-house counselor to receive support and feedback on non-academic issues that youth face in today’s society.
Through the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign, individuals and families in need can participate in YMCA programs and services they otherwise could not afford. Within our available resources and program capacity, every effort is made to accommodate all who wish to participate at the YMCA. Families must pay a portion of the fees based on their financial circumstances. No one is denied access to any YMCA program or service solely on an inability to pay the full fee.
Applying for Tuition Assistance
Anyone who believes that The Academy would meet their needs, but who is unable (not unwilling) to pay the full fee, may apply for Tuition Assistance. This process includes the submission of an application package (available directly from the Academy) and associated documentation, and attendance at an interview.
The interview is an in-person assessment of the applicant’s financial situation and is completely confidential. Upon completion of the interview and approval of assistance, the application will be processed. The purpose of the interview is to discuss how an individual might benefit from attendance at The Academy and how the YMCA might assist with tuition. It is important that applicants understand that the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign funds are used to pay the difference between their payment and the full fee.
For details about tuition assistance, contact the Academy at 416-928-0124, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renewal of Tuition Assistance
Returning students requiring tuition assistance must re-apply for assistance yearly. Renewal must be requested and paperwork completed and submitted by May 31st.
Performing at a much higher level
Our son was first diagnosed with ADHD and an LD in primary school. We were told he was very bright, but would require some supports to help him succeed at school. With support he fared reasonably well until high school. Even with an IEP, and additional support at home and school, his marks began to drop immediately. By his third year he was failing and not attending classes. We enrolled our son in the Academy the following year. The change we saw was almost immediate. Our son wants to attend classes at the Academy and is performing at a much higher level than his previous school. We also noticed a profound change in his mood. Since enrolling at the Academy his happiness and self-confidence have improved greatly. I would highly recommend the Academy to any parent whose child needs a truly supportive learning environment.