From humble beginnings of merely eight students in a small office building in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada in 2002, this school had to source new facilities with expansion potential to accommodate its ever-growing student population. With 19 years of educational excellence, the school is now celebrating another achievement.
It is one of the select schools to be approved as a designated learning institution with the Ontario Ministry of Education.
As per the website of the Government of Canada, J. Addison School (JAS) is an approved designated learning institution (DLI). It is one of the few institutions that can reopen to international students who have an approved study permit and are not in Canada at present. Such institutions must have an approved Covid-19 readiness plan to protect the health and safety of all students which, includes plans to implement the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for international students and to provide information and support to international students about food, medication and health insurance. J. Addison has all the compliances in place and international students with a valid study permit can travel to study in person at the school this academic year.
We take you on a virtual guided tour of this school that has been nurturing global citizens of tomorrow with great passion.
The Illustrious Journey
Founded in 2002, J. Addison School is Canada’s pre-eminent private day and boarding school. Located in the picturesque city of Markham, Ontario, Canada, the school has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s premier private high schools for its unique approach to education. At J. Addison School, the educators endeavor to provide an inclusive environment that fosters intelligence, creativity, and innovation through cooperative learning.
“We encourage our students to proactively challenge and motivate themselves to achieve their full potential,” emphasizes the school management.
- Addison School’s campus is located about 30 minutes north of Downtown Toronto, with spacious dormitories and state-of-the-art facilities. The school’s 60,000 square foot main building is equipped with modern classrooms, science lab, multi-sport gymnasium, dance studio, cafeteria, and multiple residence halls. What more could parents ask for their children’s overall growth!
The school is home to international students from a variety of countries including China, Kazakhstan, Iran, Australia, Nigeria, the Congo, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea and Russia.
The multicultural nature of the school, notes the school’s principal, provides an opportunity for local students to meet young people from around the world. The inclusive environment encourages compassion, integrity, innovation, and leadership. In this way, the school ensures that its students have both an engaging and nurturing learning environment.
When the foundation is strong, nothing can crumble the building. The same applies to education. J. Addison School fosters its students’ love for learning, encourages them to try new and exciting things, and gives them a solid foundation to build on. It is no wonder that J. Addison students are placed at renowned universities worldwide or are pursuing great careers.
The school’s mission is to provide high quality education and childcare in a safe, respectful and inclusive environment that builds a foundation for life-long learning.
The school’s vision is to develop well-rounded, confident and responsible individuals who aspire to achieve their full potential. And this they do by providing a welcoming, happy, safe, and supportive learning environment in which everyone is equal, and all achievements are celebrated.
An unwavering belief in all students’ potential, a passion for excellence, personal responsibility, respect for others in the community and that all stakeholders are critical in the education process.
The school provides students at J. Addison with choices to meet the unique learning needs of each student. Along with the high-caliber regular programs, JAS also offers alternative programs and other options. The school’s multi-faceted programs recognize students’ diverse ways of learning and addresses a broad range of interests and abilities.
A number of things, including their approach to education, makes the school stand apart from its counterparts and have been the center of attraction for 19 years!
At J. Addison, they offer a variety of co-curricular activities to complement the Ontario curriculum, which is accepted worldwide as a high standard vehicle for students to pursue their post-secondary goals.
“We believe that co-curricular activities improve academic performance, social skills, and offer students freedom from stress. We specialize in individualized programming to cater to the various learning styles that international students typically have. This allows for a solutions-oriented approach which has effectively facilitated our students in achieving a 100% post-secondary success rate,” shares the principal of JAS.
- Addison is a school that is unique from others because of the diversity of the programs offered. The school is proud to say that this diversity sparks a passion in students to learn and to become intensely immersed in education as its own reward. This is accomplished by the provision of student-centered learning experiences that are real and relevant to students and under the guidance of caring, professional teachers and staff that recognize each child as a unique individual.
- Addison School is a shining example when it comes to providing students with safe, transformative, and experimental school preparatory opportunities. A wide range of academic programs are put in place to achieve the same.
The academic programs include Montessori and Ontario curriculum, from kindergarten up to grade 12 and pre-university levels. Ontario Ministry of Education programs of study have mandated curriculum which includes learning in:
- English Language Arts
- Social Science
- Physical Education
- Fine Arts
- Computer Science
- Career and Technology Foundations (grade 5 to 9)
- Career and Technology Studies (grades 10 to 12)
JAS also offers English as a Second Language (ESL), Advanced Placement (AP) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) for an expanded breadth of program offering.
The success of any institution is defined by the kind of leadership it has. Dynamism, perseverance and constant pursuance towards excellence in education and overall development of students go a long way in determining the success of a school. J. Addison School is lucky to have been blessed with a dynamic leader who has been responsible for the success of the school.
The current Principal of JAS, Mr. Lee Venditti who joined the school in 2012 is the leading light. With over 40 years of experience in education as a teacher, curriculum writer, instructional specialist, vice principal and principal at the elementary and secondary levels in both public and private sectors, the school has met and exceeded ministry of education standards each year, with distinction, under his leadership.
- Addison School has also earned Top Tier Performances in Math and Science facilitated by Mr. Venditti’s strengths in developing both student and teacher leaders. He has worked closely with the J. Addison Board of Directors and teachers to create one of the top private schools in the Greater Toronto Area. Mr. Venditti earned his bachelor’s degrees from York University and Master of Education in Supervision and Counselling from Niagara University. He has been instrumental to the school’s growth and success and continues to spearhead and support diverse initiatives to achieve expansion endeavors.
The Addison Advantage™
- Addison School is famous for its Focus for Success (FFS) after school program. This program is led by the school’s dedicated teaching staff and offers students homework help, clubs like Yearbook, Video Games Club, Student Council, and Arts and Crafts. The FFS program also offers sports like Badminton, Basketball, and Volleyball. It offers something for everyone.
At JAS, under the FFS Program, the academic support and extracurricular activities provided to the students, are listed as follows:
- Extra Guidance: Teachers are stationed in classrooms to answer questions and facilitate the completion of homework.
- Small Group Study: Available for all subjects. Students are divided into small groups where they review class work with peers who require similar needs so as to encourage learning and improve comprehension.
- English Training: ESL programs, IELTS language test preparations, SAT preparations, and additional written and comprehension strengthening exercises are included.
- Personalized Tutoring: One-on-One tutoring can be arranged for those who need extra help.
- Team-based sports
- Martial Arts
- Robotics Program
- Radio Show
- Student Council
- Year Book Committee
The school is also famous for its Elite Basketball Program that currently ranks in the Top Ten in Canada. The Elite Basketball program has three teams – Junior and Senior Boys’ and Senior Girls’. This program is led by NCAA trained coaches and trainers. Over the years, the student athlete graduates have received full scholarships to Elite American and Canadian Universities.
Helping Students Prepare for Their Future
Imparting academic excellence is not the only thing that makes a school stand apart but supporting students by helping them prepare for higher education goes a long way in making a place in students’ hearts forever.
“We strongly believe that our Guidance Department along with our teaching is the biggest advocate for our students. They inspire, motivate, and guide our students through their next steps in life,” says the school management.
Some of the things that the school’s Guidance Department does to prepare its students for post-secondary education include:
- Help to plan a challenging course schedule.
- Keep records of classes and grades.
- Track graduation requirements.
- Suggest which college and university admission tests to take and when to take them.
- Connect students to information on various universities and careers.
- Recommend universities to match academic profiles and career goals.
- Make sure transcripts are sent to post-secondary institutions.
- Write letters of recommendation.
- Explain how aid awards and financial aid work and connect students to local scholarship opportunities.
- Create an atmosphere where students feel comfortable sharing any personal problems they may be experiencing at home and at school.
Counselling Young Minds
At J. Addison, the educators believe that career counselling or career guidance, is counselling designed to help with exploring what career options are available to students. The school recognizes that this can be a stressful event for some students, so the counsellors are always there to help by outlining and discussing one’s potential career options.
At J. Addison they use a program called Career Cruising. This is an internet-based career exploration and planning tool to explore career and education options and develop a career plan. The guidance team explains to the students that Career Cruising can be accessed wherever they have internet access.
Course Planner Features: The Course Planner allows one to create and store his/her high school education plan by recording the courses he/she has taken, are taking, and plan to take in the future. It brings together the student’s credit history, course descriptions, diploma tracking, pre-requisite requirements and suggested courses. The guidance counsellors are always present to help students via this program to organize their courses to meet their career goals.
The school also holds ‘Career Fairs’ every year where they invite people in the community to share their career stories with their students. At these career fairs the school had:
- Hair Stylists
- Computer Engineers
- Software Designers
Challenges Then and Now
The school has faced and overcome the initial challenges, competed with well-established schools and is today one of the most sought-after schools.
With building of any school, especially when starting from ground zero, it can be filled with various challenges. The first challenge was creating a clear and informed vision of what J. Addison was to become and to have buy-in from all parties at all levels, which the school agreed to focus on students’ needs and success.
Once this was achieved, the school worked tirelessly to translate these visions, goals and expectations to its teachers, students, staff, and administration.
“Over the years we have been fortunate to have people that have established a climate that has been student-focused,” shares the proud management.
In 2013, the school moved from its modular portable building to a modern state-of-the-art building st with all the features of a 21st century school. The school was built on the premise that: “the school is a building with four walls with tomorrow inside.”
“We have been fortunate to have an ownership group that supported our efforts to build a school where nurturing students and their success have led to the school being globally recognized as one of the top Private Boarding Schools in York Region,” says the management.
The school competed with other schools by simply steadfastly sticking to its vision by providing a caring and nurturing school. The results have been humbly impressive. J. Addison School is the only private school in the Markham area offering boarding facilities. More than 50 per cent of its total student population is composed of international boarders, with the remaining from the local community. The school’s strong emphasis and investment in 21st-century learning, which is a big part of its curriculum, has attracted many students locally.
Achievements, Accolades, Accreditations, and Awards
Since its establishment in 2002, the school administration has created a comprehensive private school offering Montessori pre-school, elementary and secondary education and Advanced Placement (AP) programs.
The school has created a partnership with York University, one of Canada’s top universities, to offer scholarships and financial aid to its students. The school’s recruitment department has travelled and formed partnerships with schools in various parts of Asia, Hong Kong, China, USA, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
The school’s three Elite Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball teams are ranked in the top ten in Canada. Many of its elite players have received full scholarships to American and Canadian universities.
Academically, the school has been placed in the top ten in the famous Waterloo Math Contests. The teachers have worked tirelessly to prepare these student mathematicians to win top ranking in this prestigious competition.
- Addison School has been chosen as the first participating school for the Vince Carter Scholarship and Mentorship Program in participation with Paris Media Group, and the NBA Legend himself – Vince Carter. The $25,000 scholarship is available to all high school students worldwide!
It is a very exciting time for JAS as it continues with growth and expansion plans. The school’s Phase 2 development will include a four-story school building extension to increase its total capacity to 500 students, including a state-of-the art auditorium, opulent rooftop garden, additional dormitories and classrooms of varying sizes.
Thinking forward, the school intends to continue to:
- Develop and implement programs that are tailored to the needs and aspirations of individual learners for student success.
- Design and deliver a range of student support services including media and information, learning support, advisory, guidance and university counselling.
- Design and implement curriculum experiences that incorporate new teaching and learning strategies including inquiry, project-based, interdisciplinary and blended learning.
- Continue to develop the school expansion plans that will add additional dormitories, classrooms, auditorium, and specialty areas such as theatre, arts, fitness, music and dance.
Location and Contact:
2 Valleywood Dr. Markham, Ontario, Canada
+1 (905) 477-4999 | www.jaddisonschool.com