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YOU HAVE QUESTIONS?

WE HAVE ANSWERS!

Frequently asked questions

Do you still teach the Ministry of Education curriculum?


Yes we do. We follow all the overall academic objectives that traditional schools follow; however, we teach them differently. We believe that children can learn everything through engagement. For example, by the end of grade 1, students should be able to write a complete sentence. Instead of standing in front of a group of 6-year olds and dictating what a sentence looks like, we involve them in writing songs, stories, comic strips, and other fun engaging projects of their choosing. If a student is really interested in dinosaurs, then we can learn to write sentences to describe our favourite dinosaur. We can write sentences describing their differentiating features. All through their interest, they can learn everything.




How do you know how a student is performing if there are no tests or report cards?


We administer an assessment called the Brigance CIBS II (Comprehensive Inventory of Basic Skills) to allow us to measure their language and skills compared to their grade level expectations. The Comprehensive Inventory of Basic Skills II includes two volumes—one for Reading/ELA and one for Mathematics—and consists of nearly 400 criterion-referenced assessments and grade-level placement tests intended for students in Grades K–9. The Reading/ELA content includes fluency assessments, and the Mathematics content is based on NCTM focal points. Assessments align to many state and national standards, including the College and Career Readiness Standards. For more information on this assessment, please visit: https://www.curriculumassociates.com/-/media/mainsite/files/pr/pr-brigance-cibsii-release.pdf




How often is an assessment administered to my child?


We administer the Brigance CIBS II to students at the beginning of the Academic year (September) to establish learning benchmarks. Then again in January to assess progress and areas of improvement still required. Finally, another assessment is administered at the end of the year. In all 3 occurrences, parents are given a copy of our assessment report to help inform them of the progress and education pathway we are pursuing with their child.




What does a criterion-referenced assessment mean?


Criterion-referenced assessment measures a student’s performance on a specified set of skills over time. Educators use criterion-referenced assessment when progress is to be evaluated solely by comparing a student’s own present and past performance. It is commonly used when normative, or standardized, scores are not necessary. We do not believe in comparing children to one another. Everyone is born with their own capacity, their own intelligence and own potential. It is unnecessary to compare cohorts based on the fact that they were born in the same year. Agora Prep Academy is raising future leaders that can spark their own flames and create their own legacies.




What is the schedule at Agora Prep Academy?


8 am to 9 am - students arrive at their own pace and they are welcomed into the environment where they choose to do whatever they like until our learning journey begins. Our learning journey begins. 9 am to 9:30 am - Students gather in an Agora Circle (whether sitting or standing, it's up to them) and discuss what they want to explore for the day and which projects they would like to commence for the week or month. Groupings of collective interests also takes place so if student 1 is interested in exploring optimal speeds for race cars and student 2 feels that this is something they want to learn as well, they can partner up for the project. This develops social skills through engagement, encourages team work building and enhances time-management skills. Working together on a project can also gather more than just the same grade-level groups, other students from other communities of learning (grades 1 to 8) can join this particular group if the topic is of interest. This cross-curricular and age-diverse groupings makes for real-time, relevant and exceptionally rich interchange of ideas. Mixed age groups also allows for skill building and mentoring opportunities for students in all grades. 9:30 am to 10:45 am - Students are exploring and working on their interest-led projects. Coaches are circulating and constantly conversating with students to help them expand their research, achieve their individual academic goals and guide their learning journey. 10:45 am to 11:15 am - Outdoor physical time, breathing fresh air and networking with other colleagues at Agora Prep Academy. 11:15 am to 11:45 am - Continuing our learning journey for the day 11:45 am to 12 noon - Agora Circle to discuss learning so far, questions for the afternoon, updates and peer-to-peer feedback, suggestions and ideas. 12 noon to 12:30 pm - Students are eating lunch and networking within any groups they choose or on their own if they would like their quiet time to themselves. Coaches are eating with the students and the volunteer staff only come for the 30 minutes of outdoor time to give coaches their break for the day. 12:30 pm to 1 pm - Physical exercise, outdoor and networking time. 1 pm to 2:15 pm - Continue our learning journey. This will also be the time for guest coaches to come in throughout the year to teach about specific skills like HVAC, Electricians, Hairdressers, Mechanics, Artists, etc. 2:15 pm to 3 pm - Final Agora circle of the day. Students discuss the learning and fill out their daily reflection sheets on their tablets. This allows for reflective learning and parents can ask students to show them their report so they are aware of the learning that took place that day. Students are to send their daily reports to their coaches for record keeping. 3 pm to 4 pm - Relaxing at the end of the day, networking or attending an after-school program (music of martial arts in the plaza if parents signed up for this* at an extra fee). Dismissal time.




What is an Agora Talk?


This is our take on TedTalks. We ask students to prepare a presentation on an assignment or learning objective achieved that they are particularly proud of. They may choose to present in any style they like; be it a musical, a poem, or a PowerPoint. These Agora Talks will take place in January and then again in June. Parents, peers and coaches are invited to attend and provide feedback after the presentation. This teaches students the real life skills of pitching their ideas and public speaking. Two extremely important skills that will serve them well as future leaders of our world.




What happens if I want to pull my student out of Agora Prep Academy and return to a traditional school?


It is very simple. You give us a notice or termination and then apply to your local school board to return to traditional school. We do not keep an OSR (Ontario Student Record) so it will be the same as a child who is homeschooled. Schools accept students coming from private schools and we assure you that your child will learn amazing skills at Agora Prep Academy and feel validated, confident and incredibly motivated to continue their learning journey. We are confident they will do amazing because they are all amazing!




What about grade 9? How will my child be able to adapt to a traditional school system after being at Agora Prep?


Your child will be amazing. By then, they would have developed the necessary skills and they will feel empowered, encouraged and valued. They would have researched their interests, uncovered their strengths, learned coping skills, reflected on their defining features and matured enough to handle anything the system would throw at them. We are all about developing mental health and boosting children's self-esteem and confidence to conquer anything in their path, including high-school!




My child has learning differences, can I bring them to Agora Prep Academy?


We are humbled and privileged to serve children of ALL needs and ALL superpowers! We believe that every child has the potential of leaving an amazing imprint on our world. With the right empowerment and redirection, children of all abilities can excel and amaze us. It is critical to discuss your child's learning needs with our academy prior to enrollment so we can ensure we have the right people in place to assist your superhero. Please also alert us if there are any serious medical conditions or if the child is a flight risk. Sylvia Martignani started this learning environment because of her passion for children of all abilities. Her 18 years' experience working with neurodiverse children prompted her desire to create Agora Prep Academy. We will not refuse children if they would like to attend but we will have to adjust fees if a child requires one-on-one attention from a full-time educator or CYW.




Do you serve meals at Agora Prep Academy?


No. We would like students to pack their own meals due to the limited access to a fully equipped kitchen. However, we are in discussions with a catering company to provide lunch for students daily. Whoever would like to participate in this program will have to incur an extra fee. Snacks and drinks are required to be packed from home. Please also ensure that everything is nut-free.




Do you have before and after school programs at Agora Prep Academy?


Yes. We are down the hall from Angelic Treasures Christian Daycare and they provide care in our classroom for students in Agora prep from 7 am to 8 am and from 4 pm to 6 pm daily. Their fees change so make sure you ask the office for their latest package. You will have to fill out information for the before and after school program separately as well. We cannot share student information since we are two different businesses and this is a violation of the privacy act.




Do you plan special trips outside of the school?


Yes. From time to time, we will travel with the students to various places that will further their learning and reinforce their skills. Parents will be notified well in advance and there will be a permission form and separate charge for these trips.




Do you accept International students?


We do. The fees may differ slightly if additional services or consulting is required but for the majority of applicants, the same fees apply.




How do parents pay their fees?


Parents pay through e-transfer and we will be setting up an Electronic Funds Trasfer with pre-authorized debits to your accounts.




What makes you different?


Oh gosh, what doesn't really? Our whole approach to learning and our focussed respect for students and their talents, inherent intelligence and freedom of choice can be the most critical differentiating component of our philosophy. Added to that the live wall, DJ station, 3D printers, inventor's lab, interactive projectors, language immersion and peer-to-peer instruction of various native languages as well the ability for students to shine brightly because we leverage their strengths and constantly highlight them, enable them, empower them and encourage them. Other than that, no schedules, no bells, no report cards, no homework, no tests and no compulsory rules to limit their potential. Flexible seating and a relaxed clubhouse environment to learn, pure and simple.




Can grade 8 students start high-school early if they choose?


Yes. We have an agreement in place with Virtual High-School for our students who are ready to commence their grade 9 credit courses ahead of graduating. It's like an IB or AP program...but better.




How do you develop global thinking in Agora Prep Academy students?


We are launching the Agora VIP which is our Agora Virtual International Program. This program will feature partner schools from all around the world which will zoom with our students and share their knowledge and educational practices. We purchased two 80" tvs and students will be able to book times to chat with students from all around the world. We will use Google Translate to assist us in this and connect with other young thinkers, geniuses and prodigies.




Do you have a sibling discount?


No. We believe, compared to neighbouring private schools and for what we offer, that our fees are extremely reasonable.




Will fees increase year over year?


Yes. Unfortunately, we will need to maintain our financial capacity through time and survive inflation and rising costs of labour.




Is there a virtual learning component to your Academy?


We are developing a Learning Management System that will mirror some social media platforms and creatively reflect the Agora teaching methods virtually. This project is initiated but not yet completed. We will keep you informed once we launch and we will open it to students from all around the globe.




What role does the parent play at Agora Prep Academy?


This is an excellent question. Parents are partners in learning. Certain interests cannot be satisfied in our current setting. As much as we would love to have a ski hill for those students interested in skiing and snowboards, sadly, we do not. So it will be the role of the parent to find and complete activities with their children that optimizes their learning. For example, if a student is extremely interested in baking, parents will be asked to take the student to volunteer at a local bakery or bake with them at home as an assignment. Consistent communication is key. If your coach approaches you with the interest or strength of your child, please consider suggesting creative ways to grow and expand this interest. You never know, your child might be the next Master Jr. Chef or Canadian Idol!




Can I volunteer at Agora Prep Academy?


Yes. Please approach the office staff with your interest and skills and we will match you with a suitable volunteer position at our school.




Will you be active in the community?


Yes. We want to raise a generation of kind and philanthropic people who will undoubtedly become the future entrepreneurs and billionaires of our world. Before they n onto achieve that success, we would like to instill in them the value of charity. We will be running several campaigns throughout the year to support local charities with ideas for fundraising coming directly from the students themselves. We will ask for your support and marketing of our various initiatives so we can meet our fund raising goals. We will also be hiring local and assisting other businesses in the area.




How do you build character at Agora Prep Academy?


We celebrate the power of character in our everyday journey. We have badges to celebrate students who show various character attributes such as integrity, kindness, patience, cooperation, awareness, creativity and many others. Students are able to collect these pins and display them proudly on their backpacks. These pins will be a challenge to achieve but worth it when collected!