FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why Private Education?
Specialized teachers, lower student-teacher ratios and involvement of parents as partners in education with our school, means close, individualized attention for each student, resulting in better outcomes.
Our teachers have the freedom to pursue innovative approaches to learning and collaborating that simply doesn’t exist outside the independent school community.
As an independent school, Pathways Centre for Education employs the most cutting edge technologies that enable vast learning, and literacy in this area is a fundamental driver of success in a knowledge economy.
We cannot underestimate the value of happiness as it relates to success, especially at these critical learning stages of a child’s life. Creating a lively community of discovery, joy, spirit and respect is the underpinning of PCE.
Innovation, creativity, technological wizardry, collaborative leadership, global connection, and trans-disciplinary skills are among a few of the major drivers of success for today’s professional. Independent schools are in the unique position of being able to lead the changes required of our education system to accommodate a new kind of thinking for a new kind of world.
Private schools offer college preparation and love of academics
Schools’ first priority is academic excellence. Teachers are hired for their qualifications, commitment, and love of teaching. Private schools hire teachers who will be working more intently with fewer students than their public school counterparts. Private schools offer smaller class sizes and better student –teacher ratios. The lower student-teacher ratios promote more interaction..
This attentiveness and individual interaction can make a difference in the lives of students who look to teachers as role models, not only in learning but in attitudes toward life.
How does the teacher set rules and apply leadership, fairness, and discipline? How does the teacher encourage study, exploration, higher-order thinking, self-expression, and involvement?
These behaviors can have an imprinting effect on students as they grow from year to year, learning to emulate attitudes and values they see in teachers.
Teachers can have a strong influence on student behaviors like self-image and self-confidence. They encourage academic excellence and recognize academic achievement.
Students at private schools have a better chance of attending college and post-college and going on to have professional careers. Many private schools are called “college prep” schools, and there is a reason for that.
To the extent that your child may want to become a professional, a private school might just be the best way to launch such a career.
Does PCE follow the Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum?
The Ontario Ministry of Education provides a curricular guide that serves as a base line for planning at Pathways. While there are some intellectual developmental realities that limit how far and how fast students can be challenged, Pathway's history with Autism Unplugged Learning Centre's education programming has consistently exceeded those expectations set out by the Province.
Pathways Centre for Education was founded on the premise that we can do better. Every child should be provided the opportunity for a strong educational foundation; to thrive and learn to their greatest potential in the way that they learn. Not all children will have the same path or learn in the same way. However, it is our goal to exceed the Provincial expectations and set a standard for all children to live their lives to their full potential.
While academic inspection by the Ministry of Education is necessary to award the Ontario Secondary School diploma, the Ministry of Education does not have any function in the funding or oversight of the “business” side of an independent school.
What kind of Education/Training do your Teachers have?
While independent schools are not required to have Ontario certified teachers for every subject, the vast majority of teachers in independent schools do have teaching certifications and those who do not, often have a specific talent or skill that brings an advantage to their instruction of students.
Our comprehensive service team includes decades of management and supervision training, Ontario Certified Teachers with Master of Education, Disability Studies graduate level degrees and ABA/IBI Behavior Therapists/Educational Assistants.
Many people feel that independent schools are for the “elite”. What does the demographic of families in an independent school like PCE look like?
There is a great deal of misinformation and distortion about the demographics of families in the independent school system. Of course, there are families with greater financial resources than others, but that is equally true in the public school system.
The demographic of most independent schools, is middle-class hard-working professionals and entrepreneurs who understand the value of an excellent education and who want their children to develop good work habits and respectful behaviours.
The uniform is intended to reduce competition in fashion, minimize clothing costs and equalize the economic playing field for our students and their families. It is the official policy of Pathways Centre for Education Private School that all students support and wear a school uniform during the school day.
Uniforms can be fitted and purchased in person or via the Uniform Basics website.
Pathways Centre for Education Private School is committed to the safety and security of the personal information that we have custody and control of. The School promotes a standard of privacy protection that complies with:
The Education Act;
The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA);
The Personal Health Information Privacy Act (PHIPA)
Notice of Collection
Our School will collect, use and disclose personal information of individuals in the course of delivering educational services and to provide programs in accordance with the Education Act and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Pathways Centre for Education Private School may collect, retain, use and/or disclose the personal information it collects as follows:
For the purpose for which it was collected or a consistent purpose;
To school employees who need access to the information in the performance of their job duties in accordance with the authorized function and operations;
To comply with legislation, a court order or subpoena or to aid in a law enforcement investigation conducted by a law enforcement agency; and
In compelling circumstances affecting health, safety or discipline, providing notice of disclosure to the individual
Under the authority of the Education Act and Regulations (R.S.O. 1990 c.E.2) as amended.
Staff members shall support the protection of personal information through the following:
Treat personal and general information in accordance with relevant legislation;
Release general information, where appropriate;
Release personal information to the person to whom it relates or to his/her parents or legal guardian, in accordance with MFIPPA;
Ensure that forms that collect and/or disclose personal information are approved by the Principal
Retaining personal information using secure methods for a minimum of 12 months,
Access and have copies of their personal information, with limited exceptions,
Use an agreement for the confidentiality of information when personal information is to be shared with outside service providers,
Ensuring all possible measures are taken to ensure the security of their software and applications
The use and/or disclosure of Student Personal Information at Pathways Centre for Education
to assess and evaluate student achievement and well-being;
to create and maintain OSRs, transcripts and progress reports for each student;
to promote student health, well-being and safety;
to facilitate education activities with third-party partnerships, contracts and other classroom resources;
to support research to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies and programs in an effort to continuously improve education outcomes for all learners;
to support special education programs and services; and
to participate in field trips, extracurricular activities, community/school and local events
to exchange information with the Ontario Ministry of Education in order to assign, update and validate the Ontario Education Number and the personal information associated with them
to register students in the Student Information System, manage attendance, develop timetables and to support safe arrival practices;
student medical health information provided by parents/guardians may be used by school staff to address student medical needs, plan for medical emergencies and may be shared with transportation providers for the safety of students; and
medical emergency plans for students with life-threatening medical conditions may be posted in identified areas of the school for emergency response purposes;
student work may be displayed in the classroom or school hallways;
school events and activities may be reported in school newsletters and on school websites, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram;
student names and/or photographs will be included in school yearbooks, school programs, or on student awards lists and honour rolls.
Questions or concerns regarding the collection, use or sharing of student personal information should be directed to the Principal at 905-251-7243.
Personal Health Information
Further to personal information, the School has Health Information Custodians, which may include Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Board Certified Behaviour Analysts and Senior Therapists, that are further governed by the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA).
As such, all information collected by professional staff about an individual in the course of practicing psychology or social work, is considered personal health information under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, (PHIPA). This includes your name and contact information and any information collected / recorded in the course of providing services to you.
Questions or concerns regarding the collection, use or sharing of student personal health information should be directed to the Principal at 905-251-7243.
Freedom of Information
Before making a formal request for information
Many records are available without making a formal FOI request under MFIPPA. If you are looking for specific information or to access records, you may contact the Principal to determine if a formal request for information should be submitted.
The Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) provides a process for the public to access specific information from the YCDSB. You can follow this simple two-step process:
How to make an freedom of information (FOI) request
Step 1: Complete a MFIPPA Request Form stating that you are requesting information or asking for your personal information under MFIPPA. Please provide the type of records that are being requested, and the specific time frame for the documents being requested. Provide as much detail as possible, to ensure a timely response.
Step 2: Forward the completed request form to the Principal, along with a $5.00 application fee. Cheque made payable to: Pathways Centre for Education.
The mandatory $5.00 application fee must be paid when submitting a Freedom of Information request. Please be advised the $5.00 application fee cannot be waived and is non-refundable.
Submit your FOI request to:
Pathways Centre for Education
23324 Woodbine Avenue, Keswick, ON L4P 3E9
Timeline for receiving the requested information
Under the Act, the School has 30 days to respond to information requests. On occasion, the Principal may ask for an extension, and it will be provided in writing to the requestor.
Associated fees for requested documents
Under the Act, Pathways Centre for Education may charge additional costs, depending on the type of records requested. However, a cost estimate will be provided prior to the completion of the request.
How to file an appeal relating to the access of information
Appeals are filed with the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario, who is independent of the government or any institution.
You may ask for a review of decisions within 30 days of receiving a decision by writing to: The Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario, 2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400, Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A8, Tel.:1-800-387-0073.
If you decide to request a review of this decision, please provide the Commissioner’s office with the following:
the file number listed at the beginning of this letter;
a copy of this decision letter; and
a copy of the original request for information you sent to our institution.