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Testimonials from Parents  

What Parents Say About the Abelard School

Dr. Joshua Gans, Professor of Strategic Management and Jeffrey S. Skoll Chair of Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

The Abelard School is small, which gives it its chief advantage. In a small school, there can be no cliques. No popular students. And, therefore, no unpopular ones. They have to get along, and for certain types of teenagers that is a great relief and a removal of considerable stress.

The small size also means that the teachers know the students to a degree not possible elsewhere. That means that they really can tailor learning to the student rather than to an average standard that fits no one perfectly. The teachers are the same from year to year and so your students grow with them.

My child has never been happier at a school. She can just be herself and herself is not one that sits well with the usual standards of normal. These are life-long friendships being found amongst kindred spirits.
The Abelard School sets itself under the radar. There is no glitz only substance. It isn't for everyone but the students it is right for, it is their place.

Dr. Linda Safran Research Fellow at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, University of Toronto,and Dr. Adam Cohen, Associate Professor of Art, University of Toronto

It may be that no school is perfect, but Abelard certainly comes close. Our son is finally being challenged here by the demanding classes he (and we) missed in middle school.

Our son comes home eager to do homework, and he clearly wants to meet or exceed the high expectations of the inspiring teachers, who have opened his eyes to subjects he had not felt entirely comfortable with before.

We appreciate the seriousness of the student body and the teachers’ firmness, but while the learning is sometimes hard, it often seems to be quite a lot of fun. The students are diverse and open-minded enough to appreciate a wide range of teaching styles. We are so pleased with the Abelard curriculum that when we spend next year overseas, our son will take the year off (doing independent studies and other kinds of learning and volunteering) in order not to replace a year at Abelard with a less-satisfying year at another school.

Tim Pilgrim, M.A. M.B.A, Dipl. Analyt. Psych, Lecturer at New College, University of Toronto

As a university educator, I can say that in my experience the Abelard School provides one of the finest university preparatory educations that I have encountered. Few schools provide the depth of foundational education—where else do high school students learn Greek, Latin and Philosophy?—let alone the breadth of subject matter that Abelard covers through the diverse interests of its talented staff.

Abelard offers much more than academic excellence. Its small size creates intimacy and engagement among students that goes beyond the classroom and fosters lively discussions in the hallways, encourages independent intellectual pursuits and generates lasting friendships.

A few examples from my son’s activities come to mind that help illustrate the Abelard experience:

  • Staging the battle scene in Julius Caesar for the annual play (with the wood-worked swords made by another parent)

  • Discovering the astonishing bio-mechanics of a running ostrich

  • Discussing the antics of Buck Mulligan in the opening chapter of Joyce’s Ulysses

  • The group of Abelard students out for a night at the theatre discussing the performance of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

  • Discovering a latent capacity for maths and science ... and writing a computer program

  • Excitement translating the inscriptions on Roman monuments in museums in Berlin

  • Finding other students interested in chess and starting a chess club


I would urge anyone to consider Abelard as their school of choice for students who hanker for learning, who seek a milieu that supports independent intellectual growth and who would thrive in small enriched educational environment.

Molly Zirkle, MD, FRCSC, Assistant Professor

Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery

My son is in his third year of Abelard and I have been consistently impressed with the school.  The curriculum is rigorous and broad.  My son comes home ready to discuss complex issues in literature and current events.  When students from Abelard come to our house the level of dialogue is very high and interesting.  The school fosters an intellectual culture that is special and unusual for this age group.  I think a major contributor to this is how the teachers engage with the students.  They speak with them as peers and expect them to respond as such.   As a result, the small group teaching sessions are filled with lively discussion and debate.  Abelard students are eager to contribute and question what they are learning.   I am so pleased that my son is having an academic experience of this quality as a high school student.   I can see his mind and knowledge base expanding with each year.