So, you are new to the world of Private Schools in Ontario, are you? Great! You’ve come to the right place! Let’s talk about some ideas that you may wish to learn about before you really become familiar with the profession. I know these would have helped me; I hope they help you now! So, lets get into our “Top 10 Private School Tips for New Teachers”:
1. Private schools do not belong to school boards.
As the school boards around Ontario and Canada each have their own jurisdiction, private schools may reside within this jurisdiction, but do not share any administrative or policy guidelines. Each private school is its own world.
2. Private school teachers are not required to have OCT Certification.
Many private schools do prefer OCT certification, but it is not a requirement for employment at private schools in Ontario.
3. Private school teachers are not required to have accreditation in their subject area to teach a course of that nature.
Anyone can teach any subject in a private school! This does provide an advantage as it allows people who are skilled in the field but who lack credentials to find a place in the world of education.
4. Private schools are not required to have IEP’s.
Without IEP’s, a school may have less information about each student, but it is up to the discretion of each individual school to decide what to do about this.
5. Private schools have wildly divergent salaries and benefit packages.
Some of the biggest schools (UCC for boys, Branksome Hall for girls) in Toronto have very high tuitions and salaries. Some school are very new or very shady and pay as low as $15-17 an hour. Many schools fall somewhere in the middle, but each one is different!
6. Private schools are required to be inspected by the MOE at a minimum of once every two years.
Some schools may be inspected more often if they fail inspections, but this is the Ministry of Education’s minimum requirement. An inspection costs roughly $4500.
7. Private school students who are non-citizens of Canada are required to be making an effort to attend class to keep their student visa.
As of July 1st, 2014, students are now required to “actively pursue attendance in all classes” in order to be considered for good standing on their study permit!
8. Private school high-school students who are non-citizens of Canada may use credits from their home countries to contribute towards fulfillment of an OSSD!
Up to 24 of the 30 credits required for an OSSD in Ontario may be fulfilled with equivalency credits from other countries!
9. Private school high-school students who are non-citizens of Canada must take the OSSLT and collect volunteer hours in order to receive an OSSD.
These students are required, if they want an OSSD, to have the Ontario Literacy Test, even those students whose first language is not English. As well, these students, depending on how many years of school they intend to complete in Canada, must produce 10 volunteer hours for each year of study in Canada.
10. Private school students, teachers, and staff are just like you!
They may make less money, have a different set of students, or may work in more varied locales, but ultimately they are all working towards the same goals as public school teachers; to improve student learning and success!
I hope you found this helpful! I wish I had known some of this entering the field!