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About

The da Vinci School is a public elementary alternative school inspired by Waldorf principles. It combines best practices from the Waldorf tradition and curriculum from The Toronto District School Board.

The school opened in September 2009 and currently serves 85 students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6.

Teaching Focus:

Narrative &
Spoken Language

Storytelling is a big part of da Vinci, the students learn oral stories, write and tell their own stories and often connect with the curriculum through storytelling. in the early years, students learn to recite poetry and rhymes inspired by the “From 3 to 3” program. These build rich vocabulary, social reasoning, rhythm, memory and creativity. They are also a great deal of fun.

Environmental
Inquiry

With a focus on inquiry-led learning, da Vinci students are invited to explore the natural world and follow their questions. da Vinci is an all-weather school with much time spent outdoors, so students come equipped to learn in rain, mud, sun and snow.

Arts
Education

da Vinci teaches art through the Waldorf tradition of Handwork, progressing from simple weaving, to knitting, to watercolour and sculpting. This is a time to learn patience, dexterity and skill, while also offering quiet time to process the day’s learning. An exhale after the inhale. Art is woven into academic work with an emphasis on carefully presented and beautiful projects. da Vinci is a low-tech school with a focus on tactile skill including cursive writing.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:

  • A stimulating learning environment with integrated subjects, hands-on learning and a structured school day.

  • Co-operative learning strategies in place in all subject areas.

  • A high level of parental involvement to help create a positive, creative and encouraging close-knit school culture.

  • A technology and commercial-free environment in the early grade to stimulate creativity and imagination.

  • A supportive and responsible Code of Conduct for students.

Together as students, teachers and parents, with the support of our superintendent, trustee and the TDSB staff, we work to build and nurture our caring community and develop da Vinci's holistic, creative and inspiring learning environment.

DA VINCI SCHOOL CREST

CLASSES

MAPLE

JK/SK
Teacher: Jolan Canrinus
Kindergarten ECE: Bernadette Spain(Pugh)

Tamarack

Grade 1/2
Teacher: Deborah Adelman

Oak

Grade 3/4
Teacher: Elizabeth Pasternak

Cedar

Grade 5/6
Teacher: Cast Reimer

OTHER TEACHERS & ADMINISTRATION

Environmental Science, Music, Health/PE: Peyton Leung
Principal: Kristin McDonald
Vice Principal: David Gilmore
Office Administrator (am): Branka Dakic
Head Caretaker: Sheraz Kha

additional information

OPAL is recognized as a best practice for supporting school improvement through outdoor play. The program provides the school with ongoing mentorship and support through professional learning, community outreach, planning and policy development to overcome barriers and enrich opportunities for outdoor learning and play. 

The OPAL program focuses on time allocated for unstructured, outdoor play (e.g. recess) as well as helping schools address barriers to taking learning outside, and plan for improved access and use of the existing outdoor environment. 

The PARK principles, championed in the OPAL program, guide schools to improve opportunities for outdoor learning, both for instructional time and through outdoor play. The PARK acronym addresses the following: 

Policy: Developing school policies to encourage outdoor learning (e.g. all-weather access, use of all spaces, supervision practices to encourage outdoor exploration and learning). 

Access: Improving the ability for all students, year-round, to access all available outdoor spaces for learning and play. 

Risk: Adopting a risk-benefit approach to inform decision making and encourage opportunities for challenge, growth and development. 

Knowledge: Understanding how staff can support outdoor learning and providing ongoing opportunities for professional development. 

da Vinci shares a building, grounds  and administration with Lord Lansdowne French Immersion Junior School. da Vinci is on the top floor of the building.

We share the gym, lunchroom and yard and participate in school clubs and intra-murals together.

While the two schools have distinctly different focuses, we have a friendly, collaborative relationship which means that while da Vinci is a small school, we have the fortune of sharing a vibrant large community with our Lord Lansdowne friends.