The Right Fit
We moved from New York City in 2009, and our son did not adapt well to the change nor the schools he was in. He had great difficulty dealing with his emotions and environment. By grade 6, he was diagnosed with high-functioning Asperger’s, and his doctor recommended Kells Academy. His visit to the school struck a chord with him, and he wanted no other high school. While it was an adjustment for him to adapt to a third new school in three years, it stuck. It was the right fit. The principal and the teachers could tell what made him tick and provided him the type of attention that suited his needs and personality. Our son has made friends, his marks have greatly improved, he participates in class, and best of all, he’s happy. We highly recommend Kells to any family that is looking for an alternative choice in their son’s or daughter’s education.
Grant & Marina
Embracing the New Direction of Education
If I had to describe my experience at Kells Academy in a few words I’d say that: it was a major learning experience for me. I began my student teaching internship at Kells Academy with a very traditional frame of mind, due to the way that I, myself, was educated. Teaching math meant that students would take notes, complete a worksheet on the concept they had just seen and then eventually be evaluated on their capabilities to reproduce and respond to similar questions. While I still respect and hold some traditional beliefs about education, my time at Kells has allowed me to expand my horizons and realize that the implementation of technology does not mean that I have to stray completely away from my traditional beliefs, but rather that the two could coexist and work quite well together.
By being able to have the core components of my lesson already set up in a Notebook file, on the smart board, I, nor my students, had to waste time copying down questions, which would then leave room for distractions and the students getting off task. Not only did this assist me, in terms of classroom management, but it also facilitated students’ learning, as I was able to display visual and interactive representations of the concept they were learning. Being able to use interactive websites, such as Kahoot, classes were able to become much more engaging and meaningful, as students were more invested in the lesson, due to the fact that they knew they would likely be evaluated shortly by participating in a Kahoot. Not only did students enjoy being able to partake in such interactive activities, but without even knowing it, these activities allowed for the concepts to be reinforced. I was also able to gather data on students’ level of mastery and the areas which would need improvement and further explanation. In addition to this, I really appreciated the Kells portal system. Many times in the past, I have had students come to me saying that they were not able to complete their homework as they had forgotten it at school the night before, or I have had students come to me in a panic saying that they lost their notebook, which had everything they had learned all year. The portal system completely alleviated these issues and made students accountable for their own learning as they had access to all course material, at any time, just at the edge of their fingertips.
A final thing which I really appreciated was the small classroom sizes. By consistently having classes of less than 20 students, I was able to give each student a sufficient amount of one on one time in order to meet their specific needs. This coupled with the email system, which allowed students quick, constant and direct access to me or any of the resources used in class, I believe that all students were able to have their specific and unique needs addressed and met.
While I cannot control the classroom sizes in other educational establishments, something which I will definitely be taking away from my time at Kells Academy is the ability to not shy away from the new direction in which education is going, but rather to embrace it. I believe that my new found appreciation for technology in the classroom and the skills I acquired in order to appropriately employ this technology have allowed me to become a better teacher, who can meet the needs of the students of today. On a final note, I am very grateful that I now have a digital copy of all of my lessons, resources, and assessments which I could easily alter and use in my further educational endeavors.
Finally, I am very grateful for the cooperating teachers, Mrs. Ghanem and Ms. Ungureanu, which I was assigned for my time here at Kells Academy. Both teachers were very supportive throughout my entire experience and their expertise taught me invaluable skills: how to plan and organize lessons, how technology can be a huge asset in the classroom, where to find interactive resources which can be used in the classroom, how to accommodate students with different needs and learning styles etc. I am grateful for their patience, encouragement and for them giving me the confidence to venture outside of my comfort zone.
Erika Savage, Student Teacher
Une Différence Positive
A tout le personnel de Kells:
Faire une différence positive dans la vie d'un enfant est une action qui non seulement contribuera à son avenir, mais aidera à bâtir une société meilleure. Lorsque Vincent recevra son diplôme dans quelques années, vous pourrez vous féliciter d'avoir accompli cet exploit.
Voilà un an depuis l'entrée de notre fils à Kells et les progrès sociaux et académiques qu'il a fait jusqu'à ce jour sont bien au-delà de nos attentes. L'alternative qui s'offrait à lui avant son admission à Kells était l'intégration d'une classe spécialisée pour les troubles d'apprentissage de la CSDM.
Avant son entrée, vous avez rapidement compris les défis auxquels Vincent faisait face et mis en place un plan d'intégration que vous avez exécuté parfaitement dès sa première journée. Vous avez en plus communiqué avec nous fréquemment afin que nous puissions supporter sa progression.
Aujourd'hui en 9ieme année, Vincent a été nommé sur le "honour roll" qui souligne les succès académiques pour une deuxième session consécutive.
Merci Kells. Nous vous serons toujours reconnaissants.
Isabel et Andre
Thriving at Kells
After two years of struggling academically and just not being able to find his feet, our son enrolled at Kells in Grade 9. He is thriving in the Kells' environment of individual attention and excellent teaching. We are so grateful to see him having success and being happy at school. Thank you to Irene Woods and all of the kind, attentive, and professional staff members we have met at Kells.
Mary Spencer and Rob Nixon
Heartfelt Thanks, How Kells Saved My Son
Our son Jordan was diagnosed as being dyslexic and with a condition called sensory Integration dysfunction. At the end of Grade 3 his reading level was that of a child in Kindergarten. We switched Jordan to the Vanguard School in grade 4. Vanguard is a school that specializes in teaching children with Learning Difficulties. By the middle of grade 6, Jordan was bored, restless, uninterested in learning and was heading towards being a juvenile delinquent drop out.
This is where Kells entered our lives. We moved Jordan to Kells Elementary School in the middle of grade 6. We immediately saw an improvement in his learning, his grades, but most importantly in his attitude.
Kells High School saved our son. During his 5 years at the Kells High School, Jordan was engaged by his teachers. The small class size and small school size allowed the faculty to really get to know Jordan, both his strengths and his weaknesses. The staff helped Jordan as a team. This included everyone from the secretary at reception to the principal.
The teachers at Kells really made the difference. They understood Jordan and his issues. When homework was emailed to students in Grade 10 & 11 by the media teacher- we were on the email distribution list. This helped us ensure that homework was handed in.
The most important tool Kells gave Jordan was the ability to use out of the box solutions to his problems, including his lack of organizational skills. Ingrade 8, Ms. Cambell and Jordan discovered that the reason Jordan’s homework was not being handed in was because it was not getting from the printer at home to the classroom. Ms. Campbell encouraged Jordan to submit assignments by email. Jordan took this solution to all his classes and the issue virtually disappeared.
Kells used Jordan’s strength- his intelligence and his ability to quickly comprehend material – to make him feel capable and to give him the confidence to handle his weaknesses- his difficulty reading and writing.
Kells allowed Jordan to flourish because they made him feel welcome, safe and normal- even if he had learning issues. The teachers pushed him and told him they were doing so because they knew him to be smart and able to do more. Jordan believed them because he knew they really knew him. He also knew that the teachers would not let him get away with anything.
Jordan Graduated Kells with an 83% overall average, and won the award for most improved student!
Yes, We are Fans of Kells
Education is not only an academic endeavor but also a personal voyage. Self- confidence, pride, personal growth, this all comes in a package which Kells successfully provides to all its students. The journey is not an easy one, there are many hours of hard work, weekends devoted to study and projects but the results are extremely rewarding. Kells instills a belief and desire for success, where academic challenges are overcome by positive thinking and there is an overwhelming feeling that everyone belongs.
I wish every kid could have a Kells experience.
I will always remember when I was new to Kells Academy how the lovely teachers helped me a lot with their patience and professional attitudes. Kells is definitely a great school because of the small number of students; we all get to know each other and we all share the best learning resources. As an international student, I received a warm welcome. The school provides an educational environment that takes into consideration students with different backgrounds. I really appreciated the various clubs and interesting activities at Kells. I especially enjoyed the time I spent preparing for and performing in the Spring concert. I would recommend Kells Academy to any family that is looking for an excellent education. Thank you to all the staff and teachers for all of their well wishes. I will always save my beautiful memories of Kells Academy.
Peiyue (Christin) Yan, Class of 2014
Thank you from the Matosic Family
Dear Ms. Woods,
Already 6 years has gone by since our son Anthony started attending Kells in Elementary School and now he is already in 9th grade and getting ready for grade 10.
At the age of 5 years, Anthony was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and a Speech and Language Delay as well. Anthony attended public school in the East End of Montreal. The school did not have enough resources for all students, as Anthony’s difficulties were considered mild compared to other children that had more severe difficulties. Needles to say, we received very little help or assistance at school in regards to his needs. We had to seek for private Speech and Language Services, learn as much as we could about ADD on our own and use strategies at home to help him cope with his difficulties. After 3 years of public school, we knew we had to find a better place for him. We were very worried about him, not only about his academic success but also about his emotional well-being.
Kells was recommended to us by a teacher from the Montreal Children’s Hospital. We will never forget the day we met with you and Mrs. Wasserman. This was the most positive and encouraging meeting about our son that we ever had. The assurance and confidence that you expressed about Anthony’s strengths and potential was music to our ears. You accepted our son the way he was and told us not to worry.
From the start Anthony adjusted to his new school very well. Everyone at Kells made him feel welcomed and comfortable. Accommodations were made right away for his individual learning style. We had access to a Resource Teacher and continuous feedback with the teacher throughout the year. I believe that with the strategies that were put in place in the classroom, along with the different teaching styles (visual and hands on) has helped Anthony achieve success and increase self confidence. Another contributing factor is the small size classroom of 15 students. The teacher is able to give more attention to the students that are having difficulties.
Thanks to the positive and stimulating learning environment at Kells, Anthony was able to reach his personal and academic potential.
I can’t stress enough how grateful we are to your school, to you Ms. Woods, Ms. Perlman, Mrs. Wasserman, Ms. Morris and all the teaching and support staff at Kells Academy for making school a very positive and enjoyable experience for Anthony and for us as parents.
Ines Gregorovic and Dordo Matosic
The Path from Kells to McGill University
I arrived to Montreal with my children in August 2006, and immediately began my search for a school to enroll my daughter Haya, who was in 8th grade at the time. After visiting many schools, it became clear to me that the high caliber mentors and unique learning environment offered by Kells Academy made it the best option for Haya.
At first, I was very anxious that my daughter would not be able to adapt easily to the new school. However, all uncertainty disappeared once I witnessed how the hospitable environment at Kells was not only helping Haya adjust and integrate herself quickly but also providing her with opportunities to develop qualities that helped her grow both academically and personally. Within a few months, Haya became part of the musical band, Student Activity Council, and in later years, editor of the Yearbook and member of the Peer Mediation Committee. This was only made possible through the help of committed teacher and members of the staff who always inspired her, encouraged her to always pursue excellence and provided her with countless possibilities to participate in extracurricular activities that enriched her experience. Even now, Haya always says that her best school years were spent at Kells, where she was surrounded by a supportive community that made her learning experience unforgettable.
The knowledge and the skills that Haya developed during her years at Kells facilitated her transition to CEGEP and motivated her to continue her studies in Health Science at Marianopolis College and now, as a student in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University. I could not be more grateful to everyone at Kells for being instrumental in Haya’s achievements.
Today, when friends ask me for advice, I have no hesitation in recommending Kells Academy because I am certain that it provides students with the best opportunities to excel and guides them towards achieving their goals. The teachers and mentors at Kells work tirelessly to allow students to make use of all the tools they need to pave their paths to success!