Our Kids

What's happening during COVID-19

Many of our member schools are using effective measures to continue their classes online. In the coming weeks, we’ll showcase some of the most innovative ones on OurKids.net.

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Glen Herbert - Editor

Glen Herbert
Editor/Writer, Our Kids Media

March, 2020

When I was interviewing for the York School feature review, David Hanna, director of university counselling, described his role as this: to help students “find the best soil to plant their aspirations into.” Love that. He elaborated saying, “my goal is to find a fit for every student .... It’s a tired old saying—finding the right fit—but we’re truly committed to that.”

The right fit, in his experience, can come in many shapes, forms, and locations. In the past few years he’s placed students in schools ranging from Ryerson, literally just down the street, to a hotel management program in Switzerland. He’s clear that, for any student, “it’s not a linear path.” He recalls one who wanted to be a doctor. “She was looking for the simple, straightforward line,” he says, though he feels his job is to make sure that students look beyond the defaults. Together they found that the best soil for her aspirations was a business program. That led to an entrepreneurial venture which, last year, she successfully funded through an appearance on Dragons’ Den. It’s a different life than the one she imagined when she first arrived in Hanna’s office, though she’s certain it’s the right one.

The point being that university placement stats are important, but context is important, too. Parents are prone to see them as tantamount to a scorecard—looking first for the Yales and the Harvards—but not every school delivers dozens of students each year to the ivy league. “By getting every kid into Harvard,” says Hanna, “we’d be doing them a disservice.” Which can sound counterintuitive, but it’s true in more ways than many—particularly parents—can imagine. In his book David and Goliath, Malcom Gladwell tells of Caroline Sacks who, because she went to a great university (Brown) instead, rather than a merely good one (The University of Maryland) ultimately abandoned her goal of achieving a science degree. In hindsight, the more celebrated school might well have been the right soil for her aspirations.

Helping parents understand why is an area in which we can lead. We can, and should, help families understand what placement stats mean, how to read them, and how they can inform their school search. That’s why we’re growing the university placement portions of the profiles. What’s live now will in time be the thin end of a wedge that includes tools and synthesis, across the platform, including networking the information on the comparison hub/tools/charts, and editorial content. It will help families understand what placement is, and how they can use that information to help choose the right school for them.

Our Kids partners with InSchoolwear

We are pleased to announce that we have partnered with InSchoolwear, one of the foremost school uniform providers in Canada. With more than two decades of experience supplying schools from coast to coast, InSchoolwear has long been an industry leader, particularly around the use of local producers and sustainable materials. Their recent offering of a complete line of Eco-Uniforms, made from post-consumer resources, continues the mandate to be responsive to the needs of schools as well as those of the communities that they are a part of.

InSchoolwear’s service to schools has been distinguished by an ability to engage in important conversations—from contemporary designs, to vegan options—and to continue those conversations as needs grow, change, and evolve. As well, their dedication to community is broad, as evidenced by a recent significant gift to the SickKids Foundation.

We are delighted to join with InSchoolwear to help keep these kinds of conversations moving forward, and to combine our efforts to bring value, choice, and service to our member schools.

For more, see InSchoolwear’s profile page at ourkidsmedia.com/marketing-academy/school/partners/inschoolwear.php

In other news

The future is boundless
Learn how Microsoft Learning Tools are helping students thrive at Louis Riel.

1 in 5 Canadian students face a learning difference, and dyslexia is the most common learning difference facing students. With the International Dyslexia Association, we’ve created a set of resources to support and encourage confidence and independence for all learners. Explore our Discovering Dyslexia series of free webinars, resources and events focused on supporting students with Dyslexia and other learning differences. Explore the resources here.

  • Membership renewal opened on March 3rd, so you can now take advantage of our early-bird discounts. Please contact your account manager or email [email protected] to renew or log in to complete the renewal form online.

  • The Annual Report is now available. The report outlines our vision for the Our Kids platform, and our strategy for increasing the strength and value of your membership in 2020.

  • Save the date: The next Marketing Academy Lunch and Learn is May 12 at the Holiday Inn Yorkdale in Toronto, 10am - 2pm. Dates for the Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver Lunch & Learns will be announced in the near future. The Marketing Academy is designed specifically to share insights, expertise and best practices that will enhance your marketing performance in the private school industry.

“Enriching minds and thinking deeply. Learning to satisfy curiosity. Inspiring creativity and problem-solving. Developing passions and character, and a better sense of who you are as a person.”
—Vincenza Pontieri, Head of Science, Trinity College School, responding to the question “What does ‘more mean to you?”

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