Frequently Asked Questions

List of 31 frequently asked questions.

  • Why would SAC want to open a girls’ school?

    York Region is without a school for girls. Toronto is the closest option for parents and students looking for single-sex education. This will be a fantastic opportunity for girls in York, Simcoe, and Peel regions. A school of this calibre will be uniquely positioned to contribute significantly to the field of girls' education and the development of strong, influential, and empowered female leaders in our community and around the world. Our goal is to model the new St. Anne's School after St. Andrew's College, offering an inspirational learning environment, which will create a culture of exploration, discovery, and achievement. We will focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), arts, athletics, community giving, leadership, and wellness to develop well-rounded citizens with high expectations of themselves and others. St. Anne's School will provide opportunities to build self-confidence, resiliency, and leadership skills in a community that celebrates innovation, inquiry, and imagination. A girl at St. Anne's School will find her passions and discover her voice, laying a strong foundation for her future. St. Andrew's College has provided an outstanding educational experience to boys in York Region and worldwide for 121 years. It's time to give this same opportunity to young women in our community. 
     
    The partnership between St. Anne's and St. Andrew's is hugely beneficial to both schools. Key advantages include, but are not limited to:
    • destabilizing gender stereotypes
    • providing social opportunities
    • engaging in emotional contexts allowing for a true understanding of the opposite gender
    • developing comfort in mixed-gender settings
    • listening to other voices and gathering new perspectives
    • mimicking authentic work environments
    • creating meaningful relationships
  • Where will St. Anne’s School be located?

    St. Anne's School will be located within the Shining Hill community on the northwest side of Yonge Street at 306 St. John's Sideroad. On the property stands a stately Jacobean manor, which will serve as the school's main building.
  • Will this only be for privileged and wealthy families?

    No! Just as St. Andrew's provides scholarship and bursary assistance to 28 percent of its student population, we endeavour to build a similar program to execute the same financial opportunities for young women. This academic year, SAC provided $3.2 million in tuition assistance.
  • Have you applied for zoning, and what are you going to change?

    We will be obtaining all the necessary approvals to operate St. Anne's School at this location. We are investigating how best to use the existing structure, a stately Jacobean manor, and how to create other spaces that will support a school of the same calibre as St. Andrew's College. These will include additional academic, arts, and athletic facilities and boarding houses in the future.
  • Will you offer boarding?

    Not initially, but we plan to add a boarding program in the near future. Boarding plays a significant role in the life of St. Andrew's College, with about 40 per cent of our student population living on campus from 30 different countries. A residential life curriculum provides additional character building and leadership skills, further preparing students for university and beyond. Just like SAC, a St. Anne's boarding program will offer nightly academic support and mandatory study to ensure students reach their maximum potential. Once available, St. Anne's boarders will come to appreciate the vibrant and innovative programming designed to set them on their path to independence and success and develop lifelong friendships.
  • Why are you doing this now?

    St. Andrew's College has had a long-standing desire to open a sister school in York Region to better serve girls and families who wish to send their children to single-sex schools. It's an exciting time to be a girl. Global movements are calling for gender inclusivity and the advancement of women and girls. There is a cry to empower women to find, embrace, and enact their strengths. We know that access to exceptional educational opportunities can be a significant foundational piece to empowering girls to be leaders in their communities, careers, families, and beyond. 
  • Where are the girls going to be coming from?

    Girls from all over York Region and its neighbouring regions will be welcome to apply. We will offer a day program at the outset and look to build a small boarding program in the future. We aim to have as diverse a community as Aurora itself. As the only school for girls north of Hwy. 401, we hope the school will attract prospective students from all areas within and outside York Region. Once a boarding program is established, the school will draw students from the GTA and internationally.
  • Is St. Anne’s a faith-based school?

    We will maintain St. Anne's School as non-denominational, offering an interfaith component. At St. Andrew's College, chapel time is used for reflection, motivation, and inspiration. It is a time where music is played, conversation is had, laughter is present, and thoughtfulness abounds. The chapel is an inclusive space, and the curriculum is relevant to the lives of students today. This will be true of St. Anne's as well.
  • Is there going to be construction that affects traffic?

    The parcel of land is set back from the road, so we do not anticipate traffic impediments related to construction.
  • Who will fund the school?

    St. Andrew's College is providing the initial funds to get the school started. We are looking for founding families who believe in the school to assist with the repayment of the initial purchase and startup costs. Once the school is fully operational, it will operate as its own entity with revenues covering expenses and expansion.
  • Will SAC fees go up?

    SAC fees will not go up as a result of opening St. Anne's School. 
  • Who will financially profit from this school?

    No one will financially profit from St. Anne's School. Like St. Andrew's, it will be an independent educational institution, which means it will be a not-for-profit run by a volunteer Board of Governors.
  • What will the class sizes be?

    Like St. Andrew's, class sizes will be small with a high teacher-to-student ratio.
  • When will the school open?

    We are currently working through several logistics and building requirements. We hope to open for September 2022 or September 2023. We are committed to announcing the opening day by June 30, 2021.
  • How much will tuition be?

    Tuition levels will be similar to those found at schools like St. Andrew's College.
  • What grades will be offered?

    In year one, we anticipate offering Grades 5 through 9. In year two, we will add Grade 10 and so on until we reach Grade 12. This will reflect the same grade offerings as St. Andrew's College.
  • How many acres will the school be sitting on?

    St. Anne's has purchased an additional ten acres of land for the future development of academic and arts buildings, athletic facilities, and boarding houses. The ten acres are surrounded by multiple acres of green space that can be used for outdoor education.
  • What’s in it for the town?

    A school for girls will not only provide diversity in educational programming in the area, but it will strengthen local programs, organizations, and tourism. It can be a place where families will want to move in search of exceptional educational opportunities. St. Andrew's is an economic engine for the Town of Aurora, employing more than 300 people. St. Anne's will bring additional jobs and service opportunities to residents. Additionally, St. Anne's School and its students will offer support to local charitable organizations as a key focus in programming. Aurora will become a more vibrant community for this school and its programming. Like St. Andrew's, this new school will also have facilities that may be accessed by the town or community groups.
  • Every developer building a new subdivision is required to set aside land for a school. Will this school be it?

    A school for girls in this subdivision will be in addition to a public or separate school as set out in the development agreement.
  • Impact on residential property taxes? Educational levies?

    St. Andrew's College is an independent school and therefore receives no assistance from the government. The school's tuition fees cover all operating costs. St. Anne's School would operate under the same model. 
  • Why is the conservation authority involved? What is it attempting to protect?

    The conservation authority is always involved in building projects, especially in and around areas identified by flood plain mapping.
  • Projected enrolment first year? Fifth year? What is the maximum?

    We project an enrolment of around 100 in the first year and reaching about 400 over the first five years.
  • Will this affect morning and afternoon traffic at Yonge and St. John’s?

    School hours will vary depending on athletics and artistic engagements, so, like St. Andrew's, students will go home at different hours in the afternoon and into the evening.
  • How linked will the schools be?

    This will be a separate school located just one kilometre from the St. Andrew's campus. We will take advantage of academic experiences, programs, and events where sharing is beneficial to both schools, such as theatre productions, the White Ribbon Campaign, and community service opportunities. This will not be a co-ed school, as we are deeply committed to single-sex education.
  • My son attends (is planning to attend) SAC. How will this affect him?

    The role of a school for boys in today's climate has evolved, and so has our need to educate them. The challenges confronting boys today, such as sexual citizenship and social responsibility, have encouraged active consideration in the way boys and girls see their roles and interact in various settings. As a leader in boys' education, we have a responsibility to ensure we are providing the opportunities necessary for this healthy interaction and to be positive members of society who promote equity, inclusion, and diversity.
     
    The additional benefit of creating an all-girls independent school in Aurora is the proximity of our 121-year-old all-boys boarding and day school. There are advantages to twinning a school for boys with a school for girls nearby. Such a twinning can:
    • provide authentic and diverse social opportunities
    • prepare students for the real world
    • provide opportunities to engage in selective academic experiences that lend themselves to co-ed environments
    • provide opportunities for shared resources, including curricular matters and faculty development 
  • Will SAC students need to share the gym, rink, chapel, theatre?

    There may be opportunities to share physical spaces, such as the Wirth Theatre for a play, but the new school will have sufficient facilities and meeting space. St. Andrew's purchases ice time from the town, and we would need to do the same for St. Anne's School.
  • Would you need to build other facilities on the new site?

    We will need to create additional spaces so that it mirrors the types of facilities at SAC. A campus master plan is already in the works.
  • How will this addition to the new community affect the infrastructure for current residents/businesses?

    An independent school of this magnitude will provide many opportunities for residents and businesses in Aurora and the surrounding regions. St. Andrew's College currently employs 300 people, and St. Anne's School would create jobs and the need for additional services. It will increase the revenue for local companies, strengthen local programs through sustainable and sound population growth, increase visitors to the region, heighten awareness of the community on a national and international level, increase opportunities for youth community service, and significantly contribute to the field of girls' education and the development of influential women leaders in the community. Like St. Andrew's, philanthropy and community giving will play a significant role in the education of students. Girls who learn in York Region will give back to York Region.
  • SAC professes to be experts in boys' education. How are you qualified to open a school for girls?

    For over a century, St. Andrew's College has been leading in the area of education. While our focus is on an all-boys environment, we have successfully established a unique school experience. Our level of expertise and desire to match this programming for young women positions us to transfer our skillset to support girls.
     
    Educational philosophies are not gender-specific; in fact, the professional development opportunities afforded to the SAC faculty a decade ago focused on teaching and learning strategies geared toward how boys learn best. What we have discovered through recent research is that these practices not only support the development of curriculum and programs for boys but for all learners. A learning environment that is exploratory, integrated, and relevant and offers approaches that are active, kinesthetic, and hands-on foster engagement for any learner – and we are experts in this!
     
    Our vast knowledge of best teaching and learning practices creates the foundation of our academic program, and these are easily transferable in the development of a school for girls. Our deep-rooted passion for professional learning will transfer directly to the ideals we set for the faculty at St. Anne's School. For example, St. Andrew's College has a long history of working alongside the International Boys' Schools Coalition (IBSC) to enhance our academic and co-curricular programming. Becoming a member school of the National Coalition of Girls' School will ensure that all elements as they relate to girls will be considered in the development of the programs offered.
  • What happens to the SAC Endowment Fund? Does it become a shared account?

    No. St. Anne's will create its own endowment campaign to solicit and build funds for things such as scholarships and bursaries. Like any new school, this will take time.
  • Is this the first step to going co-ed?

    No. St. Andrew's College and St. Anne's School will be independent of each other, offering a single-gender curriculum. However, a partnership such as this has many advantages, including, but not limited to:
    • destabilizing gender stereotypes
    • providing social opportunities
    • engaging in emotional contexts allowing for a true understanding of the opposite gender
    • developing comfort in mixed-gender settings
    • listening to other voices and gathering new perspectives
    • mimicking authentic work environments
    • creating meaningful relationships
© 2020 St. Anne's School | A day school for girls - Grades 5-9.
306 St. John's Sideroad, Aurora, ON L4G 0N3