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Questions & Answers

This page contains answers to commonly-asked questions that we hear.

How many independent schools are there in Ontario?

There are more than 900 independent (private) schools in Ontario serving over 100,000 students. All independent schools are registered with the Ontario Ministry of Education. A listing of schools can be found on the Ministry website -

Where can I find a ranking of CIS Ontario schools?

CIS Ontario member schools do not believe that there is any accurate method of ranking schools and that attempts to rank schools do not serve the students well. Each school has its own mission statement and a program designed to serve its own students.

What can I do if I want to attend an independent school but I can't afford the tuition?

The majority of CIS Ontario member schools have established a financial assistance program that is designed to help you. These programs may include scholarships, bursaries and/or loans. Contact the schools that interest you and ask them to send you the information on their financial assistance program.

I have heard that you need really high marks to get into an independent school. Is that true?

Each school sets its own admission standards. While a strong academic standing is always an asset, it is unlikely to be the only criterion by which the school judges your application. Academic standing is likely to play a more important role in admissions in schools where there is a high demand for limited openings.

Is there one organization that represents all independent schools in Ontario?

There are a number of umbrella organizations serving independent schools in Ontario and each school determines which association will best serve its needs. There is no single body that represents all independent schools.

Why doesn't the independent school in my neighbourhood belong to CIS Ontario?

Your neighbourhood school might belong to another association, or it may not meet the membership requirements for CIS Ontario. For example, the school must have a Board of Directors to be eligible for membership in the CIS Ontario organization.

Does CIS Ontario accredit its members?

No, CIS Ontario is a membership association, not an accrediting body. Many CIS Ontario member schools belong to CAIS - Canadian Accredited Independent Schools which is an accrediting body. A CIS Ontario school might also be accredited by another educational institution such as the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA).

What is CAIS?

The Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) is a national organization, serving not-for-profit independent schools across Canada. For further information on CAIS, contact the CAIS Executive Director, Anne Marie Kee -

Independent school education

Open Houses

    • The Country Day School Saturday - September 21, 2019
    • Hillfield Strathallan College Tuesday - October 1, 2019
    • Bayview Glen Open House Saturday - October 5, 2019
    • Holy Name of Mary College School Saturday - October 5, 2019
    • St. Andrew's College Tuesday - October 8, 2019

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