FAQs

Everything You Need To Know

1. How is Infinity School different?

Infinity School is fundamentally different from traditional schools. No bells ring, and there are no lectures. Students are in control of their own learning. This great article We Need To Educate Kids For The Future, Not The Past explains concepts that are being used in our school.

How our school is different:

  • Student-driven, self-paced learning
  • Real-world projects and apprenticeships
  • Multi-age/grade classes
  • Student self-governance
  • Exploration and assessment of skill levels, learning styles, aptitudes, personality traits, and interests
  • Guides rather than teachers
  • Socratic discussions rather than lectures
  • Mastery learning and student portfolios of achievements rather than grades
  • No homework
  • No teaching to the test

2. How do you know that the students are learning in this model?

Although we don’t issue grades to students, their progress is measured and tracked through a variety of tools and systems. Our badge system outlines expectations for reading, writing, math, and social/emotional progress by year. Students work with a guide to differentiate their core curriculum and set daily, weekly, and/or session goals. They showcase their mastery by meeting their goals, earning badges, assembling portfolios and taking part in public exhibitions of their work.

Student goals connect to the mastery of specific curriculum objectives through our online learning tools such as NoRedInk and Khan Academy, which also provide progress snapshots. A standardized test (we us the Stanford Achievement Test Series, Tenth Edition) is administered in a low-stakes format each year to provide one more measure of student learning. These evaluations and assessments are shared between parents, staff, and students in regular meetings, and parents are able to review student portfolios.

Also, our Eagles can take advantage of the incredible learning experience available through programs like Caribou (Math) Contests and Canadian Kangaroo Math Contest. These programs provide feedback on learning goals by offering rankings and scores.

3. What do you mean by a “Hero’s Journey?”

We believe that each of us has a special calling in life, and a series of trials and tests that must be faced with integrity and purpose, in order to live a satisfying and fulfilled life. Our mission is to prepare your child for his or her special journey.

The hero’s journey is inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell–please click here to read more.

4. What is an “Independent Learner?”

An independent learner is someone who can research questions and follow instructions to solve problems: someone who can admit that they don’t know something and figure out a solution when they hit a roadblock, without asking an adult for help. An independent learner also participates in discussions, and strives for mastery.

5. What do you mean by a “Running Partner?”

Running Partners are classmates who meet together regularly to set goals and hold each other accountable for meeting those goals. Running Partners encourage and inspire each other by asking good questions, listening and providing affirmation.

6. What do you mean by “Every child can change the world?”

We believe each of our students will find a passion — something they love and have a gift to do. They will use this gift to serve others and fulfill a need they are passionate about in the world. This may be by becoming a coach who sees the light in a child’s eyes and guides her to pursue a dream; it may be by becoming a doctor who puts patient care first, it may be by becoming a father or mother who leads a family on a Hero’s Journey; it may be becoming an entrepreneur or business leader guided by compassion and integrity; or it may be by becoming an artist or writer who brings beauty to people’s lives.

7. With the use of technology at Infinity School, how much screen time do the students have?

Technology is a useful tool and we are excited for our students to learn how to use computers to access information, communicate effectively, and learn independently.

Our students use their personal Chromebooks during some of their morning core skills time and for portions of their afternoon projects, averaging two to three hours per day. A student-created Internet Use Policy ensures technology tools are used appropriately.

8. How much exercise, outside, or gym time do the students get at your school?

Fresh air and exercise is very important to us! We have a scheduled hour-long PE class a week where we often go off-site to use a recreational facility or outdoor fields. For the 2016-2017 school year, those facilities included Junction Climbing Gym, a nearby arena for skating lessons, and a brand new gym. We also have a daily hour-long lunch break where we often walk to a park, which has an amazing climber! Our students love going there.

During a second longer stretch of time on Friday afternoons, we often head out to the nearby athletic fields to play games like soccer or ultimate frisbee or go for a hike in the nearby forested area (Thames Park).

Our PE classes are lead by an experienced PE teacher/ coach/ fitness enthusiast. Last year our students did cross-country running and ALL finished the district-wide race in the “gold-medal” time! One of our Eagles even finished in the top ten of a field of over three-hundred kids.

Our students are able to take “brain breaks” during their core skills time where they could go outside into our attached, fenced in play-yard to run around or toss a basketball around.

9. Does Infinity School serve special needs children?

Infinity’s flexible approach to learning is a great fit for many kids who need something different than the traditional school environment. Students who have trouble sitting still through a standard school day often flourish in our classroom, which provides space for breaks, comfortable and flexible seating, and room for individual self-regulation.

However, we have noticed areas that provide challenges for the special needs student. Our school curriculum relies on dynamic group projects, and the environment can be very stimulating, so students that struggle with cooperation, self-regulation, and sensory issues may have special challenges in our classroom.

We are not able to serve children with serious learning disabilities.

10. Where is Infinity School located?

Our location is in Wortley Village (Old South) in London, Ontario. We are fortunate to have the Landon Public Library out our back door and be a few blocks away from Thames Park. We have 2,000 square feet of bright, comfortable space!

The address is 115 Askin St, which is the administration building adjacent to St. James Westminster Church. You can park on the street or come around to Bruce St behind the building to park in the lot there. Look for our door at the West end of the building off of the Bruce St parking lot. Please note that our outside doors are locked: you’ll need to arrange your arrival ahead of time.

11. What grades and how many students?

Our inaugural year that started in September 2016, we accepted applications from families with children ages six through eleven.

We are now accepting applications from students ages four through thirteen.

These students will learn and work hard together in one studio. There will eventually be up to thirty students with three full-time guides to support them, along with some specialist and volunteer support.

As our older students progress, we’ll open our high school studio (called “launch pad”) for students ages fourteen through seventeen/ eighteen.

Each of the elementary, middle school, and launch pad studios will have around twenty-four students enrolled in the program.

12. What is the vision for the school in the future?

We are starting the middle school program this year (grades six to eight), and will roll out the high school program (grades nine to twelve) in the future, as our older students progress.

Our own children are ages eight and ten, and we are committed and invested to ensuring that they and our city will have access to this type of schooling for their entire education and beyond.

A parent called to ask, “This is a big decision! How do I know you are still going to be here in five years?”

We believe this is an excellent question. Our response was this, “I (Andrea) am committed to this program for the long-term. I know that we’re still going to be here in the future because my own children are going to be in this school. I will do whatever is necessary to make this program a success! I believe in the Acton Academy/Infinity School model so much that we are trusting our own child’s education to start this school and keep it going. Thankfully we have the backing of our medical clinic to get us through any challenging spots, should that happen. It’s important for us to hope for the best, yet plan for the worst, which we learned to do when we opened our medical clinic eight years ago.”

Our family lives in Old North so as talk of future building expansion happens, we will look to areas close to the centre, north, or west of London to create a permanent location when the time comes. We will certainly ask for our families to be involved in the expansion process if they like.

13. What is the transition like for students going from a 21st century format back to a traditional one?

The students and families who have moved from schools with our format back to a traditional one have reported a relatively seamless transition.

Our students learn problem solving skills, respect for their peers, the how & why of rule formulation, perseverance, resilience and empathy. This is in addition to honing their skills of: focusing, listening, personal organization, setting their own goals, and management of their own time — all of which are a recipe for a good transition into any new environment.

14. Will Infinity School help me get into a post-secondary school?

Our promise at Infinity School is to have our students well prepared for any selective university or college.

Universities are changing so rapidly that it’s difficult to imagine what admission requirements will look like in ten years.

Our Infinity Eagles leave with a rich portfolio of work. For some elite schools, homeschool, and alternative school applicants with portfolios have far higher acceptance rates than traditional schools.

Even more importantly, with multiple apprenticeships, real-world experience, and excellent interpersonal skills, our Eagles will stand out from the traditional college prep crowd. We are aware of the use of standardized testing (like the SAT) and will ensure our heroes are well prepared for any exam they wish to do.

Our students will be equipped to shine in the real world, whether they choose to go to college full time, part time or not at all. You might be interested to read this post: How My Project-Based School Prepared Me For Columbia.

15. What is the tuition?

Tuition is $12,400 per year for the first child and slightly less for second and third children or more in the same family. Billing options are annually, biyearly or monthly (fees slightly higher if advance payment not selected). Please click here to open the tuition PDF, which has all the information you will need.

If you are considering Infinity School but have already made a non-refundable down payment to another school, we will credit you for that amount (up to $1000, inaugural year only).

We are unable to provide scholarships or price reductions this early in our school’s history. Perhaps you can rely on financial support from Foundations who support education or family members who would like to help.

16. How do I apply?

If you are interested in applying to Infinity School, please click here to start the application process. We will read through your answers and contact you as soon as we can to arrange a time to meet with you.

17. What is the cost to apply?

There is no cost to apply, only the time you spend discovering if Infinity School is a good fit for your family.

18. Are there any prerequisites for applying?

There are no prerequisites for elementary students to apply to Infinity School.

19. Is Infinity School accredited?

Yes, Infinity School is accredited by the International Association of Learner-Driven Schools. We are also registered with the Ontario Ministry of Education.

20. How much French will the students learn?

Learning the French language is very important to us. Although we are not an “immersion” program, our students will be given French-language time from age five onward. We do have a French guide who will be focusing on conversation skills during two fun and interactive forty-five minute sessions per week along with speaking to our children as much as possible in French during daily life at our school. This learning will be supplemented with the use of online tools during “core skills” time as well.

One of our full-time staff members is fluently trilingual (Romanian/ French/ English) and excited to support our Eagles as they become strong in conversational French.

21. Do you have a preschool program?

We do not have a preschool program in our school, however, we do recommend these three programs in London:

Noah’s Ark at JCC London (Old North: Huron St at Adelaide St)

Preschool of the Arts (Old South: near Wortley Rd and Askin St)

Gibbons Park Montessori School  (Old North: far West end of Victoria St in Gibbons Park)

We have done everything we can to make this educational program financially reachable for London families. For those who need some financial assistance, we are able to admit one student for every twelve at half price. That half-price spot has been taken for now and another will become available after twelve more students enrol in our program.

There are foundations in Canada that families can apply to for grants, which support education. Please click here to see a list of those foundations.

Other families have relied on the support of family members and benefactors to provide the tuition needed to run the program.

For more information about how the traditional or “factory education” model is no longer relevant for this 21st century world, we invite you to read these articles:

How to Break Free of Our 19th-Century Factory-Model Education System: The Atlantic

Education Malpractice – The Child Manufacturing Process: Creative Systems Thinking 

Why the Factory Model of School Persists and How We Can Change It: EdWeek.org

The Edutopia.org website is a wonderful resource for all things education.

Although both the Acton and Montessori programs have smaller schools with independent learning, there are some significant differences. Please click on this article by co-founders Andrea & Vineet Nair to read about those differences. This article by Kresta Morgan of Acton Academy Weatherford also had great information on this topic.

Yes we do! We accept students to start on any day, however, we do recommend starting on the first day of a new session. Please click this link to view when those days are and what the pro-rated tuition is.

Yes, Infinity School is accredited by the International Association of Learner-Driven Schools.
We are also registered with the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Learning the French language is very important to us. Although we are not an “immersion” program, our students will be given French-language time from grade one onward. We do have a French teacher who will be focusing on conversation skills during two fun and interactive forty-five minute sessions per week. This learning will be supplemented with the use of online tools during “core skills” time as well.

No, we do not have preschool or JK programs in our school, however, we do recommend these programs in London:

Noah’s Ark at JCC London (Old North: Huron St at Adelaide St)

Preschool of the Arts (Old South: near Wortley Rd and Askin St)

Gibbons Park Montessori School  (Old North: far West end of Victoria St in Gibbons Park)

Infinity School is fundamentally different from traditional schools. No bells ring, and there are no lectures. Students are in control of their own learning.

How our school is different:

  • Student-driven, self-paced learning
  • Real-world projects and apprenticeships
  • Multi-age/grade classes
  • Student self-governance
  • Exploration and assessment of skill levels, learning styles, aptitudes, personality traits, and interests
  • Guides rather than teachers
  • Socratic discussions rather than lectures
  • Mastery learning and student portfolios of achievements rather than grades
  • No homework
  • No teaching to the test

This post by our co-founders has some more information about how our program is different than traditional schools.

Although we don’t issue grades to students, their progress is measured and tracked through a variety of tools and systems. Our badge system outlines expectations for reading, writing, math, and social/emotional progress by year. Students work with a guide to differentiate their core curriculum and set daily, weekly, and/or session goals. They showcase their mastery by meeting their goals, earning badges, assembling portfolios and taking part in public exhibitions of their work.

Student goals connect to the mastery of specific curriculum objectives through our online learning tools such as NoRedInk and Khan Academy, which also provide progress snapshots. A standardized test (we us the Stanford Achievement Test Series, Tenth Edition) is administered in a low-stakes format each year to provide one more measure of student learning. These evaluations and assessments are shared between parents, staff, and students in regular meetings, and parents are able to review student portfolios.

Also, our Eagles can take advantage of the incredible learning experience available through programs like Caribou (Math) Contests and Canadian Kangaroo Math Contest. These programs provide feedback on learning goals by offering rankings and scores.

We believe that each of us has a special calling in life, and a series of trials and tests that must be faced with integrity and purpose, in order to live a satisfying and fulfilled life. Our mission is to prepare your child for his or her special journey.

The hero’s journey is inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell–please click here to read more.

An independent learner is someone who can research questions and follow instructions to solve problems: someone who can admit that they don’t know something and figure out a solution when they hit a roadblock, without asking an adult for help. An independent learner also participates in discussions, and strives for mastery.

Running Partners are classmates who meet together regularly to set goals and hold each other accountable for meeting those goals. Running Partners encourage and inspire each other by asking good questions, listening and providing affirmation.

We believe each of our students will find a passion — something they love and have a gift to do. They will use this gift to serve others and fulfill a need they are passionate about in the world. This may be by becoming a coach who sees the light in a child’s eyes and guides her to pursue a dream; it may be by becoming a doctor who puts patient care first, it may be by becoming a father or mother who leads a family on a Hero’s Journey; it may be becoming an entrepreneur or business leader guided by compassion and integrity; or it may be by becoming an artist or writer who brings beauty to people’s lives.

Technology is a useful tool and we are excited for our students to learn how to use computers to access information, communicate effectively, and learn independently.

Our students use their personal Chromebooks during some of their morning core skills time and for portions of their afternoon projects, averaging two to three hours per day. A student-created Internet Use Policy ensures technology tools are used appropriately.

Infinity’s flexible approach to learning is a great fit for many kids who need something different than the traditional school environment. Students who have trouble sitting still through a standard school day often flourish in our classroom, which provides space for breaks, comfortable and flexible seating, and room for individual self-regulation.

However, we have noticed areas that provide challenges for the special needs student. Our school curriculum relies on dynamic group projects, and the environment can be very stimulating, so students that struggle with cooperation, self-regulation, and sensory issues may have special challenges in our classroom.

We are not able to serve children with serious learning disabilities.

We are in London, ON, Canada.

We were grateful to find an amazing space available in the London Community Hebrew Day School facility at 536 Huron St (close to the corner of Huron and Adelaide St). We have bright, modern classrooms with a huge fenced-in outdoor space.

Please note that although we are renting space from the LCHDS, we are not affiliated with the Jewish community or their program.

In our inaugural year, beginning in September 2016, we accepted applications from families with children ages five through eleven. These students have been learning and working hard together in one studio. There will eventually be up to thirty students with two full-time guides to support them, along with some specialist and volunteer support.

In September of 2017, we are moving the students in grade six into a middle school studio, which will have children who would typically be in grades six through eight.

As these students progress, we’ll open our high school studio (called “launch pad”) for students in grades nine through twelve.

Each of the elementary, middle school, and launch pad studios will have thirty-six students enrolled in the program.

 

We plan to open a middle school (grades six to eight), and high school (grades nine to twelve) in the future, as our older students progress through the program.

Our own children are ages six and eight, and we are committed and invested to ensuring that they and our city will have access to this type of schooling for their entire education and beyond.

A parent called to ask, “This is a big decision! How do I know you are still going to be here in five years?”

We believe this is an excellent question. Our response was this, “I (Andrea) am committed to this program for the long-term. I know that we’re still going to be here in the future because my own children are going to be in this school. I will do whatever is necessary to make this program a success! I believe in the Acton Academy/Infinity School model so much that we are trusting our own child’s education to start this school and keep it going. Thankfully we have the backing of our medical clinic to get us through any challenging spots, should that happen. It’s important for us to hope for the best, yet plan for the worst, which we learned to do when we opened our medical clinic eight years ago.”

Our family lives in Old North so as talk of future building expansion happens, we will look to areas close to the centre, north, or west of London to create a permanent location when the time comes. We will certainly ask for our families to be involved in the expansion process if they like.

The students and families who have moved from schools with our format back to a traditional one have reported a relatively seamless transition.

Our students learn problem solving skills, respect for their peers, the how & why of rule formulation, perseverance, resilience and empathy. This is in addition to honing their skills of: focusing, listening, personal organization, setting their own goals, and management of their own time — all of which are a recipe for a good transition into any new environment.

Our promise at Infinity School is to have our students well prepared for any selective university or college. 

Universities are changing so rapidly that it’s difficult to imagine what admission requirements will look like in ten years. 

Our Infinity Eagles leave with a rich portfolio of work. For some elite schools, homeschool, and alternative school applicants with portfolios have far higher acceptance rates than traditional schools.

Even more importantly, with multiple apprenticeships, real-world experience, and excellent interpersonal skills, our Eagles will stand out from the traditional college prep crowd. We are aware of the use of standardized testing (like the SAT) and will ensure our heroes are well prepared for any exam they wish to do. 

Our students will be equipped to shine in the real world, whether they choose to go to college full time, part time or not at all.

You might find this post A Plan to Kill High School Transcripts… and Transform College Admissions very interesting. This one is great, too: How My Project-Based School Prepared Me for Columbia.

Tuition is $12,400 per year for the first child and slightly less for second and third children or more in the same family. Billing options are annually, biyearly or monthly (fees slightly higher if advance payment not selected). Please click here to open the tuition PDF, which has all the information you will need.

If you are considering Infinity School but have already made a non-refundable down payment to another school, we will credit you for that amount (up to $1000, inaugural year only).

If you are interested in applying to Infinity School, please click here to start the application process. We will read through your answers and contact you as soon as we can to arrange a time to meet with you.

There is no cost to apply, only the time you spend discovering if Infinity School is a good fit for your family.

There are no prerequisites for elementary students to apply to Infinity School. 

When students are able to learn at their own pace, their time is much better utilized. As such, we will not provide any mandatory homework to be done. Work will be self-directed and goal-oriented such that these targets will be achievable (yet challenging) during school hours. We believe that time with family, for play and for other activities are an important part of a child’s education and life. We will enable that to the best of our ability.

We invite you to read this article, which explains more about why there isn’t assigned homework at Infinity School.

Infinity School’s calendar is based on a ten and half-month modified schedule. We believe that students learn best when they have time to rest between educational units, and when they experience a shorter summer break that allows them to maintain their subject interest and academic progress from the previous year.

While there is ample time for holidays during the schedule, we understand that families may want to travel at times outside of this. With our flexible program, students will be able to do so without sacrificing learning.

Please click here to view a PDF of our 2016-2017 calendar.

Our school day begins at 9am and finishes at 3:15pm. We will be open between 8 and 9am so you can drop your child off anytime during that hour. If you need to bring your child to school before 8am, please email, text, or call us to discuss your needs and the associated costs.

There are three options for after-school care. The first is that we will be running some school-related programming like sports or music activities, which are voluntary for our Eagles to join. The second is that we will also have paid-for programs like First LEGO league, chess club, arts programs, which the students can participate in. The third is that we do have a paid-for after-school care program. We will have more information about the paid after-school program up shortly.

We incorporate much of Maria Montessori’s philosophy, however we are not a Montessori school. In addition to self-paced self-directed and active learning, we also use the latest interactive technologies, hands-on projects and the Socratic Method for discussions.

No. We expose children to the importance of religious freedom and acceptance of differing beliefs, as well as the role various religions have played throughout history but we do not promote any specific religion nor offer any religious education.

As owners of a medical clinic, Vineet being a family physician, and both being strong proponents of science-based medicine and preventative health, we feel it is important to have a vaccination policy.

Given the overwhelming scientific evidence of the safety and efficacy of childhood immunization programs after billions of doses given worldwide, we follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. More specifically, we follow Ontario’s Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) which requires that children and adolescents attending primary or secondary school be appropriately immunized against designated diseases, unless they have a valid exemption.

All attendees will require proof of immunization according to the Ontario immunization schedule.

If you have specific concerns about vaccinations, please contact your physician to have them addressed, or you may contact us and we will direct you to reliable information.