In September 2002, J. Addison School began its journey with only eight students in a modest office building located in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. By the end of their third year of operations, the school had grown to over 100 full-time students, demonstrating remarkable progress. The move to their current location at 2 Valleywood Drive in September 2007, situated at the intersection of Woodbine and Highway 7 in Markham, Ontario, was a significant turning point. Construction of the main building, completed in 2013, marked the school’s commitment to providing a well-rounded educational experience. According to Mr. Lee Venditti, Supervising Principal of J. Addison School, “Our early years were marked by perseverance and a shared vision for education that truly makes a difference.”
The main focus during J. Addison’s inaugural year at the new campus was to become an integral part of the Markham community and to offer students and families a welcoming environment. Mr. Venditti observes, “The move was more than just changing our location; it was a transformative step towards building a holistic educational environment.” J. Addison School’s educational philosophy goes beyond academics, aiming to motivate students to aim high while celebrating their unique talents. As Mr. Venditti wisely puts it, “The goal is to empower students with the skills and values that transform them into responsible global citizens, well-prepared to navigate the future with confidence, integrity, compassion, independence, and leadership.” These values are central to the school’s mission.
Addison’s mission is to provide an inclusive environment that fosters cooperative learning, nurtures intelligence, encourages creativity, and promotes innovation. Mr. Venditti passionately states, “The aim is to encourage students to embark on a journey of self-discovery, unlocking their full potential and continually pushing their boundaries.” This mission underlines their commitment to helping students reach their highest potential.
Enriching Student Life: The ‘Focus For Success™’ Adaptive Program
“Focus For Success™” is more than just an educational program; it’s an effective means of bringing students together and providing them with a relaxed and sociable environment to acquire new skills. Through a variety of extracurricular activities, such as table tennis, board games, knitting, hairstyling, and jewellery making, students have the chance to explore new interests and interact with their peers. These activities not only enrich their school life but also inspire creativity and confidence through self-discovery.
One of the highlights of “Focus For Success™” is the opportunity for students to engage in team-based sports and group projects. These interactions foster character building, equipping students to face challenging real-world situations with resilience and adaptability. As Mr. Lee Venditti shares, “The program is designed to inspire creativity in our students, helping them gain confidence through self-discovery while providing a guided and encouraging learning environment.”
Through “Focus For Success™,” J. Addison School empowers its students to not only excel academically but also to thrive in a well-rounded educational experience that nurtures their social, creative, and personal development.
Offering Personalized Academic Support
Addison School is recognized for its unwavering commitment to delivering personalized academic support that caters to the individual needs of each student. This commitment, as expressed by Mr. Lee Venditti, is rooted in the belief that every student is unique and deserves a tailored educational experience. He says, “Our educational approach is centred on recognizing and celebrating the unique qualities of each student.”
At the heart of this approach are Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs), which guide each student’s academic journey by outlining their goals, strengths, weaknesses, and learning preferences. These plans ensure that teachers and support staff can provide instruction that suits the specific needs of each learner. Mr. Venditti says, “Our ILPs are the foundation of our educational approach, guiding us to cater to the specific needs of every student.”
The school maintains small class sizes to create an environment where teachers can establish meaningful connections with students, understanding their distinct learning styles and challenges. For those who require extra assistance, one-on-one tutoring and remedial support are readily available, ensuring that no student is left behind. Mr. Venditti emphasizes, “Our small class sizes enable us to foster an environment where students are not just names on a list but individuals with distinct needs.”
Addison School’s commitment to inclusivity extends to students whose first language is not English, as they receive dedicated English as a Second Language (ESL) support. Furthermore, guidance counsellors work closely with students to plan their academic and career paths, helping them dream big and achieve their aspirations. “We believe that language should never be a barrier to education; it should be a bridge to greater opportunities,” says Mr. Venditti.
Recognizing that students have diverse scheduling needs, the school offers flexibility, allowing them to balance their academic and personal interests effectively. Technology integration enriches the learning process, offering students resources that cater to their individual preferences and pace. Regular progress monitoring and strong student-teacher relationships create a supportive atmosphere where students can thrive. Mr. Venditti explains, “We understand that students have diverse interests and commitments, and our flexible scheduling ensures they can explore and excel in all their pursuits.”
In this environment, parents are considered essential partners in their child’s education, with open communication channels ensuring they are well informed about their child’s progress. The commitment of J. Addison School to personalized academic support is not just a concept; it’s a tangible reality, with the shared goal of ensuring each student’s unique journey is celebrated, and their success is a collective achievement.
Nurturing Potential and Passion
Addison School takes a comprehensive approach to education, with a focus on nurturing students’ creativity, curiosity, and exploration. “Enrichment Programs are designed to take students beyond the confines of the standard curriculum. We want them to delve deeper into specific subjects or explore areas that truly captivate their curiosity,” says Mr. Venditti. Enrichment Programs extend beyond the standard curriculum, empowering students to delve deeper into specific subjects or explore areas of personal interest, ranging from robotics to coding and even debate. These programs are designed to kindle intellectual curiosity.
Electives are a cornerstone of J. Addison School’s curriculum. By offering a diverse range of elective courses, students have the freedom to choose subjects that align with their passions, whether it’s music, art, drama, or computer science. This ensures that learning is not only structured but also personalized. “We believe that learning should be more than just a structured process. Students should have the freedom to choose subjects that resonate with their passions,” emphasizes Mr. Venditti. This freedom ensures that learning is both structured and personalized.
Research Projects are integral to some areas of the curriculum, providing opportunities for independent exploration of personal interests. These projects nurture research and critical thinking skills, allowing students to delve into topics that truly intrigue them. The school’s commitment to holistic development is further evident in its extensive Extracurricular Activities. Students are encouraged to participate in clubs, sports, and organizations, offering them a platform to explore new interests and passions outside of the classroom.
Academic Competitions and Contests are highly encouraged at J. Addison School. “Participating in these contests provides a competitive context for students to apply what they’ve learned and explore their interests,” explains Mr. Venditti. Guest Speakers and Workshops are another facet of the school’s holistic approach. Inviting experts and professionals from various fields to conduct workshops and lectures broadens students’ horizons and introduces them to new ideas and career possibilities.
On the other side, Community Involvement is strongly emphasized at J. Addison School, with programs that facilitate community service and outreach. “This involvement allows students to apply their skills and interests to real-world issues, making a positive impact on the community. We also help students identify their interests and potential career paths,” says Mr. Venditti. Personal Projects are encouraged, empowering students to take initiative. Whether it’s creating a school newspaper, organizing events, or starting a club, these endeavours allow students to explore their interests and leadership potential.
By offering an array of diverse academic and extracurricular opportunities, J. Addison School provides students with the chance to explore new ideas, develop their talents, and realize their potential across various areas of interest. This holistic approach ensures that students emerge as well-rounded individuals, prepared for future academic and career pursuits.
Dedicated Educators Shaping Excellence in Education
Addison School’s teaching staff is a vital component of the institution’s commitment to delivering a high-quality educational experience. “Qualifications are non-negotiable for our educators,” asserts Mr. Venditti. “We hire individuals with strong academic backgrounds and relevant degrees in their respective fields. Many of our teachers also hold advanced degrees or certifications in education, which sets a high standard for our instructional team.”
Experience is another crucial element. Faculty members at J. Addison School often bring with them extensive teaching experience. This wealth of knowledge and expertise enriches the learning environment and provides students with valuable insights. Subject Expertise is paramount, and according to Mr. Venditti, “Our teachers are not just educators; they’re subject-matter experts who bring in-depth knowledge and insights into their areas of instruction. This expertise is crucial in challenging and engaging our students effectively.”
Addison School’s commitment to Professional Development is noteworthy. The school invests in ongoing professional development for its teaching staff, keeping them up to date with the latest pedagogical trends, technology, and teaching methods. This ensures that students benefit from the most current and effective instructional practices. Besides, differentiated Instruction is a common practice among teachers at J. Addison School. They tailor their teaching methods and materials to meet the diverse learning needs and styles of their students, fostering a dynamic and inclusive learning environment.
Technology Integration is also a dynamic facet of education at J. Addison School. “Our school embraces technology, and our teachers may integrate it into the classroom to enhance the learning experience,” Mr. Venditti states. “This includes the use of educational software, online resources, and interactive multimedia tools.” Above all, a caring and supportive environment is actively cultivated by the teaching staff. This environment fosters positive teacher-student relationships and encourages open communication, ensuring that students feel both valued and supported.
Inclusivity is a non-negotiable principle. “Our teachers actively work to create an inclusive classroom environment,” says Mr. Venditti, “where all students feel valued and supported, regardless of their background or abilities.” An International Perspective is also crucial, given the diverse student body. Teachers often possess an international perspective and an understanding of the unique needs of international students, facilitating their adaptation and success in a new educational and cultural setting.
While specific qualifications and teaching methods may vary among individual educators at J. Addison School, the institution’s unwavering dedication to providing a supportive, high-quality learning environment is a key factor contributing to the success of its students. This blend of qualified and experienced teachers, small class sizes, and a holistic approach to education sets the teaching staff apart in supporting students’ academic and personal development.
Embracing Diversity and Growth
Diversity is a fundamental pillar of J. Addison School’s identity, a value upheld firmly under the leadership of Mr. Lee Venditti, Supervising Principal. With a student body representing over 20 different countries, the institution embraces an incredibly diverse population, enriching the educational experience.
“We take immense pride in the diversity of our student population,” Mr. Venditti states. “Our majority of international students from a multitude of backgrounds creates a rich tapestry of cultures, ideas, and perspectives that fosters a global mindset and enriches the learning environment.”
In alignment with the commitment to inclusivity, the school has integrated the DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging) workplace policy this school year. “DEIB is not just a policy; it’s a mindset,” notes Mr. Venditti. “It underscores our dedication to ensuring that every member of our school community feels valued, heard, and supported, regardless of their background or identity.”
As J. Addison School continues to grow, both in student body size and the diversity of its programs, expansion of existing facilities is in the pipeline. “Our commitment to providing a comprehensive educational experience means that we must also provide the spaces and resources needed to support our diverse and evolving programs,” says Mr. Venditti.
This multifaceted approach aligns with the school’s mission to prepare students for success. “Diversity and growth are not just buzzwords; they’re the essence of our educational philosophy,” Mr. Venditti emphasizes. “They reflect our commitment to nurturing well-rounded individuals who are not only academically capable but also globally-minded, socially conscious, and culturally aware.”
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About Lee Venditti, Supervising Principal, J. Addison School
Mr. Lee Venditti’s story in education began in 1977, a time when he was young, enthusiastic, and eager to make a difference. He embarked on this lifelong voyage as an elementary school teacher with the Toronto Catholic School Board. Those early years were marked by the sheer joy of nurturing young minds, sparking curiosity, and instilling the foundational knowledge that would serve as the bedrock of their education. Years of teaching excellence and an unyielding commitment to his students led to his promotion as a department head at St. Elizabeth Catholic School Board at York District Catholic School Board. It was a time when his leadership skills and deep understanding of education came to the forefront.
In 1999, he was entrusted with the position of Vice Principal at St Elizabeth Catholic High School. This was a pivotal moment in his career, requiring not only educational acumen but also strong leadership abilities. In 2011, he assumed the prestigious position of Principal and ,most recently, Supervising Principal at J. Addison Private School in Markham, Ontario. Under his leadership, J. Addison School evolved into a symbol of educational excellence, a beacon of hope for countless students and families.