Phase 1: Getting Informed


Phase 1: Getting Informed

The first step in the Grade 9 Application and Placement process is ensuring your hopes for your child’s high school experience match their hopes, along with their learning needs. To help with this process, we have designed a questionnaire to be completed separately by both yourself and your child. The information gathered will help guide your initial interview with the Grade 9 Application and Placement team at the start of September. During this interview we want to help ensure that the schools you are looking at best suit your child.

The second step is to research the diverse and exciting options that exist both in the public, independent, and private sectors for high school. The more you learn ahead of the interview in September, the more satisfied you will be throughout this process. 

Grade 9 Application and Placement Process Timeline

Applying to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB)

Applying to an Independent or Private School

Support at Montcrest



Grade 9 Application and Placement Process Timeline

Timeline Students   Parents
Jan -June

Facilitate Lessons in:

Life After Montcrest Google Classroom

May     Life After Montcrest Evening
June   Complete Transitions Survey  
Sept     Parent-Teacher Interview Discussion
Sept – Oct     Book a meeting to discuss options with Ms Klein or Ms Cohen
Oct   Our Kids Expo  
Oct – Nov  

School Tours & Open House

Complete Applications

Write SSATs or Entrance Tests

Book Interview

Oct – Nov     Book a meeting or phone call with Mr Barry to review school applications
Oct – Jan Book a mock interview with Mr Barry (one week prior to interview)    

Applying to the Toronto District School Board (TDSB)

The TDSB provides some excellent videos and guidance on the transition from elementary to high school. The first link you should explore is
‘Going to High School’. This page provides valuable information about the wide range of learning opportunities available to you throughout the TDSB. Next, you should explore the Beyond 8: Choices for 9 Interactive Guide link, which answers a number of questions you may have about Grade 9, including course types and what it takes to earn a secondary school diploma. You may, however, still have questions on how to make the right decision for your child. These are addressed on the Making Decisions page. It is here where you will find the link on how to Find Your School. The TDSB recommends that parents attend as many High School Information Evenings as possible. This will allow you to see firsthand what each school has to offer in terms of programs, courses, and extracurricular activities. Before you rush out to these events, you should read the PDF overviews for each school to appreciate the unique offerings of each high school.

Alternatively, the TDSB offers a variety of Specialized Schools and Programs beyond just your local school. Students can access many of these specialized programs through a process called Optional Attendance, which can offer an alternative high school experience. For example, there are schools within the TDSB which focus on:


Cyber Arts/Studies

Elite Athletes/Arts

Integrated Technology

Leadership Pathway

Math, Science & Technology

Media Arts

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Advanced Placement (AP)


Furthermore, the following links provide information about the Secondary School Boundaries for Students with Gifted Exceptionalities for students who have been recommended a Gifted ISP placement. These recommendations are made through the TDSB Identification, Placement Review Committee (IPRC) or  Special Education Program Recommendation Review Committee (SEPRC) process. It is possible that a program at any given site can reach capacity, which may result in some students being directed to another location with available program space. 

Applying to an Independent or Private School

If your family wants to continue with an independent school education, the ‘Our Kids’ website provides some excellent resources that can help you find the right school for your child. Having surveyed the Canadian private school landscape for almost two decades, ‘Our Kids’ has accumulated a treasure trove of insights. The Essential Parent Guide to Private Education identifies: Private School Basics; Types of Schools; Trends in Education; Choosing a School; Applying to Schools; and Paying School Tuition

However, picking a school for your child involves juggling competing priorities and considerations. This guide, titled Choosing a School, may help you identify, categorize, and prioritize these considerations in order to help you maximize the time spent researching and contacting prospective schools. Searching for the right school is not a sprint; it’s a marathon, requiring committed preparation. The Five Steps to Finding the Perfect School provides a step-by-step guide, starting with carefully considering your needs. 

Once you are ready to research specific schools, the ‘Our Kids’ website has developed an extensive school profile library along with objective, detailed school reviews of more than 350 private and independent schools. Moreover, it is recommended to use the comparison tool to help narrow down the schools you are looking at before you begin the application process. 

Since the application process to independent schools can be a significant time and financial commitment, you should review these resources with your child before the start of Grade 8.

Support at Montcrest School

Since the research and application process becomes such a significant part of a student’s final year at Montcrest, the initial parent-teacher interview in September will focus on this transition. During this meeting a pair of teachers will review the questionnaire results with you before reviewing the options available to your child in the TDSB, as well as other independent or private schools. Therefore, it will be important that you and your child have spent some time prior to this meeting exploring the links found throughout this document. 

To identify a school that best suits your child and to determine which school open houses to attend, Montcrest suggests booking an appointment to see either Ms. Klein or Ms. Cohen.

CIS Ontario