Left, three students in uniform listening in class. Middle, two students in uniform taking notes in class. Right, a student in uniform making crafts in class.

About Us

St. Charles Garnier school logo

At St. Charles Garnier Catholic School, we recognize the importance of developing in each student an attitude of respect for self, others and property. We encourage children to develop their individual gifts and talents and, at all times, seek to promote Gospel values. Through a Christ-centered vision and in partnership with our parents, parish and local community, we continue to embrace our goal: academic excellence for all.

Developing the literacy and numeracy skills of our students is the focus of our academic programs. We are part of a learning community that must provide a safe and secure environment, and foster character attributes such as respect and responsibility while improving student achievement. Teachers, students, parents, Parish, administrative staff and school partners all work together to create activities that enhance children's learning.

The St. Charles Garnier Catholic School community serves families using Christ-centered strategies. Strategies that are employed include: 

  • Maintaining a close relationship with our local parish.

  • The staff acts as Christian role models.

  • Sacramental life and religious instruction permeate all instruction.

  • Liturgical and para-liturgical celebrations are continuous and relevant for our children.

  • Safe arrival program is in place.

  • Using Christ-centered approaches to progressive discipline.

Programming is another important area of classroom life. The changing needs of students are reflected in the curriculum and the ever-expanding area of technological literacy. A central component of instruction includes modification of programming to meet the diverse educational needs of our children. Special Education and English as a Second Language programs as well as many co-curricular and extra-curricular activities service these many needs. 

St. Charles Garnier School building entrance from the outside

Mission Statement

As a community of faith and learning, we pride ourselves on nurturing the spiritual, intellectual, physical and social growth of each community member.

Our Vision

As a caring and compassionate team of dedicated professionals we hold ourselves accountable in striving to achieve excellence in our learning community. We hold ourselves accountable to Catholic Witness. Rooted in the Gospel virtues we reach out to the wider community through our liturgy, celebration of the Sacraments, retreats, school assemblies and loving service.

How We Meet the Diverse Needs of Our Students

Our students, like all young people, vary in interests, learning needs and learning styles, social maturity, self-confidence, and readiness for learning. Our community is made up from a variety of ethnic and cultural groups that make the St. Charles Garnier community unique. Although our students speak English, they understand their heritage language. Our goal is to create a school environment where all students can mature in academic and interpersonal skills, supported by staff and by each other. We aim to do this by:

Creating a community of prayer, reflection and service: Teachers work to create a community where students grow in their personal spirituality and understanding of their Catholic faith by: Religious education and family life programs, active participation in liturgies, service projects and curriculum objectives to heighten awareness of the interdependence of all peoples at a community and global level and their responsibility to live Gospel values.

Creating a safe and welcoming environment: Staff and parents, through the Catholic School Parent Council (CSPC), work together to develop policies and practices to ensure that students feel affirmed and valued while maturing in their relationships with others including development of a discipline code, implementation of security routines, providing effective communication programs and modeling of positive conflict resolution skills by staff.  Parents are involved in the life of the school and are knowledgeable about the needs of their children.   The CSPC provides many activities and supports the various initiatives in the school. 

Creating programs and activities to develop personal self-esteem and individual talents: Staff provide a variety of curricular and co-curricular programs including school choir, band, boys’ and girls’ school teams for soccer, volleyball, baseball and basketball, W5H teams, Book fair, Family Literacy night, multi-media presentations which use visual and performing arts to share and celebrate new learning, and curriculum activities which demonstrate the contributions of women and men of varied cultural backgrounds to Canadian and global society.

Creating a supportive learning environment for students with diverse needs: St. Charles Garnier Catholic School welcomes and supports students of varied needs and talents. Support is provided by: an early identification program in junior or senior kindergarten, a School-Based Support Team (SBST) to assist teachers in programming for individual students and an interdisciplinary team (Psychology Associate, Assessment and Programming Teacher, Speech and Language Pathologist and Social Worker) to provide individual assessments and make recommendations for placement, identification and programming suggestions. 

In 2011, St. Charles Garnier became a full day Kindergarten school. There is also a Fifth Block Program providing reading support for Grade 1 and 2 students and a Junior Literacy Program providing Literacy intervention to grades five and six students. Students in these two programs are provided with one hour daily intensive literacy reinforcement within a small group of 6 to 8 students learning environment for seventeen weeks. Students receiving these programs are monitored very closely and parents are invited to participate in the admission and demission meetings. The Kindergarten Language Program (KLP) is an early intervention program for senior kindergarten (SK) students with language and early literacy needs. Our Parent and family Literacy Center (PFLC) is a parent and child drop-in program that offers families an opportunity to learn together each morning.

There is a Multi-Exceptionalities class in the school. As the students in the Multi-Exceptionalities and Developmental Delay classes are from other schools in the area, many buses bring our students to and from school. In addition, we have educational assistants are required to assist the students in this class. Some of our exceptional children are fully integrated in regular classes with the support of an Educational Assistant.  Five Educational Assistants provide support for our students within the regular classrooms.  

Our School History and Tradition

St. Charles Garnier Catholic School is located in a busy multicultural North York community. The school first opened in 1973 as a collection of portables where farm fields used to be. The school building was completed for the opening of the 1975-1976 school year and the student population grew very rapidly. At one time there were over 730 students!

Our graduates often return and express appreciation and pride in having attended Garnier. There are a number of our present children whose parents are former graduates themselves. One of our former students, Joe Barbieri, has become a priest and is now working in Rome.

Our school is dedicated to St. Charles Garnier, who was one of the renowned group of Canadian Martyrs. A Jesuit priest from Paris, France, Father Garnier arrived in the mid-17th century to Canada. He served for the rest of his life as a missionary among the Huron, never returning to France.

Father Garnier was killed during an attack on the Petun village where he was living, as he tried to help others. He gave his life trying to help others hear and believe the teaching of Jesus. It is an important tradition at our school to honour this Canadian Martyr during a celebration on his feast day, September 26.