Agora Prep is

Transforming Students'
Curiosities to Knowledge

The current system is outdated and broken. We’re here to provide a better option and disrupt the status quo.

💡 Active learning is a superior way to learn

✔️ Lecture-style learning is outdated and promotes linear thinking & poor conceptual understanding. In other words, students learn to think like their teacher & not for themselves. Active learning is any process where students engage in learning through projects, discussion, & experiments that offer meaning and context to a subject. Active learning increases knowledge gained & retained.

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💡 Mixed-age settings promote kindness and compassion

✔️ Mixed-age learning is any environment where younger & older students learn together. Studies show that mixed-age settings increase learning for both groups because the older students model for the younger. Moreover, mixed-age settings promote kindness & community because older students start looking out for & taking care of younger friends.

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💡 Student-centred learning teaches independence

✔️ Student-centred learning drives intrinsic motivation & enhances applied knowledge. Students develop a passion to learn, learn more deeply, and ultimately acquire the gift of self-teaching.

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💡 Connecting with the natural world creates stewards of the future

✔️ In an age where children are spending most of their childhood on screens and online, we make a concerted effort to reconnect with nature by facilitating experiences through hands-on interactions that foster a sense of respect, love, and responsibility to care for our planet.

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Safe

We provide children a safe and encouraging environment.

All Abilities

ASD | ADD | Gifted

No matter what your gift or superpower may be, we accommodate all learners and believe that our role is to discover and cultivate your child’s purpose.

Engaging

We allow our students to take ownership in their pursuit of knowledge. We believe this is far more engaging when led by the students themselves.

Cutting-edge

We leverage cutting-edge technology like 3D printers, visual smartboards, and augmented and virtual reality to enrich the delivery of knowledge.

Flexible

Delivering a curriculum that’s customizable to students of varied abilities and interests.

Community

We emphasize the importance of family and community.

We enhance your child’s talent

Here's Our Core Curriculum:

Overarching Diciplines

Topics in the APLC curriculum particularly highlight the following required areas of development:

Communication

Included in this topic is the ability for students to write, present and speak about their learning. Encouraging reflection daily and after every activity. New languages, literacy and penmanship, music, art, sign language, drama, body movement, dance, as well as all other methods and mechanics of expression should be encouraged under this topic.

Critical Thinking

Included in this topic is the ability to rationalize, measure, evaluate, test, hypothesize, synthesize, calculate and discover. Encouraging metacognition (thinking about their thinking) is key to this topic. All areas of mathematics, life/earth/physical sciences, technology and AI, and experimental lab activities are all related to this topic.

Vital Skills

Included in this topic is the development of any ability that will contribute to the student’s future perspective. Personal finance, gardening, baking/cooking, auto mechanics, electrical and structural engineering, woodworking, landscaping as well as any other activities that develop real-life skills that will be pivotal in a career or future trade.

Business Acumen

This topic is seldom taught in any other institution. This topic is a purposeful and deliberate scope of interest for AP. Instructing students on how to present ideas, persuade investors, develop their plans, outline objectives, and successfully grow their ideas is critical in developing future business experts in the varied fields of interest.

Innovation

This topic will focus on empowering students to evaluate current “problems” and explore solutions. Students will be encouraged to review modern inventions and evaluate them. Students will be challenged to improve on existing designs or invent new designs/concepts. Invention and innovation are significant attributes of childhood and early adolesce, giving way for simple solutions to complex problems.

Overarching Disciplines

Topics in the APLC curriculum particularly highlight the following required areas of development:

What Parents Say About Us

Meet Your Team

Mike and Sylvia are committed to helping your child achieve the full potential of their capacity — uncovering their talents and making them shine from within with passion and confidence.

Mike Morgan

Mike Morgan

Principal

One COVID day, Mike Morgan, a wealth advisor to a select group of high-net-worth Canadian families, decided he was finished with the way things are done in the traditional school system. As a father of two bright, beautiful children, he was tired of the antiquated and rigid systems put into place to create a generation of future followers. This system was created to produce factory workers, military personnel, and farmers, but today’s children need to be challenged, taught divergently, and treated as individuals. Our children are thirsty for knowledge and encouraged to leverage technology...without letting technology leverage them. Children need to be taught critical thinking, leadership skills, entrepreneurship, survival skills outside of the grid, and the politics of and the potential threats to our economy and our world. They also need to get back to basics and be taught cursive writing, multiplication tables, debating skills, research methods, collaboration, and life skills as they take back control of their learning. With this in mind, Mike sought out a solution, teamed up with Agora Prep Academy founder Sylvia Martignani, to provide all of these skills to children in the community of Markham.
Sylvia Martignani

Sylvia Martignani

Founder

Sylvia Martignani is the founder/owner of AGORA Prep. She is currently a Chief Operating Officer and Managing Partner with Angela Girgis in Angelic Treasures Christian Daycare. She has a specialized Honors Degree in Child and Adolescent Psychology from York University in 2003. She is also a seasoned Registered Early Childhood Educator and Ontario Certified Teacher.

Sylvia has also worked with the Government of Canada as a Canadian Federal Public Officer for eight years. She also owned and managed Oxford Learning Centre in Newmarket from 2014 to 2016. She has always been a self-motivator and accomplished every goal she set out to pursue throughout her career. Her professional interests focus on building a successful private school in Canada, where she has over twenty-five years of hands-on experience. In addition, she has excellent communication skills, time-management skills, and overall organizational skills. Besides this, she is also a mommy blogger, columnist, public speaker, instructor, trainer and mentor. Sylvia enjoys ongoing learning and values, integrity and honesty above all else.

Accept no substitutes for your child’s education.

Our vision is to create a one-stop learning centre that not only teaches a personalized core academic curriculum but also offers professionally-taught music, art, dance, coding, and robotics.

By eliminating time wasted driving around the GTA from one extra-curricular to the next, our students can instead spend more quality time with their families and strengthen those bonds.

Beyond academics, our goal is to develop well-rounded future leaders who are dignified, independent, courageous, compassionate, generous, and persevering.

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Get In Touch With Us Today To Discuss Your Child's Future

Contact Us

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you teach the Ministry of Education curriculum?

No, we do not. We have innovated a curriculum where each child has a chance to develop their private uniqueness and self-reliance. We say innovated because while seemingly new to most people today, the core philosophy was invented thousands of years ago and a favourite of the ruling classes of Europe. At the core of this elite system of education is the belief that self-knowledge is the only basis of true knowledge. As children gain self-knowledge, they’ll also become self-teachers, and only self-teaching has any lasting value.

Everywhere in this system, the child is placed in an unguided setting with a problem to solve. Our coaches encourage and assist them in finding the solution. They are taught through real-life situations, contexts, and experiences – which equip them with the tools required to develop self-knowledge.

Our academic curriculum, at every age, meets and exceeds all of the core competencies of the Ministry of Education’s own curricula. Moreover, we strongly believe in developing well-rounded human beings and therefore also necessarily emphasize their emotional well-being and mental health. At every opportunity, we promote confluences of parent and child, and child and community that will strengthen family and community bonds. At Agora Prep Learning Centre, our mission is to develop well-rounded critical-thinking future leaders who are dignified, independent, courageous, compassionate, generous, and persevering.

What makes you different?

We are the antithesis of traditional schooling. Our entire approach is non-conformist and forward-thinking. It’s child-first thinking.

❌ We don’t lock up children with other children exactly their own age

❌ We don’t ring bells to start and stop work

❌ We don’t ask children to think about the same thing at the same time in the same way

❌ We don’t grade children the way we grade vegetables, comparing to others

❌ …and we don’t follow you into the sanctuary of your home and send them home with “homework!”

✔️ We allow children to learn and collaborate with various age groups, mentoring and being mentored

✔️ We provide meaning, time and attention, and purpose to every activity during the day

✔️ We encourage children to be themselves and unleash their uniqueness and creativity

✔️ We build up children’s spirit, confidence, and self-esteem by coaching, inspiring, and loving

✔️ We deliver a customized and experiential curriculum, which is targeted, effective, and taught during the hours your children are here with us.

We promote the highest quality of education by helping children find values and develop a love of learning that will be their roadmap through life. Above all else, we put your children’s interests first.

How do you know how a student is performing if there are no tests or report cards?

We administer an assessment called the Brigance CIBS II (Comprehensive Inventory of Basic Skills) to allow us to measure their language and skills compared to their grade level expectations.

The Comprehensive Inventory of Basic Skills II includes two volumes—one for Reading/ELA and one for Mathematics—and consists of nearly 400 criterion-referenced assessments and grade-level placement tests intended for students in Grades K–9. The Reading/ELA content includes fluency assessments, and the Mathematics content is based on NCTM focal points. Assessments align to many state and national standards, including the College and Career Readiness Standards.

For more information on this assessment, please visit: https://www.curriculumassociates.com/-/media/mainsite/files/pr/pr-brigance-cibsii-release.pdf

How often is an assessment administered to my child?

We administer the Brigance CIBS II to students at the beginning of the Academic year (September) to establish learning benchmarks. Then again in January to assess progress and areas of improvement still required. Finally, another assessment is administered at the end of the year.

In all 3 occurrences, parents are given a copy of our assessment report to help inform them of the progress and education pathway we are pursuing with their child.

What does a criterion-referenced assessment mean?

Criterion-referenced assessment measures a student’s performance on a specified set of skills over time. Educators use criterion-referenced assessment when progress is to be evaluated solely by comparing a student’s own present and past performance. It is commonly used when normative, or standardized, scores are not necessary.

We do not believe in comparing children to one another. Everyone is born with their own capacity, their own intelligence and own potential. It is unnecessary to compare cohorts based on the fact that they were born in the same year. Agora Prep Learning Centre is raising future leaders that can spark their own flames and create their own legacies.

What is the schedule at Agora Prep Academy?

8 am to 9 am – Students arrive at their own pace and they are welcomed into the environment where they choose to do whatever they like until our learning journey begins. Our learning journey begins.

9 am to 9:30 am – Students gather in an Agora Circle (whether sitting or standing, it’s up to them) and discuss what they want to explore for the day and which projects they would like to commence for the week or month. Groupings of collective interests also takes place so if student 1 is interested in exploring optimal speeds for race cars and student 2 feels that this is something they want to learn as well, they can partner up for the project. This develops social skills through engagement, encourages team work building and enhances time-management skills. Working together on a project can also gather more than just the same grade-level groups, other students from other communities of learning (grades 1 to 8) can join this particular group if the topic is of interest. This cross-curricular and age-diverse groupings makes for real-time, relevant and exceptionally rich interchange of ideas. Mixed age groups also allows for skill building and mentoring opportunities for students in all grades.

9:30 am to 10:45 am – Students are exploring and working on their interest-led projects. Coaches are circulating and constantly conversating with students to help them expand their research, achieve their individual academic goals and guide their learning journey.

10:45 am to 11:15 am – Outdoor physical time, breathing fresh air and networking with other colleagues at APLC.

11:15 am to 11:45 am – Continuing our learning journey for the day

11:45 am to 12 noon – Agora Circle to discuss learning so far, questions for the afternoon, updates and peer-to-peer feedback, suggestions and ideas.

12 noon to 12:30 pm – Students are eating lunch and networking within any groups they choose or on their own if they would like their quiet time to themselves. Coaches are eating with the students and the volunteer staff only come for the 30 minutes of outdoor time to give coaches their break for the day.

12:30 pm to 1 pm – Physical exercise, outdoor and networking time.

1 pm to 2:15 pm – Continue our learning journey. This will also be the time for guest coaches to come in throughout the year to teach about specific skills like HVAC, Electricians, Hairdressers, Mechanics, Artists, etc.

2:15 pm to 3 pm – Final Agora circle of the day. Students discuss the learning and fill out their daily reflection sheets on their tablets. This allows for reflective learning and parents can ask students to show them their report so they are aware of the learning that took place that day. Students are to send their daily reports to their coaches for record keeping.

3 pm to 4 pm – Relaxing at the end of the day, networking or attending an after-school program (music of martial arts in the plaza if parents signed up for this* at an extra fee).

What is an Agora Talk?

This is our take on TedTalks. We ask students to prepare a presentation on an assignment or learning objective achieved that they are particularly proud of. They may choose to present in any style they like; be it a musical, a poem, or a PowerPoint. These Agora Talks will take place in January and then again in June. Parents, peers and coaches are invited to attend and provide feedback after the presentation. This teaches students the real life skills of pitching their ideas and public speaking. Two extremely important skills that will serve them well as future leaders of our world.

Will you be active in the community?

Yes. We want to raise a generation of kind and philanthropic people who will undoubtedly become the future entrepreneurs and billionaires of our world. Before they go on to achieve that success, we would like to instill in them the value of charity.

We will be running several campaigns throughout the year to support local charities with ideas for fundraising coming directly from the students themselves. We will ask for your support and marketing of our various initiatives so we can meet our fundraising goals.

We will also be hiring local and assisting other businesses in the area.

How do you build character at Agora Prep Academy?

We celebrate the power of character in our everyday journey. We have badges to celebrate students who show various character attributes such as integrity, kindness, patience, cooperation, awareness, creativity and many others. Students are able to collect these pins and display them proudly on their backpacks. These pins will be a challenge to achieve but worth it when collected!

Do you plan special trips outside of the school?

Yes. From time to time, we will travel with the students to various places that will further their learning and reinforce their skills. Parents will be notified well in advance and there will be a permission form and separate charge for these trips.

My child has learning differences, can I bring them to Agora Prep Academy?

We are humbled and privileged to serve children of ALL needs and ALL superpowers! We believe that every child has the potential of leaving an amazing imprint on our world. With the right empowerment and redirection, children of all abilities can excel and amaze us.

It is critical to discuss your child’s learning needs with our academy prior to enrollment so we can ensure we have the right people in place to assist your superhero. Please also alert us if there are any serious medical conditions or if the child is a flight risk.

Sylvia Martignani started this learning environment because of her passion for children of all abilities. Her 18 years’ experience working with neurodiverse children prompted her desire to create Agora Prep Academy. We will not refuse children if they would like to attend but we will have to adjust fees if a child requires one-on-one attention from a full-time educator or CYW.