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Great Lakes Christian High School

  • Type: Liberal Arts,  Academic
  • Grade (Gender): 9 to 12 (Coed)
  • Tuition: $5,300 to 39,300/year
  • Class size: 10 to 25
  • Homestay: Yes
  • Founded: 1952
  • Uniform: Yes
  • Language: English
  • Enrolment: Day: 48 (Gr. 9 - 12), Boarding: 85 (Gr. 9 - 12), Homestay: 10 (Gr. 9 - 12)

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Since 1952, Great Lakes Christian High School has fostered excellence in education while equipping learners to seek, serve, and become like Christ. In the Great Lakes community, acceptance, servant-leadership, and self-esteem are inspired in students, regardless of faith or cultural background. Our mix of boarding and local students, some from distant countries, provides a global perspective of life. Great Lakes’ graduates are well prepared for post-secondary life and accepted by universities all over the world.

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4875 King Street, Beamsville, Ontario, L0R 1B6


Principal's Message


Mr. Don Rose, Chief Administrator

   If I were to identify one of the greatest strengths of Great Lakes Christian High School, it is that it provides an ideal environment for transformation.  As a teen, I discovered and reached both an academic and spiritual potential I didn’t know I had.  I returned, like many of our staff, to help shape and provide that same environment for future generations.  We can (and do!) promote class size, a safe environment, a strong spiritual program, high academic acumen and the tremendous qualifications of our teachers, but it is the balance of nurturing students and challenging them to seek knowledge and spiritual truth and to serve others and God that facilitates their ability to become all they have the potential to become.  Our mantra, “seek, serve, become,” is at the core of what we offer and it is what sets us apart.


Curriculum Liberal Arts

Primary Curriculum: Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts curricula share with traditional programs their emphasis on core knowledge-acquisition, but tend to borrow more best practices from the progressive approach. A Liberal Arts program might still feature group work and projects, for example, contrary to the more singular emphasis on tests and essays at a Traditional program.

What GLCHS says: We believe in educating the whole child. In this pursuit, our teachers work collaboratively with one another, the students, and parents to encourage and train students for growth academically, emotionally, socially, physically, creatively, and spiritually. We are a community of learners from Ontario and different areas of the world. Learning to listen to one another is a critical step to understanding one another. Our academic goal is to continue providing excellent opportunities for learning that lead to high acceptance rates to universities and colleges. We have small class sizes and most of our teachers are Specialists or hold a Graduate Degree in their subject area. In September 2018, we are moving to a one-to-one device model. We are incorporating technology as a tool for learning, to practice responsible digital citizenship, and to explore ways to use technology for Kingdom service.

  • Approach:
    Focus Religious-based
    Academic Christian (Non-denominational)

  • Pedagogies and subject courses:

  • Mathematics Traditional Math

      Traditional Math typically teaches a method or algorithm FIRST, and THEN teaches the applications for the method. Traditional algorithms are emphasized and practiced regularly: repetition and drills are frequently used to ensure foundational mastery in the underlying mathematical procedures. The traditional approach to math views math education as akin to building a logical edifice: each brick depends on the support of the previously laid ones, which represent mastery over a particular procedure or method. Traditional Math begins by giving students a tool, and then challenges students to practice using that tool an applied way, with progressively challenging problems. In this sense Traditional Math aims to establish procedural understanding before conceptual and applied understanding.
      Learn about the different mathematics approaches  

    • What GLCHS says: This information is not currently available.

    • Textbooks and supplementary materials: This information is not currently available.

    • Calculator policy: This information is not currently available.

    Science Equal Balance

      Science programs that balance expository and inquiry learning equally will likely have an equal blend of tests and experiments; direct, textbook-based instruction and student-centred projects.
      Learn about the different science approaches  

    • Teaching approach: This information is not currently available.

    Literature Traditional

      In traditional literature programs students focus on decoding the mechanics of texts: plot, characterization, and themes. These texts tend to include a balance of contemporary and “classic” literature. When studying a past work, students investigate its historical context -- but only insofar as this adds understanding to the work itself. Past works are therefore studied “on their own terms”, and not merely as historical artifacts to be deconstructed: traditional literature programs are firmly rooted in the humanities, and carry the belief that great literature can reveal fundamental and universal truths about the human condition. These programs emphasize class discussions and critical essay writing, and aim to develop in students critical thinking, communication skills, and a cultivated taste and ethos.
      Learn about the different literature approaches  

    • What GLCHS says: This information is not currently available.

    Humanities and Social Sciences Equal Balance

      These programs represent an equal balance between the perennialist and pragmatic approach to teaching the humanities and social sciences.
      Learn about the different humanities and social sciences approaches  

    • What GLCHS says: This information is not currently available.

    Foreign Languages
    • What GLCHS says: This information is not currently available.

    • Languages Offered: • Chinese-Mandarin • French • ESL

    Fine Arts
    • What GLCHS says: This information is not currently available.

    Computers and Technology
    • What GLCHS says: This information is not currently available.

    • Program covers:

      Subject = offered
      Computer science
      Web design

    Physical Education
    • What GLCHS says: This information is not currently available.

    Religious Education
    • Approach to teaching religious and secular curricula

      Completely segregated
      Mostly segregated
      Completely integrated
      Mostly integrated
      Not applicable
    • Approach to teaching religion

      Scripture as literal
      Scripture as interpretive
    • What GLCHS says: This information is not currently available.

    Sex and health education Follows provincial curriculum

      The structure, pacing, focus, and tone of the sex education curriculum reflects that of the provincial one, taught in public schools.

    • GLCHS 's approach to sex-ed: We approach health and sexuality from a biblical perspective and a Christian worldview.

    Curriculum Pace Standard-enriched

    • Standard-enriched
    • Accelerated
    • Student-paced

    Broadly-speaking, the main curriculum -- like that of most schools -- paces the provincially-outlined one. This pace is steady and set by the teachers and school. The curriculum might still be enriched in various ways: covering topics more in-depth and with more vigor than the provincial one, or covering a broader selection of topics.

    What GLCHS says: This information is not currently available.

    Flexible pacing:

    Flexible pacing style = offered
    Subject-streaming (tracking)
    Multi-age classrooms as standard
    Ability-grouping (in-class) as common
    Frequent use of cyber-learning (at-their-own-pace)
    Regular guided independent study opportunities
    Differentiated assessment

    What GLCHS says about flexible pacing: This information is not currently available.

    Academic Culture Rigorous

    • Rigorous
    • Supportive

    A school with a “rigorous” academic culture places a high value on academic performance, and expects their students to do the same. This does not mean the school is uncaring, unsupportive, or non-responsive -- far from it. A school can have a rigorous academic culture and still provide excellent individual support. It does mean, however, the school places a particular emphasis on performance -- seeking the best students and challenging them to the fullest extent -- relative to a normal baseline. High expectations and standards – and a challenging yet rewarding curriculum – are the common themes here. Keep in mind this classification is more relevant for the older grades: few Kindergarten classrooms, for example, would be called “rigorous”.

    What GLCHS says: This information is not currently available.

    Developmental Priorities Spiritual, Balanced

    Primary Developmental Priority: Spiritual

    The goal is to cultivate "individuals with inner resourcefulness, strong faith and respect for God or a higher power."

    Secondary Developmental Priority: Balanced

    "Equal emphasis is placed on a balance of priorities: intellectual, emotional, social and physical cultivation."

    What GLCHS says: Our focus is to discover and develop the talents and gifts of our students, whether in the class room, on the playing field, through co-curricular activities, music, drama, or service. In 2018/2019 we will continue using three practices that inform all our interactions with each other: Practice Integrity, Practice Loving Your Neighbour As Yourself, and Practice Forgiveness and Reconciliation. Our goal is to graduate students who are equipped well academically and who are willing to serve in every area of their lives.

    Special Needs Support Indirect Support

    Indirect Support

    GLCHS offers limited support for students with learning difficulties or special needs.

    • Academic Support:
      Support Type = offered
      Learning strategy and study counselling; habit formation
      Extra support and minor accommodations for children experiencing subclinical difficulties
    • Summary: We are happy to accommodate students in terms of the types of assignments, the number of assignments, and the forms of assessment used in class. Students who have an IEP are welcome to give oral answers, to have access to a scribe, and/or to use talk to text technology. Students who are struggling socially have ready access to their Principal, Vice Principal, and Guidance Counselor. We sometimes refer students who are struggling more significantly or are making poor choices to a local, trusted health professional.

    • What GLCHS says: We work with a child's IEP to provide accommodations as needed. While our teachers have boundless supplies of care, our help is limited to accommodations in the classroom, on assignments, and on assessments. Students with IEP's are under the supervision of the Principal who will work to support student learning by providing a quiet study area, technology support, study skill building, and regular communication with home and other care providers for the student.

    Gifted Learner Support No Support

    No Support

    GLCHS does not offer any specialized programming for gifted learners.

    Gifted education: If you want to learn more about gifted education, check out our comprehensive guide. It’s the first of its kind: it covers different kinds of gifted schools and programs, and a whole host of issues parents face in finding the right option for their gifted child.


    What GLCHS says:

    Great Lakes Christian High School has not provided this information.

    • Sports OfferedCompetitiveRecreational
      Ice Hockey
      Ice Skating
      Track & Field
    • Clubs Offered
      Chess Club
      Community Service
      Drama Club
      Foreign Language Club
      Musical theatre/Opera
      Student Council

    Tuition & Financial Aid


    Boarding (International - 5 days/week) Boarding (Domestic - 5 days/week) Day (Domestic) Day (International) Boarding (Domestic) Boarding (International)
    Boarding (International - 5 days/week)$31,500
    Boarding (Domestic - 5 days/week)$17,000
    Day$5,300 / semester
    Day (Domestic)$10,000
    Day (International)$24,500
    Boarding (Domestic)$20,100
    Boarding (International)$34,600
    What GLCHS says: Our tuition is split into several categories to better serve our families. 5-Day Student - Lives in residence from Monday to Friday. Goes home on weekends. 7-Day Student - Lives in residence 7 days a week. Goes home on every long weekend/holiday. 7-Day Long Weekend Student - Lives in residence 7 days a week. Only leaves residence for Christmas and March Break.


    Discount TypeEnrollment TypeAmount
    Full payment all students15%
    Full payment all students15%
    Early paymentall students$250
    2nd child (sibling)all students50%
    3rd child (sibling)all students100%
    4th child (sibling)all students100%

    Need-based financial aid

    Grade range that need-based aid is offered: 9 to 12
    Percentage of grade-eligible students receiving financial aid0%
    Average aid package size$0
    Percentage of total enrollment on financial aid0%
    Total aid available$0

    Application Deadline:
    Rolling deadline Repeats annually

    More information:

    Application Details:

    Merit based Scholarships

    Great Lakes Christian High School
    Amount: $500
    Deadline: 08/15/2012
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 9 to 12—

    McCarthy Scholarship: high overall academic achievement awarded to one student

    For more details, visit:
    Great Lakes Christian High School
    Amount: $1,000
    Deadline: 08/15/2012
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 9 to 12—A student who has used GLCHS opportunities to their best advantage. Some of the specific awards criteria include: high academic achievement, students who are helpful to others; demonstrated financial need; service to church.
    For more details, visit:
    Great Lakes Christian High School
    Amount: $1,000
    Deadline: 08/15/2012
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 9 to 12—A student who is helpful to others, with a B average and who is the child of an alumnus ($1,000) Some of the specific awards criteria include: high academic achievement, students who are helpful to others; demonstrated financial need; service to church.
    For more details, visit:
    Great Lakes Christian High School
    Amount: $2,500
    Deadline: 08/15/2012
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 9 to 12—Awarded to one male and one female student who have gained from being a student here and have made good use of their opportunities. Some of the specific awards criteria include: high academic achievement, students who are helpful to others; demonstrated financial need; service to church.
    For more details, visit:
    Great Lakes Christian High School
    Amount: $500
    Deadline: 08/15/2012
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 9 to 12—Two students who have maintained at least a B overall average and have earned a B in Bible. Some of the specific awards criteria include: high academic achievement, students who are helpful to others; demonstrated financial need; service to church.
    For more details, visit:
    Great Lakes Christian High School
    Amount: $1,500
    Deadline: 08/15/2012
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 9 to 12—Student will be a child or grandchild of a WAVES member and this will make attendance at GL possible, preferably for an out-of-town student who will be in the residential program or in a homestay.
    For more details, visit:
    Great Lakes Christian High School
    Amount: $200
    Deadline: 08/15/2012
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 9 to 12—Mary Whittington Memorial Scholarship: student involved in a church outreach program or other evangelistic activity, either during the summer or for some other concentrated time period, including working in a Christian camp, teaching a Sunday school or other class at church, or being part of a short-term mission team ($200). Reg and Annie Franklin Award: students from Ontario who have shown service to the church, leadership and who have maintained at least a B average (one award at $500) Partner Funding Scholarships: Provide the opportunity for friends, relatives and fellow Christians to affirm their faith in students and their families when the school has determined they qualify for assistance to experience a Christian education. An eligible student will be awarded a Partner Funding Scholarship. The student and their family must commit to seek Partners who will give to the Partner Funding Program. Partners are eligible for a donation receipt. Student Work Program: Provides students an opportunity to assist their families in financing their education. Most jobs require half an hour per day and wages are based on minimum wage. It is expected that the student will perform the job with a minimum of supervision. Qualification is based on the financial needs of the students’ parents and availability of student jobs on campus. Parental Tax Receipts Parents will receive a charitable donation tax receipt for approximately 30-40% of the tuition paid in a given tax year. The financial benefit of this charitable receipt will depend on the individual’s tax structure. "
    For more details, visit:
    Great Lakes Christian High School
    Amount: $500
    Deadline: 08/15/2012
    Eligibility Details: Students grade 9 to 12—

    Students from Ontario who have shown service to the church, leadership and who have maintained at least a B average (one award at $500)

    For more details, visit:


    Total enrollment 143
    Average enrollment per grade36
    Gender (grades)9 to 12 (Coed)
    Boarding offered Gr. 9 - 12
    % in boarding (total enrollment)59%
    % in boarding (grade-eligible)59%

    Student distribution:

    Day Enrollment11111313
    Boarding Enrollment10103233
    Homestay Enrollment1333



    Admissions Assessments:

    Assessment = requiredGrades
    Interview9 - 12
    SSAT (out of province)
    Entrance Exam(s)
    Entrance Essay
    Application Fee 

    Application Deadlines:

    Day students:

    Boarding students:

    Homestay students:

    What GLCHS says:

    In order to be admitted to Great Lakes Christian High School, the Admissions Office requires the following documents:

    - Application: You can fill out the application online or we are happy to send you a hard/electronic copy.

    - Statement of Community Expectations and Standards: Every student must sign this document and submit it.

    - Transcripts / Report Cards: We require full transcripts/reports from every completed year of high school, or the last two years of school completed (grades 7 and 8). In order to be accepted academically, we require these reports.

    - OSR (Ontario Student Record) Form: If the student has ever studied within the province of Ontario, they have a student number and record. If the student has never studied within the province of Ontario, we do not require this form.

    - Personal and Academic References: This may be a required field depending on the student's reports.We require a personal reference from a pastor if the family is applying for the Christian Discount, or Minister Discount. 

    - Declaration of Faith: We require a declaration of faith from any student who is applying for the Christian Discount, or Minister Discount.

    - Identification: We require a copy a copy of every students identification. If the student is born in Ontario, we require a birth certificate. If the student is not born in Ontario, we accept a copy of their passport.

    - Medical and Immunization: Every student must submit a medical form and a copy of their immunization. Any student who does not admit a proper copy of their immunization will not be permitted to attend classes, according to the Ministry of Education. We accept waiver forms.

    - Copy of Visa and Study Permits (International Students Only): We must have a copy of the VISA and the Study Permit. You are permitted to submit upon arrival.



    Acceptance Rate:


    Type of student Great Lakes Christian High School is looking for: Here at Great Lakes, our goal is to encourage students to Seek, Serve, and Become like Christ. We empower youth to grow academically, and in character. Students who are determined to do better and invest in their future will succeed at Great Lakes.

    Day Homestay Boarding

    Student Entry Points

    Student Type9101112
    Day Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    Homestay Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)
    Boarding Acceptance
    (Acceptance rate)

    University Placement

    Services = offered
    Career planning
    Mentorship Program
    University counseling
    Key Numbers
    Average graduating class size30
    *Canadian "Big 6" placementsN/A
    **Ivy+ placementsN/A

    *Number of students in 2015 who attended one of McGill, U of T, UBC, Queen's University of Alberta or Dalhousie.

    **Number of students since 2005 that attended one of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Stanford, University of Chicago, Oxford or Cambridge (UK)

    Schools our students are admitted to (last 4 years): University of Toronto McMaster University Guelph University

    Stories & Testimonials




    By Phyllis May – Great Lakes Girls’ Dormitory Supervisor

    Perry Hall is the Female Residence in Great Lakes Christian High School.  I am beginning my third year as the supervisor of this residence or as the ‘Dorm Mom’ as I like to call it.   I have twenty nine beds in this residence and have had as many as twenty seven girls.  This year I have twenty girls.  Five were born in Canada; three in Nigeria, one from the Philippines and the rest are from Asia. While they are in school here they are all ‘my girls’.

    I love my work as ‘mother’ to these girls.  My friends sometimes ask me why – why would you want to look after twenty plus teenage girls?  I find that is as hard to explain as it is to explain the joy of motherhood.  Sometimes when the girls are at school and I sit alone, I contemplate and think – why am I doing this job?  This is not a job I can do.

    Then the girls come back from school, they are happy to see me and they come in to my apartment just to say Hi.  Then I think “Yes, I can do this job.”  When I check to make sure lights are out, walk into a room with two Asian and two North American girls giggling together and kicking off their blankets so that I will have to ‘tuck them in’; then I know “I can do this job.”  Or when I am sitting at breakfast with the Asian girls and this conversation unfolds: “How many brothers do you have?”  “Just one”, she replies.  “How many sisters do you have?” her answer is, “All the girls at this table including you.”  I am reminded, “Yes, I can do this job.”  Or when we are having a dorm meeting and a couple of girls realize that we are sitting in groups according to race, they immediately jump up and ‘move in’ on a couch full of girls of a different race, I think, “I can do this job.”

    Sometimes troubles seem to become blessings in Perry Hall.  One night last year four new Asian girls were unhappy with each other and they were very unhappy with the way I was handling their unhappiness.  One of the girls, very upset and in tears separated herself from the others.  After a while it dawned on all of us that we didn’t know where she was.  Somebody thought she might have gone outside and this was after curfew.  I was worried and we started looking for her. I was about to go out on campus to look further when the door opened to one of the senior girls' room. There behind her was the missing girl.  The senior girl came out, put her arm around me and said, “It is ok Mrs. May.  I’ve got this – I am telling her that you are kind, you will do your best for her and she must listen to you.”  Ever after that this girl we thought was lost has been one who tries very hard to be the best dorm girl she can be and if she does forget to do something she always comes to me saying “I’m so sorry Mrs. May I don’t want to worry you.”

    The work is hard sometimes and requires some late nights – trips to the ER at 11 p.m., or trying to comfort girls who miss their mother, or helping with homework etc.  The blessings are many though.  The greatest blessings are when I get messages from girls who have graduated and are heading off to university; or they email me to say – “Don’t worry Mrs. May, I am going to continue to grow my faith”, or “Don’t worry Mrs. May, I am going to adjust my schedule so that I will have time to go to church. ”

    From a letter from a student at the end of the year – “Thank you for taking care of me this year.  You let me feel I do have a home, that I am not homeless.  That’s why I call you Mummy.  I really enjoyed dorm life this year.”


    The Great Lakes Experience

    The Great Lakes Experience

    By: Sandy McBay


    During the November long weekend, staff and faculty gathered in the cafeteria on Friday morning for devotion and a staff meeting.  Don Rose invited staff to reflect after our time together about the following:

    1. Remember why we came to work at Great Lakes and how has that reason changed
    2. Seek out another staff member and talk about that with each other
    3. Carve out 30 minutes of our busy schedules to be silent

    We also spent time in prayer for our students, each other and to acknowledge celebrations for which we could be thankful.

    While I sought out a tissue, I came across one of the cafeteria napkin holders and discovered this lovely little message, obviously left by a student before leaving for a long weekend.  “God loves you”.  Three simple little words hastily scratched on a napkin with the intent of someone discovering their message of hope.  Written by a student, someone wishing to encourage in this small, but to me - meaningful way.  I held up the napkin holder to a couple of staff and stated, “this is a Laker Connections article in the making.”  Amy Sandiford shared a treasure she had kept for 4 or 5 years.  Amidst a student’s chemistry calculation scratches, written in a heart shape were the words; “Jesus loves me, even if I suck at Chemistry”. (Please excuse the teen vernacular)  One student offers encouragement to all on a simple napkin while another, upon self-reflection during the struggles of learning Chemistry reminds themselves they are loved by their Lord. 

    Right when we need to be reminded of why we work at Great Lakes;  during times of financial restraint, student issues, very real personal emotional struggles, heavy academic and extra-curricular demands – out of the sometimes darkness always comes light.  We work here so our students can meet Jesus and come to have or develop a meaningful relationship with Him.  We work at Great Lakes because we know what that meaningful relationship means to us.  Why would we not want to share that?  Teens are finding their way in life – sometimes through some pretty challenging ‘stuff.’  We work here because we understand the value of service and loving others, and we hope our students will learn similar valuable lessons so they will go out in to all the world and share our Saviour’s love.

    This past year working at Great Lakes without my husband Rick has indeed been a challenge at best, impossible for fleeting moments at worst.  I have been deeply moved and blessed by the love that has been offered to me in countless ways.  Students check in with me daily to say hi, give a hug or tell me about their day.  Staff have found unique ways to check in with me or have been there at the drop of a hat when I have needed a safe place to grieve.

    Undoubtedly, I would probably find some of the blessings cited above in a public school because I know God has blessed our world with LOTS of wonderful, caring people.  But I am not sure I would find a napkin scratched with the words “God loves you” on it in other high schools.   Nor am I confident that very many public school teachers would discover on a student’s homework assignment the statement that Jesus loves them.  People of faith here at GL continue to support me long beyond those in my other circles who maybe don’t understand that same kind of faith.  It is comforting to know that Rick is missed here at Great Lakes because otherwise, the meaning of his life would have been insignificant.

    I work at Great Lakes because I believe in what we are doing.  It is challenging to be reminded in our staff meetings of our need to be financially prudent.  We have a gem here.  We continue to find ways to let others know about and hopefully increase our student body.


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