In September of 1987, Tall Pines School opened its doors to sixteen Casa age children (ages 3 and 4) and eight children from Grades one to three. It began with a morning-only class located in a large room in Emmanuel United Church in Brampton. The Junior School class was in half of the room and the Casa in the other. By the end of the year, we had increased our numbers sufficiently to grow into a full day class in the following year. A portable was added to accommodate the increasing number of Junior School students.
After a few years, we had outgrown the facilities in Emmanuel Church and sought to move our half-day program elsewhere. We found a new facility on North Park Drive in Brampton and now we were two locations. Our North Park classroom nurtured our half-day students.
After another two years, we had outgrown our Balmoral Drive (Emmanuel Church) location, as well as our North Park location, so an additional location on Summerlea Rd. was added. Now we grew to two full-day Casa classes, with the Emmanuel location housing all Junior School classes. Being in three locations did not give us the true community vision that we so eagerly sought, so in 1995 we took the major step of finding one large building to house us all.
In 1995, we leased an empty building on Torbram Rd. with twenty five thousand square feet. The building was empty and open to the imagination. Along with Basector Construction (now Whitney), we envisioned bright, spacious rooms with the offices and the Library/Extended Care at the front so the children could see their parents coming and going. We left two areas in the centre of the building (at either side of the washrooms,) incomplete. Classrooms along both the front and the back of the building made our vision complete at that time. The Torbram location continues to house the entire school, all together under one roof.
In 1995, we began our first Toddler program. Gail Taras was sent to CMTE/NY to become our first fully qualified AMS Toddler directress. At the same time, Anna Campbell was sent to CMTE/NY to become our first qualified AMS elementary directress.
Our first true Montessori Elementary program had started.
In the following years, we completed the rooms in the middle section of the school as the need arose. The support we received from families was constantly encouraging; our enrollment was growing significantly every year.
In 1996, in order to assist in filling the need for high quality Casa and Elementary staff, an AMS training program through CMTE/NY was introduced in Tall Pines School. In the following year, an Administrator’s training program was also introduced. A Casa training program ran every year, with the Elementary program beginning every other year. This program concluded in 2002 when other Montessori teacher training institutes were established in the GTA.
Our community vision persisted along with the demand from the school families and we grew once again. We had become cramped and overcrowded, so in 1998, we added a new wing to the existing building on Torbram Rd. This 11,000 square foot South wing was for the Junior School and allowed the Montessori programs to inhabit the entire 25 000 square foot North wing. Eleven classrooms for Junior School children were now in place. Walls were knocked down between the original Junior School classrooms, and our beautiful new Montessori Elementary classrooms appeared. We continued to grow and address ourselves to the needs of the Upper Elementary children. Yet another wall was removed and a French classroom relocated to accommodate the needs of the growing numbers of sociable nine to twelve year olds in the Upper Elementary program.
In 1999, a Leadership Team was created to provide a more diversified approach to the needs of staff and families of Tall Pines School. It started with eight staff members representing the administration and teaching staff. Heads of Department were named at this time. This team later grew to eleven members.
During the summer of 2000, the CCMA Leadership Training Program opened at Tall Pines School. Management staff of Tall Pines School acted as organizers and trainers in this program.
In 2002, the Heads of Department were re-oriented away from classroom duties so they could focus on leading and mentoring the staff and nurturing high quality programs for both students and staff alike. They provide support for the entire Tall Pines School community and work together with the school management and administrators.
In June of 2010 construction began on our new gymnasium, Art Studio and Science Lab. More than ten thousand square feet was added and we gained the possibility of many more athletic, creative and exploratory endeavors. Exciting times were ahead, and this facility has since proved its worth many times over.
In 2014, classrooms were re-organized to provide for The Zone, the novel learning environment for a new and exciting adolescent program serving ages 12 to 14 years. With a curriculum based on the four Foundation Cornerstones, the adolescents in this program are wholeheartedly embracing 21st century education.
In 2015, the school commenced the reorganization of the Infant, Toddler and Casa programs that was required by the new licensing process under Ontario’s Bill 10. Despite this being a very challenging process, the school administration was determined to remain committed to the principles of Montessori learning programs for preschoolers, and proceeded to design their innovative Prima Casa program to accommodate the needs of three year olds while adhering to the legislated requirements.
Tall Pines School is now the place to be for five hundred students and a staff of eighty. Building “the whole child” and inspiring a lifelong love of learning within a beautiful and nurturing environment has been our focus.
The Leadership Team, made up of Principal, Vice Principals and other key staff members, continues to be instrumental in the ongoing development of students, faculty and facilities.