Forest Grove Academy Oakville - history Forest Grove Preschool Academy as it is known today began as the brainchild of two educators, Alicja Podgorska and Karen Chaplin, who met in 1992, and worked as educators in Montessori schools in the Toronto area. Alicja and Karen knew what was missing in the education of young children, and they had a dream to open a school, where children’s imagination could flourish, where focus was on the potential of the individual, and where hands-on, nature-based activities ignited the children’s curiosity. They wanted to offer a more challenging curriculum that would take children to a higher level, emotionally, physically and intellectually. That dream became reality in June of 1999, when Forest Grove’s doors opened for the first time.

These mothers and Early Childhood Educators tapped into all their financial resources, brought in all their children’s’ toys from home, and bought furnishings and carpeting at a discount. The focal point was not on, however, on the furnishing and toys. The children participated in the design of a unique classroom environment, utilizing logs, branches, fountains, stones and sand, to create a garden setting in which to learn. As the children learned more about the relationships between themselves and their outdoor environment, they also learned about respect.

The first program, which started with only 12 children, was the Summer Nature Club, which focused on hiking through the great ravine of the 16 Mile Creek. The excitement heightened when parents told their neighbours that they have found the best program for their children, which was interactive, ecology-based and fun. From that point on, parents from every neighbourhood came by and by September the school program was nearly full.

Because of our high standards in education, Forest Grove only hires the most qualified and most dedicated educators to join our team. Many of Forest Grove’s current team have been with the school for more than 9 years.

Between 1999 and the present, Forest Grove expanded six times, including the opening of a second location in 2005. Forest Grove operates an outstanding arts, science, and technology curriculum, inspired by the Directors’ dream trip to Reggio Emilia, Italy.

One of the partners, Karen Chaplin, has decided to pursue other endeavours and is no longer a part of Forest Grove.

Forest Grove takes great pride in its mission to explore the best practices in education, and we welcome your child to join us on this stimulating journey.



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