Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Founded: 1851
Students: 605 students
Faculty: Over 50 faculty and staff
Mascot: Del Athletics

MINISTRY SPOTLIGHT: De La Salle College “Oaklands” – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

by Will Baldwin – Communications Officer

Ms. Guthrie helps a student at the new Research Centre.

Photos by De La Salle student, Taylor Ahn (Grade 12)

De La Salle College “Oaklands” in Toronto (Del) has gone through many iterations since the Brothers first arrived in Canada in 1837. One of the most prominent shifts for the school came in 1994. After some years with the publicly funded Catholic school system, the school re-privatized and became co-educational as well. For twenty-five years, this was Del’s most recent major update.

However, by 2020, it became clear to those at Del that it was time to modernize in the name of fulfilling the school’s mission of helping our students grow.  With this in mind, we shifted to a new scheduling system called the Flexible Modular System (Flex Mod).

Students observe the progress of their botany project.

 “Our goal in introducing Flexible Modular Scheduling was to enhance our student’s preparation for life, work, and service to society and the apostolic mission of the Church – through an added sense of independence in their studies,” explained Mr. John Voutsinos, Vice-Principal and Director of Student Services. “So far, the system has proved to have many benefits.”

One of the most notable benefits is the individualism the schedule provides. Built with a university-style foundation, courses are broken down into one of three styles: small discussion groups, labs, or lectures. Essentially, it allows our educators to maximize their time by using the format that fits their needs. 

Students meanwhile have more free time compared to traditional schedules. This gives a more university-style feel, while allowing students added opportunity to go to office hours, work on homework, attend to their spiritual needs, spend time with friends, engage in co-curricular activities, and more. 

“We want to empower our students to take ownership of their learning,” said Mr. Voutsinos.

Students work together during Independent Learning Time.

To accommodate the new schedule, Del also had to modernize its physical infrastructure. We were excited to unveil our newly renovated Rocco L. Martino Science and Innovation Centre this spring. This new building has state-of-the-art, post-secondary-inspired labs for our ever-advancing science program, ample space for research and group work, along with housing multiple offices, conducive for office hour student engagement. In many ways the Centre has become a real-life example of the Flex-Mod in action.

Lasallian schools are founded on the teachings of the Catholic Church and emphasize academic excellence, religious formation, respect for all persons, faith in God’s presence, and concern for the poor. With this at the forefront of the College’s thoughts, we know our new schedule and the infrastructure put in place since implementing it will position our students to have great success when they graduate.