Head's Welcome

A Barrie student develops a confident, compassionate voice with an ability to advocate and lead.

This requires the ability to think critically, solve problems, and work both independently and collaboratively. At Barrie, we not only prepare students with skills and knowledge, but also carefully support stewards of our world, who can live fulfilling, joyful lives. Our students learn about the complexity of a world where our interdependencies demand sensitivity to culture.

I joined Barrie after a career devoted to helping improve education practice locally and internationally. I have been thrilled to share my passion for global education with Barrie where we now have students from multiple countries studying here and families from dozens of others. During my class visits, I witness the work of a group of devoted educators committed to the development of the whole child. The heart of Barrie is the faculty and staff who know every child. This is attributable to a program that responds to each child's passions and interests. We respect individual differences and value our partnership with families. We strive to have a diverse community and one that is inclusive as we celebrate each voice.

At Barrie, learning is actively engaging the mind, hands and hearts of our students. The school’s work with children from age 18 months through Grade 12 rewards us with a full understanding of child and youth development. Our Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies guides adult educators in their knowledge of Montessori practice and its impact on young children. We celebrate the joy of childhood and discovery through the Barrie Camp, fully utilizing our equestrian facility and our extensive campus.

The faculty in the Montessori division educates students using materials and an approach inspired by Maria Montessori by helping each student gain the confidence and motivation to be a lifelong learner, equipped to ask meaningful questions and seek solutions individually and as part of a group. The traditions of active learning and experiential education promoted by John Dewey can be observed across our campus. Barrie Prep ensures our older students are prepared for the challenges beyond Barrie.

Student learning occurs all over the campus and throughout the city and world. Equally, we strive to foster a commitment to service with projects on campus, as well as organizations locally and globally. We have built partnerships with schools in other countries and a range of local organizations that enhance the experience of students and faculty. We expect our students to gain the advocacy skills to contribute to a more peaceful world, respecting diversity and the environment. Please look at our mission and philosophy and most importantly, come share time with us. If you are an alumnus looking at the site, please stay connected and share with us how Barrie helped you in your education and life path.

We hope to meet you and your family. We invite you to come and speak with our students and our teachers and observe daily life at Barrie. When you come on campus, our award-winning learning spaces model how we want students to learn: by being engaged with each other, teachers, the environment, and easy use of technology. We hope a visit will stimulate all your senses, as we guide students to do the same. Let us know your interests and your hopes and we will schedule a visit to assist you with any information you need for the choices you are considering.

I look forward to meeting you and am personally available to discuss any questions you may have.


Charles H. Abelmann
Head of Barrie

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