Signature Science Programs

Science at Kendellhurst

Kendellhurst Academy offers students many unique and hands-on projects from the classroom to the field, improving learning, understanding and application beyond traditional teaching methods. This includes special guest speakers, unique programs such as our in-class hatchery aquarium for Atlantic salmon (a locally extirpated species), field trips and much more.

Classroom Hatchery for Atlantic Salmon

Hatching Atlantic salmon in the classroom is one of the unique and exciting programs Kendellhurst offers our students. In February, each of our schools receives 100 eyed salmon eggs from a provincial hatchery for our classroom hatcheries. The eggs are placed in a special hatching unit, and students monitor their development daily throughout the process.

Once the eggs hatch and the fish absorb their yolk sac, the small salmon (fry) are released into the aquarium from their hatching unit. The students continue to care for the salmon by feeding, monitoring water quality, temperature and refreshing water. In late May, after two months of feeding, the students participate in a field trip and release their fry into a local river (Credit River or Bronte Creek), so the fish may continue their life in the wild. This creates learning and memories for a lifetime.

This exciting program was developed on the East Coast of Canada, and has been brought to Ontario through the Bring Back the Salmon project led by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH). There are only 80 classroom hatcheries in Ontario, and Kendellhurst Academy's three campuses are the only private schools with the program.

Each of our schools has a special permit issued through the program from the MNR under the Endangered Species Act to raise the salmon which are a protected species in the Lake Ontario watershed.

The program provides hands-on learning that is combined with key local environmental and scientific learning outcomes. Students see firsthand why water quality is vital, the impacts of pollution, how we can improve and rehabilitate habitats and more. Atlantic salmon were once native to the Credit River, Bronte Creek and most Lake Ontario rivers. They were extirpated from the entire Lake Ontario watershed by the late 1890's due to over fishing, habitat loss and dam construction. Our students are part of a larger initiative to bring the salmon back to our local rivers and Lake Ontario. The fry will spend the next two years in Silver Creek (where they are stocked); growing to 15-20 cm in length, at which time they will migrate down the river and out to Lake Ontario. They will grow for 1 to 5 years in the lake when they will reach maturity and return to the Credit River and Silver Creek to spawn. The fish can grow as large as 25 pounds in just five years!

John Kendell (Kendellhurst Academy Co-Director/Owner) is the voluntary chairman of the Credit River Anglers Association, one of Ontario's largest conservation groups. John has been involved in restoring the Atlantic salmon and improving habitat for over 20 years in Southern Ontario, and has raised close to four million dollars in his efforts for the reforestation of nearly 400,000 trees and hundreds of rehabilitation projects! John recently received the prestigious National Recreational Fisheries Award in Ottawa from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for his conservation work.


Students have the wonderful opportunity to learn ecology first hand in the Credit River, adjacent to our Streetsville campus. The river valley provides a plethora of natural habitat and species, from fish to animals and birds to insects. Through a combination of classroom teaching, field trips to collect specimens and seeing natural areas firsthand, our students will develop a concrete knowledge and understanding about the natural environment.


Kendellhurst strives to advance each child's knowledge and curiosity about the world around him/her and all life within. Biology will bring all related fields of Botany, Ecology and the Hatchery together to highlight the interconnected nature of life itself. Age appropriate learning will cover all key aspects of biology: human biology, anatomy, cell biology, cell function, zoology, plant biology, genetics and evolution.


Kendellhurst strives to exceed the standard curriculum in the area of botany through field trips and hands-on engagement for our students. Each spring our students from Kindergarten and higher grades participate in a local conservation tree planting along the Credit River.

Through the act of planting to restore natural habitats, the students gain a strong understanding of the natural environment and the key interaction of all species. By planting trees, the students also have a direct link to the habitat and draw on a more personal learning experience. This helps students understand the symbiotic relationship that so many living creatures have with other species, from wildlife to people solidifies the teachings from the classroom.

Beyond the simple study of a leaf in common curriculum, the students at Kendellhurst are involved from start to finish. Students have the opportunity to collect seeds locally, grow small trees in their class and then plant them in the field the next year. By having a firm understanding of the whole process, students develop a concrete knowledge of the program that will last them a lifetime.

Kendellhurst Academy © All Rights Reserved