PHONE NUMBER: (416) 395-5251


Africentric Alternative School's Mission Statement

The Africentric Alternative School began operating in September 2009 in response to an initial community request for such a school in June 2007 to address a high dropout rate and achievement gap affecting students of African descent. TDSB initiated a consultation process with stakeholders. In January 2008, a report titled Improving Success For Black Students was presented to the Board of Trustees with a number of recommendations. Ultimately, the Board approved a recommendation to establish the Africentric Alternative School to open in September 2009 at Sheppard Public School. Since this time, the school has expanded to grade 8 as of September 2015 serves 120 students

The school has enjoyed a number of successes in a remarkably short period since its inception in September 2009. Almost 90 students enrolled for the school’s opening day in September 2009. By the end of the month, 130 students were enrolled. Enrolment currently stands at 120 students as of September 2015. Currently we serve students from K - 8 with a focus on high academic achievement and motivation to succeed. Full day kindergarten is available at the school and the program is in demand with two classes operating.

The Seven Principles of the Nguzo Saba

Our school is based on the Seven Principles of the Nguzo Saba. Umoja means unity: To strive and maintain unity in family, and community. Kujichagulia means self determination: To define oneself;  speak for oneself and to create for ourselves. Ujima means collective work and responsibility. Ujamaa means cooperative economics: To cooperatively build and maintain business. Nia means purpose: To develop community for purpose. Kuumba means creativity: To do as much as we can to leave our community more beautiful than when we inherited it. Imani means faith: To believe in our parents, teachers, leaders, and ourselves.  

Africentric Education centres the learner by identifying African people's history, knowledge, experiences and contributions and cultural practices as central knowledge in the learner's experience. Africentric Education sees African people as producers of knowledge and imporant contributors to society as a benefit to all humanity. Considering the colonial legacy of discrimination towards African peoples, we believe that in all classrooms, there is a collective responsiblity to educate ourselves on the history of African peoples. We believe that everyone is part of a community and the collective goals of that community are paramount to the individuals. We explore the teaching and learning approaches using the principles of the Nguzo Saba.

More Information About Africentric Alternative School

Nutrition Program

Working in collaboration with the Toronto Foundation for Student Success, the Africentric Alternative School is able to offer a nutritional  snack daily in accordance with Canada’s Food Guide. Our dedicated parents and volunteers have led to the success of the program.

Using the Arts to engage our Students

Our children enjoy all forms of  dramatic presentation and our educators look for a variety of ways to engage all our learners through the Arts. This positively impacts students academic, social and emotional behavior.

The School Pledge

Today I pledge to be the best possible me. No matter how good I am, I know that I can become better. Today I pledge to feed, my mind knowledge, my body strength, and my spirit faith. Today I pledge to take my education seriously and I will always do my best; at school, at home and in my community.  Today I pledge to believe in me. Ashe.

Our School Vision

We take an intentional, proactive approach to building a solid foundation for our students with an intent to nurture resilience, academic and social excellence and a strong sense of identity. An Africentric approach and academic rigour are essential to our students' brilliance, their scholarly and social excellence. Dignity, service, and pride are pillars of our school.

Student Life - Where You Belong


In the morning when our students enter our school they and their parents are greeted with a smile from our school staff and administration. Twice per week as students enter their classrooms they are escorted to our school-wide morning assembly. At the Assembly we start with the First Nations Land acknowledgement then sing; O’Canada, and Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson. We then say with our right hand on our hearts, our school pledge, the Nguzo Saba and our daily affirmation. This is how we focus ourselves on success together each and everyday at the Africentric Alternative School.     


We are a unique school with unique features. Our teachers integrate the diverse perspectives, experiences and histories of people of African descent into the provincial mandated curriculum. Our staff members practice the use of authentic and relevant teaching and learning that reflect our Africentric commitments and social realities to engage and extend the critical numeracy and literacy skills of our students. Secondly, although the Africentric Alternative School is in Toronto’s west end, any student living in Toronto can attend the school. 


The Africentric Alternative School has three key outcomes for its students; High academic achievement; High self-pride and a High motivation to succeed. 


We are a caring community building cohesive reciprocal relationships that enable students, staff, parents, and community members to advocate for and support a rich learning environment. Our School Council always helps to discover new and exciting ways to contribute to the education of students in the school. Each member helps to strengthen this partnership in an effort to ensure a high quality of education for our students and greater community through events such as the Annual Africentric Gala Event. This event is accomplished by business donations, community organization supports and the strength of our parent partnership.