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Waitlists – Central and Local

Waitlists (Central and Local)

Offers will continue to be made to students on the Central Waitlist when seats are available up until the placement deadline when waitlists expire. The Central Waitlists for CSIP will be maintained until February 21, 2024.

After this date, Central Waitlists will be considered expired. The lists will be adapted to create Local Waitlists according to the process outlined below.

Addressing Unfilled Seats

Following the placement deadline (February 21, 2024), seats may become unfilled in a Central Student Interest Program. To address these unfilled seats, the Central waitlists will be reduced (in sequential order) to become Local Waitlists that only include:

  1. Students who live in-area of the school offering the Central Student Interest Program.
  2. Students who are pre-registered to attend the school in 2024-25. This may include current TDSB and students new to the TDSB registered to attend the school in September.
  3. Note: Students attending the school through Out-of-Area Admissions will not be included.

Should space become available in the Central Student Interest Program, applicants will be considered for seats in the program in order of their position on the Local Waitlist. These moves will be made in late June or early September. This process is being established to help ensure that as many students as possible are given the opportunity to participate in focused programming across the TDSB. 

Claude Watson School for the Arts and Karen Kain School for the Arts are schools without local catchment areas and will be making offers into their programs until late February.


Why would a seat become unfilled?

There are many reasons why a student might decide not to attend a Central Student Interest Program.

  • Family moves to another area of the city, or away from Toronto all together
  • Family circumstances 
  • Health circumstances 
  • Before or after starting the program, the applicant chooses another school or program that is better meets their needs 

Prior to the centralized process, seats went unfilled in many programs. The number was not known centrally.

Why are no further offers made from the Central Waitlists after February 21, 2024?

The March Break is a time when schools start the vital process of planning and building a schedule for the upcoming school year. At the core of this work is the staffing allocation for the upcoming year (the number of teachers assigned to work in each school), which is directly connected to the number of students known to be attending the school.

Moving students from one school to another in the future can significantly impact the number of teachers that are assigned and permitted to teach in each school. When numbers shift, the result can lead to a partial school reorganization, an entire school reorganization, or the withdrawal and reassignment of teachers from one school to another in the fall. All of these changes create significant disruption to students across the system.

Is this a change in practice?

Secondary programs, which were at one time overseen by the former Optional Attendance procedure, had the same timeline for the expiry of waitlists. Secondary Specialized programs were not to make offers to new students after the end of February. The expiry of waitlists on February 21, 2024, is NOT a change in procedural practice.

Elementary programs historically had a slightly longer window. The timelines for Elementary programs have been brought in line with the Secondary Programs, as the staffing timelines are the same for both panels.

What will happen to the staffing of Central Student Interest Program schools that do not have a local catchment area if seats remain unfilled?

The staffing allocations for the five CSIP schools without a local catchment are not impacted if seats remain unfilled. A fixed staffing model is allocated based on the projected number of students.

What is the TDSB doing to minimize the number of seats that go unfilled in CSIP?

The Central Student Interest Program Admissions team and the individual programs are actively taking many steps. The steps include, but are not limited to:

  • Making more offers than there are seats available as a buffer
  • Active communication with seated applicants and their parents/caregivers about the programs and the importance of declining seats before the expiry of waitlists
  • Partnership with the Special Education and Inclusion department, with the inclusion of CSIP seated lists in the Identification, Placements and Review Committee meetings (IPRC) for students potentially entering Intensive Support Programs in Grade 9