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Each school has its own identity and focus, such as democratic education, holistic learning, physical art, mindful living, entrepreneurship, social justice, community outreach and more. These schools are ideal for students seeking an alternative to mainstream education and who want to take an active role in their own learning.
Alternative schools are highly engaged, smaller school environments. These schools are characterized by community collaboration, choice, inclusivity, and flexibility. Alternative schools use flexible methods of teaching in distinct learning environments to meet the needs of learners. They use diverse hands-on approaches to learning the required Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum.
Alternative schools provide students with an opportunity to succeed in a different educational setting that emphasizes student-centered and differentiated methods in teaching and learning.
Elementary alternative schools are open to any resident of Toronto. Space in alternative schools is limited and students need to apply to attend an elementary alternative school. Information for the 2024-25 Online Application Process will be available on Monday, December 11, 2023.
Learn more about our Elementary Alternative Schools
Learn more about our Secondary Alternative Schools
Community Advisory Committees (CACs) have been established to improve parental and community input on policy and program issues. These committees will have the opportunity to advise the Board on its policies and programs, in addition to providing an advocacy role for parents and the community.
Alternative schools usually feature a small student population, a commitment to innovative and experimental programs, and volunteer commitment from parents/guardians/caregivers and other community members. The Alternative Schools Community Advisory Committee (ASCAC) advises the TDSB on matters concerning alternative schools. To find out more about ASCAC and their upcoming meetings click here.
Open Houses and Information Sessions - to help you make an informed decision when choosing a school, TDSB schools will host in-person open houses and information sessions for parents/guardians and students between November and January. Learn everything you need to know about our incredible variety of schools, programs, and courses. If you have questions about a specific school or open house, please contact the school directly for more information.
To learn about the Elementary or Secondary School Open Houses and Information Nights, please visit
Elementary School Open Houses and Information Nights
High School Open Houses and Information Nights
Virtual Secondary Alternative Schools Caravan - on November 9, 2022, the TDSB hosted a Virtual Secondary Alternative Schools Caravan for Grade 8 families. Click here to view a recording of the event.
The Alternative Schools Policy (P062) can be found here.
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