TDSB Alternative Schools offer students and parents something different from mainstream schooling. Each alternative school, whether elementary or secondary is unique, with a distinct identity and approach to curriculum delivery. They usually feature a small student population, a commitment to innovative and experimental programs, and volunteer commitment from parents/guardians and other community members. While the schools offer Ministry approved courses, these courses are delivered in a learning environment that is flexible and meets the needs of individual students. Each alternative school has its own distinct culture with a wide range of different program delivery models.
The TDSB is committed to including the history, perspectives and experiences of Aboriginal peoples throughout our curriculum. Schools and programming like our Aboriginal Education, First Nations School and Native Language courses help Aboriginal students and others get engaged in school, both inside and outside of the classroom.
Caring and Safe Schools
The Caring and Safe Schools team of administrators, advisors, child and youth counsellors and court liaison workers provides direct support to administrators, staff, parents, students and communities. Their goal? To create safe, nurturing, positive and respectful schools that enable all students to succeed and reach their full potential.
School-based child care programs give families the opportunity to access seamless learning and care for their children within one location. For kindergarten children, child care is often the first introduction to the school environment and the transition from child care to school is made easier with the school connection. The TDSB currently houses over 300 child care sites in our schools offering services to children from infants to school age.
Continuing Education and International Languages
Our Continuing Education department is the community's key provider of alternative, life-long opportunities for learning. From night school and March Break programs to International Languages and Literacy and Numeracy, Continuing Education enables all learners to develop personal skills, build relationship and have fun through flexible and accessible programming.
Contracted Services & Partnership Development
Contracted Services operates valuable Language & Skills Training and Employment Preparation programs and services to the community. Services include employment services and career planning, skills development, apprenticeship training, language instruction to newcomers, enhanced and specialized language training, and child-minding services.
E-Learning Day Schools
E-Learning is quickly becoming an important part of all educational and career paths. Recognizing the needs of 21st century learners, e-Learning credit courses are offered to day school students currently registered and attending a TDSB school. Additionally, e-Summer School provides online credit courses for TDSB students in the summer.
Five Elementary Academies opened in September 2012, building on our record of creating programs that promote excellence and encourage the talents of students in new and innovative ways. Options include the Boys’ Leadership Academy, Girls’ Leadership Academy, Vocal Music Academy, Sports and Wellness Academy and the Health and Wellness Academy.
English as a Second Language
The TDSB is the most multilingual and multicultural school board in the world. More than 50 percent of our students speak a language other than English at home. Some of our English language learners have arrived in Canada from other countries; others are born in Canada and first start learning English when they begin school. We provide a variety of programs and services to support these students.
Learning a second language enhances a student's overall learning skills, expands career opportunities and promotes understanding among cultures. That’s why the TDSB offers a variety of French As a Second Language Programs in both the elementary and secondary schools.
Full Service Schools
We know our students can’t succeed if they aren’t healthy, happy and safe. In full service schools we partner with other organizations and agencies who offer specialized education, health and social services both inside our schools and in the local community. The goal is improved quality of life for students, their families and their communities.
LEAP (Literacy Enrichment Academic Program) is a special program for students aged 11- 18 who did not have the opportunity to attend school regularly before arriving in Canada.
Reading, writing and comprehension are one of the TDSB’s top priorities for students at all grade levels, from kindergarten to grade 12. From Reading Recovery to First Steps and beyond, our programming support helps all students achieve their very best in the classroom.
Model Schools for Inner Cities
Not every family or community has access to the same economic opportunities and social supports, or even to the basics that children need to succeed. Challenges like poverty and language barriers can affect how well children do in school. Model Schools for Inner Cities is a unique TDSB program that supports ALL the needs of the child.
Parent and Family Literacy Centres
Located across the system, Parent and Family Literacy Centres (PFLCs) bring parents, grandparents and children ages zero to six together in elementary classrooms reflective of each school community. Groups of adults and children participate in a range of activities to encourage socializing, problem solving and language development.
Professional Support Services
Support Services provides consultation and direct services to over 20,000 referred students each year across the TDSB, to optimize the educational outcome for all students. These include Child & Youth Services, Occupational and Physiotherapy, Psychological Services, Social Work & Attendance and Speech-Language Pathology.
We offer a wide range of Special Education supports and services that are available to students and their families through their local school. The range and type of support is determined by the level of strengths and needs of the student. These include Deaf & Hard of Hearing, Learning Disabilities, Gifted, Mild Intellectual Disabilities, Autism, Behaviour, Developmentally Delayed, Blind/Low-Vision, Physical Disabilities and Multiple Exceptionalities programming.
Specialist High Skills Majors (SHSM)
SHSM is a Ministry-approved specialized program that enables students to complete their OSSD, focus learning in a specific economic sector and support transitions to college, apprenticeship, university and the workplace.
Specialized Programs include Arts schools, CyberArts, the High Performance Athletes Program and International Baccalaureate Programs.
The TDSB's Student Success focuses on the success of each and every student. The initiative is transforming secondary schools and allowing students to customize their high school experience around learning that is relevant to them.