Our Philosophy

What is High Park Alternative?


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During the 2021/2022 school year the staff, caregivers and students, solidified the Four Pillars of our new Mission Statement. Please reach out, connect and share your thoughts and resources with us as we continue to grow. 


The 4 Pillars of HPAS

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Year A & Year B: Science & Social Studies

At HPAS, we are able to delve deeper and gain a greater understanding of the Science and Social Studies curricula because we focus yearlong on specific strands, rotating through Year A and Year B  in our combined classes. 

2023/2024 is a Year B. Our Theme: 

A Sense of Place and Belonging:

Both Personal and Collective in our Identities and Communities.

We are #GenerationRestoration.  Restoring ourselves.  Restoring our communities.  Restoring our Earth.

This catchy phrase is the UN’s theme for launching their Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a challenge to the world to make good on commitments to restore 1 billion hectares of degraded ecosystems. At High Park, we are building on the phrase to interpret it on multiple levels: personal, inter-personal, school, community and world.  As we hopefully emerge from the pandemic, there is much that needs restoration. HPAS students are #GenerationRestoration and we hope the theme will empower them to see the changes they are capable of making

For more information on the Science Curriculum, please visit: 
The Ontario Curriculum Grades 1-8: Science and Technology, 2007

For more information on the Social Studies Curriculum, please visit:
The Ontario Curriculum, Social Studies, Grades 1-6; History and Geography, Grades 7-8, 2013 (revised)

For more information on Alternative Education, please visit:
The Alternative Schools Advisory Committee, TDSB


Morning Community Circles

What is a Community Circle? 

Circle is when families, students and staff gather together at the start of the school day. This practice is one of the ways that we integrate Indigenous perspectives at the school. Many Indigenous cultures have beliefs that center around circles. For some, the circle represents cycles in the natural world, connection, equity and wholeness. We use this time to connect as an Intentional Community (Pillar #1), share information and learn.

When and Where does it occur?
We will gather on the field at Ravina at the start of the school day; 8:50am. 

Circle typically lasts 15-20 minutes. This year, teachers and select students will lead each circle; next year, we hope to engage our Caregiver Community. 


Wednesday, November 29th 2023

Wednesday, February 28th 2024

Wednesday, May 29th 2024


What does Circle entail?

-Welcome + Land Acknowledgement

-Sharing (e.g. class work, poetry, singing, read-alouds, artwork, etc.) 



Roles of Community Members During Welcoming Circle

Shared Responsibilities 

-arrive on time (8:50am; supervision begins at 8:40)        -join the circle with your classmates                    -greet others within the circle

-listen attentively when others are speaking                     -promote active listening from others nearby




-ensure transfer of care of their child to teacher (if unable to stay)

-find a place within the circle with your child 

(if able to stay)

-report for attendance by 8:50

-gather near their classmates 

-help facilitate circle (when it's their turn to lead)

-supervise students and complete attendance

-help facilitate circle (when it's their turn to lead)

-introduce occasional teachers


Lower Parking Lot

We have limited spaces in our parking lot for staff use; if you plan on driving to Community Circle we kindly ask that you park on a street nearby and walk to the Circle with your child. It’s a fantastic way for the whole family to stay healthy, active and happy! Allow some time to spot lots of interesting things on your way to Ravina and become more familiar with the neighbourhood.  

Past Themes

2021/2022: Year B: We are #GenerationRestoration.  Restoring ourselves.  Restoring our communities.  Restoring our Earth.

2020/2021 Year A: Communities: Challenge and Change, What challenges do our communities face? As responsible citizens, what can we do to create meaningful change that can improve our lives and the lives of others?

2019/2020: Year B: Designing for Sustainability. What can we design to improve our lives and the lives of others?

2018/2019 Year A: What is Sustainability? Learning more about the Global Goals for Sustainable Development

2017/2018 Year B: Designing Our Lives - how can art and design help us to improve our lives and the lives of others?

2016/2017 Year A: Food For Thought - something that warrants serious consideration: poverty, inequality, discrimination - many current injustices that may spark the activist voice of our students

2015/2016 Year B: Dwellings: Historical, Geographical and Structural

2014/2015 Year A: Water for Life (see United Nations International Decade for Action)

2013/2014 Year B: Town: Active Citizenship

2012/2013 Year A: Past, Present, Future (in accordance with the *new* 2013 Social Studies Curriculum)