Best Toronto Elementary Schools - the Alternative List - 2013

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And now for our latest Realosophy Top Ten - Toronto's Best "Alternative" or "Specialized" Elementary Schools. If you still suffer flashbacks of that rather grim day spent choosing between Mr. Grimes's shop class and Ms. Cleeney's home economics course, it may surprise (or infuriate) you to learn that many of Toronto's youngest students are already studying electronics and graphic design. ("I coulda been a contender!")

This week, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has updated the status of elementary schools, letting you know which schools are now accepting students from outside designated catchment areas. Among the most popular are those designated as "Alternative" or "Specialized." While the Board may be clear on these bureaucratic differentiators, the differences are hard to discern online (a quick look at any school's What Sets Us Apart webpage makes you hope they are not teaching any students marketing or "writing to explain.")

Kristen, the newest member of our intrepid Realosophy Analytics team, has chopped through the cyberjungle that is the interlinked websites of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), individual schools and the Ontario Ministry of Education to help you navigate. One rough distinction to keep in mind is that "Alternative" schools
feature smaller class sizes and unique programs such as environmental
awareness, while "Specialized" schools cater to students with a special
interest in (and in some cases, a demonstrated talent for) particular
fields such as arts or athletics.

As always, we strongly advise you to visit each individual school in order to 1) figure out what really sets them apart and 2) figure out if you can get in. (Phone numbers provided below.)

Best Toronto Elementary Schools - Alternative or Specialized

Understanding the Data

  • The Province of Ontario's Education Quality and Accountability
    Office (EQAO) scores (0-100%) indicate the number of students at or
    above the provincial standard in a subject.
  • Covers all TDSB schools - the province does not report results for some schools which are
    excluded.
  • Schools are ranked by Realosophy Overall Score. Overall Score represents average EQAO score for 6 tests written by elementary students in 2011-2012 (for elementary schools, these tests are Reading, Writing and Math at Gr. 3 and 6 levels).
  • Note:
    the province does not report some test scores for some schools - these test scores are excluded.
  • Note: While a school may be co-located with a mainstream school, it may operate on a completely separate basis.
  • Type: Alternative (smaller classes and different approach to learning) or Specialized (focused on a particular field, e.g., Arts or Athletics)
  • Status: Open (students outside catchment can request to attend), Closed (catchment only), Application (requires application and/or audition)
  • Average House Price is for period of Jan to Aug 2012 (based on Toronto Real Estate Board TREB) data).

 

1. Claude Watson School for the Arts

See all houses for sale near Claude Watson
98

Neighbourhood: Willowdale

Grades: 1-8

Enrollment: 301

Address: 130 Doris Avenue

Phone: 416 395 3180

Type: Specialized

Focus: Arts

Status: Application

Avg. House Price: $564,972


Claude Watson

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Claude Watson

2. Harrison Public School

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91

Neighbourhood: York Mills

Grades: JK-6

Enrollment: 231              

Address: 81 Harrison Road

Phone 416 395 2530

Type: Specialized

Focus: International Baccalaureate

Status: Closed (Full)

Avg. House Price: $1,543,218

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Harrison Public School
3. Cedarvale Community School See all houses for sale near Cedarvale

91

Neighbourhood: Humewood-Cedarvale

Grades: JK-8

Enrollment: 261

Address: 145 Ava Road

Phone: 416 394 2244

Type: Specialized

Focus: International Baccalaureate

Status: Open

Avg. House Price: $774,059

 


Cedarvale
Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Cedarvale Community School
4. Hawthorne II Bilingual Alternative Junior School See all houses for sale near Hawthorne II

88

Neighbourhood: Christie Pits

Grades: JK-6

Enrollment: 198

Address: 50 Essex Street

Phone: 416 393 0727

Type: Alternative

Focus: Bilingual; Extended French

Status: Open (Lottery)

Avg. House Price: $650,310



Hawthorne II
Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Hawthorne II
5. Karen Kain School of the Arts See all houses for sale near Karen Kain

86

Neighbourhood: The Queensway

Grades: 6-8

Enrollment: 178

Address: 60 Berl Avenue

Phone: 416 394 7979

Type: Specialized

Focus: Arts

Status: Application

Avg. House Price: $513,201

 

Karen Kain
Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Karen Kain
6. Faywood Arts-Based Curriculum School See all houses for sale near Faywood

74

Neighbourhood: Bathurst Manor

Grades: JK-8

Enrollment: 373

Address: 95 Faywood Blvd

Phone: 416 395 2390

Type: Specialized

Focus: Arts-Based

Status: Open

Avg. House Price: $619,517


Faywood
Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Faywood
7. Charles H Best Middle School
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73

Neighbourhood: Bathurst Manor

Grades: 5-8

Enrollment: 310

Address: 285 Wilmington Ave

Phone: 416 395 2170

Type: Specialized

Focus: Cyber Arts

Status: Open (Application to Cyber Arts Program)

Avg. House Price: $619,517


Charles H Best
Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Charles H Best Middle School
8. Africentric Alternative Public School See all houses for sale near Africentric Alternative

72

Neighbourhood: Downsview

Grades: JK-8

Enrollment: 156

Address: 1430 Sheppard Ave W (At Sheppard Public School)

Phone: 416 395 5251

Type: Alternative

Focus: Africentric

Status: Open (Waitlist)

Avg. House Price: $439,643


Africentric
Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Africentric Alternative Public School
9. Hollycrest Middle School See all houses for sale near Hollycrest

72

Neighbourhood: Centennial Park

Grades: 4-8

Enrollment: 336

Address: 630 Renforth Drive

Phone: 416 394 7050

Type: Specialized

Focus: Athletics

Status: Open (Limited Space; Application to Athletics Program)

Avg. House Price: $345,423


Hollycrest
 Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Hollycrest Middle School
10. Fairmount Public School See all houses for sale near Fairmount

71

Neighbourhood: Cliffcrest

Grades: JK-8

Enrollment: 287

Address: 31 Sloley Rd

Phone: 416 396 6240

Type: Specialized

Focus: Arts-Based

Status: Open

Avg. House Price: $534,218


Fairmount

Browse detailed school scores and demographic data for Fairmount Public School

 

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