Board mulling a black-focused alternative school

Admitting it is failing some students of colour, the Toronto public board could open a black-focused school as early as next fall.



Two community meetings are planned in the next week to discuss the idea of an "African-centred alternative school" from junior kindergarten to Grade 8 that would have more black teachers, black mentors, more focus on students’ heritage and more parent involvement.


A staff report is expected later this month with details on how the concept would work. If trustees approve such a school, it would be a first for Ontario and possibly Canada, although some have opened in the United States.

"Whatever is being used in the system at this moment is failing a lot of students — and, more specifically, a lot of black students," said Donna Harrow, a community worker.

the uproar

  • Two years ago, a call for black-focused schools in Toronto caused an uproar between those who warned they smack of segregation and those who believe it can fight the alienation some black teens say leads them to drop out of mainstream schools.