ALPHA is Toronto’s original democratic school (oldest elementary alternative public school in Toronto, operating since 1972), and is part of a growing number of similar schools worldwide.
The ALPHA school environment is designed to maximize the development of core values: competence, initiative, self-respect, cooperation & social responsibility, diversity, freedom of expression, autonomy and social justice.
At the core of the ALPHA philosophy is the recognition that all children are unique and develop differently and at different rates.
Multi-age grouping cultivates a cooperative learning environment where peers learn from one another and look after one another.
ALPHA encourages active engagement with real and meaningful pursuits, and even the youngest children are encouraged to develop a personal sense of responsibility for their own learning. Children choose what, how, and when they learn to the greatest extent possible.
With a tradition of emphasizing imagination and the arts, ALPHA offers many creative activities for children.
ALPHA also emphasizes the development of communication and conflict resolution skills. An understanding of social justice is acquired through social interaction and the development of critical thinking skills.
Teaching is done not only by certified teachers, but also by the children, their parents, and other people coming into the school on a regular basis.
ALPHA is a fully public school within the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).