ALPHA Alternative School

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ALPHA Alternative School is an alternative school in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is Toronto's oldest public alternative school.[1] It was created by parents, and based on the Ontario government's Hall-Dennis Report.[2] ALPHA stands for "A lot of people hoping for an alternative."[1] It is located downtown on Brant Street, near Adelaide St.

The school was started with no tests or grades. Behaviour rules were created and enforced by students and staff democratically.[3]


ALPHA is based on a philosophy of "non-coercive, holistic, learner-centered education".[4]

The original School site was located on the 3rd floor of the YMCA(open and in use) close to the intersection of Broadview and Gerrard Streets, a few minutes walk to the community of Riverdale.


ALPHA was the focus of the Masters thesis Defining and Defending a Democratic Education Site, by Deb O'Rourke. The Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning published an article, Letting the Child Work, based on this thesis.[5]

Alpha II[edit]

Alpha II Alternative School is a student-directed senior and secondary school for grades 7 to 12 located in Toronto. Part of the Toronto District School Board, Alpha II was founded in 2007 by a group of ALPHA parents.[6] Students decide for themselves what to learn and how to learn it.[7] School-wide decisions are made by a student-led weekly meeting where each person's voice counts in developing consensus.[7]


  1. ^ a b Toronto Star article: School marks 40 years
  2. ^ ALPHA website
  3. ^ Huffington Post: Alpha Alternative celebrates radical past
  4. ^ ALPHA's philosophy on their website
  5. ^ Letting the Child Work[permanent dead link] (PDF),
  6. ^ "Alpha II Alternative School History". Alpha II Alternative School.
  7. ^ a b "About Alpha II Alternative School". Alpha II Alternative School.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°38′45″N 79°23′54″W / 43.6457°N 79.3982°W / 43.6457; -79.3982