Avondale Alternative Secondary School

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Avondale Alternative Secondary School
24 Silverview Drive

, ,
Coordinates43°47′11″N 79°24′43″W / 43.786261°N 79.411858°W / 43.786261; -79.411858Coordinates: 43°47′11″N 79°24′43″W / 43.786261°N 79.411858°W / 43.786261; -79.411858
School typeAlternative public high school
MottoEducare Momentum
(Each Moment Drips With Possibility)
School boardToronto District School Board
(North York Board of Education)
SuperintendentLinda Curtis
Area trusteeAlexander Brown
School number3409 / 890120
PrincipalDenis Lopes
Enrollment74 (2015–16[1])

Avondale Alternative Secondary School is a public alternative school in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It teaches grades 9 through 12. ASAS and its family schools, Avondale Elementary School and Avondale Alternative Elementary School, are part of the Toronto District School Board. Prior to 1998, the schools were part of the North York Board of Education. The school moved to 24 Silverview Drive in 2016.


Avondale's predecessor, Alternative Independent Study Program (known by the acronym AISP), was the first Board of Education operated alternative school in North York and one of the first such high schools in Toronto. AISP was founded in 1971 to meet the increasing demand of the students of North York for alternative education. Following the apparent success of Shared Experience Exploration and Discovery (known as SEED) in the City of Toronto, the North York Board of Education agreed to create an alternative program which began in September 1971 with admission of the first Grade 11, 12 and 13 students. Attendance of the first 160 was determined by lottery of the students who wished to attend, and whose numbers exceeded the allotted amount. The school had a full complement of teachers and a Programme Director instead of a Principal. The founding Programme Director was the Board's former history co-ordinator Jack Gillette. Catalysts were qualified volunteers engaged to assist with teaching specialized courses designed by the students and given Ontario Ministry of Education approval. A reunion of the original 160 students and teachers took place in a private home in Toronto on November 5, 2011. Many of the original students, now in their mid to late fifties, and most of the original teachers including Jack Gillette were in attendance. AISP changed with the times and became Avondale Alternative School in the 80s. An earlier reunion of the students of AISP took place at the school on May 27, 2010.

To allow construction of the new Avondale School building, the schools were temporarily relocated in the former Silverview Public School on 24 Silverview Drive on Yonge/Finch corridor. The new school opened in 2017 although Avondale Secondary will be potentially be built on 25 Oakburn Drive, the site of Oakburn Centre.


In addition to teaching all necessary courses required to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, Avondale offers classes in guitar, drama, ceramics, drawing and painting, photography, French, business technology, law, philosophy, advanced functions, calculus and vectors, Canadian history, an introduction to anthropology, sociology, and psychology; biology, chemistry, physical education, gay and lesbian studies, and genocide and crimes against humanity. All classes are in the academic stream; applied and workplace classes must be taken via e-school or independent study.[2]

Ceramics, photography, and painting and drawing are all taught by professionals in their respective fields contracted independently to teach at Avondale once a week. These teachers are known as 'catalysts'.

Great emphasis is placed on dialog-based learning within classes, particularly humanities. Examples of this include informal lectures open to questioning and criticism, class discussion on texts and ideas, and structured debates and discussions as formal evaluations.

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