Subway Academy II
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2009)|
|Subway Academy II|
We must act as if our institutions are ours to create, our learning is ours to define, our leadership we seek is ours to become.
|64 Baldwin Street
Toronto, Ontario, M5T 1L4
|School type||High school|
|School board||Toronto District School Board|
|Area trustee||Chris Bolton|
Subway Academy II is a public alternative high school in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located on the third floor of Beverley Street Public School, an elementary school for disabled children. Subway II (as it is referred to by many students) offers an unconventional approach to schooling, with a more flexible schedule, and one on one sessions with teachers. The school received its name from Subway Academy I, as it was an offshoot of that school. Despite the name, it is not accessible by the subway, and most students take the Spadina streetcar via the Nassau Street stop to get to school. Nearby landmarks include Kensington Market, the University of Toronto, and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
School & School Day
Students arrive between 9:00 and 11:00. When they arrive, they sign in on a whiteboard. Teachers then see students on a first-come-first-served basis. Consequentially, students who arrive at 9:00 may be finished for the day by 9:30, while students who show up closer to 11:00 may have to wait until well into the afternoon to be seen. During a typical meeting, the student will hand in completed assignments, discuss projects, work on new ideas and concepts, then pick up new assignments. Almost all work is done independently. Students are only scheduled to attend three days per week, but they are allowed to attend all five if they like.
The school environment includes a half-dozen computers, a blackboard for group collaboration, a VCR/DVD player, a full kitchen, and a sizable lending library. Subway II is a very small school, and the lack of a science lab or gymnasium limits course offerings. However, Subway does offer a number of higher-level philosophy, sociology and law courses—as well as hands-on courses like parenting and nutrition—that many mainstream high schools are unable to provide.
The flexible nature of Subway II's teaching has attracted a wide and eclectic student body despite its incredibly small size. Subway II is multicultural and has students from every walk of life. 49% of the student population is female, while 51% is male. 31% have a first language other than English. Subway II's style of teaching makes it uniquely well-suited to students who are involved with acting, professional sports, artistic endeavours or other time-consuming activities that would make mainstream schooling difficult.
Subway II has relatively few extracurricular activities, largely due to the combination of an absence of pre-defined "extracurricular time" (i.e.: there isn't a pre-defined and universal "lunch hour" when extra-curriculars can be scheduled) as well as the small number of students (no more than 80 at any given time) and the fact that only two thirds of the students are required to be present on any given day of the week. Subway attempts to address this with guest speakers and field trips, both of which are typically open to anyone wishing to attend, though it should noted that many of Subway II's students have a distaste for "mainstream" high schools, and this often carries over into distaste for extracurricular activities, and even a distaste for showing up when not required to.
Subway II currently has four teachers, for a teacher-to-student ratio of 1:20.