Welcome To The Africentric Alternative School

Together we build, succeed and lead. 

The Africentric Alternative School began operating in September 2009 in response to an initial community request for such a school in June 2007 to address a high dropout rate and achievement gap affecting students of African descent. TDSB initiated a consultation process with stakeholders. In January 2008, a report titled Improving Success For Black Students was presented to the Board of Trustees with a number of recommendations. Ultimately, the Board approved a
recommendation to establish the Africentric Alternative School to open in September 2009 at Sheppard Public School. Since this time, the school has expanded to grade 8 as of September 2012 with 190 students.

School Overview

The Africentric Alternative School prides itself on its unique way of catering to the cultural, academic, artistic and socio-political development of its students, families and communities. It offers a rich and creative curriculum implemented by a staff of talented, committed and passionate teachers. TDSB curricular requirements are fulfilled while Afrikan values, knowledges, ourstories and cultural practices are honored and explored.

The Seven Principles of the Nguzo Saba

Our school is based on the Seven Principles of the Nguzo Saba. Umoja means unity: To strive and maintain unity in family, and community. Kujichagulia means self determination: To define oneself; speak for oneself and to create for ourselves. Ujima means collective work and responsibility. Ujamaa means cooperative economics: To cooperatively build and maintain business. Nia means purpose: To develop community for purpose. Kuumba means creativity: To do as much as we can to leave our community more beautiful than when we inherited it. Imani means faith: To believe in our parents, teachers, leaders, and ourselves.



To fulfil the TDSB’s education curriculum guidelines while ensuring students of the Africentric Alternative School gainvaluable knowledge, respect and appreciation of Afrikan history, Afrika’s many cultures, customs and belief systems. Students should be able to actively demonstrate and share their learning in the classroom, at home and in the society in ways that affirm their heritage, academic achievement and overall development.

Students Enrolled

Fundraising to date

Day care

Waiting list


Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

~ Harriet Tubman (c. 1822 – March 10, 1913)

You are young, gifted, and Black. We must begin to tell our young, There’s a world waiting for you, Yours is the quest that’s just begun.

~ James Weldon Johnson (June 17, 1871 – June 26, 1938)

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)


Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.

~ Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)


All academic and administrative staff at the Africentric Alternative School are certified employees of the TDSB. Teachers are celebrated for their commitment to working with children of Afrikan descent where their too are regarded with Aspect and honor as Afrikan-centred educators bringing knowledge, high standards of excellence and resourcefulness that greatly benefit their students and classrooms. Teachers are encouraged to explore group projects and ways to Enhance the curriculum while improving student learning, lifeskills and overall achievement.


Each classroom at the Africentric Alternative School offers rich, unique opportunities for students to learn about Afrika and it’s influence on world history, events and heritage. Students are encouraged to be creative, inquisitive while  their role in community is nurtured through academic and culturally diverse methods of engagement.

What Sets Us Apart

We are a unique school with unique features. Our teachers integrate the diverse perspectives, experiences and histories of people of African descent into the provincial mandated curriculum. Our staff members practice the use of authentic and relevant teaching and learning that reflect our Africentric commitments and social realities to engage and extend the critical numeracy and literacy skills of our students. Secondly, although the Africentric Alternative School is in Toronto’s west end, any student living in Toronto can attend the school. The Africentric Alternative School has three key outcomes for its students; High academic achievement; High self-pride and a High motivation to succeed.


Student Life – Where You Belong

In the morning when our students enter our school they and their parents are greeted with a smile from our school staff and administration. Twice per week as students enter their classrooms they are escorted to our school-wide morning assembly. At the Assembly we start with the First Nations Land acknowledgement then sing; O’Canada, and Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson. We then say with our right hand on our hearts, our school pledge, the Nguzo Saba and our daily affirmation. This is how we focus ourselves on success together each and everyday at the Africentric Alternative school.


The Africentric Alternative School has a number of pre-and after-school programs, which keep students  active and engaged. From basketball to the Boys & Girls Club, Boys to Men, Choir, Afrikan drumming and dance, as well as a number of Afrikan languages being offered like Swahili, French-Creole and Twi. We look forward to offering even more in the coming year.

We are proud and very humbled to have recently been awarded $10,000 for our Music program from the MusicCounts grant.

Afrikan Dance & Drumming

Taught by Amma Offori, students learn a variety of traditional and contemporary African dances and rhythms mostly from Afrika. Guest instructors and drum masters do workshops with students who perform at local events throughout the year to promote the school.

Swahili Classes

These are offered across the TDSB and students learn not just the basics of the language and how to interact but they also learn about countries where the language is spoken throughout Afrika such as Kenya, Tanzani etc

Nutrition Program

Working in collaboration with the Toronto Foundation for Student Success, the Africentric Alternative School is able to offer a nutritional snack daily in accordance with Canada’s Food Guide. Our dedicated parents and volunteers have led to the success of the program.

Boys to Men
this program is designed to support the growth and development of young Blak Males and is another form of Rites of Passage. Young men participate in a host of activities and events where they develop lifeskill such as interpersonal communication, teamwork and problem-solving as they explore issues that impact them as young men of African heritage.


Boys & Girls Club

This after school program is run by a team of youth workers from 3:30 to 6:00pm weekly. Children participate in a variety of recreational activities, games, and group challenges aimed at enhancing their learning while having a lot of fun until parents pick them up at the end of the day.

Arts to Engage Students

Our children enjoy all forms of dramatic presentation and our educators look for a variety of ways to engage all our learners through the Arts. This positively impacts students academic, social and emotional behavior

Africentric Alternative School in Pictures

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1430 Sheppard Avenue West

Toronto, ON M3M 2W9

Phone & E-mail

Phone: (416)-395-5251
Fax: 1-800-64-39

Business Hours

Monday – Friday
8.00 am – 5.00 pm
Weekend Closed

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