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Democracy is Living in Community: Talking with ALPHA Teachers

Posted by Emily on April 6, 2015

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ALPHA graduate Ariel Fielding sat down for a chat with school staff past and present: retired teachers Sue Hess and Karen Light, current teachers Emily Chan and Steve Cooper, and school coordinator and historian Deb O’Rourke. Click here for the interview.

Ariel also interviewed a group of ALPHA grads for our 40th anniversary, as well as teachers from several alternative schools in Toronto. She collaborated with another grad, Michael Barker, the photographer for the initiative.  Thanks to Ariel & Michael for this documentary project!

Half-Time Staff Opening at ALPHA Elementary School

Posted by Rob on January 29, 2015

ALPHA is the oldest alternative elementary school in Toronto.
We are also Ontario’s only public democratic free school.

Interested teachers are invited to attend an Information Night:
Wednesday Feb 18th, from 6-8pm
20 Brant Street (near King and Spadina)

This is a chance to meet current teachers, students and parents, to ask questions and learn more about the school prior to the interview process. This is also our Admissions Information night where prospective families come to learn about the school.

An affordable vegan dinner will be available for purchase. We look forward to seeing you on February 18th!

Please RSVP by calling the school at 416-393-1880.
For more information, see: alphaschool.ca/about/

[Applicants must be current TDSB contract teachers or on the TDSB eligible to hire list. The position will be posted in the TDSB transfer rounds this Spring.]

Interested in enrolling your child at ALPHA?

Posted by Emily on January 12, 2015

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ALPHA is the oldest elementary alternative school in Toronto.

We are also Ontario’s only public democratic free school.

To learn more about our school and place your child’s name on the waiting list,
please attend one of our ALPHA Admissions Open Houses:

Dates: Thursday, January 22, 2014 OR Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Time: 6-8pm
Address: 20 Brant Street (Spadina Ave & King St W)

An affordable vegan dinner will be available for purchase.

ALPHA has an equity-seeking mandate and encourages applications from families that represent the full diversity of communities in Toronto, including families marginalized by ability, class, gender or gender non-conforming identities, race, Aboriginal heritage, and sexual orientation.

http://alphaschool.ca/admissions

 

Crafts! Cafe! Treasures! Deals! All at the Bazaar this Saturday!!

Posted by Emily on November 13, 2014

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There are many reasons to come to the Bazaar this Saturday, November 15 -the cafe, deals, treasures and kid-made crafts!

Come pick up a handmade gift for everyone on your list!

ALPHA T-Shirts & Tea Towels
“Santa’s Rush” Hot Chocolate Mix
Felted Soaps
Grow-your-own Narcissus Flowers Kit
Santa’s Kiss decorations
Handmade cards for every occasion
Seasons Jars
Artful pottery & candle holders
Soup-in-a-Jar
Original artwork screenprinted on Tea Towels
Handmade buttons
Felted decorations
Mystery Bags

and of course…Make-your-own button with our famous button maker!

Saturday, November 15th, 11am-4pm at Trinity St. Paul’s Church (272 Bloor St. West)

BAZAAR! Saturday, November 15, 2014

Posted by Emily on October 27, 2014
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The ALPHA BAZAAR, our time-honoured tradition of fundraising through recycling and re-using,
is coming up on Saturday, November 15th, 11am-4pm at Trinity St. Paul’s Church (272 Bloor St. West).
Come meet lots of the families, both past and present, have an amazing meal from the Cafe, and pick up some great deals. You don’t want to miss it – the more, the merrier!

INDIEKIDZ! Fundraiser – Sunday May 4, 1-4pm, Tranzac Club

Posted by Emily on May 1, 2014

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INDIEKIDZ!, ALPHA’s annual spring fundraiser is on Sunday, May 4 from 1-4pm
at the Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick Ave).Our incredible Silent Auction includes these items up for bid:

  • Hotel stay or dinner for two at The Grand Hotel & Suites
  • A pair of Blue Jay Tickets
  • Gift certificates to bakeries and cafes all around town
  • A trove of gift certificates and treasures from Kensington Market, including shops such as Bungalow, Caplanksy’s, Sanigan’s, Wanda’s Pie in the Sky
  • Yoga & Dance classes
  • $100.00 Gift Certificate from Ziliotto, clothing designed & manufactured in Toronto
  • AGO Passes
  • Artfully Silk-screened T-shirts
  • Skateboard from OASIS Skateboard Factory
  • Gift Baskets featuring art supplies, cookware, gourmet
  • Original fine art paintings, interior decor and furniture
  • Art Baskets, featuring Make-Your-Own Original Art kits by Faber Castell

Spread the word far and wide. Good friends help to make good bids!

Of course, we will also have rockin’ kids’ talent on-stage and lovely sweet treats to snack on.

There’s lots of reasons to meet up with friends at INDIEKIDZ!

Many Thanks!

Open Houses for New Families

Posted by Emily on December 12, 2013

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ALPHA is the oldest elementary alternative school in Toronto.

We are also Ontario’s only public democratic free school.

To learn more about our school and place your child’s name on the waiting list,
please attend one of our ALPHA Admissions Open Houses:

Dates: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 OR Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Time: 6-8pm
Address: 20 Brant Street (Spadina Ave & King St W)

An affordable vegan dinner will be available for purchase.

ALPHA has an equity-seeking mandate and encourages applications from families that represent the full diversity of communities in Toronto, including families marginalized by ability, class, gender or gender non-conforming identities, race, Aboriginal heritage, and sexual orientation.

http://alphaschool.ca/admissions

 

Noble Grads in the Toronto Star

Posted by Emily on May 12, 2013

2013-05-11

 

Our dedicated ALPHA grads, Ariel Fielding and Michael Barker, created a 40th Anniversary documentary photo project that was recently featured on CBC Radio 2, and several online news sites, including a print version in the Toronto Star.

The complete photo project, with press links, is on Michael Barker’s site.

The Kids Are All Right

Posted by Rob on May 10, 2013

This recent article featuring Alpha Alums captures what makes Alpha such a special school. Featuring fantastic shots by Michael Barker.

We’re Hiring

Posted by Rob on April 18, 2013

Elementary teacher ALPHA Alternative School

The ALPHA Alternative School teacher is a flexible, creative but strong teacher who will work in a democratic team environment to help elementary school students achieve literacy, numeracy, and–through emergent and interest-based, often arts-infused explorations–develop a strong awareness of the world and their place in it.

 Summary of Duties

  • Will work with Grade 3-6 students, in a small (80 students) elementary alternative school
  • Will work in partnership with two or more teachers, to develop and deliver programming for multi-age classes
  • Will engage in learning and developing democratic education approaches: with students, parents and fellow teachers
  • Will learn and contribute to ALPHA’s democratic community processes: student meetings, student-run disciplinary committee, and a staff-community council
  • Will both individually and collaboratively develop programming that responds to student interest while growing their knowledge of the world and beyond.
  • Will develop responsive strategies for helping individual students of various skill levels and learning styles to gain strength in literacy and numeracy
  • Will investigate and collaborate in arts-integrated literacy, math, science and social studies programming, using decentralized strategies like learning centres, projects, integrated theme-based approaches, as well as classic sequential skills-teaching
  • Will collaborate with fellow teachers and parents to create developmentally appropriate social justice programming, and infuse critical perspectives into the curriculum.
  • Treasures every child’s individuality, models respect and responsibility, and gives space to various experiences, identities, understandings and values.
  • Will be both cooperative and proactive, able to respond to children yet retain one’s natural authority as an adult and teacher
Qualifications and Skills Required
  • JK-Grade 6 qualification
  • Wants to be in a collaborative, democratic community school, interested in democratic and free-school history and or approaches
  • Sees children as pro-active, curious, exploratory learners rather than as empty vessels to receive information: practices democratic, progressive, emergent, and/or responsive pedagogies, and is willing to keep learning from children, peers and community.
  • Committed to cooperative, non-competitive, non-hierarchical approaches to learning.
  • Committed to restorative approaches to behavioural problems and conflict
  • Comfortable with diverse persons and families
  • Able to open conversations and non-judgmentally and collaboratively deal with homo/transphobia, racism, sexism, classism, gender stereotyping, colonialist bias as it is brought into school by young children and unaware adults.
  • Alternative school experience: in teaching, supply or internship
  • Experience in community facilitation, peacebuilding and conflict resolution, in school or other contexts
  • Aware of the difference between freedom and license
  • Skills and strategies to engage children with different learning styles
  • A background in critical pedagogy, particularly with respect to decolonizing and Indigenous perspectives
  • Experience and skills in integrating and infusing anti-racism, anti-oppression into schooling approach and curriculum.
  • Strong listening skills and patience, for working with peers and families
  • Arts/music/drama/story-telling/science/sports an asset
  • Experience in outdoor and nature education an asset
The interview criteria will include the following areas:
  • Experience, skills, knowledge, and commitment to community-based, democratic free-school approach
  • Specific Teaching skills/experience
  • Requisite additional skills/experience to thrive in the role of teacher in ALPHA’s democratic free-school community
  • Attributes to thrive in the role of teacher in ALPHA’s democratic freeschool community
  • Experienced commitment to anti-oppression, decolonization, equity and social justice