The Schools at the Centre dialogue

Thursday, April 30, 2009
9:30 am to 12:00 noon
School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto
14 Queen’s Park Cres. West, Main Floor
The building is located on the west side of Queen's Park, opposite the legislature.

The context
Ontario is at a crossroads. Our population, our economy and our very environment are being transformed.

Education is a key determinant of nearly all of our social outcomes. Over 90% of Canada’s young people go to public schools (in Ontario, that percentage is even higher). Our schools can be the leaders of change. Yet, many citizens, including groups in the community who have a role serving children and their families, have come to believe that schools are the sole domain of educators. They don’t feel competent discussing this most important of community resources. Busy educators are doing their best to meet student needs and improve student success, but still struggle about how best to engage parents and the broader community.

The result is often siloed organizations, services and individuals.

The intention
The objective of the initiative is to create a space where we can work together – across communities, sectors and interests – and integrate thinking and efforts about programs, services and policies that affect the lives of families, children, young people and communities. This topic is especially relevant of late, given the implication of the Ministry of Education’s choice to post the School Information Finder on its website. We hope to include this topic in our discussion.

People for Education has begun a series of dialogues with community leaders, parents, young people, academics, educators, policy-makers, and business and political leaders. In the dialogues, we discuss and describe models for 21st century schools that have the capacity to prepare young people for the bright futures they deserve, bring people together and transform communities, and act as an integral part of vibrant neighbourhoods, towns and cities. We are finding out about schools and programs that work, and collecting great ideas.

Please join us on April 30th to take part in this event. Registration is limited so register quickly at

For a look at the Schools at the Centre online forum, please go to and click on “Online Community”.

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