Safe Schools: Urban and Priority High Schools

Urban and Priority High Schools

All students deserve the same opportunities and supports to succeed at school, however not all city neighbourhoods are created equal. There are high schools in urban centres across Ontario facing challenges such as poverty, criminal and gang activity, and a lack of community resources, such as recreation centres or libraries.

The government provides funding to 37 such high schools to develop programs in partnership with their community. All of the schools have more than 500 students and are in urban centres with populations of at least 200,000.

The schools, chosen from 12 boards across the province, offer programs in five key areas:

  • Nutrition: breakfast and lunch programs
  • Student leadership/engagement: Grade 9 orientation camps, leadership training
  • Lunch time and After-School Programming: intramural sports, music ensembles, special interest clubs, summer camps
  • Staffing: additional student success teachers, social workers, child and youth workers
  • Improving student achievement: helping all students afford the basics of school life, including class trips and transportation.

Schools are reaching out to students and their families, working to develop a safe and positive school climate. A safe school and engaged parents are critical to creating an environment where students can succeed.

Success Stories

Funding for Urban and Priority High Schools is already generating success stories across the province.

Check out UPHS Connections, a newsletter highlighting examples and effective practices from some of the schools involved with the UPHS initiative. The stories show the many creative initiatives schools participating in UPHS have used to help improve student achievement and well-being and increase levels of student engagement.