Safe Schools: Urban and Priority High Schools (UPHS)

Urban and Priority High Schools

All students deserve an education and an opportunity to be successful. However, not all students have the same supports in place necessary to succeed in school. Through the UPHS program, the Ministry of Education supports the academic success of secondary school students across Ontario. Their schools experience challenges that may include low academic achievement, suspension and expulsion, conflict with the law, poverty and a lack of access to community resources in their neighbourhoods.

Funding has been provided to 40 high schools in 12 school boards in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, London, Ottawa, Waterloo, and Windsor, through the Grants for Student Needs. All of the schools are located in urban centres with populations of at least 200,000.

The schools, chosen from 12 boards across the province, offer activities/initiatives that support the following:

  • Social and emotional student well-being
  • Student academic achievement
  • Bullying prevention and intervention
  • Violence prevention and personal safety
  • Engagement and leadership for disengaged students
  • Family and community engagement.

UPHS allows schools to work with community partners to identify and respond to issues and challenges faced by students in a focused and immediate way. As a result, more students are engaged and attend school regularly. The program supports students to improve their literacy and numeracy skills, participate in school activities, connect to their community, learn valuable leadership skills and plan for their future.