Erindale Secondary School, Mississauga
Peel District School Board
A place for everyone
With a diverse student body, including Aboriginal students and many students with developmental disabilities, Erindale had the challenging task of meeting lots of different needs, while trying to create an inclusive school culture and a compassionate learning environment.
To do this, the school promoted classroom integration and character development to make students feel welcome and achieve academic success through the following programs:
- An extensive character education program that promoted equity and inclusion through daily character lessons, character recognition assemblies and the creation of safe spaces for a Gay-Straight Alliance, a Christian student group and a Muslim student association.
- A school-wide character program in which all students including those with developmental disabilities have benefitted from being mentors and leaders to new Grade 9 students.
- A Character Outreach Program with a local First Nations School provided experiential learning opportunities where students of both schools worked together to launch a business selling fleece pillows to raise funds for a local hospital.
Erindale's school culture has truly transformed. Since the beginning of its character initiatives, the school has seen an increase in the number of student leaders in school. Suspension rates have declined and the graduation rate has steadily climbed. One parent praises the open-minded, caring and inclusive attitude of Erindale staff and students that have opened up a whole new world of accomplishments and connectedness for his son.