The Grove is a community-centred school in which students, parents/guardians, teachers, and community members work and learn together in a cooperative, consensus-building way to solve real problems.
About The Grove
The Grove Community School is Canada’s first public elementary school focused on environmental education, community activism and social justice. The school, which opened in 2009, is located on the third floor of Alexander Muir / Gladstone Avenue Junior and Senior Public School. Both schools share the use of an extensive library and computer lab, gymnasium, auditorium, school yard, and outdoor classrooms. The Grove Community School is a small school of 120 students, from JK to Grade Six.
Note that this website is brought to you by the proud parents of The Grove, not by the Toronto District School Board.
Our Core ValuesSocial Justice - Environmentalism - Community Activism
School life and curriculum at The Grove Community School are focused on a set of Core Values:
Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice
Ecological Sustainability and Environmental Justice
Community Engagement and Activism
Unique Curriculum ApproachHolistic - Engaging - Challenging - Gender Splendour - Seeds of Change - Experiential - Collaborative - Anti-Bias
At The Grove, we satisfy Ontario Ministry of Education requirements with respect to curriculum expectations, but we also go beyond them in a unique approach guided by our core values of social justice, ecological sustainability and environmental justice, community engagement/ activism.
EQAO statement: EQAO results for The Grove do not reflect the actual number of students at grade level. These results are calculated using the total number of students enrolled in a class, regardless of the number of students who actually write the test. The Grove has a high rate of opting out of the EQAO. Therefore, if 6 children in a class of 20 write the test, and all 6 children achieve a grade level result, the EQAO will report 6/20 or 30% at grade level.
A committment to encouraging critical thinking skills & inquiry based learning.
Seeds of Change
A rotary class exploring ecological sustainability & environmental justice through inquiry and experiential learning.
At The Grove, the Arts — including visual and dramatic arts, music and dance (creative movement) — help to expand and foster imagination and creativity. The Arts are taught as a stand-alone subject, and teachers also take opportunities to incorporate arts into their curriculum.
We aspire to fulfill the goals of self-awareness, confidence, family pride, positive social identities, express comfort and joy with human diversity, accurate language for human differences, and deep, caring human connections. Each child will demonstrate empowerment and the skills to act, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions.
The Grove uses assessment and evaluation primarily to promote student learning. The School avoids the use of high-stakes, graded testing, rigid standardization, and any evaluation instruments designed to promote competitiveness and the ranking of students.
The Grove has achieved Platinum ECO School Status!
Here is a list of Field Trips and Special Activities that Grove Students have participated in:
- Planting Trees in McCormick Park
- Planting a pollinator garden
- Wildflower Stomp
- Building our School Garden
- Pipeline Protest
- Yellow Fish Road Program
- Watershed on Wheels
- Scientists in the School
- Community Walks
- Investigate Butterflies and Worms
- Planting a Peace Tree
- Visiting West End Food Co-op
- Warren Park Field Trip
- High Park Field Trip
- Brickworks Evergreen
Community and CollaborationMorning Circle - Grove Gatherings
Teaching ExcellenceEnthusiastic Lifelong Learners who Embrace our Core Values
We are fortunate to have Teachers who foster curiosity, wonder, imagination, and creativity in our students. Our dedicated teaching staff are inspired by a deep desire to make change in the world, have a strong passion for justice, and understand how to foster these same qualities in young learners in developmentally appropriate ways.
Our teachers are award winning, and are leaders in their field. And they are happy to share their experience and knowledge by participating in workshops and curriculum development, and by hosting teaching candidates from several universities.
ETFO Anti-Bias Award 2014 (Velvet Lacasse)
National Geographic/Lindblad Expeditions Grosvenor Teacher Fellow 2015 (Ellie Clin)
Autism Speaks Grant 2014 (Joey Mandel)
LGBTQ Parenting Network’s International Family Visibility Day 2012
Collaborated with COPA to create a documentary about Student Engagement 2014
ETFO’s Re-Thinking White Privilege Curriculum 2016
ETFO’s Women’s Equality Project 2017
ETFO Conference “And Still We Rise” 2013 and 2014
ETT Equity Conference 2013, 2015
OISE/TDSB Eco Schools Pollinating Partnerships Symposium 2015
Project WILD Facilitator training 2015
ETFO’s “LGBT Awareness in the Primary Classroom”: 2013-2015
ETFO’s “Everyone is Able” 2015
Professional Development & Publication
Peace Circles, a restorative justice approach to conflict resolution, 2009 & 2010
ETT Newspaper Article “Social Justice in the Classroom” 2010
Ministry of Education: Pedagogical Leadership and Inquiry-based Learning across the K-3 Continuum: 2015
ETFO’s “Re-thinking White Privilege” resource: 2015
Moment to Moment: A positive approach to managing classroom behaviour – Joey Mandel, 2013
Anxiety: Deal With It Before It Ties You Up in Knots – Joey Mandel, 2014
Stop the Stress in Schools: Mental health strategies teachers can use to build a kinder gentler classroom – Joey Mandel, 2014
Keep Growing: How to encourage students to persevere, overcome setbacks, and develop a growth mindset – Joey Mandel, 2017
The Grove Community School Handbook
The Grove Community School Handbook
This is our core document; it’s become a little outdated over the years, but is grounded in the founding principles of The Grove