Priority Schools

The Priority Schools Initiative is a component of the Community Use of Schools program where the Ministry of Education provides funding to select school boards in order that not-for-profit groups may have free after-hours access to school facilities in communities that need it most.

"The Priority Schools Initiative has allowed Sandy Hill Community Health Centre to be able to offer a wider range of programming for children and youth in Strathcona Heights.  In a community that is already under-served, without the use of the space at Viscount Alexander Public School, it would be difficult to provide recreational activities as well as arts and culture." – Gerald Dragon, Youth Engagement Worker

Free use of school space allows local not-for-profit organizations the ability to offer affordable or no-cost programming in schools. The primary criterion for selecting these potential priority schools was socio-economic, based on data provided in the 2006 Census. The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board received funding for 15 schools for the 2017-2018 school year as listed below.

Ridgemont HS

The Board is committed to allocating the funding to clients who offer programs at a minimal cost to low-income youth; preferably from the neighborhoods surrounding the priority schools. Low-income youth have be afforded greater opportunities since the establishment of homework clubs, youth sports and other activities.

“TheCatholic Centre for Immigrants would like to thank the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)for their support to our programs aimed at facilitating the Syrian Refugees' Settlement in Ottawa. By providing free space in their schools, we have been able to run various programs for the new families in several locations across the city. We also plan to use OCDSB schools to run English conversation circles and other programs in the areas where the Syrian families have settled. The settlement of newcomers to Canada requires the community to come together to facilitate their integration. That's what the OCDSB has shown since we started this collaboration.” – Javier Clavelo Robinson, Community Connections Team, Catholic Centre for Immigrants

For additional information regarding this program and to see if your group is eligible for this opportunity please contact the Outreach Coordinators, Deborah Latham at 613.596.8211 ext 3202 or Jenn Shumsky at 613.596.8793 
. You can also email: 

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