Stronger communities are built when people living there can interact and participate regularly in quality programs such as health, cultural, social, educational and recreational opportunities. However, many communities are challenged by the lack of space for service delivery. Through the Priority Schools Initiative (PSI), 77 priority schools provide a solution to the challenge of inadequate space in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods for community use. PSI helps not-for-profit organizations and grass-roots community or resident-led groups gain free access to space to run a program where people can engage in meaningful activities. Many PSI schools have evolved into community hubs offering vibrant and engaging resources for local residents.
What is PSI?
The Priority Schools Initiative is a joint project between the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and the Ministry of Education aimed at making TDSB school spaces more accessible to the community. The objective is to improve overall student achievement by providing quality, affordable, after-school programs for students, parents and their community. With funding provided by the Ontario Ministry of Education, TDSB has opened the doors of 77 schools to provide not-for-profit organizations and groups, free after-hours access to school facilities in communities that need it most. After-hours access starts on weekdays from 6 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
PSI is focused on program types that meet the needs of community within areas of health and wellness, sports and recreation, leadership and development, arts and culture, counselling, settlement, literacy, social, environment, and civic engagement. Programs must fall into one of these categories to qualify for PSI space.
Please note that priority will be given to organisations offering free programs.
2016/2017 PSI Permit Applications
The TDSB Facility Permit Booking system has transitioned to a new Facility Booking system. eBase is now open to accept Priority Schools Initiative (PSI) permit requests for the 2016-17 school year.
Please also note the changes to the PSI funding eligibility criteria for the 2016/2017 school year:
- PSI funding will only be available to groups serving children, youth and seniors. Adult groups currently on PSI funding should contact their Facilitator to discuss the options available to them.
- One day community events are no longer eligible for PSI funding. All one day special community events in PSI schools will have to apply and pay for their permit.
Please contact your PSI Facilitator for further clarification or information on the PSI permit process.