Ontario is home to some of the best school boards in Canada. These school boards provide students with a high-quality education, and they have a strong commitment to equity and diversity. In the province of Ontario, the quality of education is greatly influenced by the effectiveness of the school boards.
These governing bodies play a crucial role in shaping policies, providing resources, and ensuring a supportive learning environment for students. In this article, we will explore the top 10 best school boards in Ontario, highlighting their commitment to excellence and student success. From fostering inclusive environments to promoting academic achievements, these school boards have demonstrated outstanding performance and dedication to providing quality education.
We will discuss the factors that were considered when ranking these school boards, and we will provide a brief overview of each school board. If you are looking for a high-quality education for your child, then you should consider enrolling them in a school that is part of one of the top 10 best school boards in Ontario.
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Top 10 Best School Boards in Ontario
Ontario has a number of excellent school boards, which provide students with a high-quality education. Here are the top 10 best school boards in Ontario, based on a number of factors, including student achievement, graduation rates, teacher quality, and school safety.
1. Toronto District School Board (TDSB)
The largest and one of the most diverse school boards in Canada, TDSB is committed to providing inclusive and equitable education to its students. It offers a wide range of programs and services to support student success.
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is the English-language public-secular school board for Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was founded on January 20, 1953, as the Metropolitan Toronto School Board (MTSB) to coordinate activities and apportion tax revenues fairly across the six anglophone and later a francophone school boards within Metro Toronto.
In 1998, the MTSB merged with the six anglophone metro school boards to form the Toronto District School Board. The francophone school board of MTSB became part of Conseil scolaire Viamonde. TDSB is Canada’s largest school board and the fourth largest school board in North America.
The minority public-secular francophone, public-separate anglophone, and public-separate francophone communities of Toronto also have their own publicly funded school boards and schools that operate in the same area, but they are independent of TDSB. The headquarters of TDSB are in the district of North York.
2. York Region District School Board (YRDSB)
YRDSB is recognized for its strong commitment to student achievement, innovation, and global citizenship. It provides a supportive and enriching learning environment that prepares students for success in the 21st century.
The York Region District School Board (YRDSB) is the English-language public school board for the Regional Municipality of York in Ontario, Canada. Before 1999, it was known as English-language Public District School Board No. 16. With over 122,000 students, YRDSB is the province’s third-largest school board, following Toronto’s TDSB and Peel’s PDSB. The region it serves is the fastest-growing census division in Ontario and the third-fastest growing in Canada.
In addition to YRDSB, the public francophone, English Catholic, and French Catholic communities of York Region have their own publicly funded school boards and schools operating in the same area. The region is situated on the traditional territory of several Indigenous First Nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, Alderville, Curve Lake, Hiawatha, Scugog Island, and the Chippewas of Beausoleil, Rama, and Georgina Island.
3. Peel District School Board (PDSB)
PDSB is known for its focus on student well-being, academic excellence, and community engagement. It prioritizes equity, diversity, and inclusion and strives to create safe and inclusive learning environments for all students.
The Peel District School Board (PDSB) is a school district that serves around 153,000 students from kindergarten to grade 12 at over 259 schools in the Region of Peel, which includes the municipalities of Caledon, Brampton, and Mississauga, located to the west of Toronto. With more than 15,000 full-time staff, PDSB is the largest employer in Peel Region. As of 2023, it is the second-largest school board in Canada.
4. Halton District School Board (HDSB)
HDSB focuses on providing high-quality education and creating inclusive learning communities. It promotes student engagement, well-being, and innovation through its comprehensive programs and services.
The Halton District School Board serves public school students in Halton Region, which includes the municipalities of Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton, and Oakville. It is situated to the southwest of the city of Toronto. During the 2006-2007 academic year, the board catered to nearly 50,000 students, excluding those in adult, alternative, and Community Education programs.
5. Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)
OCDSB is dedicated to fostering academic excellence, equity, and well-being for its students. It offers a diverse range of programs, including specialized programs for gifted learners and students with unique learning needs.
The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) oversees all English public schools in Ottawa, Ontario. It operates under a system of elected trustees and a director appointed by the Board. Every four years, trustee elections are held in each of Ottawa’s twelve electoral zones.
The board holds an organizational meeting after the elections to elect the chair and vice-chair and determine committee memberships. Additionally, two student trustees are selected per provincial regulation, allowing students to participate in Board governance.
6. Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB)
WRDSB is known for its strong academic programs, collaborative learning environments, and commitment to student well-being. It emphasizes experiential learning and prepares students for future success.
The Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) is the public school board for the Region of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. It operates 105 elementary schools, 16 secondary schools, and other facilities, serving over 64,000 students in the region.
With approximately 6,800 staff and a budget of $675 million, WRDSB is the largest public sector employer in the region and the second-largest employer overall. The board serves the cities of Kitchener, Cambridge, and Waterloo, and the townships of Wellesley, Woolwich, Wilmot, and North Dumfries, operating schools in various communities within these areas. The current director of education as of early 2018 is John Bryant.
It is one of the best school boards in Canada.
7. Durham District School Board (DDSB)
DDSB is committed to ensuring student success, well-being, and equity. It offers a range of programs that cater to the diverse needs and interests of its students, including programs in arts, sciences, and technology.
The Durham District School Board (DDSB) is an English-language public-secular school board in Ontario, Canada, previously known as English-language Public District School Board No. 13. It serves most of Durham Region, except for Clarington, which falls under the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. The DDSB has over 7,600 staff and caters to approximately 54,700 elementary and 23,400 secondary school students. Its headquarters is located in Whitby.
The DDSB operates independently alongside three other boards: Durham Catholic District School Board for English-Catholic students, Conseil scolaire Viamonde for French-secular students, and Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir for French-Catholic students.
Furthermore, the DDSB acknowledges its presence on the traditional and treaty territory of the Mississauga of Scugog Island First Nation, the Mississauga Peoples, and the treaty territory of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation. DDSB is the seventh best on our list of best school boards in Ontario, Canada.
8. Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB)
TVDSB is dedicated to fostering academic achievement, creativity, and global citizenship. It offers a range of programs and services that support student success, including specialized programs in arts, sports, and technology.
The Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) is a public school board in southwestern Ontario, Canada, previously known as English-language Public District School Board No. 11. It was formed on January 1, 1998, through the amalgamation of four education boards.
TVDSB serves a vast area spanning over 7,000 square kilometers, encompassing urban, suburban, and rural communities. The board covers three counties and includes the cities of London, St. Thomas, and Woodstock, along with the towns of Ingersoll, Tillsonburg, and Strathroy-Caradoc, as well as several smaller towns and villages.
As of 2006, the board oversees 184 schools, comprising 154 elementary and 30 secondary schools. Additionally, TVDSB offers alternative education programs for approximately 40,000 students through various avenues, such as adult day school, continuing education, general interest, night school, and summer school courses.
Currently, the board is involved in the construction or planning of four future elementary schools in southwest London, northwest London, Woodstock, and Belmont. Furthermore, extensions and renovations to Eagle Heights, Aldborough, and River Heights public schools are currently underway. TVDSB is the eighth best on the our list of best school boards in Ontario, Canada.
9. The Conseil scolaire Viamonde (CSV)
CSV is a public-secular French first language school board, and manages elementary and secondary schools in the Ontario Peninsula and the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The school board operates 41 elementary schools and 15 secondary schools within that area.
The Conseil scolaire Viamonde (CSV) is a French first language public-secular school board that oversees elementary and secondary schools in the Ontario Peninsula and Greater Golden Horseshoe areas. Within this region, CSV manages 41 elementary schools and 15 secondary schools. The board has offices in Toronto and Welland, with its educational management office situated in Toronto’s Maple Leaf neighborhood and the business and financial management office in Welland.
CSV was established in 1998 through the merger of several local school boards, forming the French-language Public District School Board No. 58. From 1999 to 2010, it operated as Conseil Scolaire de District du Centre-Sud-Ouest.
As a member of the Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l’Ontario (ACÉPO), CSV collaborates with three other school boards to support French-language education in the province. CSV is the ninth on our list of best school boards in Ontario, Canada.
10. Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB)
HWDSB is focused on creating a culture of learning and achievement. It promotes student engagement, well-being, and success through innovative teaching practices and a supportive learning environment
Factors Considered in the Ranking
The following factors were considered when ranking the top 10 school boards in Ontario:
- Academic Performance: The overall academic performance of students within the school board, including standardized test scores, graduation rates, and post-secondary readiness.
- Student Achievement: The achievement levels of students in various subjects and areas such as mathematics, language arts, science, and arts.
- Quality of Teachers: The qualifications, experience, and expertise of the teachers employed by the school board, including professional development opportunities and ongoing support.
- Resources and Facilities: The availability and quality of resources and facilities, including libraries, laboratories, technology, and extracurricular facilities.
- Equity and Inclusion: The commitment of the school board to promoting equity and inclusion, ensuring that all students have equal opportunities for success and support.
- Parental and Community Involvement: The level of parental and community involvement in school board activities, including parent-teacher associations, volunteer programs, and partnerships with local organizations.
- Special Education Support: The availability and effectiveness of special education programs and support services for students with diverse learning needs.
- Co-curricular Opportunities: The range and quality of co-curricular activities and programs offered by the school board, including sports, clubs, arts, and leadership opportunities.
- Innovation and Technology Integration: The school board’s commitment to innovative teaching practices and the integration of technology to enhance learning experiences.
- Governance and Leadership: The effectiveness of the school board’s governance and leadership in providing strategic direction, accountability, and transparency.
These top 10 best school boards in Ontario exemplify excellence in education through their unwavering commitment to student success, inclusive practices, innovation, and community engagement.
By prioritizing academic achievement, student well-being, and the development of essential skills, these school boards are shaping the future of education in Ontario. With their dedication and vision, they continue to make a positive impact on the lives of students, families, and communities across the province.