The Oakville campus of Gary Allan High School moved to its new location at
485 Kerr St. in September and administrators say the move is proving very successful and providing unique learning opportunities. They are encouraging people to contact the school for help in achieving their educational goals.
Gary Allan High School provides alternative education in a closely tracked, integrated program that combines career and life education with individualized instruction for compulsory courses in a small class setting. Approximately 45 students are enrolled in Gary Allan (Oakville), which integrates the STEP (Secondary Teen Education) and SCORE (Secondary Community Outreach) programs.
SCORE programs aim to re-engage students with their educational goals.
Through SCORE, program staff work to build strong trusting relationships with students, and to provide a safe, caring and engaging educational environment. It provides self-paced, individualized programming delivered through a combination of tutorials and interactive classes.
STEP is designed for students who are at least in their third year of high school and require a smaller, more supportive and structured academic setting, an alternate school experience to a regular high school, and support in attendance and strengthening school habits.
Overall, career exploration and work opportunities are integrated into the academic program at Gary Allan High School to create a diverse and engaging learning experience. There are also opportunities for community outings, which include visiting the Sidrabene Camp retreat centre in Burlington, and volunteer experiences.
The Gary Allan Oakville campus is located on the second floor at 485 Kerr St., home to charity-based Kerr Street Mission (KSM). The location has allowed the two organizations to partner on various initiatives, explained Jim Mackenzie, Vice-principal of Gary Allan High School (Oakville). For example, students have the unique opportunity to give back to their community through volunteering offered at the mission including helping with after-school programs.
Through a partnership, students use the building's kitchen to help prepare meals for KSM and the hours accumulated can be applied to the 40 community hours required to graduate. Gary Allan students also prepare daily nutritious meals for each other and they eat together, which can help build camaraderie.
“Teachers endeavor to build a caring and inclusive learning community centered on wellness, equity, respect and collaboration," Mackenzie said. “Staff members work to build a relationship with each student to gain insight into their individual needs. With an inviting, welcoming and positive atmosphere on Kerr Street, we have witnessed an increase in attendance and participation."
SCORE student Jasmine Reid is thrilled she enrolled at Gary Allan High School's Kerr Street location. Being a new mom, she said the flexibility and smaller classroom setting the school offers effectively accommodates her busy schedule.
“The opportunity here is amazing," she said, noting the learning environment is friendly. Everyone is always supporting each other and everyone here is happy for each other."
Reid said she wants to be an example to her family by obtaining her high school diploma, and is working hard to be the best person she can be.
“I love learning and I love my education," she said. “I really like being here."
To learn more about the program at Gary Allan High School in Oakville, contact Terry-Lynn Hill, Alternatives Programs Leader or Jim MacKenzie, Vice-principal, at 905-632-2944.
To learn more other Gary Allan programs in Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills, visit