About our school

Thank you for your interest in Hawthorne II Bilingual Alternative School!

We are an inclusive JK-Grade 6 alternative TDSB school located in the Christie Pits neighbourhood of Toronto, that welcomes all kinds of families and students. 

In Person Open House

January 18, 2024, 6-7 PM

Learn about our TDSB alternative school in the Christie Pits neighbourhood, including:

  • Our new alternative French language learning programme featuring a 50/50 French/English Kindergarten
  • Our commitment to learning through outdoor play
  • Intimate, warm school community and partnership with Essex Public School
To watch a video about our school click here.
Hawthorne In Person Open House will be held on January 18, 2024 from 6 – 7 pm


About Hawthorne II Bilingual Alternative School

Our New Alternative French Programme

Based on a philosophy that French language learning can be for everyone, our programme emphasises English literacy with a significant French language learning component. This program begins in kindergarten and focuses on practical, oral French.

Our new programme, to be implemented Fall 2022, features

  • JK and SK conducted in 50% French and 50% English. This is the model in other school boards like Ottawa, where all children get a solid grounding in both languages. 
  • From grades 1–6, 30% of the day is taught in French and is taught directly one period per day by the homeroom teacher
  • Academic subjects are taught in English while music, library, and gym are taught in French 
  • Primary grades 1–3 focus on French oral skills while Junior grades 4–6 build on reading, writing, and grammar in French.

Learning through Outdoor Play

As an OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) school, students at Hawthorne engage in open-ended play with “loose parts”, such as tires, lumber, milk crates and other items.  

Students are encouraged to use these items in creative but safe ways to develop their physical literacy and collaboration skills. This research-based approach to recess and lunch results in high levels of physical activity for students, as well as opportunities to practice and develop important 21st century learning skills such as planning and problem solving. 

As an OPAL school, we also spend a significant amount of time outside each day regardless of the weather. This develops our students’ resiliency, appreciation for nature, and contributes to their overall mental well-being.


Hawthorne has a wonderful music programme thanks to our outstanding music teacher. 

  • Orff instruments and singing are introduced for the younger grades
  • All students participate in band from grade 4 where students choose their brass instrument, or to adapt to pandemic precautions we pivoted to a ukelele band
  • Year-end musical production with participation from all students (such as Wizard of Oz, Lion King)

Experiential learning

Students regularly visit High Park, and other field trips and enjoy in-school visitors/activities. 

Grade 5 and 6 students look forward to overnight trips to Montreal for French language experience and the Island school for the outdoor learning component. 

Our Community

Hawthorne is a community of many sorts of families. Our school council is strong and active, and as an alternative school, parents have a significant role to play in shaping the activities of the school. We also have a close relationship with our partner school, Essex PS, and as a result, we are able to provide large school opportunities that everyone can enjoy such as a theatrical production, a big year-end fair, or Halloween Monster Mixer party. 


Quick Facts

Principal: Dan Fisher

Vice Principal: Catherine Munro

Office Administrator: Tracey Shannon

School Council Chair(s): Jackie Wylde, Rose Goring

Superintendant: Jennifer Chan

Trustee: Deborah Williams

50 Essex St
Toronto, ON M6G 1T3
View on Google Maps

Office Hours:
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Phone #: (416) 393-0727
Fax #: (416) 393-9608
Email: Hawthorne@tdsb.on.ca

Official TDSB website

Hawthorne is fortunate to have an enthusiastic and committed staff and faculty.

Here is a list of our staff and their classroom/phone numbers for the school year 2023-24.

Grade Room Name Email
JK/SK 212 Lidya Rosenbaum lidya.rosenbaum@tdsb.on.ca
JK/SK 213 Maria Comino maria.comino@tdsb.on.ca
Grade 1/2 A 308 Chantelle Rego Picano chantelle.regopicano@tdsb.on.ca
Grade 1/2 B 307 Andrea Wilson andrea.wilson@tdsb.on.ca
Grade 3 304 Amy Cooper amy.cooper@tdsb.on.ca
Grade 4/5 309 Audrey Madsen audrey.madsen@tdsb.on.ca
Grade 5/6 209 Leo Spare leo.spare@tdsb.on.ca
Gym East Gym ES Ian Barnes ian.barnes@tdsb.on.ca
Music 211 Jessica Arshinoff jessica.arshinoff@tdsb.on.ca
Library 216 Sonia Artinian Augsbuerger sonia.artinianaugsburger@tdsb.on.ca
Caretaking Staff 317/318 David Tse david.tse@tdsb.on.ca