Peel District School Board – Ontario, Canada

June 27, 2024

Peel District School Board

A First-Class Education


Empowering Students through Opportunity, Community, and Inclusion

Shaping the future of education in Ontario, the Peel District School Board (PDSB) exemplifies innovation and diversity, showcasing a commitment to equity, collaboration, and forward thinking. As the second largest school board in Canada, the board proudly serves 150,000 students across 261 schools spanning three municipalities: Caledon, Brampton, and Mississauga. Situated within the bustling Greater Toronto Area, PDSB acts as a gateway for newcomers to Canada, welcoming families seeking educational opportunities and community engagement.

Lifting Voices and Embracing Community

“We have three ‘We Welcome the World’ centers in Peel District School Board, where newcomers come in to find out where to go and what to do about schooling,” portrays Rashmi Swarup, Director of Education. “We serve 11,000 newcomers each year, coming from 188 countries and speaking 121 different first languages. We are so proud of the enrichment they bring and the wide array of perspectives and traditions.”

School Board Chair, Dr. David Green, emphasizes the value of inclusion, and listening to all voices, especially those from marginalized communities. “We value the integral part that they play within our school system, and that’s including their family, the elders of circles, and so forth, that are part of our community. We work alongside them to ensure that we’re hearing from them and that their voices are a part of how we move forward as a school board,” he shares. “At Peel District School Board, we strongly believe that when the community and family are engaged, we see better outcomes for students, we see more success, we also see a better engagement through the communities.”


Turner Fenton PS Cricket Field

Early Years and Beyond

In a rapidly changing world, PDSB is committed to offering a forward-thinking educational experience. These efforts begin in the early years when children are enrolled in a two-year kindergarten program. “We get about 8,500 kindergarten students each year starting in Peel District School Board,” describes Swarup. “It’s a play-based learning model. We have parents engaging with them, we have Early Childhood Educators. If you walk into a kindergarten class, you will find that the kids are engaged.” Peel also supports families by offering before and after-school programming in most of its elementary schools.

From Kindergarten to Twelfth grade, the emphasis is on preparing learners and ensuring they are future-ready. Swarup expands, “The staff focuses on empowering modern learners by leading for learning, leading for equity, and leading for community.” She points out the array of specialized options in Peel District School Board, offering students access to tools and facilities such as science labs, maker spaces, and performing art studios, in alignment with the resolve to encourage creative expression and hands-on learning.

Key Collaborations and Partnerships

Peel District School Board is grateful for the numerous collaborations with educational institutions and organizations that provide diverse learning opportunities for its students. These include partnerships with the University of Toronto Mississauga and Algoma University which offer co-op programs and university credits, tailored specifically to Black students. Additionally, collaborations with institutions such as Toronto Metropolitan University’s School of Medicine and Sheridan College, aim to prepare students for various career paths and future education. “We also have a partner in Canada Learning Code, where we are offering more than 200 students at a time the chance to get Google Data Analytics Certification, along with 25 staff members,” conveys Swarup. “We partner with Skill Councils Canada, where at Judith Nyman Secondary School we have 17 skilled trade programs because we want to ensure that our students have the skills to be employable, and future ready.”

Peel District School Board is also home to the Centre for Indigenous Excellence and Land-Based Learning, a space dedicated to Indigenous education, which brings neighboring school boards to Peel to experience it firsthand. “It is dedicated to learning about cultures and traditions,” says Swarup. “We partner with our First Nation, Metis, and the Indigenous community, and our elders in the community.”


Mount Pleasant

Investing in Modern Infrastructure

The collaborative efforts between local municipalities and PDSB have led to the development of four state-of-the-art sports facilities including three artificial track and field areas- one at Mayfield Secondary School, in partnership with the town of Caledon, one at Lincoln Alexander Secondary School, in partnership with the city of Mississauga, and the Central Peel sports facility, built in collaboration with the city of Brampton. Each location is equipped with a synthetic field, which accommodates various sports including football, soccer, rugby, lacrosse, field hockey, and cricket. As well as the track, specialized areas for long jump and triple jump enhance the suitability of each location for competitions at regional and provincial levels. Equipped with energy-efficient sports lighting, the fields are also a source of enjoyment for the community outside of school hours. Green recounts, “The hub that was created at Central Peel is seeing not only our students that come to Peel school, but also we are having a weekend, community groups, and international students that are accessing this hub for programs and services. When you have more students and more people engaged in the community, you have less crime activity, and fewer people, because of the physical activity, ending up going to the health care department. It benefits everyone in the community.”

In partnership with the city of Brampton, the school board is also investing in a top-notch cricket pitch at Turner Fenton Secondary School. COO Jaspal Gill reports, “The facility will also have sports lighting, because we want to make sure that it is available not only during the daytime to our students but also to the community and other sports groups throughout the city, in the evenings and on the weekends. It’s not only a new field and a facility for our students and staff, but this is also the city’s first joint youth cricket project that will serve to benefit our local community. Athletes, families, everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy the fastest growing sport in our region, at our Turner Fenton secondary school.”

Nurturing Leadership and Global Citizenship

PDSB’s commitment to innovation and education shines through its multitude of programs, such as the Specialized High Skills Major offerings, which span various fields, including automotive, health, and wellness, and a newly emerging cybersecurity focus. Swarup describes, “We call all of our schools ‘Centers of Innovation’ because we have innovative projects that we fund. Right now, we have 160 schools with school teams, building these innovative projects under the guidance of what we call our modern learning resource teachers, and our innovation and research department.”

The Collaborative Learning and Technology Center at Central Peel spans 7,300 square feet and was designed through a joint effort involving architects, engineers, construction firms, and the city of Brampton. “Working with the municipality, we are developing dynamic spaces for students and community members to engage in these experiences,” Swarup elaborates. “In this innovative space, we bring in our elementary schools, we have partner communities come in, and it’s a commitment to an entire community not only to one school and students.”

Achievements in global competitions highlight the exceptional talents of Peel students and the school board’s dedication to preparing future-ready citizens. Representing the region on an international scale, the board has a winning robotics team heading to Norway and has won the NASA Space Settlement contest for two consecutive years. “That is a worldwide contest,” boasts Swarup. “This year, our students have won one first prize, one-second prize, two third prizes, and three honorable mentions. They were competing with 29,000 students, and more than 5,200 entries from 28 countries around the world. The biggest pride this year for us is that the first prize is an all-girls team from the school.”

PDSB’s collaboration with Let’s Talk Science has also brought them to the forefront of innovation, specifically the involvement of a Mississauga school in the development of a space-bound robot known as Rover. “Maybe 10 years from now these students will be able to see Rover in space, and they can say they were a part of this. This is how we’re preparing our students to be able to give them a cutting edge on the future and what is to come. It is so exciting,” remarks Green.

Looking Ahead

With much to look forward to, the Peel District School Board remains dedicated to advancing student success through a focus on marginalized students, community collaboration, and innovative program delivery. Although the board has faced its share of challenges in recent years, Green relays, “I’m hoping that before the end of this year, Peel District School Board will be number one within the province in terms of leading and delivering cutting edge programs. We want to prepare students for a future where they can be competent to compete in Canada, and globally. Also, we want to continue the collaboration that we have with our community, our families, and all of our stakeholders, because when we all work together, we have a better system and a better school board.”


Peel District School Board

What: The second largest school board in Canada, serving 150,000 students.

Where: Ontario, Canada



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