Toronto District School Board
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Arts-Based Schools

Elementary Arts-Based Schools

Within the TDSB there are a number of arts-based elementary schools that focus on drama, dance, music, visual arts and digital arts. Through the arts, students learn to think imaginatively, identify and solve problems, empathize with others, think critically, communicate effectively and appreciate the skills and accomplishments of others. 

Claude Watson School for the Arts (Grades 4-8)

Claude Watson School for the Arts offers an enriched arts education for students within the City of Toronto who have demonstrated talent in music, drama, dance, digital arts and visual arts. Students pursue studies in all five arts disciplines. The goals of the school are to enrich and accelerate aesthetic development; to stimulate creativity and original thinking; and to create an enduring respect and passion for learning within a climate of artistic and academic excellence. The school program links with artistic resources in the community, maximizing the growth of the student through exposure to practicing artists. Students spend approximately half of the day on academics and the other half focusing on the arts.

Any student within Toronto is welcome to audition in their Grade 3 year for entry into the school in September of their Grade 4 year. Claude Watson accepts 60 students each year and applications are completed online each fall. Please visit for more detailed information and timelines.

Karen Kain School for the Arts (Grades 6-8)

Karen Kain School of the Arts (KKSA) is a unique, arts-focused school where students enter at the grade 6 level. Students at KKSA are provided with an experience which allows them to achieve and excel while tapping into their knowledge and experience in the arts. This type of art integration allows for a more student centered approach where teaching, learning and assessment can be aligned to accommodate the strengths, preferences and learning styles of individual students. At KKSA, we emphasise the importance of the learning skills. Our instruction focuses on drama, dance, vocal music, and visual arts, which encompasses about half of the teaching day. The remaining time is spent in integrated instruction of core subjects. 

KKSA accepts 60 students each year. Please visit our website for additional details, information and timelines.