A fundamental strategy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • E-mail

The local action strategy ensures that the community and its schools coordinate their action through partnership projects that focus on the needs of youth.

The strategy | Role of MHS | Funding | Neighbourhood selection | Goal of 19 neighbourhoods | Local stakeholder expertise | Key findings | History and overview

The strategy

Montreal is composed of a multitude of local communities, each having its own reality and pressing issues. This means that actions must be adapted to each neighbourhood’s specific needs.

The strategy to support and guide local action therefore aligns community realities with school priorities in order to best meet the needs of at-risk youth.

This approach ensures that communities and schools work together through youth-focused partnership projects in each of the targeted neighbourhoods.

This process takes shape thanks to the leadership of the five Island of Montreal school boards, which coordinate the implementation of action plans with their local partners and who serve as trustees for the funds granted to local projects.


The role of Montreal Hooked on School

Our role in mobilizing and supporting schools and communities throughout the process is multi-faceted:

  • Foster ties between stakeholders and help to develop long-lasting partnerships.
  • Support local action based on a situational report of the area.
  • Encourage a shared understanding of the situation that will guide the prioritization of objectives.
  • Help ensure that school priorities align with local realities.
  • Suggest and assist in the implementation of evidenced-based actions that meet identified needs.
  • Promote knowledge transfer to help build the assessment capacities of communities and schools.

To provide support that is adapted to the progress of each new targeted area, the process begins with an analysis of earlier efforts. This allows Montreal Hooked on School to adapt to the existing dynamic by taking into account previous actions and current needs.



School-focused partnership endeavours are structured by local action plans in the targeted areas. Each plan is steered by a school board, which combines its own expertise with that of local organizations to carry out activities.

The school boards also serve as trustees for the funding allocated to implement action plans. To this end, a rigorous structure has been put in place to ensure that funding is equitably distributed and suitably monitored.


Neighbourhood selection

Analyzing the situation in Montreal sometimes reveals sub-territories that exhibit particularly troubling school perseverance issues. This is why efforts arising from local action plans do not always extend throughout a neighbourhood or borough but to the sector that requires heightened intervention.

Neighbourhoods are selected in consultation with Montreal partners[1] and are targeted based on factors such as:

  • dropout rate
  • socioeconomic status
  • vulnerability rate of kindergarten-aged children
  • coordination among school boards
  • integrated urban renewal
  • support for local joint efforts
  • available funding


Goal of 19 neighbourhoods and strategic actions

Montreal Hooked on School currently works in 15 neighbourhoods.

Given the scope of the needs of Montreal’s young people, MHS hopes to extend the local action strategy to other neighbourhoods, to eventually reach a total of 19 targeted areas.

Expanding to 19 neighbourhoods will spread action to 55% of potential dropouts and to 89% of significantly disadvantaged areas.

Montreal Hooked on School also wants to continue implementing strategic actions that better meet the specific needs of English-speaking populations.

Because Anglophones are more spread out over the Montreal region, their needs are not always visible or looked after using a territorial approach. In addition, because dropout rates are much lower in Anglophone schools, support for perseverance and success must, to a large degree, be directed toward students who have greater needs and require more targeted intervention.

In order to respond to these two realities, a regional (as opposed to local) joint-action component has been established with Anglophone school boards.


Local stakeholder expertise

The expertise of local stakeholders is vital to the strategy’s success because each neighbourhood’s specific reality dictates not only the actions that are needed, but also how stakeholders mobilize to take action.

This is why once shared objectives have been established, Montreal Hooked on School adapts its support to the methods and dynamic of each targeted area, so that the neighbourhood can decide how its action plan will be governed.


Key findings

Actions in disadvantaged areas

Implementation of the strategy has currently lead to actions in 94.5% of Montreal’s highly disadvantaged areas.

An investment in prevention

Funding granted to neighbourhoods goes primarily to universal and targeted actions geared toward prevention. The main objectives of such interventions are to promote skills development in individuals and to reduce the influence of risk factors. The overall goal is to create lasting change among children, students, and parents.

Investing in prevention







*Distribution reflects project objectives and the magnitude of the funding provided.

(Click here for more information on types of interventions.)

Actions based on known factors

Increasingly, prioritized actions focus on determinants of school perseverance.

Joint-action projects

The efforts undertaken in neighbourhoods are leading to more and more projects developed through partnerships among several organizations, who work together to increase the effects of actions on youth.

Emphasis on projects aimed at parents

Increasingly, greater priority is being given to building ties with parents in order to support their engagement with their children’s schooling.


History and overview

September 2009

  • Under the government’s I care about school! plan, Montreal Hooked on School was mandated with developing community projects aimed at school perseverance and success for Montreal youth who had dropped out or were at risk of doing so.

Fall 2009

October 2011

October 2013

October 2016

  • 1 new neighbourhood added, for a total of 12 targeted areas.

February 2017

To find out more about the strategy to support and guide local action, please contact

Benoit Landry, Coordinator - Local Action Strategy
514-286-2346, extension 214


1. The five Island of Montreal school boards, Centraide of Greater Montreal, Montreal’s public health department, and the Ville de Montréal.