High Schools in Kitchener-Waterloo - Information, History, Programs

Waterloo Region District School Board

In this article we’re going to take a glance at secondary schools in Kitchener-Waterloo under the Waterloo Region District School Board. If you want to look at Catholic schools, you can see our overview of Catholic High Schools in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Waterloo Region is proud to host very successful post secondary institutions, featuring an assortment of programs, specializations, activities, as well as sports. Each school in the area has it’s own story and it’s own unique offerings to students, so let’s explore what they’re all about.

The Waterloo Region District School Board serves a student body of 63,000. They employ a staff of 7,500 to operate a total of 103 elementary schools and 16 high schools throughout the region. Their operating budget is $675 million.

Bluevale Collegiate Institute

Bluevale C.I. is home of the Bluevale Knights and are proudly represented by their mascot Norm the Knight. All in good fun, Norm the Knight actually has a long standing athletic rivalry with WCI’s Thor the Viking.

One of the first things one notices about Bluevale is their beautifully well equipped facility. On the athletic side, their grounds feature two playing fields, three gyms, extensive weight and fitness rooms, four tennis courts and a track.

On the academic side, they host an auto shop, a machine shop, a greenspace, as well as a full communications technology lab.

Their most interesting amenity, however, is their outdoor classroom. While most high schools go with the typical portable classroom units outside their main building, Bluevale decided to change things up a bit.

Their campus now features a beautiful open green space with local plants and vegetation which has been set up for study purposes.

It is exceptionally well constructed featuring a rock circle, picnic table and exercise area, all tied together by a community walkway.
If you want more information, you can read our dedicated article about Bluevale Collegiate Institute.

Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute

Cameron Heights C.I. is home of the Golden Gaels, featuring Scotty as their mascot. Their school motto is “Together as One.”

Cameron Heights is most well known for being part of the famed International Baccalaureate program (also known as IB Program for short). The IB Program is an internationally recognized education path which challenges students and better prepares them for their future academic and career destinations.

One of the great perks of an IB high school diploma is that they are recognized outside of Canada as well.

Cameron has formed quite a diverse student body over the years, primarily because it allows students outside of the school’s boundaries to join if they want to participate in the IB program.

If you want more information, you can read our dedicated article about Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute.

Eastwood Collegiate Institute

Eastwood Collegiate Institute is home of the Eastwood Rebels, represented by the Rebel Lion.

The school is most known and sought for its Integrated Arts Program (IAP). The IAP is designed to engage students wishing to explore their talents and pursue a career in the arts. The program strives to promote excellence in the arts as well as a finely tuned understanding of the various fields and mediums of expression.

The program includes Dance, Drama, Visual Arts, Music, Graphic Design, as well as Film.

While the arts program is their most known initiative, they boast a series of other great programs as well. Their Specialist High Skills Major programs include Sports, Transportation Technology, and of course Arts & Culture.

For being quite the brainy and artsy school, Eastwood also fearlessly tackles the athletic ranks in the region, especially in Football, Soccer, and Wrestling.

If you want more information, you can read our dedicated article about Eastwood Collegiate Institute.

Forest Heights Collegiate Institute

Forest Heights is home of the Trojans, represented by none other than Troy the Trojan. Their motto is “Sit Tuum Tollere,” which means “To Hold the Torch High.

Forest Heights C.I. is known best for it’s very strong ESL program, having up to 23% of its student body as ESL students. The program specializes in working with students whose primary language is not English.

The ESL initiative strives to do much more than just teaching the basics. It goes to great lengths to ensure that their graduating students are equipped with nothing less than excellent communication skills.

If you want more information, you can read our dedicated article about Forest Heights Collegiate Institute.

Grand River Collegiate Institute

Grand River Collegiate Institute is home of the Rens, represented by none other than the Bandit.

While most high schools feature one of the so called Magnet Programs, Grand River actually has three. They provide the Fast Forward program, Extended French, and the Strings program.

Fast Forward is a program designed for students who are looking to improve their academic performance or who might need to recover lost credits.

Extended French is a program emphasizing French Language studies. It is based of off 7 credits, which actually comes close to French Immersion’s 10 required credits.

Finally, the Strings program specializes in string instruments for students who want to pursue music.

In addition to all of the above, Grand River also offers two specialization (or SHSM) programs: one for Transportation, and one for Information and Communications Technology.

If you want more information, you can read our dedicated article about Grand River Collegiate Institute.

Huron Heights Secondary School

Huron Heights Secondary School is the happy home of the Huskies.

The school is best known for its Magnet program specializing in Health Care. They live up to their specialty by providing an astonishingly well equipped health care lab.

In addition to this, their SHSM programs include Arts and Culture, Environment, Sports, and of course Health and Wellness.

If you want more information, you can read our dedicated article about Huron Heights Secondary School.

Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate & Vocational School

Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate & Vocational School (or KCI for short) is one of the oldest standing schools in the area. Their motto is “Veritas Vincat” (meaning “Truth Wins”) and their team is The Raiders, represented by Rodney the Raider.

KCI offers the Fast Forward magnet program, as well as their own Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP).

In addition, they offer specializations in Health and Wellness, Environmental Studies, as wel as Information and Communication Technology. They also offer Advanced Placement courses in Physics, French, and even History.

If you want more information, you can read our dedicated article about Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate & Vocational School.

Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School

Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School is one of the newest additions to the area. They feature specializations in Arts and Culture as well as Business.

The magnet program that they offer is Fast Forward.

One of the most interesting things about SJAM is their unique reward system for community and academic accomplishments. Students are able to receive certificates for outstanding performance or involvement in the community. Once a number of certificates are obtained, students can receive a plaque that commemorates their accomplishments and can be seen by future generations.

If you want more information, you can read our dedicated article about Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School.

Waterloo Collegiate Institute

Proud home of the Vikings, Waterloo Collegiate Institute is known for being a true academic powerhouse. They have been ranked highest on EQAO and OSSLT tests for the region and 50th out of 740 in Ontario.

They are represented by Thor the Viking.

They offer up to four magnet programs, which is quite the outstanding number. This includes French, ELL, Geotech, and Strings. At the same time, this is complemented by the specialization they offer in Arts & Culture.

If you want more information, you can read our dedicated article about Waterloo Collegiate Institute.

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