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About Bluevale Collegiate
The subject of today’s WRDSB secondary school profile is: Bluevale Collegiate Institute. Bluevale Collegiate Institute’s feeder schools are: Lester B. Pearson P.S., Lincoln Heights P.S., and Margaret Avenue P.S. Students transitioning from elementary school into secondary school can rest assured that BCI is invested in making it a smooth, enjoyable transition. Every year starts with ‘Grade Nine Week’ in early September, which is a positive opportunity for the approximately 300 new grade nines that start at BCI each school year.
Situated on Bluevale Street North in Eastern Waterloo, BCI is conveniently close to the Conestoga Parkway, and a short walk or drive from the ever-busy Bechtel Park, which hosts recreational activities throughout the year. You may have noticed on the handy map that Bluevale C.I. has impressive grounds. Facilities include: “three gyms, two playing fields, four tennis courts, a track, a fully-equipped weight room, fitness room, an auto shop, a machine shop, a communications technology lab, an outdoor classroom and a greenspace” (Bluevale Collegiate Institute School Profile). BCI offers and encourages participation in a wide variety of athletic and extracurricular activities. To focus on athletics first, BCI has won in numerous WCSSAA, CWOSSA, and OFSAA championships, and they provide opportunities in just about every sport you can think of (team and individual) – though at the time of writing this article, it appears they do not yet have a jousting team, though one could be forgiven for assuming otherwise based on their mascot and team name.
BCI’s team colours are maroon, light blue, and white. Their team name is the Bluevale Knights, with Norm the Knight serving as their most feudal of mascots. Bluevale C.I. has a fun-spirited, longstanding athletic rivalry with fellow Waterloo secondary school Waterloo Collegiate Institute, whose mascot is Thor the Viking. Watching these teams compete is not just a great way to participate in Waterloo’s noteworthy athletic community, but it’s also one of the few ways to witness Knights and Vikings face off without a time machine.
Check out the Bluevale C.I. Twitter (curated by Norm the Knight, the surprisingly tech-savvy medieval mascot).
Bluevale Collegiate Community Involvement
Over the past few years, Bluevale C.I. has raised thousands of dollars annually in support of United Way Kitchener & Waterloo. A sizeable amount of funds was raised in one of the aforementioned showdowns between the Bluevale Knights and the WCI Vikings. So if a school’s charitable spirit and community involvement are important to you, Bluevale C.I. has both in spades.
Bluevale C.I. is also committed to protecting the environment. It has received the Gold Ontario EcoSchools Award four years in a row, as of 2016. BCI has both staff and student-led initiatives, and both teaches and puts into practice sound environmental policies.
Bluevale Collegiate Motto
The school’s motto, “Non Quis, Sed Quid,” which in English means ‘it’s not who you are, but what you are,’ reflects the careerist instincts of Bluevale Collegiate’s motto-makers. Famous graduates include multiple Olympians – including a couple gold medalists – and an Oscar-winning director, among others. Yes, one of Canada’s favourite Olympic gold figure skating teams, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, attended Bluevale Collegiate Institute, and future students can aspire to follow in their footsteps (or skate-prints, as it were).
Bluevale Collegiate Academic Review
Bluevale Collegiate Institute is academically one of WRDSB’s highest performing secondary schools, according to scores in literacy (OSSLT) and numeracy (EQAO) compiled by the Fraser Institute. These scores take into account gender gap, tests below standard, and number of tests not written.
Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) is an Ontario Ministry of Education initiative that allows students to “focus on a career path that matches their skills and interests while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) (Ontario Ministry of Education).” This option is available for grade 11 and 12 students looking to acquire job-specific skills and certifications. Different high schools offer different programs; Bluevale Collegiate Institute has four: Arts and Culture; Information and Computer Technology; Sports; and Business.
Bluevale C.I. offers numerous specialized academic programs, including Advanced Placement (AP) and Pre-AP classes, Choose to Lead, several Languages (including French, German and Spanish), Cooperative Education, courses in Native Studies, and many Arts and Visual Arts (including Dance, Drama, Vocal, Film Photography, Clay, and Glass).
Going Above and Beyond
Another exciting opportunity at Bluevale is the outdoor classroom. Where once there were portable classrooms, now is a beautiful green area with local plants and vegetation. Here, Bluevale offers an outdoor classroom – a perfect way for students, and teachers, to enjoy and reconvene with nature. Sights include a rock circle, picnic table, outdoor exercise area and a shaded community walkway.
BCI has many extracurricular activities, as well, and it has high rates of extracurricular participation amongst its students. There are clubs and groups for numerous disparate interests, from fishing to business competitions, and plenty of enjoyable, school-run activities, from pep rallies to concerts. Students interested in playing a larger role in organizing such things, and the school in general, can consider participating in the school council, which is known, fittingly, as the Knights of the Round Table.
Bluevale Collegiate Teacher Ratings
Bluevale’s teachers fare quite well on their RateMyTeachers rating, coming in at an average of 4.28, which puts them healthily above the average of 4.25.
Bluevale C.I. is a fantastic school, with lots to offer academically, socially, athletically and environmentally (to name just a few). Any Waterloo resident (or future Waterloo resident) would do well to look into BCI as the school of choice for future or current students. There are plenty of reasons to love Bluevale, and after all, who doesn’t want to be a knight of the round table?
Written by Will Kummer