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About Eastwood Collegiate

 

It’s a new day, so that must mean a new Kitchener-Waterloo high school to discuss. Today we will be examining Eastwood Collegiate Institute. If you’re wondering whether the secondary school has any ties to Clint Eastwood, don’t worry – we’re wondering the same thing! But as of writing this article, his representatives have neither confirmed nor denied any official affiliation.

Eastwood Collegiate Institute (henceforth to be referred to just as Eastwood [and occasionally Eastwood Collegiate for flavour/variety]) was built in 1956, and today it stands proudly on Weber Street, along which its classrooms run parallel. Its outer façade is sleek and pleasing to the eye, particularly if you’re fond of right angles.

Eastwood’s school colours are red, grey and white, its team name is the Eastwood Rebels, and its current mascot is called the Rebel Lion – a pun on rebellion. In years past, their mascot was Johnny Rebel, a symbolic soldier of the Confederate States of America (Eastwood once had a Confederate Flag with maple leaves instead of stars), but as of 1999, they decided that such a mascot held racist connotations, and opened up a contest among students and teachers to create a new one. And thus, the lions came out to play. Eastwood’s motto is Ex Oriente Lux, which translates to “from the East comes light,” which is true of the sun, but not always true of a lamp.


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Fascinating school history aside (the name Rebels was chosen because, when Eastwood first opened its doors, many teachers abandoned Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School to teach there), Eastwood has a lot to offer prospective students, and is able to provide for a variety of interests and needs. Presently, Eastwood has an enrolment of approximately 1400 students.

 

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Eastwood Collegiate Athletics

 

Eastwood Collegiate has a sterling athletic reputation, with consistently strong football and soccer teams, among others (including impressive showings recently in wrestling). Numerous NHL players (both active and retired) attended Eastwood, including hall of famer Scott Stevens and captain of the Colorado Avalanche Gabriel Landeskog. Prospective students interested in sports would be in good company should they choose to become Eastwood Rebels. Eastwood has numerous sports programs, including hockey (field and ice), badminton, skiing and curling (among many others) – see all the options here: list of sports offered at Eastwood Collegiate, with respective fees.

 

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Eastwood Collegiate ESL

 

Newcomers to Canada looking for a positive environment in which English Language Learners can develop their ability to speak English can find it at Eastwood Collegiate Institute. Eastwood offers both ESL (English as a Second Language) and ELD (English Language Development) programs, and in the past two school years alone has the school has accepted a huge number of immigrants and refugees representing more than 60 different cultures (Eastwood Principal’s Message).

 

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Eastwood Collegiate Integrated Arts Program

 

As discussed in prior articles, the Waterloo Region District School Board has a Magnet Program initiative, wherein students are eligible to transfer to schools offering a certain specialized program. At Eastwood Collegiate, that is the Integrated Arts Program (IAP). Students passionate about the Arts, or looking to pursue a career in them, would be well-served by Eastwood’s IAP. This program is recognized as being of a distinctly high quality within and beyond the borders of Kitchener-Waterloo, and the program draws talented students from numerous schools. Courses offered include Dance, Drama, Visual Arts, Music, Graphic Design, and Film. To get a sense of the wide variety of opportunities provided by the IAP, have a look at the extracurricular schedule of activities: IAP Activity Calendar.

 

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Eastwood Collegiate Specialist High Skills Majors

 

In addition to its Magnet Program, Eastwood has three Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) diploma programs: Arts and Culture; Sport; and Transportation Technology. These diploma programs, which were recently initiated across Ontario by the Ministry of Education, prepare students for post-secondary education and careers in their respective fields.

Through their ESL, ELD, IAP, and SHSM programs, Eastwood is a good choice for students interested in or in need of any of the specific academic opportunities provided.

 

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Eastwood Collegiate Student Clubs and Facilities

 

Eastwood Collegiate’s auditorium is one of Kitchener-Waterloo’s finest and best-equipped, and it provides students with opportunities both to enjoy performances, and to participate in the school’s Tech Crew.

Eastwood has several clubs for students interested in extracurricular participation. Noteable are the aforementioned Tech Crew, which runs and maintains the auditorium and runs quite a few shows over the course of the school year, and the Rebotics/Robotics Club. The Eastwood Collegiate Institute FIRST Robotics Team (the Rebels) competes annually in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition. This is an especially interesting opportunity for students interested in technology and robotics, and the skills learned and contacts made here could surely be useful in a technologically forward-thinking region like Kitchener-Waterloo. Check out a video about the FIRST Robotics Competition here: Promo Video.

Eastwood Collegiate Institute has specialized programs, an excellent athletic department, and unique technology-based activities and opportunities. Students zoned for Eastwood have many paths they could follow within the school, and students interested in a particular program – particularly the Integrated Arts Program – would do well to consider Eastwood for their high school career. Although it is not one of Kitchener-Waterloo’s strongest schools academically – particularly going by the Fraser Institute’s rating – Eastwood’s specialized programs do allow for the educational focus parents might want for their children.

 

Written by Will Kummer

 

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