John F. Ross Collegiate Vocational Institute

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John F. Ross Collegiate Vocational Institute
Semper Procedere
Always Progressing
21 Meyer Drive
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
School board Upper Grand District School Board
Principal Tom Dagg
Vice principal J. Vaughn, Ratz, and J. Weddig
Staff 120
School type Public
Grades 9-12+
Language English, French
Area North-east Guelph
Mascot The Royal
Team name Royals
Colours Blue and Double Blue
Founded 1956
Enrollment 2063 (October 2010)
John F Ross CVI 1.JPG

John F. Ross Collegiate Vocational Institute is a grades 9-12 public secondary school in Guelph, Ontario, Canada and is part of the Upper Grand District School Board.


Guelph's largest high school was originally named John F. Ross Vocational School in honour of John Francis Ross, a highly respected Guelph educator and principal. The school opened its doors in 1956 to 460 students with 25 teachers with Lorne Fox as its principal, under its new name John F. Ross Collegiate Vocational Institute. It celebrated its 50th anniversary with a reunion in May 2006.[1]

Academic programs[edit]

John F. Ross is well known for its excellent and diverse academic programs. It is the only high school in the Upper Grand District School Board that offers French Immersion and English as a Second Language programs (grades 9-12). In addition, Ross offers programs in technology, drama, music, art, science, social sciences and co-op. Apart from its standard classes, the school also offers special education classes for exceptional students. It has highly respected teachers and administrators.

Students also have many opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. For example, the Music and Geography departments offer an extended field trip to a major city (i.e., New York City, Chicago, Washington DC and Boston) each spring. Annual March Break trips are offered. Recent trips offered include China in 2011, Eastern Europe in 2011, Kenya, and Greece and Turkey in March 2012. Ross also has a strong co-operative learning program in which local employers are matched with students for on-the-job training.

The school has one of the largest populations in the Upper Grand District School Board, with an estimated 2000 students. This is due to being recognized for its academic excellence, its athletic programs, and its co-curricular clubs, as well as its diverse language programs. The school services nearby towns like Rockwood as well as surrounding rural areas.


John F. Ross has always been a school with tremendous athletic ability, mostly due to its large population. The school has always had a fierce athletic rivalry with Centennial C.V.I., and they are the two schools in Guelph who compete against each other in virtually every sport for the District 10 championship. John F. Ross is mostly noted for its overall athleticism, but in 2006, the women's rugby team competed at OFSAA and clinched a 3rd place victory. In 2006 and 2008, the boys' baseball team was eliminated in the semi-finals in a hard-fought battle that needed extra innings against the baseball powerhouse St. Michael's College School, and a tough loss to the eventual 2008 OFSAA champions Notre Dame Irish, respectively. In 2007, the boys' hockey team won the OFSAA Championship in Whitby, Ontario. This was the most recent team OFSAA championship to date.

In the fall of 2009 the Royals upset the Guelph Collegiate Gaels in District 10 football action to win the city championship 13-7, their seventh title in 11 years. The Ross football team went 6-0 in the regular season of 2010 before being upset by the Centennial Spartans at home in the D10 Semi-Finals. In the 2011 season, the Royals went 6-0 to win their second District 10 City Championship in three years beating the Lourdes Crusaders 24-7 on November 11, 2011. They advanced to the CWOSSA Semi-Final and defeated the Saugeen Royals of the Bluewater District before losing in the CWOSSA Final at home to Assumption of Brantford by a score of 29-28. The following year they went undefeated in D-ten winning their second consecutive D-ten championship. Once again they beat the Saugeen Royals and advanced to the CWOSSA championships where they lost to Assumption by a score of 17-9. Most recently, John F. Ross finished first in D-ten, with another undefeated season. They birthed their third straight CWOSSA appearance with a 33-7 victory over the Our Lady of Lourdes Crusaders.

Ross's Junior Boy's Basketball team won the District 10 City Championship in 2011, defeating the Centre Wellington Falcons before advancing to CWOSSA and losing in the final to St. Mary's of Kitchener. The Senior Boy's Basketball team lost in the District 10 semi-final game in dramatic fashion to Centre Wellington. They did however advance to CWOSSA and eventually the CWOSSA Final before losing to St. Mary's of Kitchener. They did advance to OFSAA with their second place finish.

Extracurricular activities and clubs[edit]

  • All Board Permitted Sports
  • Athletic Council
  • Band & Choir Jr and Sr
  • Battle of the Bands
  • Christians In Action
  • Circus Club
  • Debating Club
  • Drama
  • Environment Club
  • Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA)
  • Harry Potter Club
  • Improv Club
  • Lobster Club
  • Michael Jackson Club
  • Trivia Club
  • Save The Future
  • Students' Council
  • Star Wars Club
  • Doctor Who Club
  • E.L. Fox Stage Crew
  • Yearbook
  • Multicultural Festival


Each spring, up to four families of mallard ducks fly to the school, where they have a safe environment to raise their young. Eventually, the school's Environment Club relocates the ducks and ducklings to nearby wildlife preserves. The school looks after the birds' surroundings. Over the years John F. Ross has donated tens of thousands of dollars to charity.

During the 2008-2009 school year, the school took part in the Spread the Net challenge promoted by Rick Mercer. By the end of the competition the school had raised more than $55,000 to help fight malaria, the highest total in Canada for any school. As a result, the famous comedian visited the school in March 2009 and John F. Ross was featured on Mercer's television show, the Rick Mercer Report.

On a smaller scale, the students' council runs an annual fundraising event called F.R.O.S.T.Y. (Friendly Royals Offering Stuff To Yuletide) in December. For two weeks, classes set up events such as bake sales, video game parties, or a chance to slime a teacher, all to raise money for local nonprofit organizations and charities. There is also a weekly "Save the Future" collection that brings in a few hundred dollars every week toward a variety of good causes.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A detailed history is at

External links[edit]