Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute

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Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute
This is a logo for the high school Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute.jpg
Maxima Debetur Pueris Reverentia
"Youth are entitled to the greatest respect"
235 Frontenac Street
Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3S7, Canada
School board Limestone District School Board
Area trustee Paula Murray
Principal Ted Holden
Vice principal

Maureen Bartlett

Lonny Gibson
School type Secondary
Grades 9 - 12
Language English, French, Spanish, and Latin
Mascot Blue bear
Team name Blues

Blue and white

Founded 1792

Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute (K.C.V.I.) is a secondary school in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Founded in 1792 by Reverend John Stuart based upon a grant for secondary education in the colony of Upper Canada, it moved to its present location in 1892. It is considered the oldest public secondary school in Ontario and the second oldest in Canada.

K.C.V.I was Kingston's only secondary school until the opening of Queen Elizabeth Collegiate and Vocational Institute (Q.E.C.V.I.) in 1955 and Loyalist Collegiate and Vocational Institute (L.C.V.I.) in 1963.

In 2012, K.C.V.I. was ranked by the Fraser Institute as the top performing school in the Limestone Board and in the top 10% of public schools in Ontario. The school is currently the subject of a Program Accommodation Review Committee process within the Limestone District School Board. One of the two recommendations made by the School Board is to close K.C.V.I., despite its strong academic performance and significant community support. Queen's University believes K.C.V.I. to be an essential part of the downtown community. Principal Daniel Woolf was quoted at a Kingston "Town Gown" meeting as saying “It is in our interest as well as the city’s to preserve the school.”[1]

History and Name[edit]

KCVI was initially founded as Kingston Grammar school in 1792 by Rvd. John Stuart. In 1807, the school was renamed Midland District Grammar School.[2] While it was thus appellated, from c. 1825-1830, the future first prime minister of Canada, John A. Macdonald, attended the school.[3] In c. 1853 the school moved to a new location - now Sydenham Public School - and was renamed Kingston County Grammar School.[4] It was renamed Kingston High School in 1871, becoming Kingston Collegiate Institute (KCI) in 1872.[5] Girls were first admitted as students in January 1877, and the school has remained co-educational ever since. Fifteen years later, at the institution's centenary in 1892, the school moved to its present site on Frontenac Street.[6] Finally, with the addition of a technical and commercial teaching wing in 1931, the school was renamed Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute (KCVI), the appellation it retains to this day.[7] The oldest remaining wing of the school is the 1915 wing, which now houses science laboratories. The original wing was destroyed by fire and has since been replaced. The school celebrated its bicentenary in 1992 and is now 221 years old. The school is commonly recognized as the oldest public high school in Ontario and the second oldest in the country.


The team colours are blue and white. The team name for all sports is "Blues" and the mascot is a blue bear. The school competes in various sports including, but not limited to: rowing, cross-country, track and field, football, rugby, hockey, basketball, volleyball, soccer, mountain biking, curling, tennis, badminton, baseball, golf, swimming, and skiing, along with various other sports.

Coat of arms[edit]

A new coat of arms was formally conferred on K.C.V.I. by Ramon A. Hnatyshyn, then Governor General of Canada, in 1992. It celebrated K.C.V.I.'s 200th anniversary.

The Latin motto, maxima debetur pueris reverentia, can be roughly translated to "Youth are entitled to the greatest respect". Another more literal translation would be "The greatest respect is owed to boys". The differences in translation are not an attempt to make the motto more politically correct. The Latin word "puer", refers to a boy (or child) under the age of 17 (juvenis would refer to older youth) and in the plural is used to refer to groups of children of both genders.

IB Diploma programme[edit]

KCVI is one of 83 schools in Canada which runs the International Baccalaureate program. The IB diploma program is offered at KCVI during the last two years of secondary school. However there is also the Pre-IB program to prepare the Gr. 9 and 10 students for the rigorous pace of the IB curriculum. Also, if students do not want to enroll in the complete IB diploma program, they may apply for IB certificates in the course of their choosing.

KCVI clubs[edit]

KCVI has many different activities going on throughout the school year, such as: the Students' Association - student government, DECA - Student Marketing Club, the student run Leadership Conference,the Improv teams, Mathletes, Model UN, Respect Committee, Outdoors Club, Environment Club, South African Partnership and Youth in Action, Drama Club, Robotics Club and the Debating Club. There is also an Athletics Association in charge of many sport-related school events. Newly formed in the 2006/07 year is the Arts Council, a compliment to the Athletic Association. The KCVI Yearbook Committee creates a pictorial account of each year in a year book called "The Times". As well, KCVI hosts CKVI (The Cave), a radio broadcasting focus program, which broadcasts at 91.9 FM in downtown Kingston.


KCVI's DECA chapter has been one of the more respected and successful chapter in Ontario, with members competing and winning medals at regional, provincial and international competitions, winning over 100 medals and 10 plaques over the past 5 years. Since its establishment in 2005, KCVI's DECA chapter has seen 300% growth, and has registered 71 members for its 2009-2010 season, making it one of the largest clubs at KCVI. Not only does the KCVI DECA chapter strive to be the best in the school environment, the chapter has also seen active participation within the community of Kingston, having active partnerships with influential businesses such as the Kingston Heart and Stroke Foundation, Kingston Community Credit Union, and JKL Microsystems.

KCVI Improv Team[edit]

KCVI has a long and decorated history of competing in the Canadian Improv Games and is well known nationally for its success and great performances. Since the Kingston Regional Tournament was re-established in the 1996-97 school year, KCVI has won 10 regional gold medals (including 7 back-to-back regional titles from 1997–2003), 3 regional silver medals and 1 regional bronze medal. The team won national bronze in 1998.

The Kingston Model United Nations[edit]

KCVI has hosted a Model United Nations for several years, held every spring. Recently the Model UN has started to expand outside the school. ([1])


K-Botics otherwise known as FRC team 2809, is a robotics club started and mentored by two teachers Kevin Wood and Rachel Bearse. K-Botics is an extracurricular program at Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute where students design and build a robot from scratch to participate in a game created by FIRST. The game, which changes every year, is not only played by hundreds of robotics teams from around the world, it is also the training ground for the engineers of the future. Traveling to multiple locations throughout the year K-Botics has received multiple awards and have been placed in a wide variety of high ranking positions. The group receives support from local companies and community volunteers.

Student government[edit]

Many school events and spirirt days at KCVI are often organized and implemented by the SA (Students' Association), the KCVI student government.


In 2011, The Limestone District School Board Program and Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) began investigating strategies for managing the board's annual budget. The committee focused on investigating the advantages and disadvantages of closing select Kingston high schools that were under-enrolled or over-budget. KCVI was reviewed as a problematic institution by the committee due to the school's crumbling infrastructure and high annual overhead. The discussion of closing KCVI caused a disruption amongst its students, alumni and parents, and gained support from the community, resulting in the formation of the group "Save Kingston City Schools". Many Kingston residents have supported the group and its cause by posting promotional signs on their lawns and partaking in social media campaigns using Facebook. KCVI is seen as being at high risk of being shut down permanently by the committee.

Street Smart[edit]

Street Smart is a Community Education Centre of the Limestone District School Board where students can earn their high school diploma in a more relaxed environment. They provide on-site secondary education for students aged primarily 16-20 who require an alternative setting for earning high school credits. They are staffed with certified Secondary School Teachers.

Notable students[edit]

Grade Points Competition[edit]

Students of KCVI participate in a Grade Points competition, in which different themes days (called "Spirit Days") are decided by the Students' Association and the grade with the most students participating in that theme are awarded grade points. The grade with the most grade points at the end of the year is awarded a prize. Prizes in the past include various KCVI memorabilia.

Notable Spirit Days in the past include:

  • Grade Colour Days - Each class is given a specific colour, and keeps that colour until their class graduates. On Grade Colour Days, the class must wear their assigned Grade Colour
  • Basshunter Dayz - Students have to go around the school finding hidden pictures of the Swedish DJ Basshunter
  • Gunther Appreciation Day - Students dress up as the world-famous singer Gunther. Grades get points based on various categories
  • K-Carnival - Live bands, carnival games, BBQ, inflatable games and obstacle courses for the whole school. Every year in late May.

Decision to close KCVI[edit]

On June 19, 2013 trustees for the Limestone District School Board approved a motion effectively deciding to shut down KCVI as well as another local high school, in favour of building a new high school. On March 24, 2014, 35 million dollars were allocated to the building of a new school.[11]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Schliessmann, Paul. "Queen's Prefers Kingston Collegiate to Stay Open." Kingston Whig Standard, 2 April 2012.
  2. ^ McKendry, Jennifer. "Chronology of the City of Kingston." Kingston: Kingston Historical Society, 2000.
  3. ^ Milnes, Arthur ed. "Sir John A. Macdonald: Father of Confederation." City of Kingston Website.
  4. ^ McKendry, Jennifer. "Chronology of the City of Kingston." Kingston: Kingston Historical Society, 2000.
  5. ^ McKendry, Jennifer. "Chronology of the City of Kingston." Kingston: Kingston Historical Society, 2000.
  6. ^ McKendry, Jennifer. "Chronology of the City of Kingston." Kingston: Kingston Historical Society, 2000.
  7. ^ McKendry, Jennifer. "Chronology of the City of Kingston." Kingston: Kingston Historical Society, 2000.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Klajman, Ed. "Kingston Duo ready to row". Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  10. ^
  11. ^