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
School type Public
Founded 1956
School board Upper Grand District School Board
Principal Beth Burns
Vice principal Carolyn Chesney, Kevin Taylor and Jeff Weddig
Staff ≈ 120
Grades 9-12
Enrollment ≈ 2000 (October 2014)
Language English, French
Area North-east Guelph
Colour(s) Blue and double blue
Mascot The Royal
Team name Royals
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 and Lorne Fox as its principal, under the 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 Second Language program (grades 9-12). In addition, Ross offers programs in technology, drama, music, art, science, social sciences and co-op. As part of its standard classes, the school also offers special education classes for exceptional students. It has excellent teachers as well as administrators. Ross also has a strong, co-operative learning program in which local employers are matched with students for on-the-job training.

Students also have many opportunities to learn outside of the school. For example, the Music and Geography departments offer an extended field trip to a major city or destination (i.e., New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Boston) each spring. Annual March Break trips are offered to students as well. Recent trips offered include China in 2011, Eastern Europe in 2011, Africa (Me to We), Greece and Turkey in 2012, France in 2013, and Italy, Switzerland and Austria in March of 2014.

The school has the largest population of any school in the Upper Grand District School Board, with an estimated 2000 students (Fall 2014). This is due to its proximity to the downtown core as well as drawing in many students from the surrounding rural areas including nearby towns such as Rockwood.


The school always had a fierce athletic rivalry with the Centennial Spartans. John F. Ross is mostly noted for its overall athleticism, but in 2006, the women rugby team competed at OFSAA and clinched a 3rd place. 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 power house St. Michael's College School, and a tough loss to the eventual 2008 OFSAA champions Notre Dame Irish, respectively. In 2007, the boy hockey team, won the OFSAA Championship in Whitby, Ontario.

In the fall of 2009 the Royals upset the Guelph Collegiate Gaels in District 10 football action to win city championship 13-7, their first title, in 11 years. The Ross football team gone 0-15 in the regular season of 2010 before losing to the Centennial Spartans at home in the D10 Quarter-Finals. In the 2011 season; the Royals beat the Lourdes Crusaders, 24-7 on November 11, 2011. They birthed their third straight losing season with a 33-7 loss to the Our Lady of Lourdes Crusader in front of silent home crowd.

Ross's Junior Boy's basketball team lost the 2011 District 10 City Championship to Orangeville Bears in a lopsided affair, before advanced to CWOSSA and losing in round Robin to St. Mary's of Kitchener. The Senior Boy's Basketball team lost in the District 10 quarter-final game in dramatic fashion of Orangeville Bears. They did, however, advance to CWOSSA and the Final before losing to St. Mary's of Kitchener. They did advance to OFSAA with 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. The school took part in the campaign once again in 2015 raising over $41,000 for the Spread the Net Challenge. Rick Mercer once again visited the school and congratulated John F. Ross on raising over $100 000 total for the charity over the years.

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]