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
235 Frontenac Street
Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3S7
School type Secondary
Motto Maxima Debetur Pueris Reverentia
("Youth are entitled to the greatest respect")
Founded 1792
School board Limestone District School Board
Area trustee Paula Murray
Principal Talya McKenna
Grades 9 - 12
Language English, French, Spanish, and Latin
Colour(s) Blue and white
Mascot Blue bear
Team name Blues

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.

KCVI is scheduled to close in 2018 upon completion of a new high school being constructed on the former QECVI site to replace both it and QECVI.


KCVI's history starts with the Kingston Grammar school in 1792. In 1807, the school was renamed Midland District Grammar School.[1] From c. 1825–30, the future first prime minister of Canada, John A. Macdonald, attended the school.[2] In c. 1853 the school moved to a new location - now Sydenham Public School - and was renamed Kingston County Grammar School.[1] It was renamed Kingston High School in 1871, becoming Kingston Collegiate Institute (KCI) in 1872.[1] 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.[1] Finally, with the addition of a technical and commercial teaching wing in 1931, the school was renamed Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute (KCVI), the name it retains to this day.[1] 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 225 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 program[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.

SHSM (Specialist High Skills Major)[edit]

KC offers a SHSM in arts in culture.

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 is the largest and most successful in eastern Ontario, with members competing and winning medals at regional, provincial and international competitions, winning over 100 medals, 20 plaques, and 5 ICDC trophies over the past 9 years. Since its establishment in 2005, KCVI's DECA chapter has seen significant growth, and has registered over 60 members for its 2013-2014 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 and organizations such as, Kingston Community Credit Union, Kingston Economic Development Corporation, and the Queen's University School of Business, raising over $4000 in generous sponsorships and grants.

The KCVI DECA chapter's performance at the 2014 International Career Development Conference in Atlanta, Georgia has been the best yet, taking home over 20 medals and 3 trophies.

KCVI Improv Team[edit]

KCVI has a long and decorated history of competing in the Canadian Improv Games. 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), three regional silver medals and one 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.[3]


K-Botics, otherwise known as FRC team 2708 (previously 2809) is a robotics club started and mentored by two teachers Kevin Wood and Rachel Bearse. K-Botics is an extracurricular program at the school 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 future engineers. 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 spirit days at KCVI are organized and implemented by the SA (Students' Association), the KCVI student government.

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
  • Pajama Days
  • Blue and White Day
  • Salad Week
  • Where's Waldo Week
  • Jean Day

Decision to close KCVI[edit]

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 large disruption among 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. However, in December 2014, a court ruling dismissed an appeal against the closure. On March 24, 2014, 35 million dollars were allocated to the building of a new school,[8] which is planned to be constructed in 2017.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e McKendry, Jennifer. "Chronology of the City of Kingston." Kingston: Kingston Historical Society, 2000.
  2. ^ Milnes, Arthur ed. "Sir John A. Macdonald: Father of Confederation." City of Kingston Website.
  3. ^ "United Nations Society". 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2011-05-13. 
  5. ^ Klajman, Ed. "Kingston Duo ready to row". Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "'That was unreal'". 
  7. ^ "Minutes of Central Kingston Intermediate & Secondary Schools Program and Accommodation Review Committee Public Meeting #1" (PDF). Limestone District School Board. Retrieved 3 February 2017. 
  8. ^ "March 25, 2014 Archives" – via 

External links[edit]