Rick Hansen Secondary School (Mississauga)

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Rick Hansen Secondary School
1150 Dream Crest Road
Mississauga, Ontario, L5V 1N6
Coordinates 43°35′19″N 79°41′01″W / 43.5886°N 79.6835°W / 43.5886; -79.6835Coordinates: 43°35′19″N 79°41′01″W / 43.5886°N 79.6835°W / 43.5886; -79.6835
School type Public, High school
Motto "Never Give Up on Your Dreams"
"The End Is Just The Beginning"
- Rick Hansen

Religious affiliation(s) None (Public)
Founded 1999
School board Peel District School Board
Superintendent Jamie Robertson
Area trustee Sue Lawton
Robert Crocker
Rick Williams
Principal Patricia Whyte
Staff 163
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1973 (September 2009)
Language English
Colour(s) Maroon, Black, Gold, and Gray
Mascot Thunder
Team name Storm
Yearbook School In Motion

Rick Hansen Secondary School (RHSS) is a public high school located in the south-eastern edge of Streetsville, a community in Mississauga, Ontario. Rick Hansen is the home to graduates from Fallingbrook Middle School, Fairwind Senior Public School, and Hazel McCallion Senior Public School. The school opened in 1999, and in 2002, the school expanded with a new wing on the west side of the school, which added 14 classrooms, 2 dance studios, and 2 art rooms. Nearly 2,000 students attend this school.

Many athletic programs are present in the school, and the name of the mascot is Stormy. Their volleyball team has produced powerhouse teams within the past 10 year. Their elaborate technology program allows students to major in manufacturing- and robotics-related courses. They also have two successful FIRST Robotics teams, known as THEORY6 and The Big Bang,[1] as well as many smaller, but still successful, VEX Robotics teams. Other extra-curricular activities include the Drama Council, the Peer Mentors, DECA and STEM Club.

The school is a sister school to Rick Hansen Secondary School in Abbotsford, British Columbia.


When the school opened on September 7, 1999, it was named East Credit Secondary School, and it was one of the first schools where the administrative staff helped create the blueprint of the school. It was the first public high school to open in Peel in ten years. Many names of many Canadian icons were suggested for the school, but the Peel District School Board chose Rick Hansen Secondary School. Rick Hansen granted permission to the Peel District School Board to use his name for the school, saying that he was "delighted that your school will be part of my heritage and to carry the history of the Man in Motion tour by being a barrier-free school."[2] The school's architects implemented a wheelchair-friendly and barrier-free design by doing the following:[3][4]

  • All floor tiles were in a special color scheme that assisted students with visual impairments
  • Disabled parking spots were relocated into a more accessible location
  • All furniture in every classroom was barrier-free
  • There was a specialized door system that made hallways fully accessible to students
  • Handles on all doors in the school were lowered for accessibility
  • Push buttons were installed in every drinking fountain
  • The library shelves were spaced enough for a wheelchair to go through
  • Disabled showers were realigned to better suit the use of students

In the first school year, there were only 655 students and 53 staff members in the school. At the time, the school only taught ninth and tenth graders. The first two floors of the school were occupied by the ninth and tenth graders and the third floor was used by elementary school students, due to the fact that the neighboring Swinbourne Public School was still under construction at the time.[5]

In 2002, the school initiated the Rammed Earth project, which began as a vision of the school's Arts department. The idea was to create three rammed earth sculptures in the front of the school to bring art, culture, and community together. Students have worked together to blend 15 cubic yards of clay soil with cement, sand, and pigment. The students also hand tamped over a hundred layers of soil. They put a personal artifact into the sculptures. This project was supported by the Ontario Arts Council, Toemar Garden Centre, Rona, and ABCO Construction Inc.[6] The sculptures were removed after the 2011-2012 school year began.


Every year, students from Rick Hansen Secondary find new ways of collecting money for the Rick Hansen Foundation. The school collects a small amount of money from late students entering the school after the morning announcements have been completed.[7] Other ways the school collects money is by having a Mad Minute, where Peer Mentors run to every homeroom and collect as much loose change as possible from people's pockets in a short length of time. The school also occasionally hosts many other activities, such as a coin drive, a school walk, pledge sheets, and a wheelchair basketball game at the school's gym.[8]

Use of technology[edit]

Rick Hansen was built as Peel's first technically oriented school where students have the ability to work and learn in a 21st-century technological environment. There are televisions in every room in the school until the 2016-2017 school year where all the classroom televisions were removed, and the school possesses more than twelve computer labs. Laptops are used by every teacher to use in planning lessons and teaching. The school also has its own BBS television channel powered by Digmark, an electronic signage provider. This BBS system allows announcements to be broadcast throughout the school in a powerpoint presentation format to the school's televisions, with extras such as small breaking news updates, weather, and stock prices.[9] There were also live morning broadcasts a couple times a month ran by the broadcasting class. These broadcasts delivered morning announcements in a video format, as well showed the culture around the school by filming segments featuring students and staff but with the removal of the classroom televisions, the school has resorted to oral announcements. There is Wi-Fi throughout the school building, providing wireless internet access to students.

FIRST Robotics Team[edit]

Rick Hansen's two robotics teams, known as THEORY6 and The Big Bang, have taken part in many regional and worldwide competitions. THEORY6 started in 2003 under the direction of John Hobbins and Brad North, who are part of the Rick Hansen technology department. They have won numerous awards, such as the Regional Chairman's Award in 2005 and 2012, and the Regional Engineering Inspiration Award in 2013. At the St. Louis World Championships in 2013, they earned the title of world champions along with two other teams - team 610 (Crescent School) and team 1477 (Texas Torque). They have started a number of teams in neighbouring secondary schools, such as Chinguacousy Secondary School, Streetsville Secondary School, Fletcher's Meadow Secondary School, and Mississauga Secondary School. They have also started FIRST Lego League teams in nearby elementary schools, and the school had its first FLL competition in the school on December 17, 2011. The school hosted its first VEX Robotics competition on February 25, 2012. Team 1285 The Big Bang was introduced in 2014 as the little sister team to THEORY6. Furthermore, the school extends the robotics program to the academic level by offering courses in robotics, technological design, and manufacturing. These courses allow students to experience what it is like to be an engineer by teaching project management skills, communication skills, and much more. Furthermore, the technological design courses allow students to learn how to use cutting-edge CAD modelling programs such as Autodesk AutoCAD, Inventor, and Revit. The school boasts a fully featured workshop with many different machines that can be used to manufacture parts, including a 3D printer.

Other extra-curricular activities[edit]

Rick Hansen Secondary School boasts a wide range of athletic and non-athletic clubs and organizations that promote a high degree of engagement within the student body. At the start of each academic year, teams & clubs recruit new members, often through a tryout and application process. Students also have the opportunity to take on leadership roles through executive positions. Each sports team at RHSS usually requires a yearly payment of $40 per year ($100 if a student would also like to purchase a RHSS Storm Windbreaker). Other student organizations may or may not require a nominal fee.

The following is a list of Sports Teams & Student Clubs at RHSS:

Association with Rick Hansen[edit]

The school is named after Rick Hansen, an athlete who won all-star awards in five sports when he was paralyzed at the age of 15 after being thrown from the back of a truck. He subsequently became an athlete and an activist for people with spinal cord injuries. Rick Hansen has made many special visits to the school, and his most recent visit was on April 5, 2011 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Man in Motion World Tour. In the event, Hansen announced that a relay will take place to retrace the Canadian segment of the original Man in Motion Tour. The celebration was attended by many notable people, such as Hazel McCallion, the mayor of Mississauga, and David Onley, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.[10] In total, twenty-five medal-bearers, including the school principal and a staff member, were chosen from the school. The Relay made its way through Rick Hansen on November 10, 2011.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Theory 6
  2. ^ "School's History". Rick Hansen Secondary School. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  3. ^ "Rick Hansen on hand to help open new Peel board high school". Peel District School Board. 2000-05-16. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  4. ^ "New school features innovative barrier-free design". Peel District School Board. 1999-04-13. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  5. ^ Secondary School, Rick Hansen (2009). "RHSS History". The Rick Hansen Yearbook: School in Motion. Jotsens, Inc. pp. 8–9. 
  6. ^ "I in the STORM Garden Rammed Earth Wall Project". Lois Dellert. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  7. ^ Siddiqui, Alvina (2010-12-13). "Late students, big bucks". The Mississauga News. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  8. ^ "Time to get the wheels in motion again". The Mississauga News. 2007-05-19. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  9. ^ "About Us". Digmark, Inc. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  10. ^ Siddiqui, Alvina (2011-04-05). "Hansen tour hits 25 years". The Mississauga News. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  11. ^ "Peel board students welcome Rick Hansen Relay to Peel". Peel District School Board. 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 

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