St. John's-Ravenscourt School

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St. John's Ravenscourt School
400 South Drive
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Coordinates 49°50′36″N 97°07′20″W / 49.8433°N 97.1221°W / 49.8433; -97.1221Coordinates: 49°50′36″N 97°07′20″W / 49.8433°N 97.1221°W / 49.8433; -97.1221
Founded 1820
Head of school Mr Jim Keefe
Grades K-12
Enrolment 850
Language English
Colour(s) Green and Gold         
Mascot Eagle
Team name Eagles

St. John's-Ravenscourt School (commonly referred to as SJR) is an independent, co-educational, university-preparatory school founded in 1820. Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the school delivers an enriched curriculum from Kindergarten through Grade 12. Elizabeth II, as Queen of Canada, is the royal patron of the school. The school offers a boarding option starting in grade 8.


The school was founded in 1820 by Rev. John West as the Red River Mission School for the children of early Selkirk settlers and select aboriginal children.[1] The School was originally built on the banks of the Red River in Selkirk, and then relocated by Rev. David Thomas Jones to the west bank of the river near present-day St. John's Park. In 1834, the School recorded 20 boys and 21 girls attending the renamed Red River Academy.[1]

The Academy was purchased in 1849 by the Bishop of Rupertsland, David Anderson, and was renamed St. John's Collegiate.[2] In 1866, the school's name was changed to St. John's College School. The school's campus was expanded to include buildings on Main Street and Anderson Avenue, and stood as a landmark until their demolition in the early 1950s.

In 1929, Norman Young became the first headmaster of Ravenscourt. Young had been encouraged by a group of Winnipeg businessmen, who promised that their sons would attend. The school was originally located at Armstrong's Point on the Assiniboine River.[3] In 1934, it was relocated to a house built by Colonel R.M. Thomson.[4] The unfinished home was located in Fort Garry on the banks of the Red River. The new facility was soon expanded to include the Richardson Gymnasium, the first gym in Western Canada to sport a basketball court.

In 1950, the Board of Anglican churchmen that as a group governed St. John's College decided to close the school. This decision upset the alumni of the school, and the alumni sought a way to continue their school. It was finally decided that St. John's College School would be amalgamated with Ravenscourt. The two schools became St. John's-Ravenscourt.[5]

After the flood of 1950, many new facilities were added to the school, notably an arena, and a junior school building. In 1971, the school made the decision to readmit girls to the school.[6]

In November 1981, Her Majesty the Queen granted her patronage to the School, and one year later gave permission for the creation of scholarship in her name to mark the event of her patronage.[4]

In 2004, Kindergarten Classes and the Music Room were created for the junior school, and girls were allowed into Junior School.

In 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, St. John's-Ravenscourt School was named one of Manitoba's Top Employers, announced by the Winnipeg Free Press newspaper.[7]

Today, the school's student population has increased to just over 800 students, with full integration of girls in all grades since 2007.

In 2014, the new Richardson Senior School and Riley Fitness Centre were opened. The renovation project was done by Bockstael Construction in association with Stantec Architects.[8]


St. John's-Ravenscourt School has a large, well designed campus with several different buildings serving multiple or specific purposes. The school campus is located on the bank of the Red River in Fort Garry at 400 South Drive. The school features an olympic sized arena, multiple playing fields, two separate gyms, a music wing with several different music rooms, offices, boarding facilities, a cafeteria, and numerous classrooms and laboratories.

The school is divided into three main wings. Each wing has its own faculty, including a principal.

Junior School - The Junior School Wing consists of several buildings, the largest being the Kiddell Building. The Junior School wing includes a distinct Kindergarten education facility, several classrooms, a gym, and a computer lab. In addition to this, the Junior School contains an atrium adjacent to the Junior School office, as well as its own library and music room.

Middle School - The Middle School's facilities contain an art studio and the school's only theatre, the Moffat-Richardson Theatre. It also contains a media room with a Green Screen, a common room for the students' use, several science labs and multipurpose rooms, and the Middle School Office. The middle school wing is a building built in 1997. It is located behind the new senior school.

Richardson Senior School - The Senior School Wing is the newest and largest wing of the school, with a renovation project finished in 2014, updating many of the Senior School's facilities. The wing encompasses many separate buildings, now connected, including: the Camsell Science Wing, the Tom Bredin Athletic Building, Reimer Gymnasium, and the entrance hall of the school. The Athletics building includes one of the few international-sized hockey arenas in Manitoba, the Dutton Memorial Arena. The Senior School also includes the school's cafeteria, Hamber Hall. In addition, the wing contains several music rooms, shared by the whole school.

Boarding - There are boarding facilities spread out through the campus, with a boarder's lounge near the music rooms, a historic building used for girls boarding called Thomson House, and a boys boarding wing over top of the food services offices.


There are approximately 150 faculty members listed on the St. John's-Ravenscourt website. Some teachers teach in both Senior and Middle School, but most teach only on one level. There are also many support staff, such as administrators,advancement and alumni relations, archives, communication and marketing, uniform shop, admissions, student records, facilities, food services, finance, student services, residence staff and IT technicians. Teachers who teach for over 25 years are recognized with a service award.


St. John's-Ravenscourt School delivers the government standard curriculum, as well an enriched curriculum set by SJR's own teachers. The school places emphasis on the math and debating programs within their curriculum. The school has formulated its own mathematics curriculum, using its own textbooks and teaching materials. It has also made debating a mandatory course from grade six to eight. On the international stage, SJR has won 15 of the 27 World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships (WIDPSCs) thus far, with their most recent first place overall finish at WIDPSC 2014. As SJR is a university prep school, the students must achieve a 65% average or better starting in grade 6 in order to be promoted to the next grade up. Many academic scholarships are offered, and some of the scholarship money goes to paying for the tuition of the school.

Amenities and services[edit]

There is a new fitness center with cardio machines and weightlifting machines. A hot lunch is provided everyday for students and staff. Busing for students provided by Beaver Bus Lines takes students to school and home every day. Many clubs and extracurricular activities such as chess, math, writing, debating, Ultimate frisbee, soccer and more are available for students. There are two large playing fields alongside the campus. The headmaster's house, Shepard House, is also on campus, as well as the director of boarding's living facilities. SJR also has a full-time school nurse who works in the Health Centre.


There is a tuition, and depending on grade and/or boarding, prices range from $16,890 to $49,440.[9] The school has financial aid for those who are unable to pay the full tuition.

Notable alumni[edit]

St. John's-Ravenscourt School has produced 18 Rhodes Scholars,[10] as well as numerous otherwise notable alumni, including:


Athletics are an important factor in the SJR community. Soccer is the School's most popular sport in terms of participation, with twelve recreational teams from U9 through U16, four Varsity teams and two CAIS traveling teams. Ultimate Frisbee is another popular sport at SJR, with traveling teams, and recreational teams. Ice hockey, another popular sport at SJR, is played in Dutton Memorial Arena, the only international-sized arena in the Winnipeg area.[11]

Other popular sports include rugby, volleyball, basketball, and badminton.


  1. ^ a b Manitoba Historical Society. "St. John's Ravenscourt School".
  2. ^ Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. "Anderson, David".
  3. ^ Manitoba Historical Society. "A Walking Tour of Armstrong's Point".
  4. ^ a b Thomson A, Lafortune S. Handbook of Canadian Boarding Schools. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1999, p 241
  5. ^ "The St. John's-Ravenscourt School Incorporation Act". Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  6. ^ Thomson, A. "Secondary Education in Manitoba in 1994".
  7. ^ "Reasons for Selection, 2009 Manitoba's Top 20 Employers Competition". 
  8. ^ "St. John's-Ravenscourt Senior School and Fitness Centre". Bockstael Construction. Retrieved 30 November 2016. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "St. John's-Ravenscourt School FAQs". 
  11. ^ "Max Hockey School".


External links[edit]