Kingston Secondary School Snapshot

October 2018

Big picture

Principal Talya McKenna to lead new school administration

Current Kingston Collegiate & Vocational Institute Principal Talya McKenna will move with students and staff to Kingston Secondary School when it opens in the 2019-2020 school year.

Over her years in education, Ms. McKenna has worked at Loyalist Collegiate & Vocational Institute, Frontenac Secondary School, La Salle Intermediate and Secondary School before she became principal of KCVI in September 2017.

During her time at KCVI, she says one of her most memorable moments was the celebration of the school's 225th anniversary. She enjoyed sharing the occasion with KCVI's dedicated staff and alumni but also with her mother, a KCVI graduate.

She is excited to be moving to the new Kingston Secondary School with her incredible staff, their amazing students and outstanding families within the school community.

Construction trucking along at Kirkpatrick Street site

What a difference a year makes! Construction on the new 171,000-square-foot facility began in November 2017. Since then, general contractor Bondfield Construction and a variety of sub-contractors have been busy.

The project is being built in three phases so trades can move easily around the site and expedite the construction. All of the foundations are in and almost all of the exterior walls are up or framed in. The main entrance and main foyer, which includes a tiered seating area for student gatherings, are taking shape as is the new competition-size gymnasium.

As construction continues, ongoing new school planning meetings are occurring regularly. These meetings focus on furniture, equipment, technology; placement of artifacts; selection of building colours; and eventual moving and logistics. These meetings are in addition to bi-weekly site meetings with contractor and trades, architects & consultants.

The school board has also partnered with SkEye Stream to provide aerial drone footage of the new school project throughout the construction process. Take a look at the difference between May and July. These videos as well as a selection of still photography are posted to the Board website.

New school colours

In addition to helping oversee the consultation of Kingston Secondary School's name, the Integration Committee also engaged with students and staff regarding colours and mascot for the new school back in the spring.

Based on feedback from more than 550 students and almost 70 staff, the new school colours will be black, blue and white. Work continues on the new mascot/nickname for KSS.

Based on this feedback, the school will work with the student body to develop concepts for the new school logo. The Board will then work with local designers to transform these concepts into the new logo which will be unveiled later this year.

What features are included in the new school building?

Kingston Secondary School is a three-storey, 171-square-foot building that will feature 34 secondary classrooms and 9 intermediate classrooms.

The school will also include:

  • 8 Science Labs (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, General);
  • 2 Music Rooms (Instrumental/Vocal);
  • 3 Art Rooms (Graphic/Visual/Photography);
  • 1 Theatre Arts Room;
  • 4 Technology Shops (Construction, Manufacturing/Transportation, Integrated and Computer Engineering Lab);
  • Culinary Arts and Nutrition Rooms;
  • Communication Lab with Radio program;
  • Cosmetology Room;
  • 4 Special Education Rooms;
  • 2 Gymnasiums with Health Science and Weight Rooms; and
  • Library with Community Room and Book Kiosk.

Other building features include:

  • Modern ventilation with air conditioning and heat recovery systems to reduce lost energy;
  • High levels of insulation and high performance glazing systems;
  • Improvement of natural daylight and reduce reliance on artificial lighting;
  • Lighting sensors and occupancy sensors throughout;
  • Building Automation Systems to optimize energy use;
  • Use of low VOC paints and adhesives to improve indoor air quality; and
  • High use of local and recyclable building materials.

Get your BEARings moves into third year

Since students from the new school catchment area began attending KCVI in 2016, the school has worked with student leaders to create a dynamic and engaging two-day introduction for all incoming Grade 9 students called “Get your BEARings."

This orientation program is intended to allow new students to receive their timetables, lockers, complimentary city bus pass and walk through a typical day at KCVI. They have the opportunity to meet classmates and teachers before the first day of school and learn specific strategies for high school success.

"These two very important days truly set the stage for our entire Grade 9 school year," says Beth Ford, Lead Student Success Teacher at KCVI. "We follow up once the school year begins with several welcome events including a Grade 9 day to ensure students feel a part of their new school family."

Student LINK Leaders helped organize a great activity day for Grade 9s at City Park to encourage teamwork and engagement while ensuring students feel supported during their transition. In addition to facilitating fun activities and experiences, Link Leaders do face-to-face checkins with new students and act as ongoing mentors and role models throughout the school year.

"We have seen firsthand the value of this program in supporting our new students not just in their Grade 9 year but as they move through their high school career," says Ms. Ford. "Our program has been so successful that great friendships have come about between our newest students and more senior students."

In addition to supports for students, KCVI's ongoing orientation also includes a parent/guardian information session to allow for questions about the transition to high school.