Huron Heights Secondary School
Greetings, one and all, and welcome to another thrilling instalment of WRX Property Group’s series on Kitchener-Waterloo secondary schools! Which school will we be discussing today, you ask? None other than Huron Heights Secondary School, Kitchener’s newest high school.
Standing at the intersection of Strasburg and Huron Road, Huron Heights serves the southwestern area of Kitchener. This region of Kitchener is growing rapidly, and the school has been expanding to accommodate larger quantities of students. When it first opened its doors in September 2006, Huron Heights only had Grade 9 and 10 classes, but it now serves Grades 9-12. The school itself has a striking, modern look, featuring red brick juxtaposed with grey metal and a tall, centrally-located glass façade. It is walking distance from a pretty park (Brigadoon Park), a pizza place, and a gas station/Mac’s Convenience.
Huron Heights School Spirit
Huron Heights’ team name is the Huskies, and their mascot (I bet you can guess) – is a Husky (research confirms that it’s up to date on its rabies shots, and flea-free since 2012). The school’s website provides a detailed analysis of its official school crest. It depicts a symbol for fire, representing the original Strabsburg school that burned down in 1964; a Trillium and a Maple Leaf (representing Ontario and Canada, respectively); Pioneer Memorial Tower (representing the German heritage of pioneers that settled Waterloo Region in the early nineteenth-century); and their version of a Mohawk Tree of Peace, the branches of which symbolize the desired qualities of a future Huron Heights graduate: educated, literate, proud of self and school, healthy and physically fit, a good citizen, employable, and a life-long learner (Huron Heights School Crest). Their motto is E Concordia Fortitudo, which is Latin for “In harmony, strength.” Their colours, as you can see, are purple, silver, black and white.
Huron Heights Academics
Huron Heights Secondary School has consistently performed well in the Fraser Institute’s secondary school ratings compared with other Kitchener public high schools: it was the second-highest rated school in Kitchener in 2012, 2014 and 2016. These ratings take into account literacy (OSSLT), numeracy (EQAO), and gender-gap/incomplete tests within those criteria.
Huron Heights Specialist High Skills Major
Ontario’s Ministry of Education recently unveiled its Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program, the aim of which is to allow students to focus on cultivating skills in a specific economic sector, while also fulfilling the requirements for their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Huron Heights offers four SHSM programs: Arts and Culture; Environment; Health and Wellness; and Sports. Huron Heights is particularly renowned for its Health and Wellness program, which will be discussed further below. Get a sense of the credits involved in each SHSM program here.
Huron Heights System Designated Specialized (Magnet) Programs
Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) uses specialized, ‘Magnet’ programs in their various school to offer specialized instruction for students interested in specific fields and students with specific needs. Huron Heights offers the Health Care Sectors program – it is the only school in WRDSB to offer this particular program. In this program, students can develop work skills and knowledge, and gain firsthand experience in the field. Huron Heights has a fully-equipped health care lab that students will be able to access. This program is a fantastic opportunity for students interested in working in the health field – whether that be as a nurse or nutritionist, a doctor or a dentist, or any of a variety of other career paths.
Huron Heights Athletics
Huron Heights has solid sports offerings, for those inclined toward such things. They offer different sports each season (Fall, Winter, and Spring), including basketball, hockey, soccer, and a particularly well-run Track & Field program, which even has its own website: check it out here). The Huron Heights Huskies have performed well over the short period of their existence, as evinced by the ever-growing Hall of Fame on the Track & Field website, the Junior Girls Volleyball team’s first-place finish in the 2016 WCSSAA, and the recent victory of their girls rugby team in the Junior Varsity Tournament. Be sure to view the full list of sports offered at Huron Heights here, and if you want to stay up to date with the school’s athletic news, check out their Twitter here. Next we’ll talk about some of the clubs offered at Huron Heights, but since this one is also related to Athletics, we’ll start with it here. The Alpha Dogs (spelt A.L.P.H.A. Dogs, standing for Athletic Leaders Positively Helping All Dogs (by dogs, they mean fellow students – my research has led me to believe this is a human high school and not a canine obedience class) make a positive impact on the school community, and at the end of each school year, two graduating students receive the Alpha Dog award for their achievements academically, athletically, and artistically, and as community leaders.
Huron Heights Clubs and Activities
Huron Heights has plenty of clubs and a wide enough variety that there’s surely something for everyone. They’re broken down into several categories, including but not limited to: Diversity & Peer Leadership; Fun & Culture; and Media, Tech & Computing. Some notable clubs are Dramathon, in which a play is imagined, written and performed in a single day; Husky League, a reading club focused on comic books; junior, senior, and jazz bands; and Husky Pack, a popular and high-spirited club that organizes and runs Grade 9 orientation each year. Check out their Twitter here.
Huron Heights Schedule
Huron Heights is one of two schools in the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) to operate with the Multi-Subject Instructional Period (MSIP) – the other school with MSIP is Galt Collegiate Institute & Vocational School in Cambridge. MSIP is a unique timetable structure, in which the day consists of five, hour-long periods (as opposed to four 75-minute ones). The additional period – referred to as the MSIP period – begins with fifteen minutes of silent reading. The remaining 45 minutes are spent reading or working on school projects, collaborating with peers, or meeting with teachers and/or guidance.
Huron Heights Secondary School has a solid reputation academically and athletically, and despite being just over a decade old, it has become a proud part of the WRDSB. Kitchener’s newest high school is a good place to be. Southwest Kitchener is growing rapidly, so if you’re looking for a new home in a flourishing market, you can be confident that Huron Heights will serve you and your family well.
Written by Will Kummer