Principal's Message

Principal's Message

Welcome to the A.Y. Jackson Secondary School website. A.Y. Jackson Secondary School opened in 1976, and has over 40 years of experience building positive relationships in the Kanata community.  Our website provides students, parents, guardians, and the community with information about academics, well-being, and extracurricular activities.

As a new member of the team, it has been a great pleasure to rejoin the A.Y.Jackson family. One of my earliest (and best) experiences teaching in Ottawa was as an occasional teacher and rugby coach at AY over thirty years ago. I joined an A.Y. Jackson Rugby Team tour of Scotland in the spring of 1990, so it has been great to come full-circle and rejoin the A.Y. Jackson community. A.Y. has had an excellent  reputation for international education, a caring staff, and a great community for 45 years and it is an honour to join the team.


At A.Y. We expect our students to become global citizens and to develop global perspectives. This includes educating ourselves and our students about key social issues such as racism, climate change, and globalization so that we may place our learning in the context of modern society. Respect is a notion common to every culture and country and to be treated with respect is the most fundamental of human rights. At A.Y. Jackson, we have one rule for every member of our school community: respect everybody, every day, all of the time.  

In my first few months at A.Y. Jackson, I have seen a few things I already have come to appreciate and which are signs of a healthy and effective school.

  • We are fortunate to have a collaborative, extremely caring, and dedicated staff who love to teach and work at A.Y.
  • Our students have shown themselves to be engaged, responsible, caring, and motivated learners. Our students have had an amazingly positive response to the COVID guidelines and requirements, and they have shown social responsibility and a high level of commitment to academics during challenging times.  
  • Our parent community is highly engaged in student learning. Whether we connect with parents online through Google-Meet Interviews or via social media, we are fortunate to have great partners in supporting student success. The A.Y. School Council meets monthly throughout the year to discuss issues of importance to parents, hear  from A.Y. staff, and host guest speakers on a variety of topics.
  • Our District is planning an innovative and bright future for A.Y. Jackson. The OCDSB has an ongoing commitment to innovation led with significant facilities investments including:
  • We offer many opportunities for experiential learning including labs, field work, and Cooperative Education placements with many local business and agencies. 
  • A.Y. Jackson is a leading school for the OCDSB International Certificate Program. In 2021 we will be working with our partner school in Zaragoza, Spain to continue our international learning experience partnership. 
  • Among both students and staff at A.Y. there is a keen interest in and consideration of social justice within teaching and learning as well as within everyday life. 

School Learning Plan is designed to foster the achievement of all our students.  We are currently focusing on four key areas:

  1. Creating Pathways to Success for every student: To ensure that all students are well-educated regarding their options for post-secondary pathways including employment, apprenticeships & training, college and university pathways. 
  2. Ensuring high levels of Literacy and Numeracy for every student. To promote the development of Literacy and Numeracy skills in a whole school, cross-curricular endeavor.
  3. Promoting Physical, Cognitive, and Social-Emotional Wellness for every student. We will continue to work together to establish a culture of well-being with all members of the A.Y. community, where mental and physical health are first in our learning and decision-making.
  4. Leading with Equity for every student, every day: As a school team, one of our key functions is to foster an awareness of the barriers many individuals face within our community. This includes fostering and awareness of social issues such as racism, social injustice, and climate change which will both challenge our learning and shape our mission. 

Our website also includes information from our Students’ Council as well as our programs in Academics, Fine Arts and Athletics.  Please look through our website to learn about our teams, bands, clubs and programs.  Our school provides students with many opportunities that add to student learning and well-being.  We look forward to working with our students, parents and A.Y. Jackson community this year.



Patrick McCarthy, Principal  

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