Our School

School photo

We acknowledge that our learning is taking place on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Territory. We thank the Algonquin Nation for hosting us and recognize their enduring presence on this land.

Our Community

A.Y. Jackson believes that the best way to support student achievement is through a close partnership with both parents and the community. Parents play a pivotal role in shaping A.Y. Jackson’s vision for its students and support student and staff initiatives. Parents are invited to volunteer in a variety of ways ranging from supervising field trips, and acting as tutors to being part of a Safe Schools Committee and participating in fundraising initiatives. The A.Y. Jackson School Council meets regularly throughout the year and plays an important role in raising and addressing concerns within the school community.

Mission Statement

At A.Y. Jackson, we empower all learners to become contributing members of a global society by providing opportunities for growth within a respectful and nurturing community.

Programs and Services

Academic Programs

In addition to offering a comprehensive program in English, Science, Math, Canadian and World Studies and the Humanities, A.Y. Jackson offers:

  • Core, French Immersion and Spanish courses
  • Extensive fine arts course (instrumental music, ceramics, visual arts, drama, dance, and media studies)
  • Technological studies including construction, design, communication technology, computer programming
  • Physical Education programs that include fitness, exercise science, and core male and female physical education classes
  • Cooperative Education program
  • Hospitality (Food and Nutrition) program
  • Business courses including entrepreneurship, marketing, accounting, and international business

Classroom Organization

A.Y. Jackson offers a semestered program from grades 9 – 12. Courses are offered at the academic/university, applied/college and open/mixed levels. We offer full English and French Immersion programs.

The school day runs on a 2 day cycle, with Day One occurring on odd numbered dates and Day Two occurring on even numbered dates. Periods tumble in the morning and also in the afternoon. There are 4 periods in the school day, with a break between the two morning and afternoon classes.

Special Education

The Special Education Department provides individualized support to students with identified learning or physical exceptionalities. This support is provided within the regular classroom and in the resource room. Educational assistants, board special services staff and community partnerships augment the range of opportunities for exceptional students at A.Y. Jackson. In addition, we have a specialized Autism class.

Clubs and Activities

  • Alter Reality Club (Global Action)
  • J-TV
  • Lunch time intramurals (variety of sports)
  • J Crew
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Reach for the Top Club
  • Students' Council
  • Yearbook
  • National/International Trips to Spain, Greece, China, New York, Washington, Boston
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Cross-Country Running
  • Ice Hockey Boys and Girls
  • Ski Club
  • Touch Football
  • Volleyball
  • Robotics Club
  • Rainbow Alliance
  • Nordic Skiing
  • Jazz Band
  • Fitness/Weight Training Club
  • Cappies
  • The Sears One-Act Play
  • Golf
  • Athletics Council
  • Baseball
  • Relay for Life
  • Field Hockey
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Track and Field

Safe Schools Initiatives

Staff, students, and parents work closely together to provide a safe and caring learning environment and to address issues of concern. The Student Code of Behaviour was developed by staff, students, and parents and is shared on our website and reviewed with students at the beginning of each school year. Our "J" Crew mentoring program helps ensure a smooth start for our new grade nines as they are paired with two specially chosen senior students who periodically meet with the grade nines throughout the entire year. Other safe school initiatives include the fostering of a close relationship with our school resource officer, assemblies designed to promote effective decision making (i.e. MADD), workshops (i.e. In Love and In Danger – dating violence), a Safe Schools Committee, and clubs geared to promoting inclusivity within the school such as Rainbow Alliance.

The Rainbow Alliance promotes the acceptance and inclusion of all students, regardless of their differences. New members are always welcome to attend. The club holds weekly meetings to discuss topics of interest, plan fundraising events and awareness campaigns. Rainbow Alliance members participate in the annual (OCDSB) rainbow Youth Forum where they participate in workshops geared toward helping students make their school more inclusive.

Facilities and Resources

The school’s facilities and services include the following features: an excellent resource library with contemporary literature and periodicals, updated athletic facilities, both local and wide-area computer networking, well-equipped music, drama, dance, and art rooms, including a kiln for ceramics classes, and full cafeteria services. The newly renovated Food and Nutrition room provides our students with modern cooking facilities. Our atrium, affectionately known as "The Pit" showcases beautiful, student-made advertising posters, flags from around the world, and provides an inviting place for a variety of student activities at the heart of the school.

Achievement and School Improvement Planning

Measures of Student Achievement and Success

We are very proud of the academic and extracurricular achievements of all our students. Some recent highlights include: Nearly 40% of our graduates were Ontario Scholars (over 80% average) in June 2013. At our Fall awards night this October, 52 students ranging from grade nine to eleven received OCDSB silver medals for having averages over 90%.

Recently students in AY’s immersion program have won The French Public Speaking Competition at both the board and Provincial level. They have also placed in individual categories at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University French As a Second Language Competition for core and immersion and placed in a team group.

We are a three time winner of the Isis Officer Ethnocultural Award. At the International School Connection Global Summit in Beijing China in October 2007, A.Y. Jackson was the first school in the world to be given Global Learning Centre status. This acknowledges the depth to which staff embed the importance of being a global citizen into their curriculum.

A.Y. Jackson students volunteer their time and creative abilities for a multitude of causes. They have run campaigns to support our troops and the commercials they created for the school television broadcasts are being distributed nationally. The students have fundraised for Kenya, Darfur, LWAK Girls’ School in Kenya, the Kanata Food Cupboard, the Toy Mountain drive and Operation Christmas Child. A.Y. Jackson offers students the opportunity to compete on more than twenty athletic teams in a wide variety of team and individual sports. Annually our athletic teams compete for city championships and send athletes to the provincial championships. A.Y. Jackson is the only school in North America to have won both Best Musical and Best Play at the Cappies.

Our senior band won gold at the local Kiwanis competition. Over 160 students gained valuable work experience and pursued different pathways by participating in the school’s Coop program.

School Learning Plan and Initiatives

A.Y. Jackson is proud of its high academic expectations of students. We focus on literacy, numeracy, and improving academic success. Students are provided with opportunities to apply for scholarships and are invited to participate in Mathematics, Science, Computer Science, Drama, Music, Athletic and English Contests at competitive levels. This year’s school improvement initiatives will focus on assessment and evaluation strategies to help provide more specific feedback to students and parents about classroom work and curriculum.

A.Y. Jackson offers an International Certificate. Interested students may participate in an international exchange/trip with our partner schools in Zaragoza, Spain or in Suzhou, China.

Grade 12 College bound English students are offered the chance to take part in a dual credit opportunity with Algonquin College which exposes them and transitions them to college expectations. They are taught by both their English teacher and a college teacher and earn both a high school and college credit.

The Junior Drama Classes are paired with John Young E.S. Kindergarten to Grade 3 audiences enjoy the original children’s theatre performances prepared by our students. Our Physical Education students deliver healthy lifestyle seminars at Glen Cairn P.S.

Leadership Recognition

“Leadership in the OCDSB is the demonstration of personal initiative to achieve a positive outcome.”


The Students' Council is actively involved in promoting school spirit throughout the year. Activities include spirit weeks and spirit days with games at lunch in The Pit, dances, and a coffee house, as well as the Welcome Back BBQ in September. Alter Reality are a group affiliated with Free the Children and raised $8000.00 to build a school in Haiti. The group has multiple fundraising activities which include: bracelets of promise, the Chapters Night, Candy for a cause. They also organize a multicultural buffet whose proceeds go towards the building of the school and Free the Children.

Student achievements are recognized formally through academic awards at Commencement and the Fall Awards, and, informally, by posting the Honour Roll on the website and in the school, by recognizing student initiatives during daily announcements, and through the Character Recognition Assemblies.


Our staff members have a wealth of professional qualifications including Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees. They have actively participated in numerous District-wide and Provincial professional development activities in literacy, numeracy, curriculum, and e-learning. One staff member is co-chair of the Ontario Association for Geographic and Environmental Education. We recognize their initiative by providing and supporting opportunities for further professional growth. Many of the staff members are interested in furthering global citizenship and awareness in their personal and professional lives. The staff recognize leadership and exemplary teaching practice among one another through the awarding of Silver Bowls at staff meetings. We recognize staff leadership by nominating them for local and provincial awards, and by providing opportunities for further professional growth.


Parent and community volunteers contribute by accompanying our students on field trips, coaching school teams, helping to fundraise for our music program, assisting with our technology program, acting as tutors and as library helpers and by serving on the school council as well as on our Safe Schools Committee. Parent/ guardians and community volunteers are an important part of A.Y. Jackson's team.


Our community partners are numerous including: the Kanata Food Cupboard, The Education Foundation of Ottawa, The Legion, The Rotary Club, WORCRC: Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre, the Ottawa 67’s, the Ottawa Senators, the Red Cross, OCENET: Ottawa Carleton Education Network, the Youth Services Bureau (YSB), professional and amateur groups in Kanata. In addition, we have partners with individuals who provide opportunities for our students to be part of the larger community in acts of service to others and in enhancing their own literacy and entrepreneurial skills. We honour the dedication and efforts of our business partners who provide Coop placements by recognizing them with certificates of appreciation.

We also have numerous scholarship providers for whom we are so very grateful to for their support to our students as they venture towards the next part of their journey forward.

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