Between the Grand Erie District School Board and the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board, there are five secondary schools in the City of Brantford. Each school has a unique combination of programs and activities that make it shine. Where one school might fall behind, it excels in another area, so looking at them all side-by-side is part of making the best decision for a student.
This list will explore program offerings, special academics, and extra-curricular options for students to make the most of their 4 years. Here is the breakdown of what each of the five schools offers students in Brantford, Ontario.
Assumption College School
Assumption College is a Catholic High School located in the Shellard Lane neighbourhood in southwestern Brantford. The school’s boundaries cover much of southern Brantford and the rural area to the southwest of the city.
This high school offers a wide variety of special programs for its students including Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs (OYAP) - both regular track and an accelerated track for Automotive Services and Cooking. There are also course options for Advanced Placement and Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM). For students interested in SHSM at Assumption, they can choose from a focus in Business, Health Care, Fitness, Hospitality and Tourism, Visual Art, Instrumental Music, Construction, Communications, Computer Technology, Transportation, Manufacturing, or Child Care and Family Services.
In terms of provincial test scores, Assumption College sports an average Fraser Institute ranking of 6.5 out of 10. Assumption’s most recent ranking of 6.5 comes from a level 2.9 average on the Math EQAO and a 79% pass rate on the English Literacy Test.
Assumption College is also well known for their breadth of student activities. For those interested in performance, the school has excellent Drama and Music Programs. In addition to the school courses, students can participate in the annual theatre production or join the Concert Band or Vocal Ensemble. There are high school teams for football, basketball, volleyball, hockey, rugby and many more. Other clubs and leadership opportunities include Environmental Club, Art Club, Animation Club, Games Club and Student Council.
Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School
Brantford Collegiate is a Grand Erie School Board secondary school. It can be found just west of Brant Avenue and north of the Grand River. The school’s intake boundaries indicate that they accept students from a lot of the southwestern and central-west side as well as the rural areas south of the city.
Brantford Collegiate offers a few different kinds of programs. For students more interested in hands-on learning, Brantford Collegiate has OYAP, SHSM, and STEP options that help students take their learning outside of the classroom. The SHSM program at Brantford includes an Arts Program for Stage and Screen, Fitness, and Manufacturing with a focus in Welding/Fabrication. For students set on University, Brantford Collegiate offers both Advanced Placement eligible courses and the special Brantford Laurier Program which offers students enriched academics alongside leadership opportunities. Brantford Collegiate also offers both a French Immersion Certificate and an Extended French certificate to students who meet the course requirements upon graduation.
In provincial testing, Brantford Collegiate has an average ranking of 5.4 for the last five years with a much-improved 5.8 being their most recent. This comes from an average of level 3 on the Grade 9 Math EQAO and a 72% pass rate on the English Literacy Test.
Outside of the classroom, students of Brantford Collegiate can explore many different interests during their time in high school. Sports are offered both as seasonal team competitions and regular intramural games. Students looking to get involved in the arts programs can join concert band, jazz band, musical theatre, or a film festival. Brantford Collegiate also runs a Yearbook Club, a Book Club, and an AV club as well as many others throughout the year.
North Park Collegiate and Vocational School
North Park is a Grand Erie secondary school that services the north end of Brantford. The school itself is located in the Fairview neighbourhood.
The programs at North Park have something to offer every type of student. The SHSM program offers a specialist focus in the areas of Communication Technology, Health and Wellness, Sports, and Architecture and Construction. OYAP gives North Park students a chance to begin an apprenticeship while still in high school. The Dual-Credit program allows students to work toward post-secondary school credits while still finishing their high school diploma. North Park also offers an Advanced Placement program and supports general E-Learning.
During the most recent year of provincial testing, North Park had a level 2.8 average on the Math EQAO and a 72% pass rate on the English Literacy Test. With these scores, North Park got a Fraser Institute ranking of 6.0 out of 10. This score contributes to their five-year average score of 6.3.
North Park has an incredible variety of extra-curricular programs for students to try. In addition to joining numerous sports teams, students can exercise their leadership skills within the Trojan Athletics program. The competition doesn’t stop there as students can participate in science fairs and math contests, too. Music students have the chance to join either the concert band or the wind ensemble. Some North Park clubs include art, drama, chess, and baking among many more.
Pauline Johnson Collegiate and Vocational School
Pauline Johnson is a south Brantford secondary school located east of the Downtown core in the neighbourhood of Echo Place. The school boundaries encompass much of central and eastern Brantford and expand out into the rural area east of the city’s boundaries.
There are many great programs being offered by Pauline Johnson. For their SHSM, students can choose between a Culinary Arts Focus, a Media Arts Focus, and a special E3 Focus which specializes on studying the environment and is unique to Pauline Johnson. Another unique program is S.O.A.R., an athletic dedication that goes in-depth about fitness and nutrition. Pauline Johnson also offers an Advanced Placement Program and an Enrichment Program which offers enriched core subjects and is capped off with a Legacy Project in Grade 12.
When compared by provincial test scores, Pauline Johnson ranks at an average of 3.6 out of 10 according to the Fraser Institute. Their most recent ranking of 3.3 comes from a combined level 2.8 average on the Math EQAO and a 45% pass rate on the English Literacy Test.
Pauline Johnson is building a reputation for its dedication to athletics. Outside of the unique program opportunities offered by the school, the new Kiwanis Field opened in 2016 is right in the school’s backyard. This game-day-ready field features a full-length field, versatile track space, and bleachers for spectators. Best of all, it serves as the home field for the Pauline Johnson Thunderbirds! Other extra-curricular activities include bands, clubs, and leadership roles across the school.
St. John’s College
St. John’s College is a Catholic secondary school located along Paris Road in the north part of Brantford’s Henderson neighbourhood. The wider school boundaries also cover much of north Brantford.
St. John’s offers both experiential learning opportunities and enriched academics depending on what a student would rather focus on. For those who want a smoother transition into an apprenticeship or college program, there is OYAP or Dual-Credits. Students can also choose between a SHSM in Arts and Culture, Construction, Health and Wellness, Hospitality and Tourism, Information Communication Technology, or Sports. St. John’s also offers an Advanced Placement program in STEM courses or in English Literature and Composition.
In the most recent provincial testing St. John’s scored an average level 2.8 score on the Math EQAO and a 85% pass rate on the English Literacy Test. This earned the school a Fraser Institute ranking of 6.5 out of 10 and an average of 6.6 across the last five years.
Extra-curricular activities at St. John’s enhance the classroom learning in every subject or area of interest. For students who enjoy STEM programming, this high school participates in science and math contests as well as the STEM Olympics. Students with a passion for athletics can join any of the school’s sport teams or participate in individual sports like Golf. Other great activities and events include performance groups in Drama and Band as well as a Debate Team and participation in the Mock Trial program.
There are programs to highlight for every high school in Brantford. Whether it’s a specific academic program or a special extra-curricular offering, the best high school in Brantford depends on what a student is looking for.