General Questions

Does Rockway receive any funding from the provincial government?

Rockway receives no government funding for its program or facilities. Our school program and our facility are supported through tuition, financial support from Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, generous donations from donors sympathetic to Rockway’s Mission and Mandate, as well as from some school rental and investment income.

How do I apply?

Each applicant must complete an Application Form and attach their most recent Report Card along with any relevant information related to an Individualized Education Plan. There is a $200 non-refundable Application Fee that must accompany each application. This fee will be applied to your first tuition payment. Learn more about the application process for Canadian students, or for International students.

Who gets accepted?

Check out our Study Here section for information on the acceptance process.

When will I know whether my child is accepted?

Returning students must reapply for admission not later than February 28 of each school year. Once acceptance letters have been sent to these students by March 30 we begin to issue Acceptance letters to new applicants. We review applications every Wednesday and send replies usually within 1-2 weeks.

Is financial aid available for families who need it?

Yes, through the generosity of our donors Rockway is able to offer a robust tuition assistance program. This support is income tested to ensure both fairness and equity. Many Mennonite Church of Eastern Canada congregations also support their students to attend Rockway through various forms of Student Aid. Please contact David Lobe, our Director of Admissions & Recruitment for more information.

Are there scholarships available?

Yes, read about the available scholarships here.

What is included in tuition?

Tuition covers all costs for activities that are compulsory for a class or grade level. This includes musical instruments necessary for any instrumental music course at any grade level. No additional student activity, course, graduation or field trip fees will be levied. Students must however purchase their own textbooks and pay for optional activities or materials of a personal nature.

How do I pay for tuition?

Tuition is payable as a lump sum or monthly from August to May by cash, cheque, or automatic funds transfer (AFT). Account statements are made available electronically to each family on a monthly basis.

Who operates the school – and how is Rockway’s Board of Directors structured?

Read about our Board of Directors for more information.

How many teachers and staff work at Rockway?

Approximately 60 teachers and staff are employed by Rockway (including full and part-time teachers and staff).

Does Rockway’s Calendar follow local Public and Roman Catholic school holidays?

Yes, as much as possible, Christmas and Spring Break are scheduled to coincide with regional Public and Roman Catholic schools. School generally begins the day after the Labour Day holiday.

In what ways does Rockway communicate formally with parents?

The weekly Flash, posted on our website, contains important information about school events for the coming week. All parents who indicate an interest will have a link to the current Flash emailed to them every Friday afternoon.

Teachers in grades 7-9 place daily homework assignments and projects on our Homework section of Rockway’s website. Teachers in grade 10-12 offer similar information frequently focused on larger project and assignment deadlines.

Parents can read about current news on the Rockway News & Events blog, featured on the Rockway homepage. This blog also features regular submissions from our Principal entitled Principal Ponderings.

Rockway also has an active presence on social media, including FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

How do students get to Rockway?

Students come to Rockway via individual family arrangements or local city transit (we are located one block from a bus stop on King Street). Many of our families organize carpooling systems from their neighbourhoods and we find that this is a great way to create community with those in your area.

Is Rockway a boarding school?

No, Rockway does not provide boarding facilities on campus. We do, however, have a HomeStay Program coordinated by our International Student Coordinator. All Rockway International students must live with an approved Rockway Host Family.

How do I apply to host an International student?

Rockway looks for qualified host families each year to provide a welcoming and safe home stay program for our International students. For more information, contact jills@rockway.ca.

Learning

What is Rockway’s current student enrolment?

Our student enrolment for 2016-2017 is 260 students.

How big are Rockway’s classes?

Rockway’s grade 7-10 classes have a target maximum of 24 students per class. Currently, our average class size in grades 11 and 12 is 16 students, but some sections have somewhat larger or smaller numbers depending on student choice and subject availability.

When does Rockway’s school day begin and end?

Classes run from 8:10 am until 3:10 pm. In grades 9-12 we run 5 “senior classes” – each 70 – 75 minutes long every day.

Is Rockway’s program inspected by the Ministry of Education?

Yes, Rockway is an accredited private school in the province of Ontario. As such we are required to meet identified curricular teaching and policy standards all of which are inspected and approved by Ministry of Education inspectors on a bi-annual basis.

Are there learning supports available for students who need them?

Yes, there are a variety of supports available for students. Please visit the Student Services and Resource Centre sections of our website for information about the learning supports available from teachers, Guidance Counselors, Teaching Assistants and our Resource Centre along with private and student tutors.

Does my child need to purchase their own textbooks?

Yes, every student purchases their own new or used books. These purchases are made on the first day of school. It is each student’s responsibility to care for their own books. At the end of each school year students can return their books to the school in order to receive a book credit for books that are sold the following September. This credit can be applied to the following school year’s account. Students who graduate or leave the school for other reasons can return their books for resale following which a refund will be forwarded to them by cheque.

Does each student get their own locker and day planner?

Yes, each student from grade 7-12 is assigned a locker on the first day of school. In addition, every student is issued a Planner / Organizer at the start of each year in which they are strongly encouraged to track homework assignments tests and other school related activities. Organization is a key to student success!

When can students go the library to study or do research?

The Library is open Monday – Friday, 7:45 am to 4:15 pm, with the exception of Thursday, when it is open from 7:45 am – 3:15 pm to allow for staff meetings.

What supports does Rockway offer in terms of computers for students?

Rockway has two main networked labs, (one Mac and one dual boot (Windows & Mac), each with 24 computers. One lab is located in the library which is used regularly by individual students or booked out by particular classes. An additional 15-seat lab is located in our Design & Tech wing. In addition, iPads and two class sets of Chromebooks are available to be signed out for classroom use, or for individual student use in the library. All students are issued a Rockway Google Education account and must sign a Responsible Use Agreement at the beginning of each year.

How often do students get Physical Education?

Grade 7, 8 and 9 students receive PE for three 70 minute classes each week. Grade 10 PE is offered on an every-other-day schedule for the entire year. The Ministry of Education requires PE only up to the end of grade 9, however we are convinced that student learning is enhanced with an ongoing focus on physical activity. Rockway students are strongly encouraged to enroll in grade 10 PE for a minimum of 1 semester. Grade 11 PE and grade 12 Kinesiology are courses offered in each semester.

Does Rockway have any unique course requirements?

There are a number of requirements that Rockway has built into its program of studies.

  • Religious Studies: All students must enroll in Religious Studies classes from grade 7-10. Students in grade 12 are strongly encouraged to enroll in an optional RS course – Philosophy: Faith Seeking Understanding. Religious Studies classes are offered on a credit basis for students in grades 9-12.
  • Music: All students in grades 7-9 must take music as part of their program. We believe that choral music and music appreciation are important in a well-rounded education. Students in grades 7-8 also have instrumental music (strings or woodwinds) built into their program in a “blended” manner. Rockway’s strong tradition of music making is important to student learning and to the music tradition of our support constituency.
  • International Languages: In our “global village”, students are broadened and enriched through second language acquisition; therefore all grade 10 students are required to enrol in a second language – either German (LWGBD) or French (FSF2D).
    This requirement will be waived only for International students with no background in either language; in cases where a student’s Individual Education Plan indicates that second language study is not advisable; or upon the written request of parents. Additionally, students should note that Rockway’s France/Germany Exchange is open only to students who continue with French and/or German language study in their grade 11 year.
What kind of diploma do graduating students receive?

Upon graduation students receive the Ontario Secondary School Diploma which is recognized by post-secondary institutions everywhere. In addition students who have successfully fulfilled the Religious Studies and service requirements of our school will also receive a Rockway Diploma.

Must students write the Ontario Literacy Test and complete Community Service Requirements?

Yes. All students must successfully complete the Ontario Literacy Test and complete a minimum of 40 hours of Community Service in order to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

Where do Rockway graduates go after high school?

90% of Rockway’s graduates pursue study in post-secondary university and college institutions. The remainder of our graduates will pursue service and work alternatives – though the majority of these students will also pursue studies at university or college.

How is Rockway’s academic program regarded by post-secondary institutions?

Rockway has an excellent reputation for preparing students very well for university and college studies. Of the 90% of our graduates who pursued university and / or college studies last year 92% were accepted into their first program choice.

What opportunities exist for parents to contact teachers?

All teachers have voice mail and email which are both used extensively for communication with parents. Parent and teacher meetings are scheduled as needed to discuss individual student concerns while regular parent-teacher interviews are scheduled through the school year.

Is Rockway’s program semestered or full-year?

Students in grade 7-8 learn in courses that are offered for the full year. Grade 7 and 8 students are scheduled to take Family Studies, Computer Studies, and Design & Technology in quarter-year modules through the year. Aside from this all their courses are offered for a full year. Apart from a few exceptions almost all courses for grade 9-12 students are semestered.

How many high school periods are taught each day?

Most semestered high schools offer a 4 period day. Rockway offers five 70 minute semestered classes each day. This extra class affords opportunities for students to earn additional credits. This is particularly important in the context of a compressed 4 year high school program.

How often do students receive Report Cards?

Students in grade 7-8 receive an initial Progress Report at the end of the first six weeks of school. In addition three formal Report cards are issued each year – in early December late March and at the end of June. Students in Grade 9-12 receive 4 report cards each year – at the mid-point and end of each semester.

Opportunity

What kinds of extra-curricular opportunities exist for students?

Rockway offers many extra-curricular opportunities for students. In Music, students can participate in choirs, instrumental and voice ensembles, a Stage Band, Music Council, and a variety of off-campus performances and tours. A vibrant Drama program includes formal drama presentations for students in all grades. These performances include opportunities for students to act as well as be involved in off-stage support in tech, set building/painting, props, costumes, hair & make up and ushering. Many athletic opportunities are planned for students, including competitive teams (Basketball, Volleyball, Badminton, Cross-Country, 3-Pitch, Rugby, Soccer and Ultimate Frisbee) depending on the grade level of students. In addition, intramural opportunities and lunchtime gym access for students are provided. Students can also participate in Leadership (Student Councils for Grades 7-8 and Grades 9-12) and a variety of Clubs: Athletics, School Newspaper (Ramblings), Social Concerns, Environmental Concerns, Yearbook (Lighthouse), Technology, Digital Media, Politics, among others.

Does Rockway plan Cross-Cultural Exchange programs for students?

We believe that building cross-cultural awareness and friendship is important for all students. Our Grade 11 German and French language students can participate in a France-Germany Exchange with students from Gymnasium Weierhof, a sister school in Germany, for 17 days each summer. Our Grade 12 students can participate in a 14 day service and learning trip to Costa Rica. This cross-cultural experience is scheduled during the month of March to coincide with our March Break.

Are field trips encouraged by the school?

Many learning opportunities are planned to extend student learning into our wider community. These field trips include opportunities to extend our English program (every grade 9-12 student sees a Stratford play as part of their English program each year), Art (visiting Art Galleries locally and in southwest Ontario), grade 7-8 Science (RARE Charitable Research Reserve), Science / Geography (Crawford Lake Niagara Escarpment) and much more. All costs for local and regional field trips which extend our academic program are covered within tuition fees.

Are other special events planned for students?

Students in Grades 7-9 participate in full-day class retreats in the fall of each year. A range of Christmas festivities are planned including: a special Christmas chapel, class and grade parties/excursions, an all-school Christmas Concert and a Christmas Banquet and dance for all grade 9-12 students. In the spring, we celebrate student accomplishments with an all-school Awards Assembly as well as Graduation Ceremonies for students in grade 8 and 12. In addition high school students have dances in the fall, at Christmas and in the spring – often coordinated to support worthy social causes in our community and the broader world.

How do you encourage cross-grade interaction among students?

Through the school year our Student Leadership Councils plan all-school spirit days and many other fun cross-grade activities. On a twice weekly basis, we share chapels or assemblies together – either as an entire student body (grade 7-12) or in separate grade 7-8 and 9-12 groupings. In addition our entire student body participates in all-school service and fundraising activities (e.g. House of Friendship Christmas Food Drive and a work/service day called Envirathon / Servathon).

Is there a cafeteria in the school?

Yes, a full-service cafeteria is available for students to purchase hot meals or a variety of cold menu options daily. Most items are “homemade”, rather than processed and pre-packaged. Various juices baked goods and snacks are also available from the cafeteria. Pop and candy are intentionally not available in the school.

Caring and Faith

What kinds of community service opportunities does Rockway support?

Rockway high school students, like all other students in the province, must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community service as a graduation requirement. Our students participate in a full day of Work and Service called Envirathon/Servathon each spring to support environmental causes and the work of a range of service agencies. Having our entire student body volunteer through the region is a significant piece of the character and faith qualities we wish to instill. Students at Rockway support a vigorous effort to gather food items each Christmas in support of the House of Friendship’s Food Hamper Program. In addition various other service opportunities are planned through the year by teachers and an active Social Concerns Club.
In addition, Rockway students in grades 9-12 who choose to earn a Rockway Diploma, must also complete an additional 20 hours (5 hours / year) of service beyond the school within the broader community. The school provides guidance and suggest appropriate service options for students. Reflection and conversation about student service learning will occur in Religious Studies classes.

How are positive relationships between students encouraged?

Positive and healthy relationships between students emerge when students have healthy role models when expectations for appropriate behavior are clear and when opportunities for students to get to know one another in various settings are provided.

What kinds of behavioural expectations does Rockway have of students?

Rockway’s behavioural expectations are spelled out in detail in the Student Handbook that each student receives at the start of each school year. Our expectations are rooted in the word “respect” as we encourage and expect students to develop and demonstrate respect for a classroom learning environment for their classmates their teachers and themselves.

Rockway is a school with strong roots and ownership in the Mennonite church. Do I have to be Mennonite to attend?

Rockway was founded in 1945 by what is now known as Mennonite Church Eastern Canada. Our school continues to have very strong theological and structural links with this church conference and to Mennonite congregations within our community. That said, Rockway is an inclusive environment that welcomes students of all cultural and religious backgrounds. About 40% of our students come to us from Mennonite families – while 60% reflect a broad diversity of faith traditions as well as students with no formal or informal religious or faith background.

Are Chapels mandatory for everyone? How do students with backgrounds other than Mennonite contribute and fit in?

Yes. Chapels are mandatory for all students to attend. Our commitment is to have every student experience a school in which their unique personality, gifts, and beliefs can be respected and celebrated even as they learn about living and faith from within a Christian faith and value base. We are committed to respecting all students as we engage them with important questions and convictions regarding character, faith and the development of strong social ethic.

How is the Christian faith integrated at Rockway?

The Christian faith is integrated into our program in formal and informal ways. Formally we integrate and teach Religious Studies Courses in every grade level. These courses are mandatory for all students in grades 7-10. In addition all-school chapels are planned on a twice weekly basis. Further various service and peace opportunities are integrated into our program through each school year. Informally, we believe that the modeling of our teachers and staff is the most important ingredient in the integration of Christian faith. The caring of teachers for students and their role modeling in many situations is essential to our faith integration.

What does Rockway’s Religious Studies program consist of?

From Grade 7 to Grade 12 all of Rockway Religious Studies courses consist of Ministry of Education approved locally developed courses. Each course incorporates Biblical study, stories, service opportunities, inter-faith dialogue and enduring questions along with projects and opportunities to extend and apply learning. Grade 9-12 Religious Studies courses are all credit based courses. Grade 9 RS is entitled An Upside Down Kingdom while Grade 10 RS is a History of the Christian Church. In Grades 11 and 12 Religious Studies courses are optional for students. However any student wanting to earn a Rockway Diploma must complete a minimum of 1 out of the following 3 Religious Studies courses: World Religions (Grade 11) Philosophy: Faith Seeking Understanding (Grade12).

News

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Family Studies Remodeled

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