Secondary school prepares you for life in a world that is rich in opportunity, alive with beauty, and burdened by enormous challenge. Your time at school doesn’t only increase knowledge and skills; it also helps form your values and ambitions. It gives you a set of influential teachers, and friends to share the journey. Your choice of school shapes how you will face life.

Rockway Mennonite Collegiate prepares students to be responsible, globally-minded, compassionate, and reflective learners.

Our rigorous academic program creates space and time for critical reflection on basic questions about what is good, fair, and just.  We teach to the heart as well as the mind.

The result is that Rockway’s graduates are not simply ready for the real world; they are also committed to building a better world.

Over 90 percent of our students earn entrance into university or college either directly from graduation or after intentional gap year of service, work or travel experience. Our alumni have entered and excelled in every field of endeavour – including medicine, law, engineering, science, the arts, ministry, athletics, social services, education, and business. Whatever their career choices, Rockway alumni can often be found dedicating themselves to making their communities and their world more humane.

Rockway’s small size promotes a fun, friendly learning environment, and ensures that no student is lost in a crowd. A wide range of extra-curricular activities, including strong programs in competitive sports and music, offers an outlet for almost every interest. A robust student exchange program has sent Rockway students to visit France, Germany, Jordan, Guatemala, China, Costa Rica, Labrador and other parts of Canada.

A Christian school in the Mennonite tradition, Rockway welcomes students of all faiths and perspectives, and encourages respect and curiosity amid diversity.

We invite you to consider how Rockway Mennonite Collegiate might help shape your life in the big world.

Key attributes of Rockway Mennonite Collegiate:

School Size and Student Experience

Research consistently finds that small schools are more successful schools. Students in smaller schools achieve better academic outcomes on average, are more likely to be engaged in extracurricular activities, feel greater pride in their schools and a keener sense of community, and they enjoy deeper and more meaningful interactions with their teachers, administrators, and peers. Smaller schools tend to have smaller classes and greater comradery among faculty, which leads to greater cooperation, innovation and adaptability in curriculum and program for individual students and their classes.

At Rockway, all these results are true to our experience. Our size makes it possible for keen students to excel academically while they play on multiple sports teams, assume student leadership roles, sing in choirs and act in school drama productions. For those students who may require some additional academic support or mentoring, our size makes it possible to receive the teacher attention and encouragement that they need to thrive. In most public schools it is virtually impossible to replicate the range of opportunities we can offer our students.

Tradition and Faith in a Changing World

Rockway was founded by Ontario Mennonite churches in 1945, on the site of one of the first Mennonite farms in Waterloo County. Our founders imagined a school that would prepare their children for a rapidly changing world, while conserving their community’s values, traditions, and faith.

The orchards and fields that once surrounded the school were absorbed by the City of Kitchener long ago.  But Rockway continues to integrate excellent academics with the Mennonite community’s faith tradition.

Rockway offers Religious Studies (RS) courses at all grade levels, which provide grounding in Christian values, beliefs and history from a Mennonite perspective. We equip students to seek values that will guide them as they participate and lead in their communities, churches, and global society.

Supplementing our RS curriculum, students attend our Chapel program twice a week, which is led by teachers, fellow students and guest speakers from around the world. Within a diverse and open school community, we desire to enlarge the world view for our students as they engage issues such as fair trade, the environment, militarism, health, poverty, peacemaking, and many other needs in our local and global community.

Faith education at Rockway is animated by asking, “Who is my neighbour?” When we try to answer that question, we develop appreciation and respect for perspectives that are different from our own.

Grounded in a Mennonite faith perspective, our program nevertheless seeks to connect with other world religions, many of which are represented within our student body.  Our curriculum has included an exchange with a local Muslim school, visits with Jewish rabbis, and interaction with members of the Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim communities. These connections are deepened by Rockway’s strong student exchange program.

Our Religious Studies courses:

  • Grade 7: God Calls a People
  • Grade 8: God’s People Walk in Faith
  • Grade 9: An Upside-Down Kingdom
  • Grade 10: History of the Christian Church
  • Grade 11: World Religions
  • Grade 12: Philosophy

“Teaching the Grade 12 Religious Studies course was an exhilarating experience for me. I expected it to be both interesting and challenging. What I did not anticipate was the degree to which the students would be open to thinking deeply and creatively about faith questions in the context of their lives, their community, and their world. In retrospect, I should not have been surprised; this is exactly the kind of engaged thinking that Rockway encourages in its students.”

– Lynn Bergsma Friesen

In this class I have been pushed to hear new ideas and understand new concepts… I have enjoyed this class so much that I have decided to take a similar religion class in University and I hope that my spirituality will continue to grow there as well.”

– Student Course Evaluation Comment

Student Activities

At Rockway, we open the world to our students through our teaching, and that often takes our learning outside of the classroom. An Ecology lesson can find students wading into the Grand River to take water samples. Biology students travel further afield to study ocean life in Costa Rica’s rain forests. Physics students enjoy a private tour of the University of Waterloo’s Institute for Quantum Computing where they visit cutting edge research laboratories and develop their independent study projects under the guidance of UW’s Physics professors. Physical Education teachers take students beyond the soccer field, and challenge them to rope course initiatives, canoeing, rock climbing, kayaking, and horseback riding.

But the full Rockway experience includes its diverse and outstanding extracurricular programs as well.

Music

  • Grade 7&8 Choir
  • Grade 9 Choir
  • Grade 10 Choir
  • Senior Choir
  • Concert Combo (vocal)
  • Ichtus (wind ensemble)
  • Chamber Orchestra (string ensemble)
  • Stage Band/Jazz combo
  • Informal performance opportunities for students at Chapels and Music Mondays

Drama

  • Grade 7&8 Play
  • Grade 9-12 Play or Musical
  • Sears Festival

Visual Arts

  • Grade 10 Art Trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO – in Toronto)
  • Grade 11 Art Trip to McMaster Museum, Vaults and Paper Centre, and the Art Gallery of Hamilton
  • Grade 12 four-day Art Trip to AGO, Museum of Civilization, National Art Gallery, Montreal Museum of Fine Art
  • Grade 7-12 Art Exhibition
  • Expressions Exhibition at KW Art Gallery
  • Stage-play set painting

Athletics

  •     Cross-country running
  •     Volleyball
  •     Basketball
  •     Badminton
  •     Golf
  •     Rugby
  •     Ultimate Frisbee

Note: Rockway offers a full program of athletics, both on the intramural and inter-school levels. The inter-school level includes membership and participation in the Waterloo Catholic Schools District 8 League, Central Western Ontario Secondary School Athletics (C.W.O.S.S.A.) region, and the Ontario Federation of Secondary School Athletics Association (O.F.S.A.A.), in Cross-Country Running, Volleyball, Basketball, Badminton, Ultimate Frisbee, and Wrestling.

Grades 9-12 Inter-school teams in Basketball, Volleyball, and Wrestling, require payment of $80.00. Team fees for Track & Field, Cross-Country Running, and Badminton are $30.00.

Grades 7&8 Our younger students participate in a schoolwide intra-mural program, as well as on 7/8 inter-school athletic teams. Team fees for Grade 7/8 Boys and Girls Basketball and Volleyball are $30.00. Wrestling is $20.00. Three-Pitch, Soccer, Cross-Country Running, and Track and Field do not require payment.

Students are encouraged to become involved in the athletics program and are free to use the athletic facilities when appropriate opportunities permit.

Clubs and Committees

  • Environmental Concerns Committee
  • Social Concerns Committee
  • Student Newspaper
  • Year Book
  • Politics Club
  • Outdoors Club
  • Math Competitions
  • Music Council
  • Visual Arts Committee
  • International Students Club
  • Athletics Committee
  • Faith and Worship Committee
  • Technology Committee
  • Digital Media Club
  • Student Ambassadors
  • Student Council

Collectively, our students accomplish great things, both inside and outside our school.  Every fall, students devote a day to tackling environmental and service projects in the wider community. Every Christmas, our students raise a record amount of canned goods for the House of Friendship’s Food Drive. These projects embody the Rockway spirit and the values we seek to instill.

Trips and Exchanges

Rockway offers a significant cross-cultural experience for students at each grade level.  Cross-cultural learning and friendship enriches our curriculum and creates important bridges to the broader world.

  • Grade 7: Fall Retreat, Silver Lake Mennonite Camp Outdoor Education Trip, Fort George History Trip
  • Grade 8: Fall Retreat, Silver Lake Mennonite Camp Outdoor Education Trip, Ottawa Trip
  • Grade 9: Expedition (Arts Extravaganza, TOOLS MCC, Haliburton Moutain-Biking and Walk in the Clouds, Canoeing the Grand River, Culinary Arts)
  • Grade 10: Quebec Immersion
  • Grade 11: France and Germany Exchange
  • Grade 12: Costa Rica Adventure

There is true value in this real world experience.  Through immersion, action, and reflection, our students graduate ready to make the real world a better world.

Faculty
Private Music Instructions

Rockway offers its students the opportunity to schedule private music instruction in guitar, strings, voice, percussion, and piano at the school and during the school day. Learn about our instructors below.

Guitar – Mike Mercey

Growing up in a family of musicians, including Canadian country stars The Mercey Brothers, Mike has dedicated his life to the art of music. He attended Humber College for percussion and teaches guitar, bass, ukelele and percussion out of local music schools, as well as his home studio. Mike also produces, mixes and engineers recording artists and plays as a sideman in various acts around town. Mike is also the songwriter, lead guitarist and singer in The Sourkeys. While touring North America, he has played on the same bills as The Rheostatics, King Cobb Steelie, The Constantines, City and Colour, Alexisonfire and members of The Arcade Fire. The Sourkeys were featured on CBC radio and in Exclaim! Magazine, and were number 2 on the Earshot top 200 list in 2004.

Guitar – Jeff Cowell

Jeff Cowell has been professionally involved in the K-W music scene for over 25 years. Playing in a variety of well-known local bands and participating extensively in music related community events has allowed him to turn his passion for music into a career that he is passionate about. Jeff strongly believes that kids need to learn an instrument that they can relate to and that will allow them to create music they love and actually matters to them. Utilizing innovative technology, basic theory and his knowledge of a variety of instruments (i.e. guitar, percussion, bass and keyboards), Jeff will give the students a chance to experience the possibilities that can be achieved. One of his greatest strengths is to treat every student as an individual, identifying unique strengths and interests, and creating lesson plans around these observations. Along with running his own private teaching studio (Locust Street Studio), Jeff currently works at Sherwood Music and is actively playing in a variety of live venues around Southern Ontario.

Strings – Jeff Enns

Jeff Enns received his Hons. BMus from Wilfrid Laurier studying viola, organ and composition. He has played violin, viola, cello and bass in many different ensembles in his career, and has taught violin and viola privately, as well as at the Beckett School for the past 12 years. He is a published composer with regular commissions from groups across Canada, and has had his music performed throughout North America, Europe and Japan. He is also music director/organist at St. James Lutheran Church in Elmira. He served on the committee for the hymnal supplements Sing the Journey and Sing the Story. Jeff also sings professionally with the Canadian Chamber Choir and the Elora Festival Singers.

Voice – Bethany Horst

Bethany Horst holds of Master of Music Literature and Performance from the University of Western Ontario, where she currently instructs voice courses. Ms. Horst has sung opera across Canada and the United States, as well as in France and the Netherlands. She has participated in several international voice competitions and was twice honoured as a District Winner and Regional Finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions. She recently placed in the top three at the Oratorio Society Competition at Carnegie Hall. Ms. Horst is a frequent soloist with orchestras across Canada, including her home Symphony in KW. Horst attended Festivals, NATS Competitions, and often appear in professional theatre contracts with Drayton Entertainment, Mirvish Theatres, and Stratford Festival.

Voice – Jenny Enns Modolo

Jennifer Enns Modolo, mezzo soprano, is a graduate of Rockway Mennonite Collegiate and Wilfrid Laurier’s vocal performance program. She has been a professional singer and vocal singing teacher based in Kitchener Waterloo since 2001. Jennifer has performed with numerous choirs and orchestral ensembles, as well as in solo recitals across Canada. In addition to her professional singing engagements, Jennifer teaches private voice lessons at her home studio in Kitchener and at Redeemer University College in Ancaster. Jennifer brings friendliness, warmth and experience to voice lessons with students at any level.

Piano – Kathleen King Martin

Kathleen King Martin received a B.A. in Music from Goshen College, Indiana, with emphasis in Piano Performance, and Piano Pedagogy. She has over 30 years of teaching experience with all ages, from beginner to advanced piano, as well as theory and pipe organ. Her students receive high marks in conservatory examinations, as well as study contemporary music idioms. Kathleen is well-known for her accompanying work with soloists and choirs, and has several CD recordings in this capacity. In 2006, Kathleen received an Associate Degree from the Royal Canadian College of Organists, winning two national awards. She has a varied music career as Director of Music/Organist at First United Church, Waterloo, where she conducts 4 choirs.

Practice Times

The school facilities are available between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Lesson times are to be arranged between the teacher and the student. Students will be permitted to leave scheduled classes for private lessons if they do not have spares and no other time is suitable. Lessons are given in the practice rooms upstairs.

More information

For full details about private lessons, refer to the information package:

Food
  • In Rockway’s cafeteria one can purchase an item or two to supplement a lunch brought from home, or a complete meal. Each day we offer a hot meal that sells for $6.00.
  • We have a four-week Rotating Menu  so the students have variety, and yet their favourite meals repeat. Also, see our Cafeteria Price List 2017-2018.
  • The current week’s menu can always be found online, as well as posted outside and inside the servery.
  • In addition to the hot meal, we always offer soup, salad, raw vegetable plates, and an assortment of sandwiches. For those with a sweet tooth, we have an assortment of baked desserts and ice cream novelties. For the health conscious, we have yogurt, raw fruit by the piece or a plate of fresh cut fruit. On days when there is not a vegetarian entree offered, there is vegetarian soup, green salad, and vegetable wraps.

Special Requests

From time to time there are students with special dietary needs or preferences. Feel free to contact Cyndi Pugh, Food Services Coordinator, about any concerns or requests. We try to accommodate when feasible. Our frequency and choice of vegetarian items varies from year to year, based on student interest. Students who have nut allergies should know we do not restrict our students from bringing in nut products from home. We do buy and sell packaged ice cream products with nuts as well as Nutrigrain bars. On occasion almonds are used in a salad. A sign is put up when that is the case.

Meal Tickets

Frequent buyers have the option of buying meal tickets. This not only speeds up the exit at the cash register, but also saves money. The meal ticket is good for the hot meal of the day, and a choice of beverage. When a student wants to choose food items other than the hot meal of the day, he or she will need to pay cash. Ten meal tickets which includes the hot meal for the day and a choice of beverage (up to $2.25 value) sells for $70.00. Ten tickets for the hot meal of the day without a beverage sells for $55.00. Meal tickets can be purchased at the office.

Food from Home

We have four microwave ovens in the cafeteria available to students. Students are expected to bring from home whatever is needed to open and eat their food. Please note that we do not supply plates, bowls, mugs or cutlery for food brought from home.

Juice Machine

A vending machine is located outside the cafeteria for students who wish to purchase drinks when the cafeteria is closed. The machine is stocked with a selection of juices; soft drinks are intentionally not stocked in this machine, and students are encouraged to bring refillable water bottles for use during class.

Feedback

Our sales tell us which offered items are a hit with many of our students. However, our sales can’t tell us what we are not offering that could be popular. That’s where we ask for input. If your son or daughter has an idea of a food item they want to buy, and believe many of their friends would too, please let us know. Cyndi and her staff want to hear from you!

Bon Appetit!

Learning Resource Centre

In Rockway’s Learning Resource Centre, students build learning strategies designed to support their academic progress through high school and beyond. We work collaboratively with students, teachers, parents and professionals to meet individual learning needs.

Students connected with the Learning Resource Centre can expect to build their literacy, math, and organizational skills, as well as receive subject-specific help. We know that learning is a complex process, and we are committed to finding ways to support a diversity of learning styles. We accept students for who they are, and challenge them to grow towards their full potential.

Acceptance and Challenge: There are many diverse factors that affect how and what students learn. In the Resource Centre, all students are accepted for who they are, and challenged to grow toward their full potential.

Resource Centre Coordinator:

lynn bergsma friesen

Lynn Bergsma Friesen

Teaching Assistants

Andrew Snider

Jill Sauer

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