Yale Secondary School, situated in the eastern end of Abbotsford, B.C. serves about 1250 students, grades 9-12. The school was established in 1971 as a junior high school and graduated its first class of seniors in 1988. Yale has established a reputation for academic excellence, built on the strength of the school’s longstanding commitment to offering a robust Advanced Placement program, but has also staked a claim in the areas of athletics, the arts, career programs, and student leadership. The school also prides itself in the work of meeting the diverse needs of all of its students. Resources such as Traverse, Learning Support Services, Special Education in addition to an attitude among teachers that emphasizes helping students make successful transitions, all come together to ensure that all students at Yale have an opportunity to be successful.
Yale has adopted the motto, Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Each Other, and Take Care of This Place. Using the tenets of Positive Behaviour Support, the school has operationalized these statements as a guide for expectations of behaviour for Yale students. It is the goal of all the adults that expectations are clearly stated, explicitly taught, and consistently reinforced. In addition to dealing with negative behaviours, Yale seeks also to recognize and honour those students making positive decisions.
The teachers at Yale are committed to the success of their students and go out of their way to make themselves available to their students. Many teachers spend countless hours outside of classroom time, ensuring students understand course material and are experiencing success. Department leaders bring together teachers within their curricular area to discuss important topics that impact teaching and learning. Currently, departments are working toward the school’s goal of developing a common core in each subject area, ensuring equity and consistency with regard to central learning outcomes. Teachers are exploring new ways of reporting student progress that is more informative and focuses on improvement and progress as it relates to the course outcomes. The SIT (School Improvement Team) helps set professional development direction for the school, keeping the staff current with regard to teaching and learning.
One of the hallmarks of Yale Secondary is the student leadership program that involves nearly 200 students, grades 9-12. These student leaders and the activities they plan set the tone for the school. This program emphasizes school spirit and the importance of connecting to your school. Pep rallies, dances, Canada Day In May, Appreciation Days, Weekly Activities, Welcome Barbeques, are just some of the activities planned and executed by our student leadership classes. The Leadership Program has facilitated Lion Pride - the culture and belief in student ownership of their school. The mandate of the program is to build a school environment of inclusion, connection, and a positive culture while giving the student leaders an opportunity to grow in very specific inter- and intrapersonal areas. These students are models of responsible student citizenship, demonstrating leadership, responsiveness, self-initiative and reliability.
Yale also offers wide-ranging and intensive programs in visual art, theatre and music, providing students with many opportunities to showcase their talents. Our Musical Theatre class presents a live musical annually to local audiences and our school district’s middle schools. This year, we celebrated our twenty-second annual production in which our students successfully performed “Shrek”. In addition, our drama students also stage a spring play each year and consistently turn in top performances in local theatre competitions. Yale offers a full range of visual art classes with top of the line equipment and highly trained teachers. Concert and Jazz bands run every year with both winter and spring performances and there is a growing interest in choir with the inception of a choir club this year.
Over the past two decades, Yale has established itself as an athletic power in the province. The school fields BC School Sport sanctioned teams in Volleyball, Cross Country, Basketball, Rugby, and Track & Field. The school has earned 25 Fraser Valley team championships, along with 5 provincial team championships: two in senior boys golf, two in senior boys basketball, and one in junior boys volleyball. Individual athletes have won provincial gold medals in swimming, wrestling, and track and field and national gold medals in wrestling. A great many teachers give up a great many hours to provide these opportunities for Yale athletes.
Other extra-curricular activities include GSA and Key Club. The Key Clubs is associated with the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs, local community service groups and raise awareness and money for important causes each year, giving students the opportunity to give back during their high school experience.
Yale Secondary school operates three sport academies: Hockey, Baseball, and Softball that allow students who are passionate about their sport to focus on skill development while in school. Participants of these programs have gone on to great success in Junior Hockey and college baseball and softball. Currently, academy alumni include 9 athletes competing in the WHL, 8 baseball players competing or signed by college programs, and 8 softball players competing at the college level. Yale’s school hockey team has won the B.C. High School Hockey League Championship three years in a row.
Yale Secondary employs a full time career teacher who works with students to help them choose a career path and take advantage of the variety of school and district career opportunities during their high school experience. Many of Yale’s students are involved in a district career program, including the Heavy Equipment Operator program that is hosted at Yale. Others programs such as Secondary School Apprenticeship and Work Experience are available to all Yale students interested in getting a head start on a career path.
Yale Secondary is a school that offers something for everyone. The atmosphere at the school is inviting and student friendly. The people that call Yale their home take great pride in their school and continue to Take Care of this Place in a way that ensures the school continues to improve.