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School History And Tradition

James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic Secondary School was established in 1982 under the direction of the Franciscan Fathers, in order to meet the needs of students in the Keele and Finch area. It is founded on the ideology of St. Francis and we abide by the school motto “Ambulate in Dilestione”--walk in fraternal charity. This was the vision of hope that guided Cardinal McGuigan's ministry and personal life. This is the legacy that the students of Cardinal McGuigan have inherited.
The centre for our school and the focal point of our education is the chapel. The Franciscan Fathers' commitment to Catholic education is exemplified by the prominence and use of this more important area of our facility. From an initial project of 14 portables to our present complex of building (1984) and portable structure, James Cardinal McGuigan has grown in physical size and population, to reflect the ebb and flow of local demographics. The school is at present maximizing the classroom space available, reorganizing and remodelling rooms as exigencies occur. Additional science labs, computer labs and communication labs give evidence to an increasing emphasis on scientific and technological studies. The board has approved a $10, 000,000.00 expansion to the present building in the near future.
Education is the process though which our students develop an awareness of themselves, of their responsibilities to others, and of their role in the community. Catholic education is an extension of this, whereby students learn a way of living which embodies the life of Christ.
Thus, Catholic education is the focus for our chaplaincy team, our religious studies department and our guidance department. Programs and activities which enable students to develop a sense of self-worth and of their responsibility to society are implemented throughout the school year. Our peer ministry and peer tutoring programs develop students' skills in conflict resolution, social interaction and independent and creative thought.
Career education is also an integral part of the learning experience. Students are assisted in making important career and post-secondary education decisions through:
• Career counselling
• Career exhibits/presentations
• Job shadowing
• Interest inventories
• Cooperative education
Each grade level receives an individualized career education program in order that students may acquire lifelong career decision-making skills.

In addition to our academic program, the individual needs of our students are met in a variety of ways:
• Access to gifted programs
• Access to special education programs
• Access to ESL programs
• Access to computer education
• Access to peer tutors
• Access to Leadership programs
• Access to Schools to Work transition Program
• Access to Ethno-Cultural Studies
• Access to partnerships with various community colleges
The spirit of community within the school is enhanced by co-curricular activities ranging from discipline-related clubs such as business and art to athletic and non-athletic programs such as soccer, volleyball, basketball, mock-trial, drama and chess.
Our goal as a community is to provide our students with an environment that is conducive to spiritual and intellectual growth. This internal strength and discipline, coupled with the knowledge and skills acquired, will enable our students to meet the challenges of a complex society in a confident and responsible manner.