School Profile

Bell High SchoolOur School

Bell High School is a composite school situated on the edge of the beautiful NCC parkland bordering Lynwood Village in Bells Corners near the junction of the Queensway and Highway 416. Rich in culture, our school features academic programs meeting the needs of all students. For fifty years Bell High School has fostered excellence in student achievement. The core of our work together in this community is captured by the acronym P.R.I.D.E., which stands for perseverance, respect, integrity, persity, and excellence. Wherever their pathway takes them, be it the world of work or a post-secondary setting, our goal is to help our students move beyond our community with a sense of mission and the confidence to make our world a better place.

Our Students

This fall student enrolment at Bell High School exceeds 1000 students. Our students come from across the western half of the city since we are a congregated gifted school. Bell is also proud to offer a strong program for English Language Learners (ELLs) and English as a Second Language (ESL). Supporting their success and the success of the International students who choose Bell is central to our vision as a learning organization. Our persity is our strength. We are a community schools that serves students from our neighbourhood and from around the world. Bell is also the home of a wonderful program that supports the learning of students with Developmental Disabilities. This very special group of students reminds us each day about the power of gratitude. Their integration into the life of our school enriches our interactions and supports our core values.

Our Staff

Our staff includes custodial and office personnel, more than 80 teachers, educational assistants, technicians, and our administrative team. Our staff is an active, perse group from a variety of cultural backgrounds. As a group our staff is able to support many extraordinary opportunities for our students. Our Performing Arts programs provide excellent performance opportunities for our students through Dramatic Productions and both vocal and instrumental musical performances. Our students also enjoy many extracurricular competitions. We are also very committed to extending our horizons. This year alone, staff has supported student excursions that included: the Huntsman Marine Science Centre, the Stratford Festival, a trip to Philadelphia, and a tour of Europe.

Our Community

The Bell High School Council is an active, dedicated group of parents, teaching and non-teaching staff, community representatives and students all working together to enhance educational opportunities for our students. The group meets on the last Monday of each month to discuss pertinent, relevant OCDSB issues pertaining to secondary education and to advise the principal on many matters affecting students. New members are always welcome. For further information please contact the school office.

Facilities and Resources

Our outdoor facilities include several playing fields, access to an on-site indoor arena, and over 10 km of trails through the greenbelt. Our classrooms and hallways are spacious and infused with natural light. Bell is blessed to have an excellent Library and Information Centre set up with up-to-date information technology equipment. Our double gymnasium has stadium seating which allows for whole school assemblies and ceremonies such as our Academic Awards ceremony. Bell also has a dance studio, an art studio, two music studios, and a drama studio. Our technical area includes information technology, computer engineering, transportation technology, construction technology, technological design, and communication technology.

Mission Statement

We, at Bell High School, foster excellence in inpiduals of all abilities, backgrounds and cultures, in a supportive, respectful and nurturing environment.

Vitam Impendere Vero: Seek Truth in Life.

Programs and Services

Academic Programs

As the lone quadruple track school in the district, our programs include regular English, French Immersion, Gifted/Gifted French Immersion, and ESL. A varied timetable includes program offerings in Technology, Fine Arts and Outdoor Education. We also offer a range of Advanced Placement (AP) opportunities for students, beginning in grade 11 and culminating with AP examinations in the spring of Grade 12. Our Student Services department features educational, career, and personal counselling, both in the classroom and on an inpidual basis. Extensive opportunities are available to students for career exploration through the Co-operative Education and OYAP programs. We are also expanding DUAL credit opportunities for students through a partnership with Algonquin College. Bell offers a Landscaping Program which is accessible for students from across our district.

Instructional Focus and System Priorities

Bell H.S. offers grade 9 through 12 courses in a fully semestered timetable. In 2013-2014 our School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (SIPSA) marks a determined focus based on our school data. Our focus includes working on a Ministry of Education project called the Student Success School Support Initiative. Working with our district’s Curriculum Services department, we are making progress in addressing the learning needs of our students and progress in supporting the professional development of our staff.

Special Education and ESL Programs

As a school, Bell is proud to support 125 pupils with exceptionalities. In addition, we are a congregated gifted centre supporting more than 400 gifted students. Our students with exceptional educational needs are supported by a devoted Special Education resource staff through a hybrid model. Our focus is on integration. Students also receive small group instruction where necessary.

Bell also features an excellent English as a Second Language program. Five levels of English language instruction are complemented by academic courses offered exclusively for ESL students. These congregated course sections deliver curriculum to support English Language Learners (ELLs) with their language acquisition and their academic goals. Teaching staff in this area are essential to supporting our determined efforts to enhance student success for all students.

Clubs and Activities

A wide range of interscholastic teams and intramural programs provide students with essential learning in the multiple areas that correspond with their interests and aptitudes. These activities speak to our belief that success is to be found in many ways and through many activities including direct instruction. A number of our teams have achieved success at the regional and provincial level, most recently Cross-Country running, Badminton, Alpine Skiing, Track and Field, and Rugby. Extra-curricular activities have included: a variety of vocal and instrumental music groups, drama performances, musicals, Students’ Council, Athletic Council, Key Club, P.E.A.C.E. Club, Interact Club, Yearbook, OSAID, Model United Nations, Bell Islamic Students’ Association (BISA), Debate Club, and EarthCare to name a few.

Safe Schools Initiatives

The Bell H.S. Code of Conduct was developed by students, parents, and teachers. The code is printed in the student agenda which we issue to every student in September. Our Bell slogan, “PRIDE Lives Here” is becoming a key artifact of our school culture. The acronym PRIDE stands for: perseverance, respect, integrity, persity and excellence. These are the important attributes that we value and expect in and from each other throughout our school community. Our many partners in the community are also essential to our efforts. These partners support awareness and greater understanding of how we overcome challenges. The partners include a Rideauwood Counselor, a Multicultural Liaison Officer, and a School Resource Officer from the Ottawa Police.

Achievement and School Improvement Planning

Student success is the heart of our endeavour. Our work together with our district’s Curriculum Services team has led us to exciting initiatives that use student achievement data to direct our efforts. Working with the Student Success School Support Initiative and Curriculum Services each year we identify our core priorities for enhancing student success.

Our recent focus has been on the use of high yield instructional strategies that support student efforts to challenge complex tasks. The development of these tasks and the moderation of the work that results is the key for our development as a learning institution. Through our efforts to de-privatize our practice as teachers we are developing more skill in understanding student learning and enhancing student achievement.

Our focus on achievement is also blended with our understanding of the district’s strategic plan. We have designed processes and made community connections at Bell to support the wellness of our students and to support their readiness to learn.

Please visit our website to see a copy of our SIPSA. Our exploration of the concept of mindset is leading us to some exciting work together. Teachers and students both are thinking about mindset and how it affects the learning and the teaching.

Measures of Student Achievement and Success

Staff at Bell is justly proud of student achievements in many areas. Bell promotes student excellence through participation in many provincial and national assessments. This past year, students once again challenged mathematics assessments at different grade levels including the Pascal Contest for Grade 9s, the Cayley Contest for Grade 10s, the Fermat Contest for grade 11’s and the Euclid Contest for Grade 12’s. Bell students continue to place very well. A total of 72 students received Certificates of Distinction for placing in the top 25% of all contestants in Canada on the Fryer, Galois, and Hypatia Contests for Grades 9, 10, 11 respectively. Six other Bell students were Silver Standard (top 12% in Canada).

Seventeen of our students wrote 45 Advanced Placement (AP) exams with excellent results. 24 results were at the top levels of 4 or 5 in Calculus, French Language, English Literature, Physics, Micro and Macro Economics.

Our graduates are regularly accepted at a variety of prestigious university programs across Canada and in the United States and a number of our students continue to be recipients of prestigious academic and athletic scholarships worldwide.

Our many annual student productions in drama, music, dance and visual arts are testimony to the level of excellence that Bell HS students attain through their academic programs.

Beyond our focus on achievement we are very proud of the persity of opportunities we present at Bell. Our Link Crew program is strengthening our school’s culture and we are engaged in serious efforts to provide students with the skills, knowledge and attitudes they will need. To that end our course selections have evolved to represent our community and lead us to the key learning opportunities every student deserves. Next year women in our school have a dedicated section of Auto Mechanics. This year we had a very successful

new course on Gender Studies. These new opportunities matter if we are to ensure the success of all students.

Leadership Recognition

Leadership in the OCDSB is the demonstration of personal initiative to achieve a positive outcome.”


As representatives of the student population, our Students’ Council demonstrates excellent leadership. They plan a wide, eclectic range of activities from dances to fundraising events for those in need in our community and beyond. The students of Bell High School have been recognized by the United Way for their outstanding contributions during the annual fund raising campaigns over the years.

The annual student leadership camp, planned and run by students, has become a model for others to follow. Bell students have consistently maintained involvement with Live It Up, a city of Ottawa healthy lifestyles program encouraging participation in physical activity. We also have an active group of students working on environmental issues through EarthCare initiatives. Through peer tutoring, many students work in the classroom to assist students to develop their academic and interpersonal skills.

In addition to informal recognition on a regular basis, we also acknowledge student contributions through school announcements, assemblies, our principal’s report to school council, and our October and June awards ceremonies. In addition, we recognize student leadership by incorporating their suggestions into our planning. Our monthly V.I.B. award recognizes seven students who have demonstrated positive attributes such as academic improvement, academic excellence, leadership or perseverance.


Members of our staff continue to take active leadership roles at the District level working with curriculum and evaluation initiatives. Several of our colleagues are leaders as part of district initiatives and committees. Bell has been chosen as a pilot site for the digital tools initiative and this is part of our district’s larger initiative with BYOD, which stands for bring your own device. We are working hard to ensure that the learning is relevant for the new contexts our world presents.

To that end we are engaged in blended (both electronic and in class) learning in many of our courses here at Bell and several of our staff are teaching courses on-line. In these courses our students are meeting students (electronically) from across Ontario.

Our staff is actively engaged in supporting the next generation of teachers. Some of our colleagues teach at the Faculty of Education and several staff members support teacher education programs across the province by working with student teachers from the faculty.

Parents/Guardians and Community Volunteers

We welcome parents, guardians and volunteers in many aspects of school life. We have very active volunteers in a number of areas around the school including our library and Community Living classrooms. Our school grounds look attractive all year thanks to volunteers. Thanks to the support of grade 9 families our participation in the annual Take Our Kids To Work program is excellent with over 260 grade 9 students participating in 2011. Our supportive School Council meets regularly throughout the school year. As invaluable partners, we thank our parents, guardians and volunteers on an ongoing basis and look for opportunities to acknowledge them.


General Dynamics Canada has a long standing partnership with Bell H.S. and we continue to value their support.

Through Interact and Peace Clubs we have successfully adopted and support a sister-school in Munyu, South Africa. Bell’s fundraising efforts have successfully contributed $4000 to the school over the past three years and physically helped to fund their brand new four room school-house just completed; a life-changing addition supporting youth and education!

Many of the businesses in Bells Corners support the school through donations of advertising space, prizes and discounts on purchases.

We recognize our community partners through our school announcements, school newsletters, principal’s report to school council, on the website, and thank you cards. We also invite them to events such as awards ceremonies and commencement.

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