Welcome to the Aldergrove Community Secondary School website. We are very proud of our inclusive and diverse school and the history that our school holds. We are excited that you are here to learn more about us! Aldergrove Community Secondary School is a part of the Langley School District and resides on the traditional and unceded territories of the Kwantlen, Katzie, Matsqui, and Semiahmoo First Nations. Our school is honoured to reside on traditional Matsqui territory.
ACSS is a comprehensive school situated in a rural community, serving the catchment area elementary schools of Parkside Centennial and Shortreed, as well as our catchment middle school, Betty Gilbert. Our enrolment for 2018 includes 600 full-time students including 140 international students. In addition to the grade 9-12 students, the school also provides exploration classes to over 400 students from Betty Gilbert Middle School that access the teachers and facilities daily. The school hosts a variety of programs designed to meet diverse student needs including Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID), fine arts and applied skills programs, and an alternate education program (Advance). ACSS also offers Industrial Training Authority sponsored Youth Train in Trades Automotive Service Technician, Carpentry, and Hairdressing dual credit programs. Aldergrove Community Secondary School has a comprehensive sports program that includes a Hockey Academy and various varsity sports programs including Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Curling, and Badminton.
Aldergrove Community Secondary School is the second oldest school in the Langley School District, first opening it’s doors to students in 1958. In addition to welcoming students from the Aldergrove area of the Fraser Valley, Aldergrove Junior-Senior High School, as it was then known, also welcomed First Nations students and their families from the Haida Gwaii, Bella Bella, and Bella Coola areas of British Columbia. Indigenous children and their families resided in the homes of local Aldergrove families to access schooling at Aldergrove Junior-Senior High School. Shared and honoured connections between the families exist to this day. In order to help these families feel a sense of community, Mrs Meyers a teacher at Aldergrove, who was hosting a family in her home, did significant research into the First Nations in the Aldergrove region. She approached Ellen Neel, hereditary totem carver from the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation to carve a totem pole that would represent the school as well as the First Nations in the Fraser Valley. With the guidance of the First Nations students and the blessing of the local First Nations groups, the school adopted the logo of the Totem, the slogan Hi-All Yu-Wen meaning Second to None in Coast Salish, and became known as the Aldergrove Totems. Our traditional Totem pole has six animals, each representing a different facet of our school:
On the bottom is the Beaver, noted for industry and skilled arts, for its kindliness, thoughtfulness, and many helpful acts.
In the paws of the Beaver is the Frog, characterized as watchman and custodian of our future and a symbol of youthful energy and vigor.
Above sits the Owl, a sign of the honour given to scholarship.
Above the owl is the Black Bear, a symbol of the friendly nature of the community.
In the paws of the Black Bear is the Salmon, signifying the contribution to be made by our graduates.
Finally, the Thunderbird rests atop our totem pole. The Thunderbird is the spirit of our school, expressed in our original motto “Second to None.”
In 2018 we celebrated our 60th Anniversary with a rededication and recommitment ceremony honouring our history and traditions. We welcomed LouAnn Neel, niece of hereditary carver Ellen Neel who, with the Matsqui, Kwantlen, Katzie, and Semiahmoo First Nations, regifted us the name Aldergrove Totems and opened our gym with our new mural. The six animals on our totem pole are reflected on our gymnasium walls and represent three of the four First Nations on which the Langley School District resides. The one exception to this is the Kwantlen First Nation, whose symbol is the Wolf. Through the seven teachings, wolves represent humility and we are honoured to add the Kwantlen wolf to our mural to recognize the tireless dedication and guidance that the Kwantlen peoples have given to us in rediscovering the history of our school. Our recommitment as Totems and the honoured past we share with Kwantlen, Katzie, Matsqui, and Semiahmoo First Nations is an important part of who we are as students, staff, and alumni. With the blessing of Kwantlen, Katzie, Matsqui, and Semiahmoo First Nations, we look forward to many more years as Aldergrove Totems.