Pathways, Planning and Supports

Pathways, Planning and Supports
Pathways Planning and SupportsAt Kenora Catholic, every student can pursue a unique pathway to meet the Catholic Graduate Expectations as they strive to realize their hopes and pursue their dreams. We ensure that students understand that all pathways are valuable and that one is not better than another as each student is on their journey.

Our Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) allows for events to promote opportunities in the trades. The grade 7 and 8 students from St. John School in Red Lake attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School (STAHS) to participate in a Trade and Technology exploration day. They spent time with our construction, culinary arts and technological design classrooms. With support from the Experiential Learning Lead, the grade 7 and 8 students from STAHS participated in a local Cardboard Boat Race. This event involves a discussion of the essential skills and how these are valuable to all work in the trades.

Our affiliation with Skills Ontario has allowed us to participate in their events, including Provincial Skills competition, women’s networking events and First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) Trades and Tech days. These also include their provincial conferences. We were able to take four students to the provincial conference in Toronto this year for the Women’s and FNMI event/conference as well as four competitors at the competition. With special funding to promote trades among female and FNMI students, we supported a Women’s Only Welding Workshop at STAHS, brought Jamie McMillan (an advocate for working in the trades) to address the students at STAHS and the grade 6 students from Pope John Paul II School. We also were able to support our Board’s summer learning program by providing hands-on activities to students in the program that promoted the construction, culinary arts and plumbing trade.

We applied for and were granted a new Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) for Health and Wellness at STAHS, starting in September 2019. As part of the application process, we emphasized how this SHSM will allow students from all pathways the opportunity to receive their SHSM designation when they graduate. This SHSM allows for more students to participate in the SHSM program. Our previous SHSM programs are more specific to the college and apprenticeship pathways, but Health and Wellness addresses all pathways, including workplace and university. This funding will allow for students to receive a variety of certifications and sector-specific training that will improve their knowledge of work being done in this sector and the employment opportunities in our local area. Sector partners assisted us in the application as they are looking for employees in a variety of jobs in health care.

Our dual credit programs in construction, welding and hospitality and tourism continue to have high success rates. The target group for these programs are disengaged, underachieving students with the potential to graduate. These students have success, and these courses often allow for students to make-up credits to put them back on track for graduation. Our summer welding program, for example, targets students entering grade 12 that require more than eight credits in their final year. The summer of 2019 allowed for five students to complete the course and achieve a credit. They also receive a college credit.

Our construction and hospitality courses have a unique model where they complete full days and then, following completion of the course, they attend co-operative education placements, usually in that sector. Many of these co-op placements lead into summer employment for the students and into apprenticeships for some.

We continue to meet our students where they are, to help them to articulate their goals and work side by side with them, their families and the larger community to help students achieve their dreams. OYAP, Dual Credit and SHSM represent some of the important ways in which we at Kenora Catholic proudly continue to do this.
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