Seaway DHS adds new high skills major

IROQUOIS – Programming at Seaway District High School has received an increase with the addition of a new Health and Wellness Specialist High Skills Major at the school.

The Health and Wellness SHSM adds to the three program specialties already offered at the Grade 7-12 school: Automotive, Construction Technology, and Agriculture. Seaway was approved for the new program over the summer break.

The SHSM program offers the ability for students to tailor their high school learning towards university, college, and trades for post-secondary life.

Core courses in math and English, along with elective courses, a co-operative education placement, and specialized training certification, results in students enrolled in a SHSM graduating with a red seal on their diploma. SHSM programs are open to Grade 11 and 12 students.

“It opens up doors in the outside world showing that students already have training they would need for a job,” said Trevor Thompson, phsy-ed teacher and athletic coordinator for Seaway. Thompson heads up the new Health and Wellness program.

“The real benefit of a SHSM program is making connections between students in the school and experts in the community,” he said.

Thompson said the addition of the Health and Wellness program is a benefit for any student look- ing to go into health science, recreation, or education fields.

Specific requirements for the Health and Wellness program includes four credits involving phsy-ed, health, kinetics, biology, or other “specific-knowledge” courses. A senior level math, English, and science credit is also needed, as is a minimum of a two- credit co-op placement. Students who already have taken some of those credits can apply them towards the SHSM program.

In addition to the school credits, students in this program also will receive Level-C CPR training (including automated external defibrillation), Infection Control, Standard First Aid, and WHMIS training. Students can then chose from between three and six elective certifications in subjects like Concussion Awareness, Mental Health First Aid, Fitness, or Safe Body Mechanics. There are 36 recognized certifications that students can receive.

Thompson said that many of the certifications achieved by students in a SHSM are taught by experts in the community.

“That’s all part of the experiential learning of a SHSM,” he said. In June 2019, over 380 students in the Upper Canada District School Board graduated with the red seal of an SHSM program on their diploma. Seaway had 17 students graduate from a SHSM this past June.

The addition of the Health and Wellness major to the school’s SHSM now places Seaway among the top schools for experiential learning in the UCDSB. Perth and District Collegiate Institute has seven SHSM programs. Carleton Place High School, Rideau District High School, Tagwi Sec- ondary School, and now Seaway, each offer four SHSM programs.

Seaway will be holding an information session for Grade 11 and 12 students to recruit more students into the four SHSM programs offered at the school on October 9th at 12:30 p.m.

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