School Profile – St. Michael Catholic High School
Director of Education, Wm. J. Gartland, introduced a video which was produced by students at St. Michael Catholic High School for an OCSTA video submission request which challenged students to answer the question “What does Catholic education mean to you?”
The video produced by St. Michael was a collaboration of testimonials by students defining what made Catholic education unique and distinct, and what it meant to be a student in a Catholic school. “A montage of the video submissions will be compiled and presented at the OCSTA AGM,” noted Director Gartland.
Alternative and Continuing Education Program Successes and Growth
In the spring of 2016, the Board approved to amalgamate all continuing education programs under one school – Hanley Hall School of Alternative and Continuing Education. Continuing education comprises the schools of eLearning, adult day school, evening continuing education courses, summer school and the literacy and numeracy register.
Dave Chaplin, Principal of Alternative and Continuing Education and Jennifer Lentz, Vice-Principal of Alternative and Continuing Education, presented information to the Board on how the school is progressing, and details on the successes of the programs.
“The program has two directions,” began Mr. Chaplin. “One at Hanley Hall itself, and one board-wide. The school has developed significantly this school year, and has become more of a real school, which has contributed to more of a lively environment.”
Principal Chaplin outlined the programs offered through the School of Alternative and Continuing Education, “The Turning Points Program and ABLE, an alternative to suspension program, as well as eLearning, adult day school, evening continuing education courses and summer school courses for adult learners and secondary students are all offered through the school.”
“The various offerings allow adult learners to return to upgrade their education and potentially get their Ontario Secondary School Diploma through eLearning courses, PLAR or our adult PSW day school program.”
The Personal Support Worker Program, which has become very successful, is an intensive five month certification program consisting of seven high school credit courses. Students leave with theoretical, clinical, and practical knowledge and skills required for the profession, as well as seven different certifications. Over 95 per cent of graduates are working within the first three months of graduation, many at the same organization where they completed a co-operative education placement. Plans for program expansion include the addition of the Smiths Falls location, as well as a part-time program set to begin in September 2017.
“In 2015-2016 the PSW program had 106 graduates, and offered courses in 5 locations including Cornwall, Vankleek Hill, Kemptville, Gananoque and Brockville,” noted Vice-Principal Jennifer Lentz.
“The reach ahead evening course credits are offered to grade 8 students within our Board outside of the school day, by teachers. These reach ahead credits allow grade 8 students the opportunity to begin earning grade 9 high school credits towards their OSSD to help with student success. The most popular course is the Learning Strategies course,” continued Mrs. Lentz.
The eLearning program offers a mix of prerequisites and courses not offered at local high schools. The courses meet the needs of both adult learning and day school students. This school year CDSBEO had close to 500 students enrolled in online courses, with a significant portion of adult learners.
Summer school eLearning programs served 1059 students last year, with over 65 course sections offered.
“The Continuing Education and Alternative Education streams have 2027 students per year. The program meets the needs of many students through varied and specific course programs and offerings,” concluded Mr. Chaplin.
Moving forward the Board plans to expand blended learning night school courses, as well as to expand the PSW program to offer a Smiths Falls site. In addition, the school is working with principals to expand course offerings based on need. The Hanley Hall program and blended learning model will also be expanded to offer additional courses. The school is currently working with Regional Partnership of Adult Education to identify areas of need and to offer courses which fulfil the requirements of the community. Additionally, plans are in place to offer adult general interest courses in areas such as the arts, woodworking, and culinary skills.