Home of the Salukis
By April Smith – Principal
The Avon Maitland District School Board is committed to ensuring students have the opportunity to graduate secondary school in four years and to ensuring a variety of course offerings for our students. In order to achieve both goals efficiently students need to be registered full time in each semester. Effective September, 2014, students at Avon Maitland District School Board (AMDSB) secondary schools will be required to register with a sufficient number of courses to be considered full time for each semester in which they attend our schools.
Once again it is time for students to select their courses for the next school year. You are required to make decisions about courses you would like to take and these decisions should be based on your own strengths and your plans for the future. In order to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), each student must earn thirty credits. Eighteen of these credits are mandatory, but the other twelve are at your discretion. Your eighteen mandatory credits should be based on your goals for your future destination after you leave St. Marys District Collegiate and Vocational Institute (DCVI). Will you want to go to the workplace, complete an apprenticeship, attend college or enroll in a university program? Each of these pathways requires different courses. Statistics tell us that about one-quarter of our graduates will go on to the world of work from high school, another one-quarter will go to college, another one-quarter will choose university and the final twenty-five per cent will choose apprenticeship training. Ideally, you’ll choose your courses in grade 9 that lead to the outcome you will want to have when you graduate from grade 12. For example, students will choose from Open, Locally Developed, Academic and Applied courses. There is some room for change, but the traditional outcomes for each of these levels is as follows: Applied courses lead to college and apprenticeships, Locally developed courses lead to the world of work and some apprenticeships, and Academic courses lead to university and/or colleges for applied degrees.
Course selection is also the opportunity for students to explore optional subjects. We encourage you to try new courses that you may not have had the chance to experience yet. Students in grades 11 and 12 also have the opportunity for some real experiential learning through Cooperative education classes that allow students to experience a field of work that currently interests them.
Most importantly, as you choose your courses, think about your past achievement in school and your own interests and skills. Explore a variety of choices that are interesting, enjoyable and challenging. Talk to your parents and your teachers because they know you best as a student and will be able to give you invaluable guidance.