Innovation high school program to be introduced in Aldershot for the September 2019 school year.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 8th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It’s a go!

Superintendent of Education Terri Blackwell and her team got the vote she needed to begin the really hard work to create a new program with a decidedly different and very innovative approach to the way we teach high school students.

Blackwell + Tuffen as a team

Superintendent of Education Terri Blackwell with Superintendent Gord Truffen during their presentation to school board trustees

When the Halton District School Board (HDSB) was going through the very painful Program Accommodation Review (PAR) exercise that resulted in the closing of two of the city’s seven high schools they also agreed to look at some different pedagogical approaches.

The original driving force was to do something to increase enrollment at the Aldershot high school – it was low enough to think about possibly closing the school.

The idea for something different at Aldershot came from the community with PAR Committee member Steve Cussons leading the drive.

Steve Cussons Aldershot

Steve Cussons

The community came up with a number of themes that could be used for a new program. The parents chose Innovation, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – ISTEM

The Board voted to implement a program incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education at Aldershot High School that will begin in September 2019, with the students who are entering Grade 9 at their March 7, meeting.

The decision involves the spending of $1.7 million to upgrade some of the classrooms and cover the cost of teacher training.

In a media release the Board described I-STEM as a program that will equip students with global competencies, also known as transferable skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, collaboration and citizenship. Community and post-secondary partnerships will be essential elements of the program to enhance learning opportunities for students.

The program will be available to anyone in the Region – the only barrier is capacity – the number of classroom seats available.

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