There are several ingredients that go into the recipe for student success. A variety of program options for high school students, French pathways at all grade levels, and differentiated approaches to teaching and learning. And when the global market economy changes, so does the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) and its students.
“We call this a learning stance,” explains Manon Séguin, Superintendent of Intermediate and Secondary Student Success for the OCSB. “We are all in constant conversation to achieve student success and we are all learning together. This means our teachers learn from our students just as much as our students learn from our teachers.”
A learning partnership
All OCSB schools offer respect and encouragement through their teachings using a differentiated learning approach. This approach recognizes each student’s unique learning style by adjusting the teachable moments to meet their needs. Debbie Clark, Principal at St. Matthew High School in Orléans, likes to call it “a learning partnership.”
“Our educators don’t just teach content. They present the content in a way that gets our students to think for themselves,” says Clark. “This partnership also encourages our teachers and students to talk to each other more and think creatively. It’s very interesting to witness this style of teaching and learning.”
A community partnership
Students who take advantage of their high school’s co-op program get to experience another type of partnership. A working partnership within their community.
This unique pathway provides them with real work experience while earning credits towards graduation. Students can also decide to enrol in their school’s Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program while taking co-op, so they can focus more closely on a specifi c sector of the economy. These programs are created based on current labour market information, which means students can gain experience in a fi eld where they know jobs will be available.
“It is a huge eye-opener for many students,” says Clark.
“Some of them are completely surprised by what they are interested in. It really does help point them in the right direction, and sometimes that isn’t necessarily college or university.”
Students can also choose to take online courses or become a trade apprentice while working towards graduation. And, they can pursue any of these specialized programs and still follow the French pathway they’re already on.
A technological partnership
This individualized approach to learning has benefi ted 16-year-old Ashley Robitaille in many ways. A Grade 11 student at St. Matthew High School, Ashley fi nds it easier to learn by listening instead of by reading. Thanks to the openness to use technology in her school, Ashley partners up with Google’s Read and Write, which allows her to dictate her essays while the app reads it back to her.
If she’s feeling overwhelmed in a class, she is encouraged to take a walk to clear her head, or visit the school’s guidance offi ce. “If I need help with courses or a subject, I can always head to the resource room,” she says. “There are so many people, and things, I can turn to for help if I’m struggling.”
The Ottawa Catholic School Board urges all students to discover their opportunities. Discover the different learning methods and programs options available to Grade 7 to 11 students. OCSB high schools are open to all.
For more information on our high schools, please visit ocsb.ca/opentoall.