The Sci-Tech Program
In September 2005, Port Credit Secondary School launched a Regional SciTech Program as an exciting option for students with a keen interest in science and technology. Students follow an integrated curriculum of science and technology throughout the four-year programme. Technology is integrated with other aspects of the curriculum in the senior grades. In addition, students will gain hands-on experiences through co-op placements, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs, and networking opportunities with colleges, universities and industry.
The program is designed to suit all types of students. We welcome the academic, research-oriented, inquiry-minded learner with post-secondary ambitions of university or college study and specializations, as well as the student who is a hands-on, practical learner who wants to graduate from high school and work in a trade as an apprentice.
The Regional SciTech program is a dual-track program for students with an applied or academic focus, reflecting the needs of our society as well as the needs of our students. The university-bound student may have aspirations for a career in biotechnology, engineering, medicine or the life sciences. College-bound students can enter programs for health care related careers. The kinesthetic learner will thrive in the hands-on, practical environment that will lead to the world of work, apprenticeships or college training. Students who graduate from the SciTech program will have a rich educational and experience base as a catalyst for challenging post-secondary education and exciting careers.
The fields of science and technology need secondary school graduates from the academic and applied streams. We have a serious shortage of workers in the skilled trades in our country and yet currently, 25% of Ontario students drop out of high school before earning all of their credits. Of the remainder, 41% go to college and university, 24% earn their Ontario Secondary School Diploma and go directly to work.
Our SciTech Regional Program has the full support of the board, but we must be financially self-sufficient. We have several exciting sources we are in discussion with at the present time, to ensure that we are properly equipped and funded. Sponsorship information packages are available for anyone who would like to become involved.
The program is offered regionally, which means it is open to all Peel students, and flex boundary forms are not required. There is an application and screening process. We will accept 100 grade 9 students each September. In keeping with the Peel District School Board policy for regional programs, bussing is not provided. The school helps to facilitate transportation arrangements amongst parents.
The SciTech Scholarship recipients are listed on the menu, at left
Fred Ketchen Donates To Alma Mater
Photo (L-R):Former PCSS Principal Jan Courtin, Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at Scotia Capital Inc., Janet McDougall, Director of Education for the Peel Board, and JF Michaud, one of the founders of the PCSS SciTech program.
Port Credit Secondary School has received a $50,000 donation from former PCSS student, Fred Ketchen, director of equity trading at Scotia Capital Inc. Ketchen has fond memories of Port Credit Secondary School and as a successful professional he enjoys “giving back”.
To honour him and celebrate the gift to the school, former PCSS principal, Jan Courtin hosted a dinner at Lago Shore restaurant in Port Credit recently. Courtin approached Ketchen in early 2008 and invited him to tour the school. He was impressed with the hands-on approach and the interactive nature of the classes, unlike his recollection of his classroom days.
Courtin was seeking support for the SciTech regional program at PCSS, in need of an infusion of $140,000. SciTech is at full capacity this year, having been launched in 2005. The program now has students from grades 9 to 12 coming from all over Peel in order to attend Port Credit. Ketchen agreed to support SciTech and Port Credit and his initial donation has provided a brand new computer science lab. Teacher, Andrew Stewardson has a permanent smile on his face and can hardly wait to welcome his students this fall. The lab will be of great benefit to SciTech students and to all students taking computer science courses. Ketchen said, “I had no idea the need was so great”. He agreed to support the full request in incremental donations.
The Regional Strings Programmme
Andrew Kizas, Director, Regional Strings
The Regional Strings Program began in September 2003, building upon a long-standing tradition of musical excellence at Port Credit. Graduates of the music program at Port Credit include: Jeremy Bell, violinist with the Penderecki String Quartet; Krisztina Szabo, soprano soloist with the Canadian Opera Company; and Suhashini Aurlanandam, violinist with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.
All students seeking admission to the program must undergo an interview (Beginning Strings), or an audition and interview (Intermediate Strings and Chamber Strings). This ensures that students are placed at a level that most suits their current abilities. However, students are given an opportunity to progress from the Beginning or Intermediate Strings Program to the advanced Chamber Strings program over the course of their four years at the school.
The Regional Strings Program is the only program of its kind in the Peel District School Board. Musical opportunities include: touring; professional coaching sessions; attendance at live concerts and rehearsals; master classes with professional musicians; and, an educational excursion to Europe in alternate years. Students receive a certificate upon completion of the four year program. This program is a two-credit package; students take music in both semesters!
In addition to providing our students with an opportunity to excel in music, students in the Regional Strings Program develop long-lasting friendships with their fellow musicians that continue throughout their years at Port Credit and beyond. Moreover, while some of our students have chosen to pursue post-secondary education in music, many others have sought out challenging career and educational opportunities in the humanities, sciences, law, and medicine. As you probably know, research has shown that studying music improves academic ability, self-discipline, motivation, and self-confidence.
The Regional Strings Program at Port Credit Secondary School is open to all students in the Peel District School Board, regardless of where they live. In keeping with the Board’s policy for regional programs, bussing is not provided. Paid transportation, however, is available to students through Trott Transit. Please note that Peel District School Board policy states that students who choose to leave a Regional Program must return to their “home” school, and may not continue at the Regional program school if they are not participating in the program