GRAVENHURST - Be it a clear path to a career or the wonderings of a young, learning mind, Gravenhurst High School’s students will be getting a more intense look at what the future may hold.
GHS introduces specialist high skills major programs.
LEG UP. Grade 11 and 12 students at GHS can take part in the Specialist High Skills Major program for the first time . The program launched Thursday, Sept. 13 with these T-shirts, featuring a logo created by GHS student Andrew Atkin. (Photo by Neil Etienne)
The school and instructor Diana Clarke introduced the Specialist High Skills Major program to about 30 eager Grade 11 and 12 students during the lunch break this past Thursday morning. The program has been funded by the Ministry of Education in the province for about five years, but this is GHS’s first foray into it, as Clarke explained they were approved for funding last school year.
“The program gives them far more exposure to a particular field,” she explained. “They may know exactly what they want for their career and want to learn more about it and others may want to see what it’s all about.”
Schools that apply for funding can chose between several core fields of interest, such as construction, computer sciences and more, while GHS is offering a health and wellness program.
It contains several courses, including the traditional maths and sciences, but goes further into the health field with CPR, first aid, WHIMIS and infection control training as mandatory training and adds courses such as fitness coaching, personal training, Smart Serve and leadership courses as optionals.
Clarke said it opens many students’ eyes to the possibilities within a chosen profession. As an example, Grade 12 student Dani Robson said she isn’t exactly sure what she wants to be, but knows it will be in the health field.
“I know I want to be in the health field, but I’m not really sure what yet,” she said. “This is going to help me figure that out.”
Field trips to universities are planned, where students will be able to learn more in-depth and hands-on about injury prevention, body ergonomics, body analysis, cardiovascular heath, movement and muscles, diet and anatomy, including the chance to explore a cadaver.
They also hope to go to a Toronto Raptors game, where beforehand they will speak with professional fitness trainers, health crews, doctors, therapists and so on involved with the NBA club.
That is an exciting prospect for Grade 12 student Kaitlyn Major, who said she hopes to be a massage therapist and can see great rewards working in professional sports.
“This is really going to help me decide where I want to take it (message therapy),” she said.
As part of the launch, the students each got a T-shirt, featuring a design by fellow GHS Grade 12 student Andrew Atkin, who drew it as part of a class project last school year.
“It’s just a great reach-ahead program for the students; a lot of them will get to walk into a university for the first time and when they finally walk into one as a university or college student it’ll will be a far more familiar experience,” Clarke added.