School District announces work skills course

A new course is on the horizon for students in School District 85.

A unique new course is on the horizon for students in School District 85.

Superintendent Scott Benwell announced the planned course at the monthly SD85 Board of Directors meeting Oct. 15.

Entitled Field Studies 11, the course was “developed in response to business and industry calling for improved employment skills and preparation for students,” explained Benwell, who informed the Board that the purpose was to “give students the opportunity to engage in meaningful work experience while gaining credits.”

The course will educate students on the regional job market and the expectations of employers, and allow them to get hands-on experience in a local industry that interests them. Further, the students will have an opportunity to get basic certifications such as First Aid and WHMIS that serve as prerequisites to employment in many fields.

The course reflects the growing partnership between business and education on the North Island, and will allow students to emerge with a better understanding of local industries.

Benwell informed the Board that NISS could have an industry cohort in place as early as January.

•On another item Benwell noted the high-profile case of bullied teen Amanda Todd, described by the Board as “very tragic indeed,” and explained that an anti-bullying pamphlet had been sent home to each family in the District.

The pamphlet is in addition to the province-wide ERASE program that has been an ongoing strategy in combating bullying.

•Assistant Superintendent Katherine McIntosh informed the Board of a regional discussion on graduation requirements.

The meeting, comprising students, parents, teachers, trustees, administrators and community educational partners, was in response to a provincial discussion on the graduation program. Since it would be difficult to send representatives to the regional discussions, SD85 opted to hold its own forum on the issue and forward its findings to the Ministry.

McIntosh hailed the meeting as very productive and informative.

•Trustees unanimously praised the ethos at NISS after a visit.

Each of the trustees who attended the visit spoke very highly of the atmosphere at the school, and of the positive attitudes of the students. They also praised the school staff for the hard work they had put in to foster such an environment.