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Celebrating Student Success
Expanding Pathways for our Students' Futures
February 2021
Student with welding equipment
Exploring Pathways
Collaboration Between Industry, Education and Labour will Spark the Nuclear Welding Workforce of the Future
The CWB Welding Foundation, Ontario Power Generation (OPG), Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB), UA Canada and Black & McDonald have announced an innovative collaboration to build career possibilities for local youth. This partnership will enhance welding education at four DCDSB secondary schools, help students build skills to prepare them for good jobs in the welding trade, and develop the skilled welders required to fulfill OPG’s workforce needs. 

In this year alone, this project will benefit more than 300 students from the four participating schools: St. Mary Catholic Secondary School (Pickering), Monsignor Paul Dwyer Catholic High School (Oshawa), Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School (Whitby) and Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School (Ajax). 

The four schools are being outfitted with a total of 21 state-of-the-art welding booths equipped with brand-new industry-grade ventilation and 3-1 multi-process welding machines. Along with these major upgrades, each of the schools will be provided with 50 auto-darkening helmets, welding jackets, gloves and other personal protective equipment essentials. The upgrades have been completed and students are expected to begin using the equipment early in the new year. 

In addition, some students will have the opportunity to augment their skills by accessing expert trainers from UA Canada Local 46 and Local 401 in a virtual orientation day and a customized 30-hour training program in the future. This significant contribution from UA Canada will help to further educate students and provide the necessary guidance and opportunities for success in the welding field. Students with a promising aptitude for welding will be identified and potentially offered apprenticeships, as well as pathways to employment. 

Black & McDonald, an integrated, multi-trade service provider, is also supporting this project. 

The Canadian welding and fabrication industry is experiencing a shortage of welding professionals, due to an aging Canadian population, a lack of young people being attracted to the skilled trades and the reduced focus on skilled trades training in secondary and post-secondary institutions. Recent labour market surveys indicate strong growth for the welding and joining industry over the next decade and beyond. Nuclear power, shipbuilding, oil and gas, manufacturing and other sectors are acting now by partnering with the CWB Welding Foundation, education and other not-for-profit organizations to address the skills shortage and skills mismatch and build the welding workforce of the future. 
Build a Career You Wouldn't Trade - Discover OYAP
The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) Level 1 is a school to work program that opens the door for students to explore occupations in the trades as apprentices starting in Grade 12 through the Cooperative Education program.

Students have an opportunity to become registered apprentices and work towards becoming certified journeypersons in a skilled trade while completing their final four secondary school credits. This gives students an incredible advantage as they graduate and work with an employer while pursuing their career in the skilled trades.

Registration for 2022 OYAP Level 1 will open in April. If you are interested in learning more, please contact your Guidance department and watch this video that highlights the General Carpenter OYAP Level 1 Program.
Experiential Learning
Students Explore Environmental Sustainability Through Volunteering with Friends of the Rouge Watershed
Plants in containers
White flower
My name is Lauren, and I’m a Grade 11 student at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School. Last year, I had the amazing experience of participating in the Grey Tree Frog Apprenticeship program. This exciting program is run by Friends of the Rouge Watershed for high school students who have a passion for environmental restoration. Friends of the Rouge Watershed is a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving the Rouge National Urban Park. I first found out about this program through our school’s guidance department. I applied by filling out a questionnaire about my interest in flora and fauna.

Through my volunteer work, I gained hands-on experience in the field of environmental restoration. Most of my work was dedicated to helping to restore wetland ecosystems by planting species native to the Rouge, such as the marsh blazing star. I also helped in the removal of invasive species to protect the new saplings. When I finished the program, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I was able to give back to my community through my volunteer work and watch the saplings that I planted take root. I also connected with other students from schools throughout the Durham Region who share a love for the environment. Friends of the Rouge Watershed helped me explore possible jobs in conservationism and meet like-minded individuals. The opportunity to volunteer with them was wonderful experience.

  • Lauren S., Grade 11 student from St. Mary Catholic Secondary School
Hello Fellow Students and Teachers,
My name is Noor and I am currently in Grade 11. I have always had an interest in ecology, climate change, and the great outdoors. Therefore, when I was in grade 10 and learned about the Grey Tree Frog Apprenticeship Association (GTFA) program and its wonderful objectives I was beyond excited to apply!

During the last March break, I had the privilege of participating in the 2020 GTFA program as an apprentice. The program is an absolutely amazing one if you are fascinated by the world of environmental studies and even considering a career in the field. Friends of the Rouge Watershed greatly aim towards protecting and restoring watershed, ecosystem, and human health. In addition to this, the GTFA program significantly involves apprentices in wetland, forest, stream, and meadow habit restoration projects with a focus on public awareness.

Due to the unforeseen circumstances of Covid-19, GTFA has temporarily moved to a virtual platform. This was put into place when I was an apprentice and it in no way limited my experience and education. Although we weren’t able to meet in a group format, we still had awesome discussion sessions with topics such as tree identification, land conservation, raising awareness as influential youth, environmental advocacy, learning political representatives in our area, exploring wildlife (reptiles, amphibians), and about invasive species.

We need to keep in mind that climate change is becoming more severe and we as stewards of the Earth need to protect and restore it back to its former glory!

  • Noor A., Grade 11 student at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School

For information about the Grey Tree Frog Apprenticeship Program and to explore how YOU can volunteer visit Friends of Rouge Watershed!
Friends of the Rouge Watershed logo
Indigenous Education
Students at Monsignor Philip Coffey Catholic School Learn About Water Activism
Grade 6 students at Monsignor Philip Coffey Catholic School have been leaders in engaging with water activism, which has laid the foundation for connecting with Elder Dorothy Taylor in March. They will be learning more about the importance of water and their role in protecting it. Currently, teachers at Monsignor Philip Coffey Catholic School have met with the Indigenous Programming Specialists, Carol Ducharme and Meagan Muscat from Ontario Tech University to assist in this learning. The DCDSB Indigenous education department has also provided resources for the classroom to enhance the learning.
We Walk the Path Together logo
Student Voice
Students from St. Joseph Catholic School (Oshawa) Win Public Service Announcement Contest
Students from St. Joseph Catholic School in Oshawa were recognized as winners of the first Durham Youth Drug Awareness Committee (DYDAC) Contest which involved creating a Public Service Announcement as part of the Substance Use/Well-Being Health Campaign.

"Congratulations to our student advocates for health and well-being, Rebecca P., Dana H., and Alyssa P., from St. Joseph Catholic School. You have shared an important message and set a leading example for other students. Thanks also to staff and the DYDAC for facilitating student involvement with this leadership opportunity," said Tracy Barill, Director of Education. 
Applying 21st Century Skills at Cooperative Education Placements
During my co-op placement I learned how to give reliable customer service thanks to my supervisors putting me on the floor in their retail store in order to help customers search for what they are looking for and to provide me experience in customer service.

I listen actively when a customer is sharing with me what they are looking for in order to provide the best customer service. I use problem solving when my supervisor gives me tasks and I have to determine how to complete them.

When working retail, my coworkers and staff insisted that I watch and examine how they sell to see if I could take anything away from their form of selling to improve my own. They have come to my aid if they see me struggling with a sale and give me tips and pointers on how to better my customer service.

The previous skills I mentioned such as communication can be applied to future plans such as a career or job in the business sector or a career as a therapist in which you actively listen to people. I can use my skills in collaboration for when I go off to university and have to work in teams for projects and etc. I can also use my problem-solving skills to help with the workload of my future university programs.

  • Jelane J., Grade 12 student from St. Mary Catholic Secondary School (Be Safe)
Wheel of attributes
myBlueprint Portfolio Cooperative Education Culminating Task
Landing page for Veda's MyBlueprint portfolio
Veda is a Grade 11 student at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Pickering. Veda is interested in pursuing a career in medicine and health science and, in this regard, attended a Cooperative Education placement at Shoppers Drug Mart, in the pharmacy during quadmester 2 of this school year. 

The culminating task in co-op is a Co-op Portfolio using myBlueprint. Veda's portfolio highlights her strengths and interests as well as her post-secondary pathway including financial literacy reflection, reflections on 21st Century skills, workplace hazards, psychosocial stressors and Catholic virtues. 

myBlueprint provides an excellent platform for students to research and make insightful connections, as well as creatively display their reflections, media links and images in an accessible online resource. 

Adult and Continuing Education
Archbishop Anthony Meagher Catholic Continuing Education Centre logo
Mother and daughter
Taylor M., student in the Raising Healthy Children Program, participates in programming with her daughter while earning credits toward the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
Raising Healthy Children Program
On Tuesday, February 16, parents, along with their pre-school age children, were bopping to the music and singing songs on a virtual zoom class with the YMCA - part of Archbishop Anthony Meagher Catholic Continuing Education Centre's Raising Healthy Children Program. 

Ashley is a first-time mom and student in the program. After participating in the session, Ashley shared that it “taught me songs to sing with my son. The songs that were sung during that session were all new to me. It was a great experience for us.” Another parent, Taylor, wrote “my daughter and I loved it. The part we really enjoyed was the interaction in the songs.” 

Participation in EarlyON programming with the YMCA is just one component of the program. The goal of the Raising Healthy Children Program is to help parents and caregivers learn about child development and new parenting skills. Student participate in partnership with the YMCA, access resources, and learn about organizations in the community. Students can earn one high school credit while in the program and meet with a mature PLAR assessor to learn about options for additional credits through mature Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (mPLAR). 

To learn more about the program, visit the Adult and Continuing Education website: www.con-ed.ca
Upcoming Events
Important Dates
March 1 - Black Mental Health Day
March 1 - Blacked Out: Impacts of Race on Mental Health
March 3 - Indigenous Student Success Network hosts Teddy Syrette
March 3 - Together in Prayer Evening Service
March 8 - International Women’s Day
March 10 - Together in Prayer Evening Service
March 12 - Designated Board Holiday
March 17 St. Patrick's Day
March 17 - Together in Prayer Evening Service
March 24 - Together in Prayer Evening Service
March 27 - Earth Hour
March 31 - Together in Prayer Evening Service
March 31 - Indigenous Languages Day
Durham Catholic Parent Involvement Committee (DCPIC) Lenten Craft Activities
February 17, 2021 marked the start of Lent with Ash Wednesday and this year, DCDSB's Faith department has created an online Lenten calendar for students and families to follow and complete daily activities.

To support this initiative, DCPIC is offering virtual Lenten craft nights using materials in your home. DCPIC will be creating short videos which will be posted to our website and to our Twitter page @DCPIC.

We welcome you to send a photo of your completed craft project each week to us at chair@dcpic.ca along with the name and age of your child. We also invite you to tag us on Twitter @DCPIC with photos of your finished crafts. Each week we will be doing a random draw from the submissions for e-gift cards.
Rooted in Faith logo Excellence, Equity and Engagement
Durham Catholic District School Board
650 Rossland Road West,
Oshawa, ON
Phone: 905-576-6150 | Visit us at dcdsb.ca