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YRDSB leads the province in Specialist High Skills Major program offerings
News Release
YRDSB leads the province in Specialist High Skills Major program offerings
Aurora, ON –York Region District School Board has the largest Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) Program footprint in the province of Ontario.
A SHSM is a specialized program which allows students to experience a range of customized, career-focused learning opportunities while working towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
YRDSB has 32 secondary schools offering over 103 separate programs that represent 13 specific sectors of the economy. Currently, every secondary school in the Board offers at least one SHSM sector. In the 2016-17 school year, YRDSB had over 2,800 students participating in an SHSM, primarily from Grade 11 and 12, and also added 10 new SHSM sectors in eight new schools.
“We are incredibly proud to be leading the province as the Board with the most Specialist High Skills Major offerings,” said Loralea Carruthers, Board Chair. “Our students continue to impress us with their entrepreneurial spirit and aspirations.”
“The Specialist High Skills Major program is an exciting opportunity for our students to customize their high school learning experience to their future goals,” said Kathryn Wallace, Interim Director of Education. “The SHSM program provides students with another option to personalize their high school experience according to their individual pathway.”
YRDSB is also expanding Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) training for SHSM students by ensuring a teacher in every school is certified to instruct this program. ICE training encourages students to apply key skills to a unique experience solving real-world, sector-relevant challenges, developed in consultation with employers/sector partners.

York Region District School Board is the third largest school district in Ontario with over 123,000 students in 177 elementary schools and 33 secondary schools. York Region students consistently perform above average in provincial testing and the Board is one of the top achievers in Ontario. For more information about the York Region District School Board, please visit the Board website and follow @YRDSB on Twitter.


For more information contact:
Dale Brusselers
Corporate Communications
York Region District School Board
Tel: 905-727-0022 ext. 2521
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