The Vancouver School Board is looking at joining forces with the federal government's Sector Council to create a unique series of partnerships aimed at creating a wide range of enhanced programs and experiential learning opportunities that will develop skills, expand career awareness and facilitate informed decision-making for the district's students.
This Thursday, VSB staff will be meeting with national industry partnership organizations specializing in arts and culture, aviation, biotalent, electricity, the environment, information and communications technology, tourism, mining, supply chain, and wood manufacturing.
"For educators, partnerships expand and extend experiential learning beyond the classroom and connect schools and communities with the realities of the economy," says Carole MacFarlane, VSB Coordinator of Career Programs. "This kind of partnership is a win-win for all stakeholders."
The aim behind these meetings is to eventually set up a pilot program in a selection of VSB's 18 secondary schools similar to a recent pilot project launched by the Toronto School District. During the four year Toronto pilot, 11 sectoral initiatives were created for students aimed at improving student engagement and career readiness as well as developing skill sets and providing increased accreditation opportunities.
"This day is the start of what we hope will build upon the research and success of a four" year pilot project that established partnerships between selected sector councils and 18 high schools and 50 elementary schools in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB)," says Steve Cardwell, Superintendent of the VSB.
The Toronto pilot included an arts and entrepreneurship program, a partnership with Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) certificated program aimed at providing broad based IT field training, a justice and community service program that partnered with the Toronto police and Canadian Forces as well as a bio-technology program that embedded curriculum developed by a team of scientists and educators from across Canada in elementary and secondary school curriculum. The program also connected students with the construction industry on both the trade and engineering side of construction projects.
"For industry partners this is a fantastic opportunity as partnerships offer them a chance to directly affect learning opportunities that produce a skilled workforce and to connect with students as they develop formative skills and attitudes related to employment," says McFarlane.