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St. Francis Xavier Secondary School
"Striving for Excellence in Catholic Education; to give our students a Purpose and Hope for Life."
905.507.6666
  • St. Francis Xavier Secondary School
  • 50 Bristol Road West
  • Mississauga ON , L5R 3K3
  • Principal: Dan Compagnon
  • Vice Principal(s): James Chambers
    Caroline Mallozzi
    Jennifer Meier-Kingshott
    Christopher Vincent
  • Superintendents: Wayne Brunton
  • Trustee: Stefano Pascucci (Ward 4)
    Thomas Thomas (Ward 5)
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Program Delivery Components

Principals and teachers use a combination of the following program delivery components to deliver the guidance and career education program and provide students with opportunities to meet the program goals.

Sections

The Ontario Curriculum
Orientation and Exit Programs
The Annual Education Plan
The Teacher - Advisor Program
Career Exploration Activities
Workshops, Seminars, and Small Groups
Mentorship Programs
Individual Assistance and Short-term Counseling


The Ontario Curriculum

The Ontario curriculum is one component through which students achieve the competencies of the guidance and career education program.

Ontario curriculum policy documents include expectations for secondary school students related to the program goals of guidance and career education. In helping students meet these curriculum expectations, teachers will help them make connections among the knowledge and skills acquired in all disciplines. Students will also learn to make connections between the knowledge and skills they are acquiring at school and the knowledge and skills required by post secondary educational institutions, apprenticeship programs, and employers.

The curriculum document for guidance and career education outlines expectations for students in credit courses such as Career Studies, which is a compulsory course.

Orientation and Exit Programs

To help students who are new to a school to adjust and to provide  them with information about the programs and services available. Such programs will be designed to help students adjust to school at key transition points, such as entry into a new school and the move from elementary to secondary school. Students who change schools in midyear, as well as students enrolled for the first time in schools operated by Ontario school boards, also need such programs.

Students' introduction to the school's programs will include the school's code of student behaviour and information about relevant school services and programs; including the academic program, the library resource centre, the special education program, the availability of remedial support, the guidance and career education program, peer helpers, the student council, and opportunities for extracurricular activities. Information about diploma requirements, work experience, cooperative education, and community involvement will also be provided. Each secondary school student and his or her parents will receive a copy of the secondary school's course calendar and a copy of the student's timetable.

Students leave school for a variety of reasons - they may move to a different town, transfer to a new school, graduate, or choose to pursue goals outside of school. The goal of an exit program is to help all these students make a successful transition to the next stage of their lives.

The exit programs for graduates should include the following:

  • A review of each student's plans for post secondary education, training, apprenticeship, independent living, or work 
  • Information on university and college programs, application and admission procedures, visits to campuses, and so on 
  • Information on apprenticeship programs information on procedures for applying for employment financial planning information

The exit program for secondary students leaving school before graduation should include the following:

  • A review of their achievements to date and the issuing of a copy of the Ontario Student Transcript as well as an Ontario Secondary School
  • Certificate or a Certificate of Accomplishment where appropriate
  • Discussion and clarification of their plans for the immediate future (e.g., plans for independent living)
  • Information about education and training opportunities (e.g. evening courses, correspondence courses, readmission to secondary school)
  • Information on post secondary education options
  • Information about the community services and community contacts available to help them
  • Information on procedures for applying for employment
  • Financial planning information
  • Information on apprenticeship programs

All students leaving school should be encouraged to participate in an exit program.

The Annual Education Plan

Developing an annual education plan will help students take responsibility for their education, make informed decisions, and plan for the future with the help of parents, teacher-advisers, and guidance counselors. The plan will include the student's goals for academic achievement and for learning both inside and outside school. From Grade 10, students' plans should also include their tentative post secondary destinations. When making plans for post secondary activities, students should research and consider their options: continued study at university, college, or a vocational school; industry- or sector-based training such as apprenticeships and internships; or direct entry into the work force. Students should consider the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program and school-work transition programs. They should also consider related activities such as participation in career exploration activities, financial planning, and preparation for independent living.

In the process of completing their annual education plan, students will learn about their options and choices, and of the impact of their decisions on their educational and career goals. In the planning process students will set short- and long-term goals, evaluate the achievement of those goals, and review their academic progress. They will come to understand the relevance of their studies to their personal goals and recognize the importance of having learning experiences beyond the classroom (e.g., community service, community involvement, volunteer experience, part-time and summer work, personal interests such as hobbies) and how those experiences contribute to their overall development. Students in Grade 12 will be encouraged to develop and monitor their annual education plan independently, set educational and career goal, and access information required to make education and career decisions with the support of guidance counsellors.

Learning and using the process involved in developing an education plan is as important to students as are the actual plans themselves. The steps of this process include the following:

  • Reviewing any previous educational plans and IEPs where appropriate
  • Assessing their interests, achievements, strengths, and needs
  • Evaluating the achievement of previously set goals
  • Identifying new short- and long-term goals
  • Identifying the resources (information and people) and strategies needed to reach these goals
  • Developing an educational or career plan

The planning process helps parents and teachers become aware of the goals students set for themselves and the education programs they are considering. Provincial Report Cards encourage communication among students, their teachers, and their parents and are important to the review and revision of the annual education plan.

Because students benefit from constructive feedback and encouragement, they will review their annual education plan at least twice a year. Students in Grades 9 to 11 will review their plan with their parents and their teacher-adviser. In Grade 12, students should review their annual education plan with their guidance counselors and parents. It is important that students' annual education plan from year to year be available to the student and the teacher-adviser for reference. Where possible, copies of plans can be retained in students' academic and career portfolios. The purpose of the portfolio is to demonstrate the student's personal accomplishments inside and outside of school. The encouragement of classroom teachers and parents is important to the development of useful academic and career portfolios.

If students continue to maintain their portfolios from year to year by adding pieces of their best work each year, they will be able to see their growth and progress over time and to become increasingly aware of their own interests, strengths, needs, and aspirations. Selecting pieces of work that demonstrate their best efforts, progress, and achievement, both inside and outside school, will help them make informed and realistic decisions about their personal goals, future learning activities, immediate educational goals, and long-term educational and career goals. The evidence collected in an up-to-date portfolio provides a focus for parents, the teacher-adviser, and the guidance counselor when discussing with students the preparation and revision of their annual education plan.

As students progress to secondary school, they may also choose to assemble portfolios with particular audiences in mind, such as the faculty of a college or university program or a potential employer. Their portfolios can also be used to develop résumés. Students should have easy access to their portfolios so that they can regularly update their contents

Career Exploration Activities

Career exploration activities provide students with practical applications of classroom experiences, as well as opportunities to make connections between what happens in school and what happens in the workplace or the community. Career exploration activities identify relevant applications of students' academic studies and provide information about how people are contributing to society and the economy (role models). Career Gateway, a Ministry of Education and Training website, is an important information source for secondary school students.

Students in Grades 9 to 12 are more concerned about their futures and how they will fit in at high school, university, or college, during apprenticeship, or in the world of work. Teachers and students should take advantage of opportunities that exist in the local and, where possible, the wider community. Teachers should be sure to include activities that are both for-profit and non-profit and in both the private and public sectors, including business, industry, government agencies, arts and culture, and volunteer organizations. Students who are investigating a particular career in a specific sector (e.g., the construction industry) may require a longer and more focused activity in that sector, such as a cooperative education placement.

Career exploration activities can take many forms: visits from guest speakers, contacts with career mentors, involvement in simulation programs (e.g., Junior Achievement programs), and attendance at career conferences (e.g., Women in Science and Engineering). Work-site tours or field trips, job shadowing, volunteer work, work experience and cooperative education, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), and school-work transition programs are some of the possible out-of-school activities or programs.

Work experience and cooperative education placements give students opportunities to combine their academic studies with a "real world" experience. Work experience is part of a secondary school credit course and provides students with a learning opportunity in a workplace for a prescribed period of time, usually from one to four weeks. Cooperative education is a planned secondary school learning experience in the community that enhances secondary school credit courses and provides students with opportunities to learn and to apply their knowledge and skills in practical situations. Credits are earned when the curriculum expectations have been met.

These planned learning experiences also help students with their annual education plan and career planning. Students become familiar with workplace practices and employer expectations, possible career opportunities, and concrete applications of their in-school studies. Work experience and cooperative education are of interest to all students, whether they plan to go on to work, college, or university after high school. For those students whose first destination is the workplace, a cooperative education placement provides personal contact with employers. For those going on to college or university, cooperative education and work experience help them make informed decisions about future educational and career choices.

Workshops, Seminars, and Small Groups

Workshops, seminars, and small groups can provide timely assistance to students who share a common interest (e.g., in a specific university or college program) or a common need (e.g., study skills). Topics could include summer-job search strategies, résumé writing, interview skills, conflict resolution skills, learning strategies, assertiveness training, study skills, time management skills, leadership development, peer assistance, self-awareness and assessment activities, and specific university and college programs and admission requirements. These focused programs and services can be delivered in collaboration with school board and community partners and are designed to help students achieve the guidance and career education program goals.

Mentorship Programs

Mentorship programs provide one-to-one support and role models for students. Mentors are different from teacher-advisers, who monitor the academic programs of the students in their groups.

There are many examples of successful mentorship programs. Older students mentor younger students. Students can help other students with their learning. Peer assistance or mediation programs provide supportive peer role models for students requiring individual assistance as well as a learning experience for the peer helpers involved. Individual assistance may be for academic skill development, improved school attendance, improved interpersonal skills, or education and career exploration. Students trained as peer helpers can act as reading buddies, peer tutors, peer mediators, student guides, career mentors, student mentors, and student volunteers.

In helping others, peer helpers have the opportunity to improve and refine their own interpersonal skills. They prepare for their peer assistance roles by taking an optional credit course from the guidance and career education curriculum policy document. The preparation will be carried out or coordinated by staff who are trained in peer assistance and peer mediation.

Individual Assistance and Short-term Counseling

The individual assistance and short-term counseling program is designed for students who require additional help in achieving the goals of the guidance and career education program. Such help may be made available on an individual and/or small-group basis. This program can help students:

  • Assess their personal strengths as they relate to interests and goals
  • Select secondary school courses
  • Plan their education and career directions
  • Assess their strengths, needs, aptitudes, and interests through information provided by the results of standardized measurement instruments
  • Improve their personal management skills (work and study habits)
  • Solve problems in the three areas of learning (student development, interpersonal development, and career development)
  • Plan for post secondary tuition and other costs by providing them with information about available scholarships, bursaries, and loans
  • Deal with their individual social and emotional needs, including recommendations for appropriate follow-up
  • Resolve conflicts both with their peers and with adults.

Students may be identified as needing individual assistance by teacher-advisers, teachers, support staff, administrators, or on the recommendation of parents. Students themselves should also be able to request - and receive - individual assistance or short-term counseling.

The individual assistance and short-term counseling process involves several stages:

  • A referral by a teacher, a parent, or an administrator, or a request from the student
  • An assessment, including a discussion with the student and consultation with his or her parents, teachers, and others as  appropriate
  • Problem solving and planning with the student
  • Intervention through individual or small group counseling
  • Monitoring and follow-up

Community and government agency workers who are involved with children and youth are crucial partners in the delivery of the guidance and career education program. When it is in the best interests of students, and in accordance with board policy, schools may establish small group or individual counseling interventions in partnership with community agencies. Parents and students are also able to directly seek individual assistance or short-term counseling from outside agencies, professionals, or community programs. Information about such programs and services are available in the school.

Sometimes a student will require more than short-term counseling. In such a case, the principal will arrange a case conference for collaborative problem solving and developing plans to help the student. A case conference may include any or all of the following: the principal, guidance counselor, special education teacher, ESL/ELD teacher, classroom teacher, teacher-adviser, support staff, social worker, psychologist, other school board or community personnel, parents, and the student.

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