NAC10 – Grade 9 Native Studies: This course is an exercise in learning about all aspects of coordinating and implementing a Pow Wow in Wikwemikong. The course is taught by Ms. Sandra Peltier. Over the course of the semester, students learn about all aspects of a traditional Pow Wow, and the meanings and teachings behind each. Students are eventually designated more specific roles, and as they develop the agenda and select the community experts in each area (for example, Master of Ceremonies, Arena Director, Head Female Dancer, community Drum Groups) they are taught to go and present tobacco to these participants, to ask them to be a part of the event. The culminating activity is a New Years’ Eve Pow Wow that occurs in our school gym. This community event has grown as residents of Wikwemikong and from many other neighbouring communities come to this event. They event draws in excess of 500 people every year. The students’ responsibility is to job shadow the individuals they have asked to take on various roles. This is a major component of their summative assessment, and Ms. Peltier observes and assesses throughout the evening. The other component to this assessment is a reflection on the entire Pow Wow. These components comprise their final exam. The student engagement and retention in this course has grown exponentially each year we offer it.
GLS10 – General Learning Strategies: All Applied and Workplace pathway students are scheduled for this course in Grade 9, during their first semester. The teachers for this course are Ms. Caroline Black and Ms. Melissa Cooper. The reason is to provide them with the insight, strategies, tools and learning skills to be successful over their high school career, and hopefully beyond. Two primary components of this course are that each student receives extensive instruction on developing Growth Mindset, based on the research of Dr. Carol Dweck. If we can shift our students’ mindset from that of a fixed to a growth mindset at the start of high school, then we feel that this will set a positive and successful tone for them in all of their ensuing courses. We have invested in and have embedded the Brainology program as part of this course, as well as ensuring that all students are registered in the My Blueprint program, which is a program that helps students set direction and goals for their academic future. We are reflecting and will most likely have our Academic students involved in this course as well next year.
Engaging English Courses Grades 9 to 12 Infused with Technology: Students in a number of our English courses across grades and pathways taught by Ms. Julie Balen have been infused with learning various mediums in technology to demonstrate their learning. It is common for blogs, Wiki’s, power points, Prezi’s, embedded audio and video, skyping, etc. to be used for students to learn or demonstrate their learning in these courses. More student interests and learning styles are accommodated through these forms of technology, and students are even more engaged in their learning. Students are able to flatten the walls of their classroom and think, learn, share and collaborate beyond our school, including globally.
ATC20/ATC30 – Grade 10 and 11 Dance: These courses are delivered in conjunction with the Outside Looking In Initiative. You can learn more about the specifics of this evolving collaborative program at www.olishow.com . Our school is now in our fourth year of collaborating with and delivering this program, in collaboration with Ms. Tracee Smith and the Outside Looking In Team. The teacher for this course is Ms. Valerie O’Leary. Students practice relentlessly during school and after school, as they work individually and as a team to perfect the hip hop dance routines that will lead to their culminating summative assessment. As part of the program, a professional dance instructor from Toronto travels to our community every other week, for three days. They continue to build on the routines with the students, and the culminating activity this year is to perform with four other national First Nations schools at the Sony Centre of the Arts in downtown Toronto. The academic and attendance standards are high and rigorous, and monitored on a weekly basis. The end result of maintaining these high standards is that students flourish in all of their classes, and these positive patterns usually extend into the rest of their high school career. Returning students to the program also have the opportunity to take part in the Future Leaders Program of OLI, where they are paired with a professional from Toronto or the surrounding area. Both the dance and Future Leaders components are high school credits towards graduation.
NAC20 – Grade 10 Native Studies: This course has evolved into a more rich and hands-on course that engages students and incorporates traditional activities that give a deeper cultural understanding to our students. The course is taught by Ms. Joyce Pitawanakwat. This year she has added more components to the course. They have had presentations by community parents on trapping, and have spent time on a parents’ trap line. They have collaborated with the Wikwemikong Heritage Organization and will be bringing in a specialist on Water Drum Teachings, culminating in each student actually creating their own Drum. They will also be working with another expert on Wampum Belt teachings, and will also create their own Wampum Belts as part of the course.
TCJ20 – Grade 10 Construction Technology: This course teaches necessary skills, and is both open to those students with a general interest in building, as well as being differentiated for those students who are considering pursuing a career in this area. The course is taught by Mr. Jason Thibault. Students build various projects that are relevant to their home situation, and are able to take these projects home. They also learn the basics in areas such as roofing, drywall, plumbing, electrical, etc.
TXJ20 – Grade 10 Hairstyling and Aesthetics: This course is in its second year at our school. We have implemented this course into our program because of overwhelming student voice that wanted us to offer this course. The teacher of this course is Ms. Valerie O’Leary. Students learn about hairstyling, manicures and many other areas that are necessary to know when running a salon. They will also take a trip to a post-secondary institution to learn about pursuing this career further, if they wish.
BDI3C – Grade 11 Entrepreneurship: This course teaches students to develop their own detailed business plan. The course is taught by Mr. Jason Thibault. Students in this course then register and compete in various Aboriginal Business Competitions. Last year our students some of our students won hundreds and even thousands of dollars, taking high honours at some of these competitions. Mr. Thibault has also taken these students on trips to compete all across Canada, from Winnipeg, to Halifax and even the west coast. During one of the competitions, he networked with Chief Clarence Louis. Chief Louis invited them to spend the day with him in his home community, and personally toured them and explained the numerous economic endeavours he has implemented in his community.
CLU3M – Grade 11 Law: This course teaches our students many different aspects of the Law. The course is taught by Ms. Melissa Cooper. This year there was significant collaboration with a prominent Sudbury, Ontario Judge, Justice Patricia Hennessey. She came in to present and learn with the students throughout the semester, and she involved other younger Law students in the program. She help arrange part of the culminating activity with the students, where they simulated a mock trial, taking on the various roles.
HNC30 – Grade 11 Fashion and Creative Expression: This course teaches the students various aspects of the fashion industry. It is taught by Ms. Valerie O’Leary. Students work on various products throughout the semester, guided by their teacher. For the culminating activity, they run an actual “Red Carpet” fashion show that is open to the community. The students either model their fashion creations themselves on the runway, or find other students to model their designs. The real-life summative project motivates students to remain in the course and produce some amazing work.
IDC30/IDC40/IDC4U – Interdisciplinary Studies (or our Student Council Leadership Course): This course has been developed and designed to cluster the expectations of a variety of courses to meet an objective of running our Student Council through this course. It is taught by Ms. Maureen Peltier. Students meet daily to script out, plan and implement various activities within our school during the school year. They run daily lunch time intramurals, organize events to contribute to the community, and run various themed weeks, such as our recent Anti-Bullying Week. They also collaborate extensively with the community. One annual event they coordinate and run is the “Stuff A Cruiser” event. This is done in conjunction with the Wikwemikong Tribal Police. Just before Christmas, they gather at the local mall, and residents come by to donate gifts and money, and as they receive gifts, they fill the police cruisers. All donations go to the Wikwemikong Family Centre, to help families during Christmas time. Their endeavours have become so significant that they requested a bus to fill this year, because two police cruisers were not enough the year before to hold all of the donations.
IDP30 – Grade 11 Music Business Course: This course teaches all aspects of the music business, from creating music, performing, copyrighting, sound mixing, promoting and organizing events. Students do not have to have a musical background to participate. This course is delivered by Mr. Jason Thibault. It is done in collaboration with Coalition Music, which owns an actual recording studio in Toronto and manages many bands, including Our Lady Peace, Simple Plan, USS, etc. Coalition visits the community approximately four times throughout the year, and works with students on creating their work, and various music business aspects. They also bring actual artists to the community to work with our students, such as Shawn Kelly (former guitarist of Helix and current guitarist for Nelly Furtado) and the up-and-coming band USS. Students travel to Toronto to Coalition Music Recording Studios and actually produce their music in a professional recording studio with high end instruments and recording equipment. Another part of the culminating project is that they organize a local concert, showcasing their own music, and various other musical artists from Manitoulin and beyond.
PAD30 – Grade 11 Outdoor Education: This course has evolved from various outdoor activities to incorporate many additional outdoor traditional activities. Students are outside almost every day. We have had to offer two sections, taught by Mr. Marcel Recollet and Ms. Maureen Peltier, because it is one of the most popular courses in our timetable. Student learn about and engage in various activities, such as snowshoeing, creating snow shelters, ice fishing, canoeing, working in the maple sugar bush, trapping, First Aid, and many, many more activities. This is a very engaging and high student retention course.
TGJ3M/TGJ40 – Grade 11 and 12 Digital Imagery and Photography: This course teaches various aspects of photography and digital imagery. The course is taught by Mr. Peter Baumgarten. Students work with high caliber professional cameras and learn about all aspects of taking, processing and creating products. There is also learning around creating animation. Students go on field trips as well throughout the island to take amazing pictures of the natural geography. Mr. Baumgarten was selected as one of the Olympus’ eleven international photography ambassadors this past year, so the instruction in this course is of the highest caliber.
LNODO – Grade 12 Native Language – Level 4: This course is for students who have become very proficient in Anishiabe language. The course is taught by Ms. Sandra Peltier. Even though students only need one language credit to graduate, the Wikwemikong Board of Education stresses that all students should take at least two credits in Native Language. This course is a third course and it is becoming increasingly popular. Students in this course are working hard on creating their own dictionary, and will prepare to showcase their final product at a community book launch at the end of the semester.