SNHS helps put students on the pathway to success with first ever Course Fair
Tim Brody - Editor
Sioux North High School is trying something new to help ensure students are on the right educational path to their dream career.
The entire school participated in Course Fair on Feb. 23, at the school.
SNHS Principal Darryl Tinney shared, “In the past we’ve had career fairs. They’ve always been successful to help kids learn about the different careers that Sioux Lookout offers but as a school, we’ve been, I guess, just challenging ourselves on how we can promote the pathways better. Our department head team, they’ve had this idea percolating during COVID that once we were able to do this, it would be nice to have a Course Fair where students get an opportunity to hands on see the different courses and ask questions so that when they’re picking their courses for next year, they see everything that’s possible, ask the right questions, and know what prerequisites and things would be needed.”
Tinney added, “This is the first year we’ve tried something like this… but it’s been amazing so far. The interactions the students are having with the teachers, with each other, trying to decide what they’re going to pick next year for courses, it’s nice to see.”
“We’ve had the course outline to give people, but what we realized is that when you’re giving someone a paragraph or a course description – it’s a paragraph,” Tinny said. “When you walk around, you’re going to see that in the cooking class they’re demonstrating cooking. In the esthetics class they’re demonstrating what that looks like with makeup, with hair stuff. Sciences classes, they’ve got the biology specimens out. It’s a more authentic experience as we start picking courses next week for next year.”
Tinney explained, “Every grade was given a passport based on next year’s potential options so that they can explore those different courses. Potential grads, we’ve also got a passport so that they can get their measurements for grad gowns, double check with guidance and make sure they’ve got their community hours, literacy requirement, make sure that there’s no surprises, so we’re really trying to use today to kill multiple birds with one stone.”
The deadline for students to pick next year’s courses is April 6.
“From my point of view, that’s the most important thing that we do, make sure that we’re providing the pathways that kids need and we want to make sure we get it right,” Tinney said.
Jason MacMillan, one of the organizers of the event, said, “The Course Fair went very well. During the afternoon on Thursday students were able to make their way to different departments and have meaningful conversations with teachers about their course offerings. They learned about our current courses offered this school year and prospective courses for next school year. Grade 9-12 students participated in the event, with our grade 12s contributing their voice towards our valedictorian and if possible selecting courses for a fifth year. We had the grade 8 students from Sioux Mountain (Public School) visit to have similar conversations and tour the school. This is just one of many things we will be doing to help them transition to high school. We want to continue to offer the Course Fair to students to help make our students make informed decisions about their pathways. The event was a success with students having great opportunities to discuss courses, pathways, events and school opportunities in the current and future school years.”
Nicole Carbone, another organizer of the event, shared, “I think the first Sioux North Course Fair was a success-for all the points that Jason shared. The event was developed by teachers in curriculum departments to consider course options for the 2023-24 year. A few new additions were showcased at the fair including digital media studies, global natural disasters geography, world religions, history of fashion and contemporary world Indigenous studies. Though Sioux North is a relatively small school, we try to offer a broad range of elective courses to students that meet all pathway destinations. Feedback from students was positive; I hope it’s an event we can provide annually. It energized me for next year’s learning opportunities!”
Richard Mansfield, Thierry Tawokam, Kelli George-Egerter, and Trevor Brunton answer this week's question.