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SHSM Highlights


Great Learning Happening in the Virtual Environment


Congratulations to Brebeuf College and their Information and Communications Technology Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) students! Team Brebotics won first place in one of 8 FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotic awards! 

After many late nights, socially distanced teamwork (before the lockdown) and zoom judging sessions, our very own Brebeuf College won 1st place in the Connect Award Category. The Connect Award recognizes excellence in experience with the design and engineering process, as well as, additional networking with experts in the engineering/robotics field – way to go Brebeuf SHSM students! 

Through some amazing teamwork, the Brebotics team merged different robot components, each created by a different team member, to create a successful run! 

Kudos to the entire team and the dedicated coaches: 

  • Daniil Velykyi - Grade 12 
  • Jacob Knock - Grade 12 
  • Daniel Alberico - Grade 12 
  • Sean Smolej - Grade 11 
  • Deven Liscombe - Grade 12 
  • Clayton Lobo - Grade 11 
  • Nayan Liscombe - Grade 10 
  • Alexandra Miller - from William Lyon Mackenzie High School MaCS program
  • Radha Kotra - from William Lyon Mackenzie High School MaCS program 
  • Connie Annetta - Teacher/Coach 
  • Danny Marrozzo - Teacher/Coach
  • Armaan Sengupta - Mentor from Chinguacousy Secondary School in Brampton

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Team Brebotics’ Robot in Action

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Virtual Financial Literacy Webinar


On November 26, 2020, over 175 TCDSB students across 6 schools came together to participate in a virtual Financial Literacy webinar. 

The TCDSB partnered with the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) to offer a Synchronous virtual zoom Sector Partnered Experience SPE (workshop). This workshop was designed to provide Specialized High Skills Major (SHSM) students in the Business & Non Profit sectors with a unique experience to explore financial concepts on a synchronous, interactive platform. 

The webinar focused on: goals and decision making, planning for the future, banking, saving and the use of credit, budgeting to reach a goal, decision making around the transition from secondary school to the world of work, or further education and training were discussed in this interactive presentation. 

Thank you to the Dante SHSM team who collaborated with the CFEE to bring this useful and timely message to our grade 11 and 12 students as they prepare for “what comes after high school”. 

For more information on the SHSM programs at the TCDSB, email​.

SHSM REEL Canada Film Festival Event

On Thursday April 7th the Specialist High Skills Major department hosted its first SHSM REEL Canada Film Festival event at Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School.  There were 10 different schools with SHSM programs in Arts & Culture, ICT and Non-Profit sectors participating in this event.   The intention of this day was not only to learn about Canadian culture through film but to learn about career pathway destinations and opportunities connected to these sectors in the film industry in Toronto.
This was the first time REEL Canada offered an event of this nature.  TCDSB was thrilled to provide this unique experiential learning and reach ahead opportunity to our TCDSB SHSM students, with over 300 students participating.
Students for each school voted on a Canadian film they wanted to view at the festival.  Based on their votes the film “How She Move” was screened and the lead actor Dwain Murphy was the guest speaker. The students spent the afternoon in breakout sessions specific to their SHSM sectors where they heard the stories & experiences of individuals working in the Film or Non-Profit sector in Toronto.  The breakout sessions were:
A.      Creative Careers of the Film Industry Workshop led by award-winning director Warren Sonoda, founder of Shoot Good Films Inc.
B.      Technical Careers of the Film Industry Workshop led by Tim Storey/David Rumley from International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and Rick Bennett from Toronto Film School.
C.      Non-Profit Careers of the Film Industry Workshop led by REEL CANADA Staff Jenna Hijazi, Ravi Srinivasan (founder of South Western International Film Festival), Deanna Wong (Former Executive Director of Reel Asian Film Festival)
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Cancer Researcher for a Day @ the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, MaRS

On Tuesday February 10th twenty-eight students from St Joseph College ‘s Health and Wellness Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program became “cancer researchers” for the day through a unique opportunity offered at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) located in the MaRs building.  The students traded in their winter coats for lab coats and learned first-hand about the more than 25 cancers being studied at the Centre.  Anna Licht, a grade 12 SHSM Health and Wellness student, had this to say about her experience at OICR.
“The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research is located in the MaRS building where over 25 cancers are being studied.  We spent the day learning about cancers and how they are diseases of unstoppable cell growth.  After spending the day doing cancer research using bioinformatics we learned a lot about cancers in general, what we can do to prevent cancers, and new career pathways relating computer science and biology.  Some of the activities and topics we focused on included; microscopic comparisons and pathology of cells, DNA extraction from cheek cells, DNA comparison using gel electrophoresis, sequencing of DNA and finally determining the location of mutations with BLAST.  I enjoyed this particular field trip in particular because we were given the opportunity to explore real day to day cancer research techniques.  It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience.”

Anna Licht – grade 12 student

Specialist High Skills Major: Health and Wellness