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schools senatoroconnor senatoroconnor 2A2CF550-853A-4731-95BA-49A1EC2114C2 5841
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Toronto Catholic District School Board

About Us

How We Meet the Diverse Needs of Our Students
Special Programs 
 
Advanced Placement Courses

The AP program continues a tradition of achievement, by providing students with the opportunity for academic enrichment. At Senator O’Connor, a select cohort of students studies at the AP (Enriched) level in Core Courses from Grade 9 through 12. Students enter this program through an application process undertaken in Grade 8. Students in AP courses study topics in greater depth, enhancing their intellectual development. A flexible program, it can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual; students have the opportunity to participate in specific AP subjects in their fields of interest. Students are exposed to university level content and expectations, allowing them to feel more comfortable and have more confidence once they reach the academic setting of university. Writing AP College Board exams at the end of Grade 12 can lead to the acquisition of equivalent credits in participating universities in Canada, the United States and overseas.​ 

 
Extended/Immersion French
 
The Extended/Immersion French program is a continuation of the elementary early or middle French immersion program. Students who have successfully completed a minimum of ten French courses, four in Extended/Immersion French and six in other subjects taught in French (géographie, histoire and religion) will receive an Extended/Immersion French Certificate upon graduation. 
Our students are encouraged to take advantage of outside activities, competitions and foreign exchanges.   A fun-filled trip to Quebec provides opportunity to practice their French Language skills.
 
Specialist High Skills Major Programs (SHSM)
 
Senator O’Connor has Ministry of Education approved Specialist High Skills Major programs in both Business and Sports.   The SHSM program allows students to focus their learning on a specific sector related area while meeting the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.  Students are required to take specific courses including a cooperative education experience, complete certifications and also participate in reach ahead opportunities.  Enrollment for students with a particular interest in business or sports begins at the end of grade 11, further information about SHSM programs can be found on the Ministry of Education website.
 
English as a Second Language
 
Senator O’Connor offers four levels of ESL classes for students who have recently arrived in Canada.
ESL courses:
 
·        build on students’ previous education and language knowledge 
·        help students adjust to their new cultural environment.
·        teach basic orientation information related to students’ needs as newcomers to Canada
 
English Language Learners (ELL) in mainstream classes: 
 
Accommodations are in place to help students succeed in these classes.   Accommodations for ELL students may be in the form of extra time to write quizzes, tests and exams, use of bilingual dictionaries, working with peer mentors, language-reduced assignments, etc.
 
ELL students and computers:
 
Access to computers helps students with their academic and language skills.
 
- Academy of Reading is an individualized reading program working on students’ phonetic skills and reading comprehension.
- Tense Busters is an individualized grammar program.
- Ready Internet access allows students to research in the ESL classroom.
- Word processing programs allow students work on their writing skills.
 
For more information on how to register your child as an English Language Learner, visit www.tcdsb.org and click on Orientation Centre link.  
 
 
 
The Gifted/Enriched Program
 
This program allows students to experience a variety of learning opportunities that enables students to expand and enrich their high school experience.  The program is designed for students who have been identified as Gifted by the Toronto Catholic District School Board or students who achieve excellent marks in school and would like an extra challenge.  Students who participate in the Gifted program have a multitude of opportunities, both in the school and outside. 
Enriched courses at O’Connor cover more material and are faster paced than Academic-level courses. 
 
The Resource Department
 
At O’Connor, we believe in preparing students to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world.  Our students are encouraged to work to their full potential.  Through a nurturing and caring environment, the O’Connor Resource Department strives to create an atmosphere for success.   Since all identified students have a right to an integrated education, the teachers at O’Connor provide students with a program that meets their needs.  
 
Some of our students choose to take the Learning Strategies course (GLE) which is a credited course.  Students work on improving basic language, math, study and organizational skills to become effective independent learners.
 
The DD/ME Program
 
Senator O’Connor’s ME / DD class provides education and support for students who have multiple exceptionalities (ME) and developmental delays (DD).  The goal of the program is to provide students with appropriate learning experiences focusing on the development of life skills.
 
The Ontario Science Centre Science School Program
 
The Ontario Science Centre Science School presents students with an opportunity to gain University Preparation science credits during an enrichment semester at The Ontario Science Centre.
Each semester 28 students are selected to participate in the program. During their semester at the Science Centre, all Catholic students, who may come from any school within the province, are registered at Senator O'Connor.
 Further information about this exciting program can be found at the following website: www.OntarioScienceCentre.ca (Look under school trips in the main menu).
 
Success for All Program
 
At Senator O'Connor, we are committed to ensuring that all our students meet with success.  The purpose of the “Success for All” committee is to develop strategies to assist our at-risk students.   Some of our initiatives include: credit support, independent learning, credit recovery, and  literacy packages. We have also developed a transitional model with our feeder elementary schools to assist students in their transition to secondary school.  . Our philosophy is that students who find academic success early and are involved in the school community will have a greater chance of succeeding.
 
Credit Recovery
 
 After an initial interview with their guidance counsellor, students may be enrolled in a credit recovery class where they are able to recover up to 2 credits.  Students are given the opportunity to complete key course expectations and obtain a previously failed credit without having to repeat the entire course.  Students work independently or with the assistance of a teacher, and are expected to complete all assigned work. Students use the PLATO program to complete course expectations.
 
Phast Paces  Reading Program
 
Senator O’Connor is excited and proud to have been approved to offer the PHAST PACES reading program to our student body. The PHAST PACES reading program is a collaborative research initiative between Learning Disabilities Research Program, the Hospital for Sick Children and Toronto Catholic District School Board.
The PHAST PACES reading program is a reading intervention program developed by the Learning Disabilities Research Program (LDRP) at The Hospital for Sick Children. This reading program has been developed specifically for high school students who possess poor word identification, decoding and/or reading comprehension skills.   The program explicitly teaches the students decoding and comprehension skills and strategies so they can become independent readers. 
 
The Arts
 
Without a doubt the creative community at O’Connor has established itself as an energetic, active, group of artists.  Students of the Arts are encouraged to be painters, musicians, actors, illustrators, singers, writers, photographers, film makers, and sculptors.  O’Connor supports one of the richest arts programs available in TCDSB. This year we look forward to a full schedule of awesome performances from a production of “GREASE” to entertaining music concerts.  We are also providing an activity-packed trip to New York City.   The creativity of all of the arts students will be highlighted at the Arts Night called “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.  Arts courses are offered at all grade levels in Drama, Music and Visual Arts, and Vocal Music.  Options include Keyboard, Guitar, Design, Computer Art, and Photography.