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Board Meetings

April 21, 2009

The Specialist High Skills Major Program in Agriculture has been an essential part of the curriculum at Chesley District High School for 3 years.

The Barn on the school property has been around since the 1960’s.  

On Thursday, April 2, 2009 a team of representatives from Bluewater, including Dennis Watson and Kate Marshall, key teachers in the program, former principal Joy Johnson, Student Success superintendent Jean Stephenson and Director Mary Anne Alton were on hand at the University of Guelph to sign an official articulation agreement with the University.

As part of the Student Success initiative, Specialist High Skills Majors are intended to focus instruction in key economic sectors.  The Chesley High School team were eager to volunteer to be part of this exciting initiative from the outset.

Today, we are announcing an agreement with the University of Guelph, which formally recognizes the alignment between our agricultural program at Chesley District High School, and the post secondary program at the University.  This official document is called an articulation agreement.  

After numerous visits by our staff to compare curriculum with faculty at the University of Guelph, our students now have an innovative advantage to pursue post secondary agricultural education at the University of Guelph, or its regional campuses in Ridgetown, Kemptville and Alfred.  Jean Stephenson stated that:  “this advantage will very likely be a factor in post secondary selection for those students who intend to pursue the college or university pathway.”

Bluewater students who are graduates of the Specialist High Skills Major in Agriculture will be exempt from introductory agricultural courses.  In their place, our students may opt to enrol in second year courses instead.

This is the first articulation agreement of its kind in the province of Ontario.

To join in the celebration were key individuals from the Ministry of Education, including former Assistant Deputy Minister George Zegarac, Richard Franz, Director of Strategic Policy Branch of Student Success and Aldo Cianfrini who is one of the Leads for the Specialist High Skills Major initiative.  Interestingly enough, Mr. Zegarac is currently the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Dr. Peter Pauls, the Acting Associate Dean of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) stressed that “an agricultural degree doesn’t close doors, it opens new doors”.  He continued to discuss many job options in the agri-food sector.

For media questions, please contact:  Jean Stephenson, Superintendent of Student Success or Dennis Watson, teacher, Chesley District High School.


Submitted to:
Bluewater District School Board
April 21, 2009          
For further information please contact
Jean Stephenson, Superintendent of
Student Success


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