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In September 2015, the Durham Catholic District School Board opened our first Grade 7 to 12 Catholic secondary school model at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School.
The decision to adopt this model was based on the priorities and directions outlined in Discovery 2020, the Board's five-year strategic plan, as well as a secondary school program study and visits to other Grade 7 to 12 programs across the province and beyond. The study examined programs currently offered at Durham Catholic secondary schools, as well as demographic data and trends, identifying the need to explore ways to maximize capacity in existing schools.
View our Grade 7 to 12 video to hear reactions from students, parents and staff.
Students entering the model in Grade 7 and 8 continue in the intermediate program they currently experience in Kindergarten to Grade 8 schools. They also enjoy the following benefits of being located in a secondary school facility:
The following are questions and answers about the Grade 7 to 12 model.
Yes. Students in Grades 7 and 8 experience a regular intermediate program with respect to curriculum, scheduling, supervision, etc. They are assigned to a class (as opposed to having individual schedules) that travels together through the instructional day in the Grade 7/8 wing of the school. Masses, assemblies and other school functions may include the whole school or particular grades as appropriate.
Students in Grades 7 and 8 have their classrooms located in a separate wing of the school with its own washrooms. Rotation to specialized program rooms would be under the supervision of a teacher.
As with our traditional elementary schools, the decision of whether rotary is provided is made by the school team.
The completion of Grade 8 continues to be recognized as a milestone. Similar to traditional models, the details of how the event is celebrated is determined by the administration, staff and parents.
This is a local decision. To support positive transitions to a new school, some form of recognition is appropriate.
As is the case with our elementary schools, there is no designated maximum class size. Class size will continue to be determined using the Ministry of Education's designated average class size for junior and intermediate levels.
The principal, in accordance with regular staffing procedures and local enrolment numbers, determines classroom organization.
Grade 7 and 8 students are not permitted to access Grade 9 to12 credit courses, except in exceptional circumstances where appropriate, in accordance with a student's Individual Education Plan (IEP).
Intermediate students continue to be part of the DDECAA organized inter-school activities. Local co-curricular activities may be organized and offered as needed/determined by staff.
A second vice-principal with elementary experience is assigned to the Grade 7 to 12 school. The school principal determines the distribution of responsibilities of the administrative team.
A Grade 7 to 12 school, like all other schools, has a single parent council. Representation from both OECTA Elementary and OECTA Secondary are welcome.
Bell times for Grade 7 and 8 students are different than they are for Grade 9 to12 students. Announcements are for the whole school.
The reporting process and expectations for Grades 7 and 8 continues to reflect the expectations of all intermediate teachers throughout the system. Grade 7 and 8 students and teachers follow the elementary school year calendar.
Grade 7 and 8 students have lunch together and Grade 9 to 12 students have a separate lunch. Grade 7 and 8 students have 20 minutes in the cafeteria and 20 minutes supervised outdoor time in a designated area.
Grade 7 and 8 students at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School share their thoughts and ideas on the new service delivery model.