The York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) will create six STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and mathematics) Centres of Excellence but says the planned opening of September 2021 may be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At the YCDSB, we recognize the need to provide students with the innovative learning and technology they require to develop and support their 21st century skills,” says Maria Marchese, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “With this focus on student engagement and innovation, we are confident that we can meet the needs of diverse learners so that all can realize their God-given potential.”
The Centres of Excellence, which were approved in June, will serve as teaching and learning hubs and will use design thinking to meet the needs of diverse learners. Design thinking – a creative process for problem solving – has been around for decades but recently began to gain traction outside the design world.
Subjects offered at the centres will include design thinking, robotics, coding, 3D printing, virtual reality, experiential learning and cross-curricular learning using technology. The centres will be located at All Saints Catholic Elementary School in Unionville, Corpus Christi CES in Richmond Hill, Divine Mercy CES in Maple, Our Lady of Grace CES in Aurora, St. Agnes of Assisi CES in Woodbridge and St. Stephen CES in Woodbridge.
Students from elementary and secondary schools will have the opportunity to take part in field trips to participate in workshops at the centres.
“This investment will be important for students as they continue to develop their critical thinking skills in this technologically advanced world,” says Interim Director of Education Mary Battista. “I would like to extend my gratitude to our team of dedicated staff who continue to apply their forward-thinking skills to meet the needs of all our students.”