The Cayuga Secondary School Technology Department has been involved with the Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program for five years. This offers students a chance to major, or focus, on a specific disipline in grade eleven and twelve better preparing them for entry into the workplace, apprenticeship, college or university. C.S.S. offers the SHSM in Construction, Manufacturing and Transportation Technology.
Students enrolled in the Construction SHSM take two custom woodworking classes, grade eleven electrical plumbing and sheet metal, and the essential construction skills course offered to students who have successfully completed one of the other courses. Using industry recognized training programs, SHSM candidates complete forklift training, ladder safety, hoisting and rigging, scaffold safety, chainsaw safety, construction health and safety, CPR and First Aid certification, and whimis training.
SHSM students complete a variety of industry training programs. Construction students complete online training courses in forklift safety and then are required to drive an obstacle course with a forklift. The cups of water add an extra challenge.
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All students are invited to attend information meetings in grade ten to learn more about the requirements and commitments regarding the specialist high skills major program. Applicants are chosen based on their interview with guidance and the specialist teacher and their completion of the application. The specialist high skills major program requires a significant amount of monetary investment by the Technology Department and time investment by the individual student. Students with a history of commitment and good discipline are given preferential treatment.