Admin

Spark

The SPARK program is an exciting new initiative that links physical activity to increased academic achievement as well as improved student wellness. In this program, students will earn two credits:

  1. Personal and Fitness Activities (PAF3/4O). The focus of this course is on improving personal fitness levels through strength and endurance training. It also encourages the development of a healthy lifestyle through engaging physical activities as well as goal setting, decision making, social, and interpersonal skills.

  2. Learning Strategies (GLE3/4O). This course focuses on the skills and strategies for learning and how they relate to school, to a post secondary destination and to transition and change after high school. Goal setting, decision making, and planning for post secondary learning and the on-going development of lifelong learning skills are developed.

The research linking exercise and student wellness is extensive. In 2008, two researchers, John Ratey and Eric Hagerman found that exercise improves a student’s alertness, attention span, and motivation by maximizing their mindset. It also regulates the neurotransmitters in the brain which helps balance an individual’s mood/temperament and impulse control, increases endorphins in the body (feel good hormones), and raises their self-esteem. Jerioski (1994) also found that youth who participate in physical activity programs earn higher grades, behave better in class, drop out less often, and attend school on a regular basis. It is hoped that your child will also benefit in the same manner.

An example of our typical morning would be as follows:

  • 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise; then 40 minutes of academic work; Class break. 40 minutes of exercise time (may include basketball, volleyball, yoga, weight training, soccer, floor hockey, or anything else engaging); then 30 minutes of academic work

This is a very exciting opportunity for our school. In addition to the benefit of physical activity, students enrolled in this program will be exploring and preparing for options after high school through many different forms of instruction including field trips. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our Spark teachers.

Amanda Kirk and Margaret Berry

amanda.kirk@ocdsb.ca margaret.berry@ocdsb.ca

(613) 723-5136

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