Starting at a new high school can be an overwhelming experience, whether you are part of our incoming grade 9 class or someone who has moved into our area. We’d like to provide some helpful information about SJAM to help make the transition a little less intimidating and get you prepared for your future as a Highlander!
Grade 8 students coming from our catchment area OR who are outside of our school board should complete the course selection & personal information forms using the links below and bring them into the school’s guidance office along with the documents listed below.
For students new to SJAM, here are some resources that might help you with the course selection process:
- SJAM COURSE DESCRIPTIONS & PREREQUISITES
- SJAM GRADE 9-12 COURSE CALENDAR
- GUIDE TO SELECTING COURSES ON MYWAY
- ONTARIO OSSD GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
- WRDSB COMMON COURSE CALENDAR
- GR. 9-12 SECONDARY COURSE PLANNING SHEET
- WRDSB COURSE PREREQUISITES CHART
- Proof of Age
- Birth certificate or baptismal certificate or birth registration or passport
- Proof of Address
- A copy of a utility bill or residence property tax bill containing parent/guardian name and address of residence
- or a copy of offer to purchase a residence
- or a copy of lease/rental agreement for a residence
- Foreign-born students need the following documents as well
- Landed immigrant form
- or permanent resident card
- or citizenship card
- or Canadian passport
- OR letter of admission from Ed Centre
- NOTE: foreign born students arriving in Canada within the last 4 years also require proof of date of entry
- Students requiring language testing
- Students new to Canada whose first language is not English
- Students new to Waterloo Region whose first language is not English & who have been in an English school in Canada less than 5 years
- Any student from a French language school in Canada
- International students
- If you require testing please call our board’s Welcome Centre to book an appointment, 519-576-3018
SPECIAL PROGRAMS @ SJAM
Enrichment Program and Advanced Placement (AP)
- NEW FOR 2021-2022 – based on recommendations from the review of the AP program during the 2019/2020 academic year and due to the Ministry of Education’s directive to reorient Grade 9 programming for September 2021, changes to SJAM’s pre-AP/AP program are as follows:
- MATH – will commence in grade 10 (apply in grade 9)
- SCIENCE – will commence in grade 11 for Physics and Chemistry (apply in grade 10)
- This will allow teachers, as subject specialists, to better support the student’s application and their opportunity for success.
- Advanced Placement (AP) program offers students the opportunity to pursue university-level studies while still in high school.
- Students can earn credits for many universities and colleges in Canada and the USA.
- Enrolling in Pre-AP courses prepares students for success in senior (grade 12) Advanced Placement courses (Calculus, Chemistry & Physics)
- Pre-AP extends the current curriculum and enriches specific learning outcomes.
- NOTE – SJAM also offers Enriched French in grade 9-12 for students coming from French Immersion programs.
- Although Pre-AP extends the curriculum, evaluation is based on the regular academic Ontario curriculum.
- Visit our Pre-AP/AP page for more information.
Fast Forward Magnet Program
- Program is for students who may or may not be working towards an Ontario Secondary School Diploma but who are intending to go directly to the workplace upon completion of high school.
- Most students in this program will be working significantly below grade level (typically at least 2 years out of phase) and will have been identified (IPRC/IEP) as candidates for this program in elementary school.
- Refer to the Fast Forward program page for more information.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How big is SJAM?
- Approximately 1,650 students.
- Roughly 450 grade 9 students who come from our main feeder schools (Centennial, Edna Staebler, Laurelwood and Vista Hills) and more than 16 Fast Forward feeder schools.
What will my schedule look like?
- SJAM is a semestered school, which means you’ll have 4 courses each semester.
- Semester 1 runs from September to January. Semester 2 runs from February to June.
- All classes are 75 minutes in length with 5 minute breaks between A/B and D/E.
- We run on a 2-day schedule. Any odd day of the month is a Day 1 schedule. Any even day is a day 2 schedule. On day 2, your afternoon periods flip (E, followed by D).
What happens if I get lost?
- A variety of orientation activities during the spring of grade 8 and early September will help students become familiar with our building.
- Remember that only afternoon classes flip every day, so keeping track of your schedule is easy and takes very little time to get used to.
- Staff and students alike are friendly and will help you find your way. Just ask!
How tough are high school courses?
- Expect high school courses to challenge you, but they should not be significantly more difficult than your courses in Grade 8.
- Your guidance counselor and Grade 8 core teachers can advise you on the appropriate level of difficulty for Grade 9.
- Remember to keep up with work on a daily basis.
Who can I talk to if I’m having problems?
- Homeroom teacher, who students see every day (first period).
- Guidance Counselor, who can help with academic, career and personal issues.
- Child and Youth workers (CYWs) and Social Worker assigned to the school.
- Classroom teachers and/or Learning Assistance Centre (L.A.C.).
- Administrators and secretaries in the Main Office.
Are there extra-curricular activities SJAM?
- Yes, and lots of them! Sports teams, arts activities or clubs to satisfy virtually every interest! Check out the Activities page for more info!
- Arts opportunities, including choirs, instrumental groups, dance and drama productions.
- Competitive and Intramural sports teams are offered over three seasons (fall, winter and spring). Some teams limit the number of participants, but many will take all who commit to regular practice. You can participate in up to 3 sports in one school year!
- Grade 9 students are encouraged to get involved. Involved students adapt more quickly to high school life and tend to be happier and more productive.