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Catholic school board adds personal support worker program

The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board (SMCDSB) is adding a personal support worker (PSW) program.

The program was put in place to help “alleviate the shortage of PSWs in our region,” according to SMCDSB officials. They say it will run between Feb. and Dec., 2023 and those who graduate will receive a diploma and be qualified PSWs and prepared for full-time work.

According to officials, the program will be a mix of virtual and face-to-face work, depending on what’s being taught. However, they point out the majority of the program will be taught virtually. 

Officials say the program would be for students in grades 11 and 12 who may be interested or already taking a health and wellness specialist high-skills major. It will also be available for recent graduates or students under 21 who have not gotten a diploma yet. 

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It will cost $50 to enter the program, but the fee will be refunded once the student graduates.

Students will get all the necessary clothing and textbooks as well as a financial stipend to support their placement and a bursary of up to $4,500 once they graduate. 

The school board has set up a website for students to express their interest in joining the new program.

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