Get Involved

The second year of YLS will commence September 2019.

There are still a few spots left, so the application window for the Sept 2019 semester has been re-opened. 

Read the section below, then  …

Registration and Course Selection

Registration will be a two-step process.

  1. Applicants should read the questions and responses below, then complete the online application form.  This form is submitted electronically after completion.
  2. After applications have been reviewed and enrollment finalized (late February), participants will be directed to enroll in YLS through the PCVS Guidance Department.

YLS Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for YLS?

YLS is ideally suited for grade 11 students, but can fit well for grade 12 students too. Applicants should then be in grade 10, or 11 and must be in either the applied/college or academic/university stream.

Applicants need not  be presently enrolled at one of the 7 Peterborough City public high schools (5 KPR, 2 PVNC), but they do need to be able to get to and from Trent University for our school days there, and to/from downtown Peterborough for our school days at PCVS.

Home-schooling students are welcome to apply.

What kind of student would enjoy and benefit from YLS participation?

To enjoy and benefit from the YLS program, participants should share a concern for the state of our planet and its inhabitants and a desire take positive, meaningful action to solve problems. They should enjoy learning in outdoor hands-on settings, and be looking forward to developing their interpersonal skills as they support group-based leadership development.

The YLS program is not for everyone. Our program is fairly focused, content-wise. Our daily schedule will change frequently, some times on short notice. High variety in our learning activities will require an open mind. On some travel or workshop days, our learning will take us past regular school finish time.  Our class spends the entire day together, so students need to be open to engaging with peers who have different approaches than their own.

What are the selection criteria?

If the program is over-subscribed, YLS will select students whose applications suggest they would gain the most from the program, and who will contribute to the program. YLS retains the right to speak with home school guidance councilors to confirm that YLS is a good “fit” for a student.

Students are already being taught about sustainability. How is YLS different?

While all students should encounter sustainability themes in grade 9 geography and grades 9 and 10 science, emphasis will very from class to class. Further, the crucial sustainability relationships between science, economics, geography, culture and politics do not receive sufficiently focused attention in provincial curriculum except in the optional grade 12 World Issues course. At present, the Environment and Resource Management course is not being taught in KPR City of Peterborough schools, and few offer the grade 11 Environmental Science course.

The Integrated Curriculum nature of YLS (we spend the entire day together) gives students the opportunity to take more class trips than are possible in a regular semester, and facilitates truly interdisciplinary learning within politics, culture, literature, business, economics and science.  Existing Environmental and Outdoor leadership programs schedule students together for the entire day to get around this field trip challenge, but these programs focus more on outdoor and recreational skills/certification and related leadership.

I will be in Grade 11. Can I take grade 12 courses?

Yes. Although the official pre-requisite for the two grade 12 courses is at least one grade 11 course in English, Canada and World Studies or Social Sciences and Humanities, this prerequisite is being waived for YLS students. YLS Program Director Cameron Douglas has taught these courses many times and is confident that serious grade 11 students will be successful.

Will the “Contemporary Aboriginal Voices” (NBE3U/C) course be recognized as a valid English course by Universities and Colleges?

Yes. It is a full English equivalent — recognized by universities  — but is named out of the Native Studies provincial curriculum section. It is now the only grade 11 English credit being offered at Thomas A Stewart SS, and has been the only grade 11 English course offered at North Hastings High School in Bancroft for several years. In this course, students will explore Indigenous perspectives through Indigenous authors from around the world. These perspectives will be used to help build the framework for understanding sustainability “best practices.”

Can I play sports for my home school during YLS?

YES!  (for KPR students).  This was not possible during the 1st year of YLS.  But with PCVS being the new administrative home for YLS, students can now be “shared” with their home school, and that makes it possible to play sports for their home school within OFSAA regulations.  That said, applicants will need to be able make their own timely travel arrangements to practices and games from either Trent or PCVS classroom, and in some instances, special YLS learning activities will take priority over early dismissal for (non championship) sports games.

PVNC students cannot be “shared” across school boards.  They can still enrol for YLS, but would not be able to play OFSAA sanctioned sports at their home school.

How much does the YLS semester cost?

The cost of the program willl be approximately $650.  This fee covers all program workshops, events, accommodation for overnight trips and all associated busing.   We are very regularly out of the classroom on field trips and engaged in workshops with outside organisations.  A deposit of $100 will be required after acceptance to the program.  The balance will be due at program startup.  Families are also welcome to pay in installments leading up to program startup.

Some limited financial assistance is available to increase program accessibility – students should not let financial hardship prevent them from applying.

Will there be school busing to PCVS and Trent University?

Unfortunately, no. YLS students should purchase City Transit bus passes. PCVS is a 5 minute walk from the downtown bus terminal.  There is very frequent (every 10 minutes) public transit to Trent University during the morning and afternoons, and we will frequently be using the transit system to get to field locations around the city. The University is also well served by the Rotary Greenway trail for students riding their bicycles.

Can I select YLS courses from my home school?

No – YLS is administered through PACE at PCVS, and you will be registered as a “shared student” (between PCVS and your home school) during the YLS semester. After acceptance to the program, you will be notified to complete YLS course selection at PCVS. After the YLS semester, your “shared status” will automatically end.

How has the program changed since 2018?

  1. The program host school has changed from Kenner CVI to PACE at PCVS.  YLS students will be “shared” between their home school and PCVS.  This now allows KPR students to play sports for and hold 2nd semester timetables in their home school during participation in YLS.
  2. The classroom will be shared between Trent University and PCVS, maximizing the benefits of a university campus and the supports of a high school with access to downtown agencies.
  3. There is now a cost of $650.  2018 students’ costs were covered by a 1 time start up (“seed”) grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation
  4. Grade 11 Environmental Science is now being offered as an alternative to grade 12 Environment and Resource Management.  Participants choose one or the other.
  5. YLS English is no longer being offered at the 3C level (it IS offered at the 3U, 4U and 4C levels)

Will we be given a city buss pass to get to Trent U?

Unfortunately, no.  Students will have to purchase a monthly bus pass.

Contribute to Student Bursaries

It is anticipated that the $650 program fee may be out of reach for some worthy applicants.  YLS does not want to turn anyone away for financial reasons.  If you would like to make a (tax deductible) contribution to a student bursary fund to ensure program accessibility, please contact PACE @ PCVS Principal Alison Sadowski

Offer Programming Support

YLS’s teaching and learning model recognizes and aims to take advantage of the fact that the surrounding community is rich with sustainability educators and practitioners within government, non-government and private sectors.

If you have something you are willing to contribute to YLS programming — as a guest in our Trent U or PCVS classroom or in your field location — YLS Program Director Cameron Douglas would be happy to hear from you!