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SHIFT is a blended learning program at GISS that provides opportunities for grade 10-12 students to take courses not offered in the classroom. Students may also enrol in certain core academic courses. All Shift courses are built into a student's timetable. As such, students who take a Shift course are expected to attend their Shift block

  • Is SHIFT right for you? Characteristics of Successful SHIFT Students: 

In our experience, student who are successful in SHIFT have the following characteristics:

Technology & Organization

  • can log on to GISS computers and access the student Wi-Fi (if using your own device).
  • can access and navigate Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Suite and school email
  • can create Microsoft Word docs and Powerpoint presentations
  • can correctly label and submit assignments
  • can use a search engine to locate information and resources.

Communication & Self-Advocacy

maintains constant contact with the teacher, via a mutually agreed upon form of communication  (this is generally email
checks school email regularly)
asks for help from their teacher or other students

Time Management & Work Habits
starts work as soon as they arrive to class
uses class time efficiently
can work independently
organizes weekly/monthly schedules to stay on pace (most courses have a Progress Guide with due dates
monitors distractions (social media, socializing, etc.)

Please scroll down for available course offerings for 2023-2024. 

Elective Courses

Comparative Cultures 12
Creative Writing 12
Genocide Studies 12
Independent Directed Studies 10-12
Interpersonal & Family Relationships 11
Intro Languages 11 †

† Language options: German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Punjabi

Philosophy 12
Psychology 12
Physical Geography 12 
th Century World History 12 

Core Academic Courses

English Language Arts 

English 10: Composition and Literary Studies

English 11: Literary Studies

English Studies 12

Social Studies

Social Studies 10

Social Studies 11: Explorations

Course Descriptions - Electives

20th Century World History 12

While History 12 can be described broadly as a history of world affairs in the 20th century, it concentrates on the years between 1914 and 1991, with an emphasis on the West and its relation to global affairs. In order to expand students’ historical awareness of affairs in the 20th century, the curriculum also incorporates a global perspective where appropriate. By examining the choices and decisions of the 20th century, students can evaluate current events and challenges with a deeper awareness of alternatives. History 12 is designed to provide students with a range of experiences and opportunities to develop skills that will prepare them for further study in history and related disciplines.

Comparative Cultures 12

This course fosters awareness of various civilizations throughout the world and the contributions of these civilizations to the sum of human experience. Comparative Cultures 12 SHIFT focuses on the interrelationships between art, culture, and civilization. Elements of culture such as belief systems, daily life, gender roles, and power and authority will be examined. Political, social, economic, and cultural structures of civilizations from prehistory to 1500 C.E. will be analyzed.

Creative Writing 12

In this course, you will read and write contemporary poetry and short fiction. For students with a particular interest in another genre (such as screenwriting, novel writing, memoir, graphic novel writing, etc.), we offer an independent study in Unit 3: Writing Explorations.

Genocide Studies 12

We live in a time of unparalleled instances of democide, genocide, and ethnocide. Indeed, the 20th century was so bloody that some have entitled it the "Century of Genocide." Unfortunately, the advent of the 21st century did not usher in a century of peace. Genocide Studies 12 examines the psychological, cultural, and societal roots of genocide as well as the means to identify and prevent it. Genocides studied include the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, Cambodia's Killing Fields, the Rwandan genocide, and others.

Independent Directed Studies 

Students who wish to pursue a passion on a deep learning level are encouraged to see one of the counsellors about developing an IDS proposal.  This course is designed by the student based on fewer learning outcomes from an existing Ministry of Education course.  This allows a student to delve deeply into a topic that they find fascinating.  Students must write a proposal, which starts with an interesting question, find a sponsor teacher with expertise in the subject area, and have it authorized by the principal. 

Interpersonal & Family Relationships 11

This course intends to provide you with a broad overview of how relationships form and change. You will explore a variety of relationships, including family relationships, friendships, and committed relationships, as well as examine how these relationships evolve or end. This course also provides an overview of effective communication, wellness, and safety in relationships.

Language (Beginners) 11

GISS offers many languages at the beginner level through Shift. Languages available are German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Punjabi. Students study the language of their choice through the online immersion program Duolingo which includes listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Duolingo is accessed over the Internet and can be used both at school and at home. Cultural studies are included as part of the course. *S H I F T languages do not meet the requirement for university entrance.

Philosophy 12

Existence. Reality. Knowledge. Philosophy 12 in SHIFT is a course in which students will discuss a broad array of issues related to the nature of our beliefs and experiences in the world. Content will include perspectives from thinkers across many cultures, including major Western and Eastern schools of thought, as well as indigenous philosophies. The class will compare and contrast these ideologies, assessing their development and impact upon the world, and their relevance today.

Psychology 12

This course has been developed for those students who have an interest in psychology and wish to pursue it further at a post-secondary facility. Psychology 12 is a course designed to provide students with an understanding of human behaviour and basic concepts in modern psychology. This course covers the five major psychological domains: methods, neuroscience, cognitive, social, and developmental in order to achieve a general overview of this subject area.

Physical Geography 12

As an ever-increasing world population puts more and more demand on the planet’s resources, there is a need for a society that is geographically literate and able to make informed decisions about the sustainability of the earth’s resources and the future of the planet. Through the study of geography, students can develop an understanding of how local, regional, and global environments affect them. Physical Geography, also known as physiography, is one of the main branches of geography. It is a natural science, focused on the study of the natural environment, such as the atmosphere or the geosphere, as opposed to the study of built environments, as in human geography.

Dual Credit Courses

Dual credit, or courses that give you both high school and post secondary credit, are also offered in SHIFT. See the Dual Credit page for more information. 

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