Welcome to the ICT SHSM.

(look below for past and upcoming events related to the ICT SHSM)

What does ICT SHSM stand for?

The Information and Communications Specialist High Skills Major Program, allows students to earn a specialised Ontario Secondary School Diploma which includes certifications.  SHSM programs are now recognized by Colleges and Universities many of which offer bursaries for students with SHSM diplomas. 

The Acton ICT SHSM started in 2008 and it was the first SHSM program to run at Acton High School.

Acton's ICT SHSM focuses on Communications Technology as it relates to the Entertainment Industry.

The areas of focus include:


Audio Production

Graphic Design


Video Game Design


Video Production

Students completing the ICT SHSM will take four Communications Technology courses in grade 11 and 12.  

These courses are TGJ3M1 and one grade 11 focus course and TGJ4M1 and one grade 12 focus course.  

Focus courses offered include:

Video Production

Radio or Audio Production

Interactive Media



Students in the ICT SHSM are also required to complete a double COOP, and Contextualized Learning Activies in their supporting credits.  

These students will also earn certifications in WHMIS, First Aid, CPR, as well as certifications in a variety of industry specific areas.

Guest speakers and industry related fieldtrips make the ICT SHSM ideal for students considering a job in the Entertainment Industry.

If you have a student that is interested in these areas and would like more information concerning Acton High Schools ICT SHSM program please feel free to contact

The ICT SHSM program lead

Wade Stark  



Acton District High School's  Head of Student Services

Marsha Schnekenburger






Q107 Morning Show host Ryan Parker Visits

May 22, 2018.


Q107 Morning Show Host Ryan Parker visited Mr. Stark's Communications Technology class at Acton High School May 22nd.  

Mr. Parker shared his life experiences with the class; including his outlook on the Radio Industry, the importance of networking, and how he managed to secure a job at Q107.  

Mr. Parker had the class in stiches with his stories, including a story about meeting Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and showed a hilarious youtube video he made with Q107 to promote the Toronto Police Canine Unit. 

Mr. Parker answered student's questions and added at the end of his presentation that anyone could contact him at Q107 using social media or email if they thought of further questions regarding his work.  

Thank you Ryan.


Second Camera Assistant Joe Frechette Visits

May 11, 2018.


Former Acton District High School student Joe Frechette came to the Communications Technology class room at ADHS to talk about his experiences in college and the Toronto Film Industry.  Joe graduated from Acton and attended Confederation College in Thunderbay for Film Studies.  When he finished college he started working as a Craft Service Person for I.A.T.S.E. (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) After working On set for a year at this job, he was given the opportunity to join the Technicians Union where he was paid to train to become a Second Camera Assistant.  Joe over the last 8 years has worked on numerous Film and Television shows and shared these experiences with the class.  

Thank you Joe,


Order of Canada recepient Brian Robertson meets with an ADHS ICT SHSM Student

May 10, 2018.


Dylan had the opportunity to meet Order of Canada recepient Brian Robertson, former president of the Music Recording Industry of Canada, founder of CARAS (Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) and executive producer for the JUNO Awards just to name a few of his life achievements. They discussed Brian`s life and he gave words of wisdom to follow as Dylan chooses his post secondary school and begin his future careers.  Dylan found it encouraging and inspiring to meet and talk to Brian.

Thank you Brian.  


Escarpment Sound Recording Studio May 1, 2018.


Comm Tech and ICT SHSM students took a day trip to Escarpment Sound Studios in Bellwood ON to learn about audio production.  Students learned first-hand from Brian Hewson about the acoustic dynamics of rooms, microphone placement, multi-track recording, and mixing. 

Students also recorded 4 songs within the 6 hrs they were at the studio.  Including an original song which incorporated the musical talents of many of the ICT SHSM students. 

Thank you Brian.


CBC Fieldtrip December 5, 2017.

Acton Communications focus (ICT) SHSM students toured the Toronto Broadcast Center facilities.  Students met a variety of Production staff including Producers, Directors and Technicians in both Radio and Television. 

Students were impressed by the audio recording studio room211 which is used for CBC's "Q" radio show, as well as the size of Studio 40 on the the 10th floor of the Broadcast Center. 

Students were allowed to go into studio 40 to see the Air Farce New Year's Eve Show sets, and the crew preparing for a pre-recorded sketch.  Director Wayne Moss made time for Acton students to explain the production process on a television show. 

At the end of the tour students were allowed to sit in "The Current" studio and test out the microphones with students at the audio console in the control room.   

Many people at CBC Toronto were responsible for the success of this trip.  Special thanks to Joe Mahoney at CBC radio for making this trip a possibility.

November 24      UPCOMING FIELDTRIP   

CBC BROADCAST CENTRE TORONTO                    December 5, 2017.

ICT SHSM Students are reminded to bring their permission forms in for this upcoming trip. 

November 14, 2017   METAL WORKS INSTITUTE

Alex Andronache visits class to talk about the music business, course offerings at Metal Work Institute, and Metal Works recording studios.

The interactive presentation Alex gave to the ICT SHSM students and Ms. Dugas' Music class was very entertaining.  Alex explained the course offerings at Metal Works Institute, famous projects Alumni from MWI  are now working on, and his own experiences in the Entertainment Industry.  Alex mentioned that one of Acton District High School's graduates that also graduated from Metal Works is currently working at Spotify in L.A.

Thank you for coming in Alex.

To find out more about Metal Works Institute check out their website.


November 7, 2017  PHOTOGRAPHER Nik Milner in to discuss life as a Rock n Roll photographer, and show a few Photoshop tips and tricks

Students had a chance to ask questions of Acton's Nik Milner regarding best practices as a freelancer, and how life was as a Rock n Roll photographer.  Always a great visit.  Thank you for talking to the class Nik.

Check out Nik's work on his website. 


October 30, 2017.   special guest PIXAR/SHERIDAN

Stephen Barnes Visits and discusses working on Bugs Life, Toy Story 2, and Monster's Inc.

Mr. Stark’s first period Communications Technology Class and ICT SHSM students had the pleasure of listening to former Pixar Animator and current Sheridan Animation Professor Stephen Barnes.  Stephen talked to the class about the importance of networking, not giving up on your dreams, his experiences working at Pixar, and the Sheridan Animation Curriculum from first year to fourth year.  Stephen shared examples of his work from Toy Story 2, Monsters INC, A Bug’s Life, and the short film Gerri’s Game.  He also shared the driving book that started his quest to become an animator.  Students asked many poignant questions and had the chance after class to inquire further about their interests in animation.  Thank you Stephen, for coming in to talk to the Comm Tech SHSM students. 

Find out more about Sheridan's Animation program.


October 23, 2017   UPCOMING Working at Heights Training Reminder

Students are reminded of the certification training that is happening in the cafeteria on November 3, 2017.

Registered students please show up to the cafeteria before 8:45am

Please check with Mr. Stark if you have any questions.

October 20, 2017

Rescheduled : Alex from Metal Works Recording Studios will be in on November 14 to discuss the programs offered at Metal Works.

He will be joining Mr. Stark & Ms. Dugas' first period classes in Ms. Dugas' music room from 8:45-10:04.  Make sure to mark this on your calendars, it is always an informative event.

October 12, 2017.  Christie Digital Kitchener Field Trip

On Thursday, October the 12th Mr. Stark’s ICT SHSM grade 11 and 12 Photography/Video focus students travelled to Kitchener, Ontario to visit Christie Digital.  This trip was organised by the C.M.E. (Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters) as part of the “Open Doors” program happening during the month of October.

Acton students were taken on the first ever student tour of the extensive facilities at Christie Digital (an Audio Visual Manufacturer).  Students saw first hand, research and development in action.  

One of the highlights included the multi-projector car display, in which a grey model of a car had details projected on it.  The amazing part is when the turntable the car was on was rotated the image flawlessly stayed on the shape. 

Student also experienced the “silent “room where researchers measure the amount of noise a projector makes to insure it conforms to CSA and International standards.  

Finally students donned lab coats, safety glasses, hair nets, and shoe covers to enter the assembly area for Video Tiles, Projectors, and Audio systems.  Here students had a chance to see products being prototyped, assembled and tested.  

Students were impressed with by the touch sensitive video tile wall that the staff used to keep tabs of the progress of their project completion.   

When this part of the tour was over, students returned to the conference room.   Here they were shown various examples of Christie Digital products in action; including the display used at center ice at the Air Canada Center in Toronto.  This was an amazing experience for Acton students.  Thank you to Christina at C.M.E., for arranging the tour.  Thank you to Chris at Christie Digital, for allowing us to be the first group of students to experience their facilities.

FInd out more about Christie Digital.


June 15, 2017.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Toronto Broadcast Centre

On June 15 James and Ryan met with members of CBC's Metro Morning staff and toured the Radio and Television facilities experiencing various stages of Radio and Television production. They watched the Metro Morning Crew as they broadcast their show, sat in on pre-production meetings for the next day, talked with Radio Sportscaster Joe Cummings and TV Sports on air personality Signa Butler in the editing room as she prepped a segment for a show with her editor.

Special thank you to Bridget O'Toole and Joe Mahoney at CBC Radio for making this happen for our students.  

Below is a photograph of our bearcats with Metro Morning Sportscaster Joe Cummings.   

Sheep Dog Animation Studio May 11th, May 18th 2017. 

Students in the Acton ICT SHSM travelled to Kitchener, Ontario in May, for 2 days of portfolio building and advanced instruction in 2D and Stop Motion Animation.

Students learned how to build Maquettes or animation sculptures using clay and styrofoam and then were given advanced lessons in using Dragon Frame the software used by Aardman Productions for Shawn the Sheep.  Students created outstanding models that they were allowed to keep at the end of this 2 day excursion.  

Find out more about Sheepdog Animation Studios.


Thursday, April 27 2017

Class visit by local renound photographer Nik Milner.

Mr. Stark's period 5 Comm Tech/Yearbook class was visited by photographer Nik Milner.  Nik shared insight into starting out as a photographer and stories that related to being  a Rock n Roll photographer in England.  

Nik also showed the class examples of the versatility of his work and some of his treasured photographic equipment. 

Thank you for this visit Nik!

Check out Nik Milner's Photography on his website.


This is one of my favourites.



Last Updated: May 24, 2018