ONTARIO SECONDARY SCHOOLS: GRADES 9-12, PROGRAM AND DIPLOMA REQUIREMENTS
Students in Grades 9 -12 are subject to the diploma requirements of the Ministry of Education, as described in the section for these grades. More details can be found in Ontario Secondary Schools: Grades 9-12, Program and Diploma Requirements, 1999 copies of which are available from local secondary schools and on the Ministry of Education website at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/
Great care has been taken in editing this document but errors do occur and provincial policies do change. The most authoritative source for course descriptions, course prerequisites and graduation requirements is the Ministry of Education website.
THE CREDIT SYSTEM
A credit is granted in recognition of the successful completion of a course that has been scheduled for a minimum of 110 hours. Normally, students in Grades 9-12 will be able to earn 8 in each year towards the 30 credits they will require to obtain a diploma.
The following requirements must be successfully completed in order to obtain an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD):
- 30 credits including 18 compulsory credits and 12 optional credits;
- 40 hours of community involvement;
- Successful completion of the Literacy test (OSSLT) or the Literacy course (OLC401).
- 4 English (1 credit per grade)
- 3 Mathematics (1 at the Senior Level)
- 2 Science
- 1 French
- 1 Canadian Geography (Grade 9)
- 1 Canadian History (Grade 10)
- 1 Arts credit (any of Visual Arts, Music, Drama, Dance)
- 1 Health and Physical Education
- 0.5 credit in Civics
- 0.5 credit in Career Studies
- Plus one credit from each of the following groups:
- GROUP 1: 1 additional credit in English, or French as a second language, or a Native language, or a classical or an international language, or social sciences and the humanities, or Canadian and world studies, or guidance and career education, or cooperative education
- GROUP 2: 1 additional credit in health and physical education, or the arts, or business studies, or French as a second language, or cooperative education
- GROUP 3: 1 additional credit in science (Grade 11 or 12), or technological education, or French as a second language, or computer studies, or cooperative education
A maximum of 3 credits in English as a second language (ESL) or English literacy development (ELD) may be counted towards the 4 compulsory credits in English, but the fourth must be a credit earned for a Grade 12 compulsory English course. A maximum of 2 credits in cooperative education can count as compulsory credits. Optional credits may include up to four credits achieved through approved Dual Credit course.
IT IS THE POLICY OF
the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board that:
Enrolment in a Catholic Secondary School operated by the Board necessarily implies acceptance of and participation in Religious Education Programs and Courses;
Every student is required to include the appropriate Religious Education Program/Course while enrolled in year 1 through 4 in a Catholic Secondary School operated by the Board (reference the Education Act); and
Failure to comply with these requirements may subject a student to sanctions appropriate to the failure, including suspension or expulsion from the school.
OPTIONAL OR ELECTIVE COURSES
Students must complete a minimum of 12 elective credits selected from those available and those of specific interest to the student and their individual goals for career and future educational programs. These will be selected with the assistance of parents, counselors, teachers and administrators.
CHRISTIAN SERVICE/COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
As part of the diploma requirements, students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of Christian Service/Community Involvement activities. Once grade 9 commences, students may begin these activities which must be completed during their years in the secondary school program.
Within the Hamilton-Wentworth C.D.S.B. this requirement has a double purpose. The first is to enable students to show solidarity with people who are in need and who require assistance. The voluntary Christian Service provides students with an opportunity to follow the teaching of Jesus Christ on the Corporal Works of Mercy and to put into practice the Social Teaching of the Church. The second purpose is to foster an understanding of civic responsibility and participation and to help young people develop and share their skills with others in the wider community.
Christian Service/Community Involvement activities may take place in a variety of settings, including not-for-profit organizations, public sector institutions, hospitals and informal settings.
The Ontario Secondary School Certificate
The Ontario Secondary School Certificate will be granted on request to students who leave school before earning the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, provided that they have earned a minimum of 14 credits distributed as follows:
Compulsory Credits (total of 7)
- 2 credits in English
- 1 credit in Mathematics
- 1 credit in Science
- 1 credit in Canadian History OR Canadian Geography
- 1 credit in Health and Physical Education
- 1 credit in the Arts OR Technological Education
The Certificate of Accomplishment
Students who leave school before fulfilling the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma or the Ontario Secondary School Certificate may be granted a Certificate of Accomplishment. The Certificate of Accomplishment may be a useful means of recognizing achievement for students who plan to take certain vocational programs or other kinds of further training, or who plan to find employment after leaving school.
In order to ensure that all students can qualify for the OSSD or the Certificate of Education, principals may substitute among the compulsory credits as follows:
- Up to three compulsory credits may be replaced by additional courses from the remainder of those listed as compulsory.
- A maximum of one credit earned for a learning strategies course may be used through substitution to meet a compulsory credit requirement.
- Parental approval of such a substitution shall be provided in writing.
- Each substitution shall be noted on the Ontario Student Transcript.
ONTARIO SECONDARY SCHOOL LITERACY TEST
All students must successfully complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test in order to earn a secondary school diploma.
Students normally take the literacy test when they are in Grade 10. The test is based on the Ontario curriculum expectations for language and communication - particularly reading and writing - up to and including Grade 9.
Students who have failed the literacy test once, may take the ELS 3O1 credit course to ensure success the next time they write the test. In addition, students who have been eligible to write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) at least twice, and have been unsuccessful at least once, are eligible to take the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OLC 4O1) to achieve both a Grade 12 credit and the literacy requirement for graduation