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The Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

The requirements for earning an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) are as follows:

  • students must earn a minimum of 30 credits, including 18 compulsory credits and 12 optional credits;
  • students must meet the provincial secondary school literacy requirement; and
  • students must complete 40 hours of community involvement activities.

There is the requirement to remain in Secondary School until the age of 18 or until the student has acquired the OSSD.
Compulsory Credits (Total of 18)

In order to obtain the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, students must earn a total of 18 compulsory credits.

4 credits in English (1 credit per grade)

• The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC) may be used to meet either the Grade 11 or the Grade 12 English compulsory credit requirement.

• The Grade 11 Contemporary Aboriginal Voices course may be used to meet the Grade 11 English compulsory credit requirement.

• For English language learners the requirement may be met through earning a maximum of 3 credits in English as a second language (ESL) or English literacy development (ELD); the fourth credit must be a Grade 12 compulsory English course.

  •  3 credits in mathematics (at least 1 credit in Grade 11 or 12)
  •  2 credits in science
  •  1 credit in the arts

• The Grade 9 Expressing Aboriginal Cultures course may be used to meet the compulsory credit
requirement in the arts.

  •  1 credit in Canadian geography (Grade 9)
  •  1 credit in Canadian history (Grade 10)
  •  1 credit in French as a second language

• Students who have taken Native languages in place of French as a second language in elementary school may use a Level 1 or 2 Native language course to meet the compulsory credit requirement for French as a second language.

  •  1 credit in health and physical education
  •  0.5 credit in career studies
  •  0.5 credit in civics
  •  3 additional credits, consisting of 1 credit from each of the following groups:


Group 1: English (including the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course), French as a second
language, classical languages, international languages, Native languages, Canadian and world studies, Native studies, social sciences and humanities, guidance and career education, cooperative education.

Group 2: French as a second language, the arts, business studies, health and physical education,
and cooperative education.

Group 3: French as a second language, science (Grade 11 or 12), computer studies, technological education, and cooperative education.
Note: The following conditions apply to selections from the above three groups:

• A maximum of 2 credits in French as a second language may count as additional compulsory
credits, 1 credit from Group 1, and 1 credit from either Group 2 or Group 3.
• A maximum of 2 credits in cooperative education may count as additional compulsory credits,
selected from any of Groups 1, 2, or 3.

While the school board and principal may recommend that students take certain courses in addition to the required subjects, they may not identify additional subjects or courses as compulsory requirements towards the earning of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

Optional Credits (total of 12)

In addition to the 18 compulsory credits, students must earn 12 optional credits.
Students earn these credits by successfully completing courses that they have selected from the courses listed as available in their school’s program and course calendar.

The Secondary School Literacy Graduation Requirement

All students are required to meet the secondary school literacy graduation requirement in order to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). The requirement is based on the expectations for reading and writing throughout the Ontario curriculum up to and including Grade 9. The purpose of the secondary school literacy graduation requirement is to determine whether students have the skills in reading and writing that they will need to succeed in school, at work, and in daily life. To meet this requirement, students are expected to take and successfully complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) in Grade 10. Once students have successfully completed the OSSLT, they may not retake it. Students who do not successfully complete the OSSLT will have additional opportunities to meet the literacy graduation requirement, the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC), or the adjudication process. Mature students have the option to enrol directly in the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course without first attempting the OSSLT. They may still elect to meet the literacy graduation requirement by successfully completing the OSSLT.

The 40-Hour Community Involvement Requirement

Students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities as part of the diploma requirements. The purpose of this requirement is to encourage students to develop an awareness and understanding of civic responsibility and of the role they can play and the contributions they can make in supporting and strengthening their communities. Students will plan and select their community involvement activities in consultation with their parents and as part of the Individual Pathways Plan process (see section 2.4). Although this diploma requirement applies to students in Grades 9 to 12, students in Grade 8 will now be able to start accumulating community involvement hours in the summer before they enter Grade 9. For mature students, principals will determine the number of hours of community involvement activities required.
 

For more information or to enroll, contact our office at 647-348-3530.

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