What do you need to graduate?
There are three possible documents students can earn in secondary school:
1. The Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
Earn 18 compulsory credits. A maximum of 2 credits in cooperative education can count as
Accommodations: Students who are receiving special education programs and services and who have an Individual Education Plan may receive the accommodations set out in the student's IEP. The EQAO website provides answers to frequently asked questions and also provides preparation materials that parents and students can access at home to help prepare for the test.
- 4 credits in English (1 credit per grade)
- 3 credits in Mathematics (at least one credit from grade 11 or 12)
- 2 credits in Science
- 1 credit in Canadian Geography
- 1 credit in Canadian History
- 1 credit in the Arts
- 1 credit in Health and Physical Education
- 1 credit in French as a second language
- 0.5 credit in Civics
- 0.5 credit in Career Studies
- 1 additional credit in English, or a third language, or social sciences and the humanities or Canadian and world studies, or guidance and career education, or cooperative education.
- 1 additional credit in health and physical education, or the arts, or business studies, or cooperative education.
- 1 additional credit in science (grade 11 or 12), or technological education (grades 9 - 12), or cooperative education.
- Earn 12 optional credits from the school's course calendar.
- Complete 40 hours of Community Involvement: Students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities during their years in the secondary school program. This requirement is to be completed outside the student’s normal instructional hours and in a variety of settings. Students may not complete the hours through activities that are counted towards a credit, through paid work or by assuming duties normally performed by a paid employee. Parents and students play a major role in this initiative. Organizations or persons supervising the activities must confirm completion of the 40 hours. Documentation attesting to the completion of each activity must be submitted. This documentation must include for each activity, the name of the person or organization receiving the service, the activity performed, the dates and hours, signatures of the student and his or her parents and a signed acknowledgement by the person (or representative of the organization) involved.
More details on community involvement requirements and procedures are available from the school's guidance department.
- Pass the Ontario Secondary Literacy Test: All students must successfully complete the provincial secondary school literacy test in order to earn a secondary school diploma. Students will normally be administered the literacy test when they are in Grade 10. The test is based on Ontario curriculum expectations for language and communication, particularly reading and writing, up to and including Grade 9. The Otario Secondary School Literacy test is typically administered in January of each year. The test will identify areas for remediation for students who are unsuccessful in completing the test. Students who write the test, but do not succeed, must re-take the test and complete it successfully, or successfully complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC) in order to qualify for a secondary school diploma. There is no limit to the number of times the test may be re-taken.
2. The Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC)
Earn 14 credits (including 7 compulsory credits).
- 2 credits in English
- 1 credit in Canadian Geography or Canadian History
- 1 credit in Mathematics
- 1 credit in Science
- 1 credit in Health and Physical
- 1 credit in the Arts or Technological education
- 7 elective credits
Students are not required to complete 40 hours of community
Students are not required to pass the Ontario Secondary Literacy Test.
3. 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.
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