In this short presentation, we provide a brief summary of the Ontario Education System (Grade 9 -12). The content can be used to meet expectation 3 of the Socio Cultural Competence and Media Literacy Unit of the ESL Curriculum as well.
what you should know
The Ontario Secondary
The Ontario Secondary
school diploma (o.s.s.D.)
has 3 requirements
students must complete 40 hours of community
students must meet the provincial
secondary school literacy requirements
students must earn a minimum of 30 credits,
including 18 compulsory and 12 optional credits
The credits you
need to graduate
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.
**In groups 1, 2, and 3, a maximum of 2 credits in French as
a second language can count as compulsory credits, one
from group 1 and one from either group 2 or group 3.
***A maximum of 2 credits in cooperative education can
count as compulsory credits.
†The 12 optional credits may include up to 4 credits earned
through approved dual credit courses.
To meet this requirement, students are expected to
take and successfully complete the Ontario
Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)in Grade 10.
The test is scheduled and administrated through the
Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)
once each year, usually in the spring.
Students who do not successfully complete the
OSSLT will have additional opportunities to meet
the literacy requirements.
the aim is to have
graduates with basic
literacy skills that will
benefit them in their
professional future lives
The purpose of the
requirement is to encourage
students to develop
understanding of civic
responsibility of the role
they can play and the
contributions they can make
in supporting and
Students in Ontario are required to complete 40
volunteer hours (which can begin before grade 9) in
order to graduate secondary school.
transferring to ontario
For regular day school students who are transferring
from a school outside Ontario, principals will grant
equivalency credits for placement purpose through
the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)
process, based on their evaluation of the student’s
Equivalency credits will be recorded on the student’s
Ontario Student Transcript (OST).
use this table
as a guide to
that a student
to qualify for
the OSSD. a. The compulsory English credit for Grade 12 is required if its equivalent has not already been earned.
b. The principal will determine the number of hours of community involvement required for students who have
successfully completed two or more years in a secondary school program.
The Ontario Secondary School
Certificate will be granted, on
request, to students who are
leaving secondary school upon
reaching the age of 18 without
having met the requirements for
the OSSD. To be granted an OSSC,
a student must have earned a
minimum of 14 credits (7
compulsory and 7 optional):
• 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 art, computer studies, or
• 7 credits selected by the student from available
On the recommendation of the
principal, the Minister of
Education grants diplomas and
certificates at anytime during
the year to students who have
successfully completed the
Where a student has completed
the requirements through
private study, night school,
summer school or e-learning,
the diploma or certificate will be
issued by the principal of the
school that holds the student’s
Ontario Student Record (OSR).
Performance & content
in the Ontario Curriculum
The Ontario Curriculum
outlines the knowledge
and skills that students
are expected to develop
and demonstrate in their
class work, on tests, and
in various other
activities through which
achievement is assessed
Secondary school courses in the Ontario curriculum are organized by
discipline, grade, and course type.
This Curriculum is open access, it can be accessed on the Ontario
Ministry of Education Website.
On the site you can see the distinction between applied and academic
courses and the various destination (workplace, college or university).
The Ontario curriculum for Grades 9 to 12 comprises content standards
(curriculum expectations) and performance standards, outlined in the
Assessment and evaluation will be based on both the content and the
the ontario curriculum
the ontario curriculum:
The Ontario curriculum for Grades 9 to 12 comprises content
and performance standards. Assessment and evaluation will
be based on both of these.
The content standards are the curriculum expectations
identified for every subject.
The performance standards are outlined in the achievement
chart that appears in the curriculum document for every
The achievement chart identifies four categories of
knowledge and skills that are common in all subject areas.
the four levels of
assessment & evaluation
in the Ontario System
Assessment is the process of
gathering information that
accurately reflects how well a
student is achieving the
in a course.
Assessment for the purpose of “improving”
student learning is seen as both assessment
for (AFL) and assessment as learning (AAL).
Teachers engage in assessment as
learning by helping students develop their
capacity to become independent learners.
LEARNING GOALS AND SUCCESS CRITERIA
• As part of assessment for learning, teachers
provide students with descriptive feedback
and coaching for improvement.
• Students and teachers share a common
understanding of what is being learned.
Learning goals (developed and based on the
curriculum expectations) clearly identify what
students are expected to know and be able to
do, in a language that students can readily
• Teacher will share with students a common
understanding of what constitutes success in
learning. Success criteria describes in specific
terms what successful attainment of the
learning goals look like.
ASSESSMENTS AT A GLANCE
Overall and Specific
Assessment Type Conducted by Purpose Outcome
Practice and Improve
Self or Peer Reﬂection on
Becoming a More Independent
Determining Level of
For all three types of assessment, evidence of student achievement is collected from three diverse sources:
Observation, Conversation and Student Product
EVALUATION (ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING)
Evidence of student
achievement for evaluation
is collected over time from
three different sources:
& student product
The midterm and final
grade represents a
student’s achievement of
the overall curriculum
(final exam and/or
LEARNING SKILLS AND WORK HABITS
The learning skills and work habits of
Grade 9 -12 students are assessed
throughout the semester and reported
in the midterm and final report card.
To the extent possible, the evaluation of
learning skills and work habits is not
considered in determination of a
There is broad agreement among
educators at all levels that learning skills
and work habits substantially contribute to
student success and that they are an
integral part of student’s learning.
REPORTING STUDENTS ACHIEVEMENT
A credit is granted in recognition of the successful
completion of a course that has been scheduled for a
minimum of 110 hours. Credits are granted by a principal
on behalf of the Minister of Education for courses that
have been developed or authorized by the Ministry.
SECONDARY SCHOOL CREDITS
• Courses in Grade 10, 11 and 12 may have prerequisites
• All prerequisite courses are identified in Course
Descriptions and Prerequisites document.
• Some students may change their educational goals as
they proceed through secondary school. When they
decide to embark on a new pathway, they may find that
they have not completed all of the prerequisite courses
ADDITIONAL WAYS FOR STUDENTS TO COMPLETE COURSES
E-learning includes the use of digital learning resources in a virtual
classroom setting, where there is a distance between the e-learning
teacher and the student.
In special circumstances, Independent Study is arranged. A student is
excused from attending some or all classes in a course in order to study
independently but under the supervision of a teacher.
Secondary school credit courses are available through the Independent
Learning Centre. Courses oﬀered will be courses from the curriculum
and will enable students to fulﬁl requirements for OSSD.
Students can also obtain credits through an inspected private school.
In such case, the principal of the publicly funded school will record the
credit with notation “P” in the “Notes” column on the Ontario Student
Transcript (OST). Some private schools can be e-learning facilities.
transfer from one
secondary school to
another will have
This record keeping
in maintained in the
documents is the
record of a student’s
schools in Ontario.
STUDENT RECORDS & ATTENDANCE
The Ontario Student
Transcript (OST) is a
comprehensive record of all
course work and diploma
requirements achieved by a
Canadian law stipulates that
students who are six years
old on or before the first day
of school are required to
attend school until they
reach the age of 18 or
LATE, MISSED AND PLAGIARIZED ASSIGNMENTS
Ontario students are responsible for providing evidence of their
learning within established timelines. Furthermore, students are
responsible to submit a work that is original, free of cheating
There are consequences for late, missing and plagiarized works.
Individual school board will work collaboratively with their
schools and communities to develop proper policies and
strategies to address the issues.
and experiential learning opportunities
Supporting diverse learners
SUPPORTING DIVERSE LEARNERS
English language learners are students whose first
language is a language other than English.
English as a second language (ESL) courses are intended
to help English language learners develop proficiency in
the language of instruction.
A student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) describes his
or her education program and any accommodations that
many be required. The IEP will specify whether the
student requires: accommodation only; or modified
learning expectations; or an alternative program.
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING PROGRAMS
Experiential learning programs may be part of the delivery of the
curriculum in all disciplines. Such programs provide students with
opportunities to see how their classroom learning applies in a
workplace setting and allow them to explore a career of interest as
they plan a pathway through secondary school to their post
SAMPLE EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING PROGRAMS
Cooperative education programs allow students to earn
secondary school credits while completing a work
placement in the community.
Work experience is a component of a course that
provides students with a learning opportunity in the
workplace for a limited period of time.
Job shadowing allows a student to spend one-half to one
day observing a worker in a specific occupation.
Job twinning provides the opportunity for the students to
observe a cooperative education student at his or her
placement for one half to one day.
Information in this presentation can be
found on the Ontario Ministry of
Education Website and the following links.
Ontario Schools (2016)
Growing Success (2010)
Ontario Ministry of Education Website
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