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Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

Requirements for the OSSD

Total Credits to Graduate (minimum) 30
Compulsory Courses Required 18
Elective Courses Required 12
Ontario Secondary Literacy Test Successful Completion
Community Involvement Hours Required 40 Hours

Credit Definition

A credit is granted when a student has successfully completed at least 110 instructional hours.

Compulsory Credits

English 4
Mathematics 3
Science 2
French OR Spanish 1
Canadian History 1
Canadian Geography 1
Arts 1
Physical Health Education 1
Civics 0.5
Career Studies 0.5

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
  • Cooperative Education

Group 3

  • French as a second language
  • Science (Grade 11 or 12)
  • Computer Studies
  • Technological Education
  • Cooperative Education

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is the usual method for assessing the literacy skills of students in Ontario for the purpose of determining whether they meet the provincial secondary school literacy requirement for graduation. The test thus identifies students who have demonstrated the required skills in literacy as well as those who have not demonstrated the required skills and will need to do further work. The test identifies the specific areas in which these latter students need remediation.

Community Involvement Requirements (40 hours)

Students entering grade 9 must complete 40 hours of volunteer work as one of the Ministry requirements for their high school diploma. The aim is to encourage students to become actively involved in making positive contributions to their community. Students are encouraged to select many different community involvement activities in consultation with their parents. Selection of activities should take into account the age, maturity and ability of the student, the location and environment of the proposed activity, and the need for any special training, equipment and preparation. The safety of the student is paramount.

Students must complete their community involvement activities while in Grades 9 – 12. The community involvement is completed outside of classroom hours, and may not be paid employment. Students can now begin accumulating their hours during the summer prior to entering Grade 9.

Students are encouraged to complete the 40 hours of community involvement as early as possible in high school ideally by the end of Grade 10. Ministry guidelines have established eligible and ineligible activities for the community involvement requirement. Students and parents must follow these guidelines.

Cooperative Education

Cooperative education is a program which places senior students into a working environment, to give them real world, hands-on experience in a job setting. Students work for 220 hours for 2 periods in the schedule for 2 credits. Cooperative credits are linked to the courses the student is taking, to allow transfer between the classroom and a job. Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to the job site. Evaluation is a combination of the cooperative education teacher and the placement supervisor.

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