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Instructional Programs
Secondary School Program
Diploma and Certificate Requirements

Three types of recognition are granted to students, depending upon the number of credits and other requirements which they complete while in secondary school: the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD); Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC); and, the Certificate of Accomplishment (COA).

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) / Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC)
In order to obtain an Ontario Secondary School diploma (OSSD), students must:
• Successfully complete 30 credits (18 compulsory, 12 optional)• Pass the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Requirement (OSSLT or OLC course)• Complete 40 hours of community involvement activities

Compulsory Credits:
4 credits in English (1 credit per grade)
1 credit in French as a second language
3 credits in mathematics (at least 1 credit in grade 11 or 12)
2 credits in science
1 credit in Canadian history
1 credit in Canadian geography
1 credit in the arts
1 credit in health and physical education
.5 credit in civics
.5 credit in career studies

plus:
Group 1 - 1 additional credit in English, or a third language, or social sciences and the humanities, or Canadian and world studies
Group 2 - 1 additional credit in health and physical education, or the arts, or business studies
Group 3 - 1 additional credit in science (grade 11 or 12) or technological education (grades 9-12)

Optional Credits (total of 12)
12 credits selected by the student from courses listed as available in the school course calendar 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 Canadian geography or Canadian history
1 credit in mathematics
1 credit in science
1 credit in health and physical education
1credit in the arts or technological education

Optional Credits (total of 7)
7 credits selected by the student from available courses.

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.  The Certificate of Accomplishment will be accompanied by the student’s Ontario Student Transcript. For those students who have an IEP, a copy of the IEP may be included.


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT ACTIVITIES

All students must complete 40 hours of community involvement activities as part of the requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. All grade 9 students will receive the Bluewater District School Board Secondary Student Community Involvement Record Book and a pamphlet Secondary Student Community Involvement Guidelines.  Students in collaboration with their parents will decide how they will complete the community involvement requirements.


THE ONTARIO SECONDARY SCHOOL LITERACY REQUIREMENT

All students must take the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Students will normally take the literacy test in grade 10.  Any student who has been eligible to write the test and who has been unsuccessful, may take the Ontario Literacy Course (OLC4O) as a substitute for successful completion of the literacy requirement. The test and course are based on the Ontario Curriculum expectations for language and communications particularly reading and writing - up to and including grade 9.

Accommodations
The necessary accommodations must be made to ensure that students who are receiving special education programs and services and who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) have a fair and equal opportunity to successfully complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test. Students needing such accommodations may or may not have been formally identified as exceptional by an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC). The accommodations made will be the same as those that are set out in the student’s IEP and/or that are available to the student in the course of his or her regular school work, including examinations and other forms of evaluation. While accommodations such as alternative forms of print and extra time are acceptable, the actual content of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test must not be altered.

Deferrals
Students who might benefit from a deferral of the test may include students who have been identified as exceptional and students registered in English as a second language/English literacy development (ESL/ELD) courses who have not yet acquired the level of proficiency in English required for successfully completing the test.  If a parent or an adult student requests a deferral, the principal will determine whether or not a deferral should be granted and, if so, for what period of time. A principal may also initiate consideration of a deferral. The principal will make his or her decision in consultation with the parent or adult student and appropriate school staff.

Exemptions
A student whose IEP indicates that the student is not working towards the attainment of a secondary school diploma may, with parental consent and the approval of the principal, be exempted from participating in the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Requirement (Literacy Test or Literacy Course). Students who do not successfully complete the Literacy requirement will not be able to receive a secondary school diploma.  Should the learning expectations contained in the student’s IEP be revised at some point so as to allow the student to work towards the attainment of the secondary school diploma, the student would be expected to successfully complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test or the Ontario Literacy Course.


SUBSTITUTIONS FOR COMPULSORY COURSES

Upon the approval of the principal, up to three substitutions may be made, for compulsory courses, where it is deemed the student’s educational interests are best served by such a substitution. Either the parent or the principal may initiate a request. Substitutions may only be made from a list of courses considered to be compulsory.


ORGANIZATION OF SECONDARY SCHOOL COURSES

Definition of a Credit: A means of recognition of the successful completion of a course for which a minimum of 110 hours has been scheduled. A credit is granted to a student by the principal of a secondary school on behalf of the Minister of Education.

Types of Courses
Academic Courses and Applied Courses in Grades 9 and 10
Academic and applied courses set high expectations for all students. Academic courses focus on the essential concepts of the discipline and also explore related concepts.  Academic courses develop students’ knowledge and skills by emphasizing theoretical, abstract applications of the essential concepts and incorporating practical applications as appropriate. Applied courses also focus on the essential concepts of the discipline, and develop students’ knowledge and skills by emphasizing practical, concrete applications of these concepts and incorporating theoretical applications as appropriate. Academic and applied courses differ in the balance between essential concepts and additional material, and in the balance between theory and application.

Locally Developed Courses
Locally developed courses are courses that meet educational needs not met by provincial curriculum policy documents.  The locally developed grade 9 and 10 courses include grade 9 Math, Science and English, and grade 10 Math, English and History. The six grade 9 and 10 locally developed core courses are compulsory courses.

Open Courses in Grades 9 and 10
An open course comprises a set of expectations that is suitable for all students at a given grade level. These courses are designed to provide students with a broad educational base that will prepare them for their studies in Grades 11 and 12 and for productive participation in society.

Grade 11 and 12 Destination Courses
The four destination-related types of courses are: university preparation courses, university/college preparation courses, college preparation courses, and workplace preparation courses. At a minimum, school boards must offer one course in each of these four types in Grades 11 and 12 in the following subjects: English, mathematics, science, and technological education.  Open courses and transfer courses are also available in Grades 11 and 12. Open courses are appropriate for all students and are not linked to any specific post secondary destination. Transfer courses are designed primarily to provide the content needed by students who wish to transfer from one type of course to another as a result of changes in their post secondary plans.

University Preparation Courses
University preparation courses are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the entrance requirements for university program. All university preparation courses will be based on rigorous provincial curriculum expectations and will emphasize the development of both independent research skills and independent learning skills.  Students will also be required to demonstrate that they have developed these skills.

University/College Preparation Courses
University/college preparation courses include content that is relevant for both university and college programs. These courses are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the entrance requirements for specific university and college programs. All university/college preparation courses will be based on rigorous provincial curriculum expectations and will emphasize the development of both independent research skills and independent learning skills. Students will also be required to demonstrate that they have developed these skills.

College Preparation Courses
College preparation courses are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the entrance requirements for college programs. All college preparation courses will be based on rigorous provincial curriculum expectations and will emphasize the development of both independent research skills and independent learning skills. Courses will also require students to demonstrate that they have developed these skills.

Workplace Preparation Courses
Workplace preparation courses are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need for direct entry into the workplace or for admission to apprenticeship programs and other training programs offered in the community.  Co-operative education and work experience placements within the community are important components of workplace preparation courses.  Workplace preparation courses will be based on rigorous provincial curriculum expectations and will emphasize the development of generic employment skills, as well as independent research and learning skills.  Students will be required to demonstrate that they have developed these skills. Workplace preparation courses in particular should also promote and stress the importance of lifelong learning.

Transfer Courses (Grades 10,11, and 12)
A transfer course is a partial-credit course (0.25 or 0.50 credit) that bridges the gap between courses of two different types in the same subject. Students who revise their educational and career goals and who wish to change from one type of course in a particular subject but lack the prerequisite course may do so by taking a transfer course. Transfer courses enable students to achieve the expectations not covered in one course type but required for entry into another. Talk to your guidance teacher/counsellor for more information.

Specialized Programs
Specialized programs are programs that provide students with a particular curriculum focus to assist them in meeting diploma requirements and in making the transition to post secondary destinations (i.e., university, college, apprenticeship programs, and the workplace). Students who do not have a specific career in mind but who wish to pursue their studies at the post secondary level could take a university preparation or college preparation program. Students who wish to go directly into the work force could take a school to work transition program.
*Additional information on courses of study offered at each school and curriculum documents are available by contacting the principal.

Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS)
The Ministry of Education allows schools under a principal’s authorization to develop and deliver curricula that goes beyond the traditional subject areas. These Interdisciplinary Studies can be delivered as single credit courses or packages of courses and are restricted to grades 11 and 12.
*Additional information is available by contacting the principal.

PROCEDURES FOR CHANGING COURSES
Some students, after successfully completing a certain type of course, may change their educational goals and, as a consequence, may need to take compulsory and optional credit courses of a different type from those they initially chose. Although students enrolled in one type of course may enrol in a different type of course in a subsequent year, changing course types becomes more difficult as students advance through the system, or in situations involving courses that have prerequisites. It is recommended that students who wish to switch course types from grade 9 to 10 (applied to academic or academic to applied) take the crossover materials for the appropriate subject area. These materials are available on the Internet (www.ilc.org).  A student wishing to change course types between Grades 10 and 11 and/or Grades 11 and 12 may, for example:
take a transfer course that will bridge the gap between course types;
take a course of another type (e.g. academic) that will satisfy the prerequisites for a course in a higher grade (e.g. a university preparation course) that the student wishes to take;
take a summer course or undertake independent study to achieve the uncompleted expectations that are required to enter the new program.
Note: Students wising to change a course should consult with their guidance teacher.


COURSE PREREQUISITES, COREQUISITES AND RECOMMENDED PREPARATION COURSES

There are no prerequisites for grade 9 and 10 courses. Many courses in grades 11 and 12 have prerequisites which must be met before admission to the course is normally granted.  Students and parents/guardians should consider prerequisites very carefully so that the highest degree of programming flexibility can be maintained as the student moves from year to year.  “Co-requisite” and “Recommended Preparation” courses are indicated in some cases as the teachers feel that students will experience more success if those courses are taken at the same time as (co-requisite courses) or prior to (recommended course) the course in question.
*Additional information is available by contacting your guidance teacher/ counselor


COURSE OFFERINGS - SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

The options available to students who wish to consider alternative methods of earning credits to enrolling in courses offered in their secondary school may include:

Correspondence Courses: The Independent Learning Centre offers secondary school credit courses for individuals who wish to work independently towards the secondary school diploma. If you are 16 to 19 years old, you must provide a “Date of Leaving” letter from your last secondary school and a copy of your most recent Ontario Student Transcript.
Contact your guidance teacher/counsellor for information on the Independent Learning Centre Student Guide and/or the ILC website at: www.ilc.org

Independent Study: A teacher may allow a student to work towards a credit through independent study in which course components are assigned, resources are suggested, achievement is evaluated and the total work involved is equivalent to that expected in the time scheduled for the course.  Courses delivered through the Independent Learning Centre may form part of independent study.

Private Study: Students may be permitted to take one or more courses where a) the student is deemed to have valid reasons for not attending classes or b) the school does not offer the course. The school must be willing to monitor the student’s progress and evaluate the student’s work. ILC courses may form part of the private study program.

Continuing Education: This involves the provision of credit and non credit courses for students who wish to study part time or full time for a short term outside the secondary school program. Courses may include evening, summer school, and adult basic education courses. See your guidance teacher/counsellor for further details.

Summer School: Summer school courses may be available for student who wish to earn additional credits, retake courses they have not successfully completed, improve achievement in a course or to take transfer courses. See your guidance teacher/counsellor for further details.


COMMON COURSE CODES

Each subject has a common course code for the purpose of record keeping. Courses are identified by 3 letters followed by a number and a letter. For example, ‘ENG2P’ means English for Grade 10 students, an applied course.

The first character indicates the subject area:
A - Arts
B - Business
C - Canadian and World Studies
E - English
F - French
G - Guidance and Career Education
H - Social Sciences and the Humanities
L - Classical and International Languages
M - Mathematics
P - Health and Physical Education
S - Science
T - Technological Studies

The next two characters differentiate between subjects within the subject area:
e.g., CGC - Geography of Canada
CHC - Canada in the 20th Century

The first number indicates the grade level of the course:
1 = Grade 9
2 = Grade 10
3 = Grade 11
4 = Grade 12

The letter following the first number indicates the nature of the course type or level of difficulty:
D = Academic
P = Applied
O = Open
C = College Destination
M = College or University Destination
U = University Destination
E = Workplace Destination
The 6th character is used in Bluewater DSB schools to differentiate between courses with the same first five characters. Eg., ENG 2PI (6th character alpha I) indicates a full credit course vs. ENG 2PH (6th character H) indicates the first half of a credit course.





















© 2013 - Bluewater District School Board