Ontario Secondary School Diploma Programme (OSSD)
In March of 1999, after ten years of study, planning and development, the Ontario Ministry of Education officially released its New Ontario Curriculum. The new system unveiled a seamless curriculum from Kindergarten through to Grade 12, a curriculum which was benchmarked against the best in the world and designed to provide students with the skills they needed to compete and succeed in the 21st century. Today, that curriculum is implemented in Ontario, Canada and at the Canadian International School at the senior level in Grade 12.
High standards are expected of graduating students. All graduates must successfully sit the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) as a requirement to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma and complete 40 hours of Community Service. In addition, the secondary curriculum requires students to develop higher order thinking and learning skills.
The Ontario system expects that students will be well schooled in the skills necessary for them to take their place as individuals in the global community. The programme prepares them to make a living and a life for themselves and to make a difference to others.
Please note that the OSSD Programme is being phased out at CIS. Our current grade 12 students will be the final cohort to graduate with the OSSD in June 2013. Grade 11 OSSD courses are only offered online.
Students entering grade 11 in the 2012/2013 school year will be entering the IB DP.
OSSD Programme Requirements
The Ontario curriculum recognizes that students enter high school with different strengths, interests and goals. To meet their individual goals, students select courses in an increasingly specialized four year programme. Throughout high school, students work with parents and teachers to make course selections and to develop an Annual Education Plan. This challenging curriculum provides greater opportunities for community involvement, development of responsible citizenship and preparation for post-secondary study.
The Credit System
The OSSD programme is based on a credit system. Students must earn a minimum of 30 credits to obtain an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Of these credits, 18 are compulsory and the remainder of the credits are optional. Students will be granted 16 credits upon successful completion of the Grade 9 and 10 MYP.
Ontario Secondary School Diploma
The OSSD will be granted by the Ministry of Education and Training, on the recommendation of the Principal, to a student who has accumulated a minimum of 30 credits (including at least 18 Compulsory Credits), completed 40 hours of Community Service and has passed the Ontario Secondary School Literary Test.
Students must successfully complete the following requirements in order to obtain an Ontario Secondary School Diploma:
||Compulsory Credits (18)
• 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 Arts
• 1 Credit in Health and Physical Education
• 0.5 Credit in Civics
• 0.5 Credit in Career Studies
• 1 Additional Credit in English, or French as a second language, or a Native language, or a classical or an international language, or social sciences and the humanities, or Canadian and world studies, or cooperative education.
• 1 Additional Credit in Health and Physical Education, or The Arts, or Business Studies, or French as a second language, or Cooperative Education.
• 1 Additional Credit in Science (Grade 11 or 12) or Technological Education (Grades 9 - 12), or French as a second language or Computer Studies, or Cooperative Education.
||Optional Credits - Any 12 Elective Credits may be selected from available courses.
||Community Service - Completion of 40 hours of community service across Grades 9 -12.
||Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) - Successful completion of the Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.
Credit Definition: A credit is defined as "successful completion of a course for which a minimum of 110 hours of instruction has been scheduled". If the student successfully completes a subject, the equivalent of one period per day, per semester, one credit will be granted. Credits are assigned based upon attaining at least a pass mark of 50% or better in each subject.
Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)
Students will take the OSSLT in Grade 10. Successful Completion is a Diploma requirement. The test result is recorded as a pass/fail on the Ontario Student Transcript (OST).
The literacy test evaluates reading and writing skills based on curriculum expectations in language and communications up to and including Grade 9. CIS has developed teaching strategies in all courses to help our students be successful in this test. Students who might benefit from a deferral of test may include students who are registered in English as Second Language (ESL) courses, who have not yet acquired the level of proficiency in English required to successfully complete the test. The principal will determine whether or not a deferral should be granted.
Students are required to complete 40 hours of community involvement in order to receive a diploma. The purpose of this requirement is to encourage students to develop an understanding of the various roles they can play in their community and to help them develop a greater sense of belonging within the community. Students may not be paid for performing any community involvement activity. The ePortfolio, completed by the student, and verified by the student's Teacher Advisor is used to record community service involvement. Student will submit their hours to the Teacher Advisor at the end of each semester.
Students will be notified, in writing, during the first week of every course, of the method to be used to determine both mid-term and final marks. Term work will make up 70% of the student's mark. This may include tests, projects, activities, presentations, assignments, etc.
A common examination/evaluation approved by the Principal will be administered in each subject. This final evaluation will be 30% of the student's mark and will cover the semester's work.
Ontario Student Record (OSR)
The Ontario Student Record (OSR) is the record of a student's educational progress through the Ontario school system. An OSR is established for all students who enrol in the Ontario school system. The OSR is an official school record of biological data, Ontario schools attended, retirement data, names of parents or guardians, special health information, photographs and information on school activities. The OSR houses all report cards and a current Ontario Student Transcript (OST).
An Ontario Student Record (OSR) file is maintained in the Student Services Department for every student. It contains a record of student academic achievement and an Ontario School Transcript for all schools attended in Ontario. This file is available for inspection by parents, legal guardians, or the student upon request at the Students Services Office.
Access to the OSR
Every student has the right to have access to his/her OSR. The parents of a student have the right to have access to the student's OSR, until the student becomes age eighteen, at which time a student must grant permission for a parent to view the records. The Principal and teachers of the school have access to the OSR for the purpose of improving the instruction of the student. The Education Act states that the OSR will NOT be produced in the course of any legal proceeding.
Ontario Student Transcript (OST)
The Ontario Student Transcript (OST) is the formal record of student progress in the Ontario system. All Grade 9/10 MYP courses successfully completed, will receive equivalent credits are recorded on the OST. All Grade 11/12 courses completed or attempted, with percentage grades and credits earned are recorded on the OST.
If a student withdraws from a Grade 11 or 12 course within five days following the issue of the mid-term report card, the withdrawal is not recorded on the OST. If a student withdraws from a course later than five days following the issue of the mid-term report card, a 'W' records it on the OST and the student's grade is recorded. Where there are extraordinary circumstances relating to a student's withdrawal, the special indicator 'S' may be entered in the Note column.
Students may earn only one credit per course. Students who repeat a Grade 11 or 12 course, which they have previously completed successfully, will have both marks recorded on the OST. Each attempt and the grade earned is recorded on the OST and an 'R' is entered in the Credit column beside the second attempt.
Students may earn credits for knowledge and skills acquired outside school through a challenge or equivalency assessment. A maximum of four credits may be obtained in this way; with no more than 2 in one subject area. To challenge a credit, students must successfully complete formal tests and a variety of other assessment strategies appropriate to the particular course, including written assignments and observation of student performance and laboratory work (if applicable).
Independent Study Courses
Independent Study Courses are available to students who may require a specific course to meet their graduation requirements. Only courses found in the course description booklet can be done by independent study. These courses are subject to approval by the Principal.
Substitutions for Compulsory Courses
In order to allow flexibility in designing a student's programme and to allow for diversity in courses studied outside the Ontario system; and to ensure that all students can qualify for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma; substitutions may be made for a limited number of compulsory credit courses. Substitutions of compulsory courses are made using courses from the remaining courses offered by the school that meet the requirements for compulsory credits. To meet individual students' needs, the Principal may replace up to three of these courses (or the equivalent in half courses) with courses from the remainder of those that meet the compulsory credit requirements. Substitutions should be made to promote and enhance student learning or to meet special needs and interests.
Course Outlines are available upon request from subject teachers or the Student Services Office or the OSSD Curriculum Coordinator.
Explanation of Course Codes
The Ministry of Education and Training has established a Common Course Coding System.
All courses are identified in two (2) ways:
i.) by TITLE = the name of the course ENGLISH
ii.) by CODE = the 5 digit Ministry designation ENG3U
The first 3 letters/digits - 'ENG' = Subject Name
The 4th letter/digit - '3' = Year (3 = Year 3 or Grade 11; 4 = Year 4 or Grade 12)
The 5th letter/digit - 'U' = Type of Course (C = College; U = University; M = College/University; O = Open).
Types of Courses
Grade 12 students will choose courses based on their post secondary destination. Students may select either grade 11 or grade 12 courses in their final year, however, please note that grade 11 courses are offered online only. The courses offered by CIS have been developed according to the requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training of Ontario.
The types of courses available in the secondary school programme are:
||College preparation courses emphasize concrete applications of the theoretical material covered in the course, and will also emphasize the development of critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. 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.
||University preparation courses emphasize the theoretical aspect of the course content but will also include concrete applications. 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.
||University/College preparation courses emphasize both theoretical aspects and related concrete applications of the course content. 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
||Open Courses in Grade 11 and 12 are appropriate for all students regardless of post-secondary destination. These courses are designed to provide students with a broad educational base and to equip them for active and rewarding participation in society.
||A course that is deemed absolutely essential for the successful understanding of a subsequent course. Prerequisite courses are established only by Ministry curriculum policy documents. It is advisable that parents and students familiarize themselves with the system of prerequisites as indicated for most of the courses offered.
If you would like further information on the Canadian International School OSSD programme, please contact our OSSD Coordinator Mr. Rick Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information regarding the Ontario Curriculum, please visit: www.edu.gov.on.ca.
To view course write ups for each grade, please click here.