To earn the diploma, an OSS student must:
- earn 18 compulsory credits;
- earn 12 optional credits;
- complete 40 hours of community involvement activities;
- successfully complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Component
Compulsory courses (total of 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 the arts
- 1 credit in health and physical education
- 0.5 credit in civics
- 0.5 credit in career studies
PLUS one credit from each of the following groups:
- GROUP 1: 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 guidance and career education, or cooperative education*
- GROUP 2: 1 additional credit in health and physical education, or the arts, or business studies; or cooperative education*
- GROUP 3: 1 additional credit in science or technological education or cooperative education
* A maximum of 2 credits in cooperative education can count as compulsory credits.
In addition to the 18 compulsory credits, students must earn 12 optional credits. Selection of optional courses will be determined by students’ planned career destination. Consultation with parents, classroom teachers and guidance teachers will help students determine the best optional courses for their educational program. To ensure thorough academic preparation, students are encouraged to explore a wide variety of optional courses and may choose to stay in secondary school beyond four years.
The goal of these programs are to support exceptional students with intellectual and/or multiple exceptionalities and/or autism, to further develop the skills necessary to participate in school life and in the community as independently as possible.
Placement in Regional programs is determined through the central HPEDSB Student Services team and is confirmed through the Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) process.
The fundamental principles of the Seconday Regional programs are:
- Students are supported to develop skills in many areas, including academic, social, communication, and self-monitoring;
- Programming, accomodations, and modifications are individualized to meet the unique needs of each student;
- Use of technology will be individualised and purposefully used to support learning.
Life Skils Program (LSP)
This program is intended for secondary school students who are identified with the Ontario Ministry of Education Exceptionality of Intellectual - Developmental Disability (I-DD) or Multiple exceptionalities (M). Programming emphasis is on life skills, adaptive numeracy/literacy skills, and community/independent living skills through Alternative (non-credit) courses. Students in this program will leave secondary school with a Certificate of Accomplishment.
Students placed in this regional classroom will require support and guidance within the classroom and other school settings, in order to progress with individualized academic, social, and community/independent living skills and programs.
Post-secondary options may include: supported living at home, assisted living in the community, and attending community programs.
This program is intended for students with an Ontario Ministry of Education Exceptionality of Intellectual – Developmental Disability (I-DD) or Multiple exceptionalities (M), who are interested in pursuing an Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC). In exceptional circumstances, students with other Ministry of Education exceptionalities may be considered for placement in this class, with approval through the central HPEDSB Student Services team. Upon graduation with an OSSC, students may transition to the community, workplace, or to a College Community Integration program. Compulsory credits required for the OSSC are based on the Ontario Curriculum with access to the accommodations listed in the student’s IEP.
- Eagerness to learn, willingness to participate fully in the program;
- Level of independence that precludes constant support;
- Be willing to use assistive technology to support reading and writing tasks;
- Reading skills at a level required to access Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) remedial reading program.
Description of a Credit
A credit is granted in recognition of the successful completion of a course that has been scheduled for a minimum of 110 hours for a full credit or 55 hours for a half credit. Each credit has been developed according to the requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Education.
Understanding the course codes, for example: The first three characters indicate the subject course code as indicated in the Ministry of Education Common Course Codes and/or The Ontario Curriculum Grades 11 and 12 Course Descriptions and Prerequisites.
The fourth character indicates the grade:
1 = grade 9
2 = grade 10
3 = grade 11
4 = grade 12
The fifth character indicates the course type/destination:
D = academic (grades 9 & 10)
P = applied (grades 9 & 10)
L = locally developed compulsory courses (grades 9 & 10)
O = open courses (grades 9 to 12)
U = university destination courses (grades 11 & 12)
C = college destination courses (grades 11 & 12)
M = university/college destination courses (grades 11 & 12)
E = workplace destination courses (grades 11 & 12)
Note: Non Ministry courses (grades 9 to 12) begin with K as the first character in the Employment Destination Program, Life Skills Program, Practical Learning Program, and the Community Employment Program.
Successful completion of the Grade 10 Test of Reading and Writing Skills is required for graduation. The test will be administered in the spring of the student’s Grade 10 school year. This test will measure how well students are meeting the reading and writing expectations across all subjects in the provincial curriculum up to the end of Grade 9. Students who are not successful will be provided with remedial assistance and given the opportunity to rewrite the test.
Students who are receiving Special Education programs and who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) have a fair and equal opportunity to successfully complete this test. Necessary accommodations will be made to support students.
Some students may benefit from delaying completion of this test. The principal in consultation with parents may decide to defer this test in order to allow the student more time to acquire the level of proficiency to succeed. Exemptions are allowable only for students who are not attempting to achieve a diploma.
The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Credit course (OSSLC) is a full credit Grade 11/12 course that will be offered as part of the English program in Ontario secondary schools. This course is designed to help students acquire and demonstrate the cross curricular literacy skills that are evaluated by the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Students who complete the course successfully will meet the provincial literacy requirement for graduation. Students will read a variety of informational, narrative, and graphic texts and will produce a variety of forms of writing, including summaries, information paragraphs, opinion pieces, and news reports. Students will also maintain and manage a portfolio containing a record of their reading experiences and samples of their writing. Eligibility requirement: Students who have been eligible to write the OSSLT at least twice and who have been unsuccessful at least once are eligible to take the course. (Students who have already met the literacy requirement for graduation may be eligible to take the course under special circumstances, at the discretion of the principal.) Please note: Even though OLC301 is a compulsory Grade 11 English credit and OLC4O1 is a compulsory Grade 12 English credit, it does not fulfill the Grade 12 English requirement for post secondary acceptance.
40 Hours of Community Involvement
Students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement as a requirement of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. These 40 hours may be completed at any time during the student’s high school years and may take place in a variety of settings, including not for profit organizations, businesses, public sector institutions, and informal settings. Students, in collaboration with their parents, will decide how they will complete the community involvement requirement. Students may complete any number of eligible activities as outlined in the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board Community Involvement pamphlet. Activities must be completed outside of normal instructional school hours, may not be a part of a credit program and students may not receive pay for their community involvement activities. Students will maintain a record of their community involvement activities on the Community Involvement Completion Form. The purpose of community involvement is to encourage students to develop an awareness and understanding of civic responsibility and of the role they can play to contribute to their communities. Examples of community involvement activities include: activities within the school such as Student Council committee work, helping an elderly neighbour, volunteering at a local hospital, helping at a community event or tutoring an elementary school student.
The Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC)
The Ontario Secondary School Certificate will be granted on request to students who leave school before earning the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, provided they have earned a minimum of 14 credits distributed as follows:
COMPULSORY CREDITS (total of 7) OPTIONAL 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
- 1 credit in the arts or technological education
The Certificate of Accomplishment
This certificate may be granted on request to students who leave school before earning the OSSD or the OSSC. There are no compulsory courses required for this certificate.
Policies on Substitutions for Compulsory Courses: Up to three compulsory courses may be substituted at the discretion of the principal in order to meet the needs of individual students. The total number of credits required for a diploma remains at 30.