To graduate from an Ontario High School, students must fulfill the following requirements:
This section of our website is here to help guide our students towards achieving their OSSD. All of the requirements must be met to graduate. If you would like to make sure that you are on track with all of your requirements please don't hesitate to make an appointment with one of our guidance counsellors. Parents are also welcome to contact us!
DDSS is incredibly fortunate to receive monetary support from a number of local organizations, service clubs and businesses. Graduating students are eligible for scholarships and bursaries but must complete the form below and return it to Student Services so the Awards Committee is able to determine the best candidates.
All secondary students in the province of Ontario are required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of community service in order to graduate. The forms and additional information are provided below.
For students graduating in the 2021-22 school year, the community involvement graduation requirement will be reduced to a minimum of 20 hours. This recognizes that graduating students have had barriers to earning their community involvement hours last school year and there may be continued barriers this school year.
Students may wish to consider virtual volunteering, such as connecting with seniors, organizing virtual fundraising events and facilitating discussions with newcomer youth. Outdoor volunteer opportunities could include, for example, picking up litter.
Volunteer opportunities, such as connecting young people to be technology mentors to seniors, can be found through agencies such as Spark Ontario.
In addition, the Ministry is providing increased flexibility in how all secondary students can earn hours in 2020-21, as follows:
Schools will follow Grand Erie’s processes for collecting, recording, and validating hours. An updated “Notification of Completion of Community Involvement Activities” form can be found on the Grand Erie website.
As part of the diploma requirements, students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities during their secondary school years. Accumulation of community involvement hours may begin the summer after grade 8.
The purpose of the community involvement requirement is to encourage students to develop an understanding of civic responsibility and the role they can play in supporting and strengthening their communities. As well, such involvement can assist students in increasing their awareness of community needs and in making a positive difference. Helping others enhances the self-image of students and fosters a greater sense of belonging. Experiences in the community may also influence career choices.
The requirement is to be completed outside the student's normal instructional hours. The activities are to take place in the student's designated lunch hours, after school, on weekends, or during school holidays. Each student must submit to the school a record of his or her community involvement activities. Before engaging in volunteer activities, students (and parents) are strongly advised to confirm the eligibility of all intended volunteer activities with their school's principal or guidance office.
The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is administered in Grade 10. It is based on the Ontario curriculum expectations for reading and writing that have been identified across the curriculum up to and including Grade 9. The results of the OSSLT are reported as successful/unsuccessful. Students who are unsuccessful will be given clear feedback regarding their performance in order to help them address the areas where improvement is required. Students who are not initially successful will be allowed to retake the test. In addition, students who have had at least one failed attempt may enroll in the Literacy Course (OSSLC) to satisfy the diploma requirement.
A student with special education needs who has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) may receive accommodations for the test. The accommodations will be the same as those that are set out in the student's IEP and/or those that are available to the student in the course of his or her regular school work, including examinations and other forms of evaluation. (Note: Adherence to the EQAO policy on accommodation for the OSSLT is required.) A deferral may be granted if the student is unable to participate in the test even if all accommodations were provided. A student whose IEP indicates that the student is not working towards the attainment of a secondary school diploma may, with the consent of the parent and the approval of the principal, be exempted from participating in the OSSLT.
An English Language Learner (ELL) may receive special provisions such as adjustments to the setting and/or timing of the test. A deferral may be granted if the ELL has not acquired a level of proficiency in English sufficient to participate.
Decisions regarding accommodations, special provisions, and deferrals are made in consultation with the student and parents or the adult student, and with the appropriate teaching staff.
The OSSLC is a Grade 11/12 Open course and is part of The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 11 and 12: English program. Students are eligible to take this course after one failed attempt at the OSSLT with the principal's permission. When students successfully complete the OSSLC, they will have met the provincial literacy requirement for graduation. Students earn a credit for successful completion of the OSSLC which may be used as an additional English credit (to meet either the Grade 11 or 12 English credit) or a Group 1 compulsory credit.
The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC) may be used to meet either the Grade 11 or the Grade 12 English compulsory credit requirement.
For English language learners the requirement may be met through earning a maximum of 3 credits in English as a second language (ESL) or English literacy development (ELD); the fourth credit must be a Grade 12 compulsory English course.
Students who have taken Native languages in place of French as a second language in elementary school may use a Level 1 or 2 Native language course to meet the compulsory credit requirement for French as a second language.
A credit is granted when a course of at least 110 hours is completed successfully.