Secondary School Graduation Requirements

To graduate from an Ontario High School, students must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Community Service
  2. Literacy Requirement
  3. Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

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 either Mrs. Neilson or Ms. Dulmage.

Parents are also welcome to contact us!

Community Service

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.

Literacy Requirement

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.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC)

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.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

  • 4 credits in English (1 credit per grade)

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC) may be used to meet either the Grade 11 or the Grade 12 English compulsory credit requirement.

The Grade 11 Contemporary Aboriginal Voices course may be used to meet the Grade 11 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.

  • 3 credits in mathematics (at least 1 credit in Grade 11 or 12)
  • 2 credits in science
  • 1 credit in the arts
  • The Grade 9 Expressing Aboriginal Cultures course may be used to meet the compulsory credit requirement in the arts.
  • 1 credit in Canadian geography (Grade 9)
  • 1 credit in Canadian history (Grade 10)
  • 1 credit in French as a second language

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.

  • 1 credit in health and physical education
  • 0.5 credit in career studies
  • 0.5 credit in civics
  • 1 “Group 1” credit: 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 1 “Group 2” credit: French as a second language, the arts, business studies, health and physical education, cooperative education 1 “Group 3” credit: French as a second language, science (Grade 11 or 12), computer studies, technological education, cooperative education Note: The following conditions apply to selections from the above three groups:
  • A maximum of 2 credits in French as a second language may count as additional compulsory credits, 1 credit from Group 1, and 1 credit from either Group 2 or Group 3.
  • A maximum of 2 credits in cooperative education may count as additional compulsory credits, selected from any of Groups 1, 2, or 3.
  • In addition to the 18 compulsory credits, students must successfully complete:
  • 12 optional credits (may include up to four credits earned through approved Dual Credit courses)
  • The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Requirement (OSSLT or OSSLC)
  • 40 hours of community involvement activities

A credit is granted when a course of at least 110 hours is completed successfully.