As school students enter high school, the light at the end of the tunnel for many of them will be graduating and receiving their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
This important milestone will set them up for their futures and allow them to enroll in any number of excellent universities and colleges to further their education and careers.
But how many credits do students need to actually graduate?
This is actually a pretty standard questions for many parents and students, and thankfully there is a fairly straight forward answer. However, there are other conditions besides credits that must be met in order to graduate. Let’s take a look at the case in Ontario.
First, we need to define what exactly is meant by a credit in Ontario.
Every 110-hour subject a student takes during high school in Ontario is counted as one credit. Students are able to take up to eight credits in a year, meaning high school can theoretically be completed in 3.5 years. However, many students chose to take a more relaxed six credits a year and finish in five years. This allows them to take on their subjects at a more gradual pace and gives them more time to explore their future options.
Now that we know what a credit actually is, let’s discuss how many a students needs to graduate in Ontario.
To receive their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), every student in the province needs to complete a total of 30 credits during their high school careers. As mentioned above, this can equate to either three or four credits per semester, depending on how quickly the student wishes to complete their schooling.
Of this 30 credits, 18 will be compulsory and must be completed by every high school student in Ontario. These compulsory subjects are determined by the provincial government and include:
4 credits in English (1 credit per grade)*
3 credits in mathematics (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
1 credit in French as a second language
0.5 credit in career studies
0.5 credit in civics
The remaining 12 credits are considered elective and are up to the student to choose which subjects they would like to fill them out. These will depend on what subjects are offered at a student’s individual school but will typically involve many liberal arts classes and higher order scientific classes.
However, completing all 30 credits is not the only requirement for a high school student in Ontario to graduate. There are a few more criteria that must be met in order to receive an OSSD.
Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)
Another requirement of students wishing to receive their high school diploma is to pass the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT).
This standardised test is sat by every student in Ontario on the same day in late March every year. It is written during year 9 of a student’s education, and is designed to ensure every student is meeting minimum literacy requirements for the province.
The test consists of two 75-minute sessions and will involve multiple choice questions, short response and extended response sections. It will cover skills such as reading, writing, comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary.
Another criteria that must be met in order to achieve the OSSD is to perform 40 hours of community involvement.
This requirement is designed to help students learn about their local communities, themselves, and civic responsibilities. It also provides students with an opportunity to assess potential future careers and get a sense of what they might like to do in the future.
Hours can start to be collected in the summer before a student enters Grade 9. Eligible activities include volunteering for charities, assisting with government public events, and many other exciting opportunities. Ensure you check the activity is eligible before undertaking the work, as described by the Ontario Ministry of Education.
Students can complete the 40 hours at any point of their high school education from Grade 9 onwards. However, it should be completed before they finish school if they wish to graduate on time.
One way parents can give their children a leg up during their high school years is to send them to a private high school in Toronto.
Private high schools teach the same curriculum as public high schools. However, class sizes in private high schools tend to be significantly smaller than their public counterparts. This means teachers have more time to spend one-on-one with their students, leading to a better understanding of the course material and a sense of being heard by their professors.
Cestar High School is one of the leading private high schools in Toronto. Our passionate faculty is made up of seasoned professors who all have decades of experience in their fields. Our class sizes are less than half as large as public high school classes, allowing for a more focused learning environment for our students.
We also offer a comprehensive university placement assistance program designed to help our students decide what they would like to do, where they would like to do it, and provide them with all the tools necessary to get them there.
If you’re looking for a world-class private high school in Toronto, look no further than Cestar High School. Contact us today to find out more about our scholarship programs and how we can give your child the future they deserve.