OSSD Requirements

Importance and Value of a Secondary Education

A secondary school education sets the groundwork for further learning and growth in any direction that the student chooses to take: workplace, apprenticeship, college diploma program, or university degree program. A secondary school education provides essential hard skills that all students need in life such as: reading, writing, numeracy, communication skills, and topic oriented information. However, a b secondary school education will also teach a student soft skills that are needed for all job and career paths such as: time management, organization, leadership, diligence, integrity, and work ethic.

At Scholars’ Hall Private School we are dedicated to teaching all students the hard skills needed that will open up doors to college and university programs. We are equally dedicated to teaching the soft skills that will ensure that the student is not only intellectually prepared for further education, but that they are emotionally prepared for the skills needed in life.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) Requirements
30 credits (110 hours each)
18 compulsory subjects
40 hours of community involvement
Grade 10 literacy test – condition of graduation beginning September 2001

Specific Diploma Requirements
Four (4) English – one credit per grade
One (1) French as a second language
Three (3) Mathematics – at least one in Grade 11 or 12
Two (2) Science
One (1) Canadian History
One (1) Canadian Geography
One (1) Arts (Visual, Music, Drama or Dance)
One (1) Health and Physical Education
One (1) Civics and Career Studies (1/2 credit each)

1 additional credit, or a third language, or a social sciences and the humanities or Canadian and World Studies, or guidance and Career education, or co-operative education (a maximum of 2 credits in co-operative education can count as compulsary credits)
1 additional credit in health and physical education, or the arts, or business studies, or co-operative education
1 additional credit in science (grade 11 or 12), or technological education (grades 9 – 12), or co-operative education.

Twelve (12) elective credits selected from available courses

Forty (40) hours community involvement

Passing grade on the High School Literacy Test.

Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC) Requirements
This certificate will be awarded to students who successfully complete a minimum of 14 credits, including 7 compulsory credits and 7 optional credits. Such credits will be based on the discipline specific expectations and assessment policies as set out in the provincial curriculum policy documents.

The compulsory credit requirements are. . .

English – 2 credits
Canadian Geography or Canadian History – 1 credit
Mathematics – 1 credit
Health and Physical Education – 1 credit
Arts or Technological Education – 1 credit

Certificate of Accomplishment – This certificate may be granted by the principal to students who are leaving school prior to fulfilling the requirements for an OSSD or OSSC, but who have achieved significant progress in completing personal and educational goals. An Ontario Student Transcript, including the Individual Education Plan where applicable, will be attached to the certificate.

All students who enter Grade 9 in September 2000 or in subsequent years must successfully complete this test in order to earn a secondary school diploma. The test measures how well students are meeting the reading and writing expectations across subjects in the provincial curriculum up to the end of Grade 9. Students will normally take the test in Grade 10. Students who are unsuccessful at their first attempt will have opportunities to rewrite the test. Any necessary accommodations will be made to ensure that students who are receiving special education and have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) have a fair and equal opportunity to successfully complete the test. Students who might benefit from a deferral of the test may include students who have an IEP and English as a Second Language students who have not yet acquired the level of proficiency in English required for successfully completing the test. Students whose IEP indicates that the student is not working towards an OSSD may, with parental consent and the approval of the principal, be exempt from participating in the secondary school literacy test.

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC) is a full credit Grade 12 course. The OSSLC is an alternative way for students to demonstrate the provincial literacy skills requirement for graduation. Successful completion of the course demonstrates that students have achieved the reading and writing skills required by the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), and will meet the provincial literacy requirement for graduation. Students who have been eligible to write the OSSLT at least twice and have been unsuccessful at least once are eligible to take this course.

In the core subjects, students now have the ability to choose between three different types of courses: Academic, Applied and Open. In an academic course, you will learn the essential concepts of a subject and explore related material as well. Although your knowledge and skills in the subject will be developed through both theory and practical applications, the emphasis will be on theory and abstract thinking as a basis for future learning and problem solving. An applied course covers the essential concepts of a subject. Knowledge and skills will be developed through both theory and practical applications, but the focus will be on practical applications. In applied courses, familiar, real-life situations will be used to illustrate ideas, and you will be given more opportunities to experience hands-on applications of the concepts you study. An open course prepares for further study in certain subjects and may not be designed for specific requirements of universities, colleges, or the workplace.

In Grades 11 and 12, you will be able to choose from among workplace preparation, university/college preparation, college preparation and university preparation courses.

Workplace preparation courses prepare you to move directly into the workplace after high school or to be admitted into apprenticeship programs or other training programs in the community. Courses focus on employment skills and on practical workplace applications of subject content.

University/College preparation courses are offered to prepare you to meet the entrance requirements of certain university and college programs. They focus on both theory and practical applications.

College preparation courses provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to meet the entrance requirements for most college programs. Courses focus on practical applications and also examine underlying theories.

University preparation courses provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to meet university entrance requirements. Courses emphasize theoretical aspects of the subject and also consider related applications.

Open courses prepares for further study in certain subjects and may not be designed for specific requirements of universities, colleges, or the workplace.


ENG1D1 – the first three places identify the subject (in this example ENG is English)

ENG1D1 – the fourth place identifies the grade/year (in this example 1 is grade 9 or year 1 of high school)
This place can be 1-grade 9/first year of high school; 2-grade 10/second year high school

ENG1D1 – the fifth place identifies course’s category (in this example the D is for Academic)
This place can be D – Academic; P – Applied; O – Open

ENG1D1 – the sixth place identifies the credit value (in this example the 1 is for one credit)

Students who are successful in any academic or applied course in Grade 9 will be able to proceed to either the academic or applied course in Grade 10. When a student plans to switch from one course type in Grade 9 to the other in Grade 10, parents and the Principal or Director will be involved. The student may be encouraged to successfully complete additional course work, known as Cross-Over Materials, to demonstrate the achievement of the learning expectations that are included in one course type but not the other. This work could be completed during the summer as independent study.

Transfer Courses will provide the knowledge and skills necessary for students in Grades 10, 11, and 12 to transfer between courses for which there are different curriculum expectations, such as from Grade 10 applied English to Grade 11 University Preparation English. These shorter courses bridge the gap between the course types, and the partial credits earned from Transfer Courses qualify as optional credits towards diploma requirements. Scholars’ hall does not currently offer any Transfer Courses.


ENG3D1 – the first three places identify the subject (in this example ENG is English)

ENG3D1 – the fourth place identifies the grade/year (in this example 3 is grade 11 or year 3 of high school)
This place can be 3-grade 11/third year high school; 4-grade 12/fourth year high school

ENG3U1 – the fifth place identifies course’s category (in this example the U is for University)
This place can be U – University; M – University/College; C – College; E – Workplace; O – Open

ENG1D1 – the sixth place identifies the credit value (in this example the 1 is for one credit)

A credit is granted in recognition of the successful completion of a course (at the Grade 9-12 level) that has been scheduled, for a minimum of 110 hours. While most courses are full credit courses, some could be offered on a modular arrangement for partial credit. Half credit is awarded for the Civics and Career Studies courses. The credit system in Ontario secondary schools allows a student to pass or fail on the basis of courses rather than grades.

Prerequisites for courses are identified in the course calendar. If a parent or an adult student requests that a prerequisite be waived, the principal will determine whether or not the prerequisite should be waived. The decision will be made in consultation with the parent and student and appropiate school staff. Documentation of the waived prerequisite will be retained in the OSR.

Outlines of all courses of study are available to students at the start of a course.Copies of those outlines are also kept on file in the principal’s office. Parents may schedule a time to meet with the principal and view those outlines.


Examinations are given at the end of each semester. All attempts are made to allow for only one examination each day of the exam week and all examinations are scheduled in the morning. Exam accomodations for individual students are considered on a student by basis. No accomodations will be permitted for university courses.
The primary purpose of assessment, evaluation, grading, and reporting is to improve student learning. Assessment and evaluation is based on the student’s achievement of course expectations related to the four categories of knowledge and skills in the Ontario Curriculum Grades 9-12:
1) knowledge/understanding;
2) thinking and inquiry;
3) communication;
4) and application.
Teachers will use subject specific “Level of Achievement Charts” found in the Ontario Curriculum as the basis for all assessment and evaluation. Achievement is reflected as a percentage grade using the provincial guidelines:
80 – 100% (Level 4) a very high to outstanding level of achievement which is above provincial standard
70 – 79% (Level 3) a high level of achievement. This is the provincial standard.
60 – 69% (Level 2) a moderate level of achievement which is below the provincial standard.
51 – 59% (Level 1) a passable level of achievement which is below the provincial standard.
50% a granted level of achievement which is below the provincial standard
below 50% insufficient achievement of curriculum expectations. A credit will not be earned

A final grade for each course is calculated using 70% of the grade based on the assessment and evaluation of the student throughout the course, and 30% based on final, course summative evaluation. This summative evaluation may be in the form of an examination, performance, essay, and/or other method suitable to the content of the course and according to the school’s policy. All students must be present for the final evaluation. There are no exemptions.

The PLAR process involves two components: “challenge” and “equivalency”. The challenge process refers to the process whereby students’ learning is assessed for the purpose of granting a credit for a course developed from a provincial curriculum policy document. Scholars’ Hall does not conduct PLAR challenges. The determination of equivalency credits involves the assessment of credentials from other jurisdictions. Students arriving from outside Ontario must provide documentation from their previous school – officially translated into English if necessary. After examining the documents, the principal will determine the total credit equivalency as well as the number and types of compulsory and optional credits still to be earned. Students working towards the OSSD will be required to complete the OSSD Literacy requirement, and the determined hours of community involvement. A copy of the equivalency assessment will be retained in the student’s OSR. Scholars’ Hall does not offer PLAR assessment.