Rainy River District School Board

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Graduation & Post High School

What does my son/daughter need to graduate from high school? Find more information about graduation requirements here.

The credit system - A credit is granted in recognition of the successful completion of a course that has been scheduled for a minimum of 110 hours. For the purpose of granting a credit, “scheduled time” is defined as the time during which students participate in planned learning activities (other than homework) designed to lead to the achievement of the curriculum expectations of a course. A credit is granted to a student by the principal of a secondary school on behalf of the minister of education.

Requirements for Ontario Secondary School Diploma

In order to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), a student who entered Grade 9 in the 1999-20 school year, or enters in subsequent years, must earn a minimum of 30 credits, including 18 compulsory credits and 12 optional credits. Students must also complete 40 hours of community involvement activities and must successfully complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT).

Effective September 2005, two co-operative education credits can be counted toward the 18 compulsory credits.

  • Credits required – 18 compulsory credits:
  • 4 credits English (1 credit per grade)*
  • 3 credits Mathematics (1 credit in Grade 11 or 12)
  • 2 credits Science
  • 1 credits The Arts
  • 1 credits Canadian Geography
  • 1 credits Canadian History
  • 1 credits French as a Second Language
  • 1 credits Health & Physical Education
  • ½ credits Civics
  • ½ credits Career Studies
  • An additional credit in one of: (Group 1)
  • English
  • French as a Second Language**
  • Native Language
  • Classical or International Language
  • Social Sciences and the Humanities
  • Canadian & World Studies
  • Guidance and Career Education
  • Co-operative Education***
  • An additional credit in one of: (Group 2)
  • Health & Physical Education
  • The Arts
  • Business Studies
  • French as a Second Language**
  • Co-operative Education***
  • An additional credit in one of: (Group 3)
  • Science (Grade 11 or 12)
  • Technological Education
  • French as a Second Language**
  • Computer Studies
  • Co-operative Education***

* A maximum of 3 credits in English as a Second Language (ESL) or English Literacy Development (ELD) may be counted towards the 4 compulsory credits in English, but the fourth must be a credit earned for a Grade 12 compulsory English course.

**In Groups 1, 2, and 3, a maximum of 2 credits in French as a Second Language can count as compulsory credits, one from group 1 and one from either group 2 or group 3.

***A maximum of 2 credits in Co-operative Education can count as compulsory credits.

12 optional credits

In addition to the 18 compulsory credits, students must earn 12 optional credits selected from the courses listed as available in the course calendar. The 12 optional credits may include up to 4 credits earned through approved dual credit courses.

40-hour community involvement - The student is responsible for finding and completing 40 hours of volunteer work. See below for more information.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) - The test measures whether students can successfully demonstrate reading and writing skills that apply in all subject areas in the provincial curriculum, up to the end of Grade 9. The test is designed and marked by the Education Quality & Accountability Office (EQAO) and is conducted once each year.

Students receive results – either "complete" or "incomplete." Students who receive an incomplete will be sent detailed feedback. Students may re-take the test. No limits have been established regarding the number of re-takes allowed.

A student will only be exempted from the test if she is not working towards an OSSD.

A student who has been eligible twice to write the OSSLT, and who has failed at least once, is eligible to take the grade 12 literacy course (OSSLC). If passed, this will count in lieu of the literacy test (OSSLT). A principal may decide, based on individual needs, to allow a student to take the OSSLC before he has had his second opportunity to write the OSSLT.

The Ontario Secondary School Certificate

The Ontario Secondary School Certificate will be granted on request to students who leave school before earning an Ontario Secondary School Diploma provided they have earned a minimum of 14 credits distributed as follows:

  • 2 credits in English
  • 1 credits in Canadian Geography or Canadian History
  • 1 credits in Mathematics
  • 1 credits in Science
  • 1 credits in Health & Physical Education
  • 1 credits in The Arts or Technological Education or Computer Studies
  • 7 optional credits
  • 7 credits selected by the student from available courses

Certificate of Accomplishment

Students who leave school before fulfilling the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma or the Ontario Secondary School Certificate may be granted a Certificate of Accomplishment. The Certificate of Accomplishment may be used to recognize achievement for students who plan to take certain vocational programs or other types of further training, or who plan to find employment after leaving school.

A note about substitutions for compulsory courses - To meet individual student needs, the principal may replace up to three compulsory courses. The decision to make a substitution will be made only if the student’s educational interests are best served by such a substitution. Each substitution will be noted on the student’s Ontario Student Transcript.

Additional information about graduation requirements are available on through the Ministry of Education and Training.

Did you know that your child must complete 40 hours of volunteer work to graduate?

All students must complete 40 hours of community involvement to graduate with a diploma. A student can start accumulating hours in the summer before Grade 9.

The school will not be directly involved in finding volunteer placements for students or monitoring students while they are completing their volunteer work. Students are responsible for completing their 40 hours and submitting their completed form prior to the end of classes of their graduating year to ensure that their transcript is updated prior to the end of the school year.

The parent is responsible for checking potential placements before the student begins volunteering.

Students entering a RRDSB secondary school from outside of the province or country must complete the full 40 hours regardless of their grade of entry.

Students should think of volunteering as an opportunity to learn more about themselves and possible career opportunities. Volunteering helps a teenager to gain self-confidence and work experience that will help attain jobs in the future. Check out these ideas on how to start: http://www.youthconnect.ca/htdocs/english/getinvolved/index.asp

Ministry guidelines have established eligible and ineligible activities for the community involvement requirement. Students and parents must follow these guidelines. Contact your child’s high school Guidance Department for more information.

Here is the form to record volunteer hours (PDF).

Here is a guideline for approved activities and ineligible activities


How can I get funding to support my child’s education?

Visit http://www.canlearn.ca/eng/index.shtml to find information about the Canada Education Savings Grant, Registered Education Savings Plan and Canada Learning Bond.