Secondary Program

The philosophy of the Secondary School Program allows each student to follow courses which are related to their goals and are appropriate for their level of development and achievement. Due to the very wide range of needs and abilities presented by our student population, the following types of programs are offered.

School- to-Work Transition Program (Certificate of Accomplishment)

This program focuses on technological skills combined with life and work skills. It will provide the student with skills necessary to face the challenges of work and society upon graduation. Entry into this program occurs on the recommendation of the teachers and with informed agreement by the student’s parents.

The program stresses two main aspects:

  1. In-class instruction has realistic and practical activities in Math, ASL and English courses. Additionally, curriculum stresses the areas of life management skills, personal and social skills, job preparation and guidance.
  2.  Work Education includes work placements in the Belleville area and the student’s home community.

Students in this program will graduate with a Certificate of Accomplishment (COA)

School-to-Work Transition Program: Technological (Ontario Secondary School Certificate)

The program is designed to help the students develop their technological skills and to prepare them for further skills training, or immediate entry into the workplace upon graduation. The students are involved in work experiences and Co-op Education in the Belleville area in grades 11 and 12. In the student’s graduating year, it is possible that a work placement opportunity in their home communities may be arranged.

The student’s timetable includes a variety of credit and non-credit courses in technology, literacy and numeracy related to life and work skills.

Students in this program may graduate with an Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC).

Postsecondary Education Preparation Program

Students in this program graduate with an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). An OSSD is required for admission to postsecondary education in a college or university. The courses offered are college/university preparation (C) (M), (U), courses, open (O) courses and workplace (E) courses. The focus is on the academic skills needed for education beyond high school.

The areas of English, Mathematics and Science are emphasized in this program.

Credits and Courses Offered

A credit is granted to a student who has successfully completed a course that has been scheduled for a minimum of 110 hours. Most courses at our school are offered at different levels of instruction to enable the individual student to work at his or her own level. Each level of instruction has different approaches and varying degrees of intensity.

Co-operative Education

The Co-operative Education program provides an alternative way for students to receive credits in school subjects. Normally, one-half of each day is spent in a community employment placement related to one of the student’s school subjects. Frequent in-school counselling sessions with a Co-operative Education teacher guide the student’s development.

Students take regular classes for the other half of the day. Credits are awarded in the related subject area.

Full day placements are also possible in special situations.

The four destination-related types of courses in Grades 11 & 12 are:

  1. university preparation courses – these courses are identified with a “U” in the fifth place, e.g., -ENG3U
  2.  university/college preparation courses – these courses are identified with an “M” in the fifth place, e.g., -ENG3M
  3. college preparation courses – these courses are identified with a “C” in the fifth place, e.g., -ENG3C
  4. workplace preparation courses – these courses are identified with an “E” in the fifth place, e.g., -ENG3E

Open and transfer courses are also available in Grades 11 and 12 in the following subjects:

  • English
  •  Mathematics
  • Science, and
  • Technological Education

Diploma Requirements

It is the policy of our school to require that students take their compulsory credits during Grade 9 and 10. When students reach Grade 11, along with compulsory credits, they have opportunities to select from a wider range of optional credits.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

A student must earn at least 30 credits and of the 30 credits, the following 18 are compulsory:

  • 4 credits in English* (1 per grade)
  • 3 credits in Mathematics (at least 1 credit in Grade 11 or 12)
  • 2 credits in Science
  • 1 credit in Canadian History
  • 1 credit in Canadian Geography
  • 1 credit in Arts
  • 1 credit in Health and Physical Education
  • 1 credit in French (Substituted in Provincial Schools)
  • 0.5 credits in Civics
  • 0.5 credits in Career Studies

Plus one credit from each of the following groups:

  • 1 additional credit in English, or French as a second language, or a Native Language, or a classical or an international language, or social sciences and the humanities, or Canadian and world studies, or guidance and career education, or cooperative education**
  • 1 additional credit in health and physical education, or the arts, or business studies, or cooperative education**
  • 1 additional in science, or technological education, or cooperative education**

In addition to the compulsory credits, students must complete:


  • 12 optional credits
  • 40 hours of community involvement activities
  • The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test requirement
    • * 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.
    •  ** A maximum of 2 credits in cooperative education can count as compulsory credits.
    • *** May include up to four credits achieved through approved Dual Credit course.

Ontario Secondary School Certificate (O.S.S.C.)

The OSSC is granted on request to students who leave school before earning the OSSD, or to students who graduate from the School-to-Work program.

For an OSSC, a student must earn at least 14 credits from the following.

Compulsory credits:

  • 2 English
  • 1 Canadian Geography or Canadian History
  • 1 Mathematics
  • 1 Science
  • 1 Health and Physical Education
  • 1 Arts or Technological Education

In addition to the above, students must successfully complete at least 7 optional credits in ministry approved courses.

Certificate of Accomplishment

The Certificate of Accomplishment will be granted to students who leave school before fulfilling the requirements for the OSSD or OSSC. A transcript of the student’s credits achieved, or the student’s IEP will be attached to the certificate.

How Do Students Know Which Program to Choose

In grade 9, students work towards an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or Certificate if they have graduated from grade 8; have been able to experience success at or near the provincial standard in the Ontario Elementary Curriculum; and, are able to do applied or academic level courses.

Upon entering grade 9, students that have not yet reached the academic, or applied level will take locally developed and alternative courses.

Locally developed courses can lead to an OSSD or an OSSC. Students who have taken locally developed courses may have limited options when entering college or apprenticeship programs.

Students may take alternative programs to improve their literacy skills so that they may enter credit programs and pursue the OSSD or OSSC. These students focus on improving their literacy and math skills while taking technological, work and life skills during their first year in high school. They will be working towards an Ontario Secondary School Certificate or Certificate of Accomplishment.
The Developmental Education Program is for students with significant challenges and so are offered a practical, life skills program. For each individual, this program will be based on identified needs for skill acquisition. The focus of the program is based on the immediate daily living requirements of each individual. Skills and activities are experienced in the community, work experience and via individualized instruction.

Guidelines for the Selection of Courses

During grade 9 and 10, students have the opportunity to experience a wide range of academic and technical courses designed to assist them to complete a majority of the compulsory courses required for their OSSD. In grades 11 and 12, students will choose specific programs most suited to their abilities, interests and goals.

All individual time tabling requests will be considered and implemented as possible. Students and parents are encouraged to discuss course selections with Guidance or school administration.

Individual Transition Plans will be developed for each student annually. These plans will identify the goals of the student with a view to the development of an appropriate educational plan for their high school years and a specific plan for their transition from high school to post-secondary opportunities. Specific resources will be identified to assist in this process. A variety of staff will be involved in the development of Transition Plans as well as the student and parents.

All students with less than 24 credits must take a full course load of 4 credits per semester (8 credits per year). Students with 24 or more credits must take a minimum of 3 credits per semester with the approval of the school administration.

Students may change courses up to 2 weeks after the start of a course. Appointments may be made with Guidance to discuss changes to timetables.

The Ontario Student Transcript

The Ontario Student Transcript is a record of a student’s overall achievement in high school. The following are included on the transcript:

  • credits earned in Grades 9 & 10
  • all courses taken or attempted in Grades 11 & 12 (including failures)
  • completion of community involvement requirements
  • final results of the Secondary School Literacy Test
  • Grade 11 and 12 students may withdraw from a course at any time until 5 days after the mid-term report. Such withdrawals are not shown on the transcript. Withdrawals after that time will be shown on the transcript.
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