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Requirements & Records

Graduation Requirements

Students interested in earning the OSSD (Ontario Secondary School Diploma) must successfully complete a total of 30 credits; of which 18 are prescribed and 12 credits are optional. In addition, students must also complete 40 hours of Community Involvement Activities and must meet the provincial literacy requirement.

Compulsory credits are:

  • 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

Plus one credit from each of the following groups:

  • New 1 additional credit (group 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***
  • New 1 additional credit (group 2): additional credit in health and physical education, or the arts, or business studies, or French as a second language,** or cooperative education***
  • New 1 additional credit (group 3): additional credit in science (Grade 11 or 12), or technological education, or French as a second language,** or computer studies, or cooperative education***

In all cases, students will be expected to make arrangements with their respective day school or local School Board to complete the provincial literacy requirements. Ontario Virtual School does not administer the provincial literacy test. Under certain conditions, students can apply for an Ontario Secondary School Certificate. The OSSC will be granted to students who leave school before earning the Ontario Secondary School Diploma on the provision they have earned a minimum of 14 credits. Seven of these are optional courses; however the remaining 7 must be the following: Compulsory credits (total of 7)

  • 2 credits in English
  • 1 credit in Canadian geography or Canadian history
  • 1 credit in mathematics
  • 1 credit in science
  • 1 credit in health and physical education
  • 1 credit in the arts or technological education

Students who do not meet the requirements for an OSSD nor an OSSC may be granted a Certificate of Education.This certificate can be a useful means of recognizing achievement for students who intend to enter the workplace or other types of vocational training.Students who return to school to complete additional credit courses will have their transcript updated. The successful completion of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test or the equivalent. In all cases, students will be expected to make arrangements with their respective day school or local School Board to complete the provincial literacy requirements. Ontario Virtual School does not administer the provincial literacy test.

Prerequisites, Exemptions, and Substitutions

Prerequisites for Grade 11 and 12 courses are specified in the curriculum policy documents for the various disciplines. These can be viewed on the Ministry of Education website: In most cases, students will only be registered into a course once they have submitted documentation supporting their completion of the prerequisite course. For example, the prerequisite for the Grade 11 university preparation course in English is the Grade 10 academic course in English. A student who has completed a course of one type in a particular subject and grade that does not meet a stated prerequisite for a course in the same subject in the next grade but has completed a transfer course is equally eligible to take the requested course providing once again that supporting documentation is forwarded to OVS.In unique situations, mature students that do not have the prerequisite can apply for an exemption. This must be requested in writing to the Principal of Ontario Virtual School. The requesting student will have an opportunity to explain their circumstances. An example of such a case would be a student who has been out of any school system for more than one year.If you wish to apply for such consideration please send an email to info@ontariovirtualschool.ca outlining the following information as well as forwarding your most recent transcript by email or fax 416 840-4911:

  • Name:
  • Contact information: Address, phone and email address
  • Date of Birth:
  • Last school attended and Year attended:
  • Reason for Request:
  • Special Circumstances:

Ontario Virtual School will not make substitutions for compulsory or optional courses; students are expected to complete all compulsory and optional courses as outlined in the Ministry of Educations OSSD graduation requirements. Please download and complete the form below to be considered for prerequisite exemptions.

Prerequisite Exemption Form

Community Involvement

One of the purposes of the community involvement requirement is to develop strong ties between the students and their community, fostering valuable and long-term relationships. Students who are taking courses only through Ontario Virtual School and are not enrolled in any other school or program will be required to submit their record of community involvement if they have not yet completed the required 40 hours. Please see the list below of approved activities:

Activities approved:

Fundraising for non-profit organizations or assisting sports at the community level through religious affiliations such as helping at sales, bazaars, etc, seniors with chores in community committees, food banks, fairs, etc. in environment projects such as a recycling projects, etc..

Eligible Activities include:

Elementary Schools
– assist with school events, assist School Councils, activities for children;
Secondary Schools
– organization and leadership of school activities that benefit the community;
Animal Care
– volunteering in a zoo, animal shelter, or on a farm; Arts and Culture
– volunteering in galleries, libraries, community productions;
Charitable Organizations
– assisting with special events, programs, clerical tasks;
Child/Youth Programs
– assisting with child/youth programs, volunteering in a not-for-profit child care centre or camp;
Community Organizations
– assisting with special events, food banks, community support services, shelters, clerical tasks;
Community Service for Individuals
– assisting community members in need;
Environmental Projects
– flower/tree planting, beautification projects, recycling projects, recycling depot;
Health Agencies
– volunteering in hospitals, hospices, Canadian Blood Services (volunteering to organize or assist with a blood donor clinic), donating blood (time required to donate);
Law Enforcement Agencies
– volunteering for activities sponsored by the police;
Political Organizations
– activities related to legitimate and recognized political organizations, municipal, provincial and federal political activities
Religious Organizations
– assisting with programs, special events;
Senior Citizens
– assisting in seniors’ residences, providing services for seniors in the community;
Sports and Recreation
– coaching, organizing special events, assisting with projects/events; or
Service Focused Club Activities
– those activities that expand community service to others beyond the school day (holiday dinner participation, environmental action activities, etc.).
 

What types of activities are ineligible?

Ineligible activities may not be included in community involvement hours by students as outlined by the Ministry of Education

An ineligible activity is an activity that:

  • involves any work for a for-profit organization;
  • is a requirement of a class or course in which the student is enrolled;
  • takes place during the time allotted for the instructional program on a school day with the exception of an activity that takes place during the student’s lunch breaks or “spare” periods, which is permissible;
  • takes place in a logging or mining environment, if the student is under 16 years of age;
  • takes place in a factory, if the student is under 15 years of age;
  • takes place in a workplace other than a factory, if the student is under 14 years of age and is not accompanied by an adult;
  • would normally be performed for wages by a person in the workplace;
  • involves the operation of a vehicle, power tools, or scaffolding;
  • involves the administration of any type or form of medication or medical procedure to other persons;
  • involves handling of substances classed as “designated substances” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  • requires the knowledge of a tradesperson whose trade is regulated by the provincial government;
  • involves banking or the handling of securities, or the handling of jewellery, works of art, antiques, or other valuables;
  • consists of duties normally performed in the home or personal
  • involves a court-ordered program;
  • involves participation in extra-curricular activities at secondary school, or any position for which a student stands for school-wide election.

OVS is also required to provide students with a record keeping form they will need to track and log the community involvement hours, which once complete will be kept in the student’s OSR. Students are responsible for fulfilling this requirement on their own time. Click here for the form to record community service hours. Please contact the Principal of Ontario Virtual School if you have any further questions regarding community involvement as a prerequisite for the OSSD. If a student is unsure whether their intended community activity will satisfy the requirements, students and parents are requested to forward the notification of planned community involvement activity to the Principal prior to commencing. Click here for the notification of planned community involvement form.

Ontario Student Record (OSR)

The Ontario Student Record (OSR) is the record of a student’s educational progress through schools in Ontario. The Education Act requires that the principal of a school collect information “for inclusion in a record in respect of each pupil enrolled in the school and to establish, maintain, retain, transfer and dispose of the record”. The act also regulates access to an OSR and states that the OSR is “privileged for the information and use of supervisory officers and the principal and teachers of the school for the improvement of instruction” of the student. Each student and the parent(s) of a student who is not an adult (that is, a student who is under the age of eighteen) must be made aware of the purpose and content of, and have access to, all of the information contained in the OSR.

If a student is enrolled in one or more OVS courses and is also registered either full time or part time in another Ontario secondary school, the OSR will be held by the school where the student is taking the most courses. Please note that OVS is not responsible to hold the OSR for students who have already graduated from another school, the graduating school is obligated to keep those records. If a student has not graduated high school and is exclusively pursuing courses towards their OSSD from Ontario Virtual School, OVS will request, establish and manage the OSR as per the Education Act. Items such as copies of report cards, IEP documentation, community involvement and results of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy test are examples of records kept in an Ontario Student Record.

Ontario Student Transcript (OST)

The Ontario Student Transcript (OST) is an official document issued by all public or private schools in Ontario. The OST contains a list of the courses completed from grades 9 through 12 including those completed successfully or unsuccessfully. The OST is stored in the OSR and kept for many years after the student graduates. Please note, as per the policies outlined in the Ontario Student Transcript Manual 2010 document, the school that maintains the OSR is also responsible for updating and maintaining the OST. Consequently, if a student is enrolled full time or part time through another school, that school will house the OST. Ontario Virtual School is responsible to assist in this record keeping process by notifying the OST holding school of the course and final achievement of a student taking a course through OVS. When students complete a course through OVS, they will be mailed a final report card. In addition, a second copy will be forwarded to the school that secures the students’ OSR so they can add it to the ongoing list of courses on the students overall transcript. Students that need a certified copy of their Ontario Student Transcript are directed to contact the guidance department of the school that holds their OSR. Students that require their final marks to be faxed to the Ontario University Application Centre are requested to send an email to info@ontariovirtualschool clearly authorizing this request including their first and last name, the course and final mark to be submitted, OEN and OUAC reference number.

  1. *Full disclosure will apply 5 days after a student receives his/her mid semester report card.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

Students may receive a credit without taking a course if they can demonstrate that they have the skills and knowledge from prior learning to meet the expectations for the course set out in the provincial curriculum. This must be requested in writing to the Principal of Ontario Virtual School. The requesting student will have an opportunity to explain their circumstances. If you wish to apply for such consideration please send us an email outlining the following information as well as forwarding your most recent transcript by email or fax 416 840-4911:

  • Name:
  • Contact information: Address, phone and email address
  • Date of Birth:
  • Last school attended and Year attended:
  • Reason for Request:
  • Special Circumstances:

The Principal will review the application and schedule an interview to conduct an assessment of the skills necessary for the credit equivalency being requested.

Elementary Students

Under the OSS Policy, elementary school students are permitted to take “reach ahead” courses through a secondary school organization for credits. The successful completion of the course would be noted on the Ontario Student Transcript once the elementary school student becomes a secondary school student. Since Ontario Virtual School is only offering Grade 12 level courses at this time, there are no opportunities for elementary students to enroll in a credit bearing course. Please continue to visit our website for updates on course offerings.

OSSLT

One of the provincial requirements of all OSSD graduates is the successful completion of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (or equivalent). Students are requested to make arrangements with their respective day school or local School Board to complete the provincial literacy requirements. Ontario Virtual School does not administer the provincial literacy test. The successful completion of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test or the equivalent. In all cases, students will be expected to make arrangements with their respective day school or local School Board to complete the provincial literacy requirements. Ontario Virtual School does not administer the provincial literacy test.

THE ONTARIO SECONDARY SCHOOL CERTIFICATE

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

Compulsory credits (total of 7)

  • 2 credits in English
  • 1 credit in Canadian geography or
  • Canadian history
  • 1 credit in mathematics
  • 1 credit in science
  • 1 credit in health and physical education
  • 1 credit in the arts or technological education

Optional credits (total of 7)

7 credits selected by the student from available courses. The provisions for making substitutions for compulsory credits (described in section 3.2: Substitutions for Compulsory Courses) also apply to the Ontario Secondary School Certificate.

THE 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 a useful means of recognizing achievement for students who plan to take certain vocational programs or other kinds of further training, or who plan to find employment after leaving school. The Certificate of Accomplishment will be accompanied by the student’s Ontario Student Transcript. For those students who have an IEP, a copy of the IEP may be included. Students who return to school to complete additional credit and non-credit courses (including courses with modified or alternative expectations in special education programs) will have their transcript updated accordingly, but will not be issued a new Certificate of Accomplishment. The Ontario Secondary School Diploma or Ontario Secondary School Certificate will be granted when a student has fulfilled the appropriate requirements.

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