OVS is dedicated to helping students maintain mental wellness. High school is a key time when many adolescents experience stress, anxiety, and mental health issues. These issues can seriously impact both students and their families, particularly when students suffer in silence. The impacts of poor mental health are apparent in a student’s ability to learn, their work and, often, their overall grade.
At OVS, we have designed our programming to ensure both the academic success and overall well-being of our students. Our goal is to provide a positive learning environment where students can earn their high school credits with as little added stress as possible.
Here are just some of the ways OVS works to ensure the mental well-being of our students:
Our educational approach is completely asynchronous. Unlike the rigid nature of traditional high school courses, OVS courses are completely self-paced. We allow students up to one full year to complete any course, so they can earn credits at their own pace. With our flexible format, students are able to take mental health breaks with the peace of mind that they won’t be falling behind by doing so.
At OVS, we don’t believe in “busywork” – work for the sake of work. That is why all of our homework is made optional – students decide how much of the assigned homework they need to solidify their learning. In addition, all of our courses have been distilled to cover curriculum requirements with minimal number of assessments.
We understand life can be overwhelming at times. That is why we offer students the option to place their course on hold for up to one month for any reason. Simply call or email our administration team and we will make the arrangements. For students who need a longer hold for medical or mental health reasons, we are happy to work with you. Decisions regarding extended holds are made on a case-by-case basis and would require appropriate documentation.
As a courtesy, we offer a free one-week grace period to all students, which is automatically activated at the end of the 1-year period. For students that need more time beyond a few extra days, we also offer the option to extend a course for up to 3 months, for an additional fee of $100.
All OVS courses offer the full support of OCT-certified teachers and dedicated guidance counsellors, administrators and student success staff to help students meet their academic goals in ways that work for them. For students who may find pacing their own studies challenging, our student success team is happy to work with them to design a custom study schedule. To learn more about our student support offerings, click here.
At OVS, we believe all students can benefit from additional time to complete tests and assessments. Extra time not only reduced test-based anxiety, but also provides students ample time to double-check their responses to ensure they are submitting their best work. That is why we allow all students up to 4 hours to complete unit tests, which would otherwise be completed in 75 minutes.
For students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs), our teachers can provide additional accommodations, where needed. Students can reach out to their teacher to provide a copy of their IEP and request these accommodations at any time. These are on a case-by-case basis, under advisement of our Guidance team.
External Resources for Support:
Kids Help Phone
Available 24/7, Kids Help Phone offers national support to Canadian students. Through Kids Help Phone, students can anonymously speak with a professional counsellor.
Call 1-800-6868 or text ‘CONNECT’ to 686868
MindBeacon is currently free for Ontario Residents. You can visit their website to learn more about their Therapist Guided Program and support offerings.
Child Helpline International
For International Students, Child Helpline International can help you connect with a helpline near you. You can visit their website and browse their large network of partners.