Understanding De-Streaming

De-Streaming Grade 9 Courses

Previously, Ontario students were forced to pick an academic stream from the moment they started high school. They had to make a choice between taking Academic courses, which would allow them to take University credits later on, or Applied courses, which would send them on a path to college courses for their grade 11 and 12 years. However, the idea of making students choose an academic pathway as early as grade 9 has been heavily criticized.

A report, let by York University professor Carl James, found that racialized groups were being disproportionately streamed into the Applied level courses. As well, in a 2015 report by People for Education, it was found that “students taking applied courses in Grade 9 were much less likely to go to university and that students from low-income groups were more likely to enrol in applied courses.”

In an effort to make entering grade 9 easier and more equal among students, the Ministry of Education has decided to de-stream Grade 9 courses. By previously making students choose an academic pathway from the start, it would limit their options moving forward. Most students going into grade 9 haven’t even begun to think about post-secondary yet, and they shouldn’t have to. By de-streaming Grade 9 courses, it allows them more time to learn without having to make a decision right out of the gate.

How Do De-Streamed Pathways Work?

Now that grade 9 courses no longer force students to choose a pathway, it leaves their options open for Grade 10 and beyond. From the de-streamed grade 9 courses, students are able to move into either the Academic or Applied courses for Grade 10. This will give students an entire year of high school before they have to truly start thinking about their academic future.  See an example of how de-streamed Math works below:

De-Streamed Chart

OVS and De-Streaming

Since the Ministry of Education made their announcement about the new practice of de-streamed courses, we at OVS have been hard at work, making sure that our courses are adjusted to meet the new education requirements. Currently we have created new courses for Math (MTH1W) and Science (SNC1W).

De-streamed Grade 9 Science

This course enables student to develop understanding in biology, chemistry, physics, and earth and space science. Students will learn STEM skills that they will use in scientific research and experimentation as well as engineering.

De-streamed Grade 9 Math

This course allows students to consolidate and continue to develop their mathematics skills. They will learn about number sense and operations, algebra, measurement, geometry, data, probability, and financial literacy.

As for English, French, and Geography, these courses will be offered at the Academic level for all students, while French will still have an open level option for students who have never studied the language before.

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Here at Ontario Virtual School, we are dedicated to making education accessible for all students.