Upper School Course Guide
Course Selection Resources

Ministry of Education Academic Information

A list of Policy and Resource Document for the Ontario Secondary School Curriculum can be found on the Ministry of Education website.

List of 7 items.

  • What are the rules about students remaining in secondary school?

    As per the Ministry of Education: Every student is required to remain in secondary school until the student has reached the age of 18 or until the student has obtained the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
  • Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) Requirement

    All students are required to meet the secondary school literacy graduation requirement in order to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). The requirement is based on the expectations for reading and writing throughout the Ontario curriculum up to and including Grade 9. The purpose of the secondary school literacy graduation requirement is to determine whether students have the skills in reading and writing that they will need to succeed in school, at work, and in daily life. To meet this requirement, students are expected to take and successfully complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) in Grade 10.

    Students who do not successfully complete the OSSLT will have additional opportunities to meet the literacy graduation requirement in accordance with applicable ministry policies. For example, if a student is unable to write the test when in Grade 10, or if a student fails the test in Grade 10, the student may re-write the test the following year. In the case of repeated lack of success in writing or passing the Literacy Test, the student may take the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC), or be considered under an adjudication process, accommodations, special provisions or exemptions which are outlined in the ministry document, Ontario Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12: Policy and Program Requirements.
  • Ontario Student Transcript (OST) and Full Disclosure

    In recognition of the need for a consistent format for transcripts of secondary student achievement throughout the province, the Ministry of Education has developed the Ontario Student Transcript (OST) to be used by all schools in Ontario. It has been designed to provide uniform information for students, parents, post-secondary institutions and employers.

    The OST was developed in 1983 to provide an official and consistent record of the Ontario secondary school credit courses successfully completed by a student.

    Both successful and unsuccessful attempts at completing Grade 11 and 12 courses must be recorded on the OST. Students who repeat a Grade 11 or 12 course that they have previously completed successfully will earn only one credit for the course. However, each attempt and the percentage grade obtained are recorded on the OST, and an “R” is entered in the “Credit” column for the course(s) with the lower percentage grade.

    For Grade 9 and 10 courses, entries are provided only for courses that the student has successfully completed. If a Grade 9 or 10 course is repeated, only the attempt on which the student earned the higher percentage grade will be recorded on the OST.

    The OST will include:
    • all Grade 9 and 10 courses successfully completed by the student, with percentage grades obtained and credits earned;
    • all Grade 11 and 12 courses completed or attempted by the student, with percentage grades obtained and credits earned;
    • all equivalent credits granted through the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) equivalency process under OS or through the equivalency process under OSIS;
    • all Grade 10 courses for which the student successfully challenged for credit through the PLAR challenge process, with percentage grades obtained and credits earned;
    • all Grade 11 and 12 courses for which the student successfully or unsuccessfully challenged for credit through the PLAR challenge process, with percentage grades obtained and credits earned;
    • identification of compulsory credits, including credits that are substitutions for compulsory credits identified by the ministry as diploma requirements;
    • confirmation that the student has completed the 40 hours of community involvement;
    • confirmation that the student has successfully completed the provincial secondary school literacy requirement.
    If a student withdraws from a Grade 11 or 12 course at Crescent School, the grade is recorded on the OST only if the student withdraws from the course after five instructional days following the first provincial report cards in Semester One and Semester Two (November and April). The withdrawal is denoted by the letter “W” in the Note column on the OST. The notation “P” in the Note column of the OST is used to indicate a credit earned at an inspected private school, other than Crescent School, by a student registered at Crescent School.

    The Ministry of Education’s Full Disclosure Policy applies to all students in high school. This policy states that all courses attempted by students in Grades 11 and 12 must be recorded on the Ontario Student Transcript. This means that any course completed, dropped or failed will appear on a student transcript along with marks earned in the program.
    Students will have five school days from the date a provincial report card is issued to withdraw from a course so that it is not recorded on their Ontario School transcript.
  • 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 in Ontario has an OSR. The file is created when the student first enrols in school. When a student transfers from one school to another, his OSR is transferred with him. This transfer must be done by a service that maintains confidentiality and guarantees prompt delivery.

    Each OSR consists of the following components:
    • an OSR folder
    • report cards
    • an Ontario Student Transcript where applicable
    • a documentation file where applicable:
    • an office index card
    • additional information identified as being conducive to the improvement of the instruction of the student
    OSR maintenance is done regularly as report cards are added, yearly photographs are taken, and relevant educational documentation accumulates. Strict guidelines are followed regarding everything from the quality of paper to the security of the storage facility.

    Every student has the right to access his OSR, as do the parents until the student becomes an adult (age 18). Non-custodial parents have the right to make inquiries and to be given information concerning the child’s health, education, and welfare.

    The contents of the OSR are reviewed periodically to ensure that they remain conducive to the improvement of the instruction of the student. When a student graduates from high school, that student’s OSR is stored securely for a period of 55 years.
  • Substitutions for Compulsory Credit Requirements

    In order to meet the needs of individual students, the Headmaster or his designate will determine whether the substitution should be made. This would happen in conjunction with the parent and appropriate school staff. Each substitution will be noted on the Ontario Student Transcript and will be done in the educational best interest of the student.

    To provide the flexibility to tailor an individual student’s program to the student’s needs and to support his progress through secondary school, the Headmaster or his designate may substitute up to three compulsory credits with courses from other subject areas specified in the list of compulsory credit requirements. Substitutions should be made to promote and enhance student learning or to respond to special needs and interests.

    Two half-credit courses may be used through substitution to meet one compulsory credit requirement (counted as one substitution); one full-credit course may be used through substitution to meet the two compulsory half-credit requirements of civics and career studies (also counted as one substitution).

    The decision to substitute one course for another for a student should be made only if the student’s educational interests are best served by such a substitution. If a parent or an adult student (a student who is 18 years of age or older) requests a substitution, the Headmaster or his designate will determine whether the substitution should be made. The Headmaster may also initiate consideration of whether a substitution should be made. The decision will be made in consultation with the parent or the adult student and appropriate school staff.

    There are limitations on substitutions for compulsory credits. For example, the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course may not be used to substitute for a compulsory credit and neither may more than one learning strategies course. At this time, Crescent does not offer either of these courses. Neither do we offer courses in cooperative education or any locally developed compulsory credit courses.

    Each substitution will be noted on the student’s Ontario Student Transcript.
  • Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

    Prior learning includes the knowledge and skills that students have acquired, in both formal and informal ways, outside secondary school. Where such learning has occurred outside Ontario classrooms, students enrolled in Crescent School may have their skills and knowledge evaluated against the expectations outlined in provincial curriculum policy documents in order to earn credits towards their secondary school diploma. This formal evaluation and accreditation process is known as Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR). PLAR procedures are carried out with the support of a guidance counsellor under the direction of the Assistant Head of Upper School, Academics, who grants credits.

    The PLAR process developed by Crescent School in compliance with ministry policy involves two components: challenge and equivalency. The “challenge process” refers to the process whereby students’ prior learning is assessed for the purpose of granting credit for a course developed from a provincial curriculum policy document. Assessment instruments for this process include formal tests (70% of the final mark) and a variety of other assessment strategies appropriate to the particular course (30% of the final mark). Such strategies may include the evaluation of student work, including written assignments and laboratory work and observation of student performance. Determining equivalency involves the assessment of credentials from other jurisdictions. From time to time Crescent accepts students who have been attending school in other countries. Our Admissions and Academics Departments work closely when this happens, to ensure that students are placed in appropriate courses. The student’s age, facility with languages and indications from prior report cards are all taken into consideration. In each case the student’s best interests are of paramount importance when determining course equivalency.

    Young people benefit in many ways from the learning experiences offered in secondary school, hence PLAR has a specific, limited function in the Ontario secondary school program. A maximum of four credits may be granted through the challenge process for Grade 10, 11 and 12 courses, with no more than two credits in one subject area. Equivalency credits are granted to these students for placement only. Students who are eligible for equivalency credits are those who transfer to Crescent from non-inspected private schools or schools outside Ontario.
  • The Certificate of Accomplishment

    Students who are leaving secondary school upon reaching the age of 18 without having met 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 kinds of further training, or who plan to find employment directly after leaving school. The Certificate of Accomplishment is to be accompanied by the student’s Ontario Student Transcript. For students who have an Individual Education Plan (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 the returning student has fulfilled the appropriate requirements.

Course Selection Resources