Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that our learning is taking place on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Territory. We thank the Algonquin Nation for hosting us and recognize their enduring presence on this land.

This land acknowledgement was created in collaboration with the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan and Kitigan Zibi.

Message from the Director

Our High Schools are a place where students can come to school, be who they are and discover who they can become

OCDSB Director Camille Williams-Taylor

A Place for Every Student

  • To serve every student, each one must be seen, heard and know they matter within the OCDSB community.
  • The OCDSB has a strong commitment to human rights, equity and inclusion.
  • The OCDSB continues to work together to dismantle barriers to learning and help all students achieve success.
  • With a focus on human rights and equitable practice, the OCDSB is committed to creating welcoming and safe spaces for all students entering high school.

Learn more about OCDSB’s Indigenous, Equity and Human Rights Roadmap

Commitment to Equity

Indigenous Education

Ensuring Indigenous students have support, opportunities and resources to achieve academic success and personal well-being

Improving educational outcomes for all students by ensuring a fulsome understanding of Indigenous histories, traditions, and contemporary realities.

Extensive support system in place to support Indigenous students and programming:

  • Vice-Principal of Indigenous Education, Indigenous Instructional Coaches
  • Indigenous Student Support Coordinators
  • Indigenous Graduation Coaches, and
  • An Indigenous Children and Youth Wellness Advisor Social Worker.

For more information, please contact Jody Alexander - Vice Principal of Indigenous Education (jody.alexander@ocdsb.ca)

Learn more about Indigenous Education at OCDSB

Commitment to Equity

Supporting Black, minoritized, and 2SLGBTQ+ Students

Strong commitment to access, opportunity and successful outcomes for Black, minoritized and 2SLGBTQ+ students. Recognize and support the dignity and respect of all students to ensure an equitable and inclusive learning space.

Providing opportunities and support for students interested in learning and engaging in equity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression:

  • Black Graduation Coaches to support students' career pathways;
  • Black Youth Forum courses in grades 11 & 12 and the Black Youth Forum;
  • Social Justice or Diversity Clubs, Rainbow Youth Forum;
  • 2SLGBTQ+ Virtual Hangouts, Rainbow Bridges;
  • Culturally Relevant and Responsive Social Work Services for Black Students; and
  • Course selection opportunities (e.g. All-Gender Physical Education classes).

For more information, please contact Jacqueline Lawrence - Diversity/Equity Coordinator (jacqueline.lawrence@ocdsb), or Sue Rice - Equity Instructional Coach (sue.rice@ocdsb.ca)

Learn more about OCDSB’s Commitment to Equity

Commitment to Equity

English as a Second Language / English Literacy Development Programming

  • Focus on enriching students' English language acquisition and support program pathways.
  • Supporting students and families that are new to Canada, through Multicultural Liaison Officers provided by the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO).
  • Students in ESL courses can obtain a full credit for each course completed, and up to 3 credits can be obtained through ELD course completion.
  • Parents are encouraged to discuss with their child's teachers about the ESL/ELD course selection that is best suited to their child's English language proficiency.

For more information, please contact Melissa Collins - Principal of Equity, ESL/ELD (melissa.collins@ocdsb.ca)

Learn more:

Commitment to Equity

Students with Special Education Needs

  • Ensuring high learning expectations for all students in all programs while prioritizing the dignity and well-being of students in inclusive classrooms.
  • Most students with special education needs have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which includes a transition plan.
  • Parents can speak with their child’s teacher about their child’s IEP.
  • Speak with the school Learning Support Teacher about supports and services available in high school.
  • Consider your child’s learning strengths, areas of need, work habits, learning skills, and readiness to learn in specific subject areas.
  • Consult with school staff on the transition to high school in late winter/spring.

Learn more about OCDSB’s Special Education programs

Learning For Every Child

All students can be successful

There are many pathways to success; all pathways have equal value

Learning For Every Child

All students are supported to high levels of achievement that is centered on the following tenets:

  • literacy and numeracy strategies
  • the student success strategy
  • assessment and evaluation practices
  • equity and inclusive education
  • school life, celebrating student voice, learning and career-life planning.

High School Diploma Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD): 30 Credits are needed to graduate from high school which include: 18 Compulsory Credits, 12 Optional Credits, 40 Hours Community Involvement & Provincial Literacy Requirement (OSSLT)

Certificate of Accomplishment: Students who leave school before fulfilling the requirements for the OSSD or the OSSC may be granted a Certificate of Accomplishment. This Certificate may be a useful means of recognizing achievement for students who plan to take certain adaptive programs, or other kinds of additional training, or who plan to find employment after leaving school.

Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC): Granted on request to students who leave school before earning the OSSD. Requires 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 also apply to the Ontario Secondary School Certificate.

Learn more about OCDSB’s High School Diploma Requirements

Learning Pathways

Locally Developed & Essential Courses

  • Support students in their learning by meeting them where they are by building on their curiosity and their desire to learn.
  • Students engage in experiential opportunities for learning, to acquire and make connections in core literacy and numeracy competencies.

Academic and University Courses

  • Meet students’ needs through another asset lens, that of a conceptual problem solving, critical thinking approach that is more theoretical in nature.
  • Enrich and engage students and help them choose a destination that is right for them.

Applied and College Courses

  • Provide hands-on, activity-based programming that supports concrete problem-solving, tools and strategies to accomplish tasks.
  • There are many exciting opportunities for students who engage in applied/college classes.
  • In grade 9, students who have acquired essential skills and learnings in grade 9, can transition to grade 10 academic or continue in the applied pathway.

Destreaming Grade 9 Math: 2021-2022

  • The Ontario government announced the provincial commitment to destreaming in grade 9..
  • In Fall 2021, the math curriculum will be the first to be destreamed. The OCDSB will release more information as it becomes available.

Learn about OCDSB’s Program Pathways

Innovation and Adolescent Learning

Experiential Learning

Connects students with authentic and meaningful learning experiences, and can be connected with community partners.

Learning is enhanced by making direct connections between how the students can apply their formal learning to their life goals and/or make a contribution to their community by framing learning that allows students to:

  • Participate: What are students experiencing?
  • Reflect: How has this experience helped students think about themselves, other people, the world, their opportunities, or the subject of study?
  • Apply: What might they do differently having had this experience?

Learn more about Innovation and Adolescent Learning

Experiential Learning: Programming Options

Co-op: Students who are at least 16 years old can earn credits while working in the community with community partners.

Dual Credit: Students in Grades 11 or 12 have an opportunity to attend college and explore career and post secondary opportunities earning a college and a high school credit.

eLearning: Students have the opportunity to learn in an online asynchronous environment supporting the completing of their learning around their unique schedule.

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP): Students can earn co-op credits and gain apprenticeship training leading to a Certificate of Qualification with journeyperson in a skilled trade.

Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM): Students can earn a SHSM designation on their OSSD by exploring career paths through specific courses, certifications and connections with industry partners.

School within a College (SWAC): Students who have disengaged or are disengaging from school attend the college 5 days a week, working with a high school teacher and college professors on high school and college credits.

Trades and Technology: Students can learn through hands-on projects and explore interests in different areas of technology.

Winning Attitudes: Winning Attitudes is a continuous-entry co-op program designed to re-engage students who are between 16-21 year of age

Continuing Education Programs

Night School Credit: Two sessions during the school year offering a range of grade 11/12 courses including Coop opportunities.

Summer School Credit: Variety of grade 9-12 credit courses with some credit options for students finishing grade 8.

Specialised Programs: For specific student groups during the school year and summer such as credit programs for Indigenous youth, an interdisciplinary Black Youth Program and English Language Learning programs.

Elementary Summer School: Grade 9 Math Prep, and Literacy and Numeracy support for students finishing grades 6-8.

Literacy and Numeracy: Providing students in Grades 7-12 with a supervised opportunity to complete, review, practice and organize for greater success throughout the school year.

International Language credit programs (Secondary): ‘Saturday School’ language credit courses are available for Grade 9-12 students running from September to June. A variety of languages are available.

Learn more information or visit: ocdsb.ca/continuweb

Course selection

Who should I talk to?

  • Parents, Friends, Teachers, Other adults in your life.

What should we talk about?

  • Your wishes, hopes, and dreams
  • Hobbies and interests
  • What environment do you like to work in (i.e. shop, outdoors, classroom, etc.)?
  • Family history and traditions
  • Your thinking from your Individual Pathway Plans
  • Prefered learning style
  • Academic progress
  • Strengths
  • Learning and skills that you are working on

Click here to access the Student Guide for Course Selection

Introducing Xello: Course Selection Tool

Xello is an online tool that students can use to explore career options, build skills, and reflect on how learning connects with career and learning goals. It is also the tool used for course selection.

With Xello your child will:

  • Build Self-knowledge: Define their interests, skills, preferences, and aspirations so they can explore the opportunities right for them.
  • Explore Options: Learn about career possibilities and educational pathways by exploring rich, engaging content and lessons.
  • Create a Plan: Your child can create dynamic actionable plans that outline the steps needed to achieve school, career, and life goals.
  • Learn & Reassess: Interactive lessons help your child develop age appropriate skills and knowledge for success in school and beyond.

Learn more about Xello

Click here to access the Xello Course Selection Guide

Pathways to Graduation

Each of these opportunities provides your child with amazing learning experiences that will guide your child’s learning, shape your child’s growth, and support your child’s chosen pathway goals.

Learn more: Visit ocdsb.ca/highschool