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Ontario Secondary School Diploma Requirements

The Ministry of Education in Ontario has set various requirements for students obtaining a Secondary School Diploma. This article will cover the courses students must complete to achieve their diploma in Ontario, including compulsory and optional credits as well as the literacy requirements and community involvement requirements. Two changes have been made for students graduating in the 2020-2021 school year. You will be credited for courses you take online, so get ahead in achieving your diploma requirements today.

What You Need To Obtain Your Diploma

All students must successfully complete the following requirements to obtain an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD):

  • 30 credits: Students must complete 30 total credits, including:
    • 18 compulsory credits.
    • 12 options credits.
  • Literacy requirement: Students must pass the literacy requirement, such as the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Please be advised that this is not required of students graduating in the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Community involvement: Students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement. Please be advised that this is not required of students graduating in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Compulsory Credits

All students must complete a total of 18 compulsory credits to earn the OSSD. Compulsory credits are required credits, as follows:

Compulsory Credits From Group 1, 2, and 3

Students must complete one from each of the following groups as part of the 18 compulsory credits:

Group 1:

Group 2:

Group 3:

Students may take a maximum of two credits in French as a second language as part of the compulsory credits, one from Group 1 and one from either Group 2 or Group 3.

Additionally, students may take a maximum of two credits in cooperative education as compulsory credits; those credits may be selected from any of the above three groups.

Optional Credits

Students must complete 12 optional credits to earn the OSSD. The 12 optional credits are taken in addition to the compulsory credits, and may be selected by the student based on individual goals and interests.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)

All students must meet Ontario’s secondary school literacy graduation requirement, which most students achieve by passing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). The test assesses students’ reading and writing skills in either English or French.

Students graduating in the 2020-2021 school year are not required to complete this requirement due to school closures in 2020.

Students who do not successfully complete the OSSLT have other opportunities to complete the literacy requirement for graduation and should contact their school principal to inquire about these options.

Community Involvement Hours

All students must complete 40 hours of community involvement as part of their diploma requirements. Community involvement hours involve a student making a positive contribution to their community’s well-being. Hours must consist of self-directed activities that occur outside of normal instructional hours and are completed before graduation. Students should make sure they are aware of activities that may be counted as community involvement hours.

The required hours have been reduced to 20 hours for students graduating in the 2020-2021 school year so that students are not adversely affected by the continuing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blyth Academy provides a variety of courses that help students achieve the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Register for an Infosession if you want more information about the online classes offered at Blyth.

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