High School Course Choices

When your child finishes grade 9, they will need to know which subjects they want to choose for the rest of their high school career. This decision will impact the choice of university and curriculum in the future.

What courses can grade 9 and 10 students choose?

There are 4 types of courses, and these subjects act as pre-requisites for grade 11 and 12 course work.

  • Applied – focus on practical applications and concrete examples;
  • Academic – focus on theory and abstract problems.
  • Locally developed compulsory credit courses for students who need more flexibility and support.
  • Open – to prepare students for further study and enrich their education.

Compulsory classes include: English, mathematics, science, geography, history, physical education, and French

Can students transfer from one course to another?

Your child will not be stuck in a subject that they cannot cope with. A student can change subjects, but they will need to repeat the course work that they have missed, or they will need to take a summer class. The best option is take a bridge course under the advice of a school counselor.

Graduating from high school

There are certain requirements that must be met by high school graduates. These results will determine whether they will advance on to a secondary education school.

  • Students must pass 30 credit courses between grades 9 and 12. Of the 30 credit courses, 18 are compulsory credits and 12 can be chosen from optional credit courses.
  • Students must complete 40 hours of community service.
  • Students must pass the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test or Literacy Course.
  • Most students complete high school in four or five years but they may only stay until they are 21 years old.

Parental guidance

These decisions can be rather confusing for your teenagers and while the school and counselors will be able to point them in the right direction, parental guidance is always necessary.

Parents are not alone and can attend school meetings and counselling sessions to help their child make this crucial decision. It is important that you as a parent spend the time looking into the different courses, even if that means that your child will need to attend a different school that has better resources.

Choosing a new school sometimes becomes necessary, yet there many resources that can assist you in making this often challenging decision. Selecting a school can be based on the specific courses available, the extracurricular activities and the likely placement of your child in a university or college.

Special education

There are schools that cater to children with special needs, so it is your responsibility as a parent to do the research into the available options. The school should have the resources to handle any specific needs.

Parental advice

In the end, it is the child that will have to live with the decisions made regarding their school career. It is therefore crucial that you speak to your child, offer them some type of counsel support if necessary and attend as many open days and information evenings.

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