School Policies, Practices, and Procedures
(see also the Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting Manual, a guideline for student conduct.)
|The Ontario Online Schools Network is a group of online schools that offer locally developed online courses toward the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The Ontario Online Schools have been issued the BSID Number 885338 by the Ontario Ministry of Education. That means that we can grant OSSD credits to students in Canada and internationally.|
- The importance and value of completing a secondary education cannot be overstated. The OOS was created by currently practicing frontline educators who know first-hand, the importance of earning an OSSD. We are committed to creating, maintaining, and where needed, modifying online courses that can help each student achieve a successful outcome from their secondary school experience.
- The Mission of the OOS is to provide students with a high quality education that will properly prepare them for whatever path they choose after high school, in an engaging, empowering, and challenging online learning environment.
- Every student in Ontario is required to remain in secondary school until they reach the age of eighteen, or obtain the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). OSS aims to provide each student with the opportunity to achieve academic success, however the student chooses to define “success”. The courses offered at OSS can help students pursue academic interests that may not be offered at their regular day school. As well, our learning platform is used by many post-secondary educational institutions, as well as in the public and private sector, for staff professional development. Thus, taking high school courses at OSS will prepare students for online learning later in life.
- Our overarching goal at OOS is to provide each student an online learning experience that properly prepares them for whichever post-secondary path they choose to pursue. We aim to achieve this by providing an inclusive, engaging, challenging, and collaborative online learning environment.
Every decision we have made, from the choice of Online Learning Platform (OLP), to the content of every course, to the selection of teachers, has been made with students in mind. As currently practicing teachers and parents of children currently in the education system, we have taken an In Loco Parentis philosophical approach, and created an online school that we would be comfortable sending our own children to, and recommending to our family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
- We Want To Prepare Students Today, For the World of Tomorrow
We asked students what they want from school, and here is what they said:
They told us that they wanted students at the heart of decisions made about their own learning. They told us that learning needs to be valid both in the classroom, and in the wider world. Students indicated that they wanted learning that was relevant to the world around them, and be engaging. We have created a school that does that.
Through the use of the Moodle OLP, we are able to offer visually engaging courses that are do not require a lot of internet bandwidth. As well, the mobile apps allow students to complete course work on their phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.
The emphasis on collaboration in courses offered through the OOS helps students to build the ‘soft’ 21st century skills that they will need in the economy of the 21st century, specifically collaboration, and taking a global view of the curriculum.
OOS follows a co-learning education model. As such, students can only be successful if they can demonstrate ownership of their learning. While the amount of student voice in specific courses will depend on the specific curriculum outcomes, all teachers at OOS include student voice in their pedagogical decisions, because
- E-learning is not Isolated Learning.
At OOS, we understand the value of student interaction with teachers, peers, guidance counselors, and school administrators. All courses at OOS are designed to maximize person to person interaction.
While in person face-to-face interaction is impossible in an online learning environment, several tools for interaction are present on the OLP, including but not limited to email, chat and blog based threaded discussions, ePortfolios, and importantly, meaningful and informative assessment feedback.
Unique to the OOS is the Moodle Messaging App. Students, parents, and guardians can communicate with teachers, classmates, or the school administration in a safe, secure environment, as easily as they can send text messages and ‘snaps’. Click here for more details about the messaging function on our OLP. Teachers and administrators can also be reached by email and over the telephone, and where possible, in person meetings can be arranged.
Our aim at OOS is to have our technology aid, NOT interfere with a student’s success. As such, teachers, guidance counselors, and administrator will strive to provide early interventions through communicating with the student and the student’s home; to ensure that students are demonstrating the learning skills necessary for success.
- School Organization
All OSS courses are fully online, asynchronous courses that are designed to require at least 110 hours. The OSS school year currently has 3 parts:
- The fall semester starting in the second week of September, and running for approximately 20 weeks;
- The spring Semester starting in the second week of February, and running for approximately 20 weeks;
- The summer semester, starting in the first week of July, and running approximately 6 weeks.
All OSS reporting of student achievement is grounded in Growing Success (2016). All OSS courses will feature three (3) reporting periods:
- The first will happen within the first 4 weeks, and will focus on reporting on the student’s learning skills, as they relate to success in an online learning environment.
- The second will happen between the 12th and 13th week of the course, and will feature reporting on the student’s achievement level, learning skills, and individualized comments about the student’s achievement of curriculum expectations.
- The third will happen after week 20, and will feature reporting on the student’s overall learning skills, comments about the student’s achievement of curriculum expectations, as well as a final percentage grade.
OSS report cards are issued on official Secondary provincial final report cards for semestered schools.
- Hardware and Software Requirements
The Ontario Online Schools use the Moodle Learning Platform. Moodle is compatible with any standards compliant web browser. It is available on the following web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Internet Explorer. It also works well on mobile devices, especially those running MobileSafari and Google Chrome. There are IOS, Google Play, and Desktop apps as well.
For the best experience and optimum security, we recommend that you keep your browser up to date, since legacy browsers (Internet Explorer 10 and below & Safari 7 and below) have been known to have compatibility issues with Moodle 3.6.
Success in an online learning environment depends on regular and active participation in class activities. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended that students spend approximately 6 hours a week on the course. This includes time logged on to the OLP, as well as off line time working on lesson materials.
Final grades in OOS courses are distilled through a Triangulation of student products (the grades a student gets on the assignments they complete and submit), observations of the student, and conversations the student has with teachers and fellow students. As such, it is imperative that students log on frequently, and participate in the various class discussions.
OOS teachers monitor student attendance through participation, and will notify students and parents, if a program arises. If student attendance issues cannot be resolved, the administration will be informed and possible consequences may include: student and parental/guardian contact, attendance contracts, or even removal from the program. Please see the Student code of conduct for full details on the OntarioOnlineSchools.ca attendance policy.
Diploma and Certificates
Compulsory Credit Requirements
Students interested in earning the OSSD (Ontario Secondary School Diploma) must successfully complete a total of 30 credits; of which 18 are prescribed and 12 credits are optional.
In addition, students must also complete 40 hours of Community Involvement Activities and must meet the provincial literacy requirement.
The Compulsory Credits are:
4 credits in English (1 credit per grade) *
3 credits in mathematics (1 credit in Grade 11 or 12)
2 credits in science
1 credit in Canadian history
1 credit in Canadian geography
1 credit in the arts
1 credit in health and physical education
1 credit in French as a second language
0.5 credit in career studies
0.5 credit in civics
Plus one credit from each of the following groups:
1 additional credit (group 1): additional credit in English, or French as a second language, or a Native language, or a classical or an international language, or social sciences and the humanities, or Canadian and world studies, or guidance and career education, or cooperative education
1 additional credit (group 2): additional credit in health and physical education, or the arts, or business studies, or French as a second language, or cooperative education
1 additional credit (group 3): additional credit in science (Grade 11 or 12), or technological education, or French as a second language, or computer studies, or cooperative education
The Optional Credits are:
In addition to the 18 compulsory credits described above, students must also complete an additional 12 Optional Credits.
The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)
In order to be granted an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), students must take and pass the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Students will have to make arrangements to complete this requirement of the OSSD graduation, as OOS do not administer the OSSLT.
The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC)
Students who have been eligible to write the OSSLT at least twice and who have been unsuccessful at least once are eligible to take the course. (Students who have already met the literacy requirement for graduation may be eligible to take the course under special circumstances, at the discretion of the principal.)
This course is designed to help students acquire and demonstrate the cross-curricular literacy skills that are evaluated by the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Students who complete the course successfully will meet the provincial literacy requirement for graduation.
Students will read a variety of informational, narrative, and graphic texts and will produce a variety of forms of writing, including summaries, information paragraphs, opinion pieces, and news reports. Students will also maintain and manage a portfolio containing a record of their reading experiences and samples of their writing.
Students will have to make arrangements to complete this requirement of the OSSD graduation, as OOS do not currently offer the OSSLC.
Definition of Types of Courses
Students in Grades 9 & 10 will take their core courses (English, Mathematics, Science, French, Geography and History) in one of three levels – applied, academic. All elective courses will be taken at the open level.
Academic Level: “D”
Academic courses focus on the essential concepts of the discipline plus additional related concepts. Academic courses develop students’ knowledge and skills by emphasizing theoretical, abstract applications of the essential concepts while incorporating practical applications, as appropriate.
Applied Level: “P”
Applied courses focus on the essential concepts of the discipline. Applied courses develop students’ knowledge and skills by emphasizing practical, concrete applications of the essential concepts while incorporating theoretical applications, as appropriate.
Locally Developed Level: “L”
Locally Developed courses focus on the most essential concepts of a discipline. These courses are offered in Mathematics, Science, English and Canadian History. These courses will provide support for students making the transition to high school by enhancing their skills to allow them to be successful at secondary school.
Open Courses: “O”
Open level courses have one set of expectations for each subject and are appropriate for all students. Open level courses are offered for all non-core subjects and do not have a prescribed post-secondary destination.
Course Level Description for Grade 11 and 12 Courses:
Courses in grades 11 and 12 are offered in levels that are related to a student’s destination after high school – workplace, apprenticeships, college or university. Some courses are offered at the Open level. Most courses are offered at one other following five levels:
University/College Courses: “M”
Courses designed to prepare students for entrance to college and university programs following high school.
College Courses: “C”
Courses designed to prepare students for entrance to college programs following high school.
Workplace Courses: “E”
Courses designed for students planning to enter the workplace directly following high school.
Open Courses: “O”
Courses that are not specific to any particular post secondary destination are appropriate for all students, and which students may take to meet compulsory or optional requirements.
University Courses: “U”
Courses designed to prepare students for entrance to university programs following high school.
Course Coding System
The design of the Ontario education system at the secondary level is framed on the concept of students earning credits, both mandatory and optional credits. The course coding of all programs offered through OOS employ a 5-character system that is established and recognized by the Ministry of Education; for example:
The first digit indicates the major area of study for the course; for example, M-mathematics, S-science, E-english the second and third digit serves as the course descriptor within the subject area; CV- calculus and vectors, BI-biology the forth digit signifies the grade level; 1 is grade 9, 2 is grade 10, 3 is grade 11 and 4 is grade 12 The fifth and last digit is used to denote the intensity by which the course will be delivered. In grade 9 & 10 options include D representing academic, P for applied and O for open level courses. In grade 11 & 12, this digit is geared towards the post-secondary destination: U is university, C is for college and M represents courses open to university or college.
At Ontario Online School , we offer a variety of D, P, M, C, E, O and U level courses. These courses are sufficient to satisfy both the required and elective components towards the OSSD.
Courses of Study
Summary course profiles specific to The Ontario Online Schools can be found at https://www.ontarioonlineschools.ca/courses/. If you wish to preview our detailed outlines of courses of study please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request and arrangements will be made to have it emailed to you.
3.8 Ontario Curriculum Policy Documents
The courses offered at The Ontario Online Schools have been developed according to the requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Education. Information on Ministry course documents and Ontario Curriculum Policy documents may be found at the Ministry website, http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/secondary/
3.9 Experiential Learning
While OSS recognizes the tremendous value of job shadowing and cooperative education as it enables learners to apply their knowledge and skills through hands on experiences; we do not offer co-op based courses at this time.
3.10 Withdrawing from a Course
- Withdrawals occurring within 5 days of the issuing of the first report card from the The Ontario Online Schools (OSS) will result in the mark not being recorded on the OST.
- a withdrawal from a Grade 11 or 12 course after 5 days of the issuing of the first report card results in a “W” being entered in the “Credit” column of the OST along with the mark at the time of the withdrawal.
- Withdrawals at any time from Grade 9 or 10 courses are not recorded on the OST
- If there are extraordinary circumstances relating to a student’s withdrawal from a course, an “S” may be entered in the “Note” column on the OST.
Changing Course Type
Students do have the opportunity in some cases to change the course type. However, each subject area has specific criteria to permit such changes. To discuss your unique situation, please send an email to email@example.com outlining the following information as well as forwarding your most recent transcript by email or fax 416 840-4911:
- Contact information: Address, phone and email address
- Date of Birth:
- Last school attended and Year attended:
- Reason for Request:
- Special Circumstances:
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)
Students may receive a credit without taking a course if they can demonstrate that they have the skills and knowledge from prior learning to meet the expectations for the course set out in the provincial curriculum. This must be requested in writing to the Principal of The Ontario Online Schools . The requesting student will have an opportunity to explain their circumstances. If you wish to apply for such consideration please send us an email outlining the following information as well as forwarding your most recent transcript by email or fax 416 840-4911:
- Contact information: Address, phone and email address
- Date of Birth:
- Last school attended and Year attended:
- Reason for Request:
- Special Circumstances:
The Principal will review the application and schedule an interview to conduct an assessment of the skills necessary for the credit equivalency being requested.
Other Ways of Earning Credits
There are many different ways that students can earn high school credits outside of The Ontario Online Schools . Registration for these courses require approval from the guidance department. These opportunities include; eLearning, ILC, continuing education courses from public school boards.
The final exam is typically a paper-pen evaluation written at a mutually agreed time, date, and location. The final exam will be proctored, meaning a suitable adult with a dedicated identifiable and authentic email address will supervise you writing the final exam. This process ensures the security and integrity of the exam. Any person related or affiliated to the student in a personal way cannot serve as an exam supervisor (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 and the parent(s) of a student who is not an adult (that is, a student who is under the age of eighteen) must be made aware of the purpose and content of, and have access to, all of the information contained in the OSR.
If a student is enrolled in one or more OSS courses and is also registered either full time or part time in another Ontario secondary school, the OSR will be held by the school where the student is taking the most courses. Please note that OSS is not responsible to hold the OSR for students who have already graduated from another school, the graduating school is obligated to keep those records. If a student has not graduated high school and is exclusively pursuing courses towards their OSSD from The Ontario Online Schools , OSS will request, establish and manage the OSR as per the Education Act. Items such as copies of report cards, IEP documentation, community involvement and results of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy test are examples of records kept in an Ontario Student Record.
Ontario Student Transcript (OST)
The Ontario Student Transcript (OST) is an official document issued by all public or private schools in Ontario. The OST contains a list of the courses completed from grades 9 through 12 including those completed successfully or unsuccessfully. The OST is stored in the OSR and kept for many years after the student graduates. Please note, as per the policies outlined in the Ontario Student Transcript Manual 2010 document, the school that maintains the OSR is also responsible for updating and maintaining the OST. Consequently, if a student is enrolled full time or part time through another school, that school will house the OST. The Ontario Online Schools is responsible to assist in this record keeping process by notifying the OST holding school of the course and final achievement of a student taking a course through OSS. When students complete a course through OSS, they will be mailed a final report card. In addition, a second copy will be forwarded to the school that secures the students’ OSR so they can add it to the ongoing list of courses on the students overall transcript. Students that need a certified copy of their Ontario Student Transcript are directed to contact the guidance department of the school that holds their OSR. Students that require their final marks to be faxed to the Ontario University Application Centre are requested to send an email to info@ontariovirtualschool clearly authorizing this request including their first and last name, the course and final mark to be submitted, OEN and OUAC reference number.
Supports and Resources
The Ontario Online Schools recognizes the tremendous demands and stress that students can experience throughout their high school lives. Making course selection choices, looking at a host of post-secondary options, as well as personal & socio-emotional problems are all barriers that obstruct students from achieving to their academic potential. OSS is committed to aiding students in all aspects of their lives, and employs a qualified and experienced guidance counsellor. Please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in having our counsellor contact you.
The Ontario Online Schools recognizes the tremendous demands and stress that students can experience throughout their high school lives. Making course selection choices, looking at a host of post-secondary options, as well as personal & socio-emotional problems are all barriers that obstruct students from achieving to their academic potential. OSS is committed to aiding students in all aspects of their lives, and employs a qualified and experienced guidance counselor.
Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in having our councilor contact you.
The Ontario Online Schools provides access to Career Cruising for all students whose OSR is held at OSS. This program allows students to plan their education, review their options for post-secondary programs, assist in the course selection process and explore other post graduate options.
Career Cruising is an industry-leading online career guidance and planning system. People of all ages use our tools to find the right career, explore education and training options, and build their own portfolio. Our add-on products extend Career Cruising’s functionality, making it easier for schools to manage their course selection process, communities to meet their workforce development needs, and students to prepare for the SAT/ACT. Learn more about implementing Career Cruising at your school, library, or employment center on our “Products” page.
Ontario Prospects Guide to Career Planning is an annual career planning guide for students in Grades 7 to 12, educators, job counsellors and others seeking career information. Ontario Prospects celebrates and promotes student success in Ontario and includes information on self assessment, job search preparation, the labor market, and post secondary destinations.
Job Bank Canada View Canadian Job Opportunities
Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in having our student support staff contact Curriculum
The Ontario Online Schools provides supplementary individual student counseling with respect to course selection and post-secondary planning. By doing so, individual student needs and concerns are met and appropriate plans can be put into place. In addition, the skills and competencies that students acquire through the guidance and career education program outlined in Ontario’s “Creating Pathways to Success: An Education and Career/Life Planning Program for Ontario Schools, 2013” will not only help students succeed in school, but will also contribute to their success in the workplace.
Throughout their secondary school education, students in The Ontario Online Schools courses will learn about the educational and career opportunities that are available to them; explore and evaluate a variety of those opportunities; relate what they learn in their courses to potential careers in a variety of fields; and learn to make appropriate educational and career choices.
To this end, OSS:
- supports English Language Learners, when necessary, by providing instructional and assessment accommodations within courses;
- provides opportunities within the Four Areas of Learning in Education and Career/Life Planning (Knowing Yourself, Exploring Opportunities, Making Decisions and Setting Goals, Achieving Goals and Making Transitions) in all newly revised courses;
- provides individual assistance and short-term counseling to students, when requested; •provides current information on post-secondary programs and admission requirements to all of its college/university bound students;
- provides the opportunity for Grade 8 students to “Reach Ahead” to Grade 9 courses with the approval of their elementary school Principal. This program allows students to explore course options and academic interests early in their high school career;
- provides access to Career Cruising for all students whose Ontario Student Record is held at The Ontario Online Schools . This program allows students to plan their education, review their options for post-secondary programs and assists in the course selection process;
- communicates directly with Ontario Universities Application Centre and Ontario College Application Service regarding student achievement;
- communicates directly with post-secondary institutions regarding student achievement.
English Language Learners
OSS supports English Language Learners, when necessary, by providing instructional and assessment accommodations within courses;
Accommodations related to learning resources, such as
- extensive use of visual materials;
- use of adapted texts and bilingual dictionaries;
- use of dual-language materials;
- use of technology.
Accommodations related to assessment strategies, such as
- allowance of extra time;
- use of alternative assessment strategies (e.g., oral interviews, learning logs, or portfolios);
- use of simplified language and instructions (e.g., in the context of tasks that require completion of graphic organizers and cloze sentences).
Accommodations may be required to support English language learners, especially those who are in the early stages of learning English or those who have had limited prior schooling.
The Ontario Online Schools is proud to offer a rich variety of online library and community resources listed below:
The Canadian Encyclopedia has provided the most comprehensive, objective and accurate source of information on Canada for students, readers and scholars across Canada and throughout the world.
The Internet Public Library (ipl2) is a public service organization and a learning/teaching environment. To date, thousands of students and volunteer library and information science professionals have been involved in answering reference questions for our Ask an ipl2 Librarian service and in designing, building, creating and maintaining the ipl2’s collections. It is through the efforts of these students and volunteers that the ipl2 continues to thrive to this day.
The Cambridge Online Dictionary. Cambridge University Press has been publishing dictionaries for learners of English since 1995. Cambridge Dictionaries Online has been offering these dictionaries completely free of charge since 1999.
Links to Learning is a list of web sites that directly support the Ontario curriculum for students in grades 9 to 12. The focus is on quality and not quantity.
Think Quest Contains over 7,000 websites created by students around the world who have participated in a Think Quest Competition.
Canadian Geographic is a comprehensive source of information on climate prosperity, discover videos, interactive features and learn more about how Canada can prosper in the face of global climate change.
Info Please has been providing authoritative answers to all kinds of factual questions since 1938-first as a popular radio quiz show, then starting in 1947 as an annual almanac, and since 1998. Many things have changed since 1938, but not our dedication to providing reliable information, in a way that engages and entertains.
Science.ca combines rich narrative biography with clear graphic explanation to describe Canada’s greatest scientists and their achievements. The site is visited by thousands of students from across Canada every day, often as part of their provincial school curriculum. It currently receives 15 million hits per year, and over 1 million unique visits per year. The web site is operated by the GCS Research Society, a non-profit organization registered in British Columbia, Canada.
EasyBib (MLA citation creator) A Free Automatic Bibliography and Citation Maker Create a Works Cited instantly! 309,984,633 sources cited to date.
Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in having our student support staff contact you.
www.kidshealth.org is a website for students and parents which provides a rich balance of resources from a health perspective, both physical and mental wellbeing.
Students who have behavioural, communicational, intellectual, physical, or multiple exceptionalities may require special education programs and/or services to benefit fully from their school experience.
Special education programs and services primarily consist of instruction and assessments that are different from those provided to the general student population. These may take the form of accommodations (such as specific teaching strategies, and assistive technology) as outlined in the Ministry of Education’s curriculum policy documents.