Guidance Support

For guidance related issues, visit York Region District School Board Guidance Services.


Continuing Education Services

Although most secondary school students will obtain credits towards the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) by enrolling in the courses offered in their secondary school day program, there are alternative ways to earn the required credits. Some of the options offered by the Board through Community and International Education Services (CIES), include:

Adult Day School: CIES provides adult learners with a program of study leading to an OSSD. Science, English, Mathematics, English as a Second Language, and many optional courses are offered in a quadmester​ system (four entry points during the year). The Adult Day School Program also administers a certification program for Personal Support Workers which trains adults for positions in the health care field.

International LanguagesCIES offers credit courses in International Languages from Grades 9 to 12. Each language program runs once a week from September to June and offers two choices of study - experienced and non-experienced. Registration for these programs is facilitated through Guidance Services at the beginning of each school year.

Night School: Credit courses are available to students and adults at various night school locations in the Board. The Night School program runs for two semesters beginning in September and February. Information on the courses available at Night School and registration procedures can be obtained in Guidance Services or online.

In order for regular Day School students to qualify for courses offered by Night School, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The course requested cannot be accommodated in the student's day school program.
  2. The student has obtained the prerequisite.
  3. The Principal has approved the request.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR): The Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process offers two distinct ways in earning credits, (i) Challenge and (ii) Equivalency. Students may challenge a course and be granted a credit if they can demonstrate the required skills and knowledge through formal assessments. Mature students may be eligible to obtain credits through PLAR Equivalency if their transcripts or other documents show evidence of learning through work experience, job-related training programs or education received outside Ontario or Canada that relates directly to the Ontario curriculum expectations for specific courses.

Applications for the PLAR challenge will be available in late February in Guidance Services. Completed applications with all relevant documents must be submitted to the Guidance Services Departments by the specified timelines. The PLAR challenge process will take place over three days in the beginning of July.

Summer School: Summer School courses are available for both Reinforcement and Acceleration credits. Information on the courses available at Summer School and registration procedures can be obtained in the Guidance Services Department in your secondary school or online each spring.

Correspondence Courses: The Independent Learning Centre (ILC) provides a distance education program, in English and in French, for Ontario residents who want to access credit and non-credit courses towards the OSSD or equivalent, upgrade their skills, and achieve their academic and career goals or study for personal development. For more information please contact Guidance Services or visit

International Exchange Program: The Board offers a number of international opportunities to both elementary and secondary students. Secondary students may participate in three-month student exchanges to France, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Italy, a two-month exchange to Belgium or a two-month Summer exchange (one month away and one month hosting) with Quebec, France or Spain. Although credits are not offered for the exchange itself, students' timetables can be adjusted to allow students to still earn credits in the semester in which they are away on exchange. Information is available from secondary school Language Subject Heads or by email at

Music Certificates Accepted For Credit: Students who are working towards their OSSD are able to use specified music certificates towards credits. For more information about the certificate requirements, please contact the Guidance Services Department in your school.

Personalized Alternative Education: Personalized Alternative Education offers students the opportunity to obtain credits toward their OSSD through a number of different structures. Some of these structures are outlined below and are available at a number of secondary schools.   Please check with your school on the program offerings.

Under 16 Program: This program is an instruction-based program available to Grade 9 and 10 students who work best in a conventional classroom with one or two teachers. Students usually take core subjects with one teacher and are integrated for optional credits.

Quadmester Programs are available to students in Grade 10 to Grade 12. It is organized so that the student takes two credits in nine-week period, enabling them to obtain four credits in a semester. It is often referred to as the Intensive Program.

Work-Based Programs: Work-Based Programs offer two different educational experiences through the Alternative Learning Experience Program (ALEP). Students spend four days in the workplace at a paid job earning work-related credits. They then attend school one day per week to receive instruction for compulsory and optional credits. This program works best for students who are 16 years of age and have accumulated close to 16 credits.

Online Learning Courses: Students are provided with an additional option to enhance their educational experience by completing credit courses online. Online credit courses allow students to:

  • Select from a wide range of subjects
  • Benefit from applied, college, university/college, university, workplace, and open course types
  • Recover course credits they need for graduation
  • Access course materials when ill or away
  • Access thousands of interactive resources to help understand tough concepts
  • Reduce timetable conflicts

Fully-certified teachers support students as they work through the course material to ensure that the help they require is readily available. Virtual classrooms, collaborative work sessions, threaded discussions, e-mail and telephone dialogue, and real-time chat allow students to work and interact with their teacher and peers in the course. Online Learning does not replace traditional school programs in the Board, but supports, extends and enhances instruction.

Online Learning Night School/Online Learning Secondary Summer School: Online learning is available as an alternative to night school and is available to registered and non-registered York Region District School Board students. Students are provided with a flexible approach to learning, as this method allows for self-paced study within a structured environment (there is a fixed start and end date for each session). 

Online Learning Day School: Online Learning Day School (formerly Day School e-Learning) is available to York Region District High School students who require courses that are not currently available to them through day school. For further information, visit your Guidance Counselor at your York Region District High School.