What Families Want to Know About Pathways

Please note that all information on the YRDSB website can be translated by selecting the language from the dropdown menu at the top of the page.

Pathways Planning - Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

  • 18 compulsory Credits.
  • 12 optional credits, often called electives.
  • The graduation requirements page on the YRDSB website for more information.

  • My Pathway Planner is an interactive Education and Career/Life Planning Tool.  It supports students in exploring career options, managing online course option selection for secondary school, developing interactive portfolios of learning and planning for their initial pathway destination.
  • Every course has a six character course code with each character identifying the course disciple, grade, course type or pathway and school-specific program (i.e. ENG2D1 is the code for Grade 10 Academic English).
  • Please search ‘reading course codes’ on the YRDSB website for more information.

  • The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test is written in grade 10.
  • It is a test based on language and communications (reading and writing) for curriculum up to and including grade 9.
  • Successful completion of the test or course is a graduation requirement.

  • Students need to complete 40 hours of community service.
  • Please search ‘community involvement’ on the YRDSB website for more information.

  • We want all students to feel safe, welcome and supported at school and to be successful.    Our caring staff support students in transitioning and being successful in secondary school.
  • Students can access a variety of academic and social/emotional supports at the secondary level including Guidance Counselors, Special Education Resource Teachers, Educational Assistants, ESL Teachers, Student Success teachers and Subject teachers.
  • Students can also access Elementary Transition Teachers for support as they transition from grade 8 to secondary school.

  • Support is available through the school Student Success Team if a credit is in risk, prior to a final mark being assigned.  After the completion of the course, students can also recover credits, during the school year or in the summer months, to ensure they stay on track to graduate.

  • Grade 9 Math and Science will be offered as destreamed courses.
  • Applied level courses will no longer be offered in grade 9.
  • Grade 9 English, French and Geography as well as Grade 10 History  and Math will be offered at the Academic level and English, History, Math and Science will also be offered at the Locally Developed level in both grades 9 and 10.
  • Some courses (i.e. Health and Physical Education) are offered at the ‘Open’ level and are designed to prepare you for further study and enrichment in the subject area.

For more information on destreaming, please visit www.yrdsb.ca/destreaming.

  • Some students may be recommended for Locally Developed courses.
  • Locally Developed courses are offered in English, History (Grade 10), Math and Science and support the needs of students who have been receiving significantly modified programming and are not currently working at grade level.  These courses will generally lead to workplace level courses in grades 11 and 12.  Programs at college and university as well as some apprenticeship programs many not accept courses in this pathway for admission.
  • Please speak to the elementary school Principal if you have questions or concerns about course recommendations.

  • University level courses: designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to meet the entrance requirements for university programs.
  • University/College level courses: designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to meet the entrance requirements for college or university programs.
  • College level courses: designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to meet the entrance requirements for college programs.
  • Workplace level courses: designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need for direct entry into the workplace, admission to some apprenticeship programs and other community training program.
  • Open courses: allows you to broaden your knowledge and skills in a particular subject that may or may not be directly related to your post-secondary goals.

  • Post-secondary pathway options include Apprenticeship, College, University, Workplace.
  • School offer a range of specialized programs in a range of areas including business, the Arts, skilled trades, science and technology, and much more to support students in their chosen pathway.
  • Post-secondary pathway options are not necessarily final destinations but rather starting points for skill development and future opportunities.

Secondary School Pathway Programs

View the Director’s Annual Report:  Pathways Planning & Supports.

Cooperative Education is a credit course that honours all pathways and allows grade 11 and 12 students to apply what they have learned in the classroom while in a workplace environment.  By participating in Co-op, students can ‘try out’ and develop their skills, interests and work habits and help them make informed choices for a successful transition from high school to post-secondary pathways.

  • Students can take up to 4 credits in one semester, with no limit on earning optional co-op credits
  • Students can apply two co-op credits towards their compulsory high school graduation requirements
  • Students are monitored and assessed by the Co-op teacher and ongoing feedback is provided by the placement supervisor/employer
  • Students may participate in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) while enrolled in a co-op course
  • A two-credit co-op course is a requirement of the Specialist High Skills Major Program

Dual Credits allow students in secondary school to take college or apprenticeship courses that count towards both the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and a postsecondary certificate, diploma, or degree, or an apprenticeship certification.

  • Experience college while still in high school at no cost to you
  • Earn high school credits and college credits at the same time in the same course
  • Learn in college state-of-the-art facilities
  • Explore different pathway options
  • Try something new

  • Students may participate in OYAP by taking a Cooperative Education course.
  • The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a School to Work program that opens the door for students to explore and gain training in apprenticeship occupations starting in Grade 11 or Grade 12 through the Cooperative Education program.  There are over 150+ skilled trades (PDF) to choose from! (Please visit the about apprenticeships page on the YRDSB website).
  • Students have an opportunity to become registered apprentices and work towards becoming certified in a skilled trade while completing their secondary school diplomas.

Participation in OYAP may lead to student interest in the Accelerated OYAP program (see Dual Credits).

  • Students can specialize in an economic sector of interest while in secondary school by choosing courses related to that sector and participating in a number of planned experiential opportunities, such as co-op, field trips and post-secondary tours.  SHSM is available to all students in grades 11 and 12 regardless of their choice of post-secondary destination.  SHSM programs are available across all York Region schools.  For a list of SHSM programs offered at secondary schools, please visit the SHSM Programs and Locations page on the YRDSB website.

Pathways Experiential Learning

YRSC provides additional pathways opportunities for students and teachers that promote authentic experiential learning activities and builds skills and competencies.  York Region skills events are specifically designed for Grades 4-12 students to participate in a variety of competitions and demonstrate their knowledge and skills in technological education, digital literacy, problem solving, mathematical and critical thinking skills.

The goal of the K-12 STEM continuum is to offer inclusive learning opportunities for students in all divisions to engage in authentic real world problem solving that integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics through skill development in the design thinking process.  STEM programming aims to improve outcomes for students across the system by focusing on instructional strategies that center student voice and choice through community connected experiential learning.

Community Connected Experiential Learning (CCEL) projects build collaborative relationships with community partners that focus on supporting experiential learning projects that are connected to student interests and curriculum.  CCEL school/classroom based projects provide students with opportunities to co-plan and co-construct inquiry-based learning projects that reflect student needs and interests.