About the Ontario Secondary School Diploma(OSSD) & Graduation Requirements

Requirements for Secondary School

In order to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), a student entering Grade 9 in the 1999 – 2000 school year, or in subsequent years, must earn a minimum of 30 credits, including 18 compulsory credits and 12 optional credits. Students must also complete 40 hours of community service and must pass the Provincial Secondary School Literacy Test. Full-time students and parents/guardians should know that students under the age of 18 must be enrolled in a sanctioned educational institution until the age of 18 or until he or she has acquired all necessary credits to earn the OSSD.

Community Involvement

As part of the diploma requirements, students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities.
• Students may complete these activities at any time during their years in the secondary-school program.
• The requirement is designed to develop awareness and understanding of civic responsibility among students, and of the role they can play in supporting and strengthening their communities.
• Community involvement activities may take place in a variety of settings, either inside or outside the school; students may not fulfil the requirement through activities that are counted towards a credit, through paid work, or by assuming duties normally performed by a paid employee.
• An indication of completion will be entered on the student’s Ontario Student Transcript (OST) when the activities/hours have been submitted and approved

Secondary School Literacy Test

In the fall of their grade 10 year, students will write the Provincial Literacy Test. The test will be based on the Ontario curriculum expectations for language and communication—particularly reading and writing up to and including Grade 9. Students must pass the test in order to graduate from secondary school, and to earn the OSSD. The test is established and evaluated by the Education Quality and Accountability Office of Ontario.
• The test will identify those students who have not demonstrated the required skills, and will identify areas in which these students need remediation.
• Another option to complete this requirement is to complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course available to those who do not successfully complete the Provincial Secondary School Literacy Test a minimum of two times.

International students are not exempt from these requirements.