Ontario Secondary School Diploma Requirements

The Ministry of Education in Ontario has set various requirements for students obtaining a Secondary School Diploma. This article will cover the courses students must complete to achieve their diploma in Ontario, including compulsory and optional credits as well as the literacy requirements and community involvement requirements. Two changes have been made for students graduating in the 2020-2021 school year. You will be credited for courses you take online, so get ahead in achieving your diploma requirements today.

What You Need To Obtain Your Diploma

All students must successfully complete the following requirements to obtain an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD):

  • 30 credits: Students must complete 30 total credits, including:
    • 18 compulsory credits.
    • 12 options credits.
  • Literacy requirement: Students must pass the literacy requirement, such as the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). Please be advised that this is not required of students graduating in the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Community involvement: Students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement. Please be advised that this is not required of students graduating in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Compulsory Credits

All students must complete a total of 18 compulsory credits to earn the OSSD. Compulsory credits are required credits, as follows:

Compulsory Credits From Group 1, 2, and 3

Students must complete one from each of the following groups as part of the 18 compulsory credits:

Group 1:

Group 2:

Group 3:

Students may take a maximum of two credits in French as a second language as part of the compulsory credits, one from Group 1 and one from either Group 2 or Group 3.

Additionally, students may take a maximum of two credits in cooperative education as compulsory credits; those credits may be selected from any of the above three groups.

Optional Credits

Students must complete 12 optional credits to earn the OSSD. The 12 optional credits are taken in addition to the compulsory credits, and may be selected by the student based on individual goals and interests.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)

All students must meet Ontario’s secondary school literacy graduation requirement, which most students achieve by passing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). The test assesses students’ reading and writing skills in either English or French.

Students graduating in the 2020-2021 school year are not required to complete this requirement due to school closures in 2020.

Students who do not successfully complete the OSSLT have other opportunities to complete the literacy requirement for graduation and should contact their school principal to inquire about these options.

Community Involvement Hours

All students must complete 40 hours of community involvement as part of their diploma requirements. Community involvement hours involve a student making a positive contribution to their community’s well-being. Hours must consist of self-directed activities that occur outside of normal instructional hours and are completed before graduation. Students should make sure they are aware of activities that may be counted as community involvement hours.

The required hours have been reduced to 20 hours for students graduating in the 2020-2021 school year so that students are not adversely affected by the continuing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blyth Academy provides a variety of courses that help students achieve the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Register for an Infosession if you want more information about the online classes offered at Blyth.

Save My Spot Now!

Though our physical doors remain temporarily closed, the minds of our students stay open. Summer classes are continuing to meet on their regular daily schedules, in virtual classrooms with face-to-face instruction and peer interaction.  The Blyth Academy model of small class sizes, flexible scheduling and individualized approach have enabled us to remain faithful to our standards. Our commitment to ongoing and meaningful communication between school, teachers, students and families has been critical to this effort.

Although our students have transitioned into summer mode and COVID-19 restrictions have begun to loosen, we are looking ahead to what September will hold for our campuses and families.
We want to be clear - our preference and our priority is to get students back to our campuses, but we must ensure this is done in a safe and effective way. While we await official guidance from Public Health and the Ministry of Education, a "return to school" task force has been hard at work putting concrete operational plans in place for all likely scenarios. This includes a full return to campus with safeguards, a blended model of virtual and in-campus learning and the continuation of fully virtual classrooms. All scenarios will provide robust learning and live, daily instruction and interaction with teachers and peers. 
With ten campuses across Ontario, we realize that each one of our schools is a unique space and community. We will be implementing across-the-board policies on hand washing, facility cleaning and social distancing measures. Each school is also prepared to pivot individually based on the guidance of local health authorities and to best serve students and families. 
Our recent survey showed that over 80 per cent of Blyth Academy families are eager to return to campuses, and we are hard at work to prepare for this day. As September's scenario becomes clearer and more information becomes available, we will continue to communicate. 

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