Understanding Ontario High School Course Codes

Ontario High School Course Codes may seem complicated, but they follow a predictable pattern that makes it easy to identify the course and several key details about it. Course codes use six characters, with the first five set by the Ministry of Education. The sixth character is used by local school boards to identify a specific characteristic of the course.

Find out more about how course codes like ENG2DR tell us about the subject, grade, and other vital details about a course.

The Subject Of The Course

The subject of the course is identified by the first three characters of the course code. The first character identifies the department area.

In the sample code, ENG2DR, the first letter “E” signifies English. The three letters representing the subject change depending on the course’s content. For example, EBT can be used as a code for an English course that focuses on business and technical communication.

Departments are identified by the first letter of the code:

  •       A = Arts
  •       B = Business
  •       C = Canadian and World Studies
  •       E = English
  •       F = French
  •       G = Guidance and Career Education
  •       H = Humanities and Social Sciences
  •       L = International Languages
  •       M = Mathematics
  •       P = Physical Education
  •       S = Sciences
  •       T = Technology.

The Grade Level

The fourth character of the course code identifies the grade level of the course.

In the sample code, ENG2DR, the fourth character “2” signifies grade 10. A fourth character 1 signifies grade 9, a character of 3 signifies grade 11, and a character of 4 signifies grade 12.

Course Types

The fifth character of the course code helps identify the course type. Grades 9 and 10 have one grouping of codes, while grades 11 and 12 have a separate grouping of codes.

Grades 9 and 10 use four codes: D for Academic, P for Applied, L for Locally Developed, and O for Open.

Grades 11 and 12 use five codes: C for College; E for Workplace; M for University/College; O for Open; and U for University.

Grades 9 & 10

The four codes for grades 9 and 10 signify different types of coursework:

  • D = Academic courses in grades 9 and 10 cover standard core content for the subject and emphasize theory and conceptual learning. The sample course, ENG2DR, falls under this category.
  • P = Applied courses focus on the basic concepts, offering content that covers the essentials and concrete applications. Theory is incorporated as needed.
  • L = Locally developed courses are designed for students who need some flexibility and support to complete the requirements for subject areas. Locally developed courses help students prepare for further study as well.
  • O = Open courses in grades 9 to 12 offer equal learning expectations for all students, preparing students for further study or enrichment in the subject matter. Open courses may be required or elective courses.

Grades 11 & 12

The five codes for grade 11 and 12 signify different types of coursework:

  • C = College preparation courses are designed to prepare students for meeting traditional college entrance requirements. Courses focus on theory, critical thinking, research, and problem-solving skills.
  • E = Workplace preparation courses are geared toward moving students into the workplace or apprenticeship.
  • M = University/College preparation courses offer content relevant to both university and college entrance requirements. Courses cover theory as well as direct application of the content in real-world situations.
  • O = Open courses in grades 9 to 12 offer equal learning expectations for all students, preparing students for further study or enrichment in the subject matter. Open courses may be required or elective courses.
  • U = University preparation courses prepare students for meeting traditional university entrance requirements. Courses emphasize theory, independent research, and independent learning skills.

Course Characteristics

The sixth character for course characteristics is optional and is used to distinguish the course or its delivery method. Examples may include “I” for Immersion, “R” for Regular, and “V” for E-learning.

In the sample code, ENG2DR, the sixth character is one used by Blythe Academy. Blythe Academy uses only one characteristic code, “R,” which signifies a course is an Accelerated Repeat Course. Such courses may be viewed at https://blytheducation.com/blyth-academy-online/accelerated-repeat-courses/.

Ontario High School Course Codes are organized to make it easy to classify and identify courses through a six-character code. The pattern provides easy access to the key characteristics of courses like the example course ENG2DR. Students who are familiar with the coding system learn about the various types of courses available for different grade bands as well.

Blythe Academy offers a wide selection of online high school courses. View the offerings at https://blytheducation.com/blyth-academy-online/courses/ and view a sample course experience.

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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