Graduation Requirements

Limestone Learning Foundation

To earn the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), students must complete a number of steps. The most important step is the completion of 30 courses from the Ontario Curriculum as set out by the Ministry of Education. Effective February 1, 2022, students are required to complete two online courses prior to Graduation.  In addition to the course requirements, students must complete 40 hours of voluntary Community Involvement, and fulfill the Ontario Literacy Requirement (by successfully completing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), or the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course). 

High school graduation requirements

Course completion for students who entered Grade 9 in September 2023, or earlier:

Students must complete 30 courses  from the Ontario Curriculum as set out by the Ministry of Education. Students must complete 18 compulsory courses and 12 optional credits. Two of these 30 courses must be completed online as of February 1, 2022.

Course completion for students who are entering Grade 9 in September 2024:

Students must complete 30 courses  from the Ontario Curriculum as set out by the Ministry of Education. Students must complete 19 compulsory courses and 11 optional credits. Two of these 30 courses must be completed online.

Online Learning Graduation Requirement 

Students are required to complete two online courses prior to graduation. Students who entered Grade 9 during the 2020-2021 school year are the first group of students required to complete this new e-learning graduation requirement.  Most students will take online courses during their Grade 11 and/or Grade 12 year, but some may elect to complete the online learning requirement during Summer School. 

Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC)

Students working towards the Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC) will be granted on request to students who leave school before earning the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), provided they have earned a minimum of 14 credits distributed, as follows:

Compulsory credits (total of 7):

  • 2 credits in English 

  • 1 credit in Canadian Geography or Canadian History 

  • 1 credit in Mathematics

  • 1 credit in Science 

  • 1 credit in Health and Physical Education 

  • 1 credit in the Arts or Technological Education

Optional credits (total of 7):
Seven credits selected by the student from available courses. Consideration should be given to planned career destination and destination requirements or prerequisites. Students are encouraged to explore different subject areas.  

Community Service (Volunteer) Hours

Since 1999, all students in Ontario secondary schools are required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of Community Involvement (volunteer hours) in order to receive a diploma. The purpose of this requirement is to encourage students to develop an understanding of the various roles they can play in their community. Currently, students are able to start accumulating community involvement hours in the summer before they enter Grade 9.

Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)

Mature students (over 18 years of age) may use the Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) process as a way to progress towards graduation. Students may obtain credits towards the secondary school diploma (OSSD) for knowledge and skills that they have acquired outside of secondary school. This prior learning is assessed and evaluated to determine whether the student has met the provincial course expectations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can my student “opt out” of the mandatory online learning graduation requirement?

 Parents and guardians will have the opportunity to determine whether online learning is appropriate and beneficial for their student. 

Parents who determine they want to opt their student out of the mandatory online learning credits, will have the option to complete the opt out form during the students’ graduating year. Parents can obtain the Opt-Out of e-Learning for Graduation Requirement Form or from their
 student's guidance counselor. 

How will my student choose an online course?

Online course options will be provided during the course selection process which typically happens in February.

Students have access to a variety of eLearning courses throughout the regular school year as well as during Summer Session. 

All courses being offered will run if there is sufficient student interest and enrollment. As with all courses, students may be waitlisted in a course, and may not get their first choice of online course.

How will my grade 9 student fulfill this mandatory eLearning graduation requirement?

Students can fulfill this requirement in a number of ways.  They can take online courses during grade 11 and 12 through the board, complete summer school courses, or take co-operative education during the summer.  

If my student registered in the Secondary Virtual School, does that meet their eLearning requirement?

Yes. If a student has taken 2 or more courses through the Virtual School, they have met their mandatory eLearning graduation requirement.

Will my student's eLearning course be offered synchronously or asynchronously?

eLearning courses are offered asynchronously.

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.