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7. Program Planning

Any interested person in learning more about secondary education at the Virtual High School will find the relevant policies set out in Ontario Schools: Policy and Program Requirements, 2011 (OS) as set out by the Ministry of Education of Ontario to be particularly informative.

Links to all of the appropriate Ontario Curriculum Documents are made available to parents, guardians and students from the Introduction Unit of each course. They are also available to the general public from the Ministry of Education's website.

7.1 Types of Secondary School Courses

The Ontario secondary school program is based on a credit system. Full credit courses are 110 hours in length. A credit is granted by the Principal on behalf of the Ministry of Education in recognition of the successful completion of the expectations of a 110-hour course that has been developed or approved by the Ministry of Education.

The curriculum is organized into several types of courses, intended to enable students to choose courses suited to their strengths, interests, and goals. The following three types of courses are offered in Grades 9 and 10:

  1. Academic courses develop students' knowledge and skills through the study of theory and abstract problems. These courses focus on the essential concepts of a subject and explore related concepts as well. They incorporate practical applications as appropriate. The code of an academic course ends with the letter "D", ie ENG1D
  2. Applied courses focus on the essential concepts of a subject and develop students' knowledge and skills through practical applications and concrete examples. Familiar situations are used to illustrate ideas, and students are given more opportunities to experience hands-on applications of the concepts and theories they study. The code of an applied course ends with the letter "P", ie ENG1P
  3. Open courses, which comprise a set of expectations that are appropriate for all students, are designed to broaden students' knowledge and skills in subjects that reflect their interests and prepare them for active and rewarding participation in society. They are not designed with the specific requirements of university, college, or the workplace in mind. The code of an open course ends with the letter "O", ie BTT2O

The common course code of all courses at the Virtual High School consists both of a five code character and a course title component, as designated by the Ministry of Education and Training in Ontario:

For example: MPM1D a, Principles of Mathematics

MPM

1

D

a

Course Descriptor

Grade of Course

Course Type

School Code

Math
Principles
Math

  • "1" = Grade 9
  • "2" = Grade 10
  • "3" = Grade 11
  • "4" = Grade 12
  • D - Academic
  • P - Applied
  • O - Open
  • U - University
  • C - College
  • M - College/University
 

7.1.1 Grades 9 and 10 courses

Students choose between academic and applied courses in each of the core subjects - English, French as a second language, mathematics, science, geography, and history.

Academic courses

Academic courses develop a student's knowledge base and skills through the study of theory and abstract problems. These courses focus on the essential concepts of a subject and explore related concepts as well. They incorporate practical applications as appropriate.

Applied courses

Applied courses focus on the essential concepts of a subject, and develop a student's knowledge base and skills through practical applications and concrete examples. Familiar situations are used to illustrate ideas, and students are given more opportunities to experience hands-on applications of the concepts and theories they study.

Open courses

Open course are the only type of course offered in most subjects other than those listed above. They are designed to prepare students for further study in a subject, and to enrich their education generally. Open courses comprise a set of expectations that are appropriate for all students.

Students in Grades 9 and 10, along with their parents or guardians will make the choice between academic, applied or open courses primarily on the basis of their strengths, interests, and needs. The Virtual High School Principal, guidance counseling team, and teachers are here to assist the student in making his or her choice of course selection. Students who are successful in any academic or applied course in Grade 9 will have the opportunity to enter either the academic or applied course in the same subject in Grade 10. Grade 10 courses do have prerequisite requirements. Grade 10 academic courses prepare students for Grade 11 University or College preparation courses; Grade 10 applied courses prepare students for Grade 11 College or Workplace preparation courses.

7.1.2 Changing Course Types

A student may change his or her educational goals in secondary school. If the student decides to embark on a new pathway, he or she may find that a prerequisite course that has not been completed, is now required. Virtual High School makes provisions to allow its students to make such changes of direction and clearly describes these provisions in the Virtual High School course calendar. In most cases, a student may enroll in a different type of course in a given subject in Grade 10 than the type he or she completed in Grade 9, although doing so may require additional preparation, as recommended by the Virtual High School Principal. In the case of mathematics, however, the sole prerequisite for the Grade 10 academic mathematics course is the Grade 9 academic mathematics course, so a student who is planning to move from the Grade 9 applied mathematics course to the Grade 10 academic mathematics course must take either the Grade 9 academic mathematics course (MPM1D) or the designated transfer course (MPM1H). In Grades 10 to 12, a student may change to a different type of course in a given subject provided that the student has taken any course specified as a prerequisite for that course. If the student has not done so, he or she may take one of the specified prerequisite courses through Virtual High School. If the Virtual High School Principal or the Principal at the student’s bricks-and-mortar school believes that a student can be successful in a particular course without having taken the specified prerequisite course, then either Principal may waive the prerequisite.

7.1.3 Grades 11 and 12 Courses

At Virtual High School, Grade 11 and 12 students will choose from among destination-related course types: university preparation, university/college preparation, college preparation, and open courses. Students will make their choices based on their interest, achievement, and career goals. Prerequisites are specified for many of the courses offered in Grades 11 and 12. These prerequisites are identified in the Course of Study document for each course. The following four types of courses are offered by Virtual High School in Grades 11 and 12:

  1. College preparation courses are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the entrance requirements for most college programs or for admission to specific apprenticeship or other training programs. The code of a college preparation course ends with the letter "C", ie MBF3C
  2. University preparation courses are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the entrance requirements for university programs. The code of a university preparation course ends with the letter "U", ie SCH3U
  3. University / college preparation courses are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the entrance requirements for specific programs offered at universities and colleges. The code of an university / college preparation course ends with the letter "M", ie MCF3M
  4. Open courses, which comprise a set of expectations that are appropriate for all students, are designed to broaden students' knowledge and skills in subjects that reflect their interests and prepare them for active and rewarding participation in society. They are not designed with the specific requirements of university, college, or the workplace in mind .The code of an open course ends with the letter "O", ie EMS3O

7.1.4 Prerequisite Courses

Courses in Grades 10, 11, and 12 often require the student to have completed a prerequisite course. All prerequisite courses are identified in curriculum policy documents published by the Ministry of Education, and no course apart from these may be identified as prerequisites. Any school operating in Ontario must provide parents and students with clear and accurate information about prerequisites. If a parent or an adult student (a student who is eighteen years of age or older) requests that a prerequisite be waived, the Virtual High School Principal will determine whether or not the prerequisite should be waived. The Principal may also initiate consideration of whether a prerequisite should be waived. The Principal will make his or her decision in consultation with the student, the appropriate Virtual High School staff and the parent or guardian.

7.2 Programs for Exceptional Students

Recognizing the needs of exceptional students and designing courses to meet those needs are important and challenging aspects of program planning. Students who have an existing Individual Education Plan will have that IEP honored at VHS through the implementation of appropriate accommodations.

7.2.1 Reaching Ahead

Elementary school students may reach ahead and take high school credits. This may occur only after the Principal of the Virtual High School consults with the student, the parents or guardian, and the Principal of the elementary school of the student. The VHS Principal must ensure that the learning expectations of the Grade 8 course have been met. The VHS Principal is also responsible for evaluating the student's achievement of the expectations of the Virtual High School course. Virtual High School will issue the OSSD credit.

7.3 Online Courses Available

Students may register for any course at any time during the calendar year, progress through at their own rate and finish the course at any time up to 18 months from the time of registration.

7.3.1 Course List

As of April 2015, here is a list of courses that students may immediately register for:

Grade 9:

BBI1O
BTT1O
CGC1D
ENG1D
ENG1P
ESLBO
FSF1D
FSF1P
MFM1P
MPM1D
MPM1H
PPL1O
SNC1D
SNC1P

Grade 10:

BBI2O
BTT2O
CHC2D
CHC2P
CHV2O
ENG2D
ENG2P
GLC2O
MFM2P
MPM2D
SNC2D

Grade 11:

AMU3M
BAF3M
CHA3U
CHW3M
COOP4O1
COOP4O2
EMS3O
ENG3C
ENG3U
GWL3O
HZB3M
ICS3U
MBF3C
MCF3M
MCR3U
PPZ3C
SBI3U
SCH3U
SPH3U

Grade 12:

APCalAB
ADA4M
AMU4M
BBB4M
CGW4U
CHI4U
CHY4U
CIA4U
CPW4U
ENG4C
ENG4U
ETS4U
EWC4U
FSF4U
HHS4C
HHS4U
HSB4U
HZT4U
ICS4U
IDC4U DAT
MCV4U
MDM4U
MHF4U
OLC4O
PSK4U
SBI4U
SCH4U
SPH4C
SPH4U