Highlights of the new high school program
The new program
Ontario's new four-year high school program ensures that the province's students will be well prepared for their futures in the competitive, global economy. It provides students with the knowledge and skills they will need to be productive citizens and to pursue careers in the contemporary marketplace.
The new high school program:
How we got here
Parents were concerned that the old high-school streaming model was too restrictive. It was based mainly on the level of difficulty of courses and many parents and educators felt it limited students' opportunities.
In the old system, many students made early choices that limited their future options. This led to high dropout rates in basic and general level courses. And at the same time, the 50 per cent of students who went out to work immediately after graduation from high school often were not properly prepared for the workforce.
Parents and teachers asked for an up-to-date curriculum that would include the latest developments in technology, science and world events. Employers, universities and colleges wanted students to be properly prepared for the workplace and post-secondary studies. And educators, parents and employers alike wanted students to have the language and literacy skills they needed to go on to further study and to be properly prepared for the workplace.
Elementary and secondary teachers, college and university professors, subject experts, business professionals, and technology experts, as well as parents and students, worked to develop and refine Ontario's new curriculum. Expert writing teams prepared the content and there was careful and thorough evaluation by university, college, and workplace reviewers as well as other experts.
More flexibility for students
Now, students will have brand-new courses from Grade 9 right through to Grade 12. They will also have a new and flexible course system, offering them more opportunities and more choices.
In Grades 9 and 10:
In Grades 11 and 12:
Clear, consistent standards
For the first time, the province has established clear, consistent standards for what students across the province should be learning from Kindergarten through to the end of Grade 12.
The new curriculum sets out what students will know and what skills they will have mastered at the end of each course. This also means that, for the first time, students who live in Espanola in Northern Ontario, for example, will study the same courses and meet the same expectations as students in Toronto and Cobourg in southern Ontario.
Help along the way
Starting as early as Grade 7, students now prepare annual education plans that identify students' goals and course choices. Teacher-advisers help students develop these plans and, with parents, they monitor students' progress. A teacher-adviser is part-mentor, part education coach, who also keeps track of students' academic progress.
Throughout high school, students have:
Help for students with special needs
Students who require special education programs and services will continue to get the help they need when they reach the later grades of high school. Students, their parents and teachers will develop Individual Education Plans (IEPs) that are based on a student's strengths, needs and interests.
The IEPs identify what students who need special education programs or services are expected to learn. They also outline how special education programs and services help students achieve their learning goals and the expectations that are set out in these plans.
The government has increased funding for students with special needs by 12
per cent from the 1999/2000 school year to the 2000/2001 school year.