OSSD Explained

Requirements To Earn Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

The Fulford Academy curriculum follows the guidelines set out by the Ministry of Education of Ontario. Students choose courses that are suited to their strengths, interests and goals.

In order to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), a student must earn a minimum of 30 credits, including 18 compulsory credits and 12 optional credits. Students must also complete 40 hours of community involvement activities and must pass the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, or successfully complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OLC4O).

At Fulford Academy, we only offer grade 9 and 10 credits, which contribute to the courses needed to complete the Ontario Secondary School Diploma at the next secondary school.

Compulsory Credits* (Total of 18)

Number of Credits**



English (1 credit per grade)***


French-as-a-second language


mathematics (at least 1 in grade 11 or 12)


in science


in Canadian history


Canadian geography


the arts


health and physical education




career studies


additional English or a third language or social sciences and the humanities or Canadian and world studies or guidance and career education or cooperative education 


additional in health and physical education or the arts or business studies or cooperative education


additional in science (grade 11 or 12) or technological education (grades 9 – 12) or cooperative education


* A credit is granted when a course of at least 110 hours is completed with success. 

** All courses listed in this directory have a 1.0 credit value unless otherwise indicated (e.g. 0.5 credit).

***A maximum of 3 ESL credits may be counted towards the 4 required English credits


Optional Credits (Total of 12)

In addition to the 18 compulsory credits, students must earn 12 optional credits. Students may earn these credits by successfully completing courses that they have selected from the courses listed by grade in the Academic Program.

Complete 40 hours of Community Involvement Activities

As part of the diploma requirements, students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities. Students must be enrolled in Fulford Academy when they begin their activities. Community involvement hours cannot be carried over prior to entry into secondary school.

These may take place in a variety of settings (business, not-for-profit organizations, public sector institutions (including hospitals), and informal settings). Students may not fulfill the requirement through activities that are counted towards an academic credit, through paid work or by assuming duties normally performed by a paid employee. The requirement is to be completed outside students’ normal instructional hours. A variety of activities and opportunities to fulfill these hours will be made available to the students by Fulford Academy throughout the year. Students are to maintain and provide a record of their community involvement. Such records must be confirmed by the organization or persons supervising the activities and submitted to the Academic Coordinator. These records will be submitted to the Head of School for approval upon the completion of the 40 hours.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)

Each student is required to write an Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test during his/her grade 10 year, or the year (grade 10-12) in which they enroll for the first time in an Ontario secondary school. The student must achieve an acceptable level in both reading and writing in order to receive his/her diploma. If students do not achieve an acceptable level of achievement on the literacy test they will be required to rewrite the test until they receive a satisfactory result. The student’s result will be recorded on his/her student transcript. Under special circumstances students may be granted a deferral or a rewrite.


Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OLC4O) Grade 12

This credit course is designed to support at-risk students in improving their language skills and provide them with an alternative way of demonstrating these skills. Students who have had at least two opportunities to write the OSSLT and who have failed it at least once will be eligible to take the course. The successful completion of this course will satisfy the literacy requirement for graduation. Students who obtain a graduation diploma by passing the OLC4O course will be required to demonstrate a standard of reading and writing skills comparable to those measured by the OSSLT. The OSSLT is the foundation for the design of this course.

Ontario high school credit courses offered at Fulford Academy:

            Art                                                       ALC1O

            Business                                             BTT1O

            English                                                ESLBO, ESLCO, ENG1D, ENG2D

            Mathematics                                       MPM1D, MPM2D

            Science                                               SCN1D, SCN2D

            Physical Education                             PPL1O, PPL2O, PPL3O

            Social Science & Humanities             HIF1O, CHV2O, CGC1D, CHC2D

            Guidance and Career Education       GLC2O

PLE – Is the code used for equivalent credits granted for previous learning outside Ontario or in a non-inspected private school in Ontario. This code will appear on the Ontario Student Transcript for equivalent credits granted.

Equivalent hours for community involvement activities for students entering from outside of Ontario - ten hours will be granted per secondary-school grade completed prior to enrollment in an Ontario secondary school.

Substitutions for Compulsory Credits

The Head of School may substitute up to three compulsory courses with courses from the remainder of those that meet the compulsory credit requirement. Substitutions will be made to promote and enhance student learning or to meet special needs and interests.


If a course has a prerequisite requirement, this prerequisite must be attained prior to the enrollment in the course. Satisfactory achievement in prerequisite courses is crucial to full understanding and successful completion of subsequent courses. However, following discussion with the student’s parents and teachers, the Head of School may allow a student to proceed in a particular course without first obtaining the normal pre-requisite. This decision will be made only if it is in the student’s best interest, and the Head of School, the teachers and the parents are in agreement. Since the pre-requisite has not been met, there may be substantial challenges for the student, and although support from the school is available, it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the course is successfully completed. Appropriate records for waiving of pre-requisites, showing all of the appropriate permissions, will be maintained in the OSR.


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Fulford Academy 280 King Street East | Brockville, ON | CA K6V 1E2
Phone: 1-613-341-9330 | Fax: 1-613-341-9344