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Online Learning Graduation Requirement

The Ontario Ministry of Education has introduced a new graduation requirement for secondary students to complete two e-Learning credits as part of the 30 credits required for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). It applies only to students who entered Grade 9 on or after September 1, 2020 which means that they are now in Grade 9, 10 or 11.

Students may withdraw/opt out of this new requirement and graduate with an OSSD (details below).

Students working towards an Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC) or a Certificate of Accomplishment (CoA) are not required to complete this new graduation requirement. Students who are completing an OSSC or CoA may choose to enrol in e-Learning courses.

Online learning supports the development of digital literacy and other transferable skills that will help prepare students for success after graduation. Secondary schools will communicate directly with students and parents/caregivers (including incoming Grade 9 students) to provide information about which courses will be available through e-Learning in their school and how to enrol. 

e-Learning Credit Course
e-Learning credit courses are delivered using an asynchronous model, which includes digital content such as readings, videos, blogs, commentaries, and online discussion boards. Students complete the assigned work independently and teachers provide ongoing support for student learning through exemplars, rubrics, tutorials and individual conferences. Evaluation is continuous throughout the course with the teacher providing descriptive feedback.

Opting-Out of the e-Learning Graduation Requirement
Students may withdraw from the online e-Learning requirement. A parent/caregiver/guardian or student (18 years of age or older or 16 or 17 years of age and withdrawn from parental control) may withdraw by submitting the TDSB Opt Out/Withdrawal Form to their school. No explanation or reason is needed to opt out/withdraw.

If you are not ready to make a decision with regard to participating in e-Learning, there will be future opportunities to participate in e-Learning courses or withdraw from the graduation requirement. A final decision is not required at this time.

If you have decided now to withdraw from the graduation requirement, please complete the TDSB Opt Out/Withdrawal Form and return it to your school.


Questions & Answers

Q: Which students can take an e-Learning course?

A: Any secondary school student may take an e-Learning course including students earning credits towards an OSSD, OSSC or CoA.

Q: What type of online courses are eligible to meet the graduation requirement?

A: The Ministry defines online courses as Grade 9-12 e-Learning courses.

An e-Learning credit course is delivered to students using an asynchronous model. The teacher provides individual support for student learning. Asynchronous learning can include student tasks, homework, online discussion boards, blogs, pre-recorded video lessons, tutorials, assignments, tests and other forms of assessment.

Q: How is an e-Learning Course different from a Virtual Learning Course?

A: e-Learning Courses are delivered asynchronously, with teacher support.

Virtual Learning Courses are delivered synchronously (live, interactive) with student attendance required for the duration of the daily scheduled class. Virtual Learning courses do not meet the new graduation requirement.

Q: What courses will be offered as e-Learning courses?

A: Your school will communicate the e-Learning courses that will be available to you in the annual course selection process.

For e-Learning courses available through e-Summer in TDSB, please see the TDSB e-Learning website

Q: May a student count credits earned during remote learning in 2020-2021?

A: In recognition of the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Ministry of Education has stated that one secondary school credit successfully completed by Grade 9 students during the province-wide school closure (April to June 2021) may be counted towards the online learning graduation requirement.

Q: Do TDSB Virtual Secondary School courses meet the new graduation requirement?

A: No. Courses taken with the TDSB Virtual Secondary School do not count towards the e-Learning graduation requirement.

Q: Is it only day school e-Learning courses that meet the requirement?

A: No. Any course delivered as e-Learning (see above) meets the online learning graduation requirement. This includes e-Learning day school courses and e-Summer courses taken with the TDSB or other school boards.

Q: How will students access support with their e-Learning course?

A: The e-Learning teacher will support student learning through instruction, ongoing feedback, tutorials, one-on-one instruction, assessment, evaluation, and reporting, including implementing any accommodations and/or modifications identified in a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Students enrolled in an e-Learning course may also access the school’s Student Support Team for additional support.

Q: How will achievement in an e-Learning course be communicated?

A: All reporting and recording of student achievement for e-Learning courses remains the same.

Q: Who keeps track of e-Learning credits earned?

A: The student’s school will keep track of e-Learning credits required, credits earned and whether the student has opted-out of the requirement. This will be recorded on the student’s report card and transcript.

Q: Is it possible to opt out/withdraw from the new OSSD graduation requirement?

A: Yes. A student will graduate with an OSSD if they opt out/withdraw from e-Learning.

There is no penalty for opting out/withdrawing from the e-Learning requirement.

Q: What is the process for opting out/withdrawing from the graduation requirement?

A: A parent/caregiver or student (18 years of age or older or 16 or 17 years of age and withdrawn from parental control) may opt out/withdraw by submitting a TDSB opt-out/withdrawal form to their school. No explanation or reason is needed

Q: Is there a deadline to opt out/withdraw from the graduation requirement?

A: No. Opting out/withdrawing from the graduation requirement may occur at any time during the student’s secondary school program.

Q: If a student opts out/withdraws, may they still take an e-Learning course?

A: Yes. Opting out/withdrawing does not prevent a student from taking an e-Learning course.

Q: If a student opts out/withdraws, may they opt back in?

A: Yes. A student may opt back into the graduation requirement.

Q: Whom do I ask if I have more questions?

A: Please contact your home school for further information.

Q: Can Virtual School students take e-Learning courses?

A: Yes, they can take an e-learning courses through the Virtual School, summer e-Learning and e-Learning Day school.

Q: Are class sizes in e-learning similar to class sizes for in-person learning?

A: e-learning classes can be as large as 35 students in a class, with an overall average class size of 30 students. In-person classes are generally between 26 and 31 students depending on the type of course (e.g. Academic, University, College, Workplace, etc.).