The Province of Ontario has one of the most comprehensive and highly-developed educational systems in North America. Students usually begin school at age 4 and spend eight years in Elementary School (Grade 1-8) and four years in Secondary School (Grades 9 – 12). Secondary School graduates are awarded the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). In Ontario, students are required to remain in secondary school until the age of 18 or until they have obtained an OSSD. To receive the diploma, students must study a varied academic program of courses and complete a minimum of 30 credits at the Secondary School level. There are 18 compulsory credits and 12 optional credits.
The Ministry of Education defines a credit as “a means of recognition of the successful completion of a course for which a minimum of 110 hours has been scheduled”. A course is defined in the same document as “a set of learning activities that enable students to attain the expectations related to courses that are developed from the Ministry curriculum policy documents.” The 110 hours of instructional time involves planned learning activities related to the learning expectations in a course; they do not include homework.
Detailed information about Ontario’s education program can be found in Ontario Schools–Kindergarten to Grade 12: Policy and Program