In Ontario, secondary school refers to Grade 9 to Grade 12.
There are several variations in the organization of *secondary schools*. Most schools go from Grades 9-12, but there are an increasing number of schools that go from Grades 7-12. Some schools have an enrollment of several hundred, while others have close to two thousand students. Note that secondary schools are also commonly called high schools.
Secondary schools in Ontario are very diverse in the many programs they offer. All secondary schools offer a comprehensive education that enable a student to graduate, but some also have specialized programs that provide a focus on Fine Arts, or Science, or Technology. Yet other schools offer French Immersion Programs, the International Baccalaureate, Specialist High Skills Majors, Dual Credit Programs, among many others. To see the programs offered in a specific school, go to the main website of the specific public school boards in Ontario: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/sbinfo/boardList.html
The purpose of a secondary education in Ontario is “meeting the needs, interests and strengths of all students, engaging them in learning and better preparing them for graduation and beyond.” (Ontario Ministry of Education). The importance of a secondary education for future success is widely recognized and the Ontario government has provided resources that have increased graduation rates dramatically over the past decade; currently over 85.5% of secondary students are graduating, a 17% increase since 2004. More about these results can be found at: www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/gettingResultsGrad.html
For the list of specific courses and requirements for a student to graduate, click “Graduation Requirements”.
Secondary schools recognize that each student learns in different ways and has unique individual interests. A whole series of programs in secondary schools are effectively supporting student success. New initiatives with local communities, employers, and colleges and universities are assisting secondary students in fulfilling their potential. See more information at: www.edu.gov.on.ca/studentsuccess