Academic Policies

The Academic Program
The academic program at QCHS. is determined by the policies of the Board and those of the Ministry of Education. Students who graduate from Quinte Christian High School need to fulfill the requirements of the Ministry of Education and those which the school prescribes. Completion of the academic program entitles our students to an Ontario Secondary Schools Diploma (OSSD), and a Christian School Diploma (CSD), or an Ontario Secondary School Certificate.

Description of Course Codes
Each course has a code with letters and digits. Course codes for grade 9 and 10 are applied, academic or open. The following examples may help you in understanding course codes.

Example: ENG1D
ENG is the Ministry of Education designation for English
ENG1D   means year one, Grade 9
ENG1D   D indicates academic*

Example: MAT2P
MAT  is the Ministry of Education designation for Mathematics
MAT2P   means year two, Grade 10
MAT2P   P indicates applied**

* Academic courses focus on the essential concepts of the discipline and also explore related concepts. They develop the students’ knowledge and skills by emphasizing theoretical, abstract applications of the essential concepts and incorporating practical applications as appropriate.

** Applied courses also focus on the essential concepts of the discipline, but develop students’ knowledge and skills by emphasizing practical, concrete applications as appropriate.

Open courses comprise a set of expectations that are suitable for all students at a given grade level.

Grade 9 and 10 courses
The academic (D) and applied (P) labels refer to the learning style of the student, and are not destination courses. They are not intended to be levels, so that the level of difficulty in both the applied and academic courses is meant to be comparable.

Grade 11 and 12 courses are destination-related courses. The last letter in each course code designates one of the following course types:
U for a university preparation course
C for a college preparation course
M for courses that serve students with either university or college in mind
E for workplace preparation courses
O for courses that are open to all students

Students with a university destination must take six Grade 12 “U” or “M” courses. Students need to check the prerequisites for each university.

Students with a college destination do not need a required number of Grade 12
“C” courses. Some college programs require some “U” courses instead. It is important for students to be aware of university and college requirements as they vary somewhat from one program/institution to another.

Workplace Preparation courses are designed for the student who plans to enter the workplace after graduation.

Open courses comprise a set of expectations that are suitable for all students at a given grade level. In Grades 11 and 12, these courses are designed to prepare students for further study in certain subjects and to enrich their education generally.

The following examples may help you in understanding the senior course codes.

Example ENG3C
is the Ministry of Education designation for English
ENG3C  means year three, Grade 11
ENG3C  indicates a college destination course

Example MCB4U
MCB is the Ministry of Education designation for Calculus
MCB4U  means year four, Grade 12
MCB4U  indicates a university destination course

Credit Requirements
QCHS Diploma Requirements for the Christian School Diploma (CSD) include all the required credits for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). A student needs 30 credits to graduate with the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

OSSD Requirements
18 compulsory credits
4 credits in English (1 credit per grade)

• The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC) may be used to meet either the Grade 11 or the Grade 12 English compulsory credit requirement.

• The Grade 11 Contemporary Aboriginal Voices course may be used to meet the Grade 11 English compulsory credit requirement.

• For English language learners the requirement may be met through earning a maximum of 3 credits in English as a second language (ESL) or English literacy development (ELD); the fourth credit must be a Grade 12 compulsory English course.

3 credits in mathematics (at least 1 credit in Grade 11 or 12)
2 credits in science
1 credit in the arts

• The Grade 9 Expressing Aboriginal Cultures course may be used to meet the compulsory credit requirement in the arts.

1 credit in Canadian geography (Grade 9)
1 credit in Canadian history (Grade 10)
1 credit in French as a second language

• Students who have taken Native languages in place of French as a second language in elementary school may use a Level 1 or 2 Native language course to meet the compulsory credit requirement for French as a second language.

1 credit in health and physical education
0.5 credit in career studies
0.5 credit in civics
3 additional credits, consisting of 1 credit from each of the following groups:

Group 1: English (including the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course), French as a second language, classical languages, international languages, Native languages, Canadian and world studies, Native studies, social sciences and humanities, guidance and career education, cooperative education
Group 2: French as a second language, the arts, business studies, health and physical education, cooperative education
Group 3: French as a second language, science (Grade 11 or 12), computer studies, technological education, cooperative education

Note: The following conditions apply to selections from the above three groups:

• A maximum of 2 credits in French as a second language may count as additional compulsory credits, 1 credit from Group 1, and 1 credit from either Group 2 or Group 3.

• A maximum of 2 credits in cooperative education may count as additional compulsory credits, selected from any of Groups 1, 2, or 3.

Additional CSD Requirements
1.5 more credits in Physical Education
1.5 credits in Bible
1 credit in History (Grade 11 or 12)

The Ontario Secondary School Certificate
The Ontario Secondary School Certificate will be granted on request to students who leave school before earning the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, provided that they have earned a minimum of 14 credits distributed as follows:

Compulsory credits (total of 7)
2 credits in English
1 credit in Canadian geography or Canadian history
1 credit in mathematics
1 credit in science
1 credit in health and physical education
1 credit in the arts or technological education

Optional credits (total of 7)
7 credits selected by the student from available courses
The provisions for making substitutions for compulsory credits (described in section 3.2:
Substitutions for Compulsory Courses) also apply to the Ontario Secondary School Certificate.

Granting Credit
A credit is granted to a student when he/she has successfully completed a course that has been scheduled for a minimum of 110 hours. A half credit course requires a minimum of 55 hours. The credit is granted by the principal on behalf of the Minister of Education. All courses have been developed from Ministry of Education curriculum guidelines.

Student Records
According to the Ministry of Education (EDU), student records are to be maintained by the school. The Ontario Student Record (OSR) contains the student’s academic record for all four years at high school, as well as the results from testing and assessments performed on the student throughout his/her years of schooling. Course credits and marks obtained are listed on the Ontario Student Transcript (OST) in the OSR. The OSR and OST remain at the school. Parents and students may ask to see this document at the school. A copy of the OST can be requested for $10.00.

Community Service Hours
Students are required complete 40 hours of community involvement activities for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. These hours may be spread out over the four years of high school. We recommend that a student complete a minimum of 10 hours per year, starting in Grade 9. As well as being a diploma requirement, this can encourage students to give their time and God-given talents to serve others in their own community without receiving monetary reward. Students have opportunity to experience the reward that comes with freely giving to those in need and gain a sense of belonging to the community.

Literacy Diploma Requirement
Students in grade10 write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), implemented in the 2001-2002 school year. Passing the test is a graduation diploma requirement. The test is administered by the EQAO (Education Quality and Accountability Office). A student who fails the test will be permitted to try it again at a later date. A student who is unsuccessful may take the Grade 12 Literacy course (OSSLC).This course is not offered at our school, but arrangements can be made for the student to take the course at another school in the area. The OSSLC has been developed to provide students who have been unsuccessful on the test with intensive support in achieving the required reading and writing competencies, and an alternative means of demonstrating their literacy skills.

Full Disclosure and Withdrawals
All grades in Grade 11 and 12 courses must be reported on the OST (Ontario Student Transcript), including failing grades. If a student repeats a course, both grades must be reported on the OST. Withdrawal from a course 5 days after the midterm exam must be reported on the OST.

To meet individual needs, the principal may replace up to three compulsory credits with courses from the remainder of those that meet the compulsory credit requirements. For instance, a student who enters grade 9 without any French may have a substitution for another course such as Phys. Ed.

Earning Credits outside of School
Credits can be earned at summer school or through the Independent learning Centre (correspondence courses). This does not include core courses which must be taken at the school, and are taught from a Christian perspective. A student wishing to take a course outside of the school needs approval from the principal or guidance department. Up to two Grade 12 music credits can be earned for certificates gained outside the school. For more information, contact the guidance department.

PLAR (Prior Learning and Recognition)
Prior learning includes the knowledge and skills that the students have acquired, in both formal and informal ways, outside secondary school. Where such learning has occurred outside Ontario classrooms, students may have their knowledge and skills evaluated against the expectations outlined in provincial curriculum policy documents in order to earn credits towards the secondary school diploma. This formal evaluation and accreditation process is carried out under the direction of the principal, who grants credits. This process is used to establish equivalency for students who transfer from non-inspected private schools and schools outside of Ontario.

Academic Tracking System
Student progress is closely monitored. We are committed to early identification of unproductive learning patterns and learning difficulties through the use of the Academic Tracking Procedure.

Course Outlines
A copy of the course outline for each course is kept on file in the office. Parents may request a copy for any course.

Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting
Assessment is the process of gathering information that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the curriculum expectations. The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning.
Assessment for learning is used in making decisions that affect teaching and learning in the short term future. Assessment for learning is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go, and how best to get there. (Assessment Reform Group, 2002, p. 2) This includes both diagnostic assessment (to determine what students already know) and formative assessment (to monitor student progress and provide timely feedback).
Assessment as learning focuses on developing students’ capacity to be their own best assessors.
Assessment of learning (summative) is used to record and report what has been learned in the past. It occurs at or near the end of a period of learning. It is used by the teacher to summarize learning at a given point in time. (Growing Success p.30)

The following seven fundamental principles lay the foundation for rich and challenging practice. When these principles are fully understood and observed by all teachers, they guide the collection of meaningful information that informs instructional decisions, promotes student engagement, and improves student learning. (p.6)

The Seven Fundamental Principles
To ensure that assessment, evaluation, and reporting are valid and reliable, and that they lead to the improvement of learning for all students, teachers use practices and procedures that:
• are fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;
• support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;
• are carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;
• are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the school year or course and at other appropriate points throughout the school year or course;
• are ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
• provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;
• develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.

The Achievement Chart
For Grades 9 to 12, a student’s achievement of the overall curriculum expectations will be evaluated in accordance with the achievement charts in the provincial curriculum and will be reported using percentage marks. It is expected that both mathematical calculations and professional judgement will inform the determination of percentage marks. For Grades 9 to 12, a final grade (percentage mark) is recorded for every course. The final grade will be determined as follows:
• Seventy per cent of the grade will be based on evaluation conducted throughout the course. This portion of the grade should reflect the student’s most consistent level of achievement throughout the course, although special consideration should be given to more recent evidence of achievement.
• Thirty per cent of the grade will be based on a final evaluation administered at or towards the end of the course. This evaluation will be based on evidence from one or a combination of the following: an examination, a performance, an essay, and/or another method of evaluation suitable to the course content. The final evaluation allows the student an opportunity to demonstrate comprehensive achievement of the overall expectations for the course.
A credit is granted and recorded for every course in which the student’s final percentage mark is 50 per cent or higher. Procedures for students whose final grade is below 50 per cent and who do not receive a credit are outlined in the ministry policy document Ontario Secondary Schools Grades 9 to 12 Program and Diploma Requirements 1999.

Reporting Student Achievement
Student achievement is communicated to students and parents by means of midterm and final report cards. The provincial report card focuses on two distinct but related aspects of student achievement: the achievement of the curriculum expectations (a percentage grade) and the development of learning skills (by category – excellent, good, satisfactory or needing improvement). The report card also includes teachers’ comments on the student’s strengths, areas in which improvement is needed, and ways in which improvement might be achieved. The percentage grade represents the quality of the student’s overall achievement of the expectations of the course and reflects the corresponding level of achievement as described in the achievement chart for each course.

Missed Notes, Assignments and Tests
In the case of absence from class, it remains the responsibility of students to find out what was missed and catch up. Handouts and other pertinent information can be found on teacher web pages on the school website. Tests that are written while the student is away for legitimate one or two day absences will be written on the day that the student returns. The teacher will arrange a make-up test in the case of an extended illness.

Homework Expectations: Guidelines for Parents
Some homework is required for all high school students. The times below are approximate times and depend on the student=s abilities, work habits and learning patterns. What takes one student 20 minutes may take another twice as long!

Grade 9 and 10 Academic and Applied Courses
On average, students should be spending 20-30 minutes per night per subject finishing assignments and reviewing the day’s lessons.

Grade 11 and 12 College Destination
On average, students should be spending 20-30 minutes per night per subject finishing assignments and reviewing the day=s lessons.

Grade 11 and 12 University Destination
On average, students should be spending 30-45 minutes per night per subject on new or old assignments and reviewing the day=s lessons.

All students must write the examination for all courses that have an exam. Students who arrive late for an exam must report to the office.
Each student shall

  • inform a school official by phone in case of absence
  • refrain from talking to other students once the exam has begun
  • refrain from any activity which may be construed to be dishonest; dishonest activity may result in a mark of zero
  • remain in session for a required minimum time
  • be accompanied by a teacher at all times if he/she needs to leave the exam room for any reason during the examination.