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Literacy Requirement

All students are required to meet the literacy graduation requirement in accordance with Ministry of Education policy. Most students will meet the requirement by successfully completing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) or the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC). Some students may be allowed to meet the requirement by successfully completing a special adjudication process.

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)

The OSSLT is based on the expectations for reading and writing throughout the Ontario curriculum up to and including Grade 9. Its purpose is to determine whether students have the skills in reading and writing that they will need to succeed at school, at work, and in daily life. Students who are working towards their diploma will normally take the OSSLT when they are in Grade 10. Those who do not take the test in the year following the year in which they enter Grade 9 will require a deferral. Once students have successfully completed the literacy test, they may not retake it. Students working towards a certificate are not required to successfully complete the OSSLT. A student will take the OSSLT in the language of instruction of the school in which he or she is enrolled at the time of test administration.

The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course

This course is designed to help students acquire and demonstrate the cross-curricular literacy skills that are evaluated by the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT). To be eligible for the course, a student must have written and failed the OSSLT at least once. Students who complete the course successfully will meet the provincial literacy requirement for graduation. Students will read a variety of informational, narrative, and graphic texts and will produce a variety of forms of writing, including summaries, information paragraphs, opinion pieces, and news reports. Students will also maintain and manage a literacy portfolio containing a record of their reading experiences and samples of their writing. Policy requirements for taking the OSSLC are contained in the curriculum policy document The Ontario Curriculum: English, The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC), Grade 12, 2003.