School Manual

The following document is a collection of Christian Virtual School’s policies and procedures for students enrolling in secondary school courses. The document includes our general philosophy, expectations of our students, assessment, and evaluation strategies, as well as information to help students and their families understand the Ontario Secondary School Diploma requirements. You can also download this document as a PDF using the link provided.

This manual was last revised on 18/07/2022.

Table of Contents

  1. Christian Virtual School
  2. Mission
  3. Goals & Philosophy
    1. Integrating a Christ-Centered Worldview
    2. Prioritizing Academic Rigor
    3. Encouraging Core Values
    4. Removing Barriers to Christian Education
    5. Encouraging Interactions
  4. Expectations of Students
    1. Attendance Policy
    2. Code of Conduct for a Safe School Policy
    3. Code of Conduct for Acceptable Computer Use Policy
    4. Academic Integrity Policy
    5. Hardware and Software Requirements
  5. Curriculum & Program Planning
    1. Types of Secondary School Courses
    2. Programs for Exceptional Students
    3. Online Courses Available
    4. Cooperative Education
    5. Alternative Credit Options
    6. More Information
  6. Student Achievement
    1. Assessment and Evaluation Strategies
    2. The Achievement Chart
    3. Reporting Student Achievement
    4. Methods of Evaluation
  1. Ontario Student Records (OSRs)
    1. Contents
    2. Access
    3. Transfer
  2. Ontario Student Transcripts (OSTs)
    1. Withdrawal from a Course
    2. Repetition of a Course
    3. Equivalent Credits
  3. Diplomas and Certificates
    1. Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
    2. Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC)
    3. Certificate of Accomplishment
    4. Previous Diploma Requirements
  4. Supports and Resources
    1. Guidance and Student Success
    2. Education and Career/Life Planning
    3. English Language Learners
    4. Accommodations

1. Christian Virtual School

We connect learners from all over the world to quality online Christian education. As of the 2022-2023 school year, we currently offer courses in Grades 4 to 11. Our fully online, self-paced courses follow the Ontario curriculum and challenge students to grow both academically and spiritually. As a not-for-profit organization, we are focused on building a supportive community for elementary and secondary learners and families. Our educators are passionate about supporting each student and their individual walks with Christ.

We are an inspected private school granting credits toward the OSSD. Our Ontario Ministry of Education BSID number is 669600. All courses taken through Christian Virtual School are recognized by schools across Ontario and post-secondary institutions around the world.

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2. Mission

All Christian Virtual School courses are built with a Christ-centered worldview. This means that, in addition to achieving the Ontario curriculum expectations, students are given the opportunity to make connections between what they are learning and their faith. At Christian Virtual School we take a multi-denominational approach and focus on being inclusive, compassionate, and providing multiple points of view. The emphasis is on teaching students’ skills in critical thinking, information processing, and communication to bring together what they are learning and their own family’s faith to solidify the foundation on which they stand. Students are asked to explore topics and questions outside of the ‘classroom’ by reaching out to their parents, mentors, churches, and role models to start conversations, build relationships, and grow together.

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3. Goals & Philosophy

At Christian Virtual School we envision a world where everyone can access quality Christian education. To be a part of accomplishing this, our operations revolve around five priorities.

3.1 Integrating a Christ-Centered Worldview

All content is presented with a Christ-centered worldview that encourages growth spiritually as well as academically. Our administrative and teaching staff welcome prayer, Bible study, and thoughtful discussions as a part of their everyday interactions with students and their families.

At Christian Virtual School we welcome students and families from all denominations to join our education community. Our board members, staff, teachers, and volunteers respect each other’s diverse practices and traditions as well as those of our students and their families. Our love of Christ brings us together as we serve Him with passion and purpose. We aspire to educate younger generations and equip them to live a life of purpose as part of God’s plan.

We believe:

  • There is one true and living God, eternally existent in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God alone is Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things.
  • Our Lord, Jesus Christ, is God, manifest in the flesh. God redeems all who repent of their sin and trust Jesus Christ alone for their salvation, restoring their relationship with Him.
  • All people are made to enjoy a relationship with God, with one another, and with the rest of His Creation. The Holy Spirit enables believers to live a holy life, to witness, and work for the Lord, Jesus Christ.
  • The Bible, both Old and New Testaments together, is the authoritative, infallible written Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
  • The Church, the Body of Christ, consists of all followers of Jesus Christ, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages.

3.2 Prioritizing Academic Rigour

All Christian Virtual School courses prioritize academic rigour, focusing on quality of instruction and creating exceptional learning experiences for students. Our courses are written and facilitated by qualified experts in their respective fields. Christian Virtual School is committed to reaching every student that enrolls and helping them achieve success in their secondary school experience.

The teachers at Christian Virtual School emphasize that students need to actively inquire into and make connections between ideas and subject areas. A variety of teaching methods are used including direct instruction via structured lessons and activities, differentiated instruction to meet the diverse learning needs of students, scaffolded instruction to promote greater independence in the learning process, opportunities to collaboratively construct knowledge through discussions and reflection, and personalized and comprehensive assessments.

Christian Virtual School courses are constructed using a backward design approach with the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum expectations as the starting point. The curriculum at Christian Virtual School deals with real-life applications of student learning as much as possible. The curriculum expectations are stated as clear objectives that have been broken down into achievable targets that are transparent to students in each lesson and assessment. We focus on educating the whole student by giving students opportunities to think critically and creatively, solve complex problems, and communicate well.

3.3 Encouraging Core Values

The school culture aims to promote Christian values and encourage students to apply their academic skills to make a positive impact on their communities. Christian Virtual School works to promote and exemplify the following values in all aspects of our school operations.

As a school, we strive to be a reliable resource for families’ education needs, as well as to be responsive and timely with our administration and guidance. As educators, we aim to help students set and achieve academic goals, we build up in them a confidence in their own skills and emphasize the importance of demonstrating accountability.

As a school, we envision a world without barriers to quality Christian education, so we persevere in the effort to remove financial, geographical, and physical barriers for learners worldwide. As educators, we promote problem solving, setting and attaining goals, and overcoming obstacles as opportunities to achieve growth.

As a school, we see the diversity of families, children, and people in the world in need of Christ’s love, and we work every day to increase access to Christian education and spreading the love of Christ. As educators, we teach students about multiple worldviews, how to identify and acknowledge similarities and differences, and how to communicate with others in an inclusive, kind, and loving way.

As a school, we believe in transparency and honesty in all our operations. We also hold our educators and students to a high standard regarding academic integrity. As educators, we feel that integrity for our students means that they have spent time examining what they believe, solidifying the foundation on which they stand, and then standing on that foundation as an example for others.

As a school, we both support our local community and strive to build a community of learners by fostering relationships, friendships, and open conversations. As educators, we work to inspire students to make an impact within their community and identify an alignment between their passions and local (or global) needs.

3.4 Removing Barriers to Christian Education

Christian Virtual School aims to increase global access to Christian education by removing geographic, financial, and physical ability barriers for students and their families. This is a continuous and ongoing process of evaluating our operations, policies, and procedures as well as collaborating with our students and their families to improve our school.

3.5 Encouraging Interactions

In addition to these four priorities, Christian Virtual School encourages interactions between teachers, parents, students, and staff to create an educational community that supports students in their secondary school journey.

Students, no matter their location, can interact in meaningful ways with their teacher as long as they have an internet connection. The learning management system that Christian Virtual School utilizes contains several communication tools, including email, discussion boards, portfolios, assignment drop boxes, and feedback tools. Students at Christian Virtual School have many ways of communicating with their teacher, and the teacher has many options to communicate information and ideas back to the student.

Similar to student – teacher interaction, students can interact with their peers in meaningful ways as long as they have an internet connection. Students can use email, chat, instant messaging, discussion boards, and their portfolios to facilitate conversations and collaboration.

If at any time a student or parent or guardian needs to communicate with the Administration team at Christian Virtual School they may do so by utilizing the information on the Contact page of the website. In addition, students are given an internal email address upon enrollment that can be used to speak directly with the administration team.

All Christian Virtual School students have access to their courses 24 hours a day throughout the entire week and can access the resources within these courses based on their own schedule. For more information on the support and resources available to students beyond the course materials, refer to section 10 Supports and Resources.

Parents or guardians of students can gain access to the student’s online course, including assessment and evaluation items, utilizing the same login credentials as the student. This applies to all students under the age of 18, and those 18 or older when permission is given. If the student does not share the access directly with the parent, the parent can contact Christian Virtual School directly for more information or access. Once logged, in a transparent electronic grade book, assessment drop box, and reports cards are available for parents to review.

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4. Expectations of Students

Every student in Ontario is required to remain in secondary school until they reach the age of eighteen or obtain the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Christian Virtual School aims to provide each student with the opportunity during this time to achieve success according to the student’s own interests, abilities, and goals. For our school environment to promote a safe, welcoming atmosphere, and for the success of our students, we do have expectations and requirements regarding behavior, conduct, and attendance that must be followed by our students.

It is the duty and responsibility of the Principal of Christian Virtual School to enforce the consequences when people do not abide by the code of behaviour expected of all people within our online school community.

4.1 Attendance Policy

Regular attendance in any learning environment is vital to school success. Students who do not participate in their online course regularly will diminish their learning experience. It is expected that Christian Virtual School students log in at least once per week unless alternative arrangements have been made. The following processes have been put into place to encourage regular attendance by the student:

  1. The principal will maintain attendance records to ensure that the minimum attendance requirements are met.
  2. Due to the continuous entry and exit model of our school, there is no prescribed yearly or even semester-based calendar. It is expected that a typical, online, full-credit course will take approximately 110 hours for the student to complete, but how this is accomplished is up to the student.
  3. Students who wish to leave a course before completion must communicate their intentions either in writing to the principal or over the phone in the interest of up-to-date record keeping and full disclosure requirement by the Ministry of Education in Ontario before any request can be acted upon.
  4. To encourage attendance, the principal will work with the curriculum writers, to set manageable assessment and evaluation assignments early in the course, in order to give the student positive feedback and break down any existing technology barriers.
  5. Students who have not completed their course within 12 months from the day of enrollment in that course will be automatically unenrolled from the course unless they have arranged with Christian Virtual School for an extension to their course.

For further information on the surrounding policies and procedures, students can refer to the full Attendance Policy which is available in their Student Handbook.

4.2 Code of Conduct for a Safe School Policy

Christian Virtual School is committed to providing and maintaining a positive and safe environment in which learning can occur. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, included, and accepted, and actively promote positive behaviours and interactions. Protection of a person’s dignity is critical. The following code of conduct has been put into place to create a safe school:

  1. All students are expected to treat other students, teachers and administration staff with respect, courtesy and consideration. Unacceptable behaviours will not be tolerated in any of the communication tools provided within the online courses.
    1. Unacceptable behaviours include, but are not limited to:
      1. causing harm to another person;
      2. violent, threatening, harassing, or bullying behaviour;
      3. discriminatory actions;
      4. profanity;
      5. dishonest, illegal, or improper actions;
      6. willful damage to Christian Virtual School’s property;
      7. disorderly, immoral, or indecent conduct; and
      8. theft, including physical and intellectual property.
  2. Every person has the right to equal treatment with respect to services, goods, and facilities without discrimination.
  3. Harassment, as with discrimination, is prohibited under the Canadian Human Rights Act and will not be tolerated at Christian Virtual School. Harassment may be physical, verbal, written, or visual and includes the use of the Internet.
    1. Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:
      1. jokes or hostile comments relating to physical characteristics, ancestry, or age;
      2. physical or verbal teasing;
      3. displaying or passing around sexist, racist or derogatory pictures, materials or graffiti;
      4. intimidation, offensive remarks, belittling and threatening behaviour;
      5. obscene and/or offensive gestures;
      6. inquiries or comments about a person’s sexual activities or sexual preferences;
      7. practical jokes which cause awkwardness or embarrassment, endanger safety, or otherwise affect another negatively;
      8. derogatory nicknames; and
      9. unwelcome physical or sexual contact.
  4. Students are to be treated with respect and dignity. In return, they must demonstrate respect for themselves, for their teachers, for others, and for the responsibilities of citizenship through acceptable behaviour. Respect and responsibility are demonstrated when students: come to school ready to learn, show respect for themselves and for those in positions of authority, refrain from any behaviours that may compromise the safety of others, follow the established rules, and take responsibility for their own actions.

Unacceptable behaviours which impair the health and welfare of any student or staff member are not permitted and are to be reported to the Christian Virtual School Principal immediately. The Principal will determine and enforce the consequences for such actions according to the situation.

For further information on the surrounding policies and procedures, students can refer to the full Code of Conduct and Safe School Policy which is available in their Student Handbook.

4.3 Code of Conduct for Acceptable Computer Use

The school reserves the right to monitor all material in user accounts on the file server in order to determine the appropriateness of computer use when a concern has arisen. The following code of conduct has been put into place to ensure proper use of the learning management system:

  1. The learning management system at Christian Virtual School is intended for educational purposes only. Any use of any tool within a course for any other purpose other than the intended educational purpose is prohibited.
    1. The inappropriate uses include, but are not limited to:
      1. criminal, obscene, commercial, or illegal purposes; and
      2. any actions that constitute unacceptable behaviours according to the Safe School Policy.
  2. The security of the online environment is only as effective as the practices of its users.
    1. Therefore, it is important that students:
      1. Never reveal the password to their course to any individual, except, in some cases, their parent or guardian.
      2. Always report to the Principal any email or chat message which causes them concern or any message which requests inappropriate personal information from them.
      3. Never attempt to access unauthorized material or to impersonate another user. Any attempt to vandalize, harm or destroy data of another user is prohibited. Any attempt to vandalize the data of the course or school is also prohibited.
  3. It is important to be aware that activities in an online environment are not private. The school reserves the right to monitor all material that is placed in a user’s account and to remove it if deemed necessary.
  4. Malicious system network damage, interference or mischief will be reported to the appropriate authorities.

If the system is used inappropriately or in a prohibited manner, the Principal reserves the right to terminate the registration or suspend the user immediately. There is the possibility of further disciplinary action including legal prosecution, if the appropriate laws, regulations, or contracts deem it necessary.

For further information on the surrounding policies and procedures, students can refer to the full Code of Conduct and Safe School Policy which is available in their Student Handbook.

4.4 Academic Integrity Policy

Christian Virtual School is committed to ensuring the integrity and validity of student achievement within our courses by promoting academic honesty among our students. Students are responsible for upholding integrity and will be held accountable for the quality of their work and actions. To uphold this standard, Christian Virtual School has developed an Academic Integrity Policy that covers three unacceptable behaviours:

  1. Plagiarism
  2. Academic Dishonesty
  3. Fraud

A summary of what these three categories entail is included in this document. For further information on the surrounding policies and procedures, students can refer to the full Academic Integrity Policy which is available in their Student Handbook.

Plagiarism occurs when a student presents another person’s work as the student’s own. This is not acceptable at Christian Virtual School. Christian Virtual School’s Academic Integrity Policy is designed to teach the student to identify plagiarism, to distinguish between the two types of plagiarism, to identify strategies to avoid plagiarism, to practice proper paraphrasing and to explain the consequences of plagiarism by the student. Christian Virtual School teachers have access to software which detects plagiarism.

At Christian Virtual School we recognize two different types of plagiarism:

  • Negligent Plagiarism means presenting someone’s work as your own in an accidental, naïve, careless or reckless way. This often happens when a student paraphrases incorrectly or when a student borrows words or phrases from another source and forgets to cite the source.
  • Dishonest Plagiarism means that the student has knowingly presenting a person’s work as their own. All instances of plagiarism that are not considered to be negligent plagiarism will be assumed to be dishonest plagiarism.

Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Academic dishonesty consists of any deliberate attempt to falsify, fabricate, or otherwise tamper with data information, records, or any other material that is relevant to the student’s participation within any course. Academic offenses include, but are not limited to:

  1. cheating or other forms of academic dishonesty intended to gain unfair academic advantage;
  2. distributing or receiving answers or other information by means other than those expressly permitted by the teacher as part of any assignment, test or the final examination;
  3. copying answers, or other information (or allowing others to do so) during any assignment, quiz or the final examination in which a student is not permitted to work jointly with others;
  4. submitting academic work for assessment that was purchased or acquired from another source;
  5. assuming another individual’s identity or allowing another person to do so on the student’s behalf for the purpose of fulfilling any academic requirement or in any way enhancing the student’s grade or academic standing;
  6. using any device, implement, or other form of study aid during the final examination without permission, or as explicitly stated within a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP);
  7. allowing another individual to access course content, a quiz, unit test or final exam at any time while the student is completing an assessment;
  8. accessing course content or external content during the final exam.

Students who violate the academic integrity of Christian Virtual School will be subject to discipline in accordance with the Academic Integrity Policy.

Academic fraud refers to the misrepresentation of academic standing within a course or courses. This includes but is not limited to altering the grades and comments reported by teachers, modifying or forging reports and/or transcripts, or any other form of alteration or misrepresentation of a student’s current academic progress.

Submitting misleading identification, or impersonation, is also considered fraudulent behaviour and is not tolerated at Christian Virtual School. This includes, but is not limited to, impersonating school staff or providing falsified identification documents (e.g., fake IDs, fake business cards, etc.). Students at Christian Virtual School are expected to represent themselves to others within and outside of the school with honesty and integrity.

Students who violate the Academic Integrity Policy of Christian Virtual School will be subject to discipline in accordance with the policy.

4.5 Hardware and Software Requirements

Christian Virtual School courses utilize D2L’s learning management system, Brightspace™. Brightspace is an online platform and requires an internet connection to be accessed. To login and use the platform your browser is required to have JavaScript and cookies enabled.

Brightspace is supported on the following desktop platforms with the latest browser version:

Please note the following:

  • As of the July 2020 release, Firefox ESR is no longer a supported browser, due to extremely low usage.
  • Brightspace Learning Environment’s browser version check displays warnings for browsers earlier than the following versions:
    • Chrome 81 (released in April 2020)
    • Chromium-based Edge 81 (released in April 2020)
    • Legacy Edge 44 (not receiving any further updates)
    • Safari 13 (released in September 2019)
    • Firefox 76 (releases May 5th, 2020)

Note: You can access Brightspace Learning Environment with older versions of supported browsers; however, D2L does not test Brightspace Learning Environment against these older versions. This means you may encounter unexpected user interface behavior and appearance or broken and unsupported functionality. In most cases, D2L does not fix software defects experienced in unsupported browser versions.

Brightspace Learning Environment is supported on the following tablets and mobile devices with the latest browser versions:

Note: This list was last updated by Christian Virtual School on July 18, 2022. For the most up-to-date information you can visit the Brightspace Platform Requirement page from D2L.

Some courses may require additional hardware such as a camera, microphone, or speakers.

All final examinations will be proctored by Integrity Advocate. Students will require a device with a camera equipped. Integrity Advocate will operate on the most current operating system and up-to-date browser version. Not all courses have final exams.

Please refer to the specific course outline to determine if any additional software or hardware is required or provided in the course.

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5. Curriculum & Program Planning

The Ontario secondary school program is based on a credit system. Full credit courses are 110 hours in length. A credit is granted by the principal on behalf of the Ministry of Education in recognition of the successful completion of the expectations of a 110-hour course that has been developed or approved by the Ministry of Education.

5.1 Types of Secondary School Courses

The curriculum is organized into several types of courses, intended to enable students to choose courses suited to their strengths, interests, and goals.

The following four types of courses are offered in Grades 9 and 10:

  1. Academic courses develop students’ knowledge and skills through the study of theory and abstract problems. These courses focus on the essential concepts of a subject and explore related concepts as well. They incorporate practical applications as appropriate. The code of an academic course ends with the letter “D” (e.g. ENG1D)
  2. Applied courses  focus on the essential concepts of a subject and develop students’ knowledge and skills through practical applications and concrete examples. Familiar situations are used to illustrate ideas, and students are given more opportunities to experience hands-on applications of the concepts and theories they study. The code of an applied course ends with the letter “P” (e.g. ENG2P). Applied courses are only available at the Grade 10 level.
  3. Open courses, which comprise a set of expectations that are appropriate for all students, are designed to broaden students’ knowledge and skills in subjects that reflect their interests and prepare them for active and rewarding participation in society. They are not designed with the specific requirements of university, college, or the workplace in mind. The code of an open course ends with the letter “O”, (e.g. BTT2O).
  4. De-streamed courses. Historically, in Grades 9 and 10, students typically chose between academic and applied courses in each of the core subjects. As of September 2021, the Ministry of Education in Ontario has begun a process of de-streaming credits in Grade 9. The first two de-streamed courses are Grade 9 Mathematics (MTH1W) and Grade 9 Science (SNC1W), and they are both available at CVS as of the 2022-2023 school year.

Students in Grades 9 will have de-streamed, open, and academic courses available to them. The Grade 9 academic courses are taught using the academic curriculum, but with a de-streamed approach so that all learners can access the material.

In Grade 10, students, along with their parents or guardians will make the choice between academic, applied, or open courses primarily based on their strengths, interests, and needs. The Christian Virtual School principal, guidance staff, and teachers are here to assist the student in making their choice of course selection. Students will need to ensure they have the appropriate prerequisites completed for their Grade 10 courses.  Grade 10 academic courses prepare students for Grade 11 University or College preparation courses; Grade 10 applied courses prepare students for Grade 11 College or Workplace preparation courses.

Grade 11 and 12 students will choose from three different course types: university preparation, university/college preparation, college preparation, and open courses. Students will make their choices based on their interests, post-secondary admission requirements and career goals. Prerequisites are specified for many of the courses offered in Grades 11 and 12 and these prerequisites are identified in the course outline for each course. The following four types of courses are offered in Grades 11 and 12:

  1. College preparation courses are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the entrance requirements for most college programs or for admission to specific apprenticeship or other training programs. The code of a college preparation course ends with the letter “C” (e.g., MBF3C).
  2. University preparation courses are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the entrance requirements for university programs. The code of a university preparation course ends with the letter “U” (e.g., SCH3U).
  3. University / college preparation courses are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the entrance requirements for specific programs offered at universities and colleges. The code of a university / college preparation course ends with the letter “M” (e.g., MCF3M).
  4. Open courses, which comprise a set of expectations that are appropriate for all students, are designed to broaden students’ knowledge and skills in subjects that reflect their interests and prepare them for active and rewarding participation in society. They are not designed with the specific requirements of university, college, or the workplace in mind. The code of an open course ends with the letter “O” (e.g., GWL3O).

A student may change their educational goals in secondary school. If the student decides to embark on a new pathway, they may find that a prerequisite course that has not been completed is now required. Christian Virtual School makes provisions to allow our students to make such changes of direction.

In most cases, a student may enroll in a different type of course in a subject in Grade 10 than the type they completed in Grade 9, although doing so may require additional preparation, as recommended by the Christian Virtual School principal.

In Grades 10 to 12, a student may change to a different course provided that the student has taken any course specified as a prerequisite. If the student has not done so, they may take one of the specified prerequisite courses through Christian Virtual School or another school.

If the Christian Virtual School principal or the principal at the student’s main school of registration believes that a student should enroll in a specific course without the prerequisite completed, then either principal may recommend waiving the prerequisite. The CVS principal will not waive prerequisites for students whose OSR is held elsewhere, without the recommendation from the main school of registration.

The common course code of all high school courses at Christian Virtual School consists both of a five-character code and a course title component, as designated by the Ministry of Education in Ontario:

For example: ENG1D English

Courses in Grades 10, 11, and 12 often require the student to have completed a prerequisite course. Grade 9 French (FSF1D) is the only Grade 9 course with a prerequisite requirement. All prerequisite courses are identified in the curriculum policy documents published by the Ministry of Education, and no course apart from these may be identified as prerequisites. If a parent, guardian, or an adult student (a student who is eighteen years of age or older) requests that a prerequisite be waived, the Christian Virtual School principal will determine whether the prerequisite should be waived. The principal may also initiate consideration of whether a prerequisite should be waived. The principal will make the decision in consultation with the student, the appropriate Christian Virtual School staff and the parent or guardian.

5.2 Programs for Exceptional Students

Recognizing the needs of exceptional students and designing courses to meet those needs are important and challenging aspects of program planning. Students who have an existing Individual Education Plan will have that IEP honored at Christian Virtual School through the implementation of appropriate accommodations. Christian Virtual School will create a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) for students who require assessment accommodations.

It is important to note that IEPs are generally originally developed with the classroom model in mind and that the instructional and environmental accommodations listed are often not applicable to the online environment.

Students who do not have an IEP but who require accommodations are encouraged to reach out to the Guidance Team to discuss how we can best support you.

With that said, it is a part of our mission to remove barriers to Christian education, and accessibility is at the forefront of this initiative. As we continue to improve our framework, we encourage all our students and families to reach out to the staff at Christian Virtual School about their needs to help us adapt the learning environment to ensure all students have the opportunity to be successful in their learning.

Grade 8 elementary school students may reach ahead and earn OSSD credits (up to two in the Grade 8 year). Our Reach Ahead program allows Grade 8 students to begin taking high school courses early. This program is ideal for those who are in Grade 8, or those in the summer between Grade 8 and Grade 9, who would like to start earning credits towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Most Grade 9 courses are available for Reach Ahead enrollment. We recommend selecting a course based on a student’s interests and strengths.

Admission to the Reach Ahead program is a collaborative decision between a student’s elementary school Principal, the Christian Virtual School Principal, and the student’s parents. The Christian Virtual School Principal must ensure that the learning expectations of the Grade 8 course have been met. The Christian Virtual School Principal is also responsible for evaluating the student’s achievement of the expectations of the Christian Virtual School course. Christian Virtual School will issue the OSSD credit.

Anyone wishing to participate can complete a Reach Ahead Enrollment Request and submit it directly to the Christian Virtual School Principal prior to enrollment in the course.

5.3 Online Courses Available

Students may register for any course that they have completed the prerequisite for at any time during the calendar year, progress through at their own pace and finish the course at any time up to 12 months from the time of registration.

For the 2022-2023 school year, below is a list of Grade 9 courses that Christian Virtual School offers:

For the 2022-2023 school year, below is a list of Grade 10 courses that Christian Virtual School offers:

For the 2022-2023 school year, below is a list of Grade 11 courses that Christian Virtual School offers:

Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are only available for a start date in January 2023
Courses marked with two asterisks (**) are available in September 2022
Courses marked with three asterisks (***) are not offered as of September 2022

5.4 Cooperative Education

Cooperative Education programs allow students to earn secondary school credits while completing a work placement in the community. Christian Virtual School does not currently operate a Cooperative Education program.

5.5 Alternative Credit Options

If students enrolled at Christian Virtual School are seeking alternative credit options for courses not currently offered by Christian Virtual School, the principal can provide suggestions for alternatives including: Virtual High School, the Independent Learning Centre, and continuing education courses for credit.

5.6 More Information

If you are interested in learning more about education in Ontario and at Christian Virtual School, you will find the relevant policies in Ontario Schools: Kindergarten to Grade 12, Policy and Program Requirements, 2016 (OS) as set out by the Ministry of Education of Ontario to be particularly informative.

In addition, links to all of the appropriate Ontario Curriculum Documents are made available to parents or guardians and students from this document and in the course outlines of each course. They are also available to the public from the Ministry of Education.

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6. Student Achievement

Every student attending Christian Virtual School is unique. We believe each student must have the opportunities to achieve success according to their own interests, abilities, and goals. Like the Ministry of Education, we have defined high expectations and standards for graduation, while introducing a range of options that allow students to learn in ways that suit them best and enable them to earn their diplomas. Christian Virtual School’s Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting Policy is based on seven fundamental principles, as outlined in the Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools document.

When these seven principles are fully understood and observed by all teachers, they guide the collection of meaningful information that helps inform instructional decisions, promote student engagement, and improve student learning. At Christian Virtual School, teachers use practices and procedures that:

  1. are fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;
  2. support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning English, and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;
  3. 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;
  4. are communicated clearly to students and parents or guardians at the beginning of the school year or course and at other appropriate points throughout the school year or course;
  5. 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;
  6. provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement; and
  7. develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to access their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.

6.1 Assessment and Evaluation Strategies

Assessment is the process of gathering information that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the curriculum expectations in a subject or course. The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning. Assessment for the purpose of improving student learning is seen as both “assessment for learning” and “assessment as learning.” As part of assessment for learning, teachers provide students with descriptive feedback and coaching for improvement. Teachers engage in assessment as learning by helping students develop their capacity to be independent, autonomous learners who can set individual goals, monitor their own progress, determine next steps, and reflect on their thinking and learning.

Christian Virtual School implements these strategies by:

  • planning assessments that integrate seamlessly with instruction;
  • sharing learning goals and success criteria with students at the outset of learning and ensuring that students and teachers have a common and shared understanding of these goals and criteria as learning progresses;
  • utilizing assessments to gather information about student learning throughout the lessons, using a variety of assessment strategies and tools;
  • using assessments to inform instruction, guide next steps, and help students monitor their progress towards achieving their learning goals;
  • analysing and interpreting evidence of learning;
  • giving specific and timely descriptive feedback about student learning; and
  • helping students develop skills of peer and self-assessment.

Evaluation refers to the process of judging the quality of student learning based on established performance standards and assigning a value to represent that quality. Evaluation accurately summarizes and communicates to parents or guardians, other teachers, employers, institutions of further education, and to the students themselves what students know and can do with respect to the overall curriculum expectations. Evaluation is based on “assessment of learning” that provides evidence of student achievement at strategic times throughout the course.

6.2 The Achievement Chart

The achievement chart for each subject matter is included in the curriculum policy document specific to that discipline. The chart provides a reference point for all assessment practice and a framework within which to assess and evaluate student achievement.

The chart is organized into four broad categories:

  • knowledge and understanding;
  • thinking and inquiry;
  • communication; and
  • application and making connections.

The names of the categories differ slightly from one discipline to another, reflecting differences in the disciplines.

The achievement chart describes the levels of achievement of the curriculum expectations within each category. The descriptions associated with each level serve as a guide for gathering assessment information, to enable teachers to make consistent judgements about the quality of student work, and to provide clear feedback to students.

The achievement chart provides Christian Virtual School teachers with a provincial standard to use in assessing and evaluating their students’ achievement.

The following table provides a summary description of achievement in each percentage grade range and corresponding level of achievement:

Note: Level 3 (70-79%) is the provincial standard. Teachers and parents can be confident that students who are achieving at level 3 are well prepared for work in the next grade or a subsequent course. A student whose achievement is below 50% at the end of the course will not obtain a credit for the course.

6.3 Reporting Student Achievement

Student achievement is communicated formally to students and parents or guardians by Christian Virtual School’s Secondary School Report Card.

The report card, which follows the Provincial Report Card very closely, provides a record of the student’s achievement of the curriculum expectations in the form of a percentage grade. This reflects the corresponding level of achievement as described in the achievement chart for the discipline.

  • A final grade is recorded for every course, and a credit is granted and recorded for every course in which the student’s grade is 50% or higher.
  • The final grade for each course in Grades 9-12 will be determined as follows:
    • 70% of the grade will be based on evaluations 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.
    • 30% of the grade will be based on a final evaluation. This may be a final examination, a final project, or a combination of both an exam and a project.

The report card provides a record of the learning skills demonstrated by the student in every course. The six identified learning skills and work habits are:

  1. responsibility;
  2. organization;
  3. independent work;
  4. collaboration;
  5. initiative; and
  6. self-regulation.

The learning skills and work habits are evaluated using a four-point scale:

  • E – Excellent
  • G – Good
  • S – Satisfactory
  • N – Needs Improvement

The report card also includes teachers’ comments on the student’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas in which improvement is needed.

The report card may also include the Principal’s comments on the performance of the student.

6.4 Methods of Evaluation

Teachers take various considerations into account before deciding the grade to be entered on the report card. Teachers consider all evidence collected from all products submitted or not submitted. Evidence of student achievement for evaluation is collected over time from three difference sources: observations, conversations, and student products. Evaluation is the responsibility of the teacher and does not include the judgement of the student’s peers.

Determining a report card grade involves the teacher’s professional judgement and interpretation of evidence and should reflect the student’s most consistent level of achievement, with special consideration given to the more recent evidence. The principal works with teachers to ensure common and equitable grading practices that follow Ministry policy. A student’s achievement of the overall curriculum expectations is evaluated in accordance with the achievement chart and is reported as percentage grades.

  • Each course has a final assessment that will be given as a final examination, a final project, or a combination of both an exam and a project.
  • Students in the same course are similarly evaluated, which means that final exams assessments use the same format, although questions may be different among the students.
  • A course with a final examination must be written in a proctored environment.
  • Students must complete all the assigned coursework.
  • Coursework may include assignments, tests, projects, labs, discussions, etc.
  • Students assume the responsibility to ensure that they have completed all the assigned requirements of the course before completing the final exam or assessment task.
  • Once the final exam is written or the final assessment is submitted, no further assignments may be submitted, unless prior arrangements have been made between the student and the teacher. Students will receive zeros for any incomplete assignments.
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7. Ontario Student Records (OSRs)

The Ontario Student Record (OSR) is an ongoing official record for a student registered in a school operated by the Ministry of Education. The OSR contains achievement results, an Ontario Student Transcript, report cards and other information relevant to the education of the student. These records are protected by the confidentiality provisions in the Education Act and Freedom of Information legislation in the province of Ontario.

If a student is enrolled in Christian Virtual School as well as another Ontario school, the OSR is held by the school where the student is taking the most credits. Christian Virtual School will not hold the OSR for students who have already graduated from another Ontario secondary school.

7.1 Contents

The Ontario Student Record will contain:

Personal information in the OSR is maintained for at least 1 year after use. Report cards and documentation files are maintained for 5 years after use. The OSR and OST folder will be maintained for 55 years after a student retires.

7.2 Access

Students and their parents or guardians (if the student is under age 18) may examine the contents of their Ontario Student Record upon request. Access to the OSR is also granted to the educational personnel at Christian Virtual School, and Ministry of Education staff members, if required.

7.3 Transfer

If a student transfers to another Ontario school, the Ontario Student Record may be transferred from Christian Virtual School to the receiving school. Transfer of the original OSR occurs by courier when Christian Virtual School receives an official written request from the receiving school.

If a student transfers outside Ontario, an exact copy of the OSR is transferred, upon receiving a written request and consent to the transfer. When a student retires, Christian Virtual School may give the parents or guardians a copy of the OSR, if requested.

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8. Ontario Student Transcripts (OSTs)

The Ontario Student Transcript (OST) is an official document maintained by a student’s school that is a cumulative and continuous record of:

  1. a student’s successful completion of Grade 9 and 10 courses;
  2. all student’s attempts, successful and unsuccessful, at completing Grade 11 and 12 courses; and
  3. the student’s completion of other diploma requirements.

The OST is stored in the student’s Ontario Student Record (OSR) and retained for 55 years after a student retires from school. It is a record of all secondary school course work and diploma requirements. If the student is currently attending another school – public or private – and is simply taking a single course from Christian Virtual School, then that student’s OST will reside at the school that the student is attending. Where students registered in a publicly funded secondary school earn a credit or credits with Christian Virtual School, the Principal of the publicly funded secondary school is responsible for ensuring that the Christian Virtual School credit is recorded on the student’s OST. Christian Virtual School will automatically forward an official copy of the student’s final report card of the course taken at Christian Virtual School to the student’s school holding the OSR, so that the credit can be added to the OST.

In accordance to The OST Manual 2013, the OST will be issued to students whose OSR is held by Christian Virtual School as required and upon graduation. Students who require a certified copy of their Ontario Student Transcript from Christian Virtual School may contact the administration staff.

8.1 Withdrawal from a Course

  • Withdrawals at any time from Grade 9 or 10 courses are not recorded on the OST.
  • A withdrawal from a Grade 11 or 12 course after a student has completed at least 60% of their course and the first report card has been issued results in a “W” being entered in the “Credit” column of the OST along with the mark at the time of the withdrawal.
  • If there are extraordinary circumstances relating to a student’s withdrawal from a course, an “S” may be entered in the “Note” column on the OST.

8.2 Repetition of a Course

  • Only one credit is earned if a course is repeated.
  • In Grade 11 and 12, an “R” appears on the student’s OST for the course with the lower final grade.

8.3 Equivalent Credits

Out of province students or transfers from non-inspected private schools may be granted equivalent credits upon the principal’s evaluation of the student’s prior learning. To document this:

  • “Equivalent Credits” is entered in the “Course Title” column;
  • “PLE” is entered in the “Course Code” column;
  • “EQV” is in the “Percentage Grade” column;
  • the total number of credits is entered into the “Credit” column; and
  • the number of compulsory credits is entered into the “Compulsory” column.
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9. Diplomas and Certificates

9.1 Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

The Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) requires that a student must earn 30 credits, 18 compulsory and 12 optional, where a credit is defined as a 110-hour course in which the expectations are outlined by the Ontario Ministry of Education curriculum guidelines.

In addition, students must also complete 40 hours of community involvement activities, meet the provincial secondary school literacy requirement, and earn at least two credits through online learning.

The following sections outline these 4 requirements in more depth.

Note: these are the requirements to graduate if you started grade 9 after 1/9/1999. If you started grade 9 before this date, please refer to section 9.4 or reach out directly to the Christian Virtual School principal to determine your graduation requirements.

A student must take the following courses:

Plus, one credit from each of the following groups:

Group 1:

  • English (including the OSSLC)
  • French as a second language
  • A Native language
  • A classical or an international language
  • Social sciences and the humanities
  • Canadian and world studies
  • Guidance and career education
  • Cooperative education
  • American Sign Language as a second language
  • Langue des signes québécoise langue seconde

Group 2:

  • Health and physical education
  • The arts
  • Business studies
  • French as a second language
  • Cooperative education
  • American Sign Language as a second language
  • Langue des signes québécoise langue seconde

Group 3:

  • Science (grade 11 or 12)
  • Technological education
  • French as a second language
  • Computer studies
  • Cooperative education
  • American Sign Language as a second language

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

  • 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.
  • Please note that Langue des signes québécoise langue seconde course is only available in French-language schools.

In addition to the 18 compulsory credits described in the previous section, students must also complete 12 optional credits which may include up to 4 credits earned through approved dual credit courses.

Students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities as part of the diploma requirements. The purpose of this requirement is to encourage students to develop an awareness and understanding of civic responsibility, the role they can play, and the contribution they can make in supporting and strengthening communities. The principal of Christian Virtual School will determine the number of hours of community involvement that the mature student is required to complete, based on the grade level in which the student enrolls.

Note: See section 9.1.8 for more information.

All students must successfully complete the Secondary School Literacy Graduation Requirement. This requirement is based on curriculum expectations for reading and writing up to and including Grade 9. The purpose of the requirement is to determine whether students have the skills in reading and writing required to succeed in school, work, and everyday life. (K to 12 Policy and Program Requirements, 2016 ).

Students can meet this requirement by successfully completing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) or, when eligible, completing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC).

Note: See section 9.1.7 for more information.

Beginning with students who entered Grade 9 in the 2020-2021 school year, all students must earn at least two online learning credits as part of the OSSD requirements, unless they have opted out or been exempted. This online learning requirement also applies to adult learners entering the Ontario secondary system starting in 2023-2024 school year, unless they have opted out.

Online learning credits rely primarily on communication between students and educators through the internet or another digital platform. Selection of courses should consider future pathways, the ability and interests of the student to learn in a fully online environment and any potential supports that may be needed. Students who currently receive supports through their school (e.g., Individual Education Plan) should have this applied to their online learning course as well.

In order to opt out, parents who wish to exempt their child must complete the opt-out form available from the guidance department at Christian Virtual School. Once completed, this form will be signed by the parent and/or student and the Christian Virtual School principal and house in the student’s Ontario Student Record.

Exemption from the online learning graduation requirements can be requested by:

  • The parent or guardian of the secondary student
  • Students who are age 18 years of age or older
  • Students who are 16 or 17 years of age and have withdrawn from parental control

Online learning courses can be taken at a school that is authorized to offer credits toward the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Credits offered through in person learning, blended learning, flipped classrooms or remote learning (exception remote learning credit earned in 2020-2021) are not eligible.

The Ministry of education recognizes up to one secondary school credit completed by Grade 9 students in the 2020-2021 school year during the province-wide school closures (from April 2021 to June 2021) may be counted towards the graduation requirement.

Further information on these requirements, substitution credits, and prior learning assessments are available in the following sections.

Further information on these requirements, substitution credits, and prior learning assessments are available in the following sections.

In order to support a student’s needs throughout secondary school, principals may substitute up to three compulsory credits using courses from other subject areas that meet the requirements for compulsory credits (including Groups 1, 2 and 3). Students who are eligible are those whose educational needs or interests, in the opinion of their parent/guardian and Christian Virtual School principal, are best served by a compulsory credit substitution. In all cases, the sum of compulsory and optional credits will not be less than thirty for students earning the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

The following are limitations on substitutions for compulsory credits:

  • English as a second language and English literacy development courses may not be used to substitute for a compulsory credit. (They may be used, however, to meet the compulsory credit requirements for three English credits.)
  • No more than one learning strategies course, from the guidance and career education curriculum policy document, may be used through substitution to meet a compulsory credit requirement.
  • Credits earned for cooperative education courses may not be used through substitution to meet compulsory credit requirements.
  • A locally developed compulsory credit (LDCC) course may not be used as a substitute for a compulsory credit; it may be used only to meet the compulsory credit requirement that it has been designed to meet.

It should also be noted that 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. Each substitution will be noted with an “X” in the “Note” column on the student’s Ontario Student Transcript.

The Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process is a formal evaluation and accreditation process where students may have their skills and knowledge evaluated to earn credits towards the secondary school diploma. Students who are enrolled in Ontario secondary schools and inspected private schools that choose to implement PLAR, may have their skills and knowledge evaluated in order to earn credits towards the diploma. PLAR procedures are carried out under the direction of the Christian Virtual School principal, who grants the credits.

The PLAR process involves two components: challenge and equivalency. The challenge process is the process whereby students’ prior learning is assessed for the purpose of granting credit for a course developed from a provincial curriculum policy document. The equivalency process involves the assessment of credentials from other jurisdictions.

PLAR for Regular Day School Students:

For regular day school students, a maximum of 4 credits may be granted through the challenge process for Grade 10, 11, and 12 courses; or for Levels 1, 2, and 3 in classical languages courses; for Levels 2, 3, and 4 in international languages courses; and for Levels 3, 4, and 5 in Native languages courses. No more than 2 of these credits may be granted in one discipline.

For students who are transferring from a home-schooling environment, a non-inspected private school, or a school outside Ontario, the Christian Virtual School principal can grant equivalency credits for placement purposes based on their evaluation of the student’s previous learning. The total number of equivalent credits and the corresponding number of compulsory credits are recorded on the Ontario Student Transcript.

PLAR procedures are also available to exceptional students. Assessment strategies are adapted for this group in keeping with their needs; for example, extra time might be allowed for the completion of work, or a quiet environment might be provided for activities. While PLAR may be of benefit to some gifted students, it is not intended to be used as a replacement for or alternative to enriched or other special programs for gifted students.

PLAR for Mature Students:

Because of the broader life experience of mature students, the requirements concerning the application of PLAR procedures are different for them than regular day school students.

A mature student is a student who:

  • is at least eighteen years of age on or after January 1st of the current school year and who is enrolled in a program for the purpose of obtaining the OSSD;
  • who was not enrolled as a regular day school student for a period of at least one school year immediately preceding their registration in a secondary school program (for mature students, a school year is a period of no less than ten consecutive months immediately preceding the student’s return to school);

For mature students, the Christian Virtual School principal will determine the number of credits, including compulsory credits, that a mature student needs in order to meet the credit requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). At the discretion of the principal, up to 16 Grade 9 and 10 equivalency credits may be granted following an individual assessment.

Mature students may earn 10 of the 14 remaining Grade 11 and 12 credits needed to meet diploma requirements in three ways:

  • they may demonstrate achievement of the required secondary school curriculum expectations and receive credit through the challenge process;
  • they may present education and/or training credentials for assessment through the equivalency process; or
  • they may take the course.

It should be noted that Levels 2 and 3 in classical languages are equivalent to Grades 11 and 12, respectively; that Levels 3 and 4 in international languages are equivalent to Grades 11 and 12, respectively; and that Levels 4 and 5 in Native languages are equivalent to Grades 11 and 12, respectively.

Mature students must earn a minimum of 4 Grade 11 and 12 credits by taking the course at a secondary school.

Mature students who have previously accumulated 26 or more credits towards the diploma must successfully complete the required number of courses to bring their total number of credits up to 30 before they will be eligible to receive the OSSD. At the discretion of the principal, mature students who present evidence of a completed postsecondary diploma and/or degree from an accredited Canadian postsecondary institution may qualify for the OSSD under Ontario schools by completing a minimum of one Grade 11 or 12 credit

Mature students working towards the OSSD must also satisfy the diploma requirements regarding the provincial secondary school literacy requirement. The Christian Virtual School principal will determine the number of hours of community involvement activities that a mature student will have to complete.

PPM 132 outlines the PLAR process for Mature students in detail.

The OSSLT is scheduled by and administered through the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) once each year, usually in the spring. The test is typically written by students in their Grade 10 year. The test identifies students who have demonstrated the required skills in literacy, as well as those who require further learning and support. Students who do not successfully complete the OSSLT will have opportunities to retake the test in subsequent years, on dates scheduled by the EQAO.

Christian Virtual School plans to offer the OSSLT for the 2022-2023 school year. Christian Virtual School must hold the Ontario Student Record for any students who the OSSLT is arranged for. Once EQAO confirms the 2022-2023 OSSLT procedures for online private schools, CVS will contact eligible students.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC)

Students who have been eligible to write the OSSLT at least twice and who have been unsuccessful at least once are eligible to take the course. A student may also be permitted to take the OSSLC before this requirement is met if the Christian Virtual School principal deems that it is in the best educational interest of the student. Students who successfully complete the OSSLC are considered to have met the literacy graduation requirement. The credit earned for successfully completing the OSSLC may also be used to meet the Grade 11 or Grade 12 compulsory credit requirement in English or to meet the Group 1 compulsory credit requirement for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

Mature students have the option to enroll directly in the OSSLC without first attempting the OSSLT. They may still elect to meet the literacy graduation requirement by successfully completing the OSSLT.

Accommodations, Special Provisions, Deferrals, and Exemptions

In accordance with OS section 6.1.3 and Appendix 3, students may be eligible for accommodations, special provisions, deferrals, or exemptions from the secondary school literacy graduation requirement.

Accommodations: Schools must provide accommodations that enable students with special education needs to participate in the education setting. Accommodations will change only the way in which the OSSLT is administered or the OSSLC is taught, or the way in which the students respond to components of the test or the course. To qualify for accommodations, a student must have an Individual Education Plan or CVS Personal Learning Plan that outlines accommodations to be provided during the test or course.

Special Provisions: English language learners may be provided special provisions for the test if the Christian Virtual School principal deems such provisions to be in the best educational interest of the student.

Deferrals: Student who are working towards an OSSD and who have not yet required a level of proficiency in English to successfully complete the test, may be eligible for a deferral. The principal will determine if a deferral is to be granted and will be responsible for keeping documentation on file.
Exemptions: To be eligible for an exemption, a student must have an existing Individual Education Plan. The IEP must support an exemption from the literacy graduation requirement and a clear indication that the student is not working towards an OSSD. Both parental consent and the approval of the Christian Virtual School principal are required for an exemption.

Students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of unpaid community involvement activities as a requirement to earn the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Students who are the sole responsibility of Christian Virtual School will be able to choose their own community involvement activities, within guidelines that will be provided by Christian Virtual School. According to the Ministry of Education, any student who attends a regular day school other than Christian Virtual School must complete the community involvement requirement at their regular day school.

Students will be responsible for fulfilling this requirement on their own time, and for keeping a record of their activities on a tracking booklet supplied by the school. The student is required to submit the tracking booklet yearly, to be kept in the student’s Ontario Student Record (OSR).

Students may begin completing their community involvement hours in the summer prior to Grade 9. Students who have completed secondary school credits outside of the province will have their documents assessed, and the principal will determine the number of required hours of community involvement.

To strengthen communities and encourage civic responsibility, students must complete the 40 hours of community involvement outside of scheduled class time. Students are to select community activities appropriate to their age, maturity, and ability. The student is not to partake in any activity in which personal safety will be compromised. Any activity not on the approved list must receive written approval of the Christian Virtual School principal before beginning the activity.

Ineligible Activities Include:

  • any activity that would normally be performed for wages by a person in the workplace (e.g., childcare);
  • any occurring in an unsafe or unsupervised environment;
  • when it is a requirement of a class or course in which the student is enrolled (e.g., cooperative education portion of a course, job shadowing, work experience);
  • when it takes place during the time allotted for the instructional program on a school day. However, an activity that takes place during the student’s lunch breaks or “spare” periods is permissible;
  • any taking place in a logging or mining environment, if the student is under sixteen years of age;
  • any taking place in a factory, if the student is under fifteen years of age;
  • any taking place in a workplace other than a factory, if the student is under fourteen years of age and is not accompanied by an adult;
  • if it involves the operation of a vehicle, power tools, or scaffolding;
  • if it involves the administration of any type or form of medication or medical procedure to other persons;
  • if it involves handling of substances classed as “designated substances” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
  • any requiring the knowledge of a tradesperson whose trade is regulated by the provincial government;
  • if it involves banking or the handling of securities, or the handling of jewellery, works of art, antiques, or other valuables;
  • when it consists of duties normally performed in the home (i.e., daily chores) or personal recreational activities (e.g., playing on sports teams);
  • if it involves a court-ordered program (e.g., community-service program for young offenders, probationary program).

Eligible Activities Include:

  • fundraising for non-profit organizations;
  • volunteering related to animal care (e.g. an animal shelter, or on a farm);
  • coaching or assisting sports at the community level;
  • a structured program that promotes tutoring (i.e. in person or virtual), mentoring, or whose purpose is to assist those who require it;
  • church activities (e.g. youth leadership, assisting with Children’s Liturgy, nursery work);
  • assisting community members in need (e.g. assisting seniors with chores, letter writing to seniors living in a nursing home, delivering items to immunocompromised individuals);
  • mission/service trips;
  • involvement in community organizations (e.g. assisting with special events, committees, food banks, homeless shelters, fairs);
  • participation in arts and culture activities (e.g. volunteering in libraries, sewing masks to donate to local agencies, community productions);
  • involvement in health organizations (e.g. volunteering for Canadian Blood Services (assist at blood donor clinic or time required to donate blood), volunteering in hospices);
  • participation in environmental projects (e.g. picking up litter, garden planting, recycling projects)

Roles and Responsibilities of the Stakeholders

Christian Virtual School is responsible for the implementation of community involvement activities through their secondary school. A list of approved community involvement activities has been developed by the school in conjunction with the school’s Board of Directors and Advisory Board. This list is included in this information package, along with a list of activities the Ministry of Education has stated are ineligible. The school will not approve student participation in any activity that is on the list of ineligible activities. Christian Virtual School ensures that all participants, including students and community sponsors, are adequately covered by the school’s insurance.

The principal of Christian Virtual School is required to provide information about the community involvement requirement to parents, students, and community sponsors. The principal is also required to provide students with the information and forms they will need to complete the community involvement requirement, including the list of approved activities from which to choose. After a student completes the 40 hours of community involvement and submits all documentation to the school, the principal will decide whether the student has met the community involvement requirement and, if so, will record it as completed on the student’s official transcript.

In consultation with their parents, students will select an activity or activities from the list of approved activities, or choose an activity that is not on the list, provided that it is not an activity specified on the list of ineligible activities. If the activity is not on the school’s list of approved activities, the student must obtain written approval from the principal before beginning the activity.

Before beginning any activity, students will provide the principal with a completed “Notification of Planned Community Involvement Activities” form indicating the activity or activities that they plan to do. This form must be signed by the student, and by their parent if the student is under eighteen years of age. More than one such form may be submitted when additional activities are planned that were not included on a previously submitted form.

A “Completion of Community Involvement Activities” form must be completed by the student, the student’s parent (if the student is under eighteen years of age), and each of the community sponsors (that is, the person or organization that provided the community involvement opportunity for the student). The student must submit the form to the principal upon completion of the 40 hours or at appropriate intervals determined by the principal.

Parents/Guardians should assist their child in the selection of his or her community involvement activities. Parents/Guardians are also encouraged to communicate with the community sponsor and the school principal if they have any questions or concerns. A parent/guardian must sign the “Notification of Planned Community Involvement Activities” form and the “Completion of Community Involvement Activities” form if the student is under the age of eighteen years. The parents/guardians are fully responsible for ensuring that the student has accident insurance or Workplace Safety Insurance as this is not the responsibility of Christian Virtual School.

One of the purposes of the community involvement requirement is to develop strong ties between the students and their communities, fostering valuable and long-term relationships. Persons and organizations within the community may be asked by the student to sponsor a community involvement activity. Any training, equipment, or special preparation that is required for the activity should be provided by the person or organization. It is crucial that students can fulfill their community involvement requirement in a safe environment. The person overseeing the student’s activity must verify the date(s) and the number of hours completed on the “Completion of Community Involvement Activities” form. Community sponsors will be responsible for ensuring that their liability insurance will protect them for their involvement in the program. The community sponsor should be aware that the students do not have accident insurance nor Workplace Safety Insurance through Christian Virtual School. The community sponsors should ensure that the students are provided with adequate safety instructions, trained properly for their work, and supervised to ensure a safe volunteer experience.

9.2 Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC)

The Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC) will be granted, on request, to students who are leaving secondary school upon reaching the age of eighteen without having met the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. To be granted an OSSC, a student must have earned a minimum of 14 credits, distributed as follows.

  • 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, computer studies or technological education
  • 7 credits selected by the student from available courses

Note: The Christian Virtual School principal, to better serve a student’s educational interest, and in consultation with the parent or guardian, may replace up to three courses with courses meeting the requirement for compulsory credits. Either the principal or the parent or guardian my initiate the process. The total of compulsory and optional credits will still not be less than 14 for granting an OSSC. The substitution will be noted on the OST.

9.3 Certificate of Accomplishment

Students who are leaving secondary school upon reaching the age of eighteen without having met the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma or the Ontario Secondary School Certificate may be granted a Certificate of Accomplishment. The Certificate of Accomplishment may be a useful means of recognizing achievement for students who plan to take certain kinds of further training, or who plan to find employment directly after leaving school. The Certificate of Accomplishment is to be accompanied by the student’s Ontario Student Transcript. For students who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP), a copy of the IEP may be included.

Students who return to school to complete additional credit and non-credit courses (including courses with modified or alternative expectations in special education programs) will have their transcript updated accordingly but will not be issued a new Certificate of Accomplishment. The Ontario Secondary School Diploma or Ontario Secondary School Certificate will be granted when the returning student has fulfilled the appropriate requirements.

9.4 Previous Diploma Requirements

If you initially enrolled in an Ontario high school prior to 1999/2000, you may be eligible to earn the diploma under the previous requirements. Please contact the Christian Virtual School principal or our guidance team to review your transcript and determine the courses you require to earn your secondary school diploma.

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10. Supports and Resources

10.1 Guidance and Student Services

Christian Virtual School provides individual student support with respect to education planning, general guidance, course selection, and student success. The CVS guidance team can provide support for students in:

  • in academic planning and course selection;
  • seeking out special pathways that support their learning styles, interests, and needs;
  • planning for post-secondary and target short and long-term goals;
  • providing information around all post-secondary pathways and career pathways;
  • identifying and providing intervention and support for students at risk of not graduating;
  • supporting students in establishing effective study habits and exam preparation; and/or
  • coaching in the scholarship application process;

If at any time a student would like support in one of these areas, they are welcome to reach out to Christian Virtual School and speak directly to a member of the guidance team.

10.2 Education and Career/Life Planning

In alignment with the Ontario Ministry of Education, Christian Virtual School shares the same objective, in that students leave secondary school with a clear plan for their initial post-secondary destination, whether in apprenticeship training, college, community living, university, or the workplace. We also feel it is important that students have confidence in their ability to implement, and revise or adapt their plan throughout their lives.

Christian Virtual School is continuously building out supports for students regarding education and career/life planning. Currently, Christian Virtual School provides support and resources to students by:

  • providing individual assistance and short-term counseling to students, when requested;
  • providing current information on post-secondary programs and admission requirements to all of its college and university bound students;
  • communicating directly with Ontario Universities Application Centre and Ontario College Application Service regarding student achievement;
  • communicating directly with post-secondary institutions regarding student achievement;
  • In addition, our courses are built to:
    • support students in identifying their personal interests, strengths, needs, and aspirations;
    • encourage students to use this knowledge of themselves to inform their choices of programs and learning opportunities;
    • provide students with a range of diverse and engaging learning opportunities, courses, and programs; and
    • highlight all post-secondary destinations including apprenticeship training, college, community living, university, and the workplace.

Lastly, for students who are the sole responsibility of Christian Virtual School, we provide access to myBlueprint as a tool to allow students to develop an Individual Pathways Plan  and make informed decisions about their future. This tool helps students:

  • discover their learning and personality styles, interests, desired knowledge, and motivation factors;
  • plan their high school course selections to meet graduation requirements;
  • explore post-secondary and career databases;
  • record important experiences, activities, achievements, and skills to build resumes and cover letters; and
  • learn real world skills that help them set and work towards goals.

It is Christian Virtual School’s desire that, with these supports, students can achieve their personal goals and become confident, successful, and contributing members in their community.

10.3 English Language Learners

Although all our courses are only offered in English at this time, Christian Virtual School welcomes students learning the English language. Students do need to meet a baseline proficiency level to access the content, but Christian Virtual School teachers are responsible for helping students develop their English literacy skills no matter the course they are enrolled in.

Upon enrollment, students are asked if they would like to provide information about their English language background, and this information is used by our teachers to help them adjust their feedback and suggest accommodations within the courses. English language learners are encouraged to reach out to their teacher or the Christian Virtual School administration to talk about the accommodation options in their courses.

In addition, Christian Virtual School provides all of our students access to ReadSpeaker within our courses. This provides support to ELL students by:

  • providing a text to speech application that allows students to choose between reading the content and listening to it;
  • allowing for adjustable reading speeds to help with comprehension;
  • utilizing a built-in translation tool to help students with words they may not be familiar with;
  • utilizing a built-in dictionary to help students with words they may not be familiar with; and
  • supporting writing by providing word prediction, spell check, dictation options, and text read back within the learning environment.

10.4 Accommodations

Christian Virtual School courses are made to offer flexible, personalized learning experiences. By maintaining an asynchronous model, students can move through their courses at their own pace, ensuring they are able to take the time they need to understand concepts or work with their teacher if they hit roadblocks. Christian Virtual School courses also incorporate choice, allowing students to submit work in a variety of mediums or formats to communicate their ideas.

In addition to the accommodations built into the courses, Christian Virtual School can (and will) implement the accommodations that are listed in a student’s existing Individual Education Plan (IEP). Christian Virtual School will develop a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) for all students who require assessment accommodations. Such accommodations will be applicable to the online learning environment. Common assessment accommodations include providing extra time for tests and exams, scribing, the use of assistive technology and not penalizing for spelling or comparable mechanical errors. If a student does not have an IEP, similar accommodations may still be made in special circumstances but do require documentation from a consulting physician or other qualified professional.

It is a part of our mission to remove barriers to Christian education, and accessibility is at the forefront of this initiative. As we continue to improve our framework, we encourage families to reach out to the Christian Virtual School principal directly about your family’s needs to help us prioritize our development.

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