There are approximately 920 secondary schools in Ontario. Secondary education includes grades 9 to 12, and is often referred to as ‘high school’.
All teachers in Ontario’s publicly funded schools must have a teaching certificate from the Ontario College of Teachers.
Teachers are responsible for:
- Preparing lesson plans, teaching classes and evaluating student progress
- Encouraging students and acting as teacher–advisors for students
- Maintaining discipline in the classroom
- Running extracurricular sports, clubs and activities (voluntary)
- Communicating with parents about students’ progress
In secondary school, each subject is taught by a different teacher, and students move from classroom to classroom.
Courses and Choices
The courses that students choose in high school will have an impact on their choices throughout high school, their future lives and, in come cases, their career choices. Ontario’s high schools offer a wide variety of courses and programs to meet the needs and interests of all students. For more information about course and program choices, see our High School Courses and Choices tip sheet.
The average class size must be 22 students in the secondary grades. However, this is a board-wide average, so individual classes may have more (or fewer) students.
In order to graduate from high school, students must:
- Pass 30 credit courses, including 18 compulsory and 12 optional credits.
- Pass the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test or a Literacy course.
- Complete 40 hours of volunteer community service.