Online Learning Graduation Requirements

Mandatory eLearning Credits - FAQs

Beginning with students who entered Grade 9 in the 2020-21 school year, all students must earn at least two online learning credits as part of the requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), unless they have opted out or been exempted.

Online learning refers to eLearning courses that do not require students to be physically present with one another or with their teacher in school. Parents/guardians may choose to opt their child out of the mandatory eLearning courses required for graduation.

For more information, please visit the Ministry of Education website.

How to opt out:

Parents who wish to opt out or exempt their child from the online graduation requirement must complete the opt-out form and return to their child's school.

Exemption from the online learning graduation requirements can be requested by:
● T
he parent or guardian of the secondary student
● S
tudents who are 18 years of age or older
● S
tudents who are 16 or 17 years of age and have withdrawn from parental control


How is eLearning delivered?
eLearning is delivered through a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Brightspace (D2L). Students use their board Google credentials to login.

What courses are offered in the eLearning model?
The Ministry of Education has developed an online version of most grade 9-12 courses and has made them available in the VLE. The courses that are actually offered each term are decided based on student interest. Next year’s courses have not been determined yet.

Does my child have to be online at a certain time every day?
No. eLearning is more flexible than synchronous learning and does not require the student to be present with the teacher unless requested/coordinated for support. However, it is suggested that the student use their eLearning block on their timetable to work on their course as it can be easy for them to lose pace of their course and difficult to catch up on assignments.

Are there Catholic eLearning courses?
There is both a Catholic and a Public version of many of the ministry provided courses. When possible, we request that our students take their course with another Catholic School Board to ensure the delivery of Catholic content. However, depending on course availability, this is not always possible therefore it is not guaranteed that your child will be receiving Catholic content.

If my child opts out now, can we opt back in at a later date?
Yes, you can choose to opt back in at any time.

Can my child still take an eLearning class if I opt them out?
Yes. Opting out will not prohibit your child from taking an eLearning course if they choose to. It simply means that taking two eLearning courses will not be a requirement for graduation.

Will my child still be in a course with his/her classmates from school?
Not necessarily. While it is possible for some courses to run with just local students, because the course is online, it’s more common to exchange students from other school boards through a seat exchange system.

With all of the recent school shutdowns, do any of those credits count towards this requirement?
Yes. The Ministry recognizes up to one secondary school credit completed by students who were in Grade 9 in the 2020/2021 school year.

What will my child need to participate in an eLearning course?
Your child will need access to a device and the internet. Since the VLE is web based, it is possible to access the students course from their mobile device however, completing assignments from such a small device could be more difficult therefore a laptop/computer is suggested. There are devices available for sign out in the school library. Depending on the course, students may be required to use certain programs or software which will be communicated by the teacher at the onset of the course.

My child has an IEP, can they still participate in eLearning?
Yes. Your child’s IEP will be shared with the host teacher and accommodations/modifications will be made accordingly.

Why is the Ministry mandating this eLearning requirement?
As per the Ministry release: “ order to support the development of digital literacy and other important transferable skills that will help prepare them for success after graduation and in all aspects of their lives. It is guided by a vision of an Ontario where every student has equitable access to high-quality online learning within a modernized education system that prepares them to succeed in a digital and ever-changing world.”

Why is opting out an option?
The Ministry recognizes that eLearning is not suitable for all students. Compared to an in-person course, it requires a greater level of independent learning skills and time management. Because of this, the Ministry is allowing parents/guardians to opt their child out of the requirement.

How do I know if eLearning is a good fit for my child?
Consider asking:
● How well does your child independently manage time? Schedule work assignments? Work independently?
● How might these eLearning courses support your child’s pathway goals, and provide them with the skills needed once they enter apprenticeship, college, university, or the workplace?
● How might your child’s pathway destination (apprenticeship, college or university) support eLearning courses in admissions?
● How might eLearning help your child with the way they learn (e.g., does your child prefer asynchronous and/or synchronous learning?)

Are there any academic consequences for my child if we opt out?
No. There are no consequences and your child’s graduation requirements will remain status quo.

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