Support for high school students

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High School

At the Ottawa Catholic School Board, we believe every child should have the opportunity to succeed. That’s why we have a variety of programs and supports to level the playing field for all of our learners.

English Language Learners

English language learners are students whose first language is not English and may need focused support to become proficient in English. In high school, these students can take English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Literacy Development (ELD) programs.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

Our ESL program helps students with age-appropriate language, literacy and numeracy skills in their first language, improve these skills in English.

We offer ESL credit courses at the following high schools:

  • Holy Trinity Catholic High School
  • Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School
  • St. Francis Xavier High School
  • St. Mother Teresa High School
  • St. Patrick’s High School
  • St. Pius X High School

English Literacy Development (ELD)

Our ELD program helps students develop their language, literacy and numeracy skills while also improving their English.

We offer ELD credit courses at the following high schools:

  • Holy Trinity Catholic High School
  • Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School
  • St. Francis Xavier High School
  • St. Patrick’s High School
  • St. Pius X High School

Special Education Students

We continue to support students with learning-based needs through special education programs and services in high school.

High-performance athletes & artists

If your child is a high performing athlete or artist at the provincial, national, or international level, we understand they need the flexibility to train while continuing with their academic studies. Contact your guidance counsellor to discuss accommodations for your child.

Earning credits outside of the regular classroom

We offer several alternative ways to earn course credits outside the regular classroom. These opportunities are great solutions if your child struggles to achieve course expectations in a traditional classroom setting.

Recover credits when failing a course

If your child fails a course, they can meet curriculum expectations and earn a credit through our credit recovery opportunities. Your child’s classroom teacher and guidance counsellor work together to determine the best format to provide credit recovery for each student.

Achievement centres– an alternative to the traditional classroom

We have an achievement centre at every high school. They offer flexible timetables, alternative ways to earn credits, hands-on learning and opportunities to recover credits. If your child has been away from school for an extended period, they might re-enter the school system through an achievement centre.

Supervised Alternative Learning for at-risk students

Our Supervised Alternative Learning program supports and re-engages at-risk students through individualized plans and the mentorship of a caring adult. Your child’s plan could include flexible timetabling, credit accumulation, life skills, volunteering, certifications, cooperative education and counselling.

External achievement centres– an alternative to a traditional school

The Ottawa Catholic School Board has three external Achievement Centres for students who would benefit from an alternative to the traditional school setting. These centres allow your child to continue earning credits for graduation.

Algonquin Achievement Centre provides an opportunity for Grade 12 students who are disengaged or underachieving to continue their high school courses in a college setting while also taking a Dual Credit course. Contact St. Paul High School for more information.

John Bosco Achievement Centre, operated by Operation Come Home, provides academic support for street-involved youth hoping to reconnect with the community. Contact Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School for more details.

St. Mary’s Achievement Centre provides academic and wellness programming for pregnant teens. Contact Immaculata High School to learn more.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

A student can receive a course credit in exceptional situations through the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process. This process recognizes that your child already knows and can do the expected learning for a specific course, as outlined in the Ontario curriculum. Your child would need to show evidence/proof of the applicable knowledge and skills. Exceptional situations could include when a student is behind in credits or requires a reduced schedule. Contact your guidance counsellor for more information.