High School assessment, evaluation and reporting

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Assessment and evaluation happens throughout the semester to help improve student learning. Assessment is the process of gathering, from a variety of sources, information that accurately reflects how a student is achieving the curriculum expectations in a subject or course. Evaluation is the process of judging the quality of student learning on the basis of established criteria and assigning a value to represent that quality.

In Ontario high schools, percentage grades are assigned to reflect the corresponding level of achievement as described in the achievement charts in the provincial policy document of each discipline. A student must achieve at least 50% (Level 1) in order to earn credit for a course, and if the student achieves at least 70% (Level 3), the student will have met the provincial standard for the course and is well prepared for the next grade. A summative assessment, worth 30%, is completed towards the end of the course, and may include a rich summative task and/or examination.

Grade 9-12 provincial report card

The Provincial Report Card for Grades 9-12 is the formal means of communicating student achievement. The report card focuses on two distinct but related aspects of student achievement — the achievement of curriculum expectations and the development of learning skills and work habits. These aspects are reported in two separate sections of the report card. Report cards give parents information about:

  • student demonstration of specific learning skills and work habits
  • student achievement of the curriculum expectations
  • student attendance (lates and absences)
  • information about second language programming and special learning needs

How final grades are calculated

  • 70% from evaluations conducted throughout the course
  • 30% from a final evaluation administered towards the end of a course

Timeline of assessments events in high school


Semester 1 begins and schools hold “Meet the Teacher” evenings.

October and March

Letters of concern are mailed to the families of students who are struggling academically with one or more subjects.

November and April

Report cards go home and parent-teacher interviews take place.

January and June

Final exams, Rich Summative Tasks (RST), and end-of-semester report cards sent home.

Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)

To earn a high school diploma, all students must successfully complete the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSST) or the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC). Students who have been eligible to write the OSSLT at least twice and have been unsuccessful at least once are eligible to take this course to achieve both a Grade 12 credit and their literacy credential for graduation. A student may enroll directly in the OSSLC if there are extenuating circumstances, such as English language proficiency level, illness, injury. If, through no fault of his/her own, a student has not been able to participate in either the test or the course, an adjudication process has been established. For further information, please contact Student Services at your school.

OSSLT accommodations

Necessary accommodations will be made to ensure that students who are receiving special education programs and services and who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) have a fair and equal opportunity to successfully complete the OSSLT. Students needing such accommodations may or may not have been formally identified as exceptional by an Identification, Placement and Review Committee (IPRC). The accommodations made will be the same as those that are set out in the student’s IEP and that are available to the student in the course of his or her regular school work, including examinations and other forms of evaluation. While accommodations such as alternative forms of print and extra time are acceptable, the actual content of the OSSLT can not be altered.

OSSLT deferrals

Students with an IEP and/or identified as exceptional learners and students registered in English as a Second Language/English Literacy Development (ESL/ELD) courses, may benefit from a deferral of the OSSLT. If a parent or an adult student requests a deferral, their school principal will determine whether or not a deferral should be granted and, if so, for what period of time. The principal may also initiate consideration of a deferral. The principal will make his or her decision in consultation with the parent or adult student and appropriate school staff. In cases where the parent or adult student disagrees with the decision of the principal, the parent or adult student may ask the appropriate supervisory officer to review the matter.

OSSLT exemptions

Students whose IEP indicates that the student is not working towards the attainment of a high school diploma may, with parental consent and the approval of the principal, be exempted from participating in the OSSLT. Students who do not successfully complete the OSSLT or OSSCL will not be able to receive an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Should the learning expectations contained in the student’s IEP be revised at some point so as to allow the student to work towards the attainment of the diploma, the student would be expected to successfully complete the OSSLT requirement.

Ontario Student Records (OSR)

The Ontario Student Record (OSR) is an ongoing record of a student’s educational progress through schools in Ontario. The Education Act requires that the principal of a school collect information “for inclusion in a record, in respect of each student enrolled in the school and to establish, maintain, retain, transfer and dispose of the record.” The Act also regulates access to an OSR and states that the OSR is “privileged for the information and use of supervisory officers and the principal and teachers of the school for the improvement of instruction” of the student. Each student and the parent/guardian of a student who is not an adult (that is, a student who is under the age of 18) must be made aware of the purpose and content of and have access to, all of the information contained in the OSR. The OSR is usually housed in the main office or in Student Services at your school. The Ontario Student Transcript and report cards are kept in the OSR file which also contains other academic information relating to the student’s education.

Ontario Student Transcripts (OST)

The Ontario Student Transcript (OST) provides an official and consistent record of the Ontario secondary school credit courses successfully completed by a student. The OST is an official component of the OSR and is stored in the student’s OSR folder. The OST includes:

  • all Grade 9 and 10 courses successfully completed by the student, with percentage grades obtained and credits earned
  • all Grade 11 and 12 courses completed successfully or attempted unsuccessfully by the student, with percentage grades obtained and credits earned
  • all equivalent credits granted (through the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) equivalency process under OS/OSS or through the equivalency process under OSIS)
  • all Grade 10 courses for which the student successfully challenged for credit through the PLAR challenge process, with percentage grades obtained and credits earned
  • all Grade 11 and 12 courses for which the student successfully or unsuccessfully challenged for credit through the PLAR challenge process, with percentage grades obtained and credits earned
  • identification of compulsory credits, including credits that are substitutions for compulsory credits identified by the Ministry as diploma requirements
  • confirmation that the student has completed the 40 hours of community involvement
  • confirmation that the student has successfully completed the OSSLT or OSSLC
  • a record of the achievement of exceptional students who have alternative learning expectations in an individualized, non-credit program

Full Disclosure

The Ministry has mandated “Full Disclosure” for Grade 11 and 12 courses. This mandate requires that any Grade 11 and 12 courses a student attempts, repeats, fails or completes successfully must be indicated on the student’s transcript. A student has up to five days following the release of the first Provincial Report Card (i.e. mid-semester report card) to drop a course so that it is not reflected on the OST. Any course dropped following this period will have the percentage grade at the time of the drop recorded on the OST.