Credit recovery, SAL, and achievement centres

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Credit recovery opportunities may be offered through a variety of formats to support the learner and the effective demonstration of the expectations of the course. These formats may include continuous intake, e-Learning and regular classroom delivery models. For further information, please contact the school administration. Credit recovery is designed to help regular day school students at the secondary level meet the expectations of a course they have completed but for which they have received a failing grade.

Supervised Alternative Learning (SAL)

Supervised Alternative Learning (SAL) is an option that allows alternative programming for students 14 to 17 years of age. SAL may be useful for encouraging young people who are at risk of not graduating to continue their learning, if they are not attending school regularly and if other retention strategies have not been successful. The SAL program is intended to re-engage young people through individualized plans that may include credit accumulation, life skills, volunteering, certifications, cooperative education and counselling. Students participating in the SAL program are mentored by a caring adult.

Achievement centres

Each high school has an achievement centre which offers a variety of learning opportunities for students who may benefit from an alternative to the regular programming. It may also serve as a re-entry point for students who have been away from school for an extended period of time. Achievement centres provide support for credit recovery, flexible timetabling, experiential learning and alternate opportunities for credit accumulation.

External achievement centres

In an attempt to meet the needs of all of our learners, four external Achievement Centres have been established outside the school setting. All of these programs facilitate the continued acquisition of credits required for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

St. Mary’s Achievement Centre

St. Mary’s Achievement Centre: provides academic and wellness programming for pregnant teens. Please contact Immaculata High School for more details.

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Algonquin Achievement Centre

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. Please contact St. Paul High School for more information.

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Operation Come Home

Operation Come Home provides academic support for youth who are street-involved and hoping to reconnect with the community. Please contact Lester B. Pearson Catholic High School for more details.

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St. John Bosco Achievement Centre

St. John Bosco Achievement Centre provides academic support for youth involved with the justice system as a transition to return to the regular system. Please contact Immaculata High School for more details.

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Claiming a credit through Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

PLAR is a formal process that allows, in exceptional situations, a student to claim a credit towards the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). The process recognizes knowledge and skills acquired outside of secondary school. Exceptional situations include those where a student is behind in credits, or requires a reduced schedule.

Students are required to present evidence/proof of the knowledge and skills detailed in the expectations of the relevant Ontario Curriculum Policy Document, of the course for which credit is being sought. All Ontario Curriculum Policy Documents can be found at:

PLAR is a two-stage process. The initial application for PLAR begins with the home high school’s Student Services Department and includes credit review and course planning through to the end of high school. The application may include certificates, authorized formal training and awards relevant to the curriculum of the course being challenged. The guidance counsellor will review the application with the student. The application package must be completed and submitted to the Coordinator of Student Success by October 31 of the current year.

When the student completes the PLAR application, it is then forwarded to the Coordinator of Student Success. If the application is deemed acceptable, the student may proceed to the second stage of PLAR, the Formal Evaluation Stage. The formal evaluation must have a balance between written work and practical demonstration of the subject/discipline. Assessment strategies may include written assignments, demonstrations/performances, laboratory work, quizzes, etc. Grade 9 courses are not eligible for the PLAR process.

A maximum of four credits may be granted through PLAR for Grade 10, 11 and 12 courses with a maximum of two credits granted in any one subject area. A PLAR assessor will be assigned to the student, based on the specific subject area. Assessment and evaluation strategies for the challenge process must include a formal evaluation (30% of the final mark) and a variety of other assessment strategies appropriate for the particular course (70% of the final mark).

PLAR for mature students

PLAR for mature students is the formal evaluation and credit-granting process through which mature students, who are enrolled in a secondary school course, may obtain credits for prior learning. Mature students may obtain credits towards the OSSD for knowledge and skills that they have acquired, in both formal and informal ways, outside secondary school.

The PLAR process involves a Grade 9 and 10 individual assessment/equivalency process, and a Grade 11 and 12 equivalency process. In all cases, the knowledge and skills gained through education, work experience and training must be directly related to the provincial curriculum expectations. By using this process, mature students may be granted up to 26 credits towards their OSSD by the principal.