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De-streaming Grade 9

De-streaming Grade 9

Students starting secondary school no longer select Academic or Applied pathways in their first year of study.

All Grade 9 courses are now offered in one stream for all Grade 9 students, including compulsory courses (such as math, science and English) and electives (such as physical education, technology and music).

Students in the Applied stream of study are limited in the courses they can take in later grades, which in turn limits their access to post-secondary education.

De-streaming of Grade 9 will give students more time to choose a pathway of study, which will broaden their options and open doors for their future.

Research has shown that students benefit from learning in groups of students of varied abilities and interests. This creates a dynamic classroom community where students are challenged to think critically and solve problems, building on prior knowledge.

When students expand their minds and grow their confidence, they have every opportunity to achieve their full potential.

The Ministry of Education introduced de-streaming in September 2021 with a new Grade 9 mathematics course that emphasizes real-world applications and financial literacy.

A new Grade 9 science course was implemented in September 2022.

A new Grade 9 English course will be launched in September 2023. This course enables students to develop and consolidate foundational knowledge and skills, including oral language, reading, writing, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. The following Grade 9 course codes will be used in course registration processes and materials for the 2023-2024 school year:

  • Math (MTH1W)
  • Science (SNC1W)
  • English (ENG1D)
  • Issues in Canadian Geography (CGC1D)
  • French as a Second Language (FSF1D, FEF1D and FIF1D)

Please note that Locally Developed Compulsory Credit courses will continue to be offered.

What are Locally Developed Courses?

  • Locally Developed Courses support the needs of students who have been engaged in modified programming, usually within the junior grade levels (4 to 6),  for their last few years of elementary school.  
  • Locally Developed courses are offered at the Grade 9 and Grade 10 level in some schools in the areas of English, math, science and/or history.
  • Programs at college and university with a high school mathematics or English course requirements will not accept courses in this pathway for admission.
  • The locally developed English courses do not prepare students for the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) which is a requirement for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

What are some questions I could ask if my child is recommended for Locally Developed programming?

  • At what grade level is my child working independently without modifications?
  • Is my child working with modifications (changes made in grade-level expectations) or is the focus of the course to provide interventions with the intent to bridge my child to the destreamed pathway?
  • What are the pathway options if my child enrolls in locally developed courses?

How will students with Special Education Needs be supported?

Teachers will implement Individual Educations Plans (IEPs) for students that have special education needs.  Teachers will continue to work collaboratively with Special Education Resource Teachers to support students in secondary school.

Will destreamed Grade 9 prepare my child for success in their post-secondary destinations?  

Our programming in Grade 9 will ensure all students have the opportunity to pursue all post-secondary pathways including apprenticeship, college, university, community living and the workplace.

What do I do if my child is requiring additional support in their courses?

All of our high schools have Student Success teams in place to support students.  They support students in many ways that might involve classroom support, special education and/or student success teacher support, and external counselling support if needed. 

Developing a relationship with your child’s teacher(s) through early and ongoing communication is essential to ensure academic success. Parents/guardians/advocates are encouraged to communicate directly with subject teachers. Your child’s guidance counsellors, vice-principal or principal can also be a source of support.

Where can I find more information about the new destreamed math (MTH1W) and science (SNC1W) courses?

The new course will be available to parents on the Ontario Curriculum and Resources website. Access the website at the below.

Where can I read more about the research on destreaming?

Access the websites listed below to learn more about destreaming.

Ontario Curriculum and Resources website
People for Education - The Trouble with Course Choices in Ontario High Schools
Making the Case for De-streaming
Restructured Pathways - Addressing Streaming from Grades 1 to 12 in the TDSB
NCSM Position Paper - Closing the Opportunity Gap: A Call for De-tracking Mathematics
Stop Streaming Students