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Getting Ready for Grade 9

Making the transition from elementary to high school offers an exciting new challenge, but it doesn't need to be a stressful one, especially if you are well prepared. We've answered some of the questions you may have here by providing you with all the resources you require in order to make the move a smooth one. If you still have more questions, be sure to consult with your classroom teacher, your high school guidance department and your parents.

Check out our Getting Ready for Grade 9 Booklet hereExternal link for more information.


Ontario’s Ministry of Education is committed to addressing system discrimination and helping to break down barriers for Indigenous, Black, and racialized students, students from low-income households, students with disabilities, and students with special education needs.  As part of this commitment, the Ministry of Education has eliminated the streaming of students in Grade 9.  De-streaming means that students are no longer separated into Academic and Applied courses.

A de-streamed Grade 9 Mathematics course was implemented in September 2021. Click here for the Grade 9 Math: a guide for parents resource.

A new de-streamed Grade 9 Science course was implemented in September 2022. Click here for the Grade 9 Science: a guide for parents resource.

A new de-streamed Grade 9 English course was implemented in September 2023. Click here for the Grade 9 English: a guide for parents resource.

Geography and French as a Second Language (FSL) are offered as Academic courses only, beginning September 2022.  

Locally developed courses remain available for those students who have been receiving significantly modified programming in Grade 8.

Looking Ahead to Grade 10

Course Selections
Students will select either Academic, Applied, or Locally Developed courses in Grade 10.  

Academic courses emphasize theory, problem solving, and abstract thinking, incorporating practical applications as appropriate.  They are suitable for students who can easily connect concepts and ideas.  These courses have a quick pace; they move from one concept or topic to the next one rather quickly.  They offer students frequent opportunities to extend their knowledge and deepen their understanding.

Applied courses focus on practical and concrete applications of concepts, incorporating theoretical applications as appropriate.  They are suitable for students who benefit from practical experiences and real life examples in order to understand concepts before moving on to the next topic.  Applied courses provide examples to help students make connections.

Locally Developed courses emphasize skill acquisition required for success in Grade 11 and 12 Workplace and Open courses and experiential learning.  These courses are ideal for students who benefit from concrete examples.  This type of course prepares students for success in everyday life.

What kinds of programs can I choose from?

International Baccalaureate
French Immersion
Specialist High Skills Major(SHSM)
Dual CreditExternal link
Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)
STEM Academies
Sports Academies

ant to get ahead?

We have some great Reach Ahead opportunities for students who would like to get a head start on their high school diploma. Grade 8 students can take four-week summer courses in subjects such as Exploring Technologies, Healthy Living, and Hospitality & Tourism. Find out more here.

What are my career opportunities?

Choosing certain courses now may have a direct impact on your career pathway later in life, so you should place some careful thought in to your selection process. To help you with this, you should check our Pathways page.


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