The trees in High Park are starting to wear a few rust-coloured leaves. The occasional chilly evening forces us to reach into the back of our closet for a jacket. And whenever you turn on the radio, you’re hit with commercials for back-to-school savings. That’s right – it’s almost September again, the beginning of another traditional school year.
A school should be a community. It should be a place where students can go to feel empowered, intellectually stimulated and supported. It should be a place to share your hopes and aspirations for the future, and then see that future slowly come together as you progress through your studies. It should be a place to share knowledge (and a few jokes) with peers, receive sage advice from advisors, work through problems and develop solutions.
Every student thinks differently, learns differently and experiences their time at high school differently. Some students are happy to drive through high school in the leisurely right-hand lane, savouring every last day of their education, friend groups and semi-structured lives.
Others, meanwhile, are itching to get on with it. Armed with tenacity, eagerness and (some might say) impatience, these students want to fast-track their high school education to level up quicker, graduate quicker, and throw their university applications to the top of the pile.
There’s a common misconception among some students that high school is like a sports match; if you fail to score the first time around, there’s nothing you can do about it. This line of thinking runs contrary to the fundamental goal of education. The aim of a high school education isn’t to label you with a mark – it is to nurture you with the opportunities you require to retain information, hone essential skills and envision your personal success for the future.
“Survival” might be a strong word for working your way through summer school. Yes, there are uphill challenges with attending high school courses over the traditional summer break. (How are you expected to study when the weather’s this nice!?). But summer school also carries its fair share of advantages. It allows students to work ahead in their courses for an easier upcoming academic year, retake courses for a better grade on their transcript, and develop an effective hedge against summer learning loss.
For students, the “peak-end effect” kicks in around this time of year. These final, waning moments of the traditional school year influence how you view your past accomplishments – and set the stage for your future motivation.
Our goal in this article is to ensure that you view the past school year positively. We want you to practice constructive self-reflection. We want you to practice effective present strategies for navigating the end of the school year. And lastly, we encourage you to look bravely toward the future as you complete graduation requirements in Ontario.
As you might have gathered in your physics or chemistry courses, energy is governed by laws of thermodynamics. And the first of those laws states that energy cannot be created or destroyed – only transferred.
The same principle applies (albeit with some creative license) to your studies. You are an isolated system, possessing a finite amount of energy in the form of academic focus and stamina. You can transfer that energy to your schoolwork, and indeed you should! But you have to give yourself the time and space to regain your energy elsewhere: with friends, family, quiet time, mindful practices, sleep and extracurricular hobbies. Or else you run the risk of depleting your energy. You run the risk of burning out.
Summer is so close you can practically taste the ice cream dripping down your wrist. But before we hit the beaches, cottages, outdoor concerts and family trips, there’s just one pressing item on the docket: finishing the school year.
Sometimes, it’s a cruel by-product of circumstance that the last few weeks of a course are the hardest. You have massive final exams to study for, final assignments to turn in and heavily weighted group projects to execute. At the same time, you feel like you’re running on fumes.
It’s sort of a cliched rite of passage to warn outgoing high school students about how challenging university is. “Buckle up, because university math might as well be taught in Greek,” some might say. And while that’s clearly an over-exaggeration meant to scare incoming frosh, there’s some grain of truth in it.
As Ontario’s leading academy for online high school courses, we at OES tend to naturally sing the praises of online learning. When you see the success stories first-hand, every day like we do – the students who flourish in a self-paced environment, the students who reach a potential they didn’t even think possible – it’s hard not to be full-throated in your praise.
In the history of education, online learning is an incredibly recent addition. As such, there isn’t quite the same volume of “instructional resources” behind it, like tips, best practices guides, etc. Traditional brick-and-mortar education has enjoyed centuries of self-betterment deliberation – with thinkers creating a veritable cottage industry out of how-to guides and student advice. It’s high time online learning did the same.
There are several ways to measure the success of a school. The traditional way is to define it according to academic performance, particularly on standardized tests. This is the way school headmasters of old benchmarked success, and it remains in practice today. Conversely, some educational experts prefer to define success through a “student happiness index,” arguing that contentment – not a test – is the hallmark of a prospering school.
The new year can be a roller coaster for grade 12 students in Ontario. After years of settling into the high school groove – perfecting the cycle of semesters, mid-terms, projects and finals – students take the first months of a year to look toward an unknown future. Many prepare for the next stage of their educational career: post-secondary school.
School can be demanding. When you aren’t gearing up for a final exam in English, you’re plugging away at an assignment in History. When you aren’t racing to meet the OUAC deadlines for university applications, you’re racing toward three other deadlines for end-of-semester. Sometimes, it can feel like a spinning plates act – a nerve-wracking attempt to keep everything from crashing down.
Across Ontario, we’re beginning to see blankets of snow, gusts of whipping wind, and ice slabs forming in the vast Great Lakes. And if you’re a student in Ontario, you’ll notice that it isn’t just the weather changing; all around you, you see Ontario students gearing up for a long break from the classroom.
The winter break, which lasts roughly two weeks and spans the major religious holidays, makes a modicum of sense in the context of brick-and-mortar school education. The winter break gives teachers and administrators time to hit the reset button, arriving at a new semester freshly rested and ready to corral a large classroom of students for another semester. It also gives parents a rest from having to commute their kids to school.
If there has been a positive to emerge from the last couple of years, it’s been the renewed societal appreciation for healthcare workers. In a sense, it’s unfortunate that it took the world reeling from a global pandemic to shift its sympathies and gratitude to frontline professionals – but whatever the reason for this overdue gratitude, it’s heartening to see.
Amid the pressure of rounding out your senior year at high school, you might feel an additional twinge of stress: choosing the perfect post-secondary school. It’s not an easy ask. Here you are, trying to focus on the present – your assignments, tests, projects and social life – and everyone around you is asking about your plans for the future. You’re just trying to make it to the weekend!
So you’ve decided to enroll in an online high school full-time or part-time. Excellent choice! Online education gives you more freedom and the ability to pursue courses that may not be accessible at a regular school. Aside from these advantages, online education allows you to become more self-sufficient and disciplined, skills that will be important for the rest of your life.
Over the last few years, online learning has grown significantly as the internet and education have combined to allow people to master new skills. During the pandemic, the world realized how valuable and essential online education can be.
In fact, in Ontario, the government has introduced a new online learning requirement, in which students must receive e-learning credits to be entitled to graduation.
Below is more information about this requirement and what it means to take an online course at OES!
If you’ve been researching high school education options, you have come across the term “accredited online high school.” Accreditation raises the bar for educational excellence to a certain level, ensuring that the quality of education provided to students meets the established requirements. And for a good reason, getting a high school diploma online accredited is what sets genuinely good online home school learning institutions apart from ordinary ones.
But what does it mean to be an accredited online high school, and why is an accredited high school diploma so special?
In Ontario, grade twelve is often the final milestone in a student’s education before going to postsecondary learning. Thus it is a critical year for preparing students for life after high school. Students’ understanding and abilities are further developed during this year to prepare them for college, university, and in their future careers in life.
If you’ve ever considered the advantages of online high school or online learning, you’re not alone! Online learning is expanding quickly! More people are taking advantage of distance learning, particularly self-driven individuals who want to gain a competitive edge. Online education allows you to continue managing your schedule and it’s flexibly when it comes to its course load, which is a big part of its charm. However, a lot of parents are afraid to take this step.
Becoming a lawyer can be an enormous undertaking that requires time, effort, dedication, and money. The bar exams and law school can be challenging obstacles. On the flip side, a career in law can be gratifying, lively, and come with financial security. Knowing more about this career and the road you take to get there may help you decide whether or not this field is for you.
Contrary to popular belief, summer school is not just for those who have fallen behind or failed certain subjects in the previous semester. The truth is quite the opposite, in fact, with many successful students utilizing it to help even further their studies and gain an extra edge before either going off to post-secondary education or returning for the following semester.
We’re officially halfway through the summer season, and while there’s still a fair bit of time before it arrives, the school season is slowly approaching.
Students will return to school in a little over a month, making this a pivotal time where getting ready for the new school year can make all the difference. For students, returning to school can be both thrilling and terrifying. Some kids might be entering high school for the first time this year, while others might be in their final year and getting ready to move on to post-secondary education. Some children might not be returning to school full-time, and thus will need to be flexible with their learning styles.
The opportunities available for students are vast and exciting—opportunities that tend not to be available for anyone else. Throughout their educational pursuits, a student may, for instance, participate in activities and experiences they never thought themselves capable of—from acting to writing poetry, or playing water polo—even travelling the globe with a sports, debate, Model UN, or chess team.
Plenty of parents hope their children will grow up to be doctors, lawyers, or engineers.
It’s fair for parents to want this type of success for their kids: These prestigious professions often offer satisfying, long-term careers with plenty of room for advancement. Many find the work challenging and important and, of course, many earn a decent living.
Summer break can be a welcome reprieve for many hard-working students hoping to enjoy some relaxing time off in the sun, on the beach, in the woods, on the soccer field, or at the cottage—anywhere peaceful and relaxing. No more homework, exams, and mandatory attendance. No more gym class, lukewarm cafeteria food, and late nights spent highlighting so many words the highlighter runs out of fluorescent ink.
At traditional brick-and-mortar high schools in Ontario and across North America, students are expected to move through course material at a uniform pace with the rest of the students in their classes.
These students have little to no control over how they pace their studies. Rather, their pace is determined for them by their teachers, curriculum, and school board. They are expected to meet deadlines and are penalized when they fail to do so. Learning at a uniform pace is called synchronous learning and it does not benefit all students.
Traditional learning where students are in a classroom with their instructor and fellow students engaging with their education in real-time, is synchronous learning. Quite literally, this is because in a classroom setting, students learn in sync with their peers.
You could trace the dawn of synchronous learning to, well, the dawn of education, and still to this day it’s what many older adults think of when they think of school.
At OES, we value flexibility. With our online courses, we empower our students to have more control over their schooling and make it easier for students to manage their schedules and stay productive because they can work at their own pace.
This flexibility is especially important for busy students who don’t have the luxury of treating school as a full-time job, but is only effective when paired with good academic habits.
Traditional brick-and-mortar high schools in Ontario tend to not offer much flexibility. The majority of students commute to school at 9 am, take classes until 3 pm, go home, and repeat. Then, if they are involved in sports or extracurricular activities, they will spend even more time at school.
This rigid routine may work for students with enough time to treat school as a full-time job, but not for busy students, including mature students, who have obligations outside of school, like families and jobs.
Before the rise of online high school courses in Ontario, students typically had to attend traditional, brick-and-mortar secondary institutions to get their diplomas. Excluding those who attended in-person private schools, students had no choice but to attend public schools within their particular geographical regions—that is, within their “boundary maps.”
These students often had few public schools to choose from, especially those who lived in underpopulated and rural areas. Students living in wealthier boundary maps tended to have access to public secondary schools with more funding, resources, and one-on-one attention, as well as higher retention and graduation rates.
When you have a family and a full-time job, studying and taking classes can often feel like a daunting undertaking and leave you with little to no personal time. At OES, we offer flexible online courses so that our students, including mature students, can maintain a work-life balance.
Our courses are more convenient and flexible than in-person courses offered by traditional brick-and-mortar high schools in Ontario. When you take online courses at OES, you can choose to set your own pace.
Businesses make the world go round, so it’s surprising that many high schools in Ontario don’t offer the right courses to sufficiently prepare their students to study business at the post-secondary level.
As a result, students often arrive at their first university or college business classes underprepared and overwhelmed. It’s like they’ve been thrown into a hockey game without being handed a stick. They’re lost on the ice.
In Ontario, about 9/10 adults have high school diplomas. The 1/10 who don’t face challenges and difficulties unique to them.
Clearly, there are many benefits of having a high school diploma. That’s what we’ll look at here, as well as why it may be a good idea to take online classes for high school credits in addition to classes at a traditional brick-and-mortar high school.
It’s one of the biggest questions a student has to answer in their senior years of high school: Where do I go after this? Choosing a college or university isn’t just a matter of selecting an institution; it’s a time for reflection too. As you say goodbye to high school, you reflect on what you want for your future and what you value in an education. You do not have to know what you want to be when you grow up, but it’s smart to set yourself up for success – whatever that success may look like.
Notes are the unsung hero of education. They are the workhorses, the record-keepers. They are the all-important glue connecting the vast volumes of information contained in textbooks and professor’s lessons with the (admittedly) limited computing power each and every one of us possesses. And they are surprisingly easy to make!
If you’ve ever been to a hospital or medical centre, or accompanied someone else through the experience, you can attest to the meaningful role nurses play in the experience. They are often the first people you see – answering questions, taking samples, dispensing medicine or lending a helping hand. They coach families on how to manage and avoid illness, and promote health and wellbeing. And they use their broad knowledge, deep compassion and hard work to ensure that every patient – no matter how young or old, sick or well – gets the care they deserve.
Lately, we’ve recognized these front-line workers for what they are: heroes. One of the most sobering perspectives that we as a culture have gained over the last two years is that the world couldn’t function without nurses. They form the backbone of the hospital system, and we owe so much to their tireless efforts and continued determination.
Lately, we have received several inquiries from people who want to become nurses. It’s heartening to see the number of people – both young and mature students – willing to take up the profession and help others. And, for our part, we want to help the helpers.
An exam is a little like stormy weather: It’s inevitable, its particulars are shrouded in mystery until the day it arrives, and the best way to deal with it is through preparation. However, while preparing for inclement weather requires little more than breaking out a rain jacket or unfurling an umbrella, preparing for an exam is a touch more complex.
If it weren’t for science, the world would look a great deal different. There would be no weather predictions telling us if it was going to rain today; no electric lights to illuminate our study room after hours; no doctors administering life-saving treatments in the hospital; no climate scientists urging us to consider our behaviours; no satellites orbiting the globe, sending back television signals to our living rooms; no computers; no phones; no one to explain the movement of the planets or the taxonomic system of animals; and there certainly wouldn’t be any online school.
In competitive cycling, they have what’s known as the “bike throw.” It is that final, forceful thrust across the finish line, when a cyclist fully extends their arms and legs and pushes their bike in front of them in a last-gasp effort to get ahead of the pack. Pulling off a proper bike throw is an art, something that takes training and practice.
To an outsider, math can appear cold and clinical – an exercise in reducing the world to numbers and figures. But ask a mathematician (or, really, anyone who cursorily enjoys the subject), and they will wax poetic about the beauty of math.
To an outsider, math can seem like a foreign and indistinguishable language, reserved for a few choice individuals predisposed to understand it. But, again, math-lovers have to disagree: Mathematics often follows consistent, systematic rules and patterns. Moreover, it isn’t something you’re born with; anyone can tap into it with enough curiosity and drive.
So, what gives? Is math clinical or beautiful? Is it a complex language or an accessible mode of seeing the world?
Philosophers generally agree that we perceive and understand the world via our senses. We form what they might refer to as an “epistemic relationship” with our surroundings (a fancy way of saying that we give and take information wherever we go by using our senses and faculties). If we see a bright light, we might shield our eyes. If we hear someone crying, we may feel a sense of sadness ourselves. And, as cartoons make clear, if we smell a pie resting on a window sill, we get hungry!
What does this have to do with learning? Well, if we are intimately influenced by our environments, that must mean our study spaces require forethought and consideration.
Have you ever walked out of a movie theatre with a friend, beaming from ear to ear at the film you just saw, only to turn to them and find an expressionless face? “It just wasn’t for me,” they might say. Or, “I found the whole subplot with the aliens to be distracting and confusing.” It can be alarming – jarring even – to discover that this person you know so well, who sat next to you in the dark theatre for 120-odd minutes, had a completely different experience than you.
But this illustrates a central truth about being human. We live our lives alongside one another, but in completely unique fashion. The ways in which one person processes, understands and formulates opinions upon an experience can be fundamentally different than the next person. You can best sum it up with that age-old, perhaps cliched, axiom: Everybody’s different.
Even the seasoned mathematicians at MIT carry calculators in their back pockets. Famous authors keep thesauruses on their writing desks. Professional project managers for multi-national corporations still defer to a humble time management tool from time to time. And – though there’s no way of knowing for sure – we’re reasonably certain some high-level chefs still consult YouTube cooking videos occasionally.
This is all to say, our brains can’t do everything. It’s okay to cede some computing power to an external tool, whether it’s an app, a machine, a book or a video. Not only can it help expedite the learning process, but it may also teach us a valuable lesson in education: namely, that it’s perfectly fine to reach out for help.
You may hear someone say “high school-aged” in reference to a teenager (the term even appears on this blog). But “high school-aged,” despite being a convenient shortcut for discussing young people, is ultimately a misnomer.
High school is not strictly a rite of passage for young people; it is the development of essential skills, knowledge and critical thinking tools. And that development has no age limit, no restrictions to entry. At Ontario eSecondary School, we believe that learning is an essential feature of everyone’s self-development, which is why we are happy to see mature students grace the digital hallways of our school.
Twenty years ago, five researchers published an influential book entitled Making the Most of Summer School: A Meta-Analytic and Narrative Review. While the title is quite the mouthful, the contents of the book are relatively straightforward. Through a meta-study of 93 different summer schools, the researchers concluded that “all students benefit from summer school,” particularly “when instruction is individualized.”
The weather is balmy, the sun is bright, and there is a palpable sense of excitement in the air. That can only mean one thing: At long last, summer is here.
Summer break is a necessary part of a traditional school year. After ten months toiling away in a classroom, kids need some time to recharge their batteries, strengthen their social ties and explore interests and hobbies. That’s true of students in brick-and-mortar schools and online students.
Need to earn an Ontario high school credit this summer? We are here to help you reach your academic and personal goals. Many students enrol with us upgrade their marks, meet university or college admission requirements, retake failed courses, or work ahead for the following school year.
Summer is a busy time, that’s why you can register for OES courses anytime while studying anywhere at your own pace.
It’s that time of year for grade 12 students, the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC) and Ontario College Application Service (OCAS) are accepting applications. Perhaps going to university or college has been something you’ve been waiting for since you started high school, or maybe you’re a mature student looking to get into a program you’ve considered for years.
Do you find yourself often feeling like there is too much to do, but not enough time? Between school, extra curricular activities, a part-time job and other priorities high school students often have, it wouldn’t be surprising if some students feel pressed for time. However there are ways to manage some of those stresses and time crunches and that is with strong time management skills.
With the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre and Ontario College Application Service beginning to accept applications you may be wondering what route you should take for your post-secondary education and asking the question “what should I do after high school?” While this is a hard decision it’s also an important one that you need to make very early in your life: university vs college. You’ve probably already started thinking about this though. You’ve gone to your school counsellor, probably took GLC2O – Career Studies and discussed with your family, friends and teachers what you should do after graduating this fall.
It’s fair to say that for students and parents, the world has changed dramatically throughout 2020. When schools closed in mid-March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic the way we thought about learning changed. Parents faced different career challenges such as going to work, working from home or unemployment, they commonly faced the challenge of teaching their children. Meanwhile students faced isolation from friends, new ways of learning when going online and cancelled proms. Regardless of our individual challenges, things are different now and many students are wondering how to finish high school online in Ontario during this pandemic.
The future of high school is now! There, we said it. The start of 2020 saw a monumental change on how people interact socially, in business and in education. Every generation sees a pivotal moment change how things are done in our global society. The big shift we’re preparing for now, is how people will work and learn in a physically distanced and digital-first world.
Online learning has been around for a while and has had some challenges in the past. Whether due to technological restrictions or just generally experiencing growing pains as a new and emerging way of learning, we know it’s not for everyone. We all know there are benefits of being in a classroom such as one-on-one direct instruction for students in need or the ability to learn more in a more hands-on environment, to name a few. But, there are many benefits to online learning.
April is a great time of year for many reasons. Spring is in the air. The sun comes up earlier and stays out later, while birds and wildlife begin to reappear from their hibernation states. We know with the Covid-19 precautions it’s been a strange time, but some students may have heard back from the post-secondary institutions of their choice. Did you get into the school of your choice? If you did, well done!
Now the big question… how are you going to pay for it? Tuition, books, residence, meal plan, bus pass, groceries? That’s a lot of bills to pay! From government loans like OSAP to scholarships and bursaries from local community organizations, there are a number of different options and places you can look to help you support funding your post secondary journey and we have some advice on where you can look for them.
In normal circumstances, this time in the semester is when you would have received your midterm marks. With the closing of Ontario schools due to Covid-19 in March, the whole school year is a little thrown off as is the world. Despite all that is happening across the globe, it is still important to improve upon your skills during key cognitive development years. The habits and skills you form in secondary school will set you up for the next stage in life, such as post-secondary school or when you join the workforce.
With the ongoing concerns of Covid-19 and recent announcement that Ontario public schools are to remain closed after March break (March 16-April 6), we wanted to let our students know that we are still running classes.
We’ve made this decision based on a number of factors, but primarily that our courses don’t require direct human contact, since our teachers are based remotely and our students learn remotely.
Online learning is not a new thing, but not many people have taken a course online. Sure, people have tried things like Rosetta Stone or Duolingo for learning languages, but those aren’t for grades and don’t really have anything at stake. What about other subjects that provide you a grade that goes towards a high school diploma, or even a university degree? Seems a bit scary, no?
Its second semester, do you know what your goals are yet?
It’s ok if you don’t know, but a positive strategy for ensuring you feel accomplished in what you are doing is to simply set goals. It’s important to set goals as it can help you build and grow as a student and a person and over time become the best you that you can.
Every January brings the start of a new year, and with a new year comes the same familiar question – what’s your new year resolution? For many, a new year means a new beginning – a change to some bad habits, starting some new good habits, or maybe just trying something you’ve never done before. With just a few days into 2020, Ontario eSecondary School wants to ask: have you made your new year’s resolution yet? Do you know what your friend’s resolutions are?
If you’re a current Ontario secondary school student or international student looking to apply to an Ontario university for the September 2020 semester, you know the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC) deadline is too real. With only a few days left, there’s definitely a need for some urgency if you haven’t gotten all your applications in yet.
For many, the holiday season brings time with family, friends and an opportunity to rest. But it also can bring stress and a lot of travel. Whether your scarfing down some favourite foods, watching your favourite holiday film or travelling to see as many family members as you can, it can be tough to keep your brain stimulated during the holiday season.
That’s why OES High School has compiled this list of easy and satisfying ways to keep your brain moving this holiday season.
There’s no denying it, Ontario university applications can be an overwhelming process. Filling out applications, selecting the right programs, and dealing with the uncertainty of an acceptance is a lot to deal with especially when you have to worry about your schoolwork at the same time. I’ve been there. I know how stressful it can be. Don’t worry, it can be done. If you’ve made it this far, you can go much further!
January 15th, 2020 is the deadline for Ontario high school students to submit their completed application to the OUAC. If OES is not your home school (day school) the final grade for any credit you earn here will be sent to OUAC. Please manage your course work to ensure you meet the above mentioned deadline.
As you probably know, before you can graduate with your high school diploma (OSSD), one of the many requirements is that you can demonstrate competence in the provincial secondary school literacy requirement.
OLC4O is a grade 12 online open level course, offered exclusively to students who have been eligible to write the OSSLT at least twice and who have been unsuccessful at least once.
For most students in the Western Hemisphere, the month of September conjures up images of autumn leaves and a new school year. It’s a time of change and new adventures. So, the thought of starting a course in November might not just sound strange, but seem utterly wrong.
These days however, thanks to the Internet, you don’t have to start in September, or January, or any other month for that matter.
You can start ANY TIME!