Student Success/Learning to 18

This document was published under a previous government and is available for archival and research purposes.

The Student Success Strategy

Our Student Success Strategy helps students in grades 7 to 12 tailor their education to their individual strengths, goals and interests.

Reason For Action

Nearly a third of students were not completing their high school education in 2003-04.
Here are some interesting facts found in the Canadian Council on Learning's report on the cost of dropping out of high school:

  • Labour and employment: A student who drops out can expect an income loss of more than $100,000 over their lifetime, compared to individuals with a high school diploma (and no postsecondary education).
  • Social assistance: The average public cost of providing social assistance is estimated at over $4,000 per year per student who drops out.
  • Crime: Students who drop out are overly represented in the prison population.
  • Health: A student who drops out enjoys fewer years at a reasonable quality of life. This is because there are strong associations between education and health across a range of illnesses (e.g., cancer, diabetes). Combining morbidity and mortality costs, there is an estimated cost to the student who drops out of more than $8,000 per year.

Graduation Goal

The government has set an 85 per cent graduation rate target. This means 25,000 more students per year will graduate when the target is achieved than did in 2003-04.
Learn more about the ways we're helping students graduate.


Since 2003-04, the high school graduation rate has increased by 14 percentage points – from 68 to 82 per cent. That means about 93,000 more students attained their high school diploma than would have had the rates remained at the 2003-04 level and therefore have a chance at a brighter future. And more Grade 9 and 10 students are completing all of their courses on time and are on track to graduate.

New Initiatives

There are many programs being rolled out across the province for students pursuing university, college, apprenticeships or the workplace after graduation.

  • Experience Ontario is helping young people identify, explore and refine career goals and make informed decisions about their future.
  • Specialist High Skills Majors allow students to focus on a future career through a bundle of classroom courses, workplace experiences and sector certifications.
  • Expansion of Cooperative Education allows students to count this hands-on learning towards two compulsory high school credits.
  • E-Learning provides students with online courses and allows teachers to share resources across the province.
  • Dual Credits count toward a student's high school diploma as well as a college certificate, diploma or apprenticeship certification.
  • Think Literacy and Leading Math Success ensure teachers have the resources they need to help students build a solid foundation in reading, writing and math.
  • Credit rescue programs intervene prior to a student experiencing failure in a course.
  • Credit recovery programs allow students who have failed a course to only repeat expectations where they have been unsuccessful rather than redoing the whole course.
  • New school board requirements provide more structure, clarity and consistency for excused pupils participating in the Supervised Alternative Learning programs throughout the province.
  • In 2011-12, 124 schools across the province are participating in our School Support Initiative. This initiative focuses on building leadership capacity of the principals to help improve student achievement.

Support is also being provided to high school students so they are on track to graduate.

  • Elementary To Secondary School Transition Program helps students succeed in high school through individual profiles, customized timetables and other programs
  • In every high school, Student Success Teams (principal, student success teacher, guidance counselor, special education teacher and other educators) provide extra attention to students who need it.
  • Through the Re-engagement (12 &12+) Initiative, boards contact students who have either left school or have not been attending to re-engage them in their studies to complete their OSSD by June 30, 2012. Funding is provided to the board to support programs for these students once they return.