Grades 7 and 8 Transition Planning

TVDSB Grade 8 

Parents/Caregivers Session on Preparing for High School Course Selection and Registration

Welcome to TVDSB Grade 8 Family night (PDF)

Secondary school information night


The move to high school is an important and exciting time in your educational journey. Transition means change, and while change can be exciting, starting something new can make us feel nervous 

We hope that this guide will answer your questions and help you feel more prepared and informed about transitioning to high school. We wish you all the best as you embark on your high school journey!

Grade 8 Transition Guide To High School (PDF) 


How do I plan for high school?
We want you to know that you will not be going through this transition alone! There will be many TVDSB staff supporting you through the planning and registration process including your teachers, learning support staff, and your elementary Guidance Lead Teacher. Your families/caregivers, older siblings, and friends can be great resources to answer questions you may have and offer support along the way.

Course Selection with myBlueprint

In your grade 8 class, you have probably started working on your IPP (Individual Pathways Plan) and completing your WHO AM I? surveys in myBlueprint. These are great tools to help you explore the answers to the following questions:

  • What makes me, me?
  • What are my interests?
  • How do I learn?
  • What are my goals?
  • Who can help me?
What is the semester system?
Semester 1

September - January

  • 4 classes a day (75 minutes each)
  • Lunch Period

Semester 2
February - June

  • 4 classes a day (75 minutes each)
  • Lunch Period
What happens when? 
Moving from elementary school to high school is very exciting! The journey can feel a bit stressful because you don’t always know what to expect. Your transition to high school will be supported by your teachers, Guidance Lead Teacher, Learning Support Team, and your family/caregivers. You will be guided through each step along the way.
 A Timeline to High School 
 a timeline to high school


1. September/October Login to myBlueprint • Individual Pathway Plan (IPP) – With your Guidance Lead Teacher and Learning Support Team you will start creating your IPP by completing the WHO AM I? Surveys in myBlueprint
2. October – December Talk with your Guidance Lead Teacher and parents/guardians about the registration process for high school and your Individual Pathway Plan Check out Grade 8 High School Open Houses
3. January Register for high school and complete course selection for grade 9 with the help of your Guidance Lead Teacher and your family/caregivers Check out Grade 8 High School Open Houses
4. March – June Work with your Guidance Lead teacher on goal setting for high school, sum-mer program options such as High School Here I Come (HSHIC), volunteer opportunities and skill building.
5. Welcome to a TVDSB High School!       
How do I decide what high school to go to?
Every Grade 8 student has an assigned secondary school based on their address. This is the high school you should attend based on your address at the time or registration. You may be interested in specialized programing at another school of French Immersion or Technology. Your Guidance Lead Teacher will assist you and your caregivers in understanding what processes need to be followed if you want to register at an out-of-area school.

Determining Your School
Every Grade 8 student has a home secondary school. This is the school that you should attend for secondary school based on your home address. You also have a school that you are eligible to attend if you are interested in participating in TVDSB’s Emphasis Technology programming (Learn more about Emphasis Technology), or plan to do French Immersion in high school (Learn more about French Immersion); please note that French Immersion is only available for students who qualify based on hours of French Instruction. Additional information on secondary French Immersion can be found on your designated French Immersion school's website.

Use our Find My Local School tool to determine your designated home school, as well as French Immersion and Tech Emphasis schools, if one of these programs is of interest to you.

How do I register for high school? 

Your Guidance Lead Teacher will take you through the process of registering for high school. They will guide you through picking courses from your high school’s course offering using TVDSB’s Grade 8 My Blueprint Course Selection website. This process usually occurs in January. Your parent/guardian must approve your course selection prior to being registered for high school. 

Registration Process for Current TVDSB Students
Your elementary school has a staff member whose role is to work with you and your caregiver to complete a registration process for your home secondary school; this teacher is called the Guidance Lead Teacher. They will help you use TVDSB's Grade 8 My Blueprint Course Selection website to select courses from your secondary school’s offerings, and once your school and course choices have been confirmed and approved by a parent or guardian, your Guidance Lead Teacher will confirm your registration with the secondary school. Make sure you follow the deadlines your Guidance teacher shares with you for confirming your choices.

If you are selecting an Emphasis Technology secondary school or are pursuing specialized programming in French Immersion or at an out-of-area secondary school, you will have some additional steps to complete. Your Guidance Lead Teacher will assist you and your family in understanding what processes need to be followed.

Registration Process for Non TVDSB Students
We are always happy to welcome new students to Thames Valley! Parents or guardians of students who are currently attending Grade 8 in a school outside of the Thames Valley District School Board and who wish to register for a TVDSB high school should contact the school directly for information and registration materials. Contact information for staff ready to welcome new TVDSB Grade 9's is on the school website.

Find My School 

Process to Apply to an Out-of-Area Secondary School
We are incredibly proud of the experience that ALL of our TVDSB secondary schools provide students, and your home school is your best option for a school community ready to support you and help you succeed.

If you are considering applying to a secondary school other than your designated home school you must contact that secondary school to request a registration package.  Complete the registration package and get your Guidance Lead Teacher to help you complete course selections for your chosen school(s), in addition to your home school. Please note that it is the parents/guardians responsibility to submit the "Out of Area" information to the Secondary School by the deadline.

There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind if you are requesting to attend a secondary school other than your home school, or your designated French Immersion or Emphasis Technology school (referred to as an “out-of-area” school):

  1. Students interested in attending an out of area secondary school must apply to be permitted to attend. Out-of-area applications will only be considered once all in-area students have been registered and accommodated.
  2. Even if you do get admitted to an out of area school, you will NOT be provided with transportation to that secondary school. You and your family will have to make sure that you have your own way of getting to school if you are attending any school other than one of your designated secondary school.
How can I meet people and get involved?
Research shows that students who get involved are more likely to be well and succeed academically. By getting involved, you will explore your physical, creative, and social selves while meeting new people and trying new things. Taking part in extra and co-curricular activities as well as various school programs such as breakfast club can significantly improve your school experience and help you develop skills and knowledge. TVDSB secondary schools offer many extra and co-curricular opportunities to enrich your learning experiences outside the classroom. Opportunities vary from school to school  but may include: 
  • Sports
  • The Arts (Dance or Drama club)
  • Clubs (Gender Sexuality Alliance, Indigenous Student Association, Black Students’ Union, Muslim Student Association, plus many more!)
  • Student Council


Here are some ways to get involved:

1. Check with your school for a list of extra and co-curricular activities.
2. Follow your school’s social media accounts to learn about what activities are being offered.
3. Listen to announcements or ask a caring adult (teacher, administrator or your guidance counselor) to find out how and when to join.
4. If a club of interest is not currently offered, students can propose a new club by speaking to a principal and/or teacher.

18 Compulsory Credits 
 To earn a OSSD students must earn the 15 credits listed below, plus an additional 3 credits 
4 credits in English* (1 per grade) 
3 credits in mathematics (1 Senior)
2 credits in science
1 credit in Canadian history
1 credit in Canadian geography
1 credit in the arts
1 credit in health and physical education
1 credit in French as a second language
0.5 credit in career studies
0.5 credit in civics

Plus an additional 3 credits  (1 from each of the following groups):

Group 1 - an additional credit in English, or French as a second language, or a Native language, or a classical or
an international language, or social sciences and the humanities, or Canadian and world studies, or First Nations, Métis and Inuit Studies, or guidance and career education, or cooperative education**

 1 Group 2 - an additional credit in health and physical  education, or the arts, or business studies, or French as a second language, or cooperative education**
 1 Group 3 - an additional credit in science (Senior), or  technological education, or French as a second language,  or Native languages, computer studies, or cooperative education**


In addition to the 18 compulsory credits, students must complete: 
 12  elective credits***
 40 hours of community involvement activities
Ontario Literacy Requirement (OSSLT or OSSLC)

* A maximum of 3 credits in English as a second language (ESL) or English literacy development (ELD) may be counted towards the 4 compulsory credits in English, but the fourth must be a credit earned for a Grade 12 compulsory English course. ** A maximum of 2 credits in cooperative education can count as compulsory credits. *** May include up to four credits achieved through approved Dual Credit courses. **** The cohort of students who entered grade 9 in 2020-21 and after will be required to complete 2 online courses as part of their secondary school requirements. Parents/guardians can request to opt out of this requirement. Speak to your student’s guidance counsellor for more information.

Certificate of Accomplishment
Students who leave school before fulfilling the requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma or the Ontario Secondary School Certificate may be granted aCertificate of Accomplishment. This certificate may be a useful means of recognizing achievement for students who plan to take certain vocational programs or other kinds of further training, or who plan to find employment after leaving secondary school.

Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC)
On request, students will be granted the OSSC when they leave school before earning the OSSD, provided that they have earned a minimum of 14 credits.

7 Compulsory Credits:
2 English, 1 Canadian geography or Canadian history, 1 mathematics, 1 health and physical education, 1 science, 1 arts or technological education
7 Elective Credits:
Selected by the student from available courses


What do I need to graduate?

New Graduation Requirement In Technical Education
Starting with students entering Grade 9 in September 2024, students will be required to earn a Grade 9 OR 10 Technological Education credit as part of their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

tvdsb student smiling with laptop

30 Credits in Total

18 Compulsory + 12 Elective

12 Elective Credits
Elective credits may be earned in all subjects, including those named in the compulsory credit list, provided that such electives are additional to the compulsory credits. The elective credits allow for concentration in a curriculum area of special interest.

40 Hours of Community Involvement

40 Hours Community Involvement
Forty hours of Community Involvement is a requirement for graduation. Community Involvement is a set of self-directed activities in the community for which a student is not paid and that do not replace a paid worker. A pamphlet entitled “Information on Community Involvement for Students and Parents” is available from the guidance office which will provide all the details concerning the Community Involvement requirement. Students may begin accumulating hours in the summer before Grade 9. For criteria, visit:

collage of students

three students smiling

Completion of the Literacy Requirement

Graduation Literacy Requirement

In Grade 10, all students must take the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) which will be administered through the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). Unsuccessful candidates will be given the opportunity to rewrite the test the following school year. There are EQAO permitted accommodations for students with an IEP. Students not working towards an OSSD may be exempted from writing the test. Students who have been eligible to write the OSSLT and have been unsuccessful at least once may take the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OLC4O). Students who successfully complete this course will have met the graduation literacy requirement.

What is de-streaming/single pathway in grade 9 & 10? 

De-streaming is the phasing out of Grade 9 and 10 Academic and Applied (streamed) courses. Research shows that students benefit from learning with students of varied abilities and interests. De-streaming removes barriers and supports more students by giving every student a fair chance to find success and graduate from secondary school. Grade 9 and 10 students take courses in a single pathway that will prepare you for varied opportunities in grade 11 and 12.

What courses do I take in grade 9?

english, math, science, french, geography, physical education, 2 elective courses, 2 alternative elective courses

What is High School Here I Come?

High School Here I Come (HSHIC) is a non-credit summer program for incoming grade 9 students. It is a great way to get comfortable in your new school and start to develop relationships with staff and classmates. You will be provided with a variety of learning skills and strategies designed to help you with your transition to secondary school. The program usually runs at the end of August, over 2 days, at your high school.

Topics include:

  • Community building activities
  • Finding your classrooms
  • The reality of high school
  • Academic expectations and study skills
  • Getting involved in the school community
  • Literacy and Numeracy learning skills
  • Please Note: Each year there may be different types of HSHIC programs such as the Indigenous HSHIC program.

Learn more about High School Here I Come


Student Success: Reaching Every Student 

Each teenager has their own unique interests, goals and strengths. Every student should have the same opportunity to succeed and graduate from secondary school. TVDSB schools are working with you to improve the learning experience for all students.

We share a common goal to help all students build a promising future for themselves. We are responding by focusing on:

  • Quality course options and programs inside and outside of the classroom, leading to all destinations (apprenticeship, college, community, employment, and university)
  • Literacy and numeracy skills in all subject areas
  • One-on-one support when students need extra help
  • Building community, diversity, culture, safety, and caring in all schools

There is a Student Success Team in every secondary school. Members of this team include the Principal, the Head of Guidance, the Head of Special Education, the Student Success Teacher, and other staff members as appropriate to the school (e.g. Cooperative Education Teacher, Credit Recovery Teacher, etc.). The Student Success Teams ensure a smooth and successful transition from Grade 8 to Grade 9 for all students.

The Grade 8/9 Transition Program may include:

  • Assigning a teacher or other educator to provide support during the transition years
  • Creating a student profile that highlights the student’s strengths, needs and interests
  • Developing customized Grade 9 timetables
  • Tailoring strategies and interventions based on each school’s unique advantages

Student Success Teams continue to monitor the progress of students throughout their time at secondary school, setting and revisiting career life goals with students and providing support as needed to maximize student opportunities and achievement.

 Grade 8 Transition Guide To High School
Grade 8 Transition Guide To High School

All information within this printable PDF is provided in an accessible and translatable format within this webpage and it’s links.

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