Ontario Online High School Courses Are A Reality

Why do high school courses online?  There are actually many reasons to complete high school courses online.

Some adults may have never fully attained their high school degree, or some college and university students may be required to complete high school courses as prerequisites for their post-secondary programs. For those looking to refresh their old skills or finish a high school degree online, there are plenty of options – but those options can be costly.

Like college and university online courses Ontario high school courses require dedication, textbooks and of course money. Students over 18 must pay to register in distance learning secondary school courses. Those prices range from $40 per course to $500, usually depending on textbook packages or the status of the school.

It’s unfortunate that for these online high school courses Ontario citizens over the age of 18 must pay to register. However, because such education is publicly funded for children, adults must pay for the costs of these courses. Additionally, since the 2012 implementation of the secondary school “credit cap,” school boards are charged for enrolling students who hold more than 34 Ontario high school credits (though mature high school students attending online high school are not affected by this cap as they are paying for enrollment). Paying for these classes helps to relieve that financial pressure for the school boards.

The most expensive courses are usually those at private online schools, though those private schools still provide their online students with education from qualified secondary school teachers and courses that contribute toward an Ontario secondary school diploma (OSSD).

As for public online high schools, individual district school boards usually host a “virtual learning centre” online where applicants can view course descriptions and register in courses. Though these virtual Ontario high schools require one to be a resident of Ontario in order to register, the applicant does not need to live within the district of the school board to which they are applying. For this reason, applicants should investigate their options the way they would when selecting a post-secondary institution. Some school boards may offer more variety in online course availability – for example, one school board may offer more courses in the humanities and social justice whereas others may offer more science options.

Online high schools have even been able to integrate interactive programs such as virtual dissections (in biology, for example) in order to enhance the student’s experience and allow them to learn as much as possible without having to be in a classroom.

All Ontario online high school courses, much like online college or university courses, requires great dedication and concentration, and there is rarely any getting around purchasing a textbook, whether that book is sent to the student in print or available as a PDF. This aside, high school distance learning can be one of the most convenient experiences of a student’s life. Most boards will allow students to start and finish a course at any time in the year and offer relatively flexible assignment due dates.

Despite the more loosely structured atmosphere, these online high school courses all count toward the OSSD and are taught by certified Ontario teachers.

Another small inconvenience is that most online schools require students to travel in order to take their final exams. These exams often take place in the city where the school board headquarters is located.

Many online high school courses also offer guidance and support services via online communication so that students can receive qualified advice on course selections that best suit their needs and goals.

For those considering the virtual high school experience but are unsure of where to start to find online high school courses Ontario government websites are always a great start.

5 Responses to Ontario Online High School Courses Are A Reality
  1. Karla
    June 22, 2012 | 12:08 pm

    You’ve provided a great overview of options for Ontario students looking for online high school courses. However, it would be great to mention the Independent Learning Centre (ILC) as an option for students, where courses cost only $40/course for Ontario students. The ILC is mandated and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education. http://www.ilc.org

    • admin
      June 22, 2012 | 6:03 pm

      Hey Karla, thanks for checking out the article and the comment. I wasn’t aware of the ILC, but will check out the site. Does ILC offer online courses or is it strictly correspondence?

      Andrew, admin

  2. Lisa Williams
    June 29, 2012 | 9:35 pm

    I think online high school courses are great. The provide opportunity for people who didn’t get to finish high school. A single mother, daughter of a very close friend, recently graduated by taking online courses. I think the government must also promote this because it gives certain people hope and have an education.

  3. Will Lenssen
    July 30, 2012 | 3:49 pm

    The Canadian Online High School is a group of dedicated and experienced teachers offering an online or Internet access online high school located in Guelph, Ontario. With the presence of various kinds of advanced technology, the term “global village” becomes that much more a reality. Educational services can be made readily available and the term “school” has developed a broader definition. Our global citizens are learning in various ways from various sources. Some learning is self directed while other learning may be informal. The Canadian Online High School will be accredited upon its first audit in September, 2012 by the Ministry of Ontario. Check them out at: http://www.canadianonnlinehighschool.com

  4. Bill
    October 7, 2014 | 12:10 am

    Excellent article!

    My son completed his courses with a school based out of Toronto called Ontario Online Academy.

    They are a newer ontario online high school focused mostly on math. Unlike many of the other virtual high schools, they didn’t launch over night with 50 courses, that’s the pitch they gave me. And it seemed to work!

    Anyways, check them out, my son loved doing his advanced functions with them: