Course Selection, Levels and Calendar

Pathways to Success

Course Selection is an important component of Secondary and Post-Secondary Pathways Planning. 

Course calendar

St. Mary offers a wide selection of courses at many different levels. Students and parent/guardians can access our COURSE CALENDAR (courses offered and descriptions) online using myBlueprint. DCDSB's Pathways to Success guidebook and our Pathway Programs page is also valuable resources for Secondary Pathways Planning.

Courses offered for 2020-2021

  • Gr 10 - 12 course list (indicating recent CANCELLED courses, and those close to or at maximum - updated September 2020)

Course Selection: February 2020

Guidance Counsellors will host course selection workshops in early February. When choosing courses, students should ask themselves the following questions:

  1. Have I selected my courses at the appropriate academic level?
  2. Have I selected the compulsory courses for my grade level? For graduation?
  3. Do I have the necessary prerequisites for my post-secondary pathway?
  4. Are my choices realistic? Do they reflect my level of achievement? Do they reflect my potential?

Course Selection Forms and Activity Fees are due THURSDAY FEBRUARY 27th, 2020

St. Mary Catholic Secondary school community is pleased to announce that effective September 2020 we will be offering a new Grade 11 English curriculum, inspired by Indigenous voices and focused on contemporary literature. These mandatory Grade 11 English courses will explore the themes, forms, and stylistic elements of a variety of literary, informational, graphic, oral, cultural and media text forms emerging from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures in Canada and will reflect our Catholic Graduate Expectations and Catholic Social Teachings. "English: Contemporary Aboriginal Voices" NBE3U/C/E will be offered at all levels (university, college and workplace preparation) to fulfill the mandatory requirement for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) and are recognized by all post-secondary institutions. Please see the parent/guardian letter for more information and answers to FAQs.

Guidance will arrange call downs on Thursday February 27th during periods 1, 2, and 4 for students by Grade and by Last Name (in alphabetic order). Please proceed down to the front entrance of the library when you are called down. You must bring the following items with you. We will not accept partial items. You must have everything in hand and ready to submit when you come down to the collection area. 

Please bring the following:

As you plan your courses for next year, do not hesitate to drop into Guidance over your lunch this week to have your questions answered! We also have Guidance Counsellors and other department members in the atrium area over all three lunches this week readily available to assist you with all of your course option needs.

Thank you,
Your Guidance Team


Timetable Course Request Changes

  • Tuesday September 10 2019: Deadline for Semester 1 elective course change requests (Grades 11 - 12 only)
  • Tuesday September 24, 2019: Deadline for Semester 1 course level changes
  • Wednesday January 15, 2020: Semester 1 Academic Moratorium 
  • Wednesday February 5, 2020: Deadline for Semester 2 elective course change requests (Grades 11 - 12 only)
  • Wednesday February 19, 2020: Deadline for Semester 2 course level change requests
  • Monday June 8, 2020: Semester 2 Academic Moratorium

Students may pick up a "Timetable Request Change" form from Guidance, complete the form, and submit into Guidance as soon as possible. Students must be aware of the following:

  • All forms must be complete, with appropriate criteria identified and parent/guardian signature included. Forms that do not meet the criteria will not be considered.
  • Changes to electives will only be considered for grade 11 and 12 students interested in a pathway change.
  • Timetable changes will be considered in priority sequence starting with grade 12 students.
  • Students will be called down to Guidance to either receive their new timetable or discuss any concerns. Please listen carefully for your name throughout the day, especially over the lunches!
  • Students in grade 12 may drop a course at any time in the semester up until the first day of academic moratorium each semester. Students will incur full disclosure on their official transcript if course is dropped 5 school days after the midterm report is issued.
  • Students who have attended summer school must ensure timetable reflects the updated information.
  • Requests for specific teachers, spare periods or lunches are not considered.

Night and Summer School Registration

For information on courses available and how to register, please make an appointment with your Guidance Counsellor. Semester 2 night school courses offered are usually annouced in January. Summer school courses offered are usally annouced in May. 

Interested in attending an American College or University as an NCAA Student-Athlete? You can prepare for SAT/ACT and earn a credit in IDC3O through DCDSB night school. See the information flyer and/or your Guidance Counsellor for more information.


Cracking the course level code

Secondary school courses are identified with a six character code. The first five characters are consistent throughout every high school in Ontario.

De-coding course codes


Types of courses

The secondary school curriculum is organized into several different types of courses. In Grade 9 and 10, there are 4 levels: academic, applied, locally developed and open. Knowledge and skills are developed through theory and practical applications in all types of courses.

Academic Level Course (D) 

Students at this level:

  • learn the essential concepts of a subject and explore related materials;
  • emphasis is on theory and abstract thinking as a basis for future learning;
  • students are creative and like to research and problem solve;
  • students are independent learners with good to excellent learning skills; and
  • students who do well in Grade 9 academic have generally performed in the Level 3-4 range.

Applied Level Courses (P)

Students at this level:

  • learn the essential concepts of a subject;
  • emphasis is on practical and hands-on application of concepts;
  • students are more dependent learners, preferring discussions, teacher-directed or teacher-guided learning 
        and real-life applications;
  • students who do well in Grade 9 applied have generally performed in the Level 2-3 range.

Locally Developed Courses (L) 

Students at this level:

  • learn the most essential concepts of a subject;
  • require teacher direction and instruction to accommodate learning needs and to complete activities;
  • improve basic literacy and numeracy skills;
  • learning skills need improvement or require consistent practice and reinforcement; and
  • students best suited for Locally Developed Courses have previously worked in the Level 1 range.

Open Level Course (O) 

All students at all levels of academic abilities and learning needs and strengths can take an open level course. Expectations are designed to be appropriate for all students. These courses are usually in art and physical education.


In Grades 11 and 12, courses are designed and offered to prepare students for post-secondary destinations. These destinations include: Apprenticeship, College, Community Living, University, and the Workplace. In Grades 11 and 12, there are 5 levels of courses: college, open, university/college, university, and workplace.

College Preparation Courses (C)

These courses were developed in collaboration with colleges and are designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to meet entrance requirements for college programs and some apprenticeship programs. These courses emphasize concrete applications of the theoretical material covered in the course and also emphasize the development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Open Courses (O)

These courses are designed for all students, regardless of their post-secondary destination. They have been developed to provide students with a broad educational base and prepare students for active participation in society.

University/College Preparation Courses (M)

These courses were developed in collaboration with both universities and colleges, with content that is relevant for both university and college programs. They are designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge that are needed to meet the entrance requirements for specific university and college programs. These courses emphasize both theoretical aspects and related concrete applications of the course content.

University Preparation Courses (U)

These courses were developed in collaboration with universities and are designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to meet entrance requirements for university programs. These courses emphasize theoretical aspects of course content and also include concrete applications.

Workplace Preparation Courses (E)

These courses were developed in close collaboration with representatives form a variety of workplaces. They are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed for direct entry into the workplace or for admission to apprenticeship programs and other training programs offered in the community. These courses include cooperative education and work experience placements within the community and emphasize the development of employment skills, independent research skills and learning skills.


Other types of courses include Transfer Courses, and Advanced Placement (Grade 9 - 12).

Advanced Placement Course (6th digit = A)

Students at this level:

  • meet or exceed a high level of academic achievement (Level 4 or 80%) in a broad array of subjects;
  • are independent, self-directed learners;
  • process information quickly;
  • display intellectual curiosity; and
  • assume responsibility for their own learning.

Transfer Courses 

Over the course of your four years in high school, your interests and goals might change as you gain experience and learn about new career options. If this should happen, you will be able to change pathways by taking a transfer course. Transfer courses will be offered for students who wish to change form one course stream to another in the same subject between Grade 9 and 10 (math only).

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