The 34 credit cap was announced by the Ministry in 2012 and is scheduled for implementation commencing September 1, 2013. The cap is more accurately termed a 34 credit threshold because it places a limitation on funding and not on participation by students in courses.

Understanding the 34 Credit Threshold:

All successfully completed credits which can be counted toward the Ontario Secondary School Diploma will count toward the 34 credit threshold. These credits include:

  • All successfully completed courses at day school, night school, summer school and international language school.
  • All successfully completed retake credits (for upgrading marks, etc.). Retaking a passed course for upgrading purposes will result in an additional credit towards the 34 credit threshold.
  • Credits earned outside school (ex. Royal Conservatory of Music, etc.).

Specific Exemptions:

The Ministry has identified the following exemptions from the 34 credit threshold:

  • Students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs);
  • Students who are enrolled in their first four consecutive years of secondary school and have earned more than 34 credits. If these students return for subsequent years, funding for any additional credits would be at the continuing education rate;
  • Reach-ahead credits do not indicate the beginning of a secondary school (i.e., the number of years would not start until the student is enrolled in grade 9).
  • Credit courses in English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Literacy Development (ELD);
  • Credit courses in Actualisation linguistique en francais (ALF), and Programme d’appui aux nouveaux arrivants (PANA) (i.e., courses for student’s entering the WRDSB from an Ontario French Language School Board).

 Students Approaching or Exceeding the 34 Credit Threshold (4th or 5th Year Students):

The school must determine a student’s number of earned eligible threshold credits prior to the start of each academic year (non-semester schools) or semester. In general, a student planning on returning to high school for a 5th year should only plan on returning for one semester and should not exceed the 34 credit cap.

If the student’s number of earned eligible threshold credits at the end of the school year/semester:

  • meets or exceeds 34, the student will be directed to a continuing education program.
  • is 32 to 33, the student may enrol in 2 or fewer* credits in the next semester
  • is 30 to 31, the student may enrol in 4 or fewer* credits in the next semester