Secondary Students

International Students entering our schools for the first time should make a realistic and well-informed plan for their academic pathway in secondary school.

Before receiving a timetable at your school, all secondary International Students are required to complete a series of initial placement tests at a HCDSB Welcome Centre. These initial tests are based on standards set out by the Ontario Ministry of Education and focus on the areas of Math and academic English language acquisition.

Although secondary students are registered in a grade appropriate for their age, recommendations for math classes are based on knowledge of material covered in the Ontario curriculum and perceived ability to meet a class’s overall curriculum expectations.

Individual situations vary. However, in many cases initial language testing performed at the HCDSB Welcome Centre often leads to a recommendation for a student to enroll in at least 1 full-credit ESL (English as a Second Language) course before gaining entry into a mainstream English class. ESL/English class recommendations are made according to level of English language and communication skills in the categories of oral, reading, and writing.

The chart below shows how most English Language Learners may progress through their ESL courses and into mainstream English classes. Initial ESL level placement is dependent on initial language testing results.