In secondary school, parents are expected to help their children choose courses each year. The courses that students choose can improve their chances for succeeding in higher grades. It will also affect their opportunities after they leave high school.

It is important for the parents to go over the courses with their children, and make sure that they are taking courses that are appropriate for their interests, abilities and strengths.

It is the responsibility of all students and their parents to approve the choices by the prescribed date. The choices may seem complicated, but school guidance counselors or the principal can provide information and advice. Students must pass 30 courses between grades 9 and 12 (usually earned within four years), 18 compulsory courses, and 12 optional courses.

They must complete 40 hours of community service as well as the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test or Literacy Course in order to graduate. In grades 9 and 10, students must take a number of compulsory courses, Academic and Applied. Academic courses (of grade 10) lead the students toward University courses in Grade 11, whereas Applied/Open courses lead them toward Colleges or Work Places courses.

In grades 11 and 12, students choose courses from four types of courses that prepare them for their proposed destinations after high school: Workplace, College, University/College and University. Pre University (U) courses lead the students toward Universities; where as College/Open (C/O) courses lead them toward Colleges or Work Places..