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Literacy is More than a Graduation Requirement

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Literacy is More than a Graduation Requirement

According to the Conference Board of Canada, communication, information management, use of numbers and problem-solving are among the top employability skills in our country. Whether you plan to continue your education at a post-secondary institution or wish to enter the job market right after your high school graduation or are thinking of taking some time off to travel and explore your interests and hobbies, these soft skills are an integral part of your day to day functioning.

At the root of the many of the above mentioned skills is the ability to use language, to read and comprehend, to write with a specific purpose and audience in mind, to understand and interpret numbers as well as images and charts, to use computers to gain useful knowledge and above all to stay connected to the world through timely and effective communication. Literacy, whether in its traditional sense of reading and writing or in its more modern definition of number and computer literacy is a lifelong skill. 

It comes as no surprise then that in Ontario, literacy is highly regarded as an integral part of student’s education from day one. While the basic literacy skills of reading, writing, and counting numbers start as early as the age of three to four, the more complex layers such as creating charts, interpreting graphs, writing reports and creating a video presentation are gradually introduced and practiced in the higher grades.

In fact, literacy is so important that it is one of the main requirements of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Every year in spring, the majority of Grade 10 students in Ontario write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) to assess their overall reading and writing abilities up to the end of Grade 9. In the past five years, 81 to 83 percent of students have successfully completed this graduation requirement. While the results are overall promising, there are still students who fail to demonstrate the minimum literacy skills measured in this province-wide testing.

With permission from their school principal, these students can enroll in what is commonly known as the literacy course.

The literacy course at BrightMinds Online School is offered year-round (September to August) to support student’s desired graduation time. With 110 hours of online instruction, the literacy course gives students multiple and varied learning and practice opportunities to improve their literacy skills to meet the province’s minimum requirement. From reading and interpreting a wide variety of texts to reviewing “before and after reading strategies”, to practical writing tips, the literacy course at BrightMinds gives students a comprehensive understanding of the literacy skills required to enter their next phase of life.

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