Ontario will end Grade 9 academic and applied streaming in September 2022

TORONTO — Ontario students entering Grade 9 in September 2022 will no longer be offered the option of taking applied or academic courses.

In previous years, high school students were asked to choose between more practical, hands-on applied courses and more theoretical academic courses in core subjects like math, science and English.

However, advocates have long argued that streaming ends up dividing students rather than providing them more options and disproportionately impacts racialized and low-income students.

“Ontario was the only province in Canada that streamed kids into two different streams of learning, applied and academic,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Thursday afternoon.

“I believe we should not be the outlier. We want to make sure that every single child, irrespective of their background, their ethnicity, their faith, every child has an equal shot of succeeding.”

This year, the government implemented a new merged math course for Ontario high school students that focused on coding and financial literacy.

The new Ontario math course was the first step in the province’s decision to phase out streaming for all Grade 9 subjects. At the time, no timeline was provided regarding when the rest of the courses would be merged.

On Thursday, officials confirmed on background that streaming will officially end for Grade 9 students beginning in September of next year.

This will affect science, geography, English and French as a second language courses.

The de-streamed science course will touch on the usual biology, chemistry, physics and earth and space sciences; however officials say there will also be a focus on developing and refining STEM skills. Officials also said that core French will continue to be offered for students with little or no knowledge of the language.

No additional course changes were released.

At this time, streaming is still expected to remain in place for Grade 10 students. However, officials also confirmed on background that the ministry of education will be releasing additional materials for the 2022-23 academic and applied mathematics curriculum that will help with the transition from the de-streamed course to the streamed courses.

With files from Ashley Legassic

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