J. Addison School – nurturing tomorrow’s thinkers

J. Addison School

J. Addison School

nurturing tomorrow’s thinkers

Ontario Curriculum + "Focus For Success®" Program = Pathway to Success

Secondary Program

At J. Addison School, our Elementary programs incorporate elements of the Reggio Emilia, Montessori and IB methods in the classroom combined with the highly enriched Ontario curriculum as our foundation. This combination provides a challenging academic environment, with a balanced approach towards the education of children. Our advanced curriculum is coupled with the development of social skills, character traits and personalized attention, while providing a secure and safe learning environment.

Moreover, our unique “Focus For Success®” adaptive program, or simply referred to as FFS, complements the Ontario curriculum and adds another dimension to our students’ overall development. The FFS program is implemented as a 5th Period in our regular school schedule, where students will receive academic support, if needed, and/or participate in extra-curricular activities of their choice to further enrich their student life. Have a more in depth look at our “Focus For Success®” program here.

Click here to view the 2023-2024 School Course Calendar.

The Ontario curriculum is successful because of the deep professionalism of educators across the entire system. No system in the world has progressed without strong rapport between the government and its teachers and principals. Without a partnership of working together, we will almost certainly recede in a world where other systems are pushing toward excellence.

Three prominent international bodies have studied Ontario up close and all found that it is a powerful example of a government deliberately setting out to improve the whole system, and having the results to show for it. These include the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, which conducts the internationally respected Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) assessments of 15-year-olds in literacy, numeracy, and science in 70 countries across the world; the McKinsey group, which carried out two world- wide studies on education system performance; and the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE) in the U.S.

The OECD commissioned a team from Harvard University to study the Ontario curriculum, calling its report Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education. NCEE went further when it named its report standing on the Shoulders of Giants, urging the U.S. to emulate what Ontario has done. Scores of delegations come to Ontario each year and all end up admiring what they see.

There is widespread satisfaction among parents, teachers, school and school board leadership, and trustees. Students are learning through inquiry/play-based methods.

What all of the above means is that teachers, individually and collectively — and the system as a whole — know what they are doing. They are doing it because it works. They are intrinsically motivated to keep on improving. They are driven not just because they care, but also because they are actually making a measurable difference that affects the lives of their students.

Compared to most jurisdictions in the world, and compared to the starting point in 2003, Ontario’s strength is its focus and its consistency of practice arising from the new individual and collective capacity that has been established in every corner of the province. It is this triumvirate of focus, consistency of practice, and collective capacity that is our strength. To go down the path towards excellence requires a high-capacity teaching profession and school leaders to work collectively in focused ways on the consolidation of current success, and on the further development of the innovative learning methods essential for a complex but exciting global world.

Ontario Secondary School Diploma Requirements

J. Addison strictly follows the Ontario Curriculum and the requirements of an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) in preparing and implementing our high school courses. All of our high school teachers are certified by the Ontario College of Teachers and are dedicated in providing the best learning experience possible.

In order to receive the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), students are expected to successfully complete and meet the following requirements while in high school from Grades 9 to 12:

  1. Earn 30 credits* which consist of 18 compulsory subjects and 12 elective subjects.
  2. Pass the standardized Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) or the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC).
  3. Complete 40 hours of community involvement activities.

*Credits are granted in recognition of the successful completion of course work. The Ontario Ministry of Education defines a credit in the following manner: “A credit is granted in recognition of the successful completion of a course for which a minimum of 110 hours has been scheduled”.

1. Compulsory Credits


Substitutions For Compulsory Credits

In order to add flexibility in designing a student’s program and to ensure that all students can qualify for the OSSD, substitutions may be made for a limited number of compulsory credits. To meet individual students’ needs, the Principal may replace up to three credits (or the equivalent in half-credits) with courses selected from the remaining courses offered by the school that meet the requirements for compulsory credits. In all cases, the number of compulsory and optional credits will not be less than 30 to earn the OSSD. Substitutions will be made to promote and enhance student learning or to meet special needs and interests. Each substitution will be noted on the Ontario Student Transcript.

2. Provincial Literacy Requirement

All students are required to meet the literacy graduation requirement outlined in Ontario Secondary Schools, Grades 9 to 12: Program and Diploma Requirements, 1999 (OSS) in an order to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Most students will meet the requirement by successfully completing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) or the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC).

Under the Principal’s and/or Adjudication Committee’s approval, some students may be permitted to meet the requirement through a special adjudication process. When successfully completed or addressed, the Provincial Literacy Requirement will be recorded on the Ontario Student Transcript.

The secondary school literacy graduation requirement is based on the expectations for reading and writing throughout the Ontario curriculum up to and including Grade 9. Its purpose is to determine whether students have the skills in reading and writing that they will need to succeed at school, at work, and in daily life.

3. Community Involvment Activities

All students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of unpaid community involvement activities before graduating from high school. This requirement is designed to encourage students to develop awareness and understanding of civic responsibility, and of the role they can play in supporting and strengthening their communities.

Students, in collaboration with their parents, guardian, and the school administration will be able to choose their own community involvement activities, within guidelines that will be provided by the J. Addison administration. Students will be responsible for fulfilling this requirement on their own time, and for keeping a record of their activities on a form supplied by the school. Completion of the required hours must be documented and submitted to the school by the student. The school’s administration will offer continued assistance and support.

Advanced Placement (AP) Program

  • The AP program is an internationally recognized program.
  • Through university level AP courses offered in high school, students have the opportunity to prepare for the writing of AP examinations.
  • AP examinations and course descriptions are developed by committees composed of university professors and experienced AP teachers.
  • These examinations could earn students credit or advanced standing at most of the universities in Canada, as well as colleges and universities in 21 other countries.
  • The global AP program offers over 30 subjects to choose from, including Art, Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Chinese Language, Computer Science, Economics, English, Environmental Science, French, German, Government and Politics, History, Human Geography, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Music Theory, Physics, Psychology, Spanish, and Statistics.
  • Grades 9-11 are Pre-AP years and grade 12 is the actual AP year.
  • Since the Ontario curriculum differs from the AP curriculum, the expectations for a specific subject area have been modified/extended to align with the AP expectations evaluated on the international AP subject examination.

A Different Type of Class

From the moment you enter an AP classroom, you’ll notice the difference—in the teacher’s approach to the subject, in the attitude of your classmates, in the way you start to think. In AP classrooms, the focus is not on memorizing facts and figures. Instead you’ll engage in intense discussions, solve problems collaboratively, and learn to write clearly and persuasively.

Description of the Learner

  • Students who are identified as gifted learners.
  • Students whose primary identification is giftedness but may also have a secondary identification (e.g. LD, Vision or Hearing impairment, etc.) and may also access the program with the appropriate accommodations.
  •  J. Addison School typically offers Pre-AP courses in the areas of: Biology, Chemistry, Calculus, Computer Science, Economics, English, Physics and World History.
  • All of the courses above (and their branches) will also be offered in grade 12, the actual AP year.
  • AP examinations are typically written in May of your grade 12 year.

Alignment of AP with the Ontario Curriculum

  • The AP curriculum and the Ontario High School curriculum overlap to a very large extent.
  • However there is some additional material to be covered especially in the areas of: Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Calculus.
  • In the more senior grades, university level material will be added to the grade 11 and 12 courses to prepare students for the AP examination.
  • You will also be using a university approved textbook.


  • In the science courses, there will be more emphasis on developing good number skills and on the use of the scientific method in labs.


  • In the mathematics curriculum, a significant amount of higher level material will be brought down to earlier grades; for example, material from the grade 11 curriculum will be taught in grade 10.
  • This approach ensures that the students’ will be able to complete the additional topics needed in the grade 12 AP course.


  • English is a more structured program, to allow for strong skill development in writing and in reading comprehension.
  • Students will discuss novels and selected readings at a much higher level, as compared to the Ontario Curriculum.

Assessment and Evaluation

  • Students will be evaluated according to the ministry’s assessment and evaluation policy documents.
  • Extended curriculum expectations will be assessed based on levels 1 thru 5.
  • Up to 5% may be added to the student’s final grade, based on their performance on the extended curriculum expectations.

Advantages of AP For the Student

  • Offers a rich, rigorous, and university level curriculum, with accommodations if required.
  • Students who successfully complete an AP examination have the opportunity to receive university credit or advanced standing depending on the credit policy of the University of Choice.
  • Former AP students speak of their easy transition from high school to university owing to the strong academic skills, knowledge, and academic confidence they gained through participation in the AP program.
  • AP students are more likely to graduate from their post-secondary institutions.
  • AP helps students qualify for scholarships – 31 percent of colleges and universities look at AP experience when determining scholarships.

Advantages of AP For the Parent

  • Potential for a reduction of university costs for son or daughter upon entering university.
  • No additional costs to parents, other than the writing of the examination (approximately US$94 per exam).
  • Opportunity to view the program’s curriculum alignment of expectations in each subject area as a whole, increasing one’s understanding of how each course is a foundation for the next one.
  • Clearly stated Individual Education Plan (IEP) for each AP course, outlining the curriculum extensions as modifications and the teaching strategies unique to AP.

Should a student is interested in incorporating AP courses into the regular Ontario Curriculum, our Guidance Team is on hand to work with the student individually from assessment to course selection.

ESL students are welcome to access all programs and services at J. Addison School. There are several programs designed specifically for ESL students in mind, and we have fully trained ESL teachers and support staff, as well as individualized ESL support programs, book and other resources. Many of these services are readily available to all students through our “Focus For Success®” adaptive program (FFS), which is a unique feature of J. Addison School and it’s already included as part of the school curriculum and the tuition. FFS program takes place in our Period 5 and during which students receive extra assistance and guidance in ESL, TOEFL preparation, and Literacy Test preparation. Learn more about our “Focus For Success®” program here.

At J. Addison School, our programs and support will allow ESL students to:

  • Discover more about the English language
  • Improve grammar and vocabulary
  • Expand the understanding of Canadian academic culture
  • Gain confidence in speaking and presenting
  • Understand course readings more deeply
  • Communicate ideas in writing
  • Learn new study skills
  • and all the other exciting things, such as generating ideas, brainstorming, thinking critically, revising essays, writing thesis statements and more.

In addition to academic support, we emphasize the importance of emotional, social, and cultural support for our students. Students in the ESL program are working towards the same Ontario curriculum expectations as other students but receive specialized, intensive English language instruction to support their skill development. ESL credit courses help students with reading, writing, and oral communication strategies to help them in all subject areas.

J. Addison School is proud to be one of the official IELTS Test Centers in Ontario. Students will now be able to write the IELTS exam at our school, located at 2 Valleywood Dr., Markham, ON L3R 8H3.

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is an internationally recognized language test designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is the language of communication. IELTS tests are administered at centers throughout the world – there are more than 800 centers, in over 135 countries. Over 2.0 million tests were taken last year.

IELTS Test Takers:
IELTS is the world’s proven test. Due to its high quality controls, IELTS is accepted by more than 9,000 organizations.

The following organizations accept IELTS:

  • Universities, schools, training colleges, tertiary institutes
  • Government departments and agencies
  • Professional and industry bodies
  • Multinational companies and employers
  • For more information, the IELTS Global Recognition System can tell you exactly which organizations accept IELTS and the scores they require.

For further inquiries and exam dates, please Contact Us.

Students who enter J. Addison School are bound to embark on the educational pathway to university admission and guaranteed post-secondary success. When parents and students choose J. Addison School as their number one choice for quality education, it sets the precedence for teachers, staff and administration to stay on the cutting edge of innovative teaching, as well as academic and personal programming for our current and future students.

One of the key J. Addison Advantages, and a main reason for our esteemed reputation in the field of education, is our 100% success rate in having students accepted for post-secondary study.  Most of our students actively seek university admission. At J. Addison School, we foster a dynamic, positive environment for academic and personal growth. We constructively build a strong foundation for our students to walk down the pathway to university success.

We have methodically designed a unique adaptive program called “Focus For Success®” program, which provides students with additional academic support to more effectively ensure their admission to the college or university of choice.  J. Addison School also features a team of highly qualified guidance counsellors who regularly meet with our students to discuss university admissions, course selections, community service involvement, and career selection. From the very first day students enter our school, their pathways to post-secondary school success are already mapped out. In addition, we work with many local and international university counterparts and host information sessions regularly at J. Addison School.  Students will have ample opportunity to attend a wide range of university fairs to increase their awareness about the different post-secondary education options.

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