Frequently Asked Questions
live_help Who can take courses with Open School?
Residents of Ontario are eligible to take online courses at no charge so long as you are resident of the district in which you are applying.
If you are in full-time or part-time attendance at a publicly funded Ontario secondary school, you will have to make arrangements with your home school to take courses with Open School. Because there are costs associated with this program, and because your home school is already collecting the Ontario grant for your secondary education, your home school must be willing to share a portion of this grant with Open School Ontario. In 2020-2021, the cost to your home school is $775 per credit.
If you live outside Ontario, you may pay a tuition fee to take courses. in 2020-21, this fee is in excess of $1500.
live_help How do I apply?
After reviewing the Open School About Us section, applicants can click on the Register button found at the top right corner of our site. Applicants can look through the Course Offerings before beginning the application process to ensure they have a list of courses they would like to register for.
After reading the application instructions carefully, applicants can select 1 to 4 courses but please note that students can take only one course at a time. We highly recommend students choose alternate courses since all our courses run on sufficient enrolment and courses may become full before we receive your supporting documents.
All applicants will receive a confirmation of the course(s) they registered for and a request for further supporting documentation to the email address they provided in the application.
Applicants must submit all the supporting documents requested in order for the office to process their registration.
Depending on the applicant’s status, the supporting documents may include:
- School authorization forms
- A copy of the birth certificate
- A copy of the Ontario Health Card
- An up-to-date transcript
- A copy of the most recent grade 8 term report card if entering grade 9 (the final grade 8 report card can be uploaded when received)
- A synopsis of the curriculum covered while receiving instruction at home
- A copy of the ‘Letter of Intent to Home School’ submitted to your board for the 2020/21 school year
- A copy of the ‘Letter of Intent to Home School’ submitted to your local board for the school year you plan on attending the Open School***
***You can use this sample letter of intent to home school form from the Ministry website or the form provided by your school board.
live_help Why can I take only one course at a time?
Open School is designed to allow students to work at their own pace and put their full focus on one subject. If more than one course is needed by a certain time, it is possible to accelerate through the material and start the next course as soon as the exam has been written. In this way, a student has the ability to complete a number of courses in one semester while concentrating on content from a single course at a time.
live_help Are there any fees?
If you are a resident of the Province of Ontario, you will not be charged tuition. However, if you are registered full-time or part-time with a publicly funded school in Ontario, that school will need to agree to share the ministry of education grant which they receive for your tuition. In 2020-21, they will be charged approximately $775 per credit you take through Open School.
Open School charges a system access deposit of $50 per course. This deposit will be refunded upon successful completion of the course or carried over to the next course.
live_help Can I start courses anytime?
Open School is a continuous entry program with intakes every three school weeks. You can access the Intake Calendar on our webpage to see the various entry points. Please note that you will need to apply a couple of weeks prior to the desired intake date in order to start on the date posted on the calendar.
live_help Do I have to attend classes?
Open School courses are asynchronous, in that you independently work on the course content on your own at any time. You will have access to videos, worked out sample questions, and multiple formative practice questions to help you grasp the concepts. If you run into issues, your instructor is just an email away (you will have direct contact with the instructor)! It is like having a built-in tutor for the entire course. Your instructor will provide you targeted assistance in video, audio, or written form to help you get back on track.
live_help Is there an attendance check?
Although you are permitted to work at your own pace within the confines of your customised Milestone Schedule, you are expected to access the course and contact your instructor on a regular basis. This continual communication and participation are vital in an asynchronous online course.
live_help What is a Milestone Schedule?
At the beginning of your course, the instructor will send you a schedule broken into 3-week intervals. Each of these milestones will indicate how far into the course you should be by that date. These milestones are crucial in setting a pace for successful completion of the course, and they need to be followed in order to remain in the Open School program.
You have as much flexibility within these milestone intervals as you need, and you are permitted (and encouraged) to accelerate your progress ahead of the schedule. If you complete your course early, you will be able to write the exam early as well and move on to your next Open School course!
live_help How will I write my exams?
Students will write their exams online during the scheduled exam period, and the official exam time and date will be established when you start your course. Open School Ontario uses the Proctorio proctoring service and can write their exam at home on their own computer.
live_help What is Proctorio?
Open School Ontario uses Proctorio software for students to complete their exams in the same location they typically complete their course work. When students start their exam, they will have to complete a security screening where they authorize their computer to share their webcam and screen with us, then they will experience the same exam/test process they are used to seeing.
Students will need to use a windows, mac or chrome OS computer with a chrome browser installed. They will also be required to have a webcam and microphone in order to take their final exams. Ipads and tablets cannot be used for final exams.
Do I have to use Proctorio?
Yes, all students are required to use Proctorio.
What information does Proctorio collect?
Proctorio is provided a unique alphanumeric code for each student. It does not pass any of your personal information.
Can Proctorio spy on me?
Proctorio requires you to authorize it to share your computer screen, microphone or webcam each time.
Can Proctorio control my computer?
No, it does not have this type of access.
Can I delete the extension after the exam?
Yes, but you will need to remember to enable it again before your next exam.
What if my computer is attached to the wall and can’t do a 360 scan?
We are not requiring students to do the 360 scan.
What if I can’t find a space at home to write my exam alone? (Busy home)
Any students who has a flagged exam would be reviewed by their teacher and admin to confirm that it is an actual issue.
Is someone watching me while I take my exam?
No. If your institution requires video, audio, or screen capture, Proctorio will store that data and provide an automated suspicion report to your instructor. No Proctorio employee has access to this data.
How do I know that my privacy is protected?
Proctorio uses zero-knowledge encryption technology that ensures your information is encrypted when it leaves your computer, is transferred, and then stored in the cloud.
Will Proctorio ever obtain or give out my personal information?
Never. Proctorio does not and cannot collect any unencrypted personally identifying information on any user, so there's nothing to give to third parties.
Who can view my exam recordings?
Only authorized school officials can unlock and view the exam recordings, not Proctorio. Additionally, our state-of-the-art, double-encryption technology ensures that all of your exam data is safe from hackers.
live_help How will post-secondary institutions receive my marks when I am applying?
At the start of your course, our Guidance Counsellor will send a Graduation and Post-Secondary Information Request form for students to complete and return to the office.
Depending on the student's status, our school will upload marks to OUAC and/or OCAS or mail the marks to the post-secondary institutions upon request. If a student is enrolled at another publicly or privately-funded school, then that school will be responsible for uploading courses/marks to OCAS and/or OUAC.
Please note: It is the student's responsibility to complete the form and request that marks are sent in order for our office to ensure the necessary information is sent to post-secondary institutions.
Since Open School continuous entry, there is no set mid-term date. Mid-term grades will be based upon completion of one half of the course. This mid-way point of the course will be established by the instructor.
live_help Do I need additional course materials such as textbooks or special programs?
No. In almost all cases, all course material is provided once you login to your course – this includes all support material and special programs. We have made arrangements with software and major publishers to ensure you have legal access to all of the resources you require.
live_help What equipment is required?
You need to have a high speed and reliable connection to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Arranging and maintaining an Internet connection is the student’s responsibility. A Mac or PC capable of running a modern browser such as Chrome, Safari or Firefox is required. It is highly recommended that all operating systems and browsers are kept up to date. While mobile devices, tablets, Chrome Books and Cloud Books can be useful for quick course check-ins, they are not recommended for extensive course work.
Courses that require additional software provide links to these applications and there is no associated cost.
The amount of bandwidth, gigabytes (GB), per month used per course will vary between courses, and from student to student.
live_help What about privacy and security?
You are only able to enter a course with a password and login, which is assigned at registration and private to the user. No personal information is accessible to anyone else. Privacy is governed in exactly the same way as it is in the regular day school program.
live_help Do my online credits count toward my diploma?
Yes, Open School is fully accredited and operated by Trillium Lakelands District School Board. Like any publicly funded and/or inspected school in Ontario, we are able to grant credits and the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
live_help What happens if I have to withdraw?
You need to notify our office using your Open School gmail account that you wish to withdraw from one of your courses.
If you are under 18, a parent/guardian must email the registrar: firstname.lastname@example.org with the request from their personal email account.
If you are attending another publicly funded or private school your guidance counsellor must email the registrar: email@example.com with the request.
If a student elects to withdraw course deposits will be forfeited.
live_help What is Full Disclosure?
The Ministry of Education has a policy of full disclosure. This policy states that all grade 11 and 12 courses attempted by students must be recorded on Ontario Student Transcripts. After the full disclosure deadline, any Grade 11 or 12 course completed, withdrawn from or failed will appear on a student transcript along with the marks earned in the program.
Full disclosure will apply once a student has completed 60% of the course content, as determined by the instructor and the Open School office.
This means senior students (grade 11 or 12) have until that point to withdraw from a course without it showing on their transcript.
Course withdrawal request information is in the previous section.
live_help Are there courses available in the summer?
Unfortunately, Open School does not run through the summer and ends at the end of June. This means that a student starting the course after the mid-way point of the school year will need to complete that course by the end of June and will not have a full 18 weeks to do so.
live_help Where do I learn more?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information about online course opportunities and one of our staff members will respond to your questions by email or telephone.