De-streaming for Secondary Students
Frequently Asked Questions

Streaming means separating students into various course types such as Academic, Applied and Locally Developed (Essential).

De-streaming is the end of the practice of placing students into a particular class based on their perceived ability.

In September 2022, Gr. 9 students will not be separated or streamed into Academic and Applied classes. This is part of a broad strategy to provide equitable opportunities and positive outcomes for all students.  “Success for each and a place for all”

  • De-streaming supports more equitable outcomes related to learning, well-being, graduation and post-secondary acceptance.
  • Research shows that students do as well or better in a de-streamed environment and benefit from learning in groups of students of varied abilities and interests.
  • Through effective instruction in a safe and inclusive learning environment, all students will be valued, empowered and engaged in learning.
  • Classroom teachers will use the principles of Universal Design for Learning and Differentiated Instruction/Assessment, to meet individual students’ learning strengths and needs.
  • Teachers will gain insight into who their students are, their strengths, experiences, interests, and ways of knowing. This insight allows teachers to plan activities that make the learning relevant and responsive.
  • Assessment plays a key role in a student’s ongoing success in a de-streamed course. Effective assessment is conducted throughout instruction and allows teachers to extend and enrich learning, based on individual student needs.

Unless they have been recommended for the Locally Developed (Essential) Program (see information on this program below) students entering Grade 9 will select:

  • De-streamed Math and Science
  • Academic English, French, and Geography
  • Religion
  • TWO Electives (arts, business, physical education, technology)

In both situations students will be de-streamed and not placed in courses based on their perceived intelligence or ability. Grade 9 Math and Science have new curricula. English, French and Geography do not have new curricula and instead will use the previously developed academic courses to serve the Grade 9 students.

To support equity and inclusion, Advanced Placement (AP) Preparation courses are no longer being offered in Grade 9, they will be offered again in Grade 10. The Grade 9 courses will equally challenge and prepare students for success in the Advanced Placement courses in Grades 11 and 12.

The WCDSB offers several free transition programs to support Grade 9 students that are available in Summer 2022; registration is required for these and will be available in Spring 2022:

  • Summer Boost and Summer Expedition – 3-week literacy and numeracy support
  • HEADStart school orientation, timetables, lockers, meet peers before school starts
  • Grade 9 Bridge to Success – Online Distance Learning summer school credit course

For more information visit summer programs at:

  • Classroom teachers will implement the instructional, environmental, and assessment accommodations that are recorded in the student’s Individual Education Plan.
  • The school team, including the classroom teacher, special education teacher, student success teacher and guidance counsellor will work collaboratively to ensure that students have access to the support required to be successful.


Note: Locally Developed Courses are also referred to as Essential Courses.