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About the Guide to Education

Topics in the Guide to Education include:

  • acts and regulations
  • policies and standards
  • program planning
  • program administration and delivery
  • student assessment
  • diploma and certificate requirements
  • student placement and promotion
  • awarding of credits

Audience

The Guide to Education is of particular interest to:

  • administrators
  • guidance counsellors
  • student advisors
  • teachers and other educators

Guide to Education

Guide to Education 2018 (PDF, 1.9 MB)

Summary of Key Changes 2018 (PDF, 44 KB)

What's new?

  • Beginning December 3, 2018, the Provincial Approach to Student Information (PASI) will include new and separate processes for schools to (1) waive prerequisite(s) and (2) award waived prerequisite credits. These changes affect "Clarification of Waiver of Prerequisites and Credits for Waived Prerequisite Courses" section on page 130 of the 2018/2019 Guide to Education. Until this content is updated, please refer to Waiving & awarding high school prerequisites section below.
  • Regulations on Pages 27 to 29 of the 2018/2019 Guide to Education have not been updated to reflect changes made to the School Act's regulations in the fall of 2018. Until this content is updated, please refer to this information about K to 12 education legislation and regulations.

Waiving & awarding high school prerequisites

The following information is provided to clarify the 2 separate processes of waiving prerequisite(s) and awarding credits for waived prerequisites.

Where do I find prerequisites courses listed?

Prerequisites are typically listed in one of 3 documents:

Guide to Education
The section Transfer Points (Recommended) and Course Sequences for Senior High School visually represents the prerequisites for many high school subjects).

Provincially Authorized Senior High School Courses and Course Codes
This document lists courses and codes. The linear arrangement depicts prerequisites.

Programs of Study
Prerequisites may be listed in the programs of study. This is especially true for Career and Technology Studies (CTS) 1-credit courses. As a CTS prerequisite may have other 1-credit CTS courses as prerequisites to the prerequisite, a CTS Prerequisite Search Tool is provided to assist schools in determining all CTS courses in the sequence. The search tool identifies all prerequisites in the sequence.

Why is this important now?

  • Information on locating and understanding prerequisites is critical. School authorities should not rely solely on warning or advice notifications in PASI. Complete information can be referenced in the Guide to Education, programs of study, or the authorized course code list.
  • PASI (release 7.07) will generate a warning at the time of enrolling a student with missing prerequisite(s) to permit and corrections to be made prior to the student starting the course.
  • Principals need to be aware of their responsibility when waiving prerequisite(s) to ensure:
    • The student possesses the knowledge, skills and attitudes identified in the waived course or program of studies.
    • Judgement is made on an individual basis, not for an entire class of students.
    • Waiving prerequisite(s) is in the student's best interest.
  • Additionally, the decision to waive prerequisite(s), like all programming decisions, be made in consultation with the student (and when applicable parent).
  • Programming decisions are to be documented in the student's record at the time of the decision and retained for a minimum of 7 years.

Where does the authority for a principal to waive prerequisite(s) come from?

The Guide to Education identifies the principal's authority to place or promote a student, "Placement and promotion of a student from one grade or course to another is determined by the school principal, in accordance with policies of the school authority and the provisions in the Guide." (Page 115)

  • In Elementary school – this is generally referred to as "skipping a grade"
  • In Senior High schools – the prerequisite(s) are "waived" in PASI to ensure proper reporting of marks and credits.

Note: Mature students may earn senior high school credits without holding credits for the prerequisite courses. For more information, see Mature Students in the Diploma and Certificate Requirements section. (Page 124)

What does waiving prerequisite(s) mean?

The principal (within the policies of the school authority and the provisions of the Guide to Education, page 130) makes a decision to waive prerequisite(s) if the following conditions are met:

  • The student possesses the knowledge, skills and attitudes identified in the waived course or program of studies.
  • Judgement is made on an individual basis, not for an entire class of students.
  • Waiving prerequisite(s) is in the student's best interest.

The decision to waive prerequisite(s) be made in consultation with the student (and when applicable parent/guardian) and documented in the student's record at the time of the decision by the principal. (Within student record retained for a minimum of 7 years.)

Note: The principal is not, at the time of enrolling the student in the next or higher-level course, awarding any high school credits for the waived prerequisite(s). The decision to waive prerequisite(s) indicates the principal has determined the student is ready for the next or higher-level course.

How is waived prerequisite credits different from waiving prerequisite(s)?

Once a student, who has had prerequisite(s) waived by the principal, completes the next or higher-level course, the award Waived Prerequisite Credits (WPC) will be awarded automatically for the prerequisite course in the sequence. (Waived Prerequisite Credits may not be earned in a few courses, listed as Exceptions in the Guide to Education.)

Is retroactive credits part of waiving prerequisite(s)?

The decision of the principal for a student to take a course in an alternate sequence is a waiver of prerequisite(s) that uses the student's previous learning as part of the information for the principal's decision. The principal would include this information as part of the documentation in the student's record supporting the decision to waive prerequisite(s) along with the following:

  • The student possesses the knowledge, skills and attitudes identified in the waived course or program of studies.
  • Judgement is made on an individual basis, not for an entire class of students.
  • Waiving prerequisite(s) is in the student's best interest.

The decision to waive prerequisite(s) be made in consultation with the student (and when applicable parent) and documented in the student's record at the time of the decision by the principal.

Retroactive credits are automatically awarded (through PASI) when the student completes the next higher-level course. (The principal is not required to submit WPC completions for Retroactive credits.) This is described in the Guide to Education, "Students not achieving at least 50% in a high school course may repeat the course or, subject to the approval of the school principal, take a course in an alternative sequence. Students who successfully complete the next higher-level course in an alternative sequence shall be granted credit for the prerequisite course in that alternative sequence." (Page 132)

Do prerequisite(s) have to be waived if the prerequisite was completed using an out-of-province evaluation?

When a course completion is submitted by the principal based on an out-of-province evaluation (Guide to Education, page 116), the mark of "P" shows the course is completed. This completion would meet the prerequisite requirement for the next or higher-level course in the sequence, and the prerequisite is completed and would not need to be waived.

How does awarding waived prerequisite credits affect the 45 credit enrolment unit (CEU) annual limit?

As per the Funding Manual, "Funding is provided for a maximum of 45 CEUs per student per year (September to August). Students are not restricted in the number of credits they can take in a school year." Waived Prerequisite Credits (WPC) and retro active credits are not funded, so there is no impact on the funding annual limit.

How is a "course sequence" different than a "prerequisite"?

A sequence shows the courses in order and reflects the sequential learning as the student progresses through the courses.

A prerequisite is one or more courses that prepare a student for the learnings of the next or higher-level course.

The principal's decision to waive prerequisite(s) is based on the student having the knowledge, skills, and attitudes for all identified prerequisites not only the immediately preceding course in the sequence.