Our School

Adult High School

We acknowledge that our learning is taking place on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Territory. We thank the Algonquin Nation for hosting us and recognize their enduring presence on this land.

Our School

At Adult High School we take pride in knowing that we are a caring, supportive multi-cultural environment. We are a semestered, secondary day school for adults. Registration occurs at the beginning of September and the beginning of February.

Adult High School staff is committed to providing quality adult education in a caring and challenging environment which prepares students for the workplace or for post-secondary education.

Our guidance Department is staffed with a team of counselors dedicated to supporting students with their educational journey. Adult High School offers a full range of academic credit courses for grade 10 - 12.

Our Students

AHS has an enrolment of over 1200 students. Our school is rich in cultural diversity; over 40 language groups are represented in our student population.

We value the diverse backgrounds of our student body. Students work towards obtaining their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or towards upgrading their skills and knowledge to prepare for the world of work, apprenticeships, College and University.

Our Staff

Adult High School's 55 teaching staff and 20 administrative and support staff is committed to meeting the inpidual needs of our students, to ensure that each student receives a high quality education. We are leaders specializing in the delivery of adult academic programs.

Our Community

Adult High School is a unique school as it offers a full complement of services to adult students. We have a close working relationship with many community groups, such as the Canadian Ethno-Cultural Council, the Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada, the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization, Youth Services Bureau, Human Resources Development Canada, and the Somerset West Community Health Center.

Mission Statement

Adult High School is committed to providing quality adult education in a caring and stimulating environment which prepares students for the workplace or post-secondary education.

The following comments from our students illustrate the integral role that AHS has played in their lives:

“I feel supported.”

“Teachers get to know you.”

“I'm meeting new friends.”

“Everyone is here to work.”

“AHS is like a bridge - it connects you to where you want to go”

Programs and Services

Academic Programs

A full range of courses lead towards the OSSD - Ontario Secondary School Diploma Specialty Programming includes:

  • Co-operative Education, Culinary Arts Program, Hairstyling and Aesthetics
  • Art, Business, Computer Technology, English, ESL, Math, Science, Social Studies

Classroom Organization

  • Comprehensive programs from Grade 9 through to Grade 12
  • Specialized packages for ELL learners
  • Grade 9 to Grade 12 with four 75 minute periods
  • In class instruction is enhanced by the use of technology
  • Career exploration software in Student Services
  • Noon hour activities that engage fitness and healthy lifestyles

Special Education and ESL Programs

  • Equivalency, maturity, and/or PLAR credits may be granted for prior education and work experience
  • Beginner to Advanced Credit ESL courses
  • Specialized (ESL) credit courses in Learning Strategies
  • ESL Speech and Drama credit courses
  • Opportunities for newcomers to Canada to participate fully in all school programs, including a variety of co-curricular opportunities with limited daycare available
  • Student Success Program that offers opportunities for Credit Recovery/ Credit Accumulation Worker

Clubs and Activities

  • Fitness Centre, noon hour sports
  • Multi-cultural Club
  • Global Village Festival (GVF)
  • Retro-Room Clothing Store
  • Recycling Program “Earth Care”
  • Breakfast Club
  • Noon Hour Cafe

Safe Schools Initiatives

  • Full implementation of the OCDSB “Safe Schools” policy, including an AHS “Safe Schools Manual” and training for staff and students compliant with Bill 157 Safe Schools Legislation
  • Staff training in First Aid/CPR/Defibrillator
  • Staff training in Non-violent Crisis Intervention
  • Liaison with School Resource Officer - Ottawa Police Services

Facilities and Resources

  • Centrally located on #85 & 14 bus routes
  • Large, modern library, with an up-to-date computer resource area
  • Multi-media labs with fully-equipped computer labs
  • Site of the OCDSB “Family Reception Centre”
  • Site of the OCDSB “Central Orientation Class” for newcomers to Canada
  • Two day-care facilities supporting children of students at AHS and the LINC Program
  • Two gyms, a weight room, and a fitness studio
  • State-of-the art, over 1200 seat auditorium, extensively used by the community
  • Student Services Career Resource Centre
  • On site Rideauwood counsellor, Nurse Practitioner, Psychologist, Social Worker, MLO

Achievement and School Learning Plan

Measures of Student Achievement and Success

The Adult High School follows the guidelines set out in the OCDSB Policies and Procedures for Student Evaluation, available on the Board's web site. All new students are placed in courses, based on prerequisites or the results of in-school entry assessments, in order to ensure that students take courses in which they will be successful. AHS is one of the largest feeder high schools to Algonquin College.

School Improvement Plans and Initiatives

Adult High School has targeted three initiatives for school improvement:

Numeracy and Literacy/ELL Learners

  • Support Services for Student Learning and Success
  • Strengthening Academic and Community ties

Numeracy and Literacy

Success for all students is our number one goal. With this in mind, we need to ensure that students are placed in the correct grade and level for their personalized educational programs. As a result, new students may be tested upon entry to AHS. Literacy and Numeracy across the curriculum and Literacy for our ELL readers are of particular importance to our School Improvement Plan. In addition, examination results are reviewed annually to help plan for future directions.

Support Services for Student Learning and Success

Through Assisted technology, ELL classroom support and Healthy lifestyle initiatives, Adult High School aims to ensure students have a complete network of useable tools from which to draw upon throughout their educational careers and working lives. Our goal is to implement STEP assessments in ESL courses to track student achievement.

Strengthening Academic and Community Ties

Our school produces the highest number of Algonquin College entrants of any school in the Board.

Our Multi-Cultural Officer (MLO) links us to the services of cross-cultural counselling, newcomer settlement assistance, parent advocacy, staff professional development opportunities, and numerous agencies in the community.

We will continue to develop our student support programs and OCDSB links that assist our students and staff through District-Wide Exams in both English and Math. Cross-curricular literacy and numeracy enhancement will continue to link us with postsecondary institutions and our world of work.

We are proud of our working relationships with Ontario Works, Employment Ontario, Ottawa Housing, Youth Services Bureau, Rideauwood and various Settlement and Integration agencies.

Leadership Recognition

“Leadership in the OCDSB is the demonstration of personal initiative to achieve a positive outcome.”


In addition to informal recognition on a regular basis, we also acknowledge students' contributions in our classrooms, through school announcements, at assemblies, and at our end-of-year awards ceremonies. As well, we recognize student leadership by incorporating their suggestions into our overall planning through Principal's Forum which reflects our SIPSA. This is reflected in our school activities and fund-raisers for the Ottawa Food Bank, Snow Suit Fund and Ottawa Mission. Their efforts have created our Breakfast Program which involves students working with teachers to provide nutritious breakfasts each school day. Teachers and students are actively involved in the school's “Retro Room” where students can shop free of charge for clothing that has been donated by our community. Students are also recognized for their successes and good citizenship through our informal “Let's Lunch Together” initiative. We take every opportunity to celebrate and congratulate!


Our staff, both teaching and non-teaching have a wealth of experience and expertise that provide our student population with both formal and informal leadership and mentorship. Adult high School is supported by outside staff resources i.e. Rideauwood, Ottawa Public Health, MLO.

Our staff members possess professional qualifications including post-graduate degrees, as well as additional qualifications in Special Education, English as a Second Language, Visual Arts, Guidance, and Computers in Education.

They have actively participated in numerous Board-wide professional development activities in literacy and numeracy, and we recognize their initiatives by providing and supporting opportunities for further professional growth. We also recognize staff leadership via personal interactions with one another, letters of thanks, school announcements, assemblies, and performance appraisals. Our staff is actively involved in mentoring student teachers from the University of Ottawa. We are truly an active professional learning community.


Our Adult High School community has a culture of giving and sharing. Last year our initiatives included fund raising for the Snow Suit Fund. We are very fortunate to receive a number of community volunteers through the Ottawa Network for Education. They give generously of their time throughout the year working in classes and inpidually with students. Student and teacher volunteers provide food from our school's Food Cupboard and clothing from our Retro-Room. As invaluable partners, we thank all of our volunteers on an on-going basis; we acknowledge their contributions through school announcements, newsletters, community bulletins, and at our annual volunteer appreciation reception.


Over the years, Adult High School and our local community have worked together to improve the well-being and safety of our students. As an example, we partner with Somerset West Community Health Center to offer extended outreach resources to our students. We recognize our community partners through our school announcements, newsletters, school web site, personal correspondence and special events. They often participate in our outreach activities and our Professional Activity days.

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