Student Experience

Academic Program

As a Ministry of Education–inspected high school, all courses at The YMCA Academy are delivered according to the Ontario curriculum. Graduates of the Academy are awarded an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC), or a Certificate of Accomplishment.

In addition to a full complement of compulsory courses, Academy students are offered a wide array of engaging optional courses, including:

  • Cooperative Education
  • Visual Art
  • Integrated Arts
  • Dramatic Arts
  • Music
  • Environmental Science
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Politics
  • Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Native Studies
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Living and Working with Children
  • Learning Strategies
  • Personal Life Management
  • Leadership and Peer Support
  • Communications Technology
  • Computer Technology
  • History of Civilization (an interdisciplinary studies course designed by and exclusive to The YMCA Academy)

Extracurricular and Experiential Opportunities

Academy students extend their learning through a wide range of activities, with a focus on providing authentic, experiential opportunities that encourage the development of the whole person.

The YMCA Academy's Cooperative Education program integrates classroom theory and learning experiences in a community placement, enabling students to apply, expand upon, and refine the knowledge and skills acquired in a related curriculum course or a locally developed course.

Near the beginning of each school year, all Academy students and staff participate in an overnight trip to YMCA Cedar Glen Outdoor Centre. This experience provides vital community-building and leadership opportunities, and is always a highlight of the school year.

A biennial exchange through YMCA Youth Exchanges connects Academy students with young people from communities across Canada. During previous exchanges, Academy students visited (and hosted students from) Winnipeg, Manitoba; Oujé-Bougoumou, Quebec; Arviat, Nunavut; Medicine Hat, Alberta; Cornerbrook, Newfoundland; and Cumberland House, Saskatchewan.

Tuition at the Academy includes a year-long YMCA of Greater Toronto Health and Fitness membership. The school’s location within the Toronto Central Grosvenor Street YMCA Centre provides students with direct access to a wide array of health and fitness programs and facilities.

Each year, Academy students collectively select and administer a range of extracurricular activities, clubs, and spirit days suited to their shared interests, abilities, and needs. Past clubs and activities have included Astronomy Club, Drama Club, Guitar Club, Basketball Club, Arcade Club, Queer-Straight Alliance, and the Open Studio drop-in art program. Student-led spirit days from previous years have included Zombie Day, lunchtime dance parties, Hat Day, Twin Day, and more.

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