As of September 2021, mathematics courses in Ontario are no longer offered at both the Applied and Academic levels in Grade 9. This change is the result of strong evidence across Waterloo Region and Ontario that supports not having Grade 8 students choose between applied and academic courses. The goal is to provide more equitable outcomes for all students. This shift is called de-streaming.

Most students entering Grade 9 in September 2021 will be taking a new foundational math course (Course Code MTH1W) designed for all learners. More students will be empowered to pursue the futures they want, with doors open to all post-secondary options, including apprenticeship, college, university, or into the workplace.

Learn more about De-streaming for Secondary Students.

Streaming and De-streaming

Ontario is the only province in Canada that continues to stream students in Grade 9. The original intent for Applied courses was to provide a different approach to learning. Over time, the perception grew that these courses were less academically rigorous.

Research shows students from racialized communities, low-income households, and other marginalized groups are more often encouraged to take applied-level courses which then affects everything from graduation rates to employment opportunities later in life.

De-streaming will help break down barriers for Black, Indigenous and racialized students and provide all students with an equal opportunity to succeed. The anti-oppressive approach of de-streaming aims to help students keep their options open, as they learn and grow on their chosen pathways.

Why De-stream?

Students wishing to move between streams once they have selected Applied level courses in Grade 9 face a number of barriers. De-streaming Grade 9, starting with mathematics in September 2021, keeps course options open and supports all students to prepare for senior secondary courses that will allow them to pursue the post-secondary pathway of their choice.

In the WRDSB, we welcome de-streaming as an opportunity to welcome students into an innovative, vibrant, joyous learning environment, where all students experience a solid foundation in mathematics and an equitable opportunity for their future studies. We strive for all our math learners to see themselves for what we know them to be; curious, capable and competent.

Learn more about the effects of streaming in Ontario.

About the Grade 9 Mathematics Course (MTH1W)

The new Mathematics, Grade 9 course (MTH1W) fulfills the same prerequisite requirements as the two previously offered courses: Principles of Mathematics, Grade 9, Academic (MPM1D) and Foundations of Mathematics, Grade 9, Applied (MFM1P).

“Systemic barriers, such as racism, implicit bias, and other forms of discrimination, can result in inequitable academic and life outcomes, such as low confidence in one’s ability to learn mathematics, reduced rates of credit completion, and leaving the secondary school system prior to earning a diploma.

Educators must not only know about these barriers, they must work actively and with urgency to address and remove them.”

MTH1W Curriculum Introduction, Ministry of Education, August 2021

Learn more about the Grade 9 Mathematics Course (MTH1W) on our website.

Questions about de-streaming?

If you have questions about de-streaming, go to Frequently Asked Questions About De-streaming.